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Feb 24, 2004
when did the f4f- c (20 mm) first fly? any ww22 combat? - aceman
Hmmmm...........I do not know that F4F has 20mm cannon gun and all I know that F4U-1C and F6F-5N has 20mm during WWII.
Don't forget the F4U-4Bs Rafe ;)

Assuming you mean the F4U-1Cs, they were first built in July 1944. 200 F4U-1Cs were built with four 20mm cannons with 220 rpg instead of the 6 .50 calibers. The first F4U-1Cs were delivered on 15 June 1944. Externally they appeared similar to the earlier Corsairs, but they have several important changes. wing bomb racks and everything needed for aerial towing were taken out, and an electric starter replaced the shotgun shell starter. F4U-1Cs first saw combat over Okinawa at the end of the war.
Well, Isnt this about WWII Aircraft? j/k :D

F4U-1C was sent to Pacific War in April 1945 I believe and it was not very successfully, because I have learn something there was a few problem like engine failure, gun freeze, etc. There are two squadron which they are using F4U-1C and there are VF-85 and VMF-311.

BTW, F4U-4B did not take part in WWII, but it was used with success in the Korean conflict and if they see action in WWII, It could be Japanese worst nightmare! :D.
to rafe 35,and archer; thanks for your help. i DID mean the f4u-1c. the f6f-5n also? good to know! this is one heck of a site! thanks. - aceman[/code]
Yeah F6F-5N also carry same 20mm cannon and it is Night fighter for US Navy and also few marines use F6F-5N.
Archer said:
Guess what Rafe?
On 4 May the first operational cannon-armed F4U-4s [ie F4U-4Bs] to reach Okinawa went into action
If that true, then what squadron that equip F4U-4B? :?:
Rafe35 said:
Archer said:
Guess what Rafe?
On 4 May the first operational cannon-armed F4U-4s [ie F4U-4Bs] to reach Okinawa went into action
If that true, then what squadron that equip F4U-4B? :?:

If I recall correctly the first operational F4U-1c's went into action on about April 11th, 1945, off the CVE's Breton and Sitko Bay. The F4U-1c was successful in its intended role as ground support attack plane. It was not so successful as a fighter, as the guns tended to freeze above 15,000 feet. Other than the guns, this was an F4U-1d and suffered no engine or other problems beyound those found in the very reliable -1d version.

I've searched in vain for any evidence that the F4U-4C, of which 300 were delivered prior to the end of the War, with first deliveries in January 1945, ever saw combat in WWII. These were apparently redesignated as -4B's after the war, but it is hard to tell exactly what happend to them. If anyone has any evidence they did see action, please post it!

It was really not very significant, as 6 x .50 calibers were not that much inferior to 4 x 20mm, especially against fighters and the relatively light bombers that Japan (or Germany for that matter) were flying in WWII. The main purpose of the 20mm on the -1c corsairs were to defeat Japanese bunkers and pill boxes, which had been specifically designed to be resistant to .50 caliber fire.

The F6F-5's all had universal gunbays for the innermost two positions. However, these were usually only fitted with 20mm cannon for the F6F-5N night fighter variants.


cheddar cheese said:
Dont ever question them on F4U's, if they ever come back they'll muller you...

LOL - I'm quite ready m8. I've researched this plane more than probably any other of WWII, except perhaps the P-51.

It is quite befuddling, 297 F4U-4C's were produced, and delivered sometime in the Jan-Feb 1945 time frame, but there is no trace of what happened to them. There is a tiny tiny shread of evidence (a comment by a crew chief) that they may have ended up operating out of bases in China in summer '45, but it consists of one statement and there is no verification.

Later, after WWII, the F4U-4B shows up, and assumedly the -4C was redesignated as -4B, but even this is not clear.


I've read in this board that F4U-1C equipped VF-85 and VMF-311 during WWII.
Was it the only version in those sqadrons, or was it mixed with F4U-1D?
Did F4U-1C equip some other squadrons?

