Monday, March 09, 2009

BW-372 has found a home


In one definition, "warbird" refers to a fighting relict of the skies. Here's one such: the only Brewster F2A Buffalo in existence, which just went on display at a museum north of Helsinki.

Acquired as a US Navy carrier fighter, forty-odd Brewsters were "surplussed" to Finland to help that country defend itself from the Russian invasion of December 1939. Arriving too late for that conflict, the American planes became the standby of the Finnish Air Force when the war resumed in June 1941, this time fighting on the side of Germany. (The bent-leg cross on the Brewster's flank is not a Nazi swastika, however, but the Nordic hakaristi that was the FAF's recognition symbol from 1918 to 1944.) BW-372 was shot down over Russia and crashed on lake ice, where the pilot escaped but the plane of course sank. In 1998 it was recovered, and in a great series of adventures made its way to Ireland, the US, and finally Finland. Read the whole story at the Annals of the Brewster Buffalo. My eyes watered to see the old girl finally on display, and in the country that sent her forth to war. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

2 Comments:

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Indigo Red said...

Thanks for the info. I didn't know about the bent-leg cross vs the swastika in reference to Finland.

 
At 6:02 AM, Blogger Dan Ford said...

The Finnish cross is also blue and sits upright, while the Nazi cross was almost always cocked to the left (odd though that may seem). Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

 

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