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  #21  
Old 8th December 2017, 13:11
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Hello Peter,

yes that's odd.
I think the British Commonwealth scored very few Korean War kills and none with the Corsair
http://aces.safarikovi.org/victories/gb-ko.html
whereas the US indeed scored 12 Corsair kills.
http://aces.safarikovi.org/victories...since.1950.pdf

Have a nice weekend,

Michael
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  #22  
Old 22nd July 2022, 11:49
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Good morning Gentlemen,

the first Corsair kill was scored in 1943.
The last Corsair kill was scored in 1969.
Is this period of 26 years a record ?
Or did the MiG-21 score after 1991 ?

Cheers,

Michael
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  #23  
Old 24th July 2022, 18:52
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
A post WW2 USN statistical study also drew the conclusion that the F4U was particularly vulnerable to ground fire. The Korean War era report concluded that the problem lay on the oil cooling system's vulnerability.

Rich
Is there a ground fire vulnerability study for the F4U vs. F6F?
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  #24  
Old 25th July 2022, 22:58
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Good evening Jukka,

Yes indeed such a statistic exists.
In WW2 the US Hellcats suffered one loss to ground fire in 120 missions.
In WW2 the US Corsairs suffered one loss to ground fire in 184 missions.
The carrier based Navy Hellcats suffered twice as much losses to ground fire (1:116 missions) than the land based Marine Corsairs (1:255 missions).

Have a good week, sincerely,

Michael
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  #25  
Old 26th July 2022, 01:43
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Thanks! Was there any analysis of the reasons for the substantial disparity? Both have the same engine, are of roughly similar size and both have quite similar engine installations including oil coolers.
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Old 26th July 2022, 02:01
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Often such results are based on the nature of the missions. Therefore we might expect that the Hellcat did more bombing than the Corsair.
Surprisingly the Corsair delivered much more bombs (15.621 tons) than the Hellcat (6503 tons). I'm no expert in technical details but the figures seem to indicate that the Hellcat was less rugged than the Corsair.
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Old 26th July 2022, 06:18
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Quote:
Originally Posted by knusel View Post
Often such results are based on the nature of the missions. Therefore we might expect that the Hellcat did more bombing than the Corsair.
Surprisingly the Corsair delivered much more bombs (15.621 tons) than the Hellcat (6503 tons). I'm no expert in technical details but the figures seem to indicate that the Hellcat was less rugged than the Corsair.
Your tonnage figures are a little off and as such skews to a conclusion that is, in my opinion, somewhat in error.

The below is mostly to address the popular belief in the F4U as a better and more prolific bomb hauler when compared to F6F. Some of the data can also, perhaps, explain in passing some of the noted air-to-air disparity in terms of squadrons in action and action sorties.

The employment of the F4U as a bombing type began in the North Solomon Islands Campaign around the end of 1943. This was more a matter of greater availability more than greater capability. It would seem to me that one has to bear in mind that the majority of F4U squadrons in those days were USMC squadrons and were land-based. In that theater, by the end of 1943, most, if not all, of the Japanese aerial opposition had been eliminated and the Marine VMFs began their employment in strikes on by-passed Japanese held areas.

This trend continued into the central Pacific theater where, once based on various captured airfield in the Gilberts and Marshalls, the Marine VMFs provided routine CAP and, mostly to keep them employed, also conducted many, many strikes on, again, by-passed enemy islands within strike range.

The F4U’s much deserved close air support reputation did not come until much later, mostly in Korea, not in WW2. That is not to say that F4Us were not used in close air roles in WW2, it is just that in actually came pretty late in the game, most significantly in the Philippines and at Okinawa. Most of the close air support in actual invasions came from carrier based bombers – note, bombers, not fighters. Indeed, for the majority of 1944, Marine air was largely involved in the task of supporting smaller operations in the northern Solomon Islands and the bombing the bypassed islands in the Gilberts and the Marshalls from the closest US occupied island airbases. Although through these missions the VMFs were not particularly providing large air support missions, the VMF pilots certainly used these operations as opportunities to develop techniques and develop their proficiency at bombing small targets usually while being shot at in return. Except on a very small scale in some of those operations in the northern Solomon’s, mostly in the Bougainville area, there was no real opportunity to refine the tactics of employing close air support in front of advancing Marines. It should be remembered, however, that the majority of these missions and those still later in the Philippines beginning in late 1944, were flown by VMSB and VMTB squadrons in SBDs and TBMs, not F4Us, and were part of an evolving CAS doctrine that by the end of the war was firmly established.

