By Kari Stenman
Getting into provider with the USA army as a carrier-borne fighter, the Brewster F2A, later named Buffalo by way of the British and easily the Brewster via the Finns, observed rather little provider with its personal country. certainly, it was once to work out motion on only one get together in US shades: the engagement off halfway through USMC F2As observed a couple of eastern service airplane shot down, together with via destiny ace Col Charles M Kunz. The F2A was once additionally ordered for the RAF in 1939, and even though it quickly grew to become obvious that the sort was once now not compatible to be used opposed to the potent Luftwaffe over Western Europe, the Buffalo was once noticeable as an appropriate sort to be used within the a long way East. It used to be despatched en-masse to equip new squadrons of the RAF, RAAF and RNZAF shaped for the defence of Malaya and Singapore. regardless of the various inadequacies uncovered after the Japenese invasion, the Commonwealth devices fought gallantly opposed to the percentages and with bad logistical backup and eventually made many claims. certainly no fewer than 9 pilots both turned aces at the variety or elevated their ratings to accomplish acedom, and a different fifteen aces flew them in motion. in addition, the prime Buffalo ace went directly to develop into the main winning Commonwealth pilot opposed to the japanese of the complete warfare. It used to be in Finland, besides the fact that, the place the Brewster chanced on timeless popularity and proved itself a true thorn within the part of the Soviets. working in primitive stipulations and opposed to more suitable numbers, Finnish Brewster 239 pilots racked up an important ranking opposed to the crimson Air strength. total, a few 37 Finnish pilots grew to become aces whilst flying the Brewster 239. The tubby Brewster used to be a great deal the fighter of selection for the prime Finnish pilots until eventually the arrival of huge numbers of Messerschmitt Bf 109s in 1943.
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Extra info for Brewster F2A Buffalo Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces)
No 21 Sqn was then ordered to withdraw to Butterworth, which had also been heavily bombed. With Japanese troops on the perimeter of Kota Bharu, No 243 Sqn's detachment was also ordered to withdraw. For the RAF, it had been a quite dreadful first day, and worse was soon to follow. That evening the Prince of Wales and Repulse belatedly put to sea with an escort provided by four destroyers. This small but powerful fleet was designated 'Force Z', and it headed northwards at full speed to intercept Japanese troop transports reported off Singora, where Adm Sir Tom Phillips expected to be by dawn on the 10th.
No longer engaging slower Hurricanes, I-16s or 1-153 biplanes, the La-5 and Yak-1/7 were considerably faster than the Brewster, but this did not phase the pilots of LeLv 24. On 30 May LeLv 24's veteran CO Lt Col Magnusson was promoted to command LeR 3, and his place was taken by Capt Karhunen. lLt Wind was in turn made leader of the 3rd Flight. Six days later, on the afternoon of 5 June, all three flights (numbering 16 aircraft) intercepted two Russian formations comprised of four Pe-2s, seven to eight Il-2s and 10-15 fighters.
On 2 December the battleships HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse arrived in Singapore as a visible and powerful deterrent to the Japanese, and taking passage with them was Battle of Britain ace Sqn Ldr Frank Howell, who assumed command of No 243 Sqn upon his arrival in the Far East. W h e n N o 453 Sqn RAAF arrived in Singapore, c o m m a n d of t h e unit w a s given t o Sqn Ldr W J Harper. He is seen here in his aircraft, A N 2 1 3 / T D - Z , w h i c h is t h o u g h t t o have been t h e only Buffalo t o have carried a personal score in t h e Far East - in this instance recording all of Harper's c o m b a t claims, including three destroyed (via C FShores) N o 488 Sqn RNZAF w a s initially c o m m a n d e d by Sqn Ldr Wilf Clouston, a N e w Zealander in t h e RAF w h o had t e n victories t o his n a m e following service in Britain (M Goodman) Fig Off Maurice 'Blondie' Holder w a s one of N o 243 Sqn's original pilots.