by John McAlister
My experience flying a P-40
came as part of our training in transitioning from the North
American AT-6, a training aircraft, to a combat aircraft. I
had (I think) a little over 100 hours in the P-40. I flew a
P-51 with the 8th AF; 359th Fighter Group; 370th Squadron. I
never even sat in a P-51 until I got to England in 1944.
As far as the P-40 training there was no group or squadron designation
so far as I know. We were in the Southeast Training Command
(I think), at Sarasota, Florida. I'm afraid I have no pictures
of the P-40's we flew and I have no clue as to what model they
might have been.
It was a good airplane. Fun
to fly but a little tricky to land, especially at night, because
of the narrow landing gear. There was another transitional training
base at Venice, Fla. just south of Sarasota, and they were flying
P-51's. For fun we used to jump them and dog fight. The 51 could
run away from the P-40; could dive away from the P-40; and could
climb away from the P-40; but in a turning dog fight the P-40
would eat the 51 alive!
I'm sorry I don't have more specific information for you. That
was over 60 years ago and memory is not my strong suit anymore.
(Probably never was!)