JACK McKILLOP COLLECTION
No. 6855. Curtiss H87A-2 Kittyhawk Mk.I (N9837A c/n 15370)
Photographed at NAS JRB Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, USA, June 17, 2006, by Jack McKillop

Curtiss H87A-2 Kittyhawk Mk.I

09/30/2007. Remarks by Jack Mckillop: "This Model H87A-2, which was comparable with the P-40D, was originally ordered by the French Government. When France surrendered to the Germans in June 1940, the British Government took over the French contracts and the RAF named the H87A-2 the Kittyhawk Mk.I and assigned this aircraft serial number AK899.

This was one of 72 Kittyhawk Mk.Is transferred to the RCAF which assigned it s/n 1051 and accepted it on November 6, 1941. The only known assignment for this aircraft was with No. 111 (Fighter) Squadron at RCAF Station Patricia Bay, British Columbia, between September and December 1943.

The RCAF struck this aircraft off charge on August 23, 1946 at Patricia Bay. It was sold in the USA and registered N1223N in 1947 and NX9837 in 1979. Between 1948 and 1968, this aircraft was displayed atop a gasoline (petrol) station in Everett, Washington. It was removed from the gasoline station and restored as an airworthy two-seater between 1973 and 1985 and re-registered N9837A. It was placed in storage ca. 1985 and again restored to flying condition in 1992.

This aircraft is marked as a P-40E flown in Burma by Colonel Robert L. Scott. There are claims that Colonel Scott was a member of the American Volunteer Group (the AVG or "The Flying Tigers") but these claims are false. Scott made his way to Burma in early 1942 and was serving at an Air Transport Command base in India and somehow managed to side track a P-40 that was supposed to be delivered to the AVG in Kunming, China, and he did sort of 'start a one man war' by flying combat patrol missions in this area.

After arriving in Kunming he volunteered to fly guest(?) missions with AVG pilots, including AVG Ace R.T. Smith, as his wing man. R.T. by the way was one of Scott's students when he was a cadet at Randolph Field, Texas. R.T. mentions him in his book 'Tale of a Tiger' as one who was prone to wash out many unlucky cadets who did not come up to his standards.

Scott was never a member of the AVG but went on to become a well known author, including his book 'God is My Copilot'. On 4 July 1942, the AVG was disbanded and the USAAF activated the 23d Fighter Group, China Air Task Force, Tenth Air Force, at Kunming. Scott assumed command of the group and when he left China on January 9, 1943, he had shot down ten Japanese aircraft. Scott remained in the USAF until October 1957 retiring as a Brigadier General. As one former AVG member who contributed to this text said, 'He was a true southern gentleman living in Macon, Georgia, until his death this year'."




Created September 30, 2007