Brewster F2A Buffalo (1937)

USN aviation USN Fighter (1937)

The worst USN fighter ever ?

The Brewster Buffalo has quite a reputation in WW2. For many, it was "the worst fighter of WW2". That can be analysed in facts and put in relation to the context of its deployment, and compared to the plane's actual technical issues. But at the end of the day, it started as a naval fighter, ordered by the USN to a young and relatively untested company. Long story short, the Navy tried it, and curtailed the order as soon as reports came in. The production models then were passed onto the "second market" of lend-lease, the British operated it, as did the Dutch in the same theatre of operations, and the Finns. In the hands of the latter it did apparently wonders, which makes the whole case of "worst of WW2" a statement to take with at least a pinch of salt. Now here you go, let's dive into this model squarely and look at its short career in the US Navy where it started.

XF2A-1 in trials, 1938
Brewster XF2A-1 in trials, 1938

Genesis of the Buffalo (1935-39)

All started in 1935, and the U.S. Navy requirement for a carrier-based fighter, scheduled to replace the Grumman F3F biplane. As usual several manufacturers were contacted, and answered the call in the time specified with a tender. There were two rounds of examination, and Brewster was one of the two companies that were picked up in the first round. They presented the Brewster XF2A-1 monoplane. It was designed by a team led by Dayton T. Brown. Competing here was the Grumman XF4F-1, powerful with its double-row radial engine but still built as a biplane. The U.S. Navy wanted more proposals and especially to test more monoplane and reopened the competition, just to open the door to allow another competitor, Seversky aviation and its XFNF-1, a navalized P-35, already well liked by the US Air Force. It was tested but quickly eliminated in the straight line speed test, as not capable to reach the specified speed, as it could not do better than 267 mph (430 km/h) - still honorable in 1936.

Brewster's XF2A-1 first flew on 2 December 1937 and further tests showed the commission it was more advanced in many ways than its Grumman competitor. Therefore, as the Navy had some preference for monoplanes, Brewster's model was retained as a winner. Grumman would not scrap its XF4F-1 entirely and refined the design in turn as a monoplane. They would ultimately took their revenge over Brewster as the Wildcat became the staple of the carrier fighter force until 1943.

The Brewster's saga: Mismanagement at its best.

The New-York based company called Brewster Aeronautical Corporation was at first a defence contractor, and a branch of Brewster & Co.a venerable and respected coach and carriages seller, car body and finally aircraft parts. This division was eventually purchased by James Work, an aeronautical engineer in 1932. In 1932-34 it started by making seaplane floats and wing panels, but after hiring engineer Dayton Brown, the team became bold enough to see the advantage of proposing the army full-blown planes rather than just manufacturing parts. At first, there was the historical plant, "Brewster Building" in Long Island City, New York and another at Newark in New Jersey. During the war, production stepped-up and from 1941, NAS Johnville in Warminster Township, Pennsylvania.

The Brewster SBA, here SBN-1 in flight in early 1941
The Brewster SBA, here SBN-1 in flight in early 1941.

James Work, rather than directly attacking the Air Force were competition was fierce and large orders (so potential production issues) were the norm, opted for the more open Navy. For this in 1934 already, Dayton Brown designed a prototype to answer a competition for a modern two-seat scout-bomber. That type of plane was considered less risky at the time than a dive bomber or a fighter, especially for a very young company. The project Brewster SBA presented many characteristics the Navy liked. It was a modern monoplane with retractable wheel carriage, which looked rugged enough, had perforated braking flaps, and carry a crew of three with relatively good characteristics of speed and range, at least on paper. The Navy therefore ordered one prototype, designated XSBA-1, on 15 October 1934.

The company then manufactured it and refined details like an internal bomb bay capable of taking a 500-pound (227-kg) bomb and a flexible machine gun at the rear for the aft gunner. It was equipped with a Wright R-1820-4 Cyclone which gave 770-horsepower and made it capable of flying at 254 mph (409 kmh), which for this type, was quite acceptable in 1935. The 1000 miles range also was crucial to win the contract. The XSBA-1 first flew on 15 April 1936 at Brewster, before being handed over to the Navy. However as it was tested during 1936, some minor problems appeared and the Navy ordered a revised tail and rudder. Later it was also estimated the cell could accept and a more powerful Wright R-1820-22 Cyclone rated for 950-horsepower (710-kilowatt). New tests were performed and the prototype was found more responsive and moreover reaching now 263 mph (424 km/hr), which at the time believed to be a world record for a single-engine bomber. The Navy accepted it for production and ordered a first batch of 30. However by that time Brewster was unable to setup production in time, already found deeply embedded in the development of its more ambitious F2A prototype fighter.

Brewster SBN-1 in flight
Brewster SBN-1 in flight. All 30 built had a short operational life and served mostly as trainers until August 1942 and scrapped.

As often in that case, the Navy simply acquired the license (in wartime it would have been just requisitioned and donated for free) and gave it to its own-grown Naval Aircraft Factory, in September 1938. However NAC at that time was itself pressured by other productions and delays accumulated. The first of the SBN-1s left the factory floor only by November 1940 and the production dragged on until... March 1942, which by that time, the high top speed of the 1936 prototype was no longer and advantage. The SBA was considered obsolete already in 1941. The first to operate the bomber was Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3) aboard USS Saratoga (CV-3). Other served with Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) in 1941, but all ended as trainers onboard USS Hornet. In the end, none saw active combat during WW2. Pilots have no particular praises for it and it was just found much better without payload. This could have warned the Navy, but by then the F2A production was already in full swing. Indeed, for this more ambitious order, the company lacked time initially to answer with a brand new model and took the SBA as a base for development, simply shortening it. Perhaps many of future issues started there. Nevertheless, as delays hampered the SBA production, the company won another order, this time for the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer (RNAF: Brewster Bermuda).

Brewster XSB2A-1. Essentially a larger, more rugged, carrier-borne torpedo-scout heavily based on the SBA, which first flew in june 1941. The Navy like its powerful single Wright R-2600 engine. In June 1940 already the French ordered it on paper (as the Dutch), and after the fall of France, they were taken on by the British. In all, 773 were manufactured, the last in 1944. However, with the modifications asked by the Navy, the 1941 SB2A became slow and overloaded and it was discovered its airframe was fragile. The folding wings were introduced on the SB2A-3, 60 of them which were among the last ordered by the Navy, added to 80 SB2A-2s in 1943. The bulk went to the British RNAF (and ended scrapped almost at arrival). In the end, the USN found the SB2A unsuitable for combat and even training, they were all relegated as target tugs and to train ground maintenance teams. In 1945 the Truman Committee stated that the SB2A "turned in a miserable performance".

Brewster F2A of VF-2 Parked in Pearl Harbor, 1941

In 1941, especially after the debacle of the Buffalo, Brewster lost all credibility. It started to appear to the Navy procurement board that Brewster as a company was seriously mismanaged. Its growth had something almost unnatural, from a minor aircraft parts supplier to full-fledged army manufacturer, ranked 84th among US corporations in value for military production contracts. Attention squarely fell on Jimmy Work in particular, which hired Alfred and Ignacio Miranda as his main salesmen. It appeared after enquiry that the men had been involved in many frauds, and spent two years in prison for illicit arms sales to Bolivia. As later established by an investigation, during all the time the company promoted its model, both had systematically over-promised, creating outright formidable capabilities to customers. And as it was not enough, it was compounded by numerous delays and the overall disappointing quality of the products, mainly due to a too quickly hired workforce and staff management failure.

It happened neither the skills or motivation of this hired personal were checked. As a result, illicit strikes became mandatory and seriously delayed production, going down as far as outright sabotage. The Navy became so concerned by these delays, that they basically fired Jimmy Work and installed George Chapline as president. The latter apparently managed to fix personal issues, step-up production speed and quality. In early 1942, Jimmy Work retook its post, but he was sued for $10 million for financial misdeeds. On April 18, 1942 the Navy seized the company outright and placed it under direct management of Naval Aircraft Factory's boss, George Conrad Westervelt. By mid-May 1942, the direction was enlarged with a new board of directors, also appointed by the Navy, and Brewster was tasked to produce the proven F3A-1 Corsair, under license. However, even this proved fruitless, and the whole contract was cancelled by the Navy on July 1, 1944, after 735 Brewster F3A Corsair left the factory.

F2A Thach accident onboard USS Saratoga, 1940

Accident with a F2A-3 of VMF-211 onboard USS Long Island, 25 July 1942. The A-3, even more than the A-2, was plagued by wheeltrain failure.

In between, by May 1943, the company competed for a ground attack navy plane with the Brewster XA-32, but its performances were judged "abysmal" and it never get any approval. In October 1944, Brewster was practically bankrupt, human resources were re-affected elsewhere and assets gradually sold. By 1946 it was dissolved as an entity. The performances of this army contractor were such that in 1943 already, the Congress committee of naval affairs created a sub-committee to investigate the massive "failure of production" of the company, making hearing and reviewing documents for three months, between October and December 1943. The document can be found here or type "Investigation of the Progress of the War Effort: Brewster investigation By United States Congress House Committee on Naval Affairs" on Google Books.

Development of the F2A

The Grumman F3F, the F2A was replacing

Brewster XF2A-1 in 1938
Brewster XF2A-1 in 1938 (Author's dedicated illustration, like the others)

At first glance, the idea of taking this SBA bomber and removing entire sections to shrunk it to its elemental core sounded likely to take the best of a similar engine and increase performances radically. So it was thought by the team... and the Navy, which found itself subjugated by the idea of having its first modern monoplane, and a model well in advance compared to rival USAF's own monoplane fighters of the time like the P26 "Peashooter"... as it was sold. It all started well for Brewster, and the company worked hard to deliver a potent mix for a Navy fighter, in time.

