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Spitfire 944. Amazing!
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Contributors to this thread:
Spike Bull 30-Mar-18
casekiska 30-Mar-18
JTV 30-Mar-18
Ace 30-Mar-18
JL 30-Mar-18
Spike Bull 30-Mar-18
TD 30-Mar-18
Rhody 30-Mar-18
casekiska 30-Mar-18
JL 30-Mar-18
Glunt@work 30-Mar-18
keepemsharp 31-Mar-18
Spike Bull 31-Mar-18
TD 31-Mar-18
JTV 31-Mar-18
Glunt@work 31-Mar-18
JTV 31-Mar-18
Glunt@work 31-Mar-18
skypeace 31-Mar-18
JTV 02-Apr-18
Griz 03-Apr-18
Annony Mouse 03-Apr-18
Spike Bull 04-Apr-18
Bowbender 04-Apr-18
Thunderflight 04-Apr-18
tonyo6302 05-Apr-18
Iktomi 08-Apr-18
Spike Bull 12-Apr-18
JAKAPR 13-Apr-18
Spike Bull 13-Apr-18
JAKAPR 13-Apr-18
JTV 13-Apr-18
tonyo6302 13-Apr-18
tonyo6302 13-Apr-18
30-Mar-18

Spike Bull 's Link
18 years old, behind enemy lines, solo, unarmed.

From: casekiska
30-Mar-18
WWII Veterans - heroes all. The US citizens of today owe the greatest generation a debt that cannot be measured.

From: JTV
30-Mar-18
Semper Fi ....

From: Ace
30-Mar-18
Awesome! Great find Spike, thank you. God bless these men.

From: JL
30-Mar-18
Excellent find!

30-Mar-18
I knew the aviators and all patriots here would appreciate it!

From: TD
30-Mar-18
18 years old...... LOL!

As a kid on the farm in CA we had guys come in with ag spray planes several times a year. One of the pilots was Raleigh Rhinenbarger(?) and he flew with what they called the Black Sheep in the pacific (had nothing good to say about Boyington either.... called him a drunk....) he always had some great stories.

My dad was a pilot, we had an airstrip on the farm that the spray planes flew off of. One time Raleigh had just come back from Pearl Harbor, (was in the late 60s I think? maybe 70-71) they had a big Navy Black Sheep Squadron reunion, Navy flew everyone there and put them up, it was big week long event. They all got a chance to fly in what I believe was an F14. He was marveling about the weapons systems, helmet targeting displays, you could aim guns by turning your head, etc..... the speed and power....

He started on about the pilots.... "these pilots flying these multi million dollar planes are just a bunch of KIDS!" He went on..... they're all "kids" some only 20 years old, most are 21-22.... (I think I later read you have to be under 27 to even enter the program) with all that firepower and technology..... was shaking his head... just turning these kids loose to go into battle with these planes....

Then my dad asked him how old was he when he was a fighter pilot...... long pause...... 19...... but he never thought of himself as being a 19 year old kid then.... pretty funny conversations, being that fly on the wall....

Special people, thanks Spike, great find. I lost an uncle before I was born, near the end of WWII, a pilot in the pacific. Was never found, him or his plane/crew.

From: Rhody
30-Mar-18
good find. men of purpose. Spitfire, a better plane than most realized.

From: casekiska
30-Mar-18
Does anybody know??? Was the Spitfire the best fighter of WWII? I have heard the P-51 Mustang was pretty good, along with the Thunderbolt. Which was the best?

From: JL
30-Mar-18
Which was the best fighter of WWII?.....a question wars are fought over in warbird circles. P-38, P-51, Spits, Corsair, P-40, Ki-84, ME-109.....

From: Glunt@work
30-Mar-18
Most of the popular planes had strengths and weaknesses. A plane that could maneuver and was great at low altitude might be out classed in a high altitude high speed fight. One with great climb rate and top speed might be in trouble if the fight was on the deck and slowed down. Even within the Spitfire family their were many versions that performed differently and filled different roles.

