Brewster F2A Buffalo Aces of World War 2

Brewster F2A Buffalo Aces of World War 2 cover


Entering service with the US Navy as a carrier-borne fighter, the Brewster F2A, later named Buffalo by the British and simply the Brewster by the Finns, saw relatively little service with its own nation. Indeed, it was to see action on just one occasion in US colors: the engagement off Midway by USMC F2As saw a number of Japanese carrier aircraft shot down, including two by future ace Col Charles M Kunz.

The F2A was also ordered for the RAF in 1939, and although it soon became apparent that the type was not suitable for use against the mighty Luftwaffe over Western Europe, the Buffalo was seen as a suitable type for use in the Far East. It was sent en-masse to equip new squadrons of the RAF, RAAF and RNZAF formed for the defence of Malaya and Singapore.

Despite the many inadequacies exposed after the Japenese invasion, the Commonwealth units fought gallantly against the odds and with poor logistical backup and ultimately made many claims. Indeed no fewer than nine pilots either became aces on the type or increased their scores to achieve acedom, and a further fifteen aces flew them in action. Moreover, the leading Buffalo ace went on to become the most successful Commonwealth pilot against the Japanese of the entire war.

It was in Finland, however, where the Brewster found undying fame and proved itself a real thorn in the side of the Soviets. Operating in primitive conditions and against superior numbers, Finnish Brewster 239 pilots racked up an incredible score against the Red Air Force. Overall, some 37 Finnish pilots became aces when flying the Brewster 239. The tubby Brewster was very much the fighter of choice for the leading Finnish pilots until the advent of large numbers of Messerschmitt Bf 109s in 1943.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - The Peanut Special
Brief technical description of the development of the F-2A and its selection/fielding by US Navy.
Initial carrier-borne service with US Navy and use pre war by a number of future leading US aces.
Selection by some European nations & subsequent adoption by Britain.
Sale of Brewster 239s to Finland and delivery/Chapter 2 - An Unloved Fighter
Service with the first Eagle squadron in England. Deployment and operational use with the Royal Navy in Egypt and Crete.
Fielding by the RAF for the air defence in the Far East and Burma/Chapter 3 - Finnish Triumph
Service with the Finnish Air Force against the Soviets/Chapter 4 - The Rising Sun
RAF service in Malaya against the Japanese.
Neth EIAF service use against Japanese.
RAF service in Burma against the Japanese & use in India after retreat.
Wartime USMC service – only action during Battle of Midway (last action by Buffalo/F2A against Japanese)/Chapter 5 - Epilogue
Brewster 239's final victory and valediction to include use in US as fighter trainer flown by many future aces, or by aces as instructors/Appendices

A) USN/USMC Aces, including those who flew, but did not claim on the F-2A
B) Commonwealth Buffalo Aces, and Aces who made some claims on them
C) Finnish Brewster 239 Aces, and Aces who made some claims on them
D) Commonwealth Aces who flew, but did not claim, (including non-ace pilots with 5+ Buffalo claims)

Product details

Published Jan 26 2010
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781846034817
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 47 b/w; 32 col
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Aircraft of the Aces
Short code ACE 91
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Chris Davey

Chris Davey has illustrated more than 70 titles fo…


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