The P-26: Outdated at the Outbreak
The P-26 Peashooter was the first monoplane fighter ever adopted by the US military. First flown in 1932, it was a durable, forgiving and simple little machine. By 1938, though, the P-26 was completely outclassed by modern, high-speed aircraft being developed elsewhere, and the Army Air Corps began to phase the aircraft out of the active inventory. The few places where the P-26 did remain in service just happened to lie in the path of the Japanese war machine began its rapid sweep through the Pacific. P-26′s were present on Oahu on December 7th, 1941, and several were flown by both the US Army Air Corps and the Philippines Air Force in the defense of the Philippine Islands, to little avail. It was to little avail. The Japanese tide was too strong for the outdated Allied forces in the Pacific to stem the tide.