Episodes Enoki Flying Board --- Desperate War of Japan in the Pacific ---
First raid in Kyushu of Japan
F4U-1D by Koike
IJN fought with Vought F4U in Kyushu on Mar 1945. A Betty found enemy kidobutai at night on 17th. A radar in Tanegashima also confirmed the enemy. 203rd and 721st koukutai flew zeros of 292 sorties. On briefing at Kasanohara airfields at 5:40, a 6F6-N was trailing the Betty. The 6F6-N shot down it. A lot of F4U raided over Kyushu for the first time. It was painful combat for IJN. 34 aircraft was lost in the aerial combat. 8 aircarft was destroyed on the ground. Watanabe, p.341-342
Landed F4U in Okinawa
Landed F4U of Marines bombed on the ground and helped US ground forces, though they also did air combats. They did 10,506 airborne close support sorties. They released more than 5,000 bombs and 1,100 napalm. They shot 37,000 rockets. But 384 F4U were lost because of flak. 305 F4U were lost when they took off and landed down. 74 F4U were lost because of air combats. 22 pilots were killed in action. 39 pilots were unknown.
|Group||Squadron(F4U variant)||Total flight hour|
|MAG-31||VMF-224(F4U-1A/D), -311(F4U-1A/C), -441(F4U-1A/D/C)||38,187|
|MAG-22||VMF-113(F4U-1A/D), -314(F4U-1D), -422(F4U-1A/D)||22,912|
|MAG-14||VMF-212(F4U-1A/D/4), -222(F4U-1A/D/4), -223(F4U-1A/D/4)||18,551|
Ratio of F4U loss by flak was 3.7%. If the each squadron had 24 F4U, the total number of F4U were 216. As the total loss of F4U were 763, MAG replaced 3.5 times in average for 3 months. Price of F4U-1A was $98,386.
VMF-222 and VF-17 attached a bomb rack under belly by themselves in Solomons. 8 F4U-1A with a regular Brewster bomb rack of VMF-111 bombed a flak position on Mili on March 8th 1943.
USS Santee(CVE-29) ferried F4U on Guam on August 4th 1944. Soon VMF-216, VMF-217 and VMF-225 of MAG-21 arrived as well as VMF(N)-534 equipped with F6F-3N/-5N. MAG-21 had 540 officers, 4,000 soldiers and 200 aircraft of 12 squadrons on Novemver.
VMF-114 arrived at Peleliu on September 29th 1944. VMF-121 and VMF-122 took part in a combat. The F4U operated 1,100 times. They released bombs of 165t. They destroyed 2 wireless stations, 58 truks, 122 burges and 35 depos of ammo, fuel. F4U and 16 pilots of them were lost.
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