Anyone know this pilot?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Picture Requests' started by jugggo, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. jugggo

    jugggo Member

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    Hi all-

    I am looking for info on this plane. it belong to VMF-222 ~Flying Deuces~ during the Pacific. Possible Picture was taking in the Philippine Islands. I am looking at the number 213 on the side in relation to who the pilot could of been.

    Thanks in advance

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I know I've seen that plane before, probably in Lucky's '13' thread. And that logo on the cowl is REAL familiar. A fighting duck!!! Quick check of my resources and I can't find anything just yet.
     
  3. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Did the USN or USMC
    have a policy of assigning aircraft to pilots? Or did you just jump in whatever ship was gunned up for the mission? If that's the case, it could be anyone.
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I think in the Pacific you did have a machine assigned to you. I'm no expert but I'm sure Dan or syscom will know.
     
  5. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    I'm trying
    to expand on BuNo 213, would anyone know the correct numerical prefix for the complete BuNo for this variant of the F4U?
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Yeah, in the Pacific you had a specific plane assigned. McGuire went up in his section leader's P-38 one time, and had it shot out from under him. Layin in the hospital tent recovering, the first thing he blurted out to his section leader (or squadron CO, someone like that) was "Sorry I lost your plane!"
     
  7. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Not necessarily true guys.... Many units shared aircraft, didnt make a difference which aircraft they were flying, as long as it was in the air......

    Cetain guys in certain units did have specific aircraft under their asses, but it was not the norm...
     
  8. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Les is right , RNZAF aircraft in the PTO were used this way too I believe
     
  9. jugggo

    jugggo Member

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    Actually the emblem is VMF-222's SeaBees emblem. it looks like this.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jugggo

    jugggo Member

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    Ahh that was the Air Force. The Marines normally would have their own ride but when push came to shove it usually ended up being what ever was flyable that day for the mission. Like Ken Walsh or Pappy had their own plane. There was even a story about Ken Walsh landing at another airfield during a mission because his aircraft was damaged. So he went up to who ever was in charge of that outfit and borrowed one of their planes to catch up with his guys and score a 2 more kills that day I believe.
     
  11. jugggo

    jugggo Member

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    Colin- I think it might be a F4U-1 or -1A even though the -1As had the darker paint scheme with white under belly the -1 had the bid cage canopy. This one has the bubble so it is throwing me through a loop I am gonna say its a -1. If you look at the picture I posted with the emblem notice the wheel cowling, it is stenciled 993 series with the darker color I am 99% sure those are -1Ds.
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    You sure they're the same? I see a difference in the symbol.
     

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  13. jugggo

    jugggo Member

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    Yeah they are the same emblem. If you look closely you can see the bottom of the anchors and the SeaBee in the middle.
     
  14. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    #14 R Leonard, Dec 1, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
    Generally for the Navy and Marine Corps, a pilot was assigned a specific airplane. Most of the thinking on making sure each pilot had a plane with a specific side number goes back to squadron organization. For example, in a pre-war F4F squadron, the CO would fly x-F-1; his wingmen would be in x-F-2 and x-F-3. The exec would be assigned x-F-10 and his wingmen would be x-F-11 and x-F-12. The FO would have x-F-16 with wingmen x-F-17 and x-F-18. The EO would have x-F-7 with wingmen x-F-8 and x-F-9. GO was x-F-4 with x-F-5 and x-F-6. Last but not least, MO would have x-F-13 with wingmen x-F-14 and x-F-15. Knowing how many planes were in a squadron, one could determine the pecking order by reading off the side numbers.

    When the squadrons started getting larger in the late spring / early summer of 1942, going up to 27 and then to 36, much of the logic behind who got which plane went out the window and what remained was the CO usually getting the -1 side number and the exec getting the side number closest to the middle on the complement.

    With the increased tempo of wartime operations, there was even less opportunity for a pilot to fly in the plane he was nominally assigned. For example, when VF-3 went out on Yorktown for the Midway job, there were 27 planes in the complement. Two of these were wrecked in a flight deck accident as the ship was departing, #13 - the exec, Don Lovelace's, plane and #14, his wingman, Evans. Lovelace was killed and both planes were stricken below for depot level repairs upon return to Pearl. With his exec, and close friend, killed, Thach turned to the next senior pilot, the FO, a LTJG from the VF-42 augmentation and appointed him as exec. Pederson, the CAG and previously the CO of VF-42, endorsed his one time, pre-war, wingman as the new VF-3 exec. The fighting squadron maintenance troops were not from VF-3; they were all assigned to VF-42 and had been aboard the ship since June 1941. When they heard that one of "their" pilots was moving up to exec, they struck his plane below, painted over the existing #26 and replaced it with a #13 so that he would have the "correct" side number; and his wingman, another VF-42 type, got the same treatment with his #27 side number replaced with #14.

    But even pre-war, aboard a carrier, such assignments were largely paperwork exercises, you flew what was spotted for your use. While a CO might have his assigned plane rolled into his place in the spot, everyone else took what they got.

    Wartime tempos meant that even a squadron CO might not even get his plane in the right place in the deck spot. Again, using VF-3 at Midway; Thach, the CO, flew #23 in the morning strike escort mission and later, as the Japanese torpedo planes were starting their run in, took off in his assigned plane #1 to meet that threat. #1 had not, up until then, been used that day. In fact, of the 25 VF-3/VF-42 pilots who flew from Yorktown that day only 4 actually flew the plane to which they were nominally assigned

    Ashore, whether or not one flew one's assigned airplane could be influenced other factors. In the early days of the Solomons, aircraft availability AND pilot availability were the driving factors and niceties such as specifically assigned aircraft pretty much out the window. Later, by the early summer of 1943, things were quite a bit less chaotic, steady streams of replacement squadrons, aircraft and personnel led to a more established routine. For example, VF-11 operated out of Fighter 1 on Guadalcanal from April through July 1942. My father was the FO and was assigned #F-21, bn 11985. He flew that particular aircraft in 46 of 49 missions during that time period. I once asked if that was typical and he said that it was. VF-11 was a somewhat oversized squadron with a few spare aircraft that were shuttled about when regular planes were in maintenance. On the three missions where he was not in 11985 he was in 12080, once on 10 May for a Henderson Field CAP and twice on 19 June, once for a photo recon escort to Munda and back and then a return to Munda for a shipping strike (that was 6.6 hours of flying time that day).

    By and large, the less organized chaos surrounding the availability of aircraft the greater the probability that one would fly in one's assigned plane. Aboard a carrier, all was organized chaos, so it would be actually rare for a pilot to fly "his" plane. Ashore, it was much more likely to happen, but was greatly influenced by factors revolving around the tempo of operations and the relative sophistication or primitiveness of the operation.

    Rich
     
  15. Rodthefemur

    Rodthefemur New Member

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    Came across this old thread. Pilot of F4 number 213 is Robert Gillespie, he is my wife's grandfather. I have additional photos of this plane.

    Building a scale model with my son, as I type.
     
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