February 2015: Brewster Buffalo (RAF, FAA & RAAF) – 40 photos

Each photograph is offered at a 300dpi res/13x8cm size making them available for a very good quality digital print.

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Photo 01: Two squadrons of  Brewster Buffaloes lined-up in November 1941. In front, Buffalo AN185/TD-V flown by Doug Vanderfield, one of very few pilots who became an ace on Buffalo.

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Photo 02: The visit of the AOC FE Command, on 19th November, 1941 to the two Australian units, No. 21 Squadron, RAAF and No. 453 (RAAF) Squadron was highly publicised and many of these photographs were published in a Malayan newspaper at that time. The aim was to show the strength of the Commonwealth forces around Singapore. It seems, however, that it was not enough to convince the Japanese not to invade the Malayan Peninsula.

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Photo 03: See photo 02. Brewster Buffalo AN185/TD-V, Doug Vanderfield’s aircraft, can be seen parked in the front.

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Photo 04: Photo 02 taken from another angle.

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Photo 05: ‘Scramble’ practice for the Australian pilots. The Brewster Buffalo was not a bad aircraft as such, the Finns proved this under other skies, but in the Far East, it was not used in good conditions, and was flown by too much unexperienced pilots.

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Photo 06: Three of No. 453 (RAAF) Squadron’s Buffaloes low flying over Sembawang during AVM C.H. Pulford’s visit.

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Photo 07: Three of No. 453 (RAAF) Squadron’s Buffaloes flying over Sembawang during AVM C.H. Pulford’s visit. The Squadron was still flying in the classic three plane “V” formation, which had proved unsuitable for modern air combat, as had been demonstrated in the Battle of Britain.

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Photo 08: An armed Australian soldier standing in front of one of the squadron’s Buffaloes to prevent any acts of sabotage. The aircraft is belived to W8167.

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Photo 09: The other Australian Brewster Buffalo squadron, No. 21 Squadron, RAAF, also stationed at Sembawang, is lined up after No.453 Squadron’s aircraft.

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Photo 10:  Still No. 21 Squadron, RAAF. In the forefront is Sergeant Mighall.

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Photo 11: The other Australian Buffalo squadron, No. 21 Squadron, RAAF, also stationed at Sembawang, is lined up after No.453 Squadron’s aircraft. Above, Sergeant G.T. Harrison is seated in AN180/GA-B. Behind, Sergeant N.R. Chapman is seated in AN188/GA-M.

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Photo 12: The retreat and evacuation of Singapore was chaotic, and many Buffaloes fell almost intact in Japanese hands, like this one Brewster Buffalo AN194/GA-D of No. 21 Squadron, RAAF.

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Photo 13: The last squadron to be equipped  wwith the Brewster Buffalo, was the new formed No. 488 (NZ) Squadron, coded NF.

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Photo 14: A new Brewster Buffalo just allocated to No. 488 (NZ) Squadron, with the squadron codes ‘NF’ painted on, but still waiting for its individual letter.

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Photo 15: A No. 488 (NZ) Squadron Brewster Buffalo parked and ready for an immediate take-off. However in many cases, the Buffaloes took off too late to be in position to engage combat in good conditions.

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Photo 16: Brewster Buffalo Mk. I W8138, was the personal mount of the New Zealander Pilot Officer Noel Sharp of No. 488 (NZ) Squadron.

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Photo 17: One squadron operated the Brewster Buffalo outside Malaysia, No. 67 Squadron based in Burma (code RD).

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Photo 18: Brewster Buffalo W8243 of No. 67 Squadron and coded RD-B

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Photo 19: A Brewster Buffalo being lift up after a flying accident. The RAF wreckedabout 20 Buffaloes  in accident between April 1941 and December 1941.

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Photo 20: Brewster Buffaloes being re-assembled.

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Photo 21: A Brewster Buffalo being uncrated.

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Photo 22: Brewster Buffalo W8245 of No. 67 Squadron in Burma.

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Photo 23: Same aircraft seen from the other side.

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Photo 24: The retreat and evacuation of Singapore was chaotic, and many Brewster Buffaloes fell almost intact in Japanese hands, like this one AN196/WP-W of No. 243 Squadron.

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Photo 25: The remains of a Brewster Buffalo Mk. I. The RAF lost many of them on the ground during the first days of the Japanese invasion.

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Photo 26: A front view of another Brewster Buffalo of No. 488 (NZ) Squadron. The serial is illegible, but belongs to the W range sequence.

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Photo 27: Warming-up for a Brewster Buffalo of No. 488 (NZ) Squadron. The pilot in command is Flight Lieutenant McKenzie, who later led the Squadron.

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Photo 28: The first Brewster Buffaloes just re-assembled and ready to be allocated.

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Photo 29: Four views of the first Brewster B-339E (Buffalo Mk. I), before to be shipped in the UK for evaluation. Only three of 170 ordered were shipped to Europe, all the remaining production Buffaloes being shipped to the Far East directly from the US.

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Photo 30: See photo 29

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Photo 31: See photo 29

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Photo 32: See photo 29

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Photo 33: The RAAF took charge of somme Brewster B339-23s from the Dutch, and received the Australian denomination A51.

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Photo 34: This Brewster nosed-up after a perilious landing. Most of the A51s were used by No. 1 PRU, RAAF, as  reconnaissance fighter, even if some were by fighter units for a little while.

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Photo 35: A former Belgian B-339B while being tested at the A&AAE at the end of 1940. The Belgian B-339 were too different to be assimilated to the Brewter Buffalo Mk.I and all went to the FAA. The Belgian-339 never received the denomination of Buffalo Mk.I in British service.

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Photo 36: Because of their shortcomings, the ex-Belgian B-339B were kept in a defensive role and saw little action.

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Photo 37: Because of lack of spare parts, the FAA’s B-339s serviciability decreased month after month, and they were withdrawn from use in Spring 1942.

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Photo 38: Most of the ex-Belgian B-339Bs were sent to Egypt where they equipped No. 805 Squadron of the FAA. They served from land bases only until 1942.

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Photo 39: Brewster B-339B AX815 of No. 805 Sqn in Spring 1941.

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Photo 40: Brewster B-339B AS413 seen shortly after its arrival in the Middle East in March 1941 for service with No. 805 Sqn.