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American single-engine, single-seat fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. Deployed by most Allied powers during World War II, it remained in front line service until the end of the war. By November 1944, when production ceased, 13,738 had been built. 'Warhawk' became the name the USAAF adopted for all models. British and Soviet air forces called models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C 'Tomahawk' and 'Kittyhawk' for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.
Not suited to high altitude combat, it was not often deployed in Europe but between 1941 and 1944 it played a critical role (as an air superiority fighter, bomber escort and fighter-bomber) with Allied air forces in North Africa, the Southwest Pacific, and China. Its role in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Alaska and Italy was also significant.