Curtiss P-36 Hawk

The Curtiss P-36 Hawk was a rather successful aircraft for its time but was on the verge of obsolescence when World War II began. It was widely exported, including to France where it proved inferior to its opponent, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, in most respects except for maneuverability. It was also extensively used by Finland and other countries.

You might notice that the drawings depicted here are of varying quality. My Hawk 75 model was improved twice: you can look at drawings 6, 7 and 8 to see the progression.



1. Hawk 75A-2 of the 2nd Escadrille of the GC II/5 La Fayette, French Air Force, May 1940. This aircraft was often used by Czech pilots: Cne Josef Duda, Sgt.Chef Frantisek Chabera, Sgt.Chef Otto Hanzlicek.


2. Hawk 75A-6 of the Norwegian Army Air Force, Kjeller airbase, Norway, March 1940.


3. P-36C Hawk serial 38-191 of the USAAC in 1942. This aircraft bore the standard Olive Drab over Neutral Grey paint scheme.


4. P-36A of the 46th Pursuit Squadron, 15th Pursuit Group of the USAAC. During the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour, this aircraft was based at Weller AB and Lt. Phil Rasmussen managed to take off with it and shot down a Japanese aircraft.


5. P-36A of the 94th PS, 1st PG, USAAC. The aircraft bears the Sioux’s head inherited from the traditions of the Lafayette Squadron of WWI. The markings were typical of the pre-war period.


6. German Hawk 75A-4, captured after the fall of France and used by the Luftwaffe with III./JG77 and later in the fighter-trainer role with Jagdfliegerschule 4 near Nuremberg.


7. Hawk 75A-3 of the HLeLv 32 based at Nurmoila in 1944. This is the ex-French Hawk s/n 251, which was supplied to Finland by Germany.


8. Hawk 75A-3 of the 2nd squadron (SPA 153) of the GC I/4 fighter group, based in Dakar in the summer of 1942. The group scored several victories against Free French and British aircraft during raids in September 1940, September 1941 and August 1942. This aircraft wears the colourful Vichy “neutrality bands” introduced in June 1941 and has an unusual paint scheme, the standard “Gris Bleu Foncé” grey having been replaced with “Chamois” sand-coloured paint for better desert concealment.


9. Hawk 75A-8 of the Norwegian Army Air Force Training School in Toronto, Canada, 1940.


10. Hawk 75A-7 of 1. Vliegtuigafdeling, Madioen, Netherlands East Indies, December 1941.

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