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Did RN Corsairs tangle with any German fighters?

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  • Did RN Corsairs tangle with any German fighters?

    I know they flew aerial coverage on some of the Tirpitz raids, but IIRC they didn't encounter any German fighters.

    Did Corsairs ever tangle with German fighters, particularly Bf-109s or Fw-190s?

  • #2
    Earlier thread on similar subject.

    Did the Germans ever face Corsairs?

    The last post quoting R Leonard has a lot of good info including
    the following:

    FAA F4U's also participated in Operation Tungsten with 1834 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. PN Charlton, DFC, RN) and 1836 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. CC Tomkinson, RNVR) off Victorious, flying high cover for the raid. This was a role the FAA Corsairs of 1841 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. RL Bigg-Wither, DCS & bar, RN) would repeat, flying off Formidable in Operation Mascot on 17 July and with 1841 joined by 1842 Squadron (Lieut. Comdr. AMcD Garland, RN) in Operation Goodwood in late August. No contact was made with any German aircraft. Indeed, the FAA F4U's never did tangle with any German aircraft, though not for lack of trying. After the summer of 1944, FAA F4U's were largely operating in the Indian and Pacific Oceans . . . pretty far away from the Germans.

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    • #3
      Good reply, CD. I recall being indignant at seeing a model of an F4U in German markings ("Captured Aircraft") and thinking that I don't remember the Allies losing any F4Us over European Axis territory, but I didn't know for sure. So, I'll ask, was I wrong or was the (Nazi fanboi) modeller?

      Susie
      Will no one tell me what she sings?--
      Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
      For old, unhappy, far-off things,
      And battles long ago:
      -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

      Comment


      • #4
        Probably one Corsair was captured by the Germans as one of the aircraft on the Tirpitz raid had a fuel problem and came down intact in Norway. Luftwaffe SOP was to test such captured aircraft in mock dog fights against standard German types.
        The Martlet (Wildcat) did see action against Me 109s over North Africa. Luftwaffe pilots reported that it was better in a dog fight but the FAA pilots marksmanship wasn't so good. The Martlet was effective against Vichy French Blochs over Madagascar.
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
          Good reply, CD. I recall being indignant at seeing amodel of an F4U in German markings ("Captured Aircraft") and thinking that I don't remember the Allies losing any F4Us over European Axis territory, but I didn't know for sure. So, I'll ask, was I wrong or was the (Nazi fanboi) modeller?

          Susie
          A F4U from HMS Formidable was captured intact in Norway after it was forced to land with technical problems (the pilot became a POW), it was later sent to a testing site in Germany and flown on tests while in Luftwaffe markings.

          Comment


          • #6
            From
            CAPTURED FLEET AIR ARM AIRCRAFT:
            Corsair JT404 of 1841 squadron. Involved in anti-submarine patrol from HMS Formidable enroute to Scapa after Operation Mascot against the German Battleship Tirpitz, in company with Barracuda of Wing Leader Lt Cdr RS Baker-Falkner. Emergency landing in a field at Sorvag, Hameroy, near Bodo, Norway on 18 July 1944. The pilot Lt Mattholie taken POW and the aircraft captured intact with no damage. The german authorities made attempts to get the pilot to explain how to fold the wings so as to transport the aircraft to Narvik. Aircraft was ferried by boat for further investigation. It is not known if the Corsair was taken to Germany. This was probably the first Corsair captured by the Germans. Aircraft is listed at Rechlin for 1944 under repair.
            Some more info on the mission that resulted in the loss:
            On July 18, 1944, with the Fleet threatened by U-Boat wolf packs, Lt Cdr Baker-Falkner was launched on the first anti-submarine patrol. Flying a Barracuda II aircraft with the serial LS556 and the squadron code 5K, he was assisted by his Observer, Lt G.N. Micklem, and his [telegraphist] Air Gunner (TAG), PO A.H. Kimberley.

            A Corsair of 1841 squadron flown by the senior pilot, Sub Lt HS Mattholie, escorted his Barracuda. Tragically, the weather worsened and Baker-Falkner's Barracuda and the Corsair failed to find the Fleet and became separated. Baker-Falkner and his crew were lost at sea. Sub Lt Mattholie crash-landed in Norway and was subsequently taken as a prisoner of war. Sub Lt Mattholie's successor as senior pilot in 1841 squadron was Lt Robert Hampton Gray RCNVR, who was later to posthumously earn the Victoria Cross in the Pacific.
            From: Lieutenant-Commander Roy Sydney Baker-Falkner

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            • #7
              RN Corsairs didn't see any aerial combat in Europe but RN Hellcats did. Over several missions to Norway they tangled with the Luftwaffe and shot down 5 for no loss to themselves.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                A F4U from HMS Formidable was captured intact in Norway after it was forced to land with technical problems (the pilot became a POW), it was later sent to a testing site in Germany and flown on tests while in Luftwaffe markings.
                Crud. Glad I didn't say anything. Ever notice you never regret that?

