F-80 vs ME262

What do you think was the best post-war jet:

  • 2) Gloster Meteor Mk.VI (British)

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P38 Pilot

Tech Sergeant
Jun 19, 2005
Auburn,Alabama; USA
If the F80 Shooting Star had saw service nearing the end of WWII, do you guys think it would be as equal, less, or greater than the ME262. What type of outcome do you think would it have?
Hmm... Your right but what about technoligical? Which Jet do you think was better?


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I'm with the P-80. More reliable, better gun platform (more stable), if met in combat would have the advantage of superior numbers and I believe more maneuverable than the 262. Although the 262 would have the speed advantage, I think a good pilot in a P-80 would dance around a 262.
A good pilot in a P-51 could fly around a 262. The 262 was just as good as a gun platform. Other than engines I am still with the 262. She was the best jet engined aircraft of WW2 dispite her terrible engines.
Yeah it just seemed like that because i was reading about how the F80 was the first American jet and that it took its first test flight in December 1944. I wonder why she never took to the skies in Europe?


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And the P-80 did take to the skies over Europe. She just never saw combat. They kept her in the rear over Italy and England. She was grounded due to problems with the early Jets.

Also your info on when XP-80 first flew is also incorrect.

The XP-80 first flew on Jan. 8, 1944. Infact Lockheed Chief Pilot Milo Burcham was killed on October 20, 1944 while flying the second production prototype. World War II ace Richard Bong was also killed test flying a P-80 on Aug. 6, 1945 the same day the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

45 P-80's were delivered by wars end and 4 of them made it to Europe. 2 were sent to England and 2 were send to Italy. The aircraft was grounded however when test pilot Major Fred Borsodi, demonstrating the P-80 in England, was killed in a crash caused by a fire in the jet engine and therefore did not see any action in WW2.

So as you can see the P-80 like all early jets had great teething problems.
As for the P-59, even is correct the P-59 was the first US jet to fly and enter service. She was far from a good plane though and I thought that only about 30 had been built (I could be wrong though) She was pretty much canceled because of her poor performance.
Yes, the P-59 had less than stellar performance, but it did serve as a good platform to introduce pilots to the new technology. You may be right about there being only thirty. I have seen 30 and 66 tossed about and haven't looked thoroughly into it.
Thats how Richard Bong died? Man. He and Thomas Mcquire both didnt make it back to a heroes welcome!
Oh and thanks for giving me that website Flyboyj!


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Bong did make it back and was test piloting the P-80 in Southern California when he was killed. I spoke with a guy who was the last guy to see him alive as his plane went down. Dick Bong stayed with the plane to steer it away from houses and apartments. A hero to the end.
How did Bong not make it back to a heros welcome? He was given the Medal of Honor. He died in the P-80 crash in the United States.

General MacArthur presented the medal to Bong on the Tacloban airfield on December 12, 1944. He tossed away his written remarks and said, "Major Richard Ira Bong, who has ruled the air from New Guinea to the Philippines, I now induct you into the society of the bravest of the brave, the wearers of the Congressional Medal of Honor of the United States." Then he pinned the medal on Bong, they shook hands and saluted.

Richard Bong's Medal of Honor Citation:

RICHARD I. BONG - Medal of Honor Citation:
(Air Mission)

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Over Borneo and Leyte, 10 October to 15 November 1944. Entered service at: Poplar, Wis. Birth: Poplar, Wis. G.O. No.: 90, 8 December 1944.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the Southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Maj. Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down 8 enemy airplanes during this period.

Does not seem like too bad of a homecoming to me:

After Bong scored his 40th victory, General Kenney sent him home, this time for good. He was America's "Ace of Aces," with 40 aerial victories, 200 combat missions, and over 500 combat hours behind him. By New Year's Eve, 1945, America's number 1 ace was back in the "Z.I.," headed for Washington D.C. to meet the dignitaries, including General 'Hap' Arnold. At the Pentagaon, he met Bob Johnson, also there on a PR tour. Dick explained that he had been dragged around the country on War Bond tours and hated it. "I've got this coming out my ears, Johnson. I'm sure glad to see you. You can help me bear up under this nonsense. It's worse than having a Zero on your tail."

