Corsairs' killboard in the ETO...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maestro, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Hi.

    I got interrested in FAA's Corsairs lately... The ones serving in the ETO, I mean.

    I know that many of them saw active duty there, however it is stated that they did not saw action against Luftwaffe fighters. But I do remember that some of them were used in localizing a german battleship (Tirpitz ?).

    So what were they doing ? Recon-only ? Ground attack ? Did they score any kills ?
     
  2. maverick61

    maverick61 New Member

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    maybe action as i recall by royal navy FFA. they carried rockets.they was not many used in RAF.but some were.
    tez
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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  4. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Thanks, Evan... But I have already read that page months ago... There is a lot of info on their use in the PTO, but almost no info about their use in the ETO.

    Oh, well... May be they were not used enough in Europe to be worth mentioning it.

    But thanks anyway.
     
  5. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I believe the FAA Corsairs flew the high cover on one of the missions to bomb or torpedo the Tirpitz in Norway. They did not encounter any fighter opposition. Hellcats did have a few kills in the ETO. It would be interesting to know the details of that.
     
  6. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Stock Answer to F6Fs and F4Us in ETO:

    The FAA employed both the F6F and the F4U. The only fighter-to-fighter FAA F6F action took place in May 1944. On 8 May, F6F's from the Fleet Air Arm's No. 800 Squadron (Lieut Comdr SJ Hall, DSC, RN), off HMS Emperor, while escorting a flight of Barracudas, were jumped by a mixed group of Me 109's and FW 190's. Two F6F's were lost, one, probably, to anti-aircraft fire (one source indicates that both F6Fs were lost in a mid-air collision, not to any German fire of any kind); the 800 pilots were credited with 2 Me 109's and one FW 190. The FW 190 was claimed by Sub-Lieut Ritchie. Luftwaffe losses in the area for this date were noted as three 109G’s, #14697 (Ofw Otto) and #10347 (Uffz Brettin) both from 10/JG5, and another from 8/JG5, # unknown, piloted by Fw Berger; there no record of an FW 190 loss. On the Luftwaffe side, Uffz Hallstick claimed two F6Fs and Ltn Prenzler claimed one.

    On 14 May, 800 Squadron's leading scorer, Sub-Lieut Ritchie (now with 4.5 victories) added an He 115 to his tally and the shared another He 115 with the CO of 804 Squadron, Lieut Comdr SG Orr, DSC, RNVR, giving him a total of 6 victories for the war. Interestingly enough, for this date, the Luftwaffe losses noted as specifically to F6Fs numbered five, all He 115 from 1/406; these were #2738 (Obltn Gramberg), #1879 (Obltn Zimmermann, #2085 (Fw Jänisch), #1867 (Ltn Carstens), and #2721 (Obltn Ladewig)

    Prior to these actions, FAA F6F's were used for anti-aircraft suppression on raids against Tirpitz on 3 April 44 (Operation Tungsten). These included - from Emperor - 800 Squadron (Lieut Comdr Hall) and 804 Squadron (Lieut Comdr Orr).

    FAA F4U's also participated in Operation Tungsten with 1834 Squadron (Lieut Comdr PN Charlton, DFC, RN) and 1836 Squadron (Lieut Comdr CC Tomkinson, RNVR) off HMS Victorious, flying high cover for the raid. This was a role the FAA Corsairs of 1841 Squadron (Lieut Comdr RL Bigg-Wither, DCS bar, RN) would repeat, flying off HMS Formidable in Operation Mascot on 17 July and with 1841 joined by 1842 Squadron (Lieut Comdr AMcD Garland, RN) in Operation Goodwood in late August. No contact was made with any German aircraft in these operations.

    One outcome, however, of the Mascot operation was the loss of an F4U to capture by the Germans. Flying as escort for a Barracuda piloted by Lieut Comdr RS Baker-Falkner, DSO, DSC, RN (Wing Leader for No. 8 TBR), an F4U piloted by Lieut HS Mattholie made a crash landing near Bodø and was captured intact. Mattholie spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft III. Baker-Falkner and his crewmen, Lieut GN Micklem, and L/A AM Kimberley, 827 Squadron, were lost in this incident.

    The USN F6F action over Europe transpired during Operation Anvil/Dragoon, the invasion of southern France in August 1944. USS Tulagi with VOF-1 (Lieut Comdr WF Bringle, USN) and USS Kasaan Bay embarking VF-74 (Lieut Comdr HB Bass, USN), both squadrons, operating F6F-5s, provided coverage for the landings. VF-74 also operated a 7-plane F6F-3N night fighter detachment from Ajaccio on the island of Corsica. On the day of the invasion, 15 August, VF-74 flew 60 sorties, VOF-1, 40 sorties, all ground support missions.

    On the morning of 19 August, the first German aircraft, three He 111's, were spotted by a four-plane division of VOF-1 pilots. The Americans were too short on fuel and could not attack. Two of the Americans were forced to land on Emperor due to their fuel state. Later that day, two He 111's were spotted by another VOF-1 division and were promptly shot down, this occurring near the village of Vienne. Lieut Poucel and Ens Wood teamed up to bring down one and Ens Robinson brought down the second. Soon thereafter, in the same vicinity, a third He 111 was shot down by Ens Wood.

    That same morning, a division of VF-74 pilots led by Lieut Comdr Bass brought down an Ju 88 and in the afternoon another division attacked a Do 217 with split credits to going to Lieut (jg) Castanedo and Ens Hullard.

    On 21 August, pilots from VOF-1 shot down three Ju 52 transports north of Marseille. Two were credited to Lieut (jg) Olszewski; one went to Ens Yenter. Operating for two weeks in support of the invasion, these two squadrons were credited with destroying 825 trucks and vehicles, damaging 334 more and destroying or otherwise immobilizing 84 locomotives. Final score of German aircraft credited as shot down: VOF-1: 6, VF-74: 2.

    Although the two navy squadrons lost some 17 aircraft, combined, all were to ground fire or operational accidents. None were shot down by German aircraft. Among the 7 pilots lost (2 from VOF-1 and 5 from VF-74) was the CO of VF-74, Lieut Comdr H. Brinkley Bass, awarded 2 Navy Crosses from early actions, including as an SBD pilot in USS Lexington's VB-2 in the Battle of the Coral Sea, killed by antiaircraft fire while strafing near Chamelet on 20 August.

    Rich
     
  7. maverick61

    maverick61 New Member

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    see book on aircraft of the aces- hellcats

    tez
     
  8. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Very good post R Leonard, many thanks. The Hellcat seemed to be very effective in the ETO though limited in it's exposure. It would have been interesting if both Hellcat and Corsair had a more extensive combat record in Europe. My guess is that they would have done quite well.
     
  9. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Thanks, R Leonard. You answered all of my questions.
     
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