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huggy87
04-09-2004, 09:24 PM
Which had the most kills in the Pacific theater?

The reason I ask is that I get conflicting information from the books in my library. 3 books stated that the P-38 downed more Japanese aircraft than any other. These three books did not provide any specific numbers or references.

Another book I own, Aces against Japan by Eric Hammel, states that the USAAF was credited for 5,214 kills in the Pacific. The USN was credited for 6,826 kills. Another source states that the hellcat was credited for 5,156 kills. How can the p-38 be the top scoring plane when the hellcat alone almost equals the entire USAAF-pacific kill tally?

Can anyone elaborate?

P.S. The marines got credit for 2000+, that is not included in the navy tally

huggy87
04-09-2004, 09:24 PM
Which had the most kills in the Pacific theater?

The reason I ask is that I get conflicting information from the books in my library. 3 books stated that the P-38 downed more Japanese aircraft than any other. These three books did not provide any specific numbers or references.

Another book I own, Aces against Japan by Eric Hammel, states that the USAAF was credited for 5,214 kills in the Pacific. The USN was credited for 6,826 kills. Another source states that the hellcat was credited for 5,156 kills. How can the p-38 be the top scoring plane when the hellcat alone almost equals the entire USAAF-pacific kill tally?

Can anyone elaborate?

P.S. The marines got credit for 2000+, that is not included in the navy tally

JG7_Rall
04-09-2004, 09:44 PM
It was the hellcat. Out of 6,477 downed by USN fighters, 4,947 went to the hellcat. Any additional kills where by the USM using the Hellcat during WWII.

"Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him."
Badges!? We don't needs no stinkin' badges!

huggy87
04-09-2004, 10:18 PM
Thanks rall, but...well, you really didn't add anything to what I already stated. The P-38 piece of the puzzle...

VMF-214_HaVoK
04-10-2004, 09:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JG7_Rall:
It was the hellcat. Out of 6,477 downed by USN fighters, 4,947 went to the hellcat. Any additional kills where by the USM using the Hellcat during WWII.

_"Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him."_
Badges!? We don't needs no stinkin' badges!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Those 6,477 is for carrier based aircraft only. The P-38 had the most aces not sure on the amont of kills. Im sure someone will post the numbers.
=S=
http://www.vmf-214.net/

http://www.flightjournal.com/fj/images/hellcat_head_short.jpