Old Days by AliceFromLake ()
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I am so overloaded with work, that I have only time to make a quick picture.
The Grumman F9F Panther is one of the United States Navy's first successful carrier-based jet fighters, as well as Grumman’s first jet fighter. A single-engined, straight-winged day fighter, it was armed with four 20 mm (0.79 in) cannons and could carry a wide assortment of air-to-ground munitions.
The Panther was used extensively by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the Korean War. It was also the first jet aircraft used by the Blue Angels aerobatics demonstration team, from 1949 through late 1954. The aircraft was exported to Argentina and was the first jet used by the Argentine Naval Aviation.
Total F9F production was 1,382. The design evolved into the swept wing Grumman F-9 Cougar.
The Grumman Panther was the primary US Navy and USMC jet fighter and ground-attack aircraft in the Korean War. The Panther was the most widely used U.S. Navy jet fighter of the Korean War, flying 78,000 sorties and scoring the first air-to-air kill by the U.S. Navy in the war, the downing of a North Korean Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter. F9F-2s, F9F-3s and F9F-5s, as rugged attack aircraft, were able to sustain operations, even in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire. The pilots also appreciated the air conditioned cockpit, which was a welcome change from the humid environment of piston-powered aircraft.
Despite their relative slow speed, Panthers also managed to shoot down two Yak-9s and seven Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15s for the loss of two F9Fs. On 3 July 1950, Lieutenant, junior grade Leonard H. Plog of U.S. Navy's VF-51 flying an F9F-3 scored the first U.S. Navy air victory of the war by shooting down a Yak-9.
The first MiG-15 was downed on 9 November 1950 by Lieutenant Commander William (Bill) Amen of VF-111 "Sundowners" flying an F9F-2B. Two more MiG-15s were downed on 18 November 1950.
On 18 November 1952, Lt. Royce Williams of VF-781, flying off USS Oriskany destroyed four MiGs in a single, 35-minute combat. This unique feat has remained little-known, due to the involvement of National Security Agency (NSA) – the existence of which was then top secret – in planning the mission. Following intelligence provided by the NSA, the MiGs had been intercepted during a series of air strikes against the North Korean port of Hoeryong, across the mouth of the Tumen River from the major Soviet naval base at Vladivostok. After losing contact with his wingman, Williams found himself alone in a dogfight with six MiG-15s; when he was able to land on Oriskany, his Panther was found to have sustained 263 hits from by cannon shells or fragments, and to be beyond repair. Williams' victories were even more notable in that all four MiGs were flown by Soviet Naval Aviation pilots: Russian sources confirmed Williams' claims, 40 years later, stating that the pilots lost were Captains Belyakov and Vandalov, and Lieutenants Pakhomkin and Tarshinov.
Future astronaut Neil Armstrong flew the F9F extensively during the war, even ejecting from one of the aircraft when it was brought down by a wire strung across a valley, in 1951. Future astronaut John Glenn and Boston Red Sox all-star baseball player Ted Williams also flew the F9F as Marine Corps pilots.