Many interviews are included with pilots who flew the Buffalo, some with glowing comments on its performance, while others cast a less than stellar light on the Brewster. It is up to the reader to draw his own conclusions as to where the F2A sits in the history of modern aerial warfare. It is interesting to note that the Brewster , as used by the Finnish Air Force during the period achieved the highest kill ratio of any fighter plane of the war with an impressive score.
Finland produced many Aces with the Buffalo, including the all-time high scoring Buffalo Ace, Hans Wind with 39 aerial kills, and followed closely by Ilmari Juutilainen with The book is lavishly illustrated with over photos, many of which have never been published.
It had a more powerful Wright R engine, producing 1, hp. This increased its top speed to mph at 16, feet, making it quicker than the F4F Wildcat. Firepower was standardised at four. This model did not enter U.
A51 Brewster Buffalo
Navy service until September-November Even by then it was clear that the aircraft was obsolescent. Over the course of the F2A-2 was replaced by the F2A Most export versions of the Buffalo were based on the F2A-2, but none matched its performance. Unfortunately, the F2A-3 was the most numerous version in December It was clear step backwards in production compared to the dash two.
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The engine remained the same, but it carried more fuel, more armour and more ammunition. While this may have increased its range, the decrease in all round performance left this version of the Buffalo at a significant disadvantage in combat.
The dash three entered Navy service in August , but by the end of the year it was already being replaced by the Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat. The discarded Buffalos were given to the Marine Corps to train its new fighter squadrons. By the time of Pearl Harbor, only two Marine squadrons were using the aircraft in service.
One of those squadrons was based on Midway Island. The F2A Buffalo saw combat during the battle of Midway. On 4 June twenty of the Buffalos and five of the Wildcats took off to intercept an incoming Japanese bombing raid.
Only seven Buffalos and three Wildcats returned. The Buffalo could hardly be blamed for this.
The Marine aircraft attacked in two small waves. They faced a force of Japanese aircraft, which included 36 Zeros. Despite being outnumbered by four to one they managed to shoot down at least nine Japanese aircraft, including two Zeros. Nevertheless, the Buffalo got most of the blame.
Pacific Wrecks - Brewster Buffalo
After Midway the Buffalo was removed from front line service. The Buffalo saw most success in Finish service as the Brewster Model However, the war ended before the Buffalo could enter combat, and so when the Finns did finally get to use the Buffalo against the Russians it was as an ally of Germany.
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The Finns achieved very impressive results with the Buffalo, shooting down Soviet aircraft for the loss of only nineteen Buffalos. Three things help account for this unexpectedly impressive record.
First, the main Soviet air efforts were being made further south against the Germans. The Finnish front was a much lower priority.
Second, the Finns and Russians were normally fighting at much lower altitudes than was common elsewhere — the Russians concentrating on low level ground attack and close support missions — and the Finns found the Buffalo to be very effective at low altitude. Finally, the Finnish pilots were veterans while many of their Soviet opponents were novices, often rushed to the front without suitable training.