Brewster Buffalo Mk I

Last revised March 5, 2003




In early 1940, the British Purchasing Commission ordered a total of 170 Model 339Es in two separate contracts under the British designation Buffalo Mk. I. This was a major turnaround, since as recently as October of 1939 the British Air Ministry had declared the Brewster fighter as unsuitable for RAF use. However, they were deemed suitable for use in the Far East.

The 339E was basically a denavalized variant of the F2A-2, powered by an export-approved Wright R-1820-G105 Cyclone engine of 1100 hp. A number of changes were made to bring the aircraft up to current European combat standards: a British-built Mark III reflector gunsight replaced the ring-and-bead arrangement, armor plate was provided for the pilot, and armored glass was added to the wind screen. The Curtiss Electric cuffed propeller was replaced with a 10-foot one-inch Hamilton Standard propeller. The 339E was the only Buffalo variant to feature an internal gun camera. The small retractable naval-type tail wheel was replaced by a larger fixed tail wheel.

These changes brought the gross weight to 6500 pounds, almost a thousand pounds heavier than the standard F2A-2. The maximum speed was lowered to 330 mph and the rate of climb was lowered to only 2600 feet per minute. In addition, this increased weight raised the wing loading, increased the landing speed, and adversely affected the maneuverability. Another problem was that the Buffalo Mk. I did not use the same fuel line pressurization system as the F2A-2, and fuel starvation problems were often experienced above 18,000 feet.

The Wright Cyclone R-1820-G105 engine installed in the Buffalo Mk. I had been selected in part because there were sufficient numbers of this engine available at the time to meet the first British contract. However, when the second contract was issued, there were not enough new Cyclone engines available, and Brewster was forced to purchase used Cyclone engines from commercial airlines which had been using them to power their Douglas DC-3 airliners. These used engines were returned to Wright, which remanufactured them to -G105 standards.

The first three production Model 339Es were sent to Great Britain in April of 1941 for trials. The remaining Buffalos of the British order were shipped directly to the Far East to serve with units in Malaya, Singapore and Burma. The first Buffalos arrived in Singapore in the spring of 1941.

Five Commonwealth squadrons were formed around the Buffalo -- Nos. 67 and 243 Squadrons, RAF; Nos. 21 and 43 Squadrons of the RAAF; and No. 488 Squadron of the RNZAF. No. 67 Squadron was based in Burma and the other four were stationed at bases near Singapore. Each squadron was issued with 15 aircraft. A shortage of pilots prevented the formation of additional squadrons, and many Buffalos were placed in storage. Many of the pilots in the Commonwealth Buffalo squadrons were relatively new and inexperienced, and some 20 Buffalos were lost in training accidents during the autumn of 1941.

War in the Burma/Malaya theater began on December 8, 1941 with a Japanese landing on the Malayan coast. The Brewsters did experience some initial successes against Japanese Army Air Force Ki-27s and Ki-43s, and there were at least three Commonwealth pilots who became aces during this period. However, when the Japanese Navy A6M Reisen (Zero Fighter) appeared, the Buffalo was completely outclassed. The Zero was faster, more maneuverable and had a heavier armament. In an attempt to improve the Buffalo's performance, ground crews removed all unnecessary equipment to lower the weight, sometimes replacing the 0.50-inch machine guns with lighter 0.303-inch guns and reducing the ammunition and fuel load. However, these modifications did not even come close to closing the performance gap between the Buffalo and the Zero.

The situation in Malaya rapidly deteriorated as the Japanese advance gained momentum, and Commonwealth squadrons were forced to withdraw to Singapore Island. Attrition and combat losses took their toll, and by February of 1942 there were only a few airworthy Buffalos left. These were withdrawn to the nearby islands of the Netherlands East Indies. When the British evacuated the aircrews to Australia, at least four Buffalos were turned over to Dutch squadrons.

In Burma, No. 67 Squadron flew alongside the 3rd Squadron, American Volunteer Group (the famous 'Flying Tigers') in the defense of Rangoon. No. 67 Squadron had some initial successes against attacking Japanese bomber formations. However, attrition and the lack of spare parts steadily eroded the squadron's strength, and by the time that Rangoon fell, only six Buffalos were still airworthy. The surviving No. 67 Squadron Buffalos were evacuated to India, along with a few Hawker Hurricanes that had been rushed to Rangoon's defense. Some of the Buffalos that made it to India were taken on strength by No. 146 Squadron, RAF. There are even reports that at least one Buffalo was transferred to the Indian Air Force.