The famous XF2A-1 NACA wing tunnels trials
The famous XF2A-1 NACA wing tunnels trials, which launched a standard in US aviation (cc - NASA archives)

The new Brewster fighter had almost a barrel-like first look, with a stubby fuselage and mid-set monoplane wings. It also promised (and delivered at least some) advanced features for the time. It was all-metal, built of flush-riveted stressed aluminium skin. To save weight and cost however, control surfaces were still fabric-covered. The XF2A-1 had also split flaps and an hydraulically operated retractable main undercarriage, as well as -quite a luxury for the time- a partially retractable tailwheel. It also had a large, roomy and luminous streamlined framed canopy ensuring excellent visibility all around. Of course for this generation, it still lacked self-sealing fuel tanks and the pilot's neck was not protected by an armor plate. Despite its stubby look, the Brewster fighter only carried 160 U.S. gal (606 l), entirely stored in the fuselage. Of course its beating hart was a generous 950 hp (708 kW) single-row, Wright R-1820-22 Cyclone radial engine. This was one of the most powerful engine in the US at that time, allowing an impressive initial climb rate of 2,750 ft/min (on paper) and promised a top speed in excess of 277.5 mph (447 km/h). These figures, and the whole package seemed more promising by anything the competition put forward at the time, to the dismay of the latter which saw Brewster as a meteoritic newcomer from nowhere.

NACA recommendations to improve the Brewster XF2A-1, LMAL chart of the test arrangements. The two columns of numbers show quantitatively the effects of the configuration variations (src NASA).

Tests of 1938

The prototype was then tested in 1938 at the Langley Research Center, in a full-scale wind tunnel. There, the engineers determined the model had parasitic drag to be fixed. The company made improvements, notably on the cowling, by streamlining it and the carburetor and oil cooler intakes. When flying after these modification, the prototype rose to 304 mph (489 km/h) at 16,000 ft (4,879 m)with the same engine, proving these tests indispensable. The Navy was delighted as its fight was now the fastest in the US. Other manufacturers took notice of this 10% increase and wind tunnel tests became not only popular, but soon imposed as a standard procedure. However it was also noted during these tests, that the fighter's single-stage supercharger was not able to feed the engine at high-altitude, and performance fell rapidly. At some point, as requested by specifications, it was time to fit and test an armament. To start with, a singl fixed .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun was fitted in the nose, supplied by 200 rounds. Also was fixed a single .30 in (7.62 mm) AN Browning machine (600 rounds) in the same location. Impressed by this, the Navy awarded Brewster the production contract it was battling for, ordering a first batch of 54 aircraft, called F2A-1, mainly for unit evaluation and service.

Delivery of the F2A-1 (1939)

Meanwhile, testing of the XF2A-1 prototype went on throughout in January to June 1938, while production was setup. The definitive production engine was the more modern Wright R-1820-34, which had better cyclic performances while delivring a slightly lesser output of 940 hp (701 kW). The prototype also tested a larger fin, following recommendation. The Navy for the production model asked for two additional .50 in (12.7 mm) Browning wing guns, and to fit all the equipment required by the Navy for combat operations. Soon problems commenced for the first F2A1 when received by their pilots: The weight addition reduced the rate of climb to only 2,600 ft/min, versus 2,750 ft/min initially. But the main problem became the plane delivery, which soon went off-schedule: Indeed by then the company was plagued by production difficulties and only 11 F2A-1 were delivered that year. Soon, the remainder of the batch of 54 (so 43) were diverted to lend-lease, and purchased by the the Finnish Air Force. It had the export designation Model 239.

Buffalo prototype XF2A-2
Buffalo prototype XF2A-2

The F2A-2 (1940)

The F2A-2 was designed by following a new set of navy requirements. 43 were ordered this time. The main requirement was indeed a more powerful engine: The Wright R-1820-40. The Navy also contacted NACA which in turne proposed a better propeller design. The Navy also wanted an integral flotation gear, but at that stage, still no pilot armor or self-sealing tanks. The power increased was immediately well received by test pilots, but meanwhile, the loaded weight increased dramatically, to 5,942 lb/2,701 kg. Top speed, still, had increased to 323 mph (520 km/h) at 16,500 ft (5,029 m) altitude, but the initial climb rate went down to 2,500 ft/min.

At first the pilots liked the F2A-2. Amazingly enough, "Pappy" Boyington himself praised its good turning rate and agility, but also remarked without a doubt that the much lighter early models, "were pretty sweet little ships. They could turn and roll in a phone booth." as written in his autobiography "Baa Baa black sheep". Wing loading at the time indeed was the same as the legendary Mitsubishi A6M Zero, 22 pounds per square foot. However, the Navy required soon other modifications. All F2A-2s were integrated in active Navy units. For a time. But these initial models were those shipped to Finland in 1939, which explains what happened later.

The F2A-3 (1941)

The F2A-3 was the last ordered by the Navy and Marines Corps, up to 108, in January 1941. However the staff noted the abnormally slipping delays at the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation and management difficulties and the order was just a way to ensure their production lines were busy to deliver what was promised initially. The modifications asked for this model were quite extensive: The Navy wanted a long range reconnaissance fighter, and was equipped with wet wing tanks, all self-sealing, as the fuselage tanks. The fuselage tank was also enlarged, ubut as a consequence, this added on the balance a whooping 500 lb (227 kg) while carrying an additional 80 U.S. gal (300 L). But it was not over, and to put the fighter to standards, an armor plating for the pilot's head was asked for, and also increased ammunition capacity.

Brewster F2A-3 cutaway drawing
Brewster F2A-3 cutaway drawing. Src:

In the end, the A-3 became utterly sluggish. Its top speed and rate of climb fell considerably, as well as its turning and manoeuvring capabilities, since the wing loaded had been considerably increased. Navy pilots immediately brought this to attention, as well as an increasing rate of accident, as the landing gear was apparently never designed to support the extra load and failed quite often during carrier landings. The same supercharged Wright R-1820-40 Cyclone was good for "cruising" but the added weight considerable hampered its capabilities. The Buffalo served briefly on the carriers USS Saratoga and Lexington. But deliveries were so slow that in the fall of 1940, it seemed obvious to the USN this model was obsolete, badly needed a more powerful engine, but limits of the airframe had been reached. No improvements could be made but only to strip the plane bare. As deliveries of the F2A-3 started, the Navy decided to withdrew it, as previous models. Relegated in the second line, it was transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps. The latter deployed two squadrons to the Pacific, Palmyra Atoll, and, famously, at Midway Island. At the time a reinforcement mission was ordered to Wake Island, the carriers were equipped with the F2A1, but this relief force was withdrawn as the island was taken in between. F2A-3 joined training squadrons as advanced trainers, the next step after training biplanes. Brewster actually studied a XF2A-4, converted from an F2A-3, with some improvements, but in never reached production.

development history F2A
F2A family models and development history - src asisbiz

Export/Lend-Lease variants

B-239: F2A-1 exported to Finland (Wright R-1820-G5, four MGs, 44 in all, called "Brewster" or "Taivaan helmi".
B-339B: Version for Belgium, same base, 40 built (2 delivered to Belgium, remainder to RN FAA)
B-339C: Version for the KNIL (Dutch East Indies), 24 built.
B-339D: KNIL too, but with the A-2 upgraded 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-40 Cyclone, 48 delivered.
B-339E: Export variant of the F2A-2 for the RAF with (GR-1820-G-105 Cyclone), 170 delivered
Buffalo Mk.I British name, later passed onto the RAAF/RNZAF.
B-339-23 (B-439): Export variant F2A-3 KNIL, Wright GR-1820-G205A engine: 20 built (17 RAAF).

The Buffalo Mark I was modified on demand by the British, and became "a dog", explaining in part its poor record. Indeed initially, the B-339E (Brewster Buffalo Mk I) had an export-approved Wright R-1820-G-105 Cyclone engine rated for 1,000 hp (745.7 kW). But they were soon equipped with a British Mk III reflector gun sight, gun camera, a larger fixed pneumatic tire tail wheel, a fire extinguisher, engine shutters, a larger battery, reinforced armor plating, armored glass. This of course caused the weight to soar up, taking some additional 900 lb/400 kg, while it was still less powerful than its USN equivalent. Top speed was down from 323 mph (520 km/h) to 313 mph (504 km/h), it climbed slowly, had difficulty to reach altitude. The planned 21,000 ft (6,400 m) were never approached due to fuel starvation, and a poorly designed supercharger, and was heavier to handle. Also as the original engine was lacking, some were equipped second-hand, worn-out Wright engines from Douglas DC-3 airliners or refurbished G105 or G102A models. Some were lightened in an attempt to regain some performances, by saving 1,000 lb (450 kg), removing the armor plate, armored windshields, radios, gun camera, and equipment fitted before, as well as the .50 in (12.7 mm) by lighter .303 in (7.7 mm) MGs, and they carried less fuel. So this Buffalo I was even better equipped than Navy planes, without the tail-hook and other specifics, but had really downgraded performances, and this is crucial to understand how they performed.

Src, read more

The models corner: Brewster-F2A-Buffalo-artwork-kit
Existing kits of the Buffalo (scalemates database)
Ideas and users of the Buffalo (wingspalette)

The Buffalo in action with the USN & USMC

F2A-2 of the VF-2 in flight
F2A-2 of the VF-2 in flight.

The Brewster F2A in the US Navy

As we saw, the F2A-1 and A-2 saw service in 1939-40 with the USN on carriers and land-based units. On the A-3 the landing gear issues and mediocre performances meant they only saw limited service. These were the VF-2 (USS Lexington, disbanded 1st July 1942), VF-9, VJ-5, and later versed to the VJ-6, VS-201, and eventually the training Units at NAS Pensacola and NAS Miami. When the fleet was mobilized to bring relief to the besieged Wake island, some were stacked onboard USS Lexington and Saratoga. But this it never happened as the relief was controversially cancelled, and after their return, Buffalos were disembarked and replaced straight away by the Grumman F4F.

