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Air Classics: Night aboard the carrier
April 43
1--The first Navy night fighter squadron, VF(N)-75, was established at Quonset Point, Commander W. J. Widhelm, commanding.

VC-3 night heckler



mom & dad met at moffett
U.S. Navy Fighter Squadrons in World War II

RE: moffett field (now sunnyvale ca 94086)
Message from Martin Woodul:
The popular nite spot was The Bon-Ton.
The swabbies called it the French cabret.
It was just a little ways from the main gate.
I knew it well.
woody



I can't recall knowing your dad or mother. I was a second
class Yeoman (paper pusher) stationed at Moffett field from 1949 to May l952.
If your mother was there during these years she probably remembers the Bon- Bon Club outside the gates.
VC-3 was a night fighter group. When the Korean war started the group went from about 25 pilots ( WWII experienced pilots) to over a hundred, mostly Ensigns.
Thanks
Don Rice
The Night Fighter planes were specially built with AN/APS-4 and AN/APS-6 radars built into the wings. These radars gave the Hellcat pilots a radar picture of the battlefield from up to 5.5 miles away. The Night Fighters also had a rear-looking radar that would alert a pilot if a plane came within 180 yds of his plane. Night Fighter pilots were specially trained and had to pass a 29 week long school where they learned to fly solely based on instruments
The night-fighter variant of the Corsair, the F4U-5N, also saw considerable action, being used by one of the USMC’s night-fighter squadrons, VMF(N)-513, as well as several USN detachments. Communist night-time raids in the Seoul area were so intense in April and May of 1953 that, at the Fifth Air Force’s request, the USS Princeton stationed a detachment of four F4U-5Ns of VC-3 in the area. USN Lt. Guy Bordelon shot down five night-raiders during June and July of 1953 and became the only US Navy ace of the Korean War as well as the only Bedcheck Charlie ace of the war.
1Willian Odell, Col. USAF, "The Development of Night Fighters in World War II" Naval History vol. 3, no. 1. Ownership of the Night intercept radar in small, single engine Naval aircraft.1 The early testing of the radar sets provided a sound foundation for future developeents of the Naval service night fighters. In April of 1942, the Navy established a unit at NAS Quonset Point under the code name of Project Argus. This codename was later changed to Project Affirm to eliminate confusion between two elements of the project. This project was the first night fighter developeent unit and its purpose was to develop and test night fighter equipment for the Navy and the Marine Corps.2
On April 1, 1943, the second night fighter squadron was commissioned as was the first night fighter group. These were VMF(N)-532 and Marine Night Fighter Group-53. The first Navy night fighter squadron, VF(N)-75, was formed 10 days later. Both squadrons were outfitted with the F4U Corsair, which was being equipped with the APS-6 radar. This change to a single seat, single engine fighter was a major divergence in previous thinking. Perhaps the change came about because it was recognized that the defense of the carrier battle group would have to become a 24 hour affair and any Naval service night fighter would have to be carrier capable.

Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare noted naval aviator "night operations"
Guy Bordelon VC-3
GB

Gil Girard
ajbs.com
Next came the F6F-3N, 205 of these built by the Grumman factory. The F6F-3N employed an improved radar, the APS-6. Installed in a bulbous pod on the starboard wing, the APS-6 was simple to operate (only six knobs), had a range of five miles, and weighed 250 pounds. It featured a double-dot system that displayed a shadow blip to the right of the true blip; this secondary blip showed the target's altitude relative to the F6F. The -3E's and -3N's deployed to the carriers in the Pacific in early 1944, but were difficult to integrate into carrier operations, as they essentially would have required round-the-clock duty by launch and recovery crews. Nonetheless, three Hellcat-equipped night squadrons (VF(N)-76, VF(N)-77, and VF(N)-78) served in the Pacific in 1944.
The F6F-5N was the definitive night-fighting version of the Hellcat, over 1500 of these built by Grumman.
acepilots.com
nightbirds
wrote:

