The Aero Experience continues our coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, sponsored by Elite Aviation, with this look at two warbird fighters serving at the beginning of World War II: the Curtiss P-40 and North American P-64.
Several examples of the legendary Curtiss P-40 Warhawk series were on display and flying during the week. The P-40 served with British Forces from 1940 as the Tomahawk and Kittyhawk, defended Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy, served with the famous Flying Tigers American Volunteer Group in China, and flew with U.S. and Allied Forces in all theaters of the war. Included here are several models with representative paint schemes.
The North American P-64 was a fighter development of the AT-6 Texan trainer series meant for export as the clouds of war were building. The aircraft was slightly smaller than the Texan, and it was armed with two machine guns. Seven were delivered to Peru by 1939, and they were used in a brief conflict with Ecuador. Also in 1939, six cannon-armed fighters were being shipped to Thailand, but were held in Hawaii when Japan invaded that country. They were returned to the U.S. and used as advanced fighter trainers at Luke Field, AZ. The one featured here survives today with the Experimental Aircraft Association, and was flown at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 and following years after a lengthy period of storage and restoration.