The Brewster Bermuda is perhaps the least successful Allied aircraft of World War II. The U.S. Navy first ordered the design in 1939 as the SB2A Buccaneer. The British and Dutch also ordered versions of the aircraft in the early desperate days of the war. Brewster’s endemic production problems and the generally poor performance of the type resulted in delays that prevented the Dutch from taking delivery of any of their aircraft before the country was overrun by Germany. The British did take possession of some of their aircraft, but like the U.S. Navy found them to be totally unsuited to combat duty. The Americans and British eventually used some of the aircraft as target tugs and trainers, but many were sent straight from the assembly line to surplus scrap piles when the U.S. government shut down the Brewster production lines.
One of only two Bermudas known to exist this aircraft was found at an airfield in Tullahoma, Tennessee in the 1970s. The remains of British markings are visible on the fuselage leading to the conclusion that this is one of the British aircraft that was left undelivered at the end of Brewster’s existence. The aircraft was recovered by the Military Aircraft Restoration Corp. for rebuilding. In 2004, it was placed on loan to the Pima Air & Space Museum for restoration and display. The aircraft was purchased by the museum in 2015.
Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy, 1943
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