Also, I've read that F4U-4 equipped VF-17 and VMF-214. Anyway I doubt that both squadron brought this version in combat, because VF-17 was still equipped with F6F in its tour on Hornet CV-12 in feb.-june 1945. Also, VMF-214 had a tour on Essex CV-9 from dec.1944 to feb.1945.
But I read in many places that the F4U-4 enterd in combat in april 1945. So, which squadron used F4U-4 in combat?

I don't know offhand which squadrons had the F4U-4, but it was the main fighter aboard most of the Essex class carriers deployed for Okinawa, and some Marine units evidently had them too (I think also operating off carriers).


Do you know which squadron was the first to use F4U-4 in combat operations?
Do you have the possibility to check which squadrons operated F4U-4 in 1945?

Thanks in advance

maxs75 said:
Do you know which squadron was the first to use F4U-4 in combat operations?
Do you have the possibility to check which squadrons operated F4U-4 in 1945?

Thanks in advance


There is rather scant specifics.

This photo from the Vought site's F4U-4 section:


has the caption: F4U-4 On Okinawa, none were lost in aerial combat in the first 30 days of operations.

VMF-222 apparently had the F4U-4 based on the following:

He ultimately scored 21 kills, of which 17 were Zeros. He lost five aircraft: three times shot down. His first combat tour in the Solomons lasted seven months, from February to September, 1943. He returned for a second tour with VMF-222 later in the war, flying the advanced F4U-4. He scored his last victory on June 22, 1945, downing a kamikaze Zero over northern Okinawa.

It is generally very hard to figure out which squadrons had the F4U-4 over the F4U-1d because they were both refered to as "Corsairs". The -1d performance after the addtion of water-injection (and some evidently got paddle props too - 3 or 4 bladed???) was not that far off the F4U-4 performance. I've seen it stated several times that the new Essex class carriers (I believe 7 new ones deployed for Okinawa) had the F4U-4 as their main fighter, but no unit info is given.

Based upon BU number evidence, I believe about 800 or so F4U-4's were deployed for WWII service. Some (~10) F4U-4P's were produced quite a bit earlier than the F4U-4's, so these may have seen service earlier than May 1945. Also of interest is that about 160 F4U-4B's were produced for the British prior to the F4U-4's being produced for the USA (note "B" stands for British, not cannon - I don't know how these were armed).


Do you know which squadron was the first to use F4U-4 in combat operations?
Do you have the possibility to check which squadrons operated F4U-4 in 1945?

Max –

As far as I know, the first F4U-4 equipped carrier squadron to score was VBF-6 off USS Hancock on 18 March 1945, sometime between 0546 and 1026, when Lt(jg) William P Cawley was credited with shooting down a D4Y (Judy) at approximately 210 degrees, 50 miles from 30-43N, 133-18E, which works out to about 80 miles east-southeast of Tanega Shima (the long skinny island just south-southeast of Kyushu). The squadron CO, Cdr Henry L Miller was also engaged on the 18th, but I don't have a time or specific location for that engagement. Miller was credited with probables on 2 A6Ms.

Squadrons flying the exclusively F4U-4s off carriers were:
VBF-6 – CVG-6, USS Hancock
VBF-86 – CVG-86, USS Wasp

Also VBF-10, CVG-10, USS Intrepid, flew a mixture of F4U-1D and F4U-4.

Last credit for VB-6 was on 15 August 1945 at 1122; Lt(jg) Robert S. Farnsworth was credited with shooting a B5N (Kate) about 20 miles north of the Task Group. Total score for VBF-6 was 17-4-1.

First victory for VBF-86 was C6N2 (Myrt) shot down by Ens Richard F Wear about 40 miles southwest of 31-19N, 133-11E, or about 100 miles southeast of Tanega Shima, also on 18 March 1945, at 1440. Last VBF-86 victory was on 8 August 1945 at 1220 when Lt Lilburn A Edmonston shot down a Ki-45 (Nick) at 287 degrees, 75 miles from 39-57N, 145-00E, which is about 20 miles west of Kuji, Iwate Province, Honshu. Total score for VBF-86 was 7-0-0.

