Tomahawk IIB AK295



This P-40 was built as a Tomahawk IIB for the RAF. It was purchased by the British Purchasing
Commission and did not fall under any Lend-Lease agreement and therefore did not receive a U.S.
Army serial number. It was allocated the RAF serial AK295.

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, many American-built aircraft were diverted to the
Russians, and AK295 was one of about 195 RAF Tomahawk IIBs to be shipped to the U.S.S.R. These Hawks were
to see action on the Leningrad and Moscow fronts, thus becoming among the first U.S.-built aircraft to be
used by the Russians in combat during the Second World War. And this particular Hawk became the first of
its type in Soviet service to be lost in action when it was shot down on February 1st, 1942.

I currently have little information as to AK295's service history and fairly little as to her recovery in
1990. Apparently the initial restoration work was undertaken by Tom Wilson's Curtiss Hawk Factoy of Griffon,
Georgia, funded by Chris Gruys of Louisiana who purchased the project from Wilson. Significant progress had
been made on the fuselage when Gruys pulled the project from Wilson's shop and then sold it to Provenance
Fighter Sales. They sent the Hawk to AvSpecs Limited in New Zealand to finish the restoration, and a
short while after AK295's arrival down there she was purchased by Rod Lewis of Texas.

AvSpecs finished restoration work on AK295 in early 2011 and she is now part of Rod Lewis' collection,
Lewis Air Legends, which is hangared at San Antonio International Airport and at Lewis'
El Jardin Ranch in Encinal, Texas, located about 120 miles South of Alamo City.


You can view the entry for AK295 in WRG's Warbird Registry HERE.




Gavin Conroy photo - Classic Aircraft Photography



Dean Stringer documented the project's progress in September of 2009.
See more of 'DeeKnow's photos here...


Dean Stringer photo


Dean Stringer photo



First post-restoration flight... John Lamont at the controls...


Courtesy of Avspecs Ltd. - Colin Hunter photo



Noel Jones snapped this shot at Ardmore on April 19th, 2011, a couple days after
AK295's first post-restoration flight. See more of Noel's photos here...


Noel Jones photo


Noel Jones photo



This here's a scene straight outta the 1940s!!


Courtesy of Avspecs Ltd. - Gavin Conroy photo - Classic Aircraft Photography



And here are most of the fellas who brought this beautiful gal back to life. Left to right:
Andrew Tregidga, Paul Levitt, Stu Elliston, Warren Denholm, Andy Hosking, Derek Smith,
Gary Lynn, Russell Jenkins, and Bryce Nichol. Absent was Richard Waterreus.


Courtesy of Avspecs Ltd. - Gavin Conroy photo - Classic Aircraft Photography



These next three shots were caught at Omaka in 2011 by Nick Foss.
See more of Nick's photos here...


Nick Foss photo


Nick Foss photo


Nick Foss photo


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