Was the F4U Seriously Considered for the European Theatre ?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by timmy, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. timmy

    timmy Member

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    Just been reading an article by Chuck Hawks which states

    The Super Warbirds of World War II

    Its the the first time I have ever read that the F4U was ever considered for the European Theatre
    I guess I understand it, in 1943 the F4U may have been a better bet than the Early versions of the P38/P47 ?
    With the much improved P47D and the appearance of the P51D Mustang still some time away I guess the USAF needed options

    Anyway is the article true ? Does anyone else have any more information on this ?
     
  2. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Interesting article which I had not heard of. There was another instance when the F4U was considered for the ETO. There was a mission proposed where Marine F4Us were to launch from CVEs in the North Sea to destroy German V1 sites. In effect Geroge Marshall said the use of US Marines in the ETO would be over his dead body.
     
  3. NiceShotAustin

    NiceShotAustin New Member

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    Nice article. Don't see why it couldn't be true. The reason why the F4U wasnt used in the ETO is also completely completely possible lol
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think the problem with shifting them to the ETO is your are removing them from the PTO. Not sure if that would have been a good idea or not.
     
  5. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    The RN used F6F’s in the ETO and they also pioneered the use of the F4U on carriers - did they ever use the Corsair in the ETO?
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    You know, I totally forgot about that. They were used as cover for attacks on the Tirpitz.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Shift an equal number of P-38s to the Pacific which Marine pilots would operate from airfields on land ILO the F4U.
     
  8. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    It is a myth that the RN pioneered the use of Corsairs on carriers. The USN had a squadron ready to deploy to the PTO with the Corsair before the RN even got any Corsairs. Look it up in Dean, "America's Hundred Thousand." The Corsair did serve as the high escort on some of the raids on Tirpitz but no combat resulted.
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Another myth down in flames, thanks for the education!
     
  10. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    I think he ment Renrich, 'perfected' or 'assisted' their usage upon carriers - with the curving landing approach method Fleet Airm Arm guys came up with, to make the pilot less blind to the deck and LSO instruction; resulting in greater landing confidence and possibley less landing related crashes/damagings, but that could be rumour too.
     
  11. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Tom Blackburn successfully carrier qualified his entire squadron in March 1943 on the CVE Charger! There were many problems encountered but in his memoir "The Jolly Rogers", he claims they were all surmounted and the squadron was ready to deploy on the Bunker Hill (CV-17) by mid-summer when it was pulled in favor of the F6F. BH was the 4th Essex class commissioned and so is a contender for one of the earliest occasions of USN experience with the carrier suitability of the F4U, although, according to Eric Brown, earliest testing was accomplished 9/25/42 when the troubles that plagued its early shipboard service initially appeared. The same source indicates that first RN FAA introduction of the F4U occurred June 1943 so the time table appears to support Renrich's statement. :)
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I have posted in detail on this issue before and it is a myth. There is a video online which is a training film for Corsair drivers which shows a field carrier landing with the so called curved final approach. The insignia on the Corsair and the canopy proves that the F4U1 in the film is an early F4U1 before the RN got any Corsairs. The RN pioneered a lot of innovations in carrier operations and they don't need a myth to add to their laurels.

    June 1, 1943 RN Squadron no. 1830 gets first Corsairs at Quonset Pt RI.
    July 1, 1943, VF17 goes aboard Bunker Hill
    September 28, 1943 Bunker Hill leaves for the Pacific wth VF17 aboard w/Corsairs
    November 11, 1943 VF17 lands, is refueled and rearmed on carriers and takes off without problems durint the Battle of Solomon Sea.
    December, 1943 Seven Fleet Air Arm squadrons are training on Corsairs I and II.
     
  13. timmy

    timmy Member

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    I guess its hard too just ramp up production on extra F4U's

    They moved the P-38 to the PTO. Could they have moved the P-47C to the PTO/ Marines as well. Thus freeing up the F4U for the ETO ?
    Would that had been an option if the more competitive P-47D/P51D production was delayed. Which begs the question, would the Marines
    P-47C (early models) match the A6M Zeke ?
     
  14. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    I interpret "pioneering the use" as using the plane in combat from carriers. That is what the plane was designed for, right ?
    First Fleet Air Arm combat from a carrier:
    FAA Corsairs performed their first combat action on 3 April 1944, with Number 1834 Squadron flying from the HMS VICTORIOUS to help provide cover for a strike on the German battleship TIRPITZ.

