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Why wasn't the P-47 used in Korea?


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#11 Armand

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 05:48 AM

..........the P-47 would have scrunched up the logistics - and the US military ran on smooth logistics

Around logistics would the radial engined P-47 match the also present F4U better than the P-51 but P-51 had already replaced the P-47 in the escort role over Germany, hence It would have been the primary choise for the escort role in Korea. Beside this role it was a better air superiority fighter than the P-47.
I mentioned the A1 Skyraider (being the AD when deployed in Korea :-/) as replacing the P-47. Around logistics was (became?) the Skyraider the first aircraft operating across the U.S. forces, wich should be positive for the logistics, even I'm aware of the hard borders between the american forces. Anyhow, the mighty Skyraider was capable of delivering the same bombload as a B-17 and air operations over Korea was thought primarely offensive, hence the P-47 found itself right between the Skyraider and the Mustang.

It's sad to conclude that even though the P-47 did it very well, it's moment of glory became under the Italian campaign and until VE-day.
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#12 F7Ftigercatlover

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 08:46 PM

Around logistics would the radial engined P-47 match the also present F4U better than the P-51 but P-51 had already replaced the P-47 in the escort role over Germany, hence It would have been the primary choise for the escort role in Korea............

I know that the P-51 was used in the beginning of the Korean war because it was the closest thing available, but I believe that after 1950, the F-51 shouldn't have been in Korea period. While it was the best piston engine option for long range escort for B-29's the F-86's should have made the P-51 no longer needed, but that's not how it went. And with the F4U Corsair it also should have been phased out by the Sky raider, but that's not how it went.



#13 Ricky

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 09:14 PM

Logistics are king. Replacing aircraft types means retraining your pilots and your groundcrew, shipping in a complete set of new aircraft plus all the spares etc - and all without interrupting combat ops.

It is very difficult and very disruptive - the big lesson the USA learnt in WW2 was that a plentiful supply of 'good enough' is better than a dribble of 'best'. Look at the F6F - improvements were not put into production to avoid disruption to supply.

#14 Kutscha

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 09:31 PM

Could say the same about the Spitfire also Ricky. Supermarine kept producing the Spitfire IX/XVI when the XIV came along.



#15 bearoutwest

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 03:11 AM

In one of the numerous books covering the use of the P-51/F-51 over Korea, I recall a discussion with one of the F-51 pilots who had also flown the F-47 (possibly in WW2 or in the Air National Guard unit).  He was of the opinion that due to the very hilly terrain in Korea, the F-51 would have performed better because of it's better handling down low.  He could get in fast, deliver the ordnance and evade enemy ground fire better - he believed - than if he were flying a Thunderbolt.  (Though I doubt if this was in any way part of the decision process to deploy F-51 rather than F-47s.)

 

At the time (circa 1950) in the Asia Theatre, Mustangs were available with a number of USAF units and with 77 Sqn RAAF (all based in Japan).  The closest F-47s were operating with the RoCAF on Taiwan.  The Mustang units in Japan were deployed quickly - in fact the RAAF pilots had been celebrating their imminent departure from Japan with a monumental party.....on the night before their sudden recall to ops over Korea.  Once you deploy these 3-4 squadrons of Mustangs in-theatre, it becomes a logistical nightmare to replace them with F-47s (even if you think the Thud would have performed better; or if indeed there were large numbers available).  The RoCAF units were politically sensitive for the UN to deploy the Korea (even though they were willing to take part).

 

...geoff



#16 flying kiwi

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 09:45 AM

Could say the same about the Spitfire also Ricky. Supermarine kept producing the Spitfire IX/XVI when the XIV came along.

 

Would that have had anything to do with the supply of Griffins and the number of accidents expected when novice Griffin jockeys applied rudder the wrong way on takeoff?



#17 Armand

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 03:37 PM

Would that have had anything to do with the supply of Griffins and the number of accidents expected when novice Griffin jockeys applied rudder the wrong way on takeoff?

What I here read between the lines, and following have confirmed on Youtube, have broadened My knowledge!
And actually a detail to consider :-o Is it out of the Spitfire litterature or Your own considerations?

