This particular Curtiss Tomahawk was the mount of famous RAF pilot Neville Duke, who was posted to No.112 Squadron in North Africa following a successful spell as Wing Commander ‘Sailor’ Malan’s wingman at Biggin Hill. Used to flying the Spitfire Mk.V, Duke initially found the Tomahawk to be something of a disappointment in combat and was shot down twice during his first few weeks in the desert. Flying Tomahawk IIB AK402, he was shot down on 30th November 1941 by high scoring JG27 ace Otto Schulz, but managed to crash land his aircraft and return to his Squadron. He soon got to grips with the desert air war and started to score victories of his own – by the end of the war, Duke became the highest scoring Allied ace in the Mediterranean Theatre, with 27 victories to his name. We also went on to become a celebrated test pilot and holder of the world air speed record.