From: keepemsharp
31-Mar-18
WOW!!

31-Mar-18
There is a quote somewhere that says, paraphrased, something like:

18-20 year olds, able enough to do almost anything they are taught and too stupid to be afraid to!

From: TD
31-Mar-18

TD's Link
What is interesting is the planes they had near the end of the war were quite a bit better than what they started out with. Even the same model planes were improved with engines that could fly higher and put out twice the HP as what they originally had. Turbos, superchargers, etc. were producing power at high altitudes. Some of the early planes couldn't even reach them.

"Today, conventional wisdom is that the American daylight bombing campaign over Europe succeeded only because U.S. fighters were able to defeat the German fighter force. Moreover, U.S. airmen defeated the Luftwaffe not by bombing its aircraft production, nor by attacking its fuel supply – neither move inflicted a knockout blow – but by killing its pilots.

This happened because of the Mustang, and the Mustang succeeded because of the Merlin."

Although they entered later in the war, Corsair performance in the pacific off the carriers was pretty spectacular too. 11:1 kill ratio. Air dominance.

From: JTV
31-Mar-18
In the Pacific, both the Corsair F4U and the F6F Hellcats were remarkable flying machines .... the Hellcats were more of a carrier based aircraft and the Corsairs were initially a carrier plane but then went land based and used mainly by Marines, but not wholly ... early on in the Pacific, the Wildcats were outmatched by the Zeros, but as the Corsairs and Hellcats came about, the Japs had no aircraft that could match 'em, esp. the Corsair .... But there were also P-38 Lightnings, P-51 Mustangs and P-47 ThunderBolts in use in the Pacific ..

From: Glunt@work
31-Mar-18
The KI84 was formidable match but it was mainly up in China and by then the Japanese had lost many experienced pilots and we had some seasoned guys in the air. Corsairs were like many other aircraft evolving through the war. The F4U-1 was quite a bit different than the 1D. I think the last combat mission for them was in Honduras vs ElSalvador in the late 60s . Both sides had them.

From: JTV
31-Mar-18

JTV's Link
The Corsair was the first single engine airplane to break the 400 mph mark, and it did 550 in dives, but it had a few problems in doing so, which were later ironed out ...

who cant forget this TV Show with the F4U Corsairs ... ^^

From: Glunt@work
31-Mar-18
I loved that show when I was a kid. I built Corsair and Zero models and spent a lot of time dogfighting them and making up stories. We didn't have an XBox :^)

From: skypeace
31-Mar-18
Thanks much for sharing this. Enjoyed immensely the gleam in the old fellows eyes as he realized it was a film of him in his youth, priceless. Grateful for that great generation.

From: JTV
02-Apr-18
ttt

From: Griz
03-Apr-18
I grew up on my Dad's (Navy '44 - '46) coat tail and knew all of his buddies. Great generation and I miss them all everyday. Also had two uncles, one Navy (42 - 45) and one Army (40 - 45).

From: Annony Mouse
03-Apr-18
My uncle and namesake whom I never met flew P-47s.

He died on his 21st birthday when his plane caught fire and rode it into the ground to avoid crashing in civilian housing. I've always been fascinated with WWII war-birds.

04-Apr-18
The EAA Oshkosh and Lakeland airshows are always well worth the time for those who like warbirds!

From: Bowbender
04-Apr-18

Bowbender's embedded Photo
Bowbender's embedded Photo
This was my dads ride. M18 Hellcat. Sat in the gunners seat. Hats off to that generation.

04-Apr-18
!!!!!!!!!!

From: tonyo6302
05-Apr-18
History repeats itself!

.. ..

.. ..

The Corsair F4U was given to the Marines because it was hard to land on Carriers.

Fast forward 40 years, and the Navy took all of the Marine F-4Ns, and gave the Marines the newer F-4S's that had the newer wing slats making the F-4 Phantom more maneuverable. The Navy didn't like the S Model because it had a faster landing speed, thus more difficulty in Carrier landings.

