Chance Vought F4U Corsair Mishaps Part II

CorsairMishap_11_VF-17-CV-17-USS-Bunker-Hill-July-1943-01
A Corsair from VF-17 “Jolly Rogers” noses over after encountering the barrier aboard the USS Bunker Hill CV-17 in early 1943. The deck planking shows evidence of earlier repairs, suggesting this is not the only such incident to have occurred.
CorsairMishap_12_Fleet-Air-Arm-1836NAS-Corsair-II-T8G-landing-mishap-HMS-Smiter-1944-IWM-A29168
A hard landing aboard HMS Smiter has mangled the landing gear leg of this Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Corsair II. The wear pattern on the forward portion of the wing at the root is caused by mechanics servicing the engine and was commonly seen on Corsairs. (Imperial War Museum)
CorsairMishap_13_F4U-4_of_VA-74_crashes_near_USS_Philippine_Sea_(CV-47)_1949
The end of the road for this F4U-4 of VA-74, which is missing the outboard section of its port wing. The carrier is the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) in 1949.
CorsairMishap_14_F4U-4_VMF-322_crashes_near_USS_Sicily_(CVE-118)_on_14_October_1949_(NNAM.1996.253.7157.063)
The Landing Signals Officer looks on as this F4U-4 of VMF-322 goes over the side of the USS Sicily (CVE-118) on 14OCT49. (NNAM.1996.253.7157.063)
CorsairMishap_15_VF-85-Shangri-La-aft-midair-collis-with-US-plane
This F4U-1D was involved in a mid-air collision, but was able to recover aboard the USS Shangri-La (CV-38). However, the jolt of engaging the arresting wire has separated the tail section, leaving the rest of the aircraft to continue on down the deck …
CorsairMishap_16_VBF85_F4U-1D_USS_ShangriLaCV38_21JUL45
… where it eventually slid into the ship’s island. Deck crews have already strapped a dolly under the fuselage. Note the stripped-down jeep, which were used on several carriers as towing vehicles.
CorsairMishap_17_VF-74
Most Navy aircraft types were capable of remaining afloat for at least a few minutes, giving time for the crew to escape. The US Navy routinely positioned a destroyer directly behind an aircraft carrier to quickly rescue aircrew, designating the station as “plane guard”.
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Firefighting crews go to work on a Fleet Air Arm Corsair aboard HMS Illustrious. Fire aboard ship is a serious threat, even with the armored flight decks of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers.
CorsairMishap_19_USS_Bennington_CV-20_February_14_1945
A similar scene aboard USS Bennington (CV-20) on 14FEB45. The hose team is using a spray applicator to knock the flames down. Note that they have approached the fire from up-wind and are using the wing of the aircraft to protect themselves from the flames.
CorsairMishap_20_F4U-1-Corsair-VMF-214-White-576-BuNo-02576-Marines-Dream-Ed-Olander-landing-mishap-Torokina-Bougainville-1943-02
A crane is used to right this F4U-1 on Torokina, Bougainville in 1943, the aircraft is from VMF-214 “Black Sheep”. This Corsair is somewhat rare in that it carries nose art, this is Ed Olander’s “Marine’s Dream”, BuNo 02576.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Mishaps Part I