Many official British historical sources blame the loss of Malaya and Singapore largely on the Buffalo's poor performance. However, the picture is not entirely that of an unmitigated disaster, and many Buffalo-equipped units gave a good account of themselves before they were overwhelmed by superior Japanese numbers. Accurate figures on the combat losses of British Buffalos are difficult to come by. Approximately 60 to 70 Buffalos were lost in air combat, 40 were destroyed on the ground, twenty were lost in various non-combat related accidents, four were transferred to the Dutch, and six were evacuated to India. Commonwealth Buffalo squadrons claimed at least 80 kills, and some units may have achieved a 2-to-1 kill ratio.

Serial numbers of Brewster Buffalo Mk. I:

   W8131/W8250 
   AN168/AN217

Disposition of Brewster Buffalo Mk. Is


Serial	C/Nl		Model		Markings	Remarks		
AN168	267		339E						
AN169	268		339E						
AN170	269		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	served with 21 and 21/453 Sqns; 24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn; one of 8 Buffalos escorting Glenn Martins and Wirraways to Muar on 19/1/42 where they were engaged by strong fighter force; Sgt Henry W Parsons (originally from 21 Sqn) was shot down near Batu Pahat	Malaya in this a/c and killed.	
AN171	270		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	24/12/41 to 453 Sqn; collided with Buffalo W8202 carrying out a weaving manoeuvre while searching for the target area and ditched near Tengora  12/01/42.	Malaya on 12/1/42 pilot F/O R H Wallace 586 was injured	but managed to swim ashore. 
AN172	271		339E		GA-?	21Sqn RAAF	"on 15/12/41 F/L Kinninmont hit a soggy patch on the emergency strip at Port Swettenham, abandoned."	Malaya and the wing tip dug in causing extensive damage; F/L Kinninmont was ok. 	
AN173	272		339E			0			
AN174	273		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn; lost to enemy action at Sembawang on 19/1/42 (air raid?). 		
AN175	274		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	one of 12 Buffalos which engaged 20 Ki43 fighters near Kuala Lumpur	Malaya on 22/12/41; pilot was Sgt Harry Griffiths who claimed a Zero? (probably an Oscar) destroyed that day but was shot down himself	he was ok. 
AN176	275		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn; off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42. 		
AN177	276		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn; off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42. 		
AN178	277		339E						
AN179	278		339E						
AN180	279		339E		GA-B	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	on 13/12/41 transferred to 453 Sqn from 21 Sqn where it was coded GA-B; 22/12/41 was in action near Kuala Lumpur area with Sgt W Collyer the pilot; off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42. 		
AN181	280		339E						
AN182	281		339E						
AN183	282		339E					
AN184	283		339E		GA-M	453/21 Sqn RAAF	"to 453 Sqn; was involved in combat over Kuala Lumpur Malaya on 22/12/41 and damage and wounded, in that action forcing P/O T W Livesey to belly land it; transferred from 21 Sqn where it was coded GA-M. "	Malaya on 22/12/41 and was shot down in that action forcing P/O T W Livesey to belly land it; transferred from 21 Sqn where it was coded GA-M. 
AN185	284		339E		TD-V	453Sqn RAAF	to 453 Sqn; was coded TD-V with that Sqn; F/L R D Vanderfield flew it on 13/12/41 and in it shot down 2 bombers (Ki-48 Lily?); off Sqn's charge in 1/42. 	
AN186	285		339E				21&21/453Sqn RAAF	on 9/12/41 F/O D M Sproule flew it from Butterworth	Malaya. 
AN187  286		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	Pilot.Sgt Kuhn bailed out when engine seized and caught fir over Kallang on test flight.13/01/42	
AN188	287		339E				21 Sqn RAAF	on 9/12/41 it was damaged and forced landed on Penang Is. Flt Lt Max White OK.	Malaya pilot was F/L A M White. 
AN189	288		339E		NF-?	453Sqn RAAF/488SqnRNZAF	served with 453 and 488 Sqns; delivered 15/12/41 to 453 Sqn and later transferred to 488 Sqn; was shot down while with 488 Sqn on the 19/1/42 and pilot was Sgt Charters RNZAF who was latter captured in that action	or Sgt C D Charters RNZAF who was shot down and captured. 
AN190	289		339E					
AN191	290		339E					
AN192	291		339E					
AN193	292		339E					
AN194	293		339E		GA-D	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	coded GA-D with 21 Sqn; on 8/12/41 was flown by F/O J B Hooper; handed over to 453 Sqn on 27/1/42; this could be one of the Buffalos the Japanese captured at Singapore or Sumatra in 2/42. 	
AN195	294		339E					
AN196	295		339E					
AN197	296		339E					
AN198	297		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF		
AN199 	298		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF		
