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The Anniversary of The Channel Dash - 1942 - and the wider RN Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War

One thing the RN taught the USN was how to effectively use radar for fighter control. The USN thought so highly of RN fighter control that when Victorious operated with the Saratoga in 1943, the Americans combined all the fighters on the Victorious and made it a fighter carrier, with 36 Martlets and 24 Wildcats.
I was under the impression the all fighter and all strike aircraft mix between them was due to RN arrestor gear being too light for TBF/TBM Avengers and the RN poor use of the Avenger again due to its weight
 

ABNredleg

War Hero
I was under the impression the all fighter and all strike aircraft mix between them was due to RN arrestor gear being too light for TBF/TBM Avengers and the RN poor use of the Avenger again due to its weight

My source is Norman Friedman’s Fighters over the Fleet. Your explanation also makes sense.

Amazon product
 

Yokel

LE
I was under the impression the all fighter and all strike aircraft mix between them was due to RN arrestor gear being too light for TBF/TBM Avengers and the RN poor use of the Avenger again due to its weight

So if the RN had been gifted lots of Avengers it would have caused problems for our carriers and possibly required modifications in dockyard, right at the time of crisis in the Atlantic as the battle reached its climax?

Anyone would think this had all been a bit more complex than some would have us believe?

As for using carrier righters effectively, see this page about Operation Pedestal:

August 12, 1942, was a significant day in the history of air warfare. The Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica delivered three raids, by nearly 200 attack aircraft of all types, escorted by over 100 fighters... At no time did the number of naval fighters airborne exceed twenty-four, six to eight of which were Fulmars.
— David Brown, Carrier Fighters
 

ABNredleg

War Hero
I was under the impression the all fighter and all strike aircraft mix between them was due to RN arrestor gear being too light for TBF/TBM Avengers and the RN poor use of the Avenger again due to its weight
According to British Aircraft Carriers by David Hobbs, there were several issues with the arresting gear. One, the wires on the Victorious were thicker than those used by the USN, which created problems with the Avenger's tail hook. Secondly, the tensioning of the wires were unsuitable for off-center landings. These issues were fixed at Pearl Harbor by replacing the tail hooks and modifying the arresting gear. She initially operated both Martlets and Avengers when deployed to the South Pacific, but, as mentioned in my previous post, it was used as a fighter carrier during the New Georgia landings due to its superior fighter direction capabilities.
 
Things the RN learnt when it spoke with the experts

RN carriers always had a very small complement of fighters, in large part because they didn't use a deck park, space was always at a premium on British carrier decks.
Why? Well rather curiously, the RN used a huge run down on the rear of the flight deck, and the pilot came up astern of the carrier below the line deck and flew up onto it to do an elegant 3 wheeler. Very proper, very RAF.

View attachment 552057


The first things the Americans said when they got their hands on Victorious was 'You limeys are nuts!'.
They rather sensibly flew up astern of the carrier above the flight deck line and cut the engine as they came over the stern and dropped onto it - a bit inelegant, but very effective.


Not because they operated in the north sea / Atlantic Winters and deck parking was seen as an easy way to lose aircraft.

The US whos carriers in the Pacific didnt have such worries

Then the USN plated over the round down, built a big canteen under it, (hugely boosting crew morale), and a added a gallery with a dozen AA guns. And with this big extra area of flat deck, the Victorious now had plenty of space for a deck park allowing her to embark an extra squadron of fighters.

Ah I see Nothing to do with theatre then - all down to the RN not knowing how to land and bad technique, In the spirit of enquiry which US Service showed the RN how to Land the Corsair on carriers the USN were adamant were too small for it to operate from safely


View attachment 552059



Such a good and successful idea, her sister ships in build were similarly modified.
HMS Indefatigable, 1944
 
I was under the impression the all fighter and all strike aircraft mix between them was due to RN arrestor gear being too light for TBF/TBM Avengers and the RN poor use of the Avenger again due to its weight

I would suspect both are true enough ie the primary reason for the arrangement being The RN Avenger Issue - but (hyperbole aside) the US must have been both impressed and confident** in Vics abilities to consider that an option.