After his PR trip, he returned to Wisconsin, and married Marge on February 10, 1945. After their California honeymoon, he went to work at Wright Field as a test pilot, helping to develop the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. He studied jet propulsion theory and boned up on the engineering details of the new plane for two months, before getting a chance to fly one. After being checked out in the P-80, he flew it eleven times that summer.

Hell they even named the airport at Superior Washington after him. Richard Bong is also memorialized at the Richard I. Bong Heritage Center in Superior, Wisconsin, which features many exhibits about Dick Bong as well as a refurbished P-38 on display.
I remember the base being talked about when I was in high school, and it had been closed by then. Here is some text about it from the global secuity website:
Bong AFB, WI
Richard Bong AFB near Burlington in Kenosha County Wisconsin was a new northern tier Air Force base, initiated in 1955 to be an ADC fighter-interceptor base. The Air Force chose the location to defend Chicago and Milwaukee from Soviet bombers. Before the base could be built, the technology of mass destruction changed and these interceptor aircraft would be no match for the ICBM's the Russians would lob at American cities.

The base was named after Richard Ira Bong, who was born in Superior Wisconsin in 1920. Prior to WWII he joined the Army Air Corp, and flying P-38's in New Guinea shot down 40 enemy aircraft becoming the leading American Ace of all times. He flew P-38 Lightnings in the Southwest Pacific and received the Medal of Honor in recognition of his courage and accomplishments. In the air over Hollandia on April 12, 1944, he scored his 26th and 27th victories to break the previous record of 26 set by Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker in WWI. Bong scored 28 air-to-air victories. When he returned to the Pacific for his second tour, he was assigned as a gunnery instructor. He voluntarily flew numerous combat missions and in "self defense" scored 12 more victories to bring his total to 40, making him the highest scoring ace in American history. He lost his life in the crash of a P-80 jet aircraft in August 1945 at Burbank, California.

Although the base was never finished, there is an extensive below ground drainage system and at least one old airstrip. The Federal government turned the land back to the state of Wisconsin, which redeveloped the facility into the Bong Recreational Area, a 4,515-acre tract that offers picnicking, camping, fishing, boating and swimming. Bong is an unimproved area, with many 'non-traditional' activities, like dog sled trials, horse back riding, a few tracks for dirt bikes, cross-country ski, snowmobile, motorcycle and hunt a nice RC airplane field, and rockets.

Wisconsin Rustic Road 43 in Racine and Kenosha Counties consists of County Highway B from the intersection of WIS 142 in Kenosha County to its intersection with WIS 11 in Racine County. Passing through open agricultural land with few residences, this route provides direct access to the Bong Recreational Area. The Rustic Roads System in Wisconsin was created by the 1973 State Legislature in an effort to help citizens and local units of government preserve what remains of Wisconsin's scenic, lightly traveled country roads for the leisurely enjoyment of bikers, hikers and motorists. Unique brown and yellow signs mark the routes of all officially-designated Rustic Roads. These routes provide bikers, hikers, and motorists with an opportunity to leisurely travel through some of Wisconsin's scenic countryside.

Sorry about the confusian guys!!! But did Thomas Mcquire recive anything for his bravery with the P38 Lightning? And when did Tom Mcquire die? :cry:


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McGuire was looked at by his fellow pilots as an egotistical show off. He was pretty much in a competition against Bong. He wanted to get more kills than him. In the end I think this is what killed him. He was trying to achieve it so much that he screwed up. It is not that he did not come home to a heros welcome but that he was killed in action. He did recieve the Medal of Honor posthumously.