AN200	299		339E		WP-Z	243Sqn RAF	s/d 23/01/42 Sgt Max Greenslade bailed out tree level near Kluang.	
AN201	300		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	flown by F/L R A Kirkman on 8/12/41; either destroyed in air raid at Ipoh on 17/12/41 or wrecked when ran into a drain on same date. 	
AN202	301		339E				21&21/453Sqn RAAF	24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn; still serviceable on 28/12/41 at Sembawang; off Sqn's charge in 1/42. 	
AN203	302		339E				21&21/453Sqn RAAF	24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn; still on Sqn strength on 28/12/41 at Sembawang; off Sqn's charge in 1/42. 	
AN204	303		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	one of 12 a/c scrambled on 22/12/41 and badly damaged in a crash landing shedding its engine when it hit an embankment; P/O R W Drury was removed from the a/c badly injured only to die soon after. 	
AN205	304		339E					
AN206	305		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	issued ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; was on Sqn strength on 28/12/41 and off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42. 	
AN207	306		339E					
AN208	307		339E					
AN209	308		339E					
AN210	309		339E		TD-J	453Sqn RAAF	pilot was P/O G I Angus; on 22/12/41 was straffed and damaged as Sgt Keith Gorringe was waiting to take off from Sembawang strip after being scrambled; off Sqn's charge in 1/42. 	
AN211	310		339E				21&21/453Sqn RAAF	"near Sumatra on 3/1/42 while on patrol; pilot was Sgt Harry Griffiths who was injured(?). landed on Pulau Kundor and flipped over, Pilot injured in eye and head, date 02/01/42"	
AN212	311		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	F/O G M Sheppard flew this a/c from Butterworth	Malaya on 9/12/41. 
AN213	312		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	"this may be the a/c F/L T A Vigors was shot down in near Butterworth,0915hrs 13/12/41"	Malaya on 13/12/41 (see W8231); still with 453 Sqn (21/453? Sqn) on 28/12/41 when the guns were removed; off Sqn's charge in 1/42; may have been operated by 21 Sqn. 
AN214	313		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF		
AN215	314		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn and off Sqn's charge in 1/42. 
AN216	315		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF	"s/d 25/12/42 Sgt John MacPherson  RAF killed (Red 2) 10 miles east od Rangoon, Burma"
W8135	151		339E		NF-?	67Sqn RAF/488SqnRNZAF	"crs on takeoff due to oil pipe fracture, 12/01/42 into swamp.Sgt Vic Meaclem ok."
W8136	152		339E/PR			488Sqn RNZAF/243Sqn RAF/4PRU	"Flt Sgt Wareham, crs landed Tengah Singapore 29/01/42 between trees  w/o 4PRU Black Buffalo"
W8137	153		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	s/d 12/01/42 over Singapore Sgt Reg Newman mortally wounded.
W8138	154		339E		NF-O	67Sqn RAF/488SqnRNZAF	"18/01/42, had Dragon motif. P/O Sharp's a/c heavyly damaged.w/o"
W8139	155		339E		WP-B	243Sqn RAF	w/o on landing Kallang 12/01/42 flown by FLt Garden
W8140	156		339E				
W8141	157		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	"s/d 18/01/42 into sea Phillip's Strait. P/O Ernie Cox, picked up by ASR."
W8142	158		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	"Abandoned damaged at Kota Bharu, Malaya following unsuccessful repairs 09/12/41, Fell into japanese hands.Was flown by P/O Shields 243Sqn that day."
W8143	159		339E		RD-B/WP-?	67Sqn RAF/243Sqn	"survived til at least 6/02/42 on 243Sqn,  Sumatra, flown by Sgt Geoff Fisken RNZAF .now part of 453Sqn."
W8144	160		339E		RD-C	67Sqn RAF	
W8145	161		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	damaged beyond repair 18/01/42 on landing Kallang. P/OMarra 243Sqn RAF.
W8146	162		339E		RD-D	67Sqn RAF	
W8147	163		339E		WP-O	243Sqn RAF	"Sgt Geoff Fisken's 243Sqn RAF  mount.s/d 22/01/42 north east of Horburgh Light, south of Pulau Tidman with Sgt Vic Arthur."
W8148	164		339E		NF-?	67Sqn RAF/488SqnRNZAF	"17/01/42, engine seized during patrol over Palau Batu. P/O Frank Johnstone bailed out"
W8149	165		339E						
W8150	166		339E		RD-E	67Sqn RAF/488SqnRNZAF			
W8151	167		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; crashed on take-off at Sembawang	Singapore on 9/12/41 pilot Sgt V A Collyer 402935 was ok and the engine was salvaged. 	
W8152	168		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; shot down into a paddy field near Butterworth	Malaya on 13/12/41 pilot P/O G L Angus 403009 was wounded in the leg. 	
W8153	169		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF/488Sqn/21/453Sqn RAAF	24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn; originally with 67 RAF then 488 RNZAF Sqns transferred to 21 Sqn and coded GA-P; operated by 21 Sqn flight when Sqns combined; transferred to 453 Sqn 27?/1/42; flown out to Sumatra 5?/2/42; finally used by Dutch AF and carried their markings and captured by the Japanese ??/2/42 at Andir. 		
