From: Near Portland, OR
The FM-2 also had a different engine than the earlier F4Fs and FM-1 (the FM-1 was a licenced built F4F-4). With the better engine, the FM-2 was more sprightly than the F4F-4.
The TBF was a larger plane than the F6F, but it also had a lower wing loading, which made handling easier on the small decks of the CVEs. F6Fs could operate from the smaller CVEs, but there wasn't much margin for error. Some CVEs did operate Corsairs near the end of the war, but the accident rate was very high.
Only the first couple of Essex class carriers had hanger catapults and they were removed during upgrades. They just didn't really work out in practice. WW II era catapults were fired with gun powder. For every launch, new powder bags had to be loaded and there was the ever present danger of an accident. Catapults were frequently used to launch loaded TBFs from the CVEs, but rolling launches were preferred whenever possible.
The P-40 stayed into production right up until the last day of the war. I once talked to a pilot who's job in late 1945 was flying P-40s from the factory directly to the recycling plant.
The P-40 has a bit of a bad rep because it was overshadowed by the P-47 and P-51. In reality, it was on par with the P-38 (though the concentrated firepower in the nose of the P-38 gave it better hitting power) in performance. The P-38 ended up being the preferred mount because of it's range. The P-38s were able to venture deep into enemy territory and get home again, even with an engine out. The P-40s was just too short legged.
Some units were equipped with P-40s right up until VJ Day. The late model P-40s were maybe a tick down on the newest Japanese fighters, but pilot quality more than made up for the difference.
Advantages of the P-40 and Wildcat that aren't reflected all that well in WitP (but are to some degree in AE) is the reliability. Grumman came up with an ingenious engine replacement system on the Wildcat. On Wake, the Marines had to patch together damaged Wildcats to keep them flying. The inexperienced ground crews were able to swap engines in less than a day due to how easy it was to pop out an engine and pop in a new one. All the wiring and hoses had quick release fittings that allowed the ground crew to simply unplug things, then plug the new engine in. The toughest part was coming up with the crane apparatus to hold the engine in place during the operation.
The P-40 was a bit more complicated since it had a liquid cooled engine, but for an inline engine, it was very easy to work on.
WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer