P-40 Tomahawk and Kittyhawk in RAF Service - Europe and North Africa: Wingleader Photo Archive Number 24
When our stalwart author Neil Robinson agreed to take on the P-40 for us, we imagine he looked forward to a few weeks of enjoyable research into this often overlooked RAF fighter. Several months later, poor old Neil has finally delivered the book and has probably discovered the reason why this aircraft is ‘often overlooked’! To put it simply, the P-40’s service with RAF and Commonwealth squadrons was a total administrative mess, with names, Mks and sub Mks all changing randomly along with armament and internal fits. To unravel this mess has been a herculean task which has burdened not only Neil but also our profile artist Darren for well over 6 months. To them we offer our sincere thanks and apologies, and promise them an easy one next time!
So, this book covers the P-40 in RAF and Commonwealth service in Europe and North Africa. We will tackle US use and Far East operations in future books.
The Tomahawk initially went into service with Army Co-Operation squadrons but was almost immediately replaced by the superior Mustang. These ‘spare’ Tomahawks were then sent out to North Africa to back up the Hurricanes, and when the first Kittyhawks arrived, they were also ‘sidelined’ to the desert. It is here that the Kittyhawk made its name and it will be forever associated with the 112 Squadron shark mouthed examples that fought the Me109Fs all over North Africa. With North Africa secured, later Kittyhawks carried on fighting through Italy, this time more in a ground support role and carrying a fairly decent bomb load.
In this book we’ve tried to cover all the various Mks and to guide you through the differences to look out for. If by the end of it, you can tell the difference between a Tomahawk Mk IIA and IIB and a Kittyhawk Mk III and IIIA then you are indeed blessed and Neil’s suffering may not have been in vain!
This book contains approx 120 original wartime/pre-war photos and 6 in-depth colour profiles
After several years of writing articles for aviation enthusiast and aircraft modelling magazines, he was appointed editor of IPMS Magazine in the mid-1980s, after which in the early 1990s he self-published his own magazines, ‘Quarter Scale Modeller’ (for 1/48 scale aircraft modellers) and ‘Seventy Second Scale Modeller’ (for 1/72 scale aircraft modellers), for two years, until his first proper ‘commercial’ editing job in 1995, editing ‘Military ModelCraft’, covering figure, AFV and vehicle modelling, despite all his interest and knowledge being in aviation topics.
Then in late 1998, he took over editorship of ‘Scale Aircraft Modelling’ from the (then) owner, Alan W Hall, during which time he also introduced and edited a new range of enthusiast titles for Guideline Publications – the ‘Camouflage & Markings’ and ‘Combat Colours’ ranges of books. In the spring of 2003 he helped form a then brand new venture, called The Aviation Workshop. Unfortunately the company tried to grow and expand too quickly and couldn’t support all the creative team members, so he moved to SAM Publications, editing another relatively new magazine, ‘Model Aircraft Monthly’.
After five years with SAM Publications he temporarily re-joined The Aviation Workshop, in April 2010, as Book Production Editor for their range of ‘On Target’ books, before joining forces with a local printer and starting the AIRfile range of camouflage and markings books.
He is now a freelance author and editor, and enjoying his semi-retirement on the east coast of Yorkshire.
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