                Thanks to you and MarkV
                Susie
                Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                And battles long ago:
                -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Box Scores...

                  ... courtesy of Rich Leonard from a similar discussion on a different forum, long ago. I'm not sure what his sources were, but he was/is usually very good at this sort of thing


                  F4F/FM vs Axis types

                  USN F4Fs:
                  22 Credits - 1 Loss
                  10 Curtis 75A
                  4 Dewoitine D.520
                  3 Martin 167
                  2 Potez 63
                  1 Douglas DB-7
                  1 Junkers Ju-88
                  1 Heinkel He-115

                  1 loss was to a Curtis 75A

                  RN FAA F4F/FMs
                  49 credits, 5 losses
                  12 Blohm and Voss BV-138
                  10 Focke-Wulf Fw-200
                  5 Savoia-Marchetti SM-79
                  4 Junkers Ju-88
                  4 Messerschmitt Me-109G
                  3 Morane 406C
                  2 Potez 63
                  1 Fiat G-50,
                  1 Cantieri Z- 506B
                  1 Reggianne R-2000
                  1 Bloch 174
                  1 Heinkel
                  1 Heinkel He-111
                  1 Heinkel He-115
                  1 Heinkel He-177
                  1 Junkers Ju-290, and Kawanishi H6K.

                  Losses were 1 each to an SM-79, an R-2000, a 406C, an Fw-200 and an
                  Me-109G.

                  F6F vs Axis types:

                  USN F6Fs
                  8 credits, no air combat losses
                  3 Heinkel He-111
                  3 Junkers Ju-52
                  1 Junkers Ju-88
                  1 Dornier Do-217

                  RN FAA F6Fs
                  5 Credits, 1 loss
                  2 Heinkel He-115
                  2 Messerschmitt Me-109G
                  1 Focke-Wulf Fw-190
                  The 1 loss was in the same action where the 109's and the 190 were
                  credited. One other F6F was lost to ground fire in the same action.

                  F4U vs Axis types:

                  USN F4U
                  Not use in European or African waters

                  RN FAA F4Us
                  Used in operations in the North Sea.
                  No credits, no losses in air combat

                  Regards,

                  Rich
                  "I am Groot"
                  - Groot

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, I can always count on getting great knowledge here. I didn't even know about the Wildcats and Hellcats. Thinking of those versus Bf-109s and Fw-190s is fascinating.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First aircraft shot down by a British operated American aircraft was a Ju 88 intercepted by two Martlets over Scapa Flow on Christmas Day 1940
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                        First aircraft shot down by a British operated American aircraft was a Ju 88 intercepted by two Martlets over Scapa Flow on Christmas Day 1940
                        First British operated American built fighter aircraft.

                        Another type of American aircraft had scored an earlier victory in RAF service.

                        The first UK based RAF aircraft and also the first American built British operated aircraft to claim a victory over a German aircraft was a Lockheed Hudson.

                        On October 8th 1939, three Hudsons from 224 Squadron (N7217, N7215, N7264) forced down a Dornier 18 (M7+UK) of 2/KuFlGr 506. [Shores Fledgling Eagles p 84]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CarpeDiem View Post
                          First British operated American built fighter aircraft.

                          Another type of American aircraft had scored an earlier victory in RAF service.

                          The first UK based RAF aircraft and also the first American built British operated aircraft to claim a victory over a German aircraft was a Lockheed Hudson.