**Or bloody desperate but by 43 weve passed that stage
 

ABNredleg

War Hero
I would suspect both are true enough ie the primary reason for the arrangement being The RN Avenger Issue - but (hyperbole aside) the US must have been both impressed and confident** in Vics abilities to consider that an option.


**Or bloody desperate but by 43 weve passed that stage
The arresting gear issue was easily fixed and was done so before Victorious deployed. Apparently the USN wanted her to to remain after the initial deployment.
 
Not because they operated in the north sea / Atlantic Winters and deck parking was seen as an easy way to lose aircraft.

The US whos carriers in the Pacific didnt have such worries



Ah I see Nothing to do with theatre then - all down to the RN not knowing how to land and bad technique, In the spirit of enquiry which US Service showed the RN how to Land the Corsair on carriers the USN were adamant were too small for it to operate from safely
The USN kept the F4U off the carriers for several reasons, one logistical, one of teething problems which was fixed by VF12 and Voughts engineers. The issues being of Oleos being too stiff (causing bounce), the oil leaks from the cowl flaps impairing vision on landing and torque stall, an the birdcage canopy(Fixed with the -1) and was fully qualified, VF17 also qualified, and did make deck landings on 11 Nov 43 for refueling during the Rabaul raid where it flew top cover for the hellcats and bombers.

The Logistical issue was to keep spares for 1 fighter (the F6F Hellcat), massively simplifying logistics (The SB2C and TBM were to replace the SBD, ). The night fighter detachments flying F4U-2's of VF(N)-75, VF(N)-101. aboard several carriers at this time had handbuilt radar sets and operated in blacked out combat conditions.

Even the Guadalcanal/Solomons based VMF's could find no spares closer than the USA until the USMC loggies set up a separate system. A blown F4U tire grounded aircraft for weeks until spares could be brought in before that. A totally different issue was groundcrew never trained on the F4U or the use of Seabees as ground crew with no aircraft maintenance training at Munda.
 
The arresting gear issue was easily fixed and was done so before Victorious deployed. Apparently the USN wanted her to to remain after the initial deployment.
Why would anyone not want a buckshee carrier?
 
Although I say it myself, a gem of a video on the Corsair in RN service, with commentary from those involved. This sort of stuff should be on "proper" telly.

Also a new one for me, but it is logical when you think about it, the USN had air sea rescue submarines patrolling off Japan.

 

Yokel

LE
Although I say it myself, a gem of a video on the Corsair in RN service, with commentary from those involved. This sort of stuff should be on "proper" telly.

Also a new one for me, but it is logical when you think about it, the USN had air sea rescue submarines patrolling off Japan.


I must find time to watch that video, and the other ones on the website. Our submarines also rescued downed aviators and so did German ones.

The RN operated the Corsair in Arctic waters of all places. Did they fly from large carriers or escort ones?
 
Although I say it myself, a gem of a video on the Corsair in RN service, with commentary from those involved. This sort of stuff should be on "proper" telly.

Also a new one for me, but it is logical when you think about it, the USN had air sea rescue submarines patrolling off Japan.

A US Sub USS Finback rescued future President Bush 41 off Chichi Jima

 
The USN kept the F4U off the carriers for several reasons, one logistical, one of teething problems which was fixed by VF12 and Voughts engineers. The issues being of Oleos being too stiff (causing bounce), the oil leaks from the cowl flaps impairing vision on landing and torque stall, an the birdcage canopy(Fixed with the -1) and was fully qualified, VF17 also qualified, and did make deck landings on 11 Nov 43 for refueling during the Rabaul raid where it flew top cover for the hellcats and bombers.

The Logistical issue was to keep spares for 1 fighter (the F6F Hellcat), massively simplifying logistics (The SB2C and TBM were to replace the SBD, ). The night fighter detachments flying F4U-2's of VF(N)-75, VF(N)-101. aboard several carriers at this time had handbuilt radar sets and operated in blacked out combat conditions.

