FAV Fighter of WW2

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,392
Location
Richmond Texas USA
I am with @Ride1942. The Corsair. It had the highest kill vs loss ration of any fighter in the Pacific theater.

Well not quite. The record goes to the F6F for the Navy and the Army P-38 shot down more enemy aircraft than any other fighter.
Yes the Corsair was the better Navy/Marine Fighter, But it was not the main Fleet Fighter which meant it spent most of the war on shore and ground support for the Marines. This kept it from gaining a better kill ratio which it most certainly would have if it had been flying off carriers and into the major air battles.
The Corsair could do it all:)

U.S. Navy and Marine F6F pilots flew 66,530 combat sorties and claimed 5,163 kills (56% of all U.S. Navy/Marine air victories of the war) at a recorded cost of 270 Hellcats in aerial combat (an overall kill-to-loss ratio of 19:1 based on claimed kills). Claimed victories were often highly exaggerated during the war. Even so, the aircraft performed well against the best Japanese opponents with a claimed 13:1 kill ratio against the A6M Zero, 9.5:1 against the Nakajima Ki-84, and 3.7:1 against the Mitsubishi J2M during the last year of the war.
 

Diabloman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
224
Location
Ohio Territory
B0477F81-1AB0-4E03-BE18-16B3DFD4D488_1_102_o.jpeg
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,392
Location
Richmond Texas USA
A little trivia for you guys. How many of you knew that all of the Corsairs until the
F4U-5 had part of the outboard wing panels covered with fabric????
I think it was the only first line U.S. fighter that had fabric on part of the wings

From a flyoff between the P-51B and a F4U-1

Four sentences from the report summarize the findings of the pilots who flew both types.
The report states:

  1. It is concluded that, in general:
  2. There is little to choose between the P-51B and F4U-1 airplane in speed between sea level and 25,000 feet, and that above 25,000 feet, the P-51B is superior.
  3. That the F4U-1 is everywhere considerably superior in climb, at any comparable loading and superior in all other performance elements except diving speed.
  4. The F4U-1 is everywhere superior in maneuverability and response.
  5. With equal endurance, the F4U carries about 86% more armament and that it is a better gun platform.
  6. In summary, the F4U-1 airplane appears to be the superior fighter for Naval or Marine employment, either land for ship-based except in the case where substantially all the fighting occurs above 25,000.
Pretty strong stuff. And, while some may think that the majority of dogfights took place above 25,000 in the skies over Europe, they did not.

Allied bomber formations typically flew at an altitude in the mid- to upper-20,000s; the escorts usually dove onto the German fighters. As described in a previous article in MilitaryHistoryNow.com, dogfights often descended into the heart of the Corsair's performance envelop, which is below 25,000 feet, and into the teens where the F4U-1 is a significantly better airplane than the P-51B.
 
Last edited:

Armybrat

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
1,040
Location
Round Rock, Texas
Sorry to semi-hijack this thread about WW2 fighters, this is related from the same era.
An English lady friend sent me these photos of her dad who was a Lancaster pilot who did a lot of missions over France & Germany.
On one raid, they were hit by a lot of flak and barely made it back across the Channel, losing one crewman.
As you can see, the landing was a bit rough, and when her 25 year old dad went out to inspect his plane the next day, he fainted at the first sight of his beloved bird.
 

Attachments

  • 683BA749-FE77-4C40-B207-06BDF021B66B.jpeg
    683BA749-FE77-4C40-B207-06BDF021B66B.jpeg
    100.4 KB · Views: 12
  • C697C950-3C39-4E20-ABE2-1B2A1972AECE.jpeg
    C697C950-3C39-4E20-ABE2-1B2A1972AECE.jpeg
    97.6 KB · Views: 13
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,392
Location
Richmond Texas USA
When I first looked at the picture of the Lancaster something didn't look right.
Most Lancaster had RR Merlins or Packard built Merlins.

The one in the picture has Bristol Hercules (Hercules VI or XVI engines) powered variant, of which 300 were produced by Armstrong Whitworth. One difference between the two engine versions was that the VI had manual mixture control, requiring an extra lever on the throttle pedestal.

Lancaster B Mark II, DS652 'KO-B', of No. 115 Squadron RAF, undergoing a test of its Bristol Hercules VI sleeve-valved radial engines in a dispersal at East Wretham, Norfolk. DS652 failed to return from a raid on Bochum, Germany on 12/13 June 1943.
1663903335278.png
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
2,214
Location
Orange County, CA
US tested Mustangs, Hellcats, and Corsairs against captured FW-190s in 1944 (I think). Found that the Corsair was substantially superior in all respects to the other three except above 20,000 ft altitude. Only place the Mustang was more maneuverable than the other three was above 20,000. The Hellcat and Corsair were better than the FW in all aspects at all altitudes. As far as I know, the only Hellcats that flew against FWs were British carrier planes and there wasn't much combat.

My Marine uncle fought in the retreat from the Yalu in the Korean War and thought the F4U was just an angel in disguise. My son felt the same way about USMC "Super Cobras" in Afghanistan--he said nobody else in the US or NATO forces understood what "CLOSE support" really meant!
 

BearBiologist

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
485
Hi BearBiologist! In early June a friend and I drove to Reading, Pennsylvania for the "World War II Days" event that they hold there every summer. The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum that is based there at the Reading Airport is restoring a P-61. They hope to have it in flying condition in a couple of years. If they succeed it will be the only flying P-61 in the world.

The P-61 had the last "kill" of WWII!
 
Top