In both cases, 1940's and 1980's, the Navy then turned around and put Marine Squadrons on carriers - flying the planes that had difficulty with Carrier Landings.

With the exception of the E-2C Hawkeye, the U.S.S. Coral Sea air wing was entirely USMC, flying the F-4S model, in the late 1980s.

True stories !!!!! No kidding !!!!!

This is tribal knowledge here !!!

;^)

Tony

From: Iktomi
08-Apr-18
Cast iron balls.

12-Apr-18
And superior skills......

From: JAKAPR
13-Apr-18

JAKAPR's embedded Photo
somewhere in the med in 73
JAKAPR's embedded Photo
somewhere in the med in 73
The F-4J was the final version of the Phantom II produced for the US Navy and US Marine Corps. It constituted an improved version of the F-4B and flew operationally for the first time in 1966. Of this version, 522 aircraft were constructed between 1966 and 1972. Because of increased weight and more demanding sink rates, the F-4J was fitted with a sturdier landing gear, which required modifications to the inner wings, as had been the case for the F4C. F4B aircraft were later converted to F4N versions in a service life extension programme.

Similarly, 265 (of the 302 planned) F4J aircraft went through a modification process at the Naval Air Rework Facility (NARF) at NAS North Island, to provide more structural strength, a longer fatique life, updated mission equipment (AN/AWG10 to AN/AGW-10B radar) and a slatted wing. These modified F4J aircraft were designated F-4S and the first one flew in 1977. The modifications saved about 25% on aircraft maintenance. The slatted wing modifications consisted of an external strap that ran from one wing fold under the fuselage to the other wing fold, effectively zero-timing the wing. The outer wing panels were replaced with new ones. The first forty or so F4J airframes converted to F-4S were completed before the slat "kits" were available. These were sent to the Marines as F4J/S Phantoms (it was even painted on the aircraft). Later, the ones that were still around were brought back to NARF North Island and fitted with slats. Formation lights were also added to the vertical stabiliser, the fuselage and the wing tips. The aircraft were also rewired with newer wire.

The only Phantoms I worked on were the F-4b's in 73. The next cruise we had the first F-14's on the east coast.

hard to believe that the Phantoms and the Tomcats are long gone. The carrier I was on is gone also.

Jack

13-Apr-18
So cool! Thanks, Jack!

From: JAKAPR
13-Apr-18
Spike,

hard to believe I was only 19 in that picture

Jack

From: JTV
13-Apr-18
yep, had those F4's fly over head at palm tree level many times ... them and the A4 Skyhawks .....loved watching them make bombing runs..... napalm was even more fun to watch ....

From: tonyo6302
13-Apr-18
JAKAPR,

.. .. .

.. ...

VMFP-3, Det C, U.S.S. Midway, 1978 - 1979. RF-4B. Eyes of the Corps!!!!!!

I loved that six months cruise I did. I will always remember it, and how special it was/is to me to this day.

OOH RAH !!!!!!!

From: tonyo6302
13-Apr-18
NARF North Island - wow the memories.

.. ..

.. .. ..

Later, they changed their name to NADEP ( Naval Aviation Depot ) North Island.

They had this group there, I think it was called the FRSG, Fleet Readiness Support Group. Just a bunch of old GS Civil Servants and retired Master/Senior Chiefs, that their only mission in life was to help you.

I loved those guys. Give them a phone call with a problem on the F-4, and it was like feeding a Pork Rib to a Pit Bull.

Lots of fond memories - about REAL CIVAL Servants.

They took our RF-4Bs and put them, too, through a SLEP/SURE Program ( Service Life Extension Program / Sensor Update and Refurbishment Effort.

We got a new IR Sensor, new Photographic Cameras, and a new Synthetic Aperture Radar. The deal with the USMC, was we had to maintain a 4 bird attachment on the U.S.S. Midway.

Ahh - I must have just bored everyone to death !!!!

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