W8154	170		339E						
W8155	171		339E						
W8156	172		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF/488Sqn/21/453Sqn RAAF	15/12/41 to 453 Sqn; originally with 67 RAF then 488 NZRAF Sqns; damaged at Jahore 8/8/41; was on strength with 21/453 Sqn in 1/42	fate after that unknown. 	
W8157	173		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; believed lost to enemy action in ??/12/41. 		
W8158	174		339E		TD-N	453Sqn RAAF	26/8/41 to 453 Sqn and coded TD-N; crashed and burned in Sumatra(See W8180 for story). P/OBrown on attachment from 243Sqn RAF.	Sumatra after becoming lost due to very bad weather 13/12/41 pilot P/O D R L Brown RNZAF 41687 was killed; P/O Brown was on detachment from 243 Sqn RAF.[Other sources have W/C L J Neale being killed in the a/c at same place	see W8176.] 
W8159	175		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; F/L B A Grace was flying this a/c when damaged over Butterworth and landed at Ipoh on 13/12/41; lost due to enemy action at Kuala Lumpur	Malaya on 22/12/41 [air raid?]. 	
W8160	176		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	"15/12/41 to 453 Sqn; lost due to enemy action at Sembawang, 17/01/42. Sgt Clare's mount."	Malaya on 22/12/41. 	
W8161	177		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF			
W8162	178		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	damaged beyond repair 18/011/42. Kallang . P/OSharp 243Sqn RAF.		
W8163	179		339E		GA-P	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	coded GA-P; 24?/12/41 transferred to 453 Sqn with Sqn merger; recorded at Sembawang on 28/12/41 with only 2 guns in the fuselage; was on strength with 21/453 RAAF Sqn in 1/42; captured by Japenese intact along with 2 other RAF and 5 NEIAF Buffalo's	(one identified as B-395/E	2-VLG-V Unit) two of these repainted in JIAF colours and sent off to Japan. 
W8164	180		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	"operational 15/01/42, with P/OBonhan."		
W8165	181		339E						
W8166	182		339E				4 PRU	destroyed 7/02/42 Seletar by shelling. 4PRU Black Buffalo		
W8167	183		339E						
W8168	184		339E		NF-?	67Sqn RAF/488SqnRNZAF			
W8169	185		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	with 21 Sqn Malaya 1941.		
W8170	186		339E						
W8171	187		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	s/d 19/01/42 P/O Keith McAneny killed near Muar.		
W8172	188		339E						
W8173	189		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF			
W8174	190		339E		WP-V	243Sqn RAF/488Sqn RNZAF	"Damaged beyond use 22/01/42 at Kallang, due to Japanese bombing on that day. on 488Sqn charge at the time."		
W8175	191		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	"hit tree 18/12/41,when landing at Kallang. Sgt Alex Craig NZ killed."		
W8176	192		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; struck a tree on landing approach near coast of Sumatra!!! (seeW8180) after becoming lost due to very bad weather 13/12/41 pilot W/C L J Neale RAF 29174 was killed; W/C Neale was OC RAF station Sungei Patani	Malaya. [Other sources have P/O D R L Brown being killed in this a/c	see W8158]. 
W8177	193		339E		NF-B	488Sqn RNZAF	"Flt Hutcheson crs landed on shore of island west of Samboe, Singapore. 18/01/42"		
W8178	194		339E						
W8179	195		339E		WP-W	243Sqn RAF			
W8180	196		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	"delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; crashed and overturned several times in a paddy field on the Sumatra Coast, near Pakan Baroe( ferry flight from Ipoh, but got lost in storm, hence ending up in NEI, bodies of Neale(W8176) and Brown(W8158) buried at Taloek, Sumatra.) after becoming lost due to very bad weather 13/12/41 pilot P/O T W Livesey 402870 was unhurt. "		
W8181	197		339E		NF-P	488Sqn RNZAF	s/d 15/01/42 Sgt John Oliver over Singapore	
W8182	198		339E		WP-Q	243Sqn RAF		
W8183	199		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	damaged in combat 12/01/42 over Singapore. FLt MacKenzie. s/d 15/01/42 P/O Greville Hesketh into Oil tanks at Alexandra Miltitary Hospital.	
W8184	200		339E					
W8185	201		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF488Sqn RNZAF	delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; transferred to 488 Sqn RAF on ??/11/41; shot down over Singapore 13/1/42 and ditched by P/O Frank Oakdon with 488 Sqn RNZAF. 	
W8186	202		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	s/d 12/01/42 over Singapore. Sgt Bob MacMillan bailed out.	
W8187	203		339E		WP-R	243Sqn RAF	"Damaged 12/01/42 over Singapore, landed at Kallang, severely damaged, maynot have repaired.Sgt Baldwin.s/d 22/01/42 Sgt Ginger Baldwin into sea Johore Strait."	