VF-9 was actually created at NAS Norfolk on 1st March 1942 to train pilots for the future USS Essex in construction. The unit was first equipped by F2A-3 Buffalo, replaced in April. VJ-5 and VJ-6 were "utility squadron" which used it primarily for training. Up to that point, the Buffalos were relegated to secondary roles, advanced training, static mechanical training, target towing. VS-201 was Scouting Squadron 201 (VS-201), a training unit, operating from the carrier USS Long Island. In 1943 they started to be replaced by F4Fs and the F2A were scrapped. This was the last time Buffalos were ever seen on a USN carrier. At no point, the F2A saw combat active combat with the US Navy, but some did, with the USMC.

Brewster F2A-1 of VF3, 1940
Brewster F2A-1 of VF-3, 1940

Brewster F2A-1 of the relief unit bound to Wake before cancellation, VF-3, USS Saratoga

Brewster F2A-2 USS Lexington, Spring 1941
Brewster F2A-2 USS Lexington, Spring 1941

Brewster F2A-2, VF2
Brewster F2A-2, VF-2 USS Saratoga, 1941

Brewster F2A-2, VF3
Brewster F2A-2, VF-3, 1941

Brewster F2A-2 of VF2, 1942
Brewster F2A-2 of VF-2, 1942

Brewster F2A-1, VF-2
Brewster F2A-1, VF-2, early 1942

Brewster F2A-2, NAS Miami Flight School, July 1942
Brewster F2A-2, NAS Miami Flight School, July 1942

Another F2A-2 of NAS Miami, 1942
Another F2A-2 of NAS Miami, 1942

Grumman F4F
Grumman F4F, the fighter which replaced the Brewster, with great relief to the Navy in 1942.

The Brewster F2A with the USMC

The Buffalo, A-2 and A-3 in particular, were used by the USMC, notably VMF-111 based at Camp Kearney, California. The reserve fighter squadrons operated from 1938 Boeing F4B-4s and after Grumman F3F-2s, and it seems the F2A only was used as a stopgap before the F4F could be obtained in 1941, but in December, they had F4Fs.
The model was also used by the VMD-2 (no source), VMF-211 (Palmyra Atoll, possibly summer 1941), VMF-212, 214, 222 based at MCAS Ewa (also possibly in 1941, in between the F3F and F4F). However the most famous user of the Buffalo was without doubt VMF-221, which was deployed at Midway. Other units allegedly using the Buffalo were VMF-224 and VMO-251. The former started operation near Hawaii on May 1, 1942 at Naval Air Station Barbers Point, apparently with F4F fro the start, while the latter was established in December 1, 1941 at Naval Air Station North Island, California. It probably flew at that time the Buffalo before transitioning in 1942 to he F4F.

The Buffalo at Midway (June 1942)

Brewster F2A-3 of VMF-221 in flight, 1941

VMF-221 was formed on July 11, 1941 in San Diego (California) and by December it was re-affected to the Marine Corps Air Station Ewa (Hawaii). On December 25, fourteen Brewster F2A-3's took off from USS Saratoga and landed on Midway Island. This was the original Wake island relief force, after it was controversially recalled on 22 December. On March 1, 1942, VMF-221 teamed up with VMF-222 and VMSB-241 on the island, under command of Marine Aircraft Group 22 (Lt. Col. Ira L. Kimes). On March 10, 1942, a squadron took off for a patrol, and four F2A-3's downed a Kawanishi H8K "Emily" flying boat. By late May, VMF-221 received a complement of Buffalos for a total of 21 F2A-3', plus 7 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats. These were however second-hand, worn out planes from the Navy. Squadron commander became Floyd B. Parks, and Kimes took command of Marine Air Group 22. These pilots, for the majority, were "green" recruits, straight from flight training Stateside.

On June 4, 1942, the Battle of Midway started, and pilots of VMF-221 scrambled to intercept a wave of Japanese bombers from four carriers, escorted by 36 Zero fighters. Parks led his squadron against and soon spotted a formation of Nakajima B5N "Kates", followed by a formation of Aichi D3A "Vals" at higher altitude with the Zeros "stepped-up" behind them. VMF-221 started to target the bombers ad performed a few passes, but the Zeros quickly came into range, and the situation became hellish. At the end of the melee, fourteen USMC fighters had been shot down, including Parks. Jut two VMF-221 now were serviceable, out the 13 remaining after the Japanese bombed the airstrip. The squadron received a Presidential Unit Citation nevertheless, as being outnumbered five to one. Surviving pilots would fight in subsequent battles, like 2nd Lt Charles M. Kunz, still flying his Brewster F2A in Capt Kirk Armistead's division, and later VMF-224, an ace with 8 confirmed aerial victories. Also Capt Marion E. Carl (F4F Wildcat) flew with VMF-223 and scored 18.5 kills.

Surviving Marine pilots who managed to shake off Zeros used high speed split-s turns and very steep dives, these manoeuvers became standard tactics. Te Buffalo was indeed rugged enough for these, even dive bombing (see the KNIL). Marine pilot Captain William Humberd succeded in diving and then attacking a Zero in a head-on pass, shooting it down. However pilots also complained of nose-mounted guns failure to fire probably caused by frayed electrical wires in the synchronized propeller mechanism. The absence plate armor caused other losses but the Japanese also commonly strafed bailed out pilots. Claire Chennault's report on the Zero and tactics were heard in Washington and triggered the development of two-plane mutual defensive formations and tactics, applied by notably Lt. Cdr "Jimmy" Thach. It benefited greatly to Wildcat pilots. For the USMC, Midway marked the end of the operational use of the Buffalo. Surviving ones were shipped back to the U.S. mainland, and ended as advanced trainers in various bases, like Miami.

F2A2 Midway

The Brewster F2A with other US units

The Buffalo was also versed to the USAF's 5th Air Force based in Australia (ex-Dutch unit). This unit renamed the Far East Air Force on 7 December 1941 was tasked to defend the Philippine Islands. Its fighter groups mostly operated the P-40 but it's likely one operated ex-KNIL B-339-23 (B-439) used also by the RAAF, some used by the USAAF in Australia.

The Buffalo with other operators

This is more anecdotal as our main concern here is the USAF, but the longevity and widespread use of this fighter was truly remarkable, especially for one with such appealing reputation. The Buffalo fought in the Pacific, but also in Europe, basically from the snows of the Taiga to east Asia, and strangely enough, became the favorite fighter ace mount for the Finns, but there were reasons for this.

The Finnish "Brewster" (1939-45)

The important point is, there; to determine why the Finns were so successful with a plane that was essentially discarded by the USN and Royal Navy and performed poorly in the hands of the KNIL or the RAAF. First off, as early customers in April 1939, the Finns obtained the very first version F2A-1 (B-239E) requiring them to be already operational and use 87-octane fuel. 44 originally intended for the US Navy were diverted to Finland, and replaced by the F2A-2. On 16 December the purchase contract was ready for this F2A-1 variant, "de-navalized", lacking self-sealing fuel tanks, cockpit armor but with a more powerful engine than the F2A-1, the 950 hp Wright R-1820-G5 and four machine guns. All and all, these B-239E had certainly the best power-to-weight ratio of any Buffalo in service and, adding other factors, explained its successes there. Th first crated planes transited through Bergen in January-February 1940 and sent by railway to Sweden, assembled by SAAB at Trollhättan (Gothenburg).

Upon arrival, the Finnish Air Force added armored backrests and metric flight instruments. They also fitted the Väisälä T.h.m.40 gunsight and four .50 in local 12.7 mm machine guns. They had a top speed of 297 mph (478 km/h) at 15,675 ft (4,750 m) with a loaded weight of 5,820 lb (2,640 kg). One of these planes were matched against a Finnish Fiat G.50 Freccia, and showed although slower, it could out-turn it. Finnish pilots generally regarded the B-239E as being easy to fly, had good range and easy maintenance. The first kills came in 25 June 1941. They were opposed often to second-rate pilots and planes, the relics of the winter war, as most modern assets were transferred south. Mig-1 and the Polikarpov I-16 made the bulk of these Soviet squadrons, using outdated tactics and often inexperienced pilots.

Brewster B-239 of LeLv 24 in 1943
Brewster B-239 of LeLv 24 in 1943

The B-239E fighters arrived too late to take part in the Winter War however but they shone during the Continuation War: They performed well despite some issues, solved by the local mechanics, playing with inverted piston rings. The cold also addressed the overheating problem. Teaming up with the Fiat G.50, they achieved the amazing kill ratio of 33/1. Lentolaivue ("Squadron") 24 until 1945 for example claimed 477 kills for 19 Buffalos losses, and some were transferred to Hävittäjä Lentolaivue 26, claiming 459 kills for 15 losses. Among others, the four-plane "parvi" formation was soon successful one pair used as bait, the other diving on interceptors. Hans Wind was Finnish's top scorer 39 kills, with LeLv 24. The squadron 42½ kills by combining all its pilots make one of the highest-scoring fighter in history. Top Finnish ace Ilmari Juutilainen, made 34 kills our of his 94½ on the Brewster B-239s codenamed BW-364. Due to the production stoppe din the US and difficult supplies, the Finns tried to replicate locally the Buffalo using plywood, called the" Humu", a single prototype. By late 1943, these B-239s started to suffer fro worn-out components, and facing a getter opposition, but they fought on until mid-1944, scoring a last kill on 17 June 1944. They had been all replaced by Bf 109Gs. However a few Brewsters also fought during the "Lapland War", those from HLeLV 26 on 3 October 1944. The last of them was retired on 14 September 1948.

The Belgian Buffalos

Never delivered Belgian Buffalo at Darthmouth, Halifax, Canada, in June 1940.