CorsairMishap_01_VF-17-CV-17-USS-Bunker-Hill-July-1943
A birdcage Corsair of VF-17 “Jolly Rogers” bounces high during a landing attempt aboard the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17). The squadron was working up their new mounts during the first half of 1943, but a high accident rate led the US Navy to initially declare the Corsair unsuitable for carrier operations. Note the ammunition coveres prominent on the wings.
CorsairMishap_02_USS-Shangri-La
This Corsair has suffered a landing gear collapse and tail separation as the pilot is assisted from the remains of his aircraft. The ammunition covers on the upper wing were interchangeable, and this has led to the white bar of the national insignia being scrambled – a common occurrence and an interesting detail for modelers.
CorsairMishap_03_Bunker-Hill-VF-17-1943
One of several Corsair mishaps aboard the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) is this VF-17 Corsair, showing details of the undersurfaces. VF-17 would deploy from land bases in the Solomons later in 1943, where they fought against Japanese aircraft operating from Rabaul. They went on to become the most successful Navy fighter squadron of the war.
CorsairMishap_04_USS-Essex-1945
A Corsair misses the wire and noses over aboard the USS Essex (CV-9) in 1945. The paintwork is very sloppy, showing overspray on the tail and runs on the side number. The shuffling of the ammunition covers on the wings has again scrambled the markings and contributes to the disheveled appearance.
CorsairMishap_05_VF-17-Bunker-Hill-1943
A deck crane is used to right this Corsair aboard the USS Bunker Hill. The ailerons appear to be replacements and are much darker than outer wing panels. The position and style of the insignia are standard for the first half of 1943.
CorsairMishap_06_HMS_Victorious_SumatraRaid
A Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Corsair loses its drop tank while recovering aboard HMS Victorious during the Sumatra Raid, January 1945. While the Royal Navy Carriers embarked fewer aircraft than their American counterparts, their armored flight decks proved more resistant to damage.
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A bad day aboard the USS Prince William (CVE-31), a Bogue-class escort carrier. The Prince William spent most of the war ferrying aircraft to the combat zone.
CorsairMishap_08_VF-17 on the deck of the USS Charger, May 1943
A Corsair crashes through the barrier aboard USS Charger (CVE-30). Charger operated as a training carrier off the Atlantic coast.
CorsairMishap_09_F4U-7 15F-2 aboard the Bois-Belleau
A French Navy F4U-7 has nosed over aboard the carrier Bois Belleau. The ship was commissioned into the US Navy as the Independence-class light carrier USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24). She was transferred to the French Navy in 1953 and served until 1960.
CorsairMishap_10_Vought-F4U-4-Corsair-VF-4B-White-F227-landing-mishap-CVB-42-USS-Franklin-D-Roosevelt-1948-01
The Corsair served as the primary US Navy carrier fighter in the years immediately after the war, until new jet aircraft were introduced. Here a F4U-4 goes over the side of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42). Note the twin 20mm Oerlikon mount in the catwalk beneath the aircraft.

Martin B-26 Marauder Color Photographs Part I – 320th Bomb Group

B26_01_320BG441BS
A formation photograph of Marauders from the 320th Bomb Group’s 441st Squadron. Modelers note the variety of camouflage and markings, remaining paint where the cheek gun packs have been removed, and the extensive oil staining under the nacelles.
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A beautiful study of B-26F 42-96322 of the 441st Squadron.
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Although not the highest quality photo, it is comparatively rare to have photographs of both sides of an aircraft – let alone in color.
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A 441st Squadron formation banks away while their target burns in the background.
B26_05_41-34891_B-26C_320BG441BS_MissouriMule
Another 441st Squadron ship, this is 41-34891 “Missouri Mule”, a B-26C. The red cowling faces and propeller hubs are a Group marking.
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Thumper II is another 441st Squadron ship. She is B-26C 42-10778.
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Here is a close-up of Thumper II’s nose art, note the mission markers extend to cover the landing gear door.
B26_08_42-107534_B-26C_320BG441BS_BelleRinger
“Bell Ringer” was B-26C 42-107534. One of the cheek gun fairings remains in place on her port side but does not carry a gun.
B26_09_42-107534_B-26C_320BG441BS_BelleRinger_02
A close-up of “Belle Ringer” nose art and scoreboard, which also extends to the landing gear cover.
B26_10_44-68136_B-26G_320BG442BS
A 442nd Squadron B-26G seen from above, showing fading and wear to her olive drab uppersurfaces.
B26_11_42-107733_B-26C_320BG444BS_99_MyDarling
Most of the 320th Bomb Group’s 444th Squadron carried shark’s mouths in addition to nose art applied by the crews. This is B-26C 42-107733 “My Darling”. Her formation number was 99.
B26_12_42-107825_B-26C_320BG444BS_98_Ol_Folks
Another 444th Squadron Marauder with the shark mouth is 42-10782 “Ol’ Folks”, which carried formation number 98.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part III