W8188	204		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	"delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; involved in landing accident at Sembawang, latter s/d 14/12/42 Flt Max White"	Singapore when undercarriage collapsed on 15/9/41 pilot was Sgt A W B Clare 402769 who was not injured. 
W8189	205		339E		WP-Q	243Sqn RAF	s/d 12/01/42 Sgt Noel Rankin KIA in sea off Singapore.	
W8190	206		339E		RD-F	67Sqn RAF		
W8191	207		339E		RD-H	67Sqn RAF/488Sqn RNZAF	"destroyed 22/01/42 Kallang from bombing when taking off, Pilot, P/O Len Farr died latter on."	
W8192	208		339E		WP-?	243SqnRAF/453SqnRAAF	originally with 243 Sqn; delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; forced landed Kuala Kangsar 13/12/41	Malaya after damaged over Butterworth 13/12/41 pilot was Sgt M B O'Mara. 
W8193	209		339E		RD-?	243&67Sqn RAF/21/453Sqn RAAF	served with 453 Sqn(?); (ex-243 RAF and ex-67 Sqn Sqn RAF) flown by 453 Sqn but records are very vague on whether this a/c survived past 1/2/42. 	
W8194	210		339E					
W8195	211		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF		
W8196	212		339E		WP-U	243Sqn RAF	"damaged in combat and landed and collided with 1Sqn RAAF Hudson, A16-52( previously crs landed by Flt Diamond), ""U"" flown by F/O Holder. both severly damaged."	
W8197	213		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; force landed 2 miles north of Sembawang	Singapore and written off on 18/9/41 pilot Sgt Harry Griffiths only slightly injured. 		
W8198	214		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF/488Sqn RNZAF	"Damaged beyond use 22/01/42 at Kallang, due to Japanese bombing on that day"			
W8199	215		339E		WP-S	243Sqn				
W8200	216		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF/488Sqn RNZAF	"collided with MVAF Moth on finals 29/12/41 at Singapore, killing Moth's crew(P/O W.W.G.Felton RNZAF & Pty Officer W.Smith RN., Buffalo piloted by Sgt De Maus.Repaired. s/d 12/01/42 Singapore Sgt Terry Honan b/o 12,000ft."			
W8201	217		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	crs landed Kallang 18/01/42.			
W8202	218		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	"delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; on 27/8/41 F/O F Leigh Bowes landed with wheels up at Sembawang; named ""Shirley"", w/o 12/01/42 Sgt Harrison  lost his prop in collision with another Buffalo and being too low to bailout, crs landed amonsgt the trees alonside the Mersing River."	after Sgt Griffith's wife and was coded TD-G; collided with Buffalo AN171 while carrying out a weaving manoeuvre searching for the target area and crash landed at Mersing	Malaya on 12/1/42 pilot Sgt G T Harrison 407578 was ok; a/c was with 21/453 Sqn at time; Sgt Harrison was with 21 Sqn flight of 21/453 Sqn. 	
W8203	219		339E							
W8204	220		339E							
W8205	221		339E							
W8206	222		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF/453Sqn RAAF.	"S/D near Rangoon Burma 25/12/41 Sgt R.P McNabb RNZAF/ delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; previously with 21 Sqn; was one of two Buffalos that attacked 14 Japanese dive bombers and 14 fighters over Kuala Lumpur.s/d by 59th Sentai, 20/12/41 Sgt Leys bailed out near Kuala Lumpar"	Malaya on 21/12/41	this a/c piloted by Sgt K R Leys 402955 took on the fighters; he was promptly shot down and baled out	being fired upon as he parachuted down but survived. 
W8207	223		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; was with 453 Sqn on 21/12/41; shot down just after taking-off from Kuala Lumpur	Malaya 22/12/41 and it is believed Sgt E A Peterson was killed in this a/c. 		
W8208	224		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; the first fatality of 453 Sqn; attempted force landing at Buntang Island 70 kms SE of Singapore after becoming lost after flying radio trials for Kallang on 8/10/41	pilot P/O Max Irvine-Brown 404736 was killed. 		
W8209	225		339E		TD-F	453Sqn RAAF	delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; was with 453 Sqn on 13/12/41 and being piloted by Sgt Read; lost when the Buffalo rammed a fighter over Kuala Lumpur	Malaya on 22/12/41	pilot Sgt M N Read 402952 was killed; a/c was coded TD-F. 	
W8210	226		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; crashed into a Dutch Martin bomber on landing at Sembawang airstrip	Singapore on 9/12/41	pilot Sgt E A Peterson 402951 was ok	but a/c written off. 
W8211	227		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; on 14/12/41 landed at Ipoh strip by Sgt Greg E Seagoe despite wounded in shoulder; crashed while attempting to land at Ipoh	Malaya on 19/12/41	pilot was Sgt V A Collyer 402935; in action near Kuala Lumpur area on 22/12/41 but shot down	pilot Sgt S G Scrimgeour was burnt before bailing out. 
W8212	228		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	flown by Sgt Norman R Chapman on 8/12/41. s/d latter on 9/12/41 .			
