FW-190A5 vs F4U-1D and F6F-3

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

USMC squadrons to the ETO??

To do what, support the USMC ground troops that the Army would not allow in Theater?

Do you have a source for this plan? I'd be interested in seeing it.


I am just a recipient of second hand opinion on this matter.

Perhaps someone else can shed some light on this issue.
That test is kind of bogus anyway. Niether the FW or the Corsair were running right. Also, the Corsair was old for the date of the test and had not had the prop upgrade or ADI added.


RG_Lunatic said:
That test is kind of bogus anyway. Niether the FW or the Corsair were running right. Also, the Corsair was old for the date of the test and had not had the prop upgrade or ADI added.



The A-5, err G-3, was not exactly a current model of the Fw either.
KraziKanuK said:
RG_Lunatic said:
That test is kind of bogus anyway. Niether the FW or the Corsair were running right. Also, the Corsair was old for the date of the test and had not had the prop upgrade or ADI added.



The A-5, err G-3, was not exactly a current model of the Fw either.

No, but the A-5 was pretty close to top-of-the line for the A series, as far as dogfighting goes. By the A-7, weight growing and manueverability was suffering. Later models were not going to perform all that much better in such tests. On the other hand, the F4U-1d with ADI and the better prop was quite a bit better, but these changes were made at field upgrade facilities, not at the factory, so they weren't applied to the tested F4U-1d.

The thing is the A-5 was "running rough", which means we don't know how well it was running compared to a properly running plane. It might have been running fine - I've read that 190A's always ran rough, but we just don't know. However, I know that proper spark plugs were a real problem so I suspect the plane was not running at its very best.


I've been trying to find accounts of FAA Corsairs and/or Hellcats (or even Wildcats) tangling with German fighters, but have so far come up blank. People often mention the Tirpitz raids, but though FAA units provided fighter cover, no German opposition showed up.
Employment of US designed and built carrier fighters by both the
Americans and the British in the European and African Theaters
pertains to three aircraft types. The navies of both countries
fought using the F4F (or, its later variant, the FM-2) and the
F6F. The Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm also employed the F4U in the
European waters (operating off carriers some eight months before
the Americans made a practice of it), but the US Navy did not,
sending all their F4U's to the Pacific. There were numerous
aerial clashes between the British and American US built carrier
fighters and their German, Italian, and Vichy opponents, but very
few fighter-to-fighter duels, especially against the Luftwaffe.

US Navy F4F aerial actions, and where most fighter-to-fighter
duels took place, were concentrated in Operation Torch against
Vichy aircraft. There were some 109 Wildcats assigned to four
carriers: VF-41 (Lieut. Comdr. CT Booth, USN) and VF-9 (Lieut.
Comdr. JA Raby, USN), USS Ranger; VGF-27 (Lieut. Comdr. TK
Wright, USN), VGF-28 (Lieut. Comdr. JI Bandy, USN), and VGS-30
(Lieut. Comdr. MP Bagdanovitch, USN – a scouting squadron that,
curiously, flew F4Fs), USS Suwannee; VGF-26 (Lieut. Comdr. WE
Ellis, USN), USS Sangamon; and VGF-29 (Lieut. Comdr. JT
Blackburn, USN, later of VF-17 fame), USS Santee.

On 8 November, over Cazes, VF-41 brought down 13 Vichy aircraft:
four Dewoitine D.520's, eight Hawk 75A's (export version of the
Curtis P-36), and one Douglas DB-7. Lieut.(j.g.) Shields
accounted for a D.520, two 75A's (plus one damaged) and the DB-
7; Lieut. August brought down three of the 75A's; and the CO,
Booth, also scored a 75A. It wasn't all VF-41's way however, of
18 Wildcats engaged, six were lost, mostly to ground fire,
including Shields and August. Five pilots were captured and one
recovered from off shore.