>Sorry, There were two night fighter squadrons aboard, F4U Corsairs and
>AD Skyraider's. I did not know any of the personal. You probably
>already know Aug of VA-728 He should know more than
>I. Do you have access to the Cruise Book? No doubt your father was
>mentioned in there. Sorry, not much help. I can tell you this, Those
>pilots that flew off the carrier at night were one brave person. Thanks
>for writing...anything else, let me know! Sincerely, Jack Shubert,
>VF-713
>Check this out: http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/antietam.htm

* 765 F8F-1's
* 100 F8F-1B's, armed with 20mm cannon instead of the four machine guns
* 36 F8F-1N's, a night fighting variant
* 293 F8F-2's, outfitted with 20mm cannon as a standard
* 12 F8F-2N night fighters
* 60 F8F-2P photo-recon planes

Kirk, Since you have your father's flight log [It probably is a small brown book, NAVAER-4111 (Rev. 9-44), with a page for each month on which to record flights.], you have a record of the plane type and Bureau Numbers (BuNo) of all the planes he flew by actual date. The first column is the date of the month, the second column is the aircraft type and the third column is the BuNo. If for some reason his flight log doesn't look like that, it should still contain the BuNo of each plane. You can go to Joe Baugher's site at and determine the aircraft type from his lists.
It sounds as if your father flew in Korea. I think I have noticed that a VC-3 flew in Korea. They flew the F4U Corsair, that had a reciprocating engine and inverted gull wings. The wings on the bird on the patch that you sent me seem to be representing the shape of the wings on the F4U. The Corsair was flown by the Marines as well as by the Navy, and was very important in givi ng close air support to the troops on the ground, especially strafing and dropping napalm.
Prior to 1953 was still in the early days of Navy jet fighters. The jets that the Navy had at the time were the FJ North American "Fury," the F2H McDonnell "Phantom/Banshee," and the F9F Grumman "Tiger/Cougar." I don't think that the Cougar was introduced into the fleet early enough to serve in Korea.
My bet is that your father flew mostly in the Corsair. I am not aware of any tactical nuclear weapon prior to 1953 that was small enough to be carried by a fighter plane, but then I could be wrong.
Kenneth
-----Original Message----- Sent: Tue 4/12/2005 6:48 AM To: Kenneth Wooster Subject: Re: nuke drops from fighter planes
He flew until 53 it may have been a jet. He didn't really think he was gonna get out of dodge if he did have to drop it. He spoke about service ceiling and setting it loose after a short dive to pick up speed and a steep climb and dropping into a massive dive and as much speed and distance as possible. I have my dads logbooks scanned and I've tried to follow the VF and such transitions. The numbers of the planes and their types is pretty interesting.
The internet is picking up speed on a lot of this stuff finally.
Kenneth Wooster wrote:
>>Kirk, >> >>Thanks for the note. >> >>You have caused me to look again at that file, and it has called my attention to the fact that I made an error when I typed that file eight years ago and knew less than I do now. The "TP" on the tail of the AJ-2 was for Photographic Squadron 62 (VJ-62). In addition, I made still another error, the Heavy Attack squadrons at Patuxent were VC-7 and VC-8. >> >>The VC-3 (Composite Squadron 3 or Compron 3) in which your father served was apparently never associated with the program that my web site deals with. The Heavy Attack squadrons were apparently initially called composite because they flew a mixture of types of airplanes. Later the designations were changed to VAH-5, etc. The terminology would have been Heavy Attack Squadron 5 or Hatron 5, etc. >> >>So far as I know in the Heavy Attack program (at least in my era) there were only squadrons numbered 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, and 16. >> >>There could have been more than one VC-3 at different times, but I do know that there was at least one during the Korean War that flew F4Us. See >>. >> >>The nuclear bomb that we carried was the Mark VI. This was way too big for a fighter plane. With the advent of smaller bombs, it was possible for smaller planes (the A4, for example) to carry "nukes." Perhaps that is what your father flew. >> >>Kenneth Jennings Wooster >>27 Abdallah Avenue >>Cortland, NY 13045-3302 >>(607) 753-3558 >> >> >>-----Original Message----- >>Sent: Mon 4/11/2005 7:57 AM >>To: Kenneth Wooster >>Subject: RE: nuke drops from fighter planes >> >>your >>http://web.cortland.edu/woosterk/hatwing1.html >> >>refers to VC3 my dad was vc3 and he trained to drop nukes and this patch >>was 4 service



