camera: US Army Paolo Bovo
camera: USAF Senior Airman Dwayne Young
The Hurricane could never compete in speed
and agility with newer fighters such at the British
Spitfire and Germany's Bf 109 but its simplicity in
design and robust construction made the aircraft
ideal for other roles such as ground support.
A match for Germany's best fighter, the Bf 109.
Spitfires flew out of Malta to sink Italian ships
heading for Libya to supply Rommel's tanks
in North Africa. Note the rear view mirror atop
the pilot's canopy. It's the bogey you don't see
that gets you.
Designed to dive toward its target at a near 90 degrees
to ensure precision bombing this Ju 87 was robust
and highly effective at destroying enemy targets
so long as there were German Bf 109s around
to prevent it being shot down by enemy fighters.
Stuka is the German abbreviation for dive-bomber.
The radical two engine design was chosen because
there was no one engine powerful enough at the time
to meet the Army's performance standards.
Its long range enabled a squadron of P-38s
to fly 550 miles from their base to shoot down
the plane transporting Japan's celebrated
Pearl Harbor victor, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.
The British RAF brought the P-40 to North Africa.
Too slow to compete with the German Bf 109 in a
dogfight this aircraft performed as a fighter bomber
to support troops in battles such as at Britain's
pivotal defeat of Rommel and his Afrika Korps
at El Alamein.
This Messerschmitt ranks with the Spitfire and P-51
Mustang as one of the three most highly regarded
fighters of the Second World War. It was sent to
North Africa to counter the RAF Kittyhawk -
Britain's version of the P-40.