Edited by Armand, 11 December 2016 - 03:42 PM.


#18 flying kiwi

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 07:47 PM

Just my own thoughts, Armand. I know Tim Wallis crashed his Mk XIV when he used the wrong rudder. He was used to flying Merlin Spits. I've heard it happened reasonably often.


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#19 GregP

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:00 PM

First, hi F7Ftigercatlover, go back into the briefing room and look at your introductory thread. I posted 3 or 4 videos of Tigercats flying aerobatics at our airshows.

 

To the thread, from my long time interest the USAAF was WAY oversized after the war ended with tens of thousands of aircraft more than we had pilots in service. Naturally, a long war is EXPENSIVE. So, they looked around and decided that there were too many airplanes. Many types were "retired" from front-line service. Some were issued to Air National Guard units (reserve forces) around the various states. That way, the states would assume funding for maintenance, personnel, and operations unless the units were called up into active service.

 

In the Navy, they retired the Hellcat quickly for some reason, and retained the F4U Corsair. I believe the Cordairs were by and large newer, and were still being improved, and had a good supply of spares in the logistics pipeline. So we had Corsairs in active service and some in the Navy Reserves, and the Hellcats got largely scrapped with some winding up on the surplus market. Some went into private hands. TBMs, flying boats, and other bomber types wound up fighting forrest fires with the addition of tanks instead of torpedos or bombs. Some were converted into executive transports, like the Howard 250 and 350 (250 on top). See below. There were others like the On Mark Invader, too. Believe it or not, I've seen "Executive" versions of the B-25!

 

6396665987_a031496841_b.jpg

 

Howard-Aero-Howard-350_fdb2c9461cf6f91e0

 

The USAAF knew jets were the future and quickly after the war had the P-80 that became the F-80 and rapidly also the F-84. The USAAF saw the F-84 as the fighter-bomber of the future and sent a lot of P-47s to National Guard units as well as selling many to other countries for their post-war air forces. Ditto the "extra" P-51 Mustangs. South America got a lot of ex-USAAF aircraft for their immediate post-war Air Forces, and could therefore take their time developing newer airplanes. Argentina used a lot of our WWII aircraft while they were trying to develop jets such as the Ta-183-like FMA IAe 33 Pulqui II with Kurt Tank. Plenty of other stories to go around.

 

The P-47 was a high-maintenance item that was OK as front-line equipment, but not so justifiable if being operated as a second-line aircraft. By second-line, I mean, obsolete or combat-weary. Once the maintenance hours per flight hour start to rise somewhat, the expense of operating a P-47 is enormous. It definitely needs a crew and parts to keep flying. If active on the front line (first-line aircraft), it makes sense. If not, then ...

 

Our museum (Planes of Fame) operates a P-47G and it is much less expensive to operate than a fully-functional Thunderbolt because the turbocharger has been removed and we have no armament or armor in it. It is many thousands of pounds lighter than in stock military trim. So the engine doesn't need the turbo system tweaked after every flight and isn't working nearly so hard as a fully functional P-47 engine would be. The airframe is fine but many systems were complex. If you remove the complex systems, it becomes MUCH cheaper to fly ... more like a normal R-2800 fighter. Of course if you DO that, it really isn't a combat-ready P-47 anymore, is it?

 

Likewise they sent a LOT of bombers into outdoor storage at many locations and retired many medium bombers, leaving just a few as "hacks" for the pilots to use logging time.

 

Anyway, my take on it is basically that we downsized and had to choose which equipment to continue using. I believe we chose the newer equipment with the most numerous recent spares to retain and rapidly divested ourselves of the rest. If we had 3 aircraft doing one job, we chose one and released the others. The Air Force upper brass and secretary's office probably made the choices, while the Navy brass and secretary of the Navy probably made their choices for the Navy and Marines.


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#20 Armand

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 01:14 AM

?........ I know Tim Wallis crashed his Mk XIV when he used the wrong rudder. He was used to flying Merlin Spits. I've heard it happened reasonably often.


Well, that(!) is a Curious Detail! ;-)
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