Although this is largely anecdotal, Belgium was the second country to order the Buffalo after Finland. 40 Brewster B-339 were ordered, essentially de-navalized F2A-2 equipped with the Wright R-1820-G-105 engine approved for export. It had a 1,000 hp (745.7 kW) output on takeoff which was 200 hp (149 kW) less than Navy F2A-2 engine. It also had a slightly longer tail. However, only one reached France on 10 May 1940. It never joined an active unit and was later captured intact by the Germans, but apparently studied but never used and it rediscovered near Darmstadt in 1945. Six more Belgian Brewsters were offloaded at the French Caribbean island of Martinique and stayed there until they rusted away until the end of war, while the remainder of the order went directly to the RAF.

The British Buffalos

Brewster Buffalos MkI of the RAAF in Singapore, October 1941
Brewster Buffalos MkI of the RAAF in Singapore, October 1941

In January 1940, the British government created British Purchasing Commission to acquire U.S. aircraft as soon as possible, making up for the shortcomings of domestic production. The Brewster as examined, and there was already a park of 32 B-339 Belgian ordered aircraft, that were never shipped due to the fall of France in May. They were subsequently passed on to the UK. The RAF personnel however quickly criticized its inadequate armament, no armor nor sealing tanks, and general poor performance, plus engine overheating and maintenance problems. The pilots also complained bout poor cockpit ergonomics. However they still appreciated its handling, room and visibility inside. Its top speed was just 323 mph (520 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6,400 m) and altitude too low, so it was considered unfit for western Europe. It was decided to pass it on to the British and Commonwealth air forces, always short of planes, and to this, the government ordered a complement of 170 aircraft, called B-339E. They were sent directly to the RAF, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). Their fighter squadrons were based in Singapore, Malaya and Burma, and were ready by December 1941.

In addition to the Buffalo I own issues, pilots which had to flew it completely lacked training on their machines, which arrived by crates. In total 20 were lost in training accidents but in 1941 circa 150 Buffalo Mark I were serviceable, tasked to defend Burma, Malaya and Singapore, which was quite a stretch. They equipped two RAF, two RAAF and a single RNZAF fighter squadrons and until January 1942 performed very poorly as predicted. Aviation historian Dan Ford stated "The performance... was pathetic." The lack of spare parts and support, plus targeted airfields, the absence of a clear and coherent command structure, lack of coordination between the RAF and RAAF squadrons, were all contributing to an unmitigated disaster. On 8 December 1941 in Malaysia, the B-339E obtained some kills against the Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate", but the arrival of the Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar" shifted the balanced completely. Duels became one-sided while others were lost on the ground. Their overheating engine under these climates traduced by oil spray over the windscreen, causing many pilots to get back to the airfield shortly after taking-off. 60 Brewster Mk I were shot down and 40 destroyed on the ground, but 20 survived the onslaught and reached India or the Dutch East Indies, fighting on until the fall of Java.

A Buffalo Mark I being refuelled during the battle of Singapore
A Buffalo Mark I being refuelled, from the No. 243 Squadron RAF. It was flewn by flying Officer Maurice Holder, first in th air on a Buffalo during the Malayan Campaign on 8 December 1941.

The last Buffalo in Singapore was in action on 10 February, five days before the fall. RAAF pilots nevertheless claimed at least 20 Japanese planes, and overall they claimed around 80 planes, a kill ratio of 1.3 to 1, bombers making the bulk of it. It should be noted that the Fleet Air Arm also used the Buffalo in the Mediterranean in the Battle of Crete in early 1941. The No. 67 Squadron RAF (Burma) had 30 Buffalos, and later P-40 fighters (Flying Tigers). Some pilots of the latter unit were initially impressed with the Buffalo, but Chennault organized a mock dogfight between them and there was no contest. They fought over Rangoon and Mingaladon and attacked Japanese airfields. Pilots started to adapt their tactics and by February 1942, Japanese air superiority was achieved. Six Buffalos fled to Calcutta and pilots were re-equip with Hurricanes. The RAF only ace was Maurice Holder, with 5 victories.

Buffalo Mark I (B-339E) of th =e 4th PRY in Mingaladon, December 1941
Buffalo Mark I (B-339E) of the RAF 4th PRY in Mingaladon, December 1941

Buffalo Mark I of the 805 squadron Fleet air Arm at Maleme, Crete, May 1941

The Dutch KNIL Buffalos

The Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger (ML-KNIL) had the authorirty and blessing from the government to order 144 Brewster B-339C and 339D models. The first had rebuilt Wright G-105 engines and the second, a new 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-40 engine. 71 were shipped to the Dutch East Indies, and a few served briefly at Singapore, withdrawn later.
Lighter than the British Buffalo I (B-339E) and other commonwealth models, they performed better, pilots wilfully engaging with confidence the Ki-43 "Oscar". But still, pilots wanted them lighter and they halved the fuel and ammo load, allowing them to match Oscars in turns. By February 1942 they received new gunsight and tracer ammunition. But their armament stayed light, even against the lightly-protected Zero and Oscar. Some pilots used them as dive bombers against Japanese troopships. They fought in February-March with a 1-3 Japanese superiority. To spare fuel and maximize defence, a British radar station was shipped there, but only became operational at the end of February. The Dutch Buffalos obtained successes, like over Semplak on 19 February 1942, when the eight Brewster fighters intercepted a wave of 35 Japanese bombers escorted by 20 Zeros and managed to claim 11 for the loss of 4. Only four Buffalos had survived on 7 March. No ace, the best pilots had three kills each. 30 Buffalos had been shot down, plus 15 on the ground and others in accidents, for 55 kills, so close to a 1.1 ratio.

Buffalo B-339C KNIL
B-339C of the Vligtuig Groep V, ML-KNIL, Java Autumn 1941. B-396 pilot Lt. Dreibel became an ace.

One of the captured Brewsters B-339C in Java, evaluated in mid-1942 by the Japanese.

The RAAF/RNZN Buffalos

Buffalo Mark I (Brewster B-339E) of the RNZAF in Singapore, 1941
Buffalo Mark I (Brewster B-339E) of the RNZAF in Singapore, 1941

Buffalo Mark I of the RAAF (B-339E) of No. 453 Squadron RAAF at RAF Sembawang, November 1941.

The first ones served n the defence of Malaya, Burma and Singapore (see above). The fall of Singapore had surviving planes retreating to the Netherlands East Indies in March 1942, and then were lost there. Meanwhile as the fall of Java was imminent, 17 further B339-23 which were to be delivered to the ML-KNIL were diverted to Australia and transferred to the U.S. Fifth Air Force. They were lent to the RAAF there, and used mainly for point air defence but also photo-reconnaissance and gunnery training, with 1st PRU, 24 Sqn, 25 Sqn, 85 Sqn and the RAAF Gunnery Training School. 10 of these until November 1943, defended Perth in Western Australia with the 25 and 85 Sqns RAAF Pearce & Guildford. In 1944 they were transferred back to the USAAF and likely used for static training, target towing planes, or scrapped. Geoff Fisken (RNZAF) was the top Buffalo ace with six victories, Doug Vanderfield (RAAF) five, as well as Alf Clare.

B-339-23 of the 25th Squadron RAAF in Western Australia, September 1942
B-339-23 of the 25th Squadron RAAF in Western Australia, September 1942


