Fleet Air Arm Lend-Lease vs the Luftwaffe

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pinehilljoe, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. pinehilljoe

    pinehilljoe Member

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    Did any Lend Lease fighters in the Fleet Air Arm, such as the F-4F or F-6F engage 109s or 190s?
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Im sure that there were some actions earlier than the ones I am quoting, but these examples are well documented

    On 26 March 1945, in a last action, FM-2's from 882 Squadron Lieut Comdr. GAM Flood, RNVR) off Searcher, escorting a flight of Avengers along the coast of Norway, was attacked near Kristiansand by a flight of eight III Gruppe JG 5 Me-109Gs. The Wildcats shot down four of the Me-109Gs at a cost of one Wildcat damaged. A fifth 109 was claimed as damaged. As near as can be determined from available Luftwaffe loss lists, there were three 109s lost, werk# 412398 (Fw. Hermannn Jaeger), 782139 (Uffz. Gottfried RÃsch), and 782270 (Fw. Heinrich Dreisbach). One other 109 crashed, (pilot unknown) on landing, however the information available does not indicate if the crash was due to pilot error or from battle damage. Damage to this airplane was noted as 25%. Available Luftwaffe credit lists show no claims from this action.

    The FAA also employed 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 was attacked by a mixed group of Me-109's and FW-190's. Two F6F's were lost, one, probably, to AA fire (one source indicates that both F6Fs were lost in a mid-air collision, not to any German fire of any kind); the Germans lost 2 Me-109's and one FW-190. The FW-190 was claimed by Sub-Lieut. Ritchie. Available Luftwaffe loss listings show three Me-109Gs lost in this action, werk# 14697 (Ofw. Kurt), 10347 (Uffz. Brettin), and unknown # (Fw. Horst). On the Luftwaffe side, Uffz. Hallstick claimed two F6Fs and Lieut. Prenzler claimed one, but these claims aren't corroborated by allied sources.
     
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  3. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Grumman Martlet IIs (F4F-4A) and possibly IVs (F4F-4B) engaged Luftwaffe aircraft in the Mediterranean during Operation Torch and possibly tangled with 109s. IIRC, Grumman Martlet Vs (F4F-4) were operational during Operations Husky and Avalanche (Sicily and Salerno) but were too slow to make any interceptions. IIRC Seafire IILCs did manage to intercept some FW190s during Avalanche.

    I believe that FM1/2s, F6Fs and possibly Corsairs tangled with 109s off Norway.
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Then there's Eric Brown's take on the Corsair II vs. Me-109G-6 and FW-190A-4 in his book "Duels in the Sky", where he rates various a/c head to head (having flown all of the above), assuming equal pilot quality. Here's what he says:

    Corsair II vs. Me-109G6. [skipping some stats] "A battle between the Corsair and the Me-109G-6 would be a contest between two fo the world's greatest engines, each superlative but differing from the other in ways that could determine the result of combat. The Double Wasp gave the Corsair a slight speed advantage over the German fighter at medium altitudes, while the in-line engine gave the Me-109G-6 a performance advantage at low level, particularly in rate of climb and acceleration in a dive. The Double Wasp was less vulnerable to combat damage than the liquid-cooled DB605, and this was accentuated by the greater firepower of the Corsair. "The Corsair's best tactic would be to take on the Me-109G-6 in the horizontal plane. The German would favor vertical maneuvers." "Verdict: Since carrier air battles usually take place at low altitudes, the Me-109G-6 should be favored in this encounter. However, the Me-109G-6, not as good a dogfighter as its predecessor, the Me-109F, would find itself unable to afford tactical errors against the powerful American fighter."

    Corsair II vs. FW-190A-4. "This would be a contest between a heavyweight and a lightweight fighter, with virtually all the advantages on the side of the latter. Having flown both aircraft a lot, i have no doubt as to which I would rather fly. The FW-190A-4 could not be bested by the Corsair. " Verdict: The FW-190A-4 was arguably the best piston-engine fighter of World War II. it is a clear winner in combat with the Corsair."

    A few points. Brown is very clear in his various books that he was never very comfortable with the Corsair, and he rightly was extremely critical of its deck-landing suitability. For whatever reason, he was as comfortable in Grumman fighters as he was uncomfortable in the Corsair, and he was equally happy in the FW 190. It's also unclear if the comments above refer to a Corsair fitted with water-injection on the engine, and the prop from the Hellcat, as U.S. Corsairs eventually were; I suspect not.
     
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  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    A side-note regarding the Martlet - the first victory by a FAA Martlet was on 25 December 1940 by a Martlet I (BJ562) of 804 Squadron, downing a Ju88 near Scapa Flow.
     
  6. pinehilljoe

    pinehilljoe Member

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    Its always interesting to read first hand accounts. I think as time goes by we tend to look at facts and figures. Calling the 190 the best piston engined fighter would get some elbows moving at the bar. In the end, for fighters in the same generation, I have to believe it came down individual pilot skills and training.
     
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  7. Doug Benton

    Doug Benton New Member

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    Yeager really liked the 190. I believe it was an A-4 and he wrote that he felt so immediately comfortable in it that right after take -off he did a 180, flipped it inverted & did a low level inverted pass down the runway.
    That's feeling pretty comfortable :). Doug
     
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