Cutriss P-40E Tomahawk
Curtiss P-40E Tomahawk “White 50” 154 IAP
Major Petr Afanasevich Pokryshev, Leningrad, Winter 1941/42.
Perhaps the most impessive fact about the Curtiss P-40 family of aircraft was the ability of the aircraft to operate in such a wide variety of climates, from the deserts of North Africa, through the humidity of the Pacific Islands to the cold of the Russian front.
Lend-Lease fighters such as the P-39 Airacobra and the P-40 Tomahawk supplied to Russia by America in 1941 were vital to the Russian Air Force while their own aircraft were under development.
Born in 1914 Petr Pokryshev flew I-153 biplanes against the Finns in 1939 and recorded his first two kills. In 1941 Hitler invaded Russia with operation Barbarossa. Pokryshev encountered the Luftwaffe for the first time and in June shot down a Junkers Ju 88 whilst flying a n I-16 Ishak.
From June to November 1941 the Luftwaffe were punishing the Soviet Air Force, JG 54 “Grunherz” (see Bf 109F-2) claimed 1,123 Russian aircraft in this six month period.
In the winter of 1941/42 154 IAP recieved Curtiss P-40E Tomahawks and were tasked with protecting the vital lifeline to the beseiged city of Leningrad. Lake Ladoga was frozen over in the winter months and this allowed a supply route to be set up to the city. It was now that Pokryshev would become an ace bringing down twenty nine Luftwaffe aircraft seven of which were shared. A series of near fatal incidents took Pokryshev out of the frontline but the aircraft manufacturer Aleksandr Yakovlev made a specially prepared Yak-9 for him so that he could continue flying.
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 6.2″ (158 mm)
Base size 6.37″ (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 9 ozs (257 grams) Limited edition of 100 only