DADS LOG BOOKS ONLINE
Kirk,
My name is Aug Schwiesow, I was attached to VA 728 aboard the Antietam 1951-1952. I checked our cruise book but did not find a photo of your father in the VC 3 group. I have put together an album of over 550 photos taken while on active duty, many which would be of little interest to you, but the photos at sea and in Japan, Hawaii may interest you. The CD can only be viewed on a computer. I am exploring the process of burning the photos to a DVD which will allows the photos to be viewed with a DVD player. If you would like a copy of the CD I have an extra that I just burned yesterday and would be happy to send it to you.
Aug Schwiesow

Solo July 12 , 1943 instructor Trouble & Watson "N2S3 # 4333"
Jan 1944 Corpus Cristi TX
USS Wolverine 18 JUNE 1944

USS Monterey July 1953 F6F
VF75E June 47 thru 1948
USS Sitkoh Bay 11/26/45 Hilo, 12/31/45
VBF-19 AUG 45 +-
CALLSIGN: AARDVARK
20 January 1945 - April 1993
The history of VF-114 began with the creation of Bombing/Fighter squadron one-nine, VBF-19, on the 20th of January 1945 at NAS Alameda. Witin a short space of time the Aardvarks had moved to NAS North Island. Early equipment was the F6F Hellcat, followed by the F4U-4 Corsair. As with many squadrons in the post war period VBF-19 had its designation changed on several occaisions in quick succession. The first change was to drop the bombing role, becoming VF-20A on the 15th of November 1946. Just under tow years later, on the 24th of August 1948 they became VF-192. The final change was on the 15th of February 1950, when VF-192 became VF-114. In this early period VF-114 were known as the Executioners, rather than Aardvarks. VF-114 took part in the Korean War, deploying aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) from the 5th of July 1950. Flying their Corsairs for several months of the war the squadron took part in over 1100 strikes against the North Korean and Chinese forces. After returning from Korea VF-114 moved from props to jets, at first flying the F9F Panther. This was shortly followed by the more capable, all weather F2H Banshee


koreanwar.org




A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VC-3 was formed at NAS Moffett Field, California in late 1949. Our group spent a short while at NAS North Island, San Diego, California before making the move to Hanger One at NAS Moffett Field, California. When we arrived Hanger One had been closed since the war except for a small group of NAS guys in the center of the hanger. We took over the whole end of the hanger towards the Bayshore Highway end (can't remember which direction that was). Initially we were a group of TBM and F4U pilots and aircrew. Most of us had served at VCN-1/FAWTUPAC NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. Where we were trained as night fighter/nite attack crews. In June 50 with only three days notice Detachment Dog was formed and off we went on the PHIL Sea. It was supposed to be a short trip. Det Dog had four F4U5NLs and four AD3Ns. We had no carrier qual work ups before we departed. Arriving in Hawaii we hastily began car quals and I am alive today because of the skill of our pilots some of whom include: LT C. E. Heigel, LT Bob Fitzgerald, LT Oas, LT Carpenter, and others who do not come readily to mind (have the old cruise book). We were in Korea for about 10 months. We flew, maintained, and armed those eight aircraft with a total complement of 35 men! Of course I could go on but won't bore you. VC-3 had Detachments on nearly every carrier in the "Korean conflict". Many crewmembers were lost or captured. Sadly, their names do not come quickly to my 70 year old brain. VC-3 Shipmates have much to be proud of and it is sad that so little is known of their story..." Contributed by Larry Oborne lryo@jps.net [09AUG99]

124541 to Argentine Navy as 0433. Damaged in landing accident Nov 6, 1964. To Museo de la Aviacion Naval, Rio Parana Delta AB, Argentina as 3-A-204.
Currently airworthy as F-AZYS at le Castellet, France painted as F4U-7 133704