Establishing F4U-4 credits for VBF-10 is a little difficult without knowing which pilot flew which bureau number on a particular day, at a particular time, information which I don't have. Overall, however, VBF-10's first victory was on 19 March 1945 at 0730 when the squadron CO, Cdr John J Hyland was credited with an N1N1 (Rex) over the Kure naval facilities on Honshu. I would suspect that Johnny Hyland flew a F4U-4 rather than an F4U-1D. Last VBF-10 victory was on 16 April 1945 at 1345 when Ens Robert W Sweet shot down a C6N2 (Myrt) near 27-30N, 130-06E, which is about 20 miles west of Satsunan-Shoto in the Ryukyus. There were two A6M credited as shot down by VBF-10 pilots in the same engagement, one by Ens Raymond V Lanthier, Jr. and the other by Ens Loren McDonald. Total score for VBF-10 was 16-0-0.


Thanks both of you.

It is likely that VMF-222 was equipped with F4U-4. The squadron arrived in Okinawa later than the first wave.
During May also VMF-212 and 223 (MAG-14) came from Philippines, as well as MAG-22's VMF-113,314 and 422. Possibly all of them had the new


Deliveries of F4U-4 begun in october, 1944, so it's possible that several hundreds came in front line service 6 monthes later.

Accordign to some sources, 297 F4U-4B were built with 4 20 mm guns. They were intended for the british, but they were delivered to US.
Anyway other sources don't give info about -4B, so it's possible that the 300 F4U-4C (4x20mm) were the same redesigned -4B.
AFAIk all the F4U-1 had a 3 blade propeller, and all the -4 a 4 blades one.

Did really the -1D nearly reach the performances of F4U-4? the R-2800-8W was rated at 2000 HP (vs 2100 of -18W) and 2230 HP with water

injection (vs 2450 HP of 18W). Ok without water it's only a 5% increase, anyway it's 100 HP more.
Later (possibly after WW2, do you know when?) F4U-4 received the -42W engine sometimes rated at 2760 HP with water injection.
AFAIK the top speed was 393 mph for the first versions (R-2800-8), 417 mph with water injection (-8W) and 435-446 mph for the F4U-4

(possibly the first with -18W and second with 42W).

RG_Lunatic, If You are intersted, I have some info about the carrier air groups that entered in combat diring 1945. If you are intersted I

can share my informations.

R Leonard, very valuable informations! Thank you very much.
Your is a very accurate account of air victories. Did it come from official squadron records?
Some other Corsair squadrons entered in combat during the last monthes of the war, from june 1945. Did they fly older F4U/FG-1D?
VBF-1 on Bennington
VBF-94 on Lexington
VBF-88 on Yorktown

My personal opinion about VBF-10 and VBF-6 were the following before reading your post (it's just my opinion, no official source. It came

from the fact that most history about the Corsair airplane say that the F4U-4 version enterd in combat only the last 4 monthes of the war):

Intrepid begun the Okinawa campaign with both VF-10 and VBF-10 equipped with F4U-1D. The ship was heavily damaged in april, and only came

back for operations in august for the 8th Wake raid. In the meantime the F4U-4 was available and the air group was so re-equipped.
Possibly the same happened to Hancock. She was put out of action on april 7th and came back in june again for a Wake raid with Lexington

(with the new CVG-94).
I assumed that all new Corsair squadrons put into action from june 1945 (i.e. VBF-1,6,10,86,88,94) were equipped with the last Corsair

Anyway if you know the bureau number of the aircrafts used, my conclusion were totally wrong.
It was for sure possible to ship the new F4U-4 to Ulithi in march 1945, because it was delivered four monthes before.


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