32nd Fighter Squadron the Wolfhounds

Canal Zone – Soesterberg / Camp New Amsterdam – Ramstein

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P-39 AIRACOBRA

BELL P-39 AIRACOBRA with the 32nd Wolfhounds during WW2

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P-39 AIRACOBRA at France Field 1944
Credit: Robert

 

The P-39 Airacobra operated with the 32nd Wolfhounds during WW2 at the Canal Zone (Panama Canal and the countries around the Panama Canal).
The aircrafts was assigned to the 32nd from 1942 up till the end of the war 1945.

 

32nd P-39 Airacobra Panama

It was with the P-39 that the 32nd Wolfhounds operated for the first time from Dutch soil, the Dutch islands. After a German U-Boat fired several torpedo’s on the oil refinery on the island.

 

Mission

The P-39 was one of America's first-line pursuit planes in December 1941. It made its initial flight in April 1939 at Wright Field and by the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, nearly 600 had been built. Its unique engine location behind the cockpit caused some pilot concern, but this proved to be no more of a hazard in a crash landing than with an engine located forward of the cockpit. The P-39's spin characteristics, however, could be quite a problem if recovery techniques were ignored.

Background

The Airacobra saw combat throughout the world, particularly in the Southwest Pacific, Mediterranean and Russian theaters. Because its engine was not equipped with a supercharger, the P-39 performed best below 17,000 feet altitude, and it often was used at lower altitudes for such missions as ground strafing. When P-39 production ended in August 1944, Bell had built 9,584 Airacobras, of which 4,773 had been allotted to the Soviet Union. Russian pilots particularly liked the cannon-armed P-39 for its ground attack capability. Other P-39s served French and British forces.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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