On the carrier side, the story is different. For the most part bombing was left to the VB and VT types. It was not until January 1945 that the Navy began to break-up its, by then very large – up to 70 plus planes in some cases, VF squadrons and form 2 squadrons within the CV air groups, of VF fighting squadrons and the other VBF fighting-bombing squadrons. Some of the VBFs were equipped with F4Us while others were equipped with F6F. It is probably important to note that for anything the F4U could haul or deliver, the F6F had the same capability. But now, here’s the commonly carrier based F6F, which has been in action since the fall of 1943 with all these aerial victories, certainly, by far, more than the scores racked up by the USMC VMFs and the few land-based or night-fighter carrier-based USN F4U squadrons. The large number scores of the F6F are certainly not indicative of that airplane being a better fighter than the F4U any more than the large tonnage deliveries of the F4U make it a better bomber than the F6F. It was, again, a function of employment. Stationed aboard carriers, the F6F squadron went to where the Japanese were, thus, and especially, when compared to land-based F4U squadrons there was far and away more opportunity for aerial combat, thus higher scores.

The fallacy of comparing numbers using the land-based deliveries can be readily illustrated by looking at land-based F4Us of the VMFs and land-based F4Us of the VFs. Land-based F4U VMFs dropped some 14,305 tons over course of the war (less, by the way than their VMSB SBD stable mates) whereas land-based F4U VFs dropped but a paltry 4 tons. Does this mean that the VMF F4Us were better bombers than the VF F4Us? Of course not, they were essentially identical aircraft; it simply means that that the VMFs saw more employment in a bombing role than did the VFs. In fact, the VMFs dropped one ton of ordnance for every 3.69 action sorties as opposed to the VFs one ton for every 317.25 sorties – quite a difference in mission type operating tempo. Further, one might note that land-based F6F equipped VMFs dropped 284 tons of ordnance compared to the land –based F6F VFs 227 tons. The F6F VMFs dropped 1 ton for every 5.79 action sorties and the VFs were 1 ton for every 10.88 sorties. But we, likewise, cannot say that the land-based F6Fs flown by the VMFs were better bombers than the land-based F6Fs flown by VFs simply because they delivered more ordnance at a higher rate; no, just as with the F4U, is was simply a matter of employment. The VMF F6Fs were, obviously, almost twice a likely to fly a bombing missing than the VF F6Fs. Land based fighters, be they F4Us or F6Fs flew some 56 ground support missions in 1943; by 1945 that number was up to 4,480.

Back to carrier employment . . . the first employments of F4Us on US CVs by air group assignment were the temporary assignment of USMC VMF squadrons to USN air groups. This was a stop-gap measure designed to meet an immediate need for additional fighters. From there, and with the expansion of VBF squadrons, carrier operation of F4Us became commonplace to the point of that by the end of the war there were USN air groups where both the VF and the VBF squadrons were equipped with F4Us and had F6Fs only in division strength for night fighting and in section strength for photo reconnaissance. Carrier based fighters, be they F4Us or F6Fs flew some 257 ground support missions in 1943; by 1945 that number was up to 6,512.

As an aside, one might note that the first VF(N) squadrons deployed to combat operated F4U-2s, the early night fighter version. Eventually, though, in the carrier world, the F6F took over the role in both regular VF day squadrons and in dedicated night, VF(N), squadrons. If one were look at the inventories of the NACTULant and NACTUPac activities, one would find that the airplane in which night fighter pilots were being trained was the F6F . . . a function of mid-late war availability . . . which translated to the F6Fs use as the go-to night fighter for carrier operations, not that it was particularly better, other than the design’s better inherent stability, than the F4U-2, just that there were, quite simply, more of them.