Part I of Blacktail 17 about the Buffalo Part II

Naval History

❢ Abbrev. & acronyms
AAW// warfare
AASAmphibious Assault Ship
AEWAirbone early warning
AGAir Group
AFVArmored Fighting Vehicle
AMGBarmoured motor gunboat
APArmor Piercing
APCArmored Personal Carrier
ASMAir-to-surface Missile
ASMDAnti Ship Missile Defence
ASW// Warfare
ASWRL/// rocket launcher
ATWahead thrown weapon
avgasAviation Gasoline
awAbove Waterline
AWACSAirborne warning & control system
bhpbrake horsepower
BLBreach-loader (gun)
BLRBreach-loading, Rifled (gun)
BUBroken Up
CAArmoured/Heavy cruiser
CalCaliber or ".php"
CGMissile Cruiser
CICCombat Information Center
C-in-CCommander in Chief
CIWSClose-in weapon system
CECompound Expansion (engine)
ChChantiers ("Yard", FR)
CLCruiser, Light
CMBCoastal Motor Boat
CMSCoastal Minesweeper
CNOChief of Naval Operations
CpCompound (armor)
COBCompound Overhad Beam
CODAGCombined Diesel & Gas
CODOGCombined Diesel/Gas
COGAGCombined Gas and Gas
COGOGCombined Gas/Gas
COSAGCombined Steam & Gas
CRCompound Reciprocating
CRCRSame, connecting rod
CruDivCruiser Division
CPControlled Pitch
CTConning Tower
CTLconstructive total loss
CTOLConv. Take off & landing
CTpCompound Trunk
CVAircraft Carrier
CVA// Attack
CVE// Escort
CVL// Light
CVS// ASW support
DADirect Action
DASHDrone ASW Helicopter
DCDepht Charge
DCT// Track
DCR// Rack
DCT// Thrower
DEDouble Expansion
DEDestroyer Escort
DDE// Converted
DesRonDestroyer Squadron
DFDouble Flux
DPDual Purpose
DUKWAmphibious truck
EOCElswick Ordnance Co.
ECMElectronic Warfare
ESMElectronic support measure
FCSFire Control System
fpsFeet Per Second
FYFiscal Year
GMMetacentric Height
GPMGGeneral Purpose Machine-gun
GRTGross Tonnage
GUPPYGreater Underwater Prop.Pow.
HAHigh Angle
HCHorizontal Compound
HCR// Reciprocating
HCDA// Direct Acting
HCDCR// connecting rod
HDA// direct acting
HDAC// acting compound
HDAG// acting geared
HDAR// acting reciprocating
HDMLHarbor def. Motor Launch
H/FHigh Frequency
HF/DF// Directional Finding
HMSHer Majesty Ship
HNHarvey Nickel
HNCHorizontal non-condensing hp
HPHigh Pressure
HRHorizontal reciprocating
HRCR// connecting rod
HSHarbor Service
HS(E)Horizontal single (expansion)
HSET// trunk
HTHorizontal trunk
HTE// expansion
ICInverted Compound
IDAInverted direct acting
IFFIdentification Friend or Foe
ihpindicated horsepower
IMFInshore Minesweeper
KCKrupp, cemented
KNC// non cemented
LALow Angle
LCLanding Craft
LCA// Assault
LCAC// Air Cushion
LFC// Flak (AA)
LCG// Gunboat
LCG(L)/// Large
LCG(M)/// Medium
LCG(S)/// Small
LCI// Infantry
LCM// Mechanized
LCP// Personel
LCP(R)/// Rocket
LCS// Support
LCT// Tanks
LCV// Vehicles
LCVP/// Personal
LCU// Utility
locolocomotive (boiler)
LSCLanding ship, support
LSD// Dock
LSF// Fighter (direction)
LSM// Medium
LSS// Stern chute
LST// Tank
LSV// Vehicle
LPlow pressure
lwllenght waterline
MA/SBmotor AS boat
MGMachine Gun
MGBMotor Gunboat
MLMotor Launch
MMSMotor Minesweper
MTMilitary Transport
MTBMotor Torpedo Boat
HMGHeavy Machine Gun
MCM(V)Mine countermeasure Vessel
MLMuzzle loading
MLR// rifled
MSOOcean Minesweeper
NCnon condensing
nhpnominal horsepower
nmNautical miles
NBC/ABCNuc. Bact. Nuclear
NSNickel steel
NTDSNav.Tactical Def.System
NyDNaval Yard
OPVOffshore Patrol Vessel
PCPatrol Craft
PDMSPoint Defence Missile System
psipounds per square inch
PVDSPropelled variable-depth sonar
QFQuick Fire
QFC// converted
RAdmRear Admiral
RCRreturn connecting rod
RFRapid Fire
RPCRemote Control
rpgRound per gun
SAMSurface to air Missile
SARSearch Air Rescue
SBShip Builder
SCSub-chaser (hunter)
SSBNBallistic Missile sub.Nuclear
SESimple Expansion
SET// trunk
shpShaft horsepower
SHsimple horizontal
SOSUSSound Surv. System
SPRsimple pressure horiz.
SSSubmarine (Conv.)
SSMSurface-surface Missile
sfsteam frigate
SLBMSub.Launched Ballistic Missile
spfsteam paddle frigate
STOVLShort Take off/landing
SUBROCSub.Fired ASW Rocket
tton, long (short in bracket)
TACANTactical Air Nav.
TBTorpedo Boat
TBD// destroyer
TCTorpedo carriage
TETriple expansion
TER// reciprocating
TFTask Force
TGBTorpedo gunboat
TGTask Group
TLTorpedo launcher
TLC// carriage
TSTraining Ship
TTTorpedo Tube
UDTUnderwater Demolition Team
UHFUltra High Frequency
VadmVice Admiral
VCVertical compound
VCE// expansion
VDE/ double expansion
VDSVariable Depth Sonar
VIC/ inverted compound
VLFVery Low Frequency
VQL/ quadruple expansion
VSTOLVertical/short take off/landing
VTE/ triple expansion
VTOLVertical take off/landing
VSE/ Simple Expansion
WTWireless Telegraphy
xnumber of
BuShipsBureau of Ships
DBMGerman Navy League
GBGreat Britain
DNCDirectorate of Naval Construction
EEZExclusive Economic Zone
FAAFleet Air Arm
FNFLFree French Navy
MDAPMutual Def.Assistance Prog.
MSAMaritime Safety Agency
RAFRoyal Air Force
RANRoyal Australian Navy
RCNRoyal Canadian Navy
R&DResearch & Development
RNRoyal Navy
RNZNRoyal New Zealand Navy
USSRUnion of Socialist Republics
UE/EECEuropean Union/Comunity
UNUnited Nations Org.
USNUnited States Navy
WaPacWarsaw Pact

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola
Numancia (1863)
Tetuan (1863)
Vitoria (1865)
Arapiles (1864)
Zaragosa (1867)
Sagunto (1869)
Mendez Nunez (1869)

Spanish wooden s. frigates (1861-65)
Frigate Tornado (1865)
Frigate Maria de Molina (1868)
Spanish sail gunboats (1861-65)

Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Ironclad Kaiser (1850-70)
Drache class BD. Ironclads (1861)
Kaiser Max class BD. Ironclads (1862)
Erzherzog F. Max class BD. Ironclads (1865)
SMS Lissa Ct. Bat. Ships (1869)

SMS Novara Frigate (1850)
SMS Schwarzenberg Frigate (1853)
Radetzky class frigates (1854)
SMS Helgoland Sloop (1867)

Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Lindormen (1868)

Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautiko Hellenon
Basileos Giorgios (1867)
Basilisa Olga (1869)
Sloop Hellas (1861)

Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
Adder class Monitors (1870)
A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
Djambi class corvettes (1860)
Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

Marine Française 1870 Marine Nationale
Screw 3-deckers (1850-58)
Screw 2-deckers (1852-59)
Screw Frigates (1849-59)
Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
Paddle Frigates
Paddle Corvettes
screw sloops
screw gunboats
Sailing ships of the line
Sailing frigates
Sailing corvettes
Sailing bricks

Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
Taureau arm. ram (1865)
Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)

French converted sailing frigates (1860)
Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
Talisman cruisers (1862)
Resolue cruisers (1863)
Venus class cruisers (1864)
Decres cruiser (1866)
Desaix cruiser (1866)
Limier class cruisers (1867)
Linois cruiser (1867)
Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

Curieux class sloops (1860)
Adonis class sloops (1863)
Guichen class sloops (1865)
Sloop Renard (1866)
Bruix class sloops (1867)
Pique class gunboats (1862)
Hache class gunboats (1862)
Arbalete class gunboats (1866)
Etendard class gunboats (1868)
Revolver class gunboats (1869)

Marinha do Brasil 1870 Marinha do Brasil
Barrozo class (1864)
Brasil (1864)
Tamandare (1865)
Lima Barros (1865)
Rio de Janeiro (1865)
Silvado (1866)
Mariz E Barros class (1866)
Carbal class (1866)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1870 Osmanlı Donanması
Osmanieh class Bd.Ironclads (1864) Assari Tewfik (1868) Assari Shevket class Ct. Ironclads (1868)
Lufti Djelil class CDS (1868)
Avni Illah class cas.ironclads (1869)
Fethi Bulend class cas.ironclads (1870)
Barbette ironclad Idjalleh (1870)
Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
Hamidieh Ct.Bat.Ironclads (1885)
Abdul Kadir Batleships (project)

Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
Selimieh (1865)
Rehberi Tewkik (1875)
Mehmet Selim (1876)
Sloops & despatch vessels

Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
Monitor Atahualpa (1865)
CT. Bat Independencia (1865)
Turret ship Huascar (1865)
Frigate Apurimac (1855)
Corvette America (1865)
Corvette Union (1865)

Regia Marina 1870 Regia Marina 1870
Formidabile class (1861)
Pr. de Carignano class (1863)
Re d'Italia class (1864)
Regina maria Pia class (1863)
Roma class (1865)
Affondatore turret ram (1865)
Palestro class (1865)
Guerriera class (1866)
Cappelini class (1868)
Sesia DV (1862)
Esploratore class DV (1863)
Vedetta DV (1866)
Imperial Japanese navy 1870 Nihhon Kaigun
Ironclad Ruyjo (1864)
Ironclad Kotetsu (1868)
Frigate Fujiyama (1864)
Frigate Kasuga (1863)
Corvette Asama (1869)
Gunboat Raiden (1856)
Gunboat Chiyodogata (1863)
Teibo class GB (1866)
Gunboat Mushun (1865)
Gunboat Hosho (1868)
Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine
Prinz Adalbert (1864)
Arminius (1864)
Friedrich Carl (1867)
Kronprinz (1867)
K.Whilhelm (1868)
Arcona class Frigates (1858)
Nymphe class Frigates (1863)
Augusta class Frigates (1864)
Jäger class gunboats (1860)
Chamaleon class gunboats (1860)
Russian mperial Navy 1870 Russkiy Flot
Ironclad Sevastopol (1864)
Ironclad Petropavlovsk (1864)
Ironclad Smerch (1864)
Pervenetz class (1863)
Charodeika class (1867)
Admiral Lazarev class (1867)
Ironclad Kniaz Pojarski (1867)
Bronenosetz class monitors (1867)
Admiral Chichagov class (1868)
S3D Imperator Nicolai I (1860)
S3D Sinop (1860)
S3D Tsessarevich (1860)
Russian screw two-deckers (1856-59)
Russian screw frigates (1854-61)
Russian screw corvettes (1856-60)
Russian screw sloops (1856-60)
Varyag class Corvettes (1862)
Almaz class Sloops (1861)
Opyt TGBT (1861)
Sobol class TGBT (1863)
Pishtchal class TGBT (1866)
Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Ericsson class monitors (1865)
Frigate Karl XIV (1854)
Frigate Stockholm (1856)
Corvette Gefle (1848)
Corvette Orädd (1853)
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
Skorpionen class (1866)
Frigate Stolaf (1856)
Frigate Kong Sverre (1860)
Frigate Nordstjerna (1862)
Frigate Vanadis (1862)
Glommen class gunboats (1863)
⚑ 1890 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class (1873)
La Plata class (1875)
Pilcomayo class (1875)
Ferre class (1880)

Austro-Hungarian Navy 1898 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine

Custoza (1872)
Erzherzog Albrecht (1872)
Kaiser (1871)
Kaiser Max class (1875)
Tegetthoff (1878)

Radetzky(ii) class (1872)
SMS Donau(ii) (1874)
SMS Donau(iii) (1893)

Erzherzog Friedrich class (1878)
Saida (1878)
Fasana (1870)
Aurora class (1873)

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy

Hai An class frigates (1872)
Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