archives.gov
http://www.archives.gov
CountryPilot Victories
AustraliaGroup Capt. Clive R. Caldwell 28
AustriaMaj. Walter Nowotny 258
BelgiumFlight Lt.Vicki Ortmans 11
CanadaSquadron Leader George F. Buerling 31
CzechoslavakiaSgt. Josef Frantisek 28
DenmarkGroup Capt. Kaj Birksted 10
FinlandFlight Master E. I. Juutualainen 94
FranceSquadron Leader Pierre H. Clostermann 19
GermanyMaj. Erich Hartmann 352
Hungary2nd Lt. Dezjö Szentgyörgyi 43
IrelandWing Comdr. Bredan E. Finucane 32
ItalyMaj. Adriano Visconti 26
JapanChief Warrant Officer Hiroyoshi Nishizawa 103
NetherlandsLt. Col. van Arkel 5
New ZealandWing Comdr. Colin F. Gray 27
NorwayFlight Lt. Svein Heglund 16
PolandJan Poniatowski 36
RumaniaCapt. Prince Constantine Cantacuzino 60
South AfricaSquadron Leader M. T. St. J. Pattle 41
UKGroup Capt. James E. Johnson 38
USAMaj. Richard I. Bong 40
USSRGuards Col. Ivan N. Kozhedub 62


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VF-114 Aardvarks
Base:NAS Miramar Tailcode:'NH' Callsign:'Aardvark'
The history of VF-114 began with the creation of Bombing/Fighter squadron one-nine, VBF-19, on the 20th of January 1945 at NAS Alameda. Witin a short space of time the Aardvarks had moved to NAS North Island. Early equipment was the F6F Hellcat, followed by the F4U-4 Corsair. As with many squadrons in the post war period VBF-19 had its designation changed on several occaisions in quick succession. The first change was to drop the bombing role, becoming VF-20A on the 15th of November 1946. Just under two years later, on the 24th of August 1948 they became VF-192. The final change was on the 15th of February 1950, when VF-192 became VF-114. In this early period VF-114 were known as the Executioners, rather than Aardvarks.
VF-114 took part in the Korean War, deploying aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) from the 5th of July 1950. Flying their Corsairs for several months of the war the squadron took part in over 1100 strikes against the North Korean and Chinese forces.
After returning from Korea VF-114 moved from props to jets, at first flying the F9F Panther. This was shortly followed by the more capable, all weather F2H Banshee. A few years later, in 1957, VF-114 was introduced to the F3H Demon, from McDonnell. This was their first aircraft capable of carrying air-to-air missiles. In the four year association with the Demon VF-114 made two cruises with the type, both from the deck of USS Shangri La (CVS-38).
cv6.org
My Dad flew asleep on the beach after drinking in HI the nite before, he was in hospital when FRANKLIN was hit. His replacement probably died. On watch first elevator at time of hit
After two short days in Ulithi, Enterprise again sailed north, this time to pound airfields in Kyushu and Shikoku, in preparation for the Okinawa landings. On March 19, to the horror of every man in the fleet, the carrier Franklin CV-13 was struck by two bombs while her flight deck was full of armed and fueled planes. The resulting explosions and inferno killed 798 men. Remarkably, Franklin survived and eventually retired to the U.S. east coast for repair, but for her the war was over.
VC-3
44/04/09 44/07 CVE-68 Kalinin Bay (Forage) 44/06: 23: 14xFM-2, 9xTBM-1C 25,70
44/09 44/10 CVE-68 Kalinin Bay (Stalemate II) 28: 16xFM-2, 1xTBF-1C, 11xTBM-1C 70
44/10/10 44/11 CVE-68 Kalinin Bay (King II) 26: 14xFM-2, 1xTBF-1C, 11xTBM-1C 70
VF-19
44/07 45/01 CV-16 Lexington II CVG-19 King2: 14xF6F-3, 2xF6F-3N, 2xF6F-3P, 23xF6F-5, 1xF6F-5N 80,81,104
44/09 44/10 ??CV-6 Enterprise F6F-5
VF(N)-75
43/10 Munda Field 6xF4U-2 41/3
VF(N)-90
44/12/24 45/05/31 CV-6 Enterprise CVG-90 (N) 32: 19xF6F-5N, 11xF6F-E,2xF6F-5P 80,106
VF(N)-101
43/09 44/01 CV-11 Intrepid CVG-8 81
44/01/16 44/07/15 CV-6 Enterprise CVG-10 4xF4U-2 106
VF(n)90

korea50.army.mil
hazegray.org

jbaugher
records