Anyway, looking at bombing operations for carrier based F6Fs and F4Us, most of which occurred in the last year of the war, we can draw some comparisons which could be more enlightening on the subject. First of all we can observe the progression of F4U squadrons being assigned to carriers and their noted action sorties (an action sortie is defined by the USN as one in which contact is made with enemy forces and includes the entire basic element, be it a section or a division, even if only one aircraft in the element makes contact. Starting in January 1945, F4U squadrons assigned to carriers and their total action sorties:

January - 2 squadrons, 131 action sorties
February - 9 squadrons, 652 action sorties
March -17 squadrons, 2,274 action sorties
April - 11 squadrons, 1,916 action sorties
May - 10 squadrons, 1,021 action sorties
June - 8 squadrons, 520 action sorties
July - 11 squadrons, 2,012 action sorties
August -11 squadrons, 1,047 action sorties

During the same period, we can observe F6F carrier based squadrons and their action sorties:

January - 13 squadrons, 4,482 action sorties
February - 20 squadrons, 2,465 action sorties
March - 19 squadrons, 3,853 action sorties
April - 20 squadrons, 5,652 action sorties
May - 22 squadrons, 3,583 action sorties
June - 18 squadrons, 1,425 action sorties
July - 18 squadrons, 3,473 action sorties
August - 18 squadrons, 1,789 action sorties

So we can then see the ratios of F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons and their corresponding ratios of action sorties:

January - 1 : 6.5 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 34.2 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties
February - 1 : 2.2 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 3.8 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties
March - 1 : 1.1 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 1.7 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties
April - 1 : 1.8 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 2.9 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties
May - 1 : 2.2 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 3.5 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties
June - 1 : 2.3 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 2.7 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties
July - 1 : 1.6 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 1.7 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties
August - 1 : 1.6 F4U squadrons to F6F squadrons; 1 : 1.7 F4U action sorties to F6F sorties

So, on average, there were 1.9 F6F squadrons operating from carriers in the Fast Carrier Task Force for every F4U squadron and these F6F squadrons flew 2.75 action sorties for every F4U action sortie.

Hold that thought . . .

When we talk about using a fighter for bombing missions, be they CAS, flak suppression, or specific targets, what becomes of immediate concern is the aircrafts’ survivability in the face of ground fire. There is enough available data to compare these two aircraft types and, especially, in their employment from the fast carriers in the period during which they were operating together in numbers, the last eight months of the war, and we can, as well, compare that data to land-based results. The results of carrier-based operations becomes the ruler of measurement as the squadrons involved were tasked with similar targets at near the same rate, with similar levels of resistance and, most important, similar levels of pilot competency. Essentially this environment allows for an examination in relatively homogeneous circumstances.

Carrier based fighters during this period (January thru August 1945) flew 29,958 action sorties attacking targets on the surface, either on land or at sea, the air-to-ground attack. Most of these were flown by the carriers of the Fast Carrier Task Groups, where most of the squadrons involved were Navy VF or VBF, and of these sorties, 22,230, or 74.5%, were made in the face of enemy antiaircraft return fire. Breaking these sorties down by type, the results are:

Overall:
Air to ground sorties: 29,958 (82.5% of all VF/VBF action sorties)
Sortie w/AA present: 22,320 (74.5%)
Total aircraft hit: 1,249
Total aircraft lost: 370
Aircraft hit per sortie w/AA present: 0.056
Loss rate per action sortie w/AA present: 0.017
Action sortie w/AA present per loss: 60.32
Percent aircraft lost of those hit: 29.6%

And for the F4U:
Air to ground sorties: 7,993 (83.5% of all F4U sorties)
Sortie w/AA present: 5,982 (74.8%)
Total aircraft hit: 338
Total aircraft lost: 137
Aircraft hit per sortie w/AA present: 0.057
Loss rate per action sortie w/AA present: 0.023
Action sortie w/AA present per loss: 43.66
Percent aircraft lost of those hit: 40.5%