F4U_21_RA
A factory-fresh F4U showing details of the landing gear. A total of 12,571 Corsairs were produced. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_22_Vought-F4U-1A-Corsairs-VMF-214-White-829-at-Munda-Point-1943-01
A study in paint wear. This F4U-1A is seen at Munda Point during the last months of 1943. It was assigned to VMF-214, a Marine squadron.
F4U_23_HG
A view of the underside of a birdcage Corsair in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme. The folding portion of the wings were painted Blue Gray so they would better blend in with an aircraft carrier’s Deck Blue flight deck when the wings were folded. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
F4U_24
This Corsair carries a bomb rack under the wing. Even though this is a comparatively new aircraft the paint has already begun to wear at the ring root where mechanics stand while servicing the engine.
F4U_25_RA
The same aircraft from a different angle. The white dots on the fuselage are factory inspection stickers. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_26_RA
A posed photograph of a brand-new Corsair, showing details of the wheels. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_27
A Navy Lieutenant Commander in his “choker whites” summer dress uniform poses for the photographer. Interestingly, the propeller on this Corsair displays the pre-war warning stripes on the tips.
F4U_28
Another shot of a factory fresh birdcage Corsair. The radio mast was offset to starboard to allow an unobstructed view through the gunsight.
F4U_29_HG
A sentry armed with a shotgun protects the aircraft as they roll off the assembly lines. Sabotage was a constant concern which never materialized. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
F4U_30
A derelict F4U-4 at Blythe, CA. The outer wing panels were covered in fabric, which has mostly rotted away on this aircraft.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part II

F4U_11_HG
A fine study of a Corsair in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme showing how the grime can build up on the inner wings. On this aircraft the cowl flaps have been installed without regard to color. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
F4U_12
The Corsair was a beautiful aircraft from any angle. The bent wings were adopted to allow ground clearance for the 13-foot propeller, giving the Corsair its distinct appearance. (LIFE Magazine)
F4U_13
Artwork on Corsairs was a rarity compared to types operated by the USAAF. Here is a close-up of a FAA Corsair displaying a colorful image of Donald Duck.
F4U_14
The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm ordered over 500 Corsairs. The examples here are seen in the Temperate Sea Scheme with the last three digits of their serial numbers roughly sprayed on their cowls.
F4U_15
A Fleet Air Arm Corsair showing details of the wing fold mechanism. The three dark circles near the wingtip are colored recognition lights, red, green, and amber.
F4U_16_USS_Block_Island
A Marine from VMF-511 inspects the guns of this F4U-1D aboard the USS Bock Island (CVE 106). The covers for the ammunition feed trays were interchangeable, this has disrupted the bar of the insignia on the port wing as Glossy Sea Blue panels have been substituted for white, a common occurrence.
F4U_17_RA
One of the first Corsairs off the production lines, this is BuNo 02170. She is seen in the standard Blue Gray over Light Gray Scheme in September 1942. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_18
The photographer has caught this Corsair cycling its landing gear. The wheels turned 90 degrees when retracted to lie flat within the wings. (LIFE Magazine)
F4U_19-VMF-218-White-465-Barakoma-Airfield-Vella-Lavella-Solomon-Islands-15th-Jan-1944-02
A Marine Corsair of VMF-222 on Barakoma Field, Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands in November 1943. This is BuNo 03833. She wears a Graded Scheme camouflage which is already showing fading and wear under the harsh South Pacific sun.
F4U_20_HG
An atmospheric photograph of a birdcage Corsair semi-silhouetted in the glare. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part I