W8213	229		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF			
W8214	230		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	while practicing aerobatics on 26/9/41 over Jahore Strait a/c caught fire and F/O R H Wallace bailed out. 		
W8215	231		339E						
W8216	232		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	flown bt Sgt Greg R Board in Alkor Star area on 14/12/41; crashed on take-off from Ipoh	Malaya on 19/12/41 pilot Sgt Board 402845; on 22/12/41 in action over Kuala Lumpur area and shot down with Sgt Board bailing out. 	
W8217	233		339E		TD-B	453Sqn RAAF	delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; crash landed at Ipoh Malaya on 13/12/41 pilot F/O F Leigh Bowes 402846 was ok; a/c coded TD-B. 	Malaya on 13/12/41	
W8218	234		339E						
W8219	235		339E		GA-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	originally with 21 Sqn; on strength of 21/453 on 24/12/41; force-landed at Kuala Lumpuruang (Lumpur?)	Malaya on 10/1/42 and written off	pilot Sgt Greg R Board 402845 was ok. 
W8220	236		339E		RD-U	67Sqn RAF	S/D near Rangoon Burma 25/12/41 F/O John Lambert RAF 		
W8221	237		339E		WP-X	243Sqn RAF	"in action 8/12/41 near Kota Bharu and Machang, Malaya, during inital invasion.P/O Shields. 90% sure it was destroyed at Kota Bharu Airfield along with 3 others 09/12/41."		
W8222	238		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	served with 21 Sqn Malaya 1941		
W8223	239		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	"4/01/42, struck house on landing when engine stopped. P/OJ.C.Godstiff suffered severe injuries, a/c w/o"		
W8224	240		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	served with 21 Sqn Malaya 1941. s/d near Butterworth on 09/12/41 whilst escort 62Sqn RAF Blenheims. F/O Kenny landed in sea with severe facial burns.Picked up by a launch.		
W8225	241		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; previously with 21 Sqn; shot down while trying to gain height to engage enemy fighters north of Ipoh Malaya on 13/12/41 pilot Sgt R R Oelrich 402875 was killed. 		
W8226	242		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn; overshot while landing at Sembawang airstrip Singapore on 5/11/41	pilot Sgt Keith Gorringe 402859 was ok. 	
W8227	243		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	served with 21 Sqn Malaya 1941		
W8228	244		339E						
W8229	245		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF	"s/d 20/01/42 Moulmein, Burma, after taking off by Ki27's, P/O Paul Brewer RAF killed"
W8230	246		339E				
W8231	247		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn; believed shot down over Penang Malaya on 13/12/41 pilot F/L Tim A Vigors DFC RAF 33554 was badly burnt on the legs hands and arms and wounded in the thigh; several attempts were made to kill him by the Japanese fighter pilots as he descended in his parachute. 
W8232	248		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	"served with 21 Sqn Malaya 1941, strafed after deadstick landing following unsuccessful escort mission with 62SqnRAF,Butterworth 9/12/41. Flt Williams survived after leaving aircraft."
W8233	249		339E				
W8234	250		339E		TD-?	21&21/453Sqn RAAF	delivered 24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn but was originally with 21 Sqn; lost to enemy action on 12/1/42 while with 21/453 Sqn.
W8235	251		339E		NF-?	488Sqn RNZAF	"forced to bailout over sea, following fuel exhaustion, when chasing Ki27's. Sgt Don Clow, bailed out south of Pulau Batam.13/01/42"
W8236	252		339E		GA-?	21 Sqn RAAF	"served with 21 Sqn Malaya 1941. F/O Montefiore bailed out after being severly damaged by Ki27's 09/12/41 near Butterworth, whilst escorting 62Sqn RAF Blenheims(code FX-*)"
W8237	253		339E		TD-?	453Sqn RAAF	"delivered 15/12/41 to 453 Sqn; was originally with 21 Sqn; still on strength with 21/453 Sqn in late 1/42 possibly went to Sumatra in 2/42.Used by 243Sqn before and after, at Sembawang Sumatra after bellying in 4/02/42 by Sgt Fisken 243Sqn RAF "
W8238	254		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	s/d 13/01/42 Sgt Russell Reynolds into sea south of Singapore.
W8239	255		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF	
W8240	256		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF	"s/d 20/01/42 Moulmein, Burma, after taking off by Ki27's, Sgt John Finn RAF killed"
W8241	257		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF	"Locally modified as Recon Ship with wing guns removed and F24 14"" vertical camera"
W8242	258		339E		WP-?	243Sqn RAF	crs landed Kallang 18/01/42
W8243	259		339E		RD-B	67Sqn RAF	
W8244	260		339E				
W8245	261		339E		RD-D	67Sqn RAF	
W8246	262		339E		WP-K	243Sqn RAF	
W8247	263		339E				
W8248	264		339E		RD-?	67Sqn RAF	S/D near Rangoon Burma 25/12/41 Sgt Ted E.B. Hewitt RNZAF 
W8249	265		339E				
W8250	266		339E				

