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Jan 19, 2006
While looking at various aircraft that took part in Korea I see quite a few types listed from WW2 like the Mustang, Corsair, Invader etc etc but I can see no mention of the Bearcat.

So . . . did the Bearcat see use and if not why? I'm guessing it was just as capable as the Mustang, Sea Fury, Corsair etc.

I think it was not as versatile as the Corsair, thus was redundant.

The F8F was designed more as a high rate of climb fleet interceptor (to combat the Kamikazi's)
F8F was a fleet defense fighter and was never really designed for CAS missions. The F4U on the other hand was a proven CAS workhorse. In the beginning of the Korean War the vast majority of the effort expended by carrier based naval aviation was in CAS, so the F4U and the AD pretty much carried the ball. As more resources became available, F2Hs and F9Fs for example, either through redeloyment of available squadrons or activation of reserves, even those types got involved with CAS in addition to more traditional fighter roles. It would be fair to say the the fighter role was pretty much a sideline for carrier-based fighters in Korea. Not to say there wasn't any air to air, there most certainly was and the VF squadrons were more than willing to mix it up if the opportunity arose. I believe there were even a couple of instances of F4Us knocking down MiG jets. Anyway, the bottom line was two factors, first, that as a fighter, the F8F was already on its way out the door as the carrier-based fighter business was being taken over by jets and, second, F4Us and ADs prop jobs could perform the CAS mission better than the F8F ever possibly could.


Added later . . . too bad, I really like the F8F.
For what its worth, here's the line up for a CVB operating in the 6th Fleet in 1950 – 1951. Note there's not an F8F to be seen.

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) Med Cruise 9 Sep 1950 – 1 Feb 1951
USS Coral Sea (Capt FM Trapnell)
CVG-17: AD-4Q (Cdr BS Weber/Cdr WN Leonard)
VF-171: F2H (Cdr WN Leonard/Lt Cdr RI Myers)
VF-172: F2H (Lt Cdr CA Blouin)
VF-173: F4U-5 (Lt Cdr IG Peters)
VF-174: F4U-5 (Lt Cdr RE Elliott)
VA-175: AD-1 (Lt Cdr JF Kennedy)
VC-4 (DET): F4U-5N (Lt KE Sharrai)
VC-12 (DET): AD-3W (Lt FL Thomas)
VC-33 (DET): AD-4N, AD-4Q (Lt MH Richey)
MAW-2 (DET): No Assigned Aircraft (Major JE Worlund)

Weber moved up to Operations Officer on 27 October. Leonard from CO of VF-171 took over as CAG-17. Lt Cdr Myers moved up to CO of VF-171.

The last F8F was produced in May 1949. The Navy started to withdraw the F8F from first line squadrons at about the same time, moving their use to Reserve squadrons. Last reported squadrons to operate F8Fs were Reserve squadrons VF-921 and VF-859 which were still using the F8F-2 in January 1953.

ANG, oops yeah Navy Reserve. There were even 114 P-63Cs sold to France that they used in Vietnam. I found 83 listed with French units but there could have been more as my info may be incomplete. Thailand had an unknown number then also. 208 were delivered before the end of WW2 and another 1,058 were built afterwards.

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