F4U_01
The first of the breed! This is XF4U-1 BuNo 1143 seen in 1940. The prototype flew just 1n time to be painted in the colorful US Navy “Yellow Wings” scheme.
F4U_02_RA
Early production Corsairs had a framed canopy center section, leading to the nickname “birdcage Corsairs”. Although the paint is rather worn and faded, the white dots visible on the fuselage are factory inspection stickers. Note the primer showing through at the forward wing root, and the fading of the fabric wing panels and ailerons. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_03_RA
Although designed as a fighter, the Corsair could carry an impressive bomb load. This F4U-1D is seen hauling two 1,000-pound bombs beneath the fuselage. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_04-4-corsair-of-vbf-82-uss-randolph_1946
The Corsair was kept in service after the war, even as several other types were retired in the general de-mobilization which followed. Here is a rather worn F4U-4 in overall Glossy Sea Blue of VBF-82 aboard the USS Randolph (CV-15) in 1946.
F4U_05_XF4U-3_1_RA
The XF4U-3 was designed to provide the Marines with a high-altitude interceptor by fitting a turbocharged Pratt & Whitney XR 2800-16 engine and four bladed prop. The turbocharger inlet is visible under the fuselage in this photograph. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_06_XF4U-3_2_RA
A fine study of one of the three XF4U-3 prototypes. Problems with the engine resulted in fitting a Pratt & Whitney R 2800-14 engine instead, the aircraft achieving an impressive speed of 480 mph at 40,000 feet. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_07_TorokinaAirfield_Bouganville
Torokina Airfield on Bouganville provides the standard South Pacific setting for this Corsair as it taxies out on the Marston mat runway.
F4U_08
Several Marine squadrons employed the Corsair primarily in the close air support mission. This aircraft is being prepped for another mission to add to her already-impressive scoreboard.
F4U_09
The FG-1D of Marine Lt Leroy Anheuser displays his Ace of Hearts emblem. The aircraft was assigned to VMF-122, based on Peleiu during 1944-45.
F4U_10_Jeremiah_OKeef
Marine 1Lt Jeremiah O’Keefe of VMF-323 poses in the cockpit of his Corsair on Okinawa. O’Keefe downed five Japanese aircraft during a single sortie on 22APR45, and an additional two on 28APR45. He was awarded the Navy Cross.

Douglas C-47 / R4D Skytrain / Dakota Color Photographs Part III

C47_21_80-G-K-5297_R4D_Flag aircraft of Rear Admiral Osbourne B. Hardison, chief of Naval Air Primary Training, is checked out by ground crew at NAS New Orleans, circa early 1945
Not all R4D’s were camouflaged. This is the aircraft of Rear Admiral Osbourne B. Hardsion, Chief of Naval Air Primary Training. His two-star flag placard is visible beneath the pilot’s window. (80-G-K-5297)
C47_22
Another Navy R4D in a natural metal finish, this one is assigned to the Naval Air Transport Service.
C47_23
Another mission frequently assigned to the Dakota was casualty evacuation, as being performed by the Royal Air Force example seen here.
C47_24
A patient being transferred to a Skytrain with invasion stripes. This photo provides a good view of the boarding ladder and inside of the cargo door.
C47_25_Vella Lavella
A similar view of a U.S. Marine casualty being evacuated from Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands.
C47_26
Not the clearest of photographs but some interesting markings with yellow and red identification panels. An earlier “55” aircraft identification number has been removed aft of the yellow 25.
C47_27
A paratrooper poses in front of a rather weathered C-47, the nose of which has been repainted. Compare the size and positioning of the Troop Carrier Command lettering with that of the photo of the paratrooper from last week’s post here:  https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/douglas-c-47-r4d-skytrain-dakoda-color-photographs-part-ii/
C47_28_32d_Troop_Carrier_Squadron_Douglas_C-47A-15-DK_Skytrain_42-92862_1945
42-92862, a Skytrain of the 32nd Troop Carrier Squadron.
C47_29
Sad Sack hauling cargo is the subject of this nose art.
C47_30
Puddle-Jumper displaying some interesting details of propeller markings. Note the white trim to the carburetor intakes. One has to wonder if the nose art is intentional or the victim of an over-zealous removal of another marking. (LIFE Magazine)

Douglas C-47 / R4D Skytrain / Dakota Color Photographs Part II

42-100646 displays one of the more extremely faded paint jobs. She was assigned to the 47th Troup Carrier Squadron and is seen in Germany just after the war.

