The Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, is an American-designed and built fighter aircraft of the 1930s and 40s. A contemporary of both the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design making extensive use of metal in its construction and powered by a powerful radial engine.
Perhaps best known as the predecessor of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the P-36 saw little combat with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. It was nevertheless the fighter used most extensively and successfully by the French Armee de l'air during the Battle of France. The P-36 was also ordered by the governments of the Netherlands and Norway, but did not arrive in time to see action before both were occupied by Nazi Germany. The type was also manufactured under license in China, for the Republic of China Air Force, as well as in British India, for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Indian Air Force(RIAF).
Axis and co-belligerent air forces also made significant use of captured P-36s. Following the fall of France and Norway in 1940, several dozen P-36s were seized by Germany and transferred to Finland; these aircraft saw extensive action with the Ilmavoimat(Air Force) against the Soviet Air Forces. The P-36 was also used by Vichy French air forces in several minor conflicts; in one of these, the Franco-Thai War of 1940–41, P-36s were used by both sides.
Philip M. Rasmussen (May 11, 1918 – April 30, 2005) was an Army Air Corps second lieutenant assigned to the 46th Pursuit Squadron at Wheeler Field on the island of Oahu during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. On the morning of December 7, Lt. Rasmussen had awakened in his barracks, when, looking out a window, he saw a group of Japanese airplanes dropping bombs on the field. He strapped his .45 caliber pistol to the outside of his pajamas and ran to get an airplane.
Most of the planes were destroyed, but Lt. Rasmussen found an unscathed P-36 Hawk and taxied it to a revetment where he had it loaded with ammunition. During a lull in the bombing, he took off with three other pilots. They received orders by radio to fly to Kaneohe Bay on the north-east side of the island.
The American pilots subsequently engaged 11 Japanese aircraft. Despite having a jammed .30 caliber gun and only limited capability with his .50 caliber gun, Lt. Rasmussen managed to shoot down a Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Several other Japanese pilots attacked, including one who apparently tried to ram him.
Model Scale 1:30
Curtiss P-36 Hawk
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Send in your repaint of the P-36 Mohawk / Hawk 75. All entries will get a free model of their choice, and the winner will receive the P-36 Bundle.
Contest will end on October 31st.
Post WWII FInland
Repaint by Butelczynski
H-75 Alois Vasatko
Repaint by Butelczynski