Near Port Lyautey, VF-9's skipper, Raby, knocked down a Potez 63.
VGF-26 pilots found themselves later that morning also over Port
Lyautey, where the ran up against several twin engine bombers and
five fighters. They accounted for one D.520 and three Martin
167's with no losses. VGF-27 pilots, unfortunately, intercepted
and shot down a RAF Hudson, mistakenly identified as Vichy. Only
one member of the four man crew survived.

On 9 November, VF-9 went into action again and claim d five 75A's,
including one fro Raby (plus one probable) though French records
only recorded four losses, at a cost of one F4F (pilot captured).
VF-41 claimed the shoot down an 'intruder' over the invasion
beaches as darkness fell, but this may have been a photo-recon
Spitfire that turned up missing that night. French and German
records did not indicate any aircraft in the area at the time.

10 November found a last contact with VF-29's Ens. Jacques
shooting down what he reported was a Bloch 174, but was later
confirmed as a Potez 63, near Safi.

Overall, US F4F losses were fairly heavy, over 20%. There were
11 combat related losses (5 losses in aerial combat) and 14
operational losses. US pilots claimed 22 victories, not
including the Hudson and the probable Spitfire. The French
reported losing 25 aircraft in combat.

On 4 October 1943, Ranger participated in Operation Leader, a
strike on the harbor at Bodø in Norway. During this action VF-4
(Lieut. Comdr. CL Moore, USN), the redesignated VF-41, pilots
Lieut. (j.g.)'s Mayhew and Laird together shot down a Ju-88 and
Laird followed up with an He-115 on his own. With five later
victories over Japanese opponents, Laird was the only confirmed
USN ace with German and Japanese Theater victories. This was the
last US F4F aerial action in the African-Atlantic-European

After the F4F came the F6F as the mainstay of USN carrier fighter
operations. For the F6F the only action over Europe transpired
during 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

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 HMS 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. (j.g.) 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. (j.g.)
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. German
aircraft 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 in the
Pacific, killed by antiaircraft fire while strafing near Chamelet
on 20 August.

The Royal Navy was to employ the F4F in combat long before the US
Navy. FAA Marlets (export F4F's, model G-36A's, originally
earmarked for France but transferred to the Royal Navy after the
collapse of France) were active almost a year be fore Pearl
Harbor. First air-to-air victory was on 25 December 1940; flying
out of Hatson, Lieut. Carter and Sub-Lieut. Parke from 804
Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. BHM Kendall, RN, commanding) intercepted
a Ju-88 over Scapa Flow and shot it down near Loch Skail.

Later land based victories were scored in the Mediterranean
Theater. On 28 September 1941, Sub-Lieut. Walsh, 805 Squadron
(Lieut. Comdr. AF Black, RN), operating out of Sidi Haneish shot
down an Italian Fiat G-50. Walsh and Sub-Lieut. Routley claimed
a probable victory over a Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 on 11 November.
By 28 December, 805 was operating out of Tobruk. On that day
Sub-Lieut. Griffin attacked four SM.79s that were conducting a
torpedo attack. He forced two of them to jettison their payloads
and evade, shot down a third and was, in turn, shot down by the
gunner of the fourth. 805 Squadron later accounted for a Ju-88
in February 1942 and two more SM.79s in July.

At sea, 802 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. JM Wintour, RN), specialized
in FW-200's. Operating off HMS Audacity escorting Convoy OG-74,
the first encounter was early on 21 September 1941, when one was
brought down under the combined attack of Sub-Lieut.'s Patterson
and Fletcher. Later, in the early afternoon, a Ju-88 was driven
off with damage. Shortly thereafter another section chased down
a radar contact only to find the Lisbon to Azores Boeing 314
Clipper; they let it go. On 8 November, now escorting Convoy OG-
76, Lieut. Comdr. Wintour and Sub-Lieut. Hutchinson attacked and
shot down another 200, but, in the process, Wintour was killed by
return fire. Later that day, Sub-Lieut. Brown shot down a second
FW-200 in a head-on pass and Sub-Lieut. Lamb drove off a third.

