Hawk 75A-6/75A-8 for Norway

Last revised August 16, 2001

In the autumn of 1939, the Norwegian government ordered twelve Hawk 75A-6s with 1200 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S1C3G Twin Wasp radials and four-gun armament. This order was later supplemented with an order for twelve more, to bring the total to 24.

Deliveries began in February 1940. By the time of the German invasion in April of 1940, 19 planes out of the 24 had arrived in Norway. However, none of these planes were ready for combat, and did not participate in the vain attempt to stop the German advance. 7 of the 75A-6s were assembled and were based at Kjeller Airfield close to the capital at Oslo. Not all of these planes had their guns installed, and the ones that did had guns that were not calibrated. Secondly the airplanes at Kjeller Airfield were equipped with wheels and the winter of 1940 was not quite over and the airfield was still covered with snow - enabling only ski equipped aircraft to take off. The other 12 airplanes that also had arrived in Norway were still sitting in the customs building down at the harbour. Recognizing that the planes in storage would likely soon fall into German hands, an employee decided singlehanded to crush all the instruments with a hammer and to cut all visible wires with a wire cutter. The last 5 aircraft from the first order of Hawks were underway by sea to Norway as the war broke out. They were redirected to England and were later given to France.

The Norwegian Hawk 75A-6s were captured by the Germans and were delivered to Finland. These were later supplemented by 36 partially-completed Hawk 75As that had been seized by German forces from France at the time of the Armistice and assembled in Germany. These participated in the war on the Axis side when Finland entered the war against the Soviet Union on June 25, 1941. These gave a good account of themselves, and some Hawks remained in service in Finland until 1948.

Norway had ordered an additional 36 Hawk 75A-8s with 1200 hp Wright R-1820-G205A Cyclone engines just before the German occupation. The German occupation caused the A-8s to be impounded by the US government before delivery. . A Norwegian financed training base known as "Little Norway" had been established at Toronto in Canada, and the airplanes were sent here. Here, they were used as advanced trainers for the coming Norwegian fighter pilots after their initial training on Cornells and Harvards. The advanced training on the A-8s was stopped in early 1943 and the surviving 30 aircraft were sold in May of 1943. 18 went back to Curtiss and 12 went to the US government. They were redesignated P-36G and were assigned USAAF serials 42-36305/36322 and 42-108995/109006.


  1. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979

  2. The Curtiss Hawk 75, Aircraft in Profile No. 80, Profile Publications, Ltd. 1966

  3. War Planes of the Second World War, Fighters, Volume Four, William Green, Doubleday, 1961.

  4. Air Enthusiast, Volume 1, William Green et al, Doubleday, 1971.

  5. E-mail from Erling Wiig on Norwegian service of Model 75