"Adams and Eves"
Curtiss-Wright P-40C Tomahawk

The most important American fighter of the USA’s first two years in World War II was without a doubt the Curtiss P-40. Its importance lay mainly in its sheer numbers, for it was not without shortcomings and these remained throughout the long operational life of the aircraft.

When Capt. Claire Chennault formed the American Volunteer Group (AVG) in 1941, their aircraft would be Tomahawks, the export version of the U.S. Army’s Curtiss P-40 fighter. Dubbed the ‘Flying Tigers’ by the press, the first of the four Pursuit Squadron’s (PS) was know as the ‘Adam and Eves’ with a apple cartoon adjacent to the Disney designed AVG tiger on the planes fuselage.

Pictured in this painting is the P-40C Tomahawk flown by the CO of the 1st PS and the AVG’s leading ace Bob Neale. ‘Old No 7’ was passed onto the 75th Fighter Squadron, USAAF following the AVG’s disbandment on July 4, 1942. Neale continued to fly it for a further two weeks before finally leaving China. The 13-victory ace claimed one kill and four probables with this aircraft between May and July 1942.