Curtiss Hawk II

The Curtiss Hawk II was essentially an export version of the XF11C-2 with a Wright R-1820F3 Cyclone rated at 710 hp at 5,500 feet (1676 m) and 94 US gal (356 l) of fuel, the Hawk I differing in having only 50 US gal (189 l) of internal fuel. Only the Hawk II was exported in quantity, this having a mixed construction and normally carrying an armament of twin 0.3-in (7.62 mm) machine guns. The first customer for the Hawk II was Turkey, which began to take delivery of 19 on 30 August 1932, Colombia following suit from the end of October 1932 with an initial batch of four twin-float-equipped Hawk IIs. A total of 26 float fighters of this type were delivered to Colombia by the end of July 1934. Nine were supplied to Bolivia (1932-33), of which three had interchangeable wheel/float undercarriage. Other customers being Chile (1935), China (1933), Cuba (1933), Germany (1933), Norway (1933) and Siam (Thailand)(1934). It is possible that the aircraft delivered to Chile actually were sent to Peru, which is known to have used three Hawk IIs with floats and one with regular landing gear in combat against Colombia. These aircraft operated from Iquitos on the Amazon River.

The Curtiss Hawk II saw combat in Bolivia, China and Siam.
In Bolivia they were used in the Gran Chaco War against Paraguay. The Bolivian Hawk IIs were outfitted with underwing bomb racks and used mainly for tactical reconnaissance and ground support. Air combat is also reported. By the time the war ended, the Bolivian Hawk II force had been reduced to three airworthy fighters.
In China they were used in the Sino-Japanese War from 1937 and until 1941 when they were relegated to second-line duties.
Four Siamese fighter squadrons were equipped with Hawk IIIs and one was operating Hawk IIs during late 1940 when France and Siam engaged in a short border war. The Hawks flew escort, interception and dive-bombing missions against French forces based in Indochina. The survivors of these fighters saw action on 7 December 1941, when Japanese forces invaded Thailand. This action was short-lived as peace talks led to a cease fire later that day.

The Curtiss Hawk II saw service in: Bolivia (9), Chile (4), China (50), Colombia (26), Cuba (4), Germany (2), Norway (1), Peru (4), Siam (Thailand) (12), Turkey (19).

Total production: 129

Technical details Curtiss Hawk II
Span:____________9.60 m
Lenght:__________8.08 m
Engine:__________Wright R-1820F3 / 710 hp
Max speed:_______335 km/h at 2100 m
Range:___________666 km
Armament:________2x0,3 in Browning machine guns in fuselage. Underwing bomb racks.

Combat Aircraft of World War Two - Elke C. Weale, John A. Weale and Richard F. Barker, 1977 Lionel Leventhal Limited, ISBN 0-946495-43-2
Curtiss Navy Hawks in action – Peter Bowers, Squadron/Signal Publications, Carrollton, ISBN 0-89747-342-6
The Complete Book of Fighters - William Green and Gordon Swanborough, Greenwich Editions, London, ISBN 0-86288-220-6

Curtiss Hawks in the Chinese Air Force

Last modified 02 March 2003