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Parnamirim Field. Dubbed “Trampoline to Victory”, the largest U.S. airbase ever build outside America, was created in March 1942. With the arrival of U.S. Air Squadrons, Natal grew in importance and space. From then on, thousands of airplanes flew since southern Florida reaching Natal before the long hop across the south Atlantic bound for Monrovia, Takoradi and other British outposts in a gigantic effort to help the beleaguered British Eighth Army in Lybian and Egyptian desert.

In Parnamirim Field, Brazilian Air Force deployed 45 aircrafts. The models A 28, B-25 and P-40 formed the GMA ( Grupo Misto de Aviação). The recently created FAB, (Brazilian Air Force) occupied the western side of the Parnamirim Field. It was formally created on 2/Mar/42, and its activities effectively began on 7/Aug that same year.
Thus all available airplanes were transferred to the Base, notably the AT 6 B, that despite its shortcomings to the kind of mission that required great flight range, they performed hundreds of dangerous risky patrol sweeps and convoy coverage along the inhospitable northeastern coast thus achieving a high degree of efficiency and combat readiness, a fact largely observed by the inhibition of enemy actions.

Noteworthy to say that with the declaration of the “State of War” with the Axis powers on 31/Aug/42, there was an urgent need for an increment of Air Units to fill the gap of lacking suitable aircrafts so that an effective presence of the Air Force could be seen in one remote, vast and still unprotected area.

Large view of P-40 Curtiss seen at Natal Airbase. Pilots scramble to teir planes for one more tedious routine of patrols along the lengthwise coast. Photo.

4 A 28-A. This sturdy aircraft was fully operational since Oct/42 along with one Douglas B 18 Bolo.

8 B25 –J.This remarkable aircraft was largely used in long patrols and convoy coverage. They helped to keep the enemy below the surface.

28 P – 40, models 6-K, 11 M, 5 N, 6. The Curtiss P-40 Aircraft Group was the first Air unit of the Brazilian Air Force assembled at Parnamirim Field, being operational on Aug the 1st 1942 with the purpose to provide the defense of the area and the execution of the large array of patrol sweeps over the coastline of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. The Group took delivery of the new fighter P 40 E 1 Warhawk, which initially had been destined to the Royal Air Force, but due to the critical situation of lacking of adequate aircrafts they were hastily sent to Brazil still showing the standard camouflaged colors of British aircrafts used in African desert, which was adopted by the FAB during the first stages of operations being the only P 40's in the versions K, M, N used with that feature.

3 T 6-B

3 P 36-A (Transferred from Fortaleza). They were basically used to train the crews on the transition to the superior P-40 Curtiss.

Two Vultee V-11 GB2 can be seen in front of the Air France hangar at the Brazilian Air Force sector at Parnamirim Field.

One Brazilian P-40 is serviced by skilled ground personnel formed with the assistance of several units of US Army Corps

Two Brazilian pilots in front of one PV-1 listen carefully the instructions given by one American Commander. Both forces cooperated actively during the conflict.



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