C47_12
A formation of C-47’s showing various degrees of wear. The vertical stabilizer appears to have faded more rapidly, likely the assembly was painted with a different Olive Drab paint formulation by a sub-contractor, similar to the B-17. The wing in the foreground shows details of the weathering.

C47_13
The same formation as the photo above. The factory Olive Drab finish on some of the C-47’s has shifted to a variety of browns and buffs.

C47_14
The C-47 was also utilized as a glider tug, seen here towing the Waco CG-4 Hadrian.

C47_15
Paratroopers of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion prepare to board a C-47. The “Triple Nickles” were a segregated unit utilized as “smoke jumpers” in the Pacific Northwest. Their mission was to extinguish fires set by Japanese Fu-Go incendiary balloons, 9,300 of which were released during the winter of 1944-45.

C47_16
Paratroopers don their parachutes. 43-48910 displays extensive fading and the remnants of the code “CK –“ on the fuselage aft of the cockpit.

C47_17
Lieutenant Clifford Allen smiles for the camera. Each paratrooper carried 150 feet of rope to enable them to descend safely in the event their parachute became tangled in trees or the mountainous terrain.

C47_18
Troop Carrier Command C-47’s bank over the Oregon back country.

C47_19
A close up of the nose of C-47 42-92095 showing details of the Troop Carrier Command insignia and nose art. The number “442” has replaced at least two previous identifiers.

C47_20
This is the nose of 43-48910, also seen in previous photographs. The “CK –“ code behind the cockpit is visible, as are the remains of other codes under the Troop Carrier Command insignia. These aircraft would make for interesting modeling subjects!

Douglas C-47 / R4D Skytrain / Dakota Color Photographs Part I

C47_01
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain (R4D for you Navy types) is one of the classic designs of aeronautical engineering. Rugged and versatile, many are still flying today, almost eighty years after they were built – a testament to their design and construction.

C47_02_NASM-NASM-9A12408_Over Mindanao_PI_1945
From a modeling perspective the C-47 offers many interesting possibilities. Here a USAAF C-47 is seen over Mindanao, Philippines in 1945. While the tail markings are somewhat unusual, the high degree of fading and wear to the finish is common to the type and can be a challenge to replicate.

C47_03
An adaptation of the DC-3 civilian airliner, Douglas produced over 10,000 C-47’s during the Second World War. Interestingly, the Japanese obtained a license to produce the design before the war, and built over 500 as the L2D. Similarly, the Soviet Union produced approximately 5,000 (counts vary) as the Lisunov Li-2.

C47_04
A U.S. Navy R4D is seen at Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic. It was called Ciudad Trujillo from 1936 to 1961, but is known as Santo Domingo today. Notice the paint has worn off the back of the propeller blades.

C47_05_R4D
Three Navy R4D’s in flight, demonstrating the effectiveness of their Blue Gray / Light Gray camouflage.

C47_06
The British received around 2,000 C-47’s under Lend Lease and gave the type the name “Dakota”. After the war many were distributed to Commonwealth and former colonial countries. Several of these aircraft are still flying today, including some with the South African Air Force in the maritime patrol role. 

C47_07
42-32892 served with the Soviet Air Force and was transferred to Aeroflot after the war. It crashed on the Taymyr Peninsula on 13APR47 with 9 fatalities, 28 were later rescued. The aircraft is pictured as it remained in 2012.

C47_08
Many civilian DC-3’s were pressed into military service before and at the beginning of the war, one of which may be this aircraft pictured in pre-war USAAC markings and insignia.

