The P-40 Warhawk was actually the third most numerous US fighter plane during World War II. It was not the most celebrated, however, due its technical inferiority to planes developed and produced during the war. The P-40 and its variants were actually based on 1930s technology, and it was the fighter that the US Military had in service and deployed at its worldwide airbases when the war started. The most famous P-40s of World War II were the "Flying Tiger"squadron of American volunteers (most were ex-US military aviators) who flew a squadron of P-40B Warhawks against the Japanese in Burma. Overall, P-40s were outclassed by Japanese fighters and were useful primarily in airbase and fleet defense roles intercepting slower enemy fighter/bombers, dive bombers and torpedo planes. Despite their technical inferiority, P-40s served very successfully in the roles in which they were deployed, even against enemy fighters, a fact attributed to the skill and sound tactics of the pilots whoflew them.