Seversky P-35 Color Photographs

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The Seversky P-35 is one of the “forgotten fighters” of the U.S. Army Air Corps.  It was descended from the record-setting Seversky  SEV-3 amphibian, and the evolution of the design eventually lead to the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.  This is the NMUSAF example, restored in the markings of Lt. Boyd “Buzz” Wagner, famous for being the first American ace of WWII.
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Both Curtiss and Seversky were awarded production contracts as a result of the 1936 design competition.  200 P-36 were ordered from Curtiss, Seversky produced 77 P-35s.  Performance of both types was comparable, but the Curtiss design was less expensive.  The first P-35s entered service in 1937 at Selfridge Field.  This one is assigned to the 27th Pursuit Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group.
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Several P-35s were finished as air racers.  This is the SEV-2S piloted by Frank Fuller, who used it to win the Bendix trophy in 1939.  Colors are Metallic Green with Yellow trim.
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Seversky built a two seat “convoy fighter” for the Royal Swedish Air Force under the designation SEV 2PA-204A.  Two were delivered to the Swedes, fifty were taken over by the USAAC as the AT-12 Guardsman and used for training.  The Planes of Fame Museum has restored one of these to flying status.
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The Royal Swedish Air Force purchased a total of 60 of the Seversky fighter with an additional .50 cal machine gun in a fairing under each wing, designated as the J-9.  A second order of 60 was taken over by the USAAC and entered service as  the P-35A.  In 1943 the Swedish fighters were camouflaged in the Sand and Green mottle seen here.
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The Swedes operated their J-9s as fighters until 1946, and in the reconnaissance role until 1951.  One survives in the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) museum in Linköping.
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An interesting photo of a USAAC P-35 in temporary camouflage for the 1940 Louisiana war games.  The camouflage was water-based and applied by brush, no two aircraft carried the same pattern.  The temporary nature of the paint is apparent.
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This P-35 in the O.D. over Neutral Gray scheme is immaculate, save for the collision damage.
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45 P-35As were assigned to the 24th Pursuit Group in the Philippines.  The intention was to re-equip the 24th with new P-40Bs and P-40Es and pass the P-35As on to the Philippine Air Force, but this had only been partially accomplished when the Japanese attacked on 08DEC41.
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This P-35A has nosed over on a Philippine airfield, giving us a look at the underside markings.
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An interesting shot of the maintenance area at Clark Field showing several damaged P-35As, with a P-26 Peashooter in the background.  All the P-35As in the Philippines were destroyed or captured by the Japanese.  They were credited (perhaps optimistically) with 60 Japanese aircraft and one minesweeper destroyed.
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Two photographs from LIFE magazine showing AT-12s at Barksdale Field, Louisiana.  (Dmitri Kessel)

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