Tordenskjold (1880)
Iver Hvitfeldt (1886)
Skjold (1896)
Cruiser Fyen (1882)
Cruiser Valkyrien (1888)

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne

Gunboat St Michael (1970)
Gunboat "1804" (1875)
Gunboat Dessalines (1883)
Gunboat Toussaint Louverture (1886)
Koninklije Marine 1898 Koninklije Marine
Konigin der Netherland (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class CDS (1894)
Atjeh class cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
Banda class Gunboats (1872)
Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
Combok class Gunboats (1891)
Borneo Gunboat (1892)
Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
Colbert class CT Battery ships (1875)
Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
Courbet class CT Battery ships (1879)
Amiral Duperre barbette ship (1879)
Terrible class barbette ships (1883)
Amiral Baudin class barbette ships (1883)
Barbette ship Hoche (1886)
Marceau class barbette ships (1888)
Cerbere class Arm.Ram (1870)
Tonnerre class Br.Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br.Monitors (1876)
Tonnant ironclad (1880)
Furieux ironclad (1883)
Fusee class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class (1892)
Bouvines class (1892)

La Galissonière Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1872)
Bayard class barbette ships (1879)
Vauban class barbette ships (1882)
Prot. Cruiser Sfax (1884)
Prot. Cruiser Tage (1886)
Prot. Cruiser Amiral Cécille (1888)
Prot. Cruiser Davout (1889)
Forbin class Cruisers (1888)
Troude class Cruisers (1888)
Alger class Cruisers (1891)
Friant class Cruisers (1893)
Prot. Cruiser Suchet (1893)
Descartes class Cruisers (1893)
Linois class Cruisers (1896)
D'Assas class Cruisers (1896)
Catinat class Cruisers (1896)

R. de Genouilly class Cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Duquesne (1876)
Cruiser Tourville (1876)
Cruiser Duguay-Trouin (1877)
Laperouse class Cruisers (1877)
Villars class Cruisers (1879)
Cruiser Iphigenie (1881)
Cruiser Naiade (1881)
Cruiser Arethuse (1882)
Cruiser Dubourdieu (1884)
Cruiser Milan (1884)

Parseval class sloops (1876)
Bisson class sloops (1874)
Epee class gunboats (1873)
Crocodile class gunboats (1874)
Tromblon class gunboats (1875)
Condor class Torpedo Cruisers (1885)
G. Charmes class gunboats (1886)
Inconstant class sloops (1887)
Bombe class Torpedo Cruisers (1887)
Wattignies class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)
Levrier class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)

Marinha do Brasil 1898 Marinha do Brasil
Siete de Setembro class (1874)
Riachuleo class (1883)
Aquidaban class (1885)

Marina de Mexico 1898 Mexico
GB Indipendencia (1874)
GB Democrata (1875)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
Cruiser Heibtnuma (1890)
Cruiser Lufti Humayun (1892)
Cruiser Hadevendighar (1892)
Shadieh class cruisers (1893)
Turkish TBs (1885-94)

Regia Marina 1898 Regia Marina Pr. Amadeo class (1871)
Caio Duilio class (1879)
Italia class (1885)
Ruggero di Lauria class (1884)
Carracciolo (1869)
Vettor Pisani (1869)
Cristoforo Colombo (1875)
Flavio Goia (1881)
Amerigo Vespucci (1882)
C. Colombo (ii) (1892)
Pietro Micca (1876)
Tripoli (1886)
Goito class (1887)
Folgore class (1887)
Partenope class (1889)
Giovanni Bausan (1883)
Etna class (1885)
Dogali (1885)
Piemonte (1888)
Staffeta (1876)
Rapido (1876)
Barbarigo class (1879)
Messagero (1885)
Archimede class (1887)
Guardiano class GB (1874)
Scilla class GB (1874)
Provana class GB (1884)
Curtatone class GB (1887)
Castore class GB (1888)

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun
Ironclad Fuso (1877)
Kongo class Ironclads (1877)

Cruiser Tsukushi (1880)
Cruiser Takao (1888)
Cruiser Yaeyama (1889)
Cruiser Chishima (1890)
Cruiser Tatsuta (1894)
Cruiser Miyako (1898)

Frigate Nisshin (1869)
Frigate Tsukuba (acq.1870)
Kaimon class CVT (1882)
Katsuragi class SCVT (1885)
Sloop Seiki (1875)
Sloop Amagi (1877)
Corvette Jingei (1876)
Gunboat Banjo (1878)
Maya class GB (1886)
Gunboat Oshima (1891)
German Navy 1898 Kaiserliche Marine

Ironclad Hansa (1872)
G.Kurfürst class (1873)
Kaiser class (1874)
Sachsen class (1877)
Ironclad Oldenburg (1884)

Ariadne class CVT (1871)
Leipzig class CVT (1875)
Bismarck class CVT (1877)
Carola class CVT (1880)
Corvette Nixe (1885)
Corvette Charlotte (1885)
Schwalbe class Cruisers (1887)
Bussard class (1890)

Aviso Zieten (1876)
Blitz class Avisos (1882)
Aviso Greif (1886)
Wacht class Avisos (1887)
Meteor class Avisos (1890)
Albatross class GBT (1871)
Cyclop GBT (1874)
Otter GBT (1877)
Wolf class GBT (1878)
Habitch class GBT (1879)
Hay GBT (1881)
Eber GBT (1881)
Rhein class Monitors (1872)
Wespe class Monitors (1876)
Brummer class Arm.Steamers (1884)
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot

Petr Velikiy (1872)
Ekaterina class ICL (1886)
Imperator Alexander class ICL (1887)
Ironclad Gangut (1890)
Admiral Ushakov class (1893)
Navarin (1893)
Petropavlovsk class (1894)
Sissoi Veliky (1896)

Minin (1866)
G.Admiral class (1875)
Pamiat Merkuria (1879)
V.Monomakh (1882)
D.Donskoi (1883)
Adm.Nakhimov (1883)
Vitiaz class (1884)
Pamiat Azova (1886)
Adm.Kornilov (1887)
Rurik (1895)
Svetlana (1896)

Gunboat Ersh (1874)
Kreiser class sloops (1875)
Gunboat Nerpa (1877)
Burun class Gunboats (1879)
Sivuch class Gunboats (1884)
Korietz class Gunboats (1886)
Kubanetz class Gunboats (1887)
TGBT Lt.Ilin (1886)
TGBT Kp.Saken (1889)
Kazarski class TGBT (1889)
Grozyaschi class AGBT (1890)
Gunboat Khrabri (1895)
T.Gunboat Abrek (1896)
Amur class minelayers (1898)
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Lima class Cruisers (1880)
Chilean TBs (1879)

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen
Monitor Loke (1871)
Svea class CDS (1886)
Berserk class (1873)
Sloop Balder (1870)
Blenda class GB (1874)
Urd class GB (1877)
Gunboat Edda (1885)
Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Lindormen (1868)
Gorm (1870)
Odin (1872)
Helgoland (1878)
Tordenskjold (1880)
Iver Hvitfeldt (1886)

Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Glatton (1871)
Devastation classs (1871)
Cyclops class (1871)
HMS Rupert (1874)
Neptune class (1874)
HMS Dreadnought (1875)
HMS Inflexible (1876)
Agamemnon class (1879)
Conqueror class (1881)
Colossus class (1882)
Admiral class (1882)
Trafalgar class (1887)
Victoria class (1890)
Royal Sovereign class (1891)
Centurion class (1892)
HMS Renown (1895)

HMS Shannon (1875)
Nelson class (1876)
Iris class (1877)
Leander class (1882)
Imperieuse class (1883)
Mersey class (1885)
Surprise class (1885)
Scout class (1885)
Archer class (1885)
Orlando class (1886)
Medea class (1888)
Barracouta class (1889)
Barham class (1889)
Pearl class (1889)

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

Infanta Maria Teresa class (1890)
Emperador Carlos V (1895)
Cristobal Colon (1897)
Princesa de Asturias (1896)
Aragon class (1879)
Velasco class (1881)
Isla de Luzon (1886)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Reina Regentes class (1887)

Destructor class (1886)
Temerario class (1891)
TGunboat Filipinas (1892)
De Molina class (1896)
Furor class (1896)
Audaz class (1897)
Spanish TBs (1878-87)
Fernando class gunboats (1875)
Concha class gunboats (1883)

US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
USS Maine (1889)
USS Texas (1892)
Indiana class (1893)
USS Iowa (1896)

Amphitrite class (1876)
USS Puritan (1882)
USS Monterey (1891)

Atlanta class (1884)
USS Chicago (1885)
USS Charleston (1888)
USS Baltimore (1888)
USS Philadelphia (1889)
USS San Francisco (1889)
USS Newark (1890)
USS New York (1891)
USS Olympia (1892)
Cincinatti class (1892)
Montgomery class (1893)
Columbia class (1893)
USS Brooklyn (1895)

USS Vesuvius (1888)
USS Katahdin (1893)
USN Torpedo Boats (1886-1901)
GB USS Dolphin (1884)
Yorktown class GB (1888)
GB USS Petrel (1888)
GB USS Bancroft (1892)
Machias class GB (1891)
GB USS Nashville (1895)
Wilmington class GB (1895)
Annapolis class GB (1896)
Wheeling class GB (1897)
Small gunboats (1886-95)
St Louis class AMC (1894)
Harvard class AMC (1888)
USN Armoured Merchant Cruisers
USN Armed Yachts


☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Centurion class (1892)
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
N3 class (1920)

WW1 British Battlecruisers
Invincible class (1907)
Indefatigable class (1909)
Lion class (1910)
HMS Tiger (1913)
Renown class (1916)
Courageous class (1916)
G3 class (1918)

ww1 British cruisers
Blake class (1889)
Edgar class (1890)
Powerful class (1895)
Diadem class (1896)
Cressy class (1900)
Drake class (1901)
Monmouth class (1901)
Devonshire class (1903)
Duke of Edinburgh class (1904)
Warrior class (1905)
Minotaur class (1906)
Hawkins class (1917)