The same data for the F6F:
Air to ground sorties: 21,965 (82.2% of all F6F sorties)
Sortie w/AA present: 16,338 (74.4%)
Total aircraft hit: 911
Total aircraft lost: 233
Aircraft hit per sortie w/AA present: 0.056
Loss rate per action sortie w/AA present: .014
Action sortie w/AA present per loss: 70.12
Percent aircraft lost of those hit: 25.6%

We can see that the F4Us and the F6Fs involved in these missions were being hit at just about the same rate per sortie with AA present, 0.057 for the F4U and 0.056 for the F6F (lower is better); or, to look at it the other way, a given F4U could be expected to be hit at least once every 17.70 sorties and a given F6F, every 17.93 sorties (higher is better). Where the rubber meets the road, though, is the rate at which one might expect a type to be lost, not just hit. F4Us were lost at a rate of 0.023 per sortie with AA present, F6Fs, on the other hand, were lost at a rate of 0.014 per sortie (remember, less is better). In terms of sorties per loss, then a given F4U might be expected to be lost to AA every 43.66 sorties as opposed to the F6F rate of 70.12 (again, higher is better).

What is really an eye opener are the losses versus total aircraft hit by AA. Overall, as shown, one might expect about 29.6% of aircraft hit by AA to be lost, but that translates to 40.5% of F4Us hit going down versus 25.6% of F6Fs. This would seem to indicate a basic superiority in robust protection inherent in the F6F flying the same type missions – and, as we can see, quite a few more of those missions thus more opportunity for bad things to happen – than the F4U. If we go back and look at the data on squadrons in action during the time period, we can see, even at casual glance, when comparing the numbers of action sorties the data holds in terms of the ratio of F6F action sorties to F4U, with about 2.75 F6F sorties for every F4U sortie.

The USN, in its analysis of the situation, draws exactly this same conclusion, probably through the same examination of the data:

The F6F appears to have had considerable advantage over the F4U when flown under the same conditions. Receiving about the same number of hits per sortie in comparable operations, the F6F had a far lower rate of loss per plane hit.” (See Naval Aviation Combat Statistics – World War II, OpNav-P-23V No. A129 page79)

This same document also provides a summary table for combat lost rates per 100 sorties which notes that F6Fs operating from CVs & CVLs had a lost rate of 0.87 per 100 action sorties and from CVEs a rate of 0.83. The rate for F4Us operating from CVs & CVLs per 100 action sorties was 1.46 and from CVEs 0.90. (The big winner in the loss rate per 100 action sorties was the ubiquitous FM-2, operating solely from CVEs with a rate of 0.40.)

As somewhat of a data validity check, what about ordnance delivery during these eight months? Overall, VFs and VBFs in the Fast Carrier Task Force delivered roughly 7,313 ton of bombs, 3082 were delivered by F6Fs, 1,231 by F4Us. The F6F, then, in going back to the calculated 2.75 more sorties than the F4U, delivered 2.50 times the bomb tonnage. F4Us launched 22,107 rockets at targets, F6Fs, 44,718, or 2.02 times the number launched by F4Us. And last, but not least, rounds of ammunition: F6Fs expended some 12,796,000 rounds of .50 cal. while F4Us expended 4,688,000; that’s 2.73 time more rounds from F6Fs than F4Us. These ratios, 2.50, 2.02, and 2.73 are below the 2.75 sortie ratio and would indicate that the results of the analysis hold true. Oh, and just to be honest, in terms of 20 mm rounds expended, the F6Fs expended 7,000 rounds and the F4Us expended 135,000, the only place where the F4U comes out ahead on expenditures.

Looking into ordnance deliveries a little more for the 8 months of 1945, unfortunately, the data does not allow the separation of Fast Carrier Task Force (the CVs and CVLs) results from the CVE results. One will just have to bear in mind that the majority of F4Us on CVEs were USMC VMFs and the F6Fs on CVEs could be either USN VFs or USMC VMFs. Anyway, the USN thoughtfully has provided a breakdown of ordnance dropped by the various types in use in 1945. The results for the F6Fs and F4Us from all carriers, including the CVEs, are below.