At sea again with still another convoy, HG-76, 802 was now
commanded by Lieut. DCEF Gibson, DSC, RN. On 14 December, Sub-
Lieut. Fletcher was shot down and killed strafing surfaced U-131.
His action, however, enabled three escorts to close range and
take the submarine under fire until her crew was forced to
abandon ship. On 19 December, in another head-on pass, Brown
brought down his second FW-200, Lieut. Comdr. Sleigh, using
Brown's proven head-on method, shot down another, and Lamb,
again, drove off a third with damage. Audacity was torpedoed by
U-751 on 21 December and sank with heavy losses, including many

During the British invasion of Madagascar, Martlets from 881
Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. JC Cockburn, RN) off HMS Illustrious
accounted for two French Potez 63's (one shared between Lieut.
Waller and Sub-Lieut. Bird) and three Morane 406C's (one to
Lieut. Tompkins, one shared between Waller and Sub-Lieut. Lyon,
and one shared between Waller and Tompkins) between 5 and 7 May
1942 with the loss of one of their own. On 7 August 1942 Sub-
Lieuts. Scott and Ballard, from 888 Squadron (Capt. FDG Bird, RM)
off HMS Formidable splashed a Kawanishi H6K 'Mavis' flying boat
in the Bay of Bengal.

May was also a busy month the Mediterranean. On the 12th, during
Operation Pedestal, six Martlets from 806 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr.
JN Garnett, RN) on HMS Furious were part of a force rounded out
with 30 Sea Hurricanes and 18 Fulmars which took on a mixed force
of German and Italian attackers, numbering about 100, going after
a Malta bound convoy. The Grummans pilots accounted for two
SM.79s, one Ju-88 and one Reggianne Re-2000. One Martlet was

In November 1942 came Operation Torch. 888 Squadron and 893
Squadron (Lieut. RG French, RNVR) with a total of 24 F4F's were
deployed on Formidable. Illustrious carried 882 Squadron (Lieut.
ILF Lowe, DSC, RN) with 18 F4F's.

On 6 November, Lieut. Jeram, 888 Squadron, shot down a Bloch 174.
On 9 November, Jeram shared another Ju-88 with Sub-Lieut Astin;
meanwhile, a division of 882 Squadron brought down a He-111 and
drove off, with damage, a Ju-88. With Jeram's victories, 888
Squadron was the only Allied squadron able to claim kills on
German, Italian, Japanese, and Vichy opponents.

Unfortunately, on the 11th, a four-plane division from 893 made
the same identification error as did VGF-27 on the 9th and shot
down another RAF Hudson that they mis-identified as an Italian

In July 1943, 881 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. RA Bird, RN) and 890
Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. JW Sleigh, DSC, RN), while operating off
Furious, shot down 3 Blohm and Voss BV-138 seaplanes.

September 9th during Operation Avalanche saw 888 off Formidable
score again, bringing down a Cantieri Z.506B float-plane. 842
Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. LR Tivy, RN), HMS Fencer, scored an FW-
200, splashed by Sub-Lieut. Fleishman-Allen, on 1 December to
round out 1943.

1944 saw FAA F4F scores at about the same rate. On 12 February
Convoy OS-67/KMS-41, protected by 881 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. DRB
Cosh, RCNVR) and 896 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. LA Hordern, DSC,
RNVR), HMS Pursuer, was attacked by seven He-177s from II.KG-40
carrying the Henshel Hs-293 guided missile. Defending F4Fs shot
down an He-177, a snooping FW-200 and drove off the remaining He-

Lieuts. Dimes and Erickson, 811 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. EB
Morgan, RANVR), HMS Biter, shot down a Ju-290 on 16 February.

Providing escort for Convoy JW-58 were 819 Squadron (Lieut. OAG
Oxley, RN), HMS Activity, and 846 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. RD
Head, DSC, RN), HMS Tracker. 819's Lieut. Large and Sub-Lieut
Yeo shared a Ju-88 on 30 March and between 31 March and 4 April
the two squadrons together brought down three BV-138's and three
FW-200's with no losses.

