Could the P51A have been made available to the defenders at the Battle of Midway?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pinsog, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    Could the P51A have been made available to the defenders at the Battle of Midway? Had enough of them been produced? Were they ready for combat?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Britain ordered 618 Mustang Mk I during 1941. The U.S. Army Air Corps could theoretically divert a few squadrons of them to Midway but why would they? If the U.S.A.A.C. want long range fighter aircraft on Midway they will send P-38Es.
     
  3. TheMustangRider

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    If autonomy is the reason to rush the P-51A to combat, I don't see how they would have made a meaningful contribution during the battle of Midway since it was a defensive struggle for the USAAF/USN.
    As Davebender mentioned, P-38s could have been able to take the role of interceptor efficiently.
     
  4. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    It wasn't the long range capability I thought that they needed. I was simply looking for a high performance aircraft to replace the Marines Wildcats and Buffalo's. Could 2 dozen or so P38E's been made available?
     
  5. TheMustangRider

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    To the best of my knowledge the Army Air Corps managed to divert two heavy bombardment groups en route to England and send them to Midway before the imminent Japanese strike. It might have been possible to rush a P-38 outfit as well.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Certainly. Just send two fewer squadrons to England. Or pull them from Alaska and Australia.
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Just going from memory, the AAF sent a few up to the Aleutians to cover that predicted battle. It would have been easy to divert them to Midway if required.

    Although the IJN would have taken some heavy losses if a few P38's got into the dive and torpedo bombers during the attack on Midway itself, I don't know if that would change the events of June 4th on what was happening to the carriers.
     
  8. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    I doubt it would change the outcome either, I hope not, just wondering if there was a historical way of eliminating the useless slaughter of the Marine squadron based there. I figured 2 dozen P51A's or 2 dozen P38E's would be a good start. If you had P38E's or P51A's, they might even be able to fly fighter sweeps over the Japanese carriers, keeping an eye on their location and perhaps engaging the Zero cap and causing other problems.
     
  9. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    The P51 could do about 380mph at ~13000ft, but it used the USN's favourite bugbear - a liquid cooled engine...

    Sorry, no liquid cooled engines for the USN or USMC.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    P-51 - okay, if NAA can produce them, and USAAF can deploy them.

    P-51A is a year too late for Midway.
     
  11. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    you probably couldn't give a crash course in ocean navigation to the AAF pilots in time. Remember the multi engine types have on board navigators. The P-38's used to kill Yamamoto had to have special compasses fitted and intensive training in over water navigation and that was after the Battle of Midway
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Ocean Navigation? Special compasses? I'd like to know specifics about that.
     
  13. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Our forces on that small island were overmatched. They literally had to dig in for the fight. I don't know that any aircraft could have kept that onslaught off the turf.
     
  14. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    A Ship compass was added to the aircraft of Major Mitchell, perhaps a bit more accurate and stabilized providing it was accurately calibrated for cockpit deviation. In reality, I doubt it made a difference.

    As far as "ocean navigation" or "ocean navigation training,” according to the Wiki article, the order came down April 17, 1943, the mission was flown the next day. There is nothing special about flying over water except you are not going to be able to use "pilotage" much as there will be little or no ground reference points. Unless the aircraft being flown had DF capability, you were mainly relying on dead Reckoning.
     
  16. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    There's nothing special about basing P38's on the island for point defense.
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The Operation Bolero (self-deployment of the US aerial units from USA to England) comes to mind - AAF pilots (P-3 drivers among them) were flying long over-water routes without major problems. So I don't see any issues for them for Midway.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    How do you figure that?

    We had over 100 aircraft on Midway and more ground forces then the Japanese invasion force. Midway ground forces were armed to the teeth too with everything from heavy machineguns to 7" coast defense guns and plenty of material (sandbags, concertina wire etc.) for digging in. The best approaches were mined and we had submarines patroling around the atoll. The Japanese would have a tough time seizing Midway even if USN CVs remained at Pearl Harbor.
     
  19. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Dave, that was just their Striking Force. They had a large Occupation Force approaching from the South we turned back before engaging the Striking Force. The Striking Force was to soften the island up for the Occupation Force.
     
  20. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe we turned back the occupation force until the entire operation was canceled due to the loss of the 4 IJN carriers and subsequent inability of Yamamoto to come to grips with the USN carriers in a night surface engagement. I think the final decision to turn around came on the 5th or 6th of June a day or two after the loss of its f CVs.
     
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