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World War II: The China, Burma, India Theatre

World War II: The China, Burma, India Theatre

Between 1942 and 1945, there were four main areas of conflict in the Pacific War: China, the Central Pacific, South East Asia and the South West Pacific.

U.S. sources refer to two theaters within the Pacific War: the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) and the China Burma India Theater (CBI). However these were not operational commands. In the PTO, the Allies divided operational control of their forces between two supreme commands, known as Pacific Ocean Areas and Southwest Pacific Area.

In 1945, for a brief period just before the Japanese surrender, the Soviet Union and its Mongolian ally engaged Japanese forces in Manchuria and northeast China.

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USAAF Boeing B-29 Superfortress Heavy Bomber - Battln Beauty, 25th Bombardment Squadron, 40th Bombardment Group, Rangoon, 1944 USAAF Boeing B-29 Superfortress Heavy Bomber - "Battln' Beauty", 25th Bombardment Squadron, 40th Bombardment Group, Rangoon, 1944 (1:400 Scale)

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was unquestionably the most famous and formidable bombing aircraft of the Second World War. During the War, these bombers were primarily used in the Pacific theater. The first Boeing B-29 bomber entered into service for the US Air Force in September 1943 and the last B-29 retired from service in September 1960.

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American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Fighter - 76th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, Kweilin, China, December 1942 American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Fighter - 76th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, Kweilin, China, December 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Fighter - Major David Lee "Tex" Hill, 2nd Pursuit Squadron, Baoshan, China, 1942 American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Fighter - Major David Lee "Tex" Hill, 2nd Pursuit Squadron, Baoshan, China, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - 74th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group "Flying Tigers", Kweilin, China, 1944 USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - 74th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group "Flying Tigers", Kweilin, China, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Fighter - Robert Neale, 1st Squadron Commander American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Fighter - Robert Neale, 1st Squadron Commander (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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RNZAF Brewster B339-E Buffalo Fighter - Noel C. Sharp, 488 Squadron, Singapore, 1941 RNZAF Brewster B339-E Buffalo Fighter - Noel C. Sharp, 488 Squadron, Singapore, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

Built by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in Queens, New York City, the F2A Buffalo was the first production monoplane fighter to enter service with the US Navy. The F2A was an all-metal, single-engine, single-seat, mid-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear and a tail hook for carrier operations.

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USAAF Curtiss P-40E Warhawk Fighter - John Landers, Texas Longhorn, 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, Port Moresby, New Guinea, December 1942 USAAF Curtiss P-40E Warhawk Fighter - John Landers, "Texas Longhorn", 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, Port Moresby, New Guinea, December 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Corps Brewster B339C Buffalo Fighter - 2-VLG-V, Lt. Diebel, Batavia, Java, 1942 Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Corps Brewster B339C Buffalo Fighter - 2-VLG-V, Lt. Diebel, Batavia, Java, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

Built by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in Queens, New York City, the F2A Buffalo was the first production monoplane fighter to enter service with the US Navy. The F2A was an all-metal, single-engine, single-seat, mid-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear and a tail hook for carrier operations.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - 12th Naval Flying Group, China, 1940-41 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - 12th Naval Flying Group, China, 1940-'41 (1:72 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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Chinese Air Force Boeing Model 281 Fighter - 17th Squadron, Nanking, China, Summer 1937 Chinese Air Force Boeing Model 281 Fighter - 17th Squadron, Nanking, China, Summer 1937 (1:48 Scale)

The American Boeing P-26, nicknamed the "Peashooter", was the first all-metal production fighter aircraft and the first pursuit monoplane used by the United States Army Air Corps. The prototype first flew in 1932, and were used by the Air Corps as late as 1941 in the Philippines.

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RAF Westland Lysander Mk. IIIA Reconnaissance Aircraft - V9289, 357 Squadron, Burma, 1945 RAF Westland Lysander Mk. IIIA Reconnaissance Aircraft - V9289, 357 Squadron, Burma, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

The Avro Vulcan, sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan, is a delta wing subsonic jet strategic bomber that was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1953 until 1984.

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RAF Hawker Audax Mk I Light Bomber - No. 28 Squadron, RAF Kohal, India, 1941 RAF Hawker Audax Mk I Light Bomber - No. 28 Squadron, RAF Kohal, India, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Audax was a Hart variant, designed for the army co-operation role, seeing much service in the British Empire. The first Audax flew in late 1931, and eventually, over 700 Audaxes were produced (including export).