Specification of Brewster Buffalo Mk. I (Model B 339E):

Powerplant: One Wright R-1820-G105A Cyclone nine-cylinder, single-row air-cooled radial, rated at 1100 hp for takeoff. Performance: Maximum speed of 324 mph at 21,000 feet, 313 mph at 13,000 feet. Cruising speed 256 mph. Initial climb rate 2600 ft/min. An altitude of 15,000 feet could be reached in 6.3 minutes. Service ceiling 30,675 feet. Weights: 4479 pounds empty, 6500 pounds gross, 6840 pounds maximum takeoff. Dimensions: Wingspan 35 feet 0 inches, length 26 feet 0 inches, height 12 feet 1 inches, wing area 209 square feet. Armament: Two 0.50 inch machine guns in the wings, two 0.30-inch machine guns in the upper fuselage.

Sources


  1. Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, The American Fighter, Orion, 1985.

  2. Jim Maas, F2A Buffalo in Action, Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1987.

  3. Jim Mass, Fall From Grace: The Brewster Aeronautical Corporation, 1932-42, J. Amer. Av. Hist. Soc, p.118, Summer 1985.

  4. William Green, Famous Fighters of the Second World War, Second Series, Doubleday, 1967.

  5. Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  6. Ray Wagner, American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

  7. E-mail from Gordon Birkett on RAF/RAAF/RNZAF/NEI Buffaloes.