Even the Guadalcanal/Solomons based VMF's could find no spares closer than the USA until the USMC loggies set up a separate system. A blown F4U tire grounded aircraft for weeks until spares could be brought in before that. A totally different issue was groundcrew never trained on the F4U or the use of Seabees as ground crew with no aircraft maintenance training at Munda.
There was no criticism of the USN intended -

Whilst everyone agrees the RN wasnt top table as regards carrier aviation in 39, We have a poster insisting the RN pretty much did nothing until gifted US equipment and was unable to inovate and develop without being hand held by the USN.

Corsair operation was an example of where it in some respects lead the way thus not reliant on being shown by USN.


Also for clarity by carriers that were considered too small, I meant the smaller carriers rather than USN carriers in general.
 

Yokel

LE
Why exactly did the US Navy decide that the Corsair was unsuited to carrier landings? Was it that it was difficult to land using normal techniques? The Royal Navy not only took it to sea but operated it from escort carriers - in places like the Norwegian Sea!

However, the RN found that to land on deck they had to use a different technique, which the USN later copied.
 
There was no criticism of the USN intended -

Whilst everyone agrees the RN wasnt top table as regards carrier aviation in 39, We have a poster insisting the RN pretty much did nothing until gifted US equipment and was unable to inovate and develop without being hand held by the USN.

Corsair operation was an example of where it in some respects lead the way thus not reliant on being shown by USN.


Also for clarity by carriers that were considered too small, I meant the smaller carriers rather than USN carriers in general.
Never said there was Criticism, just a lot of myth about the F4U is around
 

Yokel

LE
Wings On My Sleeve by Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown includes (I think) a comparison of wartime RN and USN practice regarding deck operations and launching/recovering aircraft. Is anyone interested?

Additionally, I have a cope of The Aircraft Carrier Story 1908 - 1945 by Guy Robbins. It is divided in four sections:

1. The Royal Navy and Aircraft Carriers, 1908 - 1945
2. The US Navy and the Fast Carriers, 1910 - 1945
3. The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1900 - 1945.
4. The Carrier War, 1939 - 1945

If anyone is interested in carrier development then let me know, and I can take a look.
 
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PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
On VJ Day, the Fleet Air Arm was a large, extremely well trained force equipped with the finest naval aircraft money could buy.

within 12 weeks, it was a pale shadow of its former self.
Everything Lend Lease was ditched at sea, even its radar equipped Hellcat night fighters, and the carriers headed home picking up their obsolete Seafires and Barracudas from storage in Oz.
 
Well Duh

We owned the seafires and Barracudas everything else we were loaned at end of play we got rid or bought it

READ ALL ABAHT IT, READ ALL ABAHT IT

Bankrupt country opts to keep stuff its paid for not stuff it will have to buy

Colour me shocked at that less than bizare decision
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Why exactly did the US Navy decide that the Corsair was unsuited to carrier landings? Was it that it was difficult to land using normal techniques? The Royal Navy not only took it to sea but operated it from escort carriers - in places like the Norwegian Sea!

However, the RN found that to land on deck they had to use a different technique, which the USN later copied.

the Fleet Air Arm made the Corsair work because they were available, and the FAA was desperate for an effective fighter.
Two of the ‘fixes’ were happy happen stance.
As the Corsair had poor forward visibility, and the British flight decks were narrow, the Pilots took to flying a curving approach which allowed them acceptable forward visibility.
also, as British carriers hangers were a bit low, the outer 9” Was clipped from the wings for clearance. This also inadvertently ‘fixed’ the Corsairs tendency to float on landing.


interesting historical fact.

many FAA Corsairs were made by Brewster. The Brewster made Corsairs were so badly made with so many defects, the USN refused to take delivery of Brewster made ones. ThecFAA snapped them up under Lend Lease
it says a lot about the quality of the desperately poor U.K. designed and made aircraft that the FAA found them perfectly acceptable.
 
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Yokel

LE
I am sure that Seafires were used for at least one carrier deployment in Korea a few years later.

The book by Guy Robbins has chapters on Royal Navy aircraft 1918-1339 and aircraft 1939-1945. Apart from the lack of naval control, Britain, unlike the United States or Japan, expected to be subject to air attacks against the home based so the priority was to design and build fighters to defend the UK. Everything else came second.
 

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