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
revised and updated



Japan's Pacific War: Personal Accounts of the Emperor's Warriors features interviews by an Australian with Japanese war veterans, so between the national bias of the interviewer and the inherent politeness of the men interviewed, not much time is devoted to less important warfighters like the Americans, the British, and the Chinese. There are some anecdotes of interest to Buffalo fans, however.

"The Hurricanes were very clever," recalls bomber pilot Iwasaki, "as they always dived from a higher altitude and made a frontal attack against us. However, the Buffalo the Austalians flew was not that impressive. Their tactics too appeared to be different. They flew up alongside us at the same altitude, out of range, and then went on ahead and turned towards us to make a head on attack, but they always failed to get directly ahead of us, so had to make a deflection shot, firing at where they expected my aircraft to be, but they always messed it up. It was frightening at first, but after I realized they didn't have the skill to hit us I was less worried when I saw a Buffalo coming for us.

"The Buffalo was not well armed and not very manouevrable. It did however have good armour to protect the pilot. My gunners, though they hit two Buffaloes on that mission, didn't shoot any down. After the enemy surrendered Singapore, we advanced our base to Penang where we found a lot of Brewster Buffaloes abandoned around the airfield and we decided to do tests. We used a 7.7 millimetre machine gun and shot at the armour, finding that the bullet only penetrated at 100 metres range, or less."

Blue skies! — Dan Ford


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)
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!

Cowboy: interpreter, warlord, one more casualty


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: 67 Squadron in Singapore and Rangoon
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


In Dutch, Belgian, 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)
Forty Brewsters Meant for Belgium
Dutch prisoners of war: the Japanese Buffs

Brewster ghosts

Diving for relics at Midway - A Buffalo discovered (2013)
The saga of BW-372 and its long road home to Finland
Some Buffalo bits in the Netherlands
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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