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

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WARBIRD HOME > BUFFALO

ANNALS OF THE BREWSTER BUFFALO

wrecked ex-Belgian Brewster

I've had a sneak preview of The Brewster F2A by Capt. Richard Dann USN (ret.), which Steve Ginter will publish this summer as Number 104 in his remarkable series on US Navy warplanes. It's a large-format book, 176 pages, with many sideviews and other drawings, and an absolute feast of photographs! I can't get enough of the photos, and I have to confess that so far they haven't allowed me time to actually read the text. (Sorry, Rich!) Here's a sample, showing what was likely the first of the B-339s ordered by Belgium in 1939 -- the first foreign order received by the Brewster company.

The plane was completed in April 1940, given the temporary registration of NX56B, and flown to Houlton, Maine. From there, it was supposedly pushed across the Canadian border into the town of Woodstock, New Brunswick, so as to comply with US neutrality laws. (I'm not sure I really believe this -- Woodstock has no airfield, though perhaps 56B was flown out of a farmer's pasture.) It left a Nova Scotia harbor on April 27, but the freighter was still at sea when the Germans invaded Belgium on May 10, so it was re-routed to Bordeaux in southwest France.

As the story is told, the peripathetic Brewster was still in its crate when France surrendered, and the Germans assembled and tested it. Somehow it survived much or most of the war, perhaps as a station hack, though it still bore the Belgian roundel when it was blown apart, probably by an American or British bomb at Darmstadt, where this photo was taken in 1945. It's from the collection of Richard Bueschel (1926-1998). He may even have taken the photo, since he served in the USAAF that year. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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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!

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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)

Flying Tigers
available again for Kindle

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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

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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)

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Sorry Saga of the Brewster Buffalo

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