The Curtiss H-75 was the export version of the American P-36 Hawk (Curtiss Model 75) fighter of the mid-1930s. The biggest foreign customer was France, taking deliveries of aircraft designated the H-75A-1, 2, 3 and 4, with the first planes entering service in the spring of 1939. They were modified for French Air Force usage and fitted with different equipment and armament. The H-75A-4 was locally renamed the H-751, of which 97 were shipped from the U.S.A.; however, only a handful reached France before it surrendered to Nazi Germany in June 1940 while the rest (190 a/c) were taken over by the RAF as the Mohawk IV.
The H-75s (the A-7 model) were also ordered by the Netherlands, but they did not arrive in time in Europe and 20 of them were diverted to the Dutch East Indies in May 1940.
The H-75A-4/7 was a single-seat, all-metal low-wing monoplane with fabric-covered control surfaces. It had a retractable undercarriage with the main landing gear rotated 90° to fold flat into the wing. Powered by a Wright R-1820 Cyclone single-row radial engine, it was fitted with Curtiss Electric propeller. The H-75’s armament consisted of two machine guns in the nose and another two guns (H-75A-4) or one (H-75A-7) in each wing. Racks for two to five bombs could also be mounted under each outer section of the wing.
The Dutch H-75s saw action against Japan in 1941-42, but the remaining aircraft were withdrawn from operational use early in 1942. The RAF’s Mohawk Mk.IVs were sent to overseas and used in India and Burma while a great number of them was also supplied to the South African Air Force. In 1942, sixteen ex-RAF Mohawk IVs were delivered to Portugal and assigned to air defence duties in the Azores; they went out of service in 1945.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Curtiss Mohawk Mk.IV, BS734, Grey A, ‘Joe Soap II’, No.155 Sq., Royal Air Force, Imphal airfield, Northeast India, late 1943
2) Curtiss Mohawk Mk.IV, BB977, Black D, No.5 Sq., Royal Air Force, Agartala airfield, Northeast India, January 1943
3) Curtiss H-75A-7, s/n C-332, Black C332, 1-VLG-IV (1st Sq., 4th Aircraft Group), Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force (Militaire Luchtvaart – Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger, ML-KNIL), Madiun airfield, Java, Netherlands East Indies, early 1941
4) Curtiss Mohawk Mk.IV, 485 (ex-RAF Mohawk Mk.IV, s/n unknown), White XY-F/485, ‘XY’ Flt., E.E.C. 3 (Esquadrilha Expedicionária n° 3), Portuguese Air Force (Aeronáutica Militar), Ota airfield (BA 2), Portugal, summer 1943