All about the Brewster F2A Buffalo fighter of World War II, which fared so poorly against the Japanese in the Pacific but was a star in the hands of Finnish pilots flying against the Russian air force in the 'Continuation War', 1941-1944

Flying Tigers



Buffalo data plate
A tip of the virtual hat to Heikki Laukkanen , who sent me this data plate from a Brewster fighter, supposedly BW-364, shot down in Russia in July 1944. As the story goes, two Finns located the wreck and liberated this plate, which Jim Maas identifies as probably belonging to the oil tank assembly. "The capacity (11 gallons) is right and the weight would be about right for an empty tank. The Drawing Number [DWG] matches up.... The numbers before the hyphen are for the model the drawing was prepared for; the F2A-1 was Model 5.... As you know, the Finnish 239's were actually ex-F2A-1's, so I'm pretty sure that they did not go through and replace all the parts identifiers with the 'correct' Model type for the Finnish order, [which was] Type 11. Though that may be why the [Model number] has been scratched out."

In short, it's very likely that the plate comes from one of the Finnish Brewsters, and it's unlikely that such a find would turn up at this late date in Finland itself. So the idea that it comes from BW-364 in Russia must be taken seriously. And I can understand why the scavengers would rather keep their names off the internet!

BW-364 was flown by, among others, Ilmari Juutilainen, who with 94 victory credits is history's top-scoring fighter ace outside of Germany. (Juutilainen bore a striking resemblance to the film star Gary Cooper; 28 of his victories were earned while piloting BW-364.) "The remains of this Brewster are in the forests somewhere in Russia," Heikki's email continues. "Two civilian Finns went there, located it, and smuggled the data plate back to Finland." Thank you, Heikki; thank you, Jim! Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Sorry Saga of the Brewster Buffalo


In Finnish service

Photos of Brewsters in Finnish Air Force service
First combat in a Brewster fighter (Heimo Lampi)
Finland's home-built "Humu" copy of the Buffalo
Robert Winston and the Finnish Brewsters (Jarmo Lindberg)
Air-to-air victories attributed to Finnish Brewster pilots
Finnish aces (Brewsterwise & otherwise)
Finland copied Browning mgs for its fighters
The Brewster 239 in Finnish service (Jukka Raustia)
Notes from Double Fighter Knight
Lentolaivue 24: the Brewster vs. the Red Air Force
BW-372, back home in Finland!


In British Commonwealth service

Charmed Life: an encounter over Kuala Lumpur
Differences between the F2A-2 and the British B-339s
A British Buffalo undergoing flight test in Pennsylvania
Pilot's Notes: The Buffalo I Aeroplane (downloadable manual)
British pilots critique the Buffalo | What Eric Brown thought
805 Squadron in the defense of Crete
The Buffalo pilots of Southeast Asia
'The performance of some aircraft was pathetic'
The 'secret report': how the Buffaloes fared in Malaya
The war in Malaya: Sergeant Buntain's diary
Sam Case's scrapbook: Singapore | Rangoon I | Rangoon II
Geoff Fisken: New Zealand Buffalo ace
Colin Pinckney: British Buffalo ace
Vic Bargh flies a Buffalo over Rangoon
"What Odds They Faced in Burma's Sky!" (wartime feature)
Notable Commonwealth Buffalo pilots (Santiago Flores)
Bingham-Wallis defends the Buffalo
Buffaloes Over Singapore (Brian Cull et al)


In U.S. service

'Head on at Midway' - the U.S. Marines go to war
Meet Holly Hills, Buffalo pilot (among other types)
'A real dinger' - Gordon Firebaugh remembers
Pappy Boyington and the Buffalo
Problems with the F2A-3 self-sealing fuel tanks
Records of the F2A-1 in U.S. Navy service
The F2A-2 Buffalos--Bureau numbers & deposition

100 Hawks for China


In Dutch (and Japanese) service

A history of the Brewsters in Dutch service (Gerard Casius)
A Dutch Buffalo joins the U.S. Army
Notable Dutch Buffalo pilots (Santiago Flores)
Dutch prisoners of war: the Japanese Buffs

Brewster ghosts

The Buffalo relic at Midway Atoll
BW-372, back home in Finland!
Some Buffalo bits in Holland
Looking for Harry Griffiths's Buffalo
Is this the wreckage of A51-006?
Brewster Buccaneer under restoration

Brewster Aeronautical and other resources

"The Sorry Saga of the Brewster Buffalo" (Daniel Ford)
A Brewster bibliography
Buffaloes among the Kangaroos (Ralph Brading)
Production record of the Brewster fighters (Jim Maas)
No. 1 - 508: what happened to the planes (Jos Heyman)
'Naval Air Supremacy & the Buffalo' (Malcolm LeCompte)
About that Wright Cyclone engine
'End nears for a plant that made flying junk'
Stock certificate from Brewster Aeronautical Corporation
Brewster worker's badge from Johnsville, Pa.
The Brewster name lives again! (William Dougherty)

For modelers

Modeler's drawings of the XF2A-1
Build a wartime recognition model (KAPA Kollector)

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Taildragger Tales

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