                          On October 8th 1939, three Hudsons from 224 Squadron (N7217, N7215, N7264) forced down a Dornier 18 (M7+UK) of 2/KuFlGr 506. [Shores Fledgling Eagles p 84]
                          Do you have more details? According to Military History Encyclopedia the first Hudson victory over a Dornier 18 was on 10th November 1939 when two Hudsons from 220 sqn forced down an aircraft from 3.Staffel/ K.Fl.Gr.406, which capsized after alighting. Earlier combats by aircraft of 224 sqn are mentioned but with the Do 18 surviving
                          I Seek My Prey In The Waters: The Coastal Command At War By Sqn. Ldr. Tom Dudley-Gordon has a chapter (V) on these early encounters and October 8th is covered but there is no mention of a Do 18 kill. He does say that because of the heavy armouring of the Dorniers these early combats were usually inconclusive - one Dornier took over 200 hits and still survived.
                          Last edited by MarkV; 15 Feb 16, 03:59.
                          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                            Do you have more details? According to Military History Encyclopedia the first Hudson victory over a Dornier 18 was on 10th November 1939 when two Hudsons from 220 sqn forced down an aircraft from 3.Staffel/ K.Fl.Gr.406, which capsized after alighting. Earlier combats by aircraft of 224 sqn are mentioned but with the Do 18 surviving
                            I Seek My Prey In The Waters: The Coastal Command At War By Sqn. Ldr. Tom Dudley-Gordon has a chapter (V) on these early encounters and October 8th is covered but there is no mention of a Do 18 kill. He does say that because of the heavy armouring of the Dorniers these early combats were usually inconclusive - one Dornier took over 200 hits and still survived.
                            Sure.
                            This incident is mentioned in a general sense in John Terraine's "The Right of the Line" [page 228 of my edition]:

                            Nevertheless, it was a 224 Squadron Hudson which claimed the first German aircraft shot down by the RAF in the Second World War: a Dornier 18 flying boat on October 8,1939
                            Terraine is incorrect in identifying the Dornier as the first German aircraft shot down by the RAF. That actually happened in September 1939.

                            The RAF Museum is more accurate:
                            British Military Aviation in 1939:

                            8 October

                            A Royal Air Force Lockheed Hudson of No.224 Squadron, operating out of RAF Leuchars, shoots down a German Dornier Do18 flying boat of 2/Küstenfliegergruppe 506 25km. This is the first victory recorded of an American-built aircraft in the Second World War and is the first German aircraft to be destroyed by a Royal Air Force aircraft operating from Britain.
                            Some more specific information on the incident:

                            RAFs first kill from a UK base.

                            2./506 loss 8.10.39
                            See post 2 from historian Peter Cornwell:
                            2./KüFlGr. 506 Dornier Do18D-3 (0737). Engine damaged during engagement with three RAF Hudsons of No. 224 Squadron during patrol over the Skagerrak and ditched in Danish waters (56`30N 0`04W) 8.10 a.m. FF Fw Willi Naß, BO Lt zur See Hans Hornkohl, BF Uffz Hermann Pluntke, and BM Uffz Toni Fait all rescued from dinghy by Danish steamer Teddy, landed at Rudkøbing on the island of Langeland, and interned. Aircraft M7+UK sunk by gunfire from the Hudsons 100% write-off.
                            First victory of WWII for a British-based RAF aircraft. The crew was repatriated to Germany on October 25, 1940.
                            Luftwaffe Loss Register - Luftwaffe Seaplane aircraft losses over the Nordic region during WWII has the following info:
                            08-10-1939 Dornier Do 18 Küstenstaffel 2./KüGr 506 1D Hörnum See WNr. 0000 732 British A/C 100% Ltn. Hornkuhl (p) 0-4-0-0 [reference to crew rescued] Britain Fla/s 25km NE of Aberdeen
                            and the listing of Dornier 18 construction also gives the loss:
                            D-3 732 M7+UK 2./506. Shot down 8/10 1939
                            A look at the incident from the naval side:

                            NAVAL EVENTS, OCTOBER 1939 (Part 1 of 2)
                            Sunday 1st - Saturday 14th


                            Light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON, EDINBURGH, GLASGOW with destroyers JERVIS, JUPITER, JAGUAR departed Rosyth, while destroyers JACKAL and JANUS departed Grimsby and joined at sea to operate off the mouth of the Skagerrak in 57‑45N, 05‑00E, before sweeping north. At 0605/9th, JAGUAR was detached to Rosyth for refuelling and en route, was attacked by German bombers, but not damaged. JERVIS and JUPITER were ordered to search for Danish steamer TEDDY (557grt) which had picked up the crew of a German Dornier flying boat shot down on the 8th. They too were attacked by German bombers at 1518, but again without damage. However, JUPITER broke down at sea at 1650 and was taken in tow by JERVIS.
                            EDIT: Was able to find my copy of Hendrie's Seek and Strike: The Lockheed Hudson at War and found his description of the action so I've attached it for reference.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by CarpeDiem; 15 Feb 16, 07:38.

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