On 3 April some 40 Martlets from Pursuer and Searcher flew flak
suppression for Operation Tungsten, the raid on the Tirpitz.
These included: from Pursuer, 881 Squadron and 896 Squadron and
from HMS Searcher, 882 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. EA Shaw, RN) and
898 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. GR Henderson, DSC, RNVR).

While escorting Convoy RA-59 from Activity, following vectors for
a nearby Swordfish, the team of Lieut. Large and Sub-Lieut. Yeo,
819 Squadron, on 1 May, scored again, bringing down BV-138 that
was snooping their convoy.

The Pursuer and Searcher squadrons also supported Operation
Anvil/Dragoon in August, but their activities are confined to
patrolling, strikes, and air-to-ground support.

In November and December, new FM-2's off HMS Nairana, 835
Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. FV Jones RNVR), and HMS Campania, 813
Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. SG Cooke, RNVR), were on Arctic convoy
escort with Convoy JW-61A. On 3 November, Lieut. Leamon and Sub-
Lieut. Buxton brought down a BV-138. A second BV-138 was shot
down by 813 Sub-Lieuts. Machin and Davis on the 13th. On the
return trip, Sub-Lieut. Gordon, of 835, bagged still another BV-
138 on 12 December.

In Arctic convoy escort duty in January and February 1945, flying
from Nairana, 835 Squadron, and from HMS Vindex, 813 Squadron,
FM-2's accounted at least five more scores and probably nine in
total. On the 6th, an 813 section shot down a Ju-88. On the
10th, another 813 section intercepted three more Ju-88's,
claiming one probable and two damaged. On the 20th, 835's Sub-
Lieut. Gordon struck again, teaming with Sub-Lieut. Blanco for a
Ju-88. Another section on the other side of the convoy formation
claimed a probable on another Ju-88. At least one German source
reports six Ju-88s lost in these attacks. In addition to these,
three BV-138 snoopers were splashed in the same period.

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 by a flight of
eight III Gruppe JG 5 Me-109Gs. The Wildcats (now called
"Wildcat" instead of "Martlet" as the FAA adopts the USN names
for carrier aircraft) shot down four of the Me-109Gs at a cost of
one Wildcat damaged. A fifth 109 was claimed as damaged.

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 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 Germans lost
2 Me-109's and one FW-190. The FW-190 was claimed by Sub-Lieut.

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. Orr,
giving him a total of 6 victories for the war.

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. SG Orr, DSC, RNVR).

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 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 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. Indeed, the FAA F4U's never did tangle
with any German aircraft, though not for lack of trying. After
the summer of 1944, FAA F4U's were largely operating in the
Indian and Pacific Oceans . . . pretty far away from the Germans.


Thanks! I spent a lot of time looking, didn't find much. Where is info like this published?

I did come across a big web site that had a lot of info about Torch - they mentioned Seafire vs. Dewoitine encounters, but nothing about the F4Fs.
Where is info like this published

You found it

Snippets and bits and pieces captured and written down whenever found over a couple of years. "Wildcats over Casablanca" either the 1943 book by Mac Wordell (VF-41) or the one by the same name by John Lambert (Phalanx, 1992) are always good places to start. Barrett Tillman's "The Wildcat in WWII," "Corsair - The F4U in World War II and Korea," and "Hellcat - The F6F in World War II" come in handy. Back issues of "Naval Aviation News (in-house magazine for US Navy) tended to have some good info back in the 80's and 90's. A lot of USN documents and reports. And some familiarity with some of the individuals involved. Just to mention a few sources. Hardest part is making sure all the squadron CO's are correctly noted.

Truth be known, this is my canned response whenever someone raises the question about US carrier fighters against folks other than the Japanese. Started working on it sometime in 2000 and haven't found much to change what I've got since sometime in 2002.

Nice history there

Just a little something that kept me amused for a while . . . until I got bored moving commas around and just left it alone.



I found this thread on Google Groups and it notes that no Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm F4Us were ever lost in enemy action over Europe, even as the FAA lost 5 Wildcats and just one Hellcat in the European theater (six Bf 109s and one Fw 190 were downed by Wildcats and Hellcats over Europe).

Users who are viewing this thread