Best U.S night fighter

Discussion in 'Polls' started by d_bader, Sep 10, 2005.

?

Which was the best U.S night fighter?

  1. A-20 Havoc- designated P70 A-2

    4.3%
  2. P-61 Black Widow A5

    58.7%
  3. Beaufighter Mk VIF

    8.7%
  4. Hellcat F6F-5N

    19.6%
  5. F4U-2 Corsair

    8.7%
  1. d_bader

    d_bader Member

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    Which of these U.S night fighters were the best? :rolleyes:

    A-20 Havoc- designated P70 A-2
    P-61 Black Widow A5
    Beaufighter Mk VIF
    Hellcat F6F-5N
    F4U-2 Corsair
    P-38L-5LO Lightning

    Please add comments on the planes aswell!
     
  2. d_bader

    d_bader Member

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    Sorry that this is not under the poll part of the site but no one explained how to put it there.

    Someone please tell me.
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    You go to the section entitled "Polls" and then u create the topic u want and the poll u want... Not rocket science by any stretch....
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    If you can't figure it out, ask. Don't just put it anywhere. If everyone did that, you wouldn't be able to find anything here.
     
  5. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I don't know something, so I have to ask: Why is the Beaufighter in the "Best U.S night fighter" poll?
     
  6. carpenoctem1689

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    Because some beaufighters were given to the USAAF, a small amount, but they were recieved.
     
  7. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    That doesn't make it a US night fighter though, does it? The Soviet Union received Spitfires and Hurricanes, would you call 'em Russian? The U.S received Mosquitos, would you call 'em American? You better not or death will be ringin' your door bell.
     
  8. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure he just means "Best night fighter used by the US". Nothing to get bent out of shape over.
     
  9. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    It's still a disgrace. I'm disgusted. Watch me be disgusted...




    ...are you watching!?!?
     
  10. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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  11. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Good...good.
     
  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    The P-61 was the only nighter fighter that was actually built as a night fighter the others were all converted bombers or fighters. It had good firepower but came so late in the war that air activity either night or day was almost non-existent, so it had little affect. Of the others I would say for me it is between the P70 and the Beaufighter and I am going to vote for the Beaufighter.
     
  13. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    P-61A and B. A big boy plane with some interesting seating configurations. the upper 4 .50 turret was not needed and removed in the ETO, the radar operator was also moved behind the pilot in the European conflict. the Pacific ? Quite an a/c that was loved by the crews
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I dont know about the ETO, but in the PTO the Japanese made frequent use of night time harrasment raids throughout 1944.

    The P61 made it tougher for them to do that. One worry for the USAAF and USN for the Mariana islands was that those solo night attacks were going to get lucky some time and do some damage. Those islands were crowded "beach to beach" with eqmt, and it wasnt hard not to hit something even if you bombed blind. The P61's there ended those raids.

    One thing I always found interesting on the P61's was their use of the zap flaps. The P61 had one of the fastest roll rates of any plane in WW2.
     
  15. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    I also think it is safe to say the P-61 may well have been one of the best if not thee best night ground attack a/c of the war, much more astute in this role than as a night fighter
     
  16. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    I agree Erich, as a night-time ground attack aircraft the P-61 rained supreme over all, but it wasn't quite as good in the night fighter role.
     
  17. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Gonna have to be the P-61.
     
  18. wmaxt

    wmaxt Active Member

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    I have to agree with this, but it may have been the best US night fighter though the F6F and F4U did a great job too.

    The P-61 was to slow to be really good at night fighting and that resulted in the P-38M which never saw action.

    I'm not sure what to pick?

    wmaxt
     
  19. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Something to consider as well is the one man, aka pilot and operator vs the pilot and seperate radar/radio operator in which was much more effective than the pilot alone
     
  20. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    In Pacific Theater nightfighter action, the P-61, as near as I can determine from official USAAF sources shot down 58 enemy aircraft in night missions/intercepts. In the China-Burma-India Theater we can find an additional 5 shoot downs. You have to be careful when you examine the record as a more often seen than not practice was to give credit to all crew members. Thus, in the majority of cases, if there were two crewmen, that’s two credits and if there were three crewmen, then that’s three credits. If you aren’t aware of this common USAAF nightfighter crediting convention you might easily be led to believe that there were 10 enemy planes shot down in night intercepts in the CBI Theater and 122 enemy planes shot down in night intercepts in the Pacific, but no, not so. You have to go back through and make an examination as to who was crewing which airplane during what encounter and that produces the numbers cited above. And how can you be sure? Well, ask yourself, “how many privates, corporals and sergeants do you think were P-61 pilots?” and it suddenly becomes very clear.

    On the naval side the big scorer was the F6F, with nightfighter squadrons, detachments thereof, or nightfighter divisions assigned to regular day squadrons, posting a total of 163 victories, according to official USN sources. The next highest naval scorer was the F4U with 16 followed by the PV(N) with 11, the PB4Y with 8, the TBF with 2, and the FM and PBY with one each. When I look back over the record, it appears to me that some of theses shoot downs actually occurred in morning and evening daylight conditions and so cannot be true nightfighter victories. My count, crosschecking with the trusty sunrise/sunset calculator, comes out to 136 for the F6F.

    Regards,

    Rich
     
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