C47_09
Nose art on several C-47’s were photographed for LIFE Magazine at Townsend, Australia in 1943. These are two examples.

C47_10

Chevrolet G506 E-5 Turret Training Trucks

G506_01
During the Second World War the U.S. automotive industry produced a vast number of trucks and light vehicles which were used by all Allied nations. One of the more versatile designs was the Chevrolet G506 1+1⁄2-ton, 4×4 medium truck, of which 154,204 were built in various configurations. Over 44,000 were provided to the Soviets.

G506_02
One of the versions was the E5 Turret Trainer Truck. This was a rather straight-forward modification which replaced the cargo bed with various frame-mounted aircraft turrets. The truck’s engine drove an electric generator which provided power to operate the turret.

G506_03_RemingtonModel11_Spadegrip
Aerial gunnery students began their training by shooting skeet with shotguns. They then progressed to shooting clay pigeons from the back of a moving vehicle. This is a standard G506 cargo version with a wooden shooting stand added to the bed. The weapon is a Remington Model 11 shotgun fitted with a spade grip.

G506_04_091116-F-5306M-006_TyndallField
Shotguns were also fitted to the E5 trucks as the students gained proficiency. The shotguns helped reduce costs.

G506_05_LibTurretTailLine_30cal
Here is another configuration – B-24 turrets fitted with .30-caliber machine guns. Note that the truck frames are fitted with stabilizers above the rear wheels for firing.

G506_06_080128-F-3927S-114
A good view of the top of a Sperry ventral turret with Perspex transparencies removed. This reveals of details of the frame.

G506_07
Another top view from a magazine illustration. The caption reads, “Learning To Give Our Enemies a Nasty Taste of Bitter Medicine. Gunnery students learn to aim and fire the .50-caliber machine guns which will later be installed in regulation bomber turrets. Here, for trial workouts, these deadly guns are mounted in Army trucks, from which they fire at targets carried by a driverless jeep running on a circular track.”

G506_07_ChevyE5
A posed photograph, but interesting as it shows jacks being installed under the front bumper to stabilize the vehicle. Note the placard with the number “4” in front of the turret.

G506_08__Turret_Training_Truck_FtMyers1945
A model aircraft mounted to a Cushman cart is intended to provide practice tracking a crossing target, but the trainees don’t appear interested. In many of these photos the trucks have their hoods open, presumably to help keep the engines cool while the vehicles are stationary and generating electricity for the turrets.

G506_09_Page_Field_FtMyers
Trainees carry ammo to the gun range at Page Field, Fort Myers, Florida. Trucks are lined up preparing to fire. Red flags indicate a “hot” range.

G506_10_JeepTargetFtMyers
A cloth banner mounted to a Jeep is the intended target. The Jeep would be unmanned when firing, guided by the fixed track system and protected by the earthen berm in the background.

G506_11_Turret_truckrearweb
A good view of the rear of the E5 Turret Trainer Truck. To the right is a Sperry ball turret.

G506_12
The Sperry ball turret required a different frame when mounted to the truck, one which provided clear arcs of fire to the rear. Ironically, the mounting structure resulted in a taller vehicle than those equipped with any of the standard ventral turrets.

G506_13
A clear side view of an E5 with a ball turret. Any of these vehicles would make an unusual conversion project for a modeler.

G506_14
While I could not confirm that any of the E5 turret trucks served in anything other than a training capacity, it would be plausible to use them in a local security role for airfield defense. Bomber units would have all the required logistics in place to support both the truck and gun system plus have an abundance of trained gunners.

G506_15_Chevrolet_G506_E-5_New_Guinea
This and the following photo are supposedly of a gun truck in New Guinea, and may show an E5 truck utilized in an airfield defense role.

G506_16
Compare the support frame on this truck to the previous photographs – it is much simpler and mounted lower than the others, similar to the support for the Liberator turrets with the .30-caliber guns seen in the fifth photograph.