December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy. These words still resonate with many Americans today and immediately bring to mind the attack on the United States Naval base in Pearl Harbor. While most all of the U.S. vessels involved with the attack were unsalvageable, there was one flyable American aircraft that survived. This was a P-40B Tomahawk built in Buffalo, New York.
In December, the American fighter plane was purchased from an aviation museum in England and was shipped to the United States. The funding for the purchase came from an anonymous donor and was donated to the Massachusetts-based Collings Foundation which works to preserve U.S. military aircrafts.
The aircraft was built by the Curtiss Aircraft Co. plant in Buffalo, NY in early 1941. Later that year, it was undergoing repairs in a hangar at Wheeler Field on Oahu when Japanese warplanes attacked Pearl Harbor. While more than 300 other U.S. planes were destroyed or damaged during the attack, the P-40B escaped unharmed.
The plane is scheduled to eventually fly over Buffalo, NY and other U.S. cities, and there are also plans for the plane to participate in the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack in 2016.
– The Terminal