    First US Navy combat operation from a carrier:
    Jan 2, 1945, VMF-124’s first carrier born combat mission, escorting TBM’s of Torpedo 4 on an attack on Kagi airfield, Formosa.
     
  15. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Highly unlikely. No operational F4U would outperform its P-47 contemporary in airspeed and climb above 20k ft., except the F4U-4 over the P-47M at 20k, but not above, and this is where the Army wanted control.
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    VF17 conducted combat operations in Corsairs from a US carrier on November 11, 1943.
    January 9, 1944, VF(N)-101 ( F4U2s) began to conduct combat operations from Enterprise. AT NIGHT!
    Don't those operations count as combat from a carrier? VF17 as well as VF(N)-101 did not learn to operate their Corsairs from carriers from the RN.
     
  17. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #17 drgondog, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
    Just been reading an article by Chuck Hawks which states

    At one point in 1943, when the Luftwaffe was able to maintain air superiority against the American P-38's and P-47's over France and Germany and shoot down an unacceptable number of American daylight bombers, the very high performance of the F4U made the US War Department consider using it as a land based fighter in the European Theatre. The Army Air Force was not anxious to adopt a Navy fighter and declined the early F4U-1 model of the Corsair on the basis of restricted pilot visibility. Later models, such as the definitive F4U-4, had excellent visibility except for an arc directly aft. The Corsair did not have the extreme range capability of the P-38 and the P-51, but its blend of high speed and maneuverability would have made it difficult for the German FW 190 and Bf 109 pilots to handle.

    Reluctantly I fumble around and throw the BS Flag. If Chuck Hawks had not mentioned P-38s and thereby timestamped the Battle of Germany in very LATE 1943 this article may have had a foundation of reality. The first 20 P-51B-1's had been accepted by USAAF in early June 1943 - four months before the first 55th FG first operational sortie in ETO. The were FAR more P-51Bs available in the production lines than would ever be available to the USAAF in March 1944 than F4u-1's if All the USMC dedicated F4U's had been stripped from USN and re-directed to USAAF.

    This epiphony, if including P-38s in ETO, would have occurred in Dec/Jan 1944 when a FLOOD of P-51bs were rolling off the NAA facities in Inglewood and Dallas.

    Chancw Vought had zero 'chance' to replace P-51B production in Q1 1944. What coudda happened - Did happen and the P-51s arrived in ETO en masse in march 1944
     
  18. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Did an F4U-1 have any performance advantage over the P-47 in mid/late 1943?
     
  19. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    That is the crux of the matter. Without the range to stay with the bombers, or in their vacinity, for the entire mission the fighters would not need to be engaged by the Luftwaffe as often.
     
  20. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Wuzak - Chuck Hawks stated this "The Corsair did not have the extreme range capability of the P-38 and the P-51, but its blend of high speed and maneuverability would have made it difficult for the German FW 190 and Bf 109 pilots to handle."

    In 1943 The F4U-1 range was far superior to the P-47, was as good or better than the Allison powered P-51 w/internal tank, about the same as the P-51B-1, -5 without the internal fuselage tank and the same as the P-38 with external tanks.

    For deep penetrations even the P-51B had to fly to an RV point short of, but reasonably close to the target - no Allied Fighter could pick up a box of B-24s at the Holland/German border and 'Ess' all the way to Posnan for example. That example would call for an R/V near or past Berlin.

    During Big Week and through April when the Mustang coverage was ~ 2 FG's per Bomb Division, the relays were (short) P-47s, (intermediate) P-38's and (long) P-51s with internal 85 gallon tanks. The F4U-1 could have perfromed the intermediate escort (up to Berlin) in 1943... and had the ability to carry 361 to 305 gallons of internal fuel versus P-47C (and D) until the P-47D-25 which had 370 but did not enter ops until summer 1944.

    This has been hashed to death but the F4U-1 and 1A were far superior range wise until the P-47D-25 entered operations a year after them. The P-47 equivalents always had better performance greater at altitudes >25,000 feet but the Corsair IMO would have been a more formidable opponent against the Fw 190 through that altitude and equivalent to P-51 against the Me 109
     
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