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Chinese Air Force Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - Wang Kuang Fu, 7th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Fighter Group, Laohokow, China, Jan 1945 Chinese Air Force Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - Wang Kuang Fu, 7th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Fighter Group, Laohokow, China, Jan 1945 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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Chinese Air Force Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - Chiao Wu O, 29th Fighter Squadron, 5th Fighter Group, China, 1944 Chinese Air Force Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - Chiao Wu O, 29th Fighter Squadron, 5th Fighter Group, China, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - 89th Fighter Squadron "Burma Banshees", 80th Fighter Group, Assam Valley, Naggaghuli Base, India, 1944 USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - 89th Fighter Squadron "Burma Banshees", 80th Fighter Group, Assam Valley, Naggaghuli Base, India, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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RNZAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - "Gloria Lyons" NZ3220, No.4 Servicing Unit, Late 1944 RNZAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - "Gloria Lyons" NZ3220, No.4 Servicing Unit, Late 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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RAF Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC Fighter - No. 615 Squadron (County of Surrey), Burma, December 1942 RAF Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC Fighter - No. 615 Squadron (County of Surrey), Burma, December 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The Hawker Hurricane was the first monoplane to join the Royal Air Force as a fighter aircraft, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 300-mph in level flight. Often compared with the sleek-looking Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane, in actuality, shouldered the brunt of the fighting during the "Battle of Britain", equipping more than three-fifths of the RAF's Fighter Command squadrons.

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American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Warhawk Fighter - David Lee Tex Hill, Flying Tigers, China, 1942 American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Warhawk Fighter - David Lee "Tex" Hill, "Flying Tigers", China, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - Joanne, 89th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, India, 1943 USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - "Joanne", 89th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, India, 1943 (1:48 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USAAF North American P-51A Mustang Fighter - Colonel Philip Flip Cochran, 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 USAAF North American P-51A Mustang Fighter - Colonel Philip "Flip" Cochran, 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - Lt. Fred F. Burgett, Sing Pao, 25th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, Yunnanyi, China, 1944 USAAF Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Fighter - Lt. Fred F. Burgett, "Sing Pao", 25th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, Yunnanyi, China, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Warhawk Fighter - Colonel Robert Scott, Flying Tigers, 23rd Flying Group, Burma, 1942 American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40E Warhawk Fighter - Col. Robert Scott, "Flying Tigers", 23rd Flying Group, Burma, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USAAF North American P-51B Mustang Fighter - Lt. Leonard R. Reeves, 530th Fighter Squadron "Yellow Scorpions", 311th Fighter Group, Pungchacheng, China, January 1945 USAAF North American P-51B Mustang Fighter - Lt. Leonard R. Reeves, 530th Fighter Squadron "Yellow Scorpions", 311th Fighter Group, Pungchacheng, China, January 1945 (1:48 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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RAF P-47 Thunderbolt Mk. II Fighter - 135th Fighter Squadron, 222nd Fighter Group, Burma, 1944 RAF Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Mk. II Fighter - 135th Fighter Squadron, 222nd Fighter Group, Burma, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Jug" for its bulky shape, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was considered a monster of a machine. Despite its size, the Thunderbolt proved to be a fast and maneuverable warbird able to hold its own in combat. In fact, when Allied pilots climbed aboard a P-47, they knew the were in control of a fighting machine with enormous power.

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USAAF Republic P-47D Razorback Thunderbolt Fighter - The Flying Abortion, 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 USAAF Republic P-47D Razorback Thunderbolt Fighter - "The Flying Abortion", 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Jug" for its bulky shape, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was considered a monster of a machine. Despite its size, the Thunderbolt proved to be a fast and maneuverable warbird able to hold its own in combat. In fact, when Allied pilots climbed aboard a P-47, they knew the were in control of a fighting machine with enormous power.

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USAAF North American P-51C Mustang Fighter - Capt. Forrest H. Parham, Little Jeep, 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, Luliang, China, November 1944 USAAF North American P-51C Mustang Fighter - Capt. Forrest H. Parham, Little Jeep, 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, Luliang, China, November 1944 (1:48 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40C Kittyhawk Fighter - 3rd Squadron "Hell's Angels", Kunming, China, 1942 American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40C Kittyhawk Fighter - 3rd Squadron "Hell's Angels", Kunming, China, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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USAAF P-38 Lightning Interceptor - Major Willard J. Webb, 459th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group Burma Banshees USAAF Lockheed P-38 Lightning Interceptor - Major Willard J. Webb, 459th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group "Burma Banshees" (1:48 Scale)

It was fast, heavily armed and extremely versatile. And many believe the Lockheed P-38 Lightning  to be the finest American fighter of WWII. Its low-drag, aerodynamic shape and heavy weight enabled this twin-engine, twin-boomed aircraft to accelerate to high speeds faster than any previous warplane, making it a potent fighter and a superb fighter-bomber.

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RAF Vickers Wellington Mk. X Medium Bomber - No. 99 Squadron, Burma, 1942-43 RAF Vickers Wellington Mk. X Medium Bomber - No. 99 Squadron, Burma, 1942-'43 (1:72 Scale)

The twin-engine Wellington was the mainstay of Bomber Command until 1942, when the four-engine heavy bombers entered service. The Wellington prototype took to the air for the first time in June 1936 and production models entered service with the Royal Air Force in October 1938.

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USAAF North American B-25H Mitchell Medium Bomber - Barbie III, 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 USAAF North American B-25H Mitchell Medium Bomber - "Barbie III", 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II. So impressed with what they saw on the drawing board, the USAAC ordered 184 aircraft -- to be designated the B-25 -- before metal had even been cut on a revised design.

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