Format is Ordnance type || Tonnage || % for Aircraft Type || % F6F & F4U combined tonnage.

For the F6F:
100 - lbs GP || 33 || 0.9% || 91.7%
250 - lbs GP @ || 97 || 2.6% || 89.0%
500 - lbs GP || 2,402 || 65.1% || 72.9%
1000 - lbs GP || 455 || 12.3% || 66.8%
500 - lbs SAP || 12 || 0.3% || 100.0%
1000 - lbs SAP || 7 || 0.2% || 100.0%
Armor Piercing || 1 || 0.0% || 100.0%
Napalm (Tank) || 373 || 10.1% || 75.8%
Other Incendiary || 2 || 0.1% || 40.0%
Fragmentation || 300 || 8.1% || 84.5%
Depth Bombs || 7 || 0.2% || 87.5%
TOTAL || 3,689 || 100.0% || 73.8%

For the F4U
100 - lbs GP || 3 || 0.2% || 8.3%
250 - lbs GP @ || 12 || 0.9% || 11.0%
500 - lbs GP || 893 || 68.1% || 27.1%
1000 - lbs GP || 226 || 17.2% || 33.2%
500 - lbs SAP || 0 || 0.0% || 0.0%
1000 - lbs SAP || 0 || 0.0% || 0.0%
Armor Piercing || 0 || 0.0% || 0.0%
Napalm (Tank) || 119 || 9.1% || 24.2%
Other Incendiary || 3 || 0.2% || 60.0%
Fragmentation || 55 || 4.2% || 15.5%
Depth Bombs || 1 || 0.1% || 12.5%
TOTAL || 1,312 || 100.0% || 26.2%

Again, and especially through this break down, we can see that F6Fs were delivering approximately 2.8 times the ordnance as the F4U. Not that the totals themselves are particularly significant, just that the tonnage trend follows the action sortie rate noted above, just about what one might expect . . . F6Fs, flying 2.75 times the number of action sorties as the F4Us, delivered overall, 2.8 times the dropped ordnance. Interestingly, and right along with the findings, standing out like a sore thumb, take a look at the 500 lbs GP . . . this was the most common bomb dropped by USN carrier aircraft in the war at 21,623 tons or 47.95% of the war effort. In this data for carrier operations in 1945, we can see that the F6Fs, with their 2.75 sortie rate dropped 2.69 times the number of 500 lbs GPs as did the F4U. All seems to be rather consistent, and when you look at the ratios of F4U to F6F squadrons in action and the ratio of action sorties flown by the types, the disparity in their air-to-air scores apparently follows the same pattern.

Break out your trusty copy of “Naval Aviation Combat Statistics- World War II” and you can find all the data presented above either raw or such that calculations can be easily made. I would suggest copy/paste the tables, each in its own spreadsheet and double-checking the math in each calculation column; the are a few miscalculations and typos.

Don’t have a copy? Try here:
https://www.history.navy.mil/content...raphs/nasc.pdf

R
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  #28  
Old 26th July 2022, 09:21
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

R: very interesting! It would be very interesting to have a technical airframe damage resistance analysis.
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  #29  
Old 27th July 2022, 09:48
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

Never heard of such an analysis. Is this a post-combat analysis or an analysis that is performed under lab conditions ?
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Old 27th July 2022, 18:37
James A Pratt III James A Pratt III is offline
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Re: Vought F4U Corsair - top ten ace list

The 4 Sep 1950 victory was not over a IL-4 it was over an LL Douglas A-20G of the 36th MTAP pilot Sr Lt K Karpol and crew all KIA. Sometime later the Americans presented official apologies and handed over the remains of the crew to the Soviet Union.
from Lend-Lease and Soviet Aviation in the Second World War Vladimir Kotelnikov p 292
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