Apollo class (1890)
Astraea class (1893)
Eclipse class (1894)
Arrogant class (1896)
Pelorus class (1896)
Highflyer class (1898)
Gem class (1903)
Adventure class (1904)
Forward class (1904)
Pathfinder class (1904)
Sentinel class (1904)
Boadicea class (1908)
Blonde class (1910)
Active class (1911)
'Town' class (1909-1913)
Arethusa class (1913)
'C' class series (1914-1922)
'D' class (1918)
'E' class (1918)

WW1 British Seaplane Carriers
HMS Ark Royal (1914)
HMS Campania (1893)
HMS Argus (1917)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Vindictive (1918)
HMS Hermes (1919)

WW1 British Destroyers
River class (1903)
Cricket class (1906)
Tribal class (1907)
HMS Swift (1907)
Beagle class (1909)
Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
Acasta class (1912)
Laforey class (1913)
M/repeat M class (1914)
Faulknor class FL (1914)
T class (1915)
Parker class FL (1916)
R/mod R class (1916)
V class (1917)
V class FL (1917)
Shakespeare class FL (1917)
Scott class FL (1917)
W/mod W class (1917)
S class (1918)

WW1 British Torpedo Boats
125ft series (1885)
140ft series (1892)
160ft series (1901)
27-knotters (1894)
30-knotters (1896)
33-knotters (1896)

WW1 British Submarines
Nordenfelt Submarines (1885)
Flower class sloops
British Gunboats of WWI
British P-Boats (1915)
Kil class (1917)
British ww1 Minesweepers
Z-Whaler class patrol crafts
British ww1 CMB
British ww1 Auxiliaries

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Cruiser Nadezhda (1898)
Drski class TBs (1906)
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Skjold class (1896)
Herluf Trolle class (1899)
Herluf Trolle (1908)
Niels Iuel (1918)
Hekla class cruisers (1890)
Valkyrien class cruisers (1888)
Fyen class crusiers (1882)
Danish TBs (1879-1918)
Danish Submarines (1909-1920)
Danish Minelayer/sweepers

Greek Royal Navy Greece
Kilkis class
Giorgios Averof class

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Eversten class (1894)
Konigin Regentes class (1900)
De Zeven Provincien (1909)
Dutch dreadnought (project)

Holland class cruisers (1896)
Fret class destroyers
Dutch Torpedo boats
Dutch gunboats
Dutch submarines
Dutch minelayers

Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway
Almirante Grau class (1906)
Ferre class subs. (1912)

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal
Coastal Battleship Vasco da Gama (1875)
Cruiser Adamastor (1896)
Sao Gabriel class (1898)
Cruiser Dom Carlos I (1898)
Cruiser Rainha Dona Amelia (1899)
Portuguese ww1 Destroyers
Portuguese ww1 Submersibles
Portuguese ww1 Gunboats

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania

Elisabeta (1885)
Spanish Armada Spain
España class Battleships (1912)
Velasco class (1885)
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Cataluna class (1896)
Plata class (1898)
Estramadura class (1900)
Reina Regentes class (1906)
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Torpedo Boats
Spanish Sloops/Gunboats
Spanish Submarines
Spanish Armada 1898
Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden
Svea classs (1886)
Oden class (1896)
Dristigheten (1900)
Äran class (1901)
Oscar II (1905)
Sverige class (1915)
J. Ericsson class (1865)
Gerda class (1871)
Berserk (1873)
HMS Fylgia (1905)
Clas Fleming class (1912)
Swedish Torpedo cruisers
Swedish destroyers
Swedish Torpedo Boats
Swedish gunboats
Swedish submarines


✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
Wyoming class (1911)
New York class (1912)
Nevada class (1914)
Pennsylvania class (1915)
New Mexico class (1917)
Tennessee Class (1919)
Colorado class (1921)
North Carolina class (1940)
South Dakota class (1941)
Iowa class (1942)
Montana class (cancelled)

WW2 American Cruisers
Omaha class cruisers (1920)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
New Orleans class cruisers (1933)
Brooklyn class cruisers (1936)
USS Wichita (1937)
Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1942)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)
WW2 British Destroyers
WW2 British submarines
WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British Gunboats

WW2 British Sloops
WW2 British Frigates
WW2 British Corvettes
WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1921)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1934)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
IJN Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1940)
Zuiho class (1937)
Ruyho (1933)
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral Navies

✈ Naval Aviation

Latest entries
naval aviation USN aviation
Boeing model 2/3/5 (1916)
Aeromarine 39 (1917)
Curtiss VE-7 (1918)
Aeromarine 40 (1919)
Douglas DT (1921)
Naval Aircraft Factory PT (1922)
Loening OL (1923)
Huff-Daland TW-5 (1923)
Martin MO (1924)
Consolidated NY (1926)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U/O3U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)
Curtiss SOC seagull (1934)
Grumman FF (1931)
Grumman F2F (1933)
Grumman F3F (1935)
Northrop BT-1 (1935)
Vultee V-11 (1935)
Grumman J2F Duck (1936)
Curtiss SBC Helldiver (1936)
Vought SB2U Vindicator (1936)
Brewster F2A Buffalo (1937)
Douglas TBD Devastator (1937)
Vought Kingfisher (1938)
Curtiss SO3C Seamew (1939)
Cessna AT-17 Bobcat (1939)
Douglas SBD Dauntless (1939)
Grumman F4F Wildcat (1940)
Northrop N-3PB Nomad (1941)
Brewster SB2A Buccaneer (1941)
Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger (1941)
Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf (1941)
Grumman F6F Hellcat (1942)
Vought F4U Corsair (1942)
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (1942)
Curtiss SC Seahawk (1944)
Douglas BTD Destroyer (1944)
Grumman F7F Tigercat (1943)
Grumman F8F Bearcat (1944)
Ryan FR-1 Fireball (1944)
Douglas XTB2D-1 Skypirate (1945)

Curtiss H (1917)
Curtiss F5L (1918)
Curtiss NC (1919)
Curtiss NC4 (1918)
Naval Aircraft Factory PN (1925)
Douglas T2D (1927)
Consolidated P2Y (1929)
Hall PH (1929)
Douglas PD (1929)
Douglas Dolphin (1931)
General Aviation PJ (1933)
Consolidated PBY Catalina (1935)
Fleetwings Sea Bird (1936)
Sikorsky VS-44 (1937)
Grumman G-21 Goose (1937)
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado (1937)
Beechcraft M18 (1937)
Sikorsky JRS (1938)
Boeing 314 Clipper (1938)
Martin PBM Mariner (1939)
Grumman G-44 Wigeon (1940)
Martin Mars (1943)
Goodyear GA-2 Duck (1944)
Edo Ose (1945)
Hugues Hercules (1947)
Fleet Air Arm
Carrier planes
Fairey Flycatcher (1922)
Blackburn Backburn (1923)
Blackburn Dart (1924)
Fairey IIIF (1927)
Fairey Seal (1930)
Blackburn Shark (1931)
Blackburn Baffin (1934)
Vickers Vildebeest (1933)
Blackburn Ripon (1934)
Fairey Swordfish (1934)
Gloster Gladiator (1938)
Fairey Albacore (1940)
Fairey Fulmar (1940)
Grumman Martlet (1941)
Hawker sea Hurricane (1941)
Brewster Bermuda (1942)
Fairey Barracuda (1943)
Grumman Tarpon (1943)
Grumman Gannet (1943)
Supermarine seafire (1943)
Fairey Firefly (1943)
Blackburn Firebrand (1944)
Hawker Sea Fury (1944)
Supermarine Seafang (1945)
De Havilland Sea Mosquito (1945)
De Havilland Sea Hornet (1946)

Supermarine Channel (1919)
Vickers Viking (1919)
Saunders Kittiwake (1920) Supermarine Sea King (1920)
Fairey Pintail (1920)
Short N.3 Cromarty (1921)
Supermarine Seal II (1921)
Vickers Vanellus (1922)
Supermarine Seagull (1922)
Fairey N.4 (1923)
Supermarine Sea Eagle (1923)
Vickers Vulture (1924)
Short S.1 Stellite/Cockle (1924)
Supermarine Scarab (1924)
Fairey Fremantle (1924)
English Electric Ayr (1924)
English Electric Kingston (1924)
Hawker Dantorp (1925)
Blackburn Velos (1925)
Supermarine Southampton (1925)
Blackburn Iris (1926)
Saunders A.3 Valkyrie (1927)
Blackburn Nautilus (1929)
Saro A.17 Cutty Sark (1929)
Hawker Osprey (1930)
Saro A.7 Severn (1930)
Saro A.19 Cloud (1930)
Saro Windhover (1930)
Short Rangoon (1930)
Short Valetta (1930)
Fairey Seal (1930)
Short S.15 (1931)
Blackburn Sydney (1931)
Short Sarafand (1932)
Short Knuckleduster (1933)
Saro London (1934)
Short Seaford (1934)
Short S.19 Singapore III (1934)
Fairey S.9/30 (1934)
de Havilland Hornet Moth (1934)
Blackburn Perth (1934)
Supermarine Scapa (1935)
Supermarine Stranraer (1936)
Supermarine Walrus (1936)
Fairey Seafox (1936)
Supermarine Seagull ASR-1 (1936)
Airspeed AS.30 Queen Wasp (1937)
Short Sunderland (1937)
Supermarine Sea Otter (1938)
Short S.30/33 Empire (1938)
Short S.20 Mercury (1938)
Short S.21 Maia (1938)
Saro A.33 (1938)
Blackburn B-20 (1940)
Saro Lerwick (1940)
Supermarine Spitfire Seaplane (1942)
Short Shetland (1944)

⚔ WW2 Naval Battles

The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
British Aicraft Carriers
Centaur class (1947)
HMS Victorious (1950)
HMS Eagle (1946)
HMS Ark Royal (1950)
HMS Hermes (1953)
CVA-01 class (1966 project)
Invincible class (1977)