By this time Dick Bong had gone home, for a triumphant tour of the U.S., with 40 victories to his his credit. McGuire had 38, was still in combat, and there were still plenty of Jap planes around. Everyone, including McGuire, expected him to break Bong's record. It seemed like just a matter of time, not too much time at that. Afterwards, McGuire would have gone home to a hero's welcome as well. But time ran out for Tommy McGuire, just as he almost had his goal within his grasp.

The Final Mission
On Jan. 7, 1945, Tommy McGuire led a flight of four planes on an early morning fighter sweep over the Japanese airdrome on Negros Island. Flying McGuire's wing was Capt. Edwin Weaver, whom McGuire had given demerits to when they were cadets in San Antonio. Major Jack Rittmayer and Lt. Douglas Thropp formed the second element. All were veteran combat pilots. The P-38's each carried two 160 gallon external fuel tanks. They spotted a single Jap fighter coming right at them. They departed Marsten Strip around 0615 and leveled off at 10,000 feet, but in the vicinity of Negros the weather forced their descent to 6,000 feet. McGuire led Daddy Flight to an airdrome over Fabrica Strip and made a futile attempt at provoking an enemy response by circling the area for approximately ten minutes. They were now flying at 1,700 feet.
When this effort failed, McGuire proceeded to another airdrome on the western coast of the island. En route, Rittmayer throttled back while breaking through the clouds and became temporarily separated from the rest of the flight. McGuire ordered his pilots to regroup, but learned that Rittmayer's aircraft encountered engine trouble. Thropp, therefore, moved into the number-three position.

Suddenly, Weaver spotted a Japanese fighter heading in their direction, 500 feet below and 1,000 yards ahead. The Ki-43 Oscar, piloted by Warrant Officer Akira Sugimoto, passed below McGuire's P-38 before either pilot could react. Meanwhile, Sergeant Mixunori Fukuda, piloting a Ki-84 Frank, was attempting to land and noticed his comrade's plight. Sugimoto fired into Thropp's aircraft, destroying one of the turbo-chargers. The Lieutenant's first thought was to drop his belly tank, but McGuire anticipated his intention and ordered his pilots to refrain from doing this. It is assumed he issued this order to avoid an early return to Leyte, thereby scrubbing the mission.

Rittmayer, meanwhile, had rejoined the flight and maneuvered his malfunctioning fighter to an advantageous position. He fired into Sugimoto's Oscar, frightening the Warrant Officer off Thropp's tail, but the enemy pilot didn't flee as anticipated. Instead, he turned his fighter tightly and fired several long bursts into Weaver's P-38. Weaver summoned McGuire's assistance.

McGuire's response was immediate as he turned sharply to the left, but something went wrong as his Lightning shuddered and threatened to stall. He sharply increased his turn in an attempt to get a shot at the enemy fighter, but his plane lost momentum and snap-rolled to the left. It was last seen in an inverted position with the nose down about 30-degrees.

Weaver momentarily lost sight of McGuire's fighter, but a second later witnessed an explosion. Sugimoto broke off his attack against Weaver just before McGuire's plane crashed. Rittmayer and Thropp pursued the damaged Oscar as it climbed to the north, and the young Lieutenant managed to deliver one last burst into Sugimoto's aircraft before it crash-landed in the jungle. He died shortly thereafter from six bullet wounds to the chest. Now Sergeant Fukuda arrived on scene and charged head-on at Thropp's P-38, but Weaver recovered from his ordeal in time to fire at the Frank. Rittmayer turned his aircraft to assist, but Fukuda caught the Major in a vulnerable position and fired a burst into his aircraft. The bullets struck the P-38 with telling effect, and it exploded outside the village of Pinanamaan. McGuire had crashed near this area a few minutes earlier.

It can be said that McGuire was never shot down by enemy fire, only a split second violation of his rules for combat resulted in his death. Some critics have maintained that McGuire's order to keep the tanks was greedy and foolish; supposedly he wanted to score a 'quick kill' on the lone Japanese plane.

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