British Cold War Cruisers
Tiger class (1945)

Daring class (1949)
1953 design (project)
Cavendish class (1944)
Weapon class (1945)
Battle class (1945)
FADEP program (1946)
County class GMD (1959)
Bristol class GMD (1969)
Sheffield class GMD (1971)
Manchester class GMD (1980)
Type 43 GMD (1974)

British cold-war Frigates
Rapid class (1942)
Tenacious class (1941)
Whitby class (1954)
Blackwood class (1953)
Leopard class (1954)
Salisbury class (1953)
Tribal class (1959)
Rothesay class (1957)
Leander class (1961)
BB Leander class (1967)
HMS Mermaid (1966)
Amazon class (1971)
Broadsword class (1976)
Boxer class (1981)
Cornwall class (1985)
Duke class (1987)

British cold war Submarines
T (conv.) class (1944)
T (Stream) class (1945)
A (Mod.) class (1944)
Explorer class (1954)
Strickleback class (1954)
Porpoise class (1956)
Oberon class (1959)
HMS Dreanought SSN (1960)
Valiant class SSN (1963)
Resolution class SSBN (1966)
Swiftsure class SSN (1971)
Trafalgar class SSN (1981)
Upholder class (1986)
Vanguard class SSBN (started)

Assault ships
Fearless class (1963)
HMS Ocean (started)
Sir Lancelot LLS (1963)
Sir Galahad (1986)
Ardennes/Avon class (1976)
Brit. LCVPs (1963)
Brit. LCM(9) (1980)

Ton class (1952)
Ham class (1947)
Ley class (1952)
HMS Abdiel (1967)
HMS Wilton (1972)
Hunt class (1978)
Venturer class (1979)
River class (1983)
Sandown class (1988)

Misc. ships
HMS Argus ATS (1988)
Ford class SDF (1951)
Cormorant class (1985)
Kingfisger class (1974)
HMS Jura OPV (1975)
Island class OPVs (1976)
HMS Speedy PHDF (1979)
Castle class OPVs (1980)
Peacock class OPVs (1982)
MBT 538 class (1948)
Gay class FACs (1952)
Dark class FACs (1954)
Bold class FACs (1955)
Brave class FACs (1957)
Tenacity class PCs (1967)
Brave class FPCs (1969)
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
Cold War Soviet Cruisers (1947-90)
Chapayev class (1945)
Kynda class (1961)
Kresta I class (1964)
Kresta II class (1968)
Kara class (1969)
Kirov class (1977)
Slava class (1979)

Moksva class (1965)
Kiev class (1975)
Kusnetsov class aircraft carriers (1988)

Cold War Soviet Destroyers
Skoryi class destroyers (1948)
Neustrashimyy (1951)
Kotlin class (1953)
Krupny class (1959)
Kashin class (1963)
Sovremenny class (1978)
Udaloy class (1980)
Project Anchar DDN (1988)

Soviet Frigates
Kola class (1951)
Riga class (1954)
Petya class (1960)
Mirka class (1964)
Grisha class (1968)
Krivak class (1970)
Koni class (1976)
Neustrashimyy class (1988)

Soviet Missile Corvettes
Poti class (1962)
Nanuchka class (1968)
Pauk class (1978)
Tarantul class (1981)
Dergach class (1987)
Svetlyak class (1989)

Cold War Soviet Submarines
Whiskey SSK (1948)
Zulu SSK (1950)
Quebec SSK (1950)
Romeo SSK (1957)
Foxtrot SSK (1963)
Tango class (1972)
November SSN (1957)
Golf SSB (1958)
Hotel SSBN (1959)
Echo I SSGN (1959)
Echo II SSGN (1961)
Juliett SSG (1962)
Yankee SSBN (1966)
Victor SSN I (1965)
Alfa SSN (1967)
Charlie SSGN (1968)
Papa SSGN (1968)
Delta I SSBN (1972)
Delta II SSBN (1975)
Delta III SSBN (1976)
Delta IV SSBN (1980)
Typhoon SSBN (1980)
Victor II SSN (1971)
Victor III SSN (1977)
Oscar SSGN (1980)
Sierra SSN (1982)
Mike SSN (1983)
Akula SSN (1984)
Kilo SSK (1986)

Soviet Naval Air Force
Kamov Ka-10 Hat
Kamov Ka-15 Hen
Kamov Ka-18 Hog
Kamov Ka-25 Hormone
Kamov Ka-27 Helix
Mil Mi-8 Hip
Mil Mi-14 H?
Mil Mi-4 Hound

Yakovlev Yak-38
Sukhoi Su-17
Sukhoi Su-24

Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle
Myasishchev M-4 Bison
Tupolev Tu-14 Bosun
Tupolev Tu-142
Ilyushin Il-38
Tupolev Tu-16
Antonov An-12
Tupolev Tu-22
Tupolev Tu-95
Tupolev Tu-22M
Tupolev Tu-16
Tupolev Tu-22

Beriev Be-6 Madge
Beriev Be-10 Mallow
Beriev Be-12
Lun class Ekranoplanes
A90 Orlan Ekranoplanes

Soviet MTBs/PBs/FACs
P2 class FACs
P4 class FACs
P6 class FACs
P8 class FACs
P10 class FACs
Komar class FACs (1960)
Project 184 FACs
OSA class FACs
Shershen class FACs
Mol class FACs
Turya class HFL
Matka class HFL
Pchela class FACs
Sarancha class HFL
Babochka class HFL
Mukha class HFL
Muravey class HFL

MO-V sub-chasers
MO-VI sub-chasers
Stenka class sub-chasers
kronstadt class PBs
SO-I class PBs
Poluchat class PBs
Zhuk clas PBs
MO-105 sub-chasers

Project 191 River Gunboats
Shmel class river GB
Yaz class river GB
Piyavka class river GB
Vosh class river GB
Saygak class river GB

Soviet Minesweepers
T43 class
T58 class
Yurka class
Gorya class
T301 class
Project 255 class
Sasha class
Vanya class
Zhenya class
Almaz class
Sonya class
TR40 class
K8 class
Yevgenya class
Olya class
Lida class
Andryusha class
Ilyusha class
Alesha class
Rybak class
Baltika class
SChS-150 class
Project 696 class

Soviet Amphibious ships
MP 2 class
MP 4 class
MP 6 class
MP 8 class
MP 10 class
Polocny class
Ropucha class
Alligator class
Ivan Rogov class
Aist class HVC
Pomornik class HVC
Gus class HVC
T-4 class LC
Ondatra class LC
Lebed class HVC
Tsaplya class HVC
Utenov class
US Navy USN (1990)
Aircraft carriers
United States class (1950)
Essex SBC-27 (1950s)
Midway class (mod)
Forrestal class (1954)
Kitty Hawk class (1960)
USS Enterprise (1960)
Nimitz Class (1972)

Salem Class (1947)
Worcester Class (1948)
USS Norfolk (1953)
Boston Class (1955)
Galveston Class (1958)
Albany Class (1962)
USS Long Beach (1960)
Leahy Class (1961)
USS Bainbridge (1961)
Belknap Class (1963)
USS Truxtun (1964)
California Class (1971)
Virginia Class (1974)
CSGN Class (1976)
Ticonderoga Class (1981)

Mitscher class (1952)
Fletcher DDE class (1950s)
Gearing DDE class (1950s)
F. Sherman class (1956)
Farragut class (1958)
Charles s. Adams class (1958)
Gearing FRAM I class (1960s)
Sumner FRAM II class (1970s)
Spruance class (1975)

Dealey class (1953)
Claud Jones class (1958)
Bronstein class (1962)
Garcia class (1963)
Brooke class (1963)
Knox class (1966)
OH Perry class (1976)

Guppy class Submarines (1946-59)
Barracuda class SSK (1951)
Tang class SSK (1951)
USS Darter SSK (1956)
Mackerel class SSK (1953)
USS Albacore SSK (1953)
USS X1 Midget subs (1955)
Barbel class SSK (1958)

USS Nautilus SSN (1954)
USS Seawolf SSN (1955)
Skate class SSN (1957)
Skipjack class SSN (1958)
USS Tullibee SSN (1960)
Tresher/Permit class SSN (1960)
Sturgeon class SSN (1963)
Los Angeles class SSN (1974)
Seawolf class SSN (1989)

USS Grayback SSBN (1954)
USS Growler SSBN (1957)
USS Halibut SSBN (1959)
Gato SSG (1960s)
E. Allen class SSBN (1960)
G. Washington class SSBN (1969)
Lafayette class SSBN (1962)
Ohio class SSBN (1979)

Migraine class RP (1950s)
Sailfish class RP (1955)
USS Triton class RP (1958)

Amphibious/assault ships
Iwo Jima class HC (1960)
Tarawa class LHD (1973)
Wasp class LHD (1987)
Thomaston class LSD (1954)
Raleigh class LSD (1962)
Austin class LSD (1964)
Anchorage class LSD (1968)
Whibdey Island class LSD (1983)
Parish class LST (1952)
County class LST (1957)
Newport class LST (1968)
Tulare class APA (1953)
Charleston class APA (1967)
USS Carronade support ship (1953)

Mine warfare ships
Agile class (1952)
Ability (1956)
Avenger (1987)
USS Cardinal (1983)
Adjutant class (1953)
USS Cove (1958)
USS Bittern (1957)
Minesweeping boats/launches

Misc. ships
USS Northampton CS (1951)
Blue Ridge class CS (1969)
Wright class CS (1969)
PT812 class (1950)
Nasty class FAC (1962)
Osprey class FAC (1967)
Asheville class FACs (1966)
USN Hydrofoils (1962-81)
Vietnam Patrol Boats (1965-73)

Hamilton class (1965)
Reliance class (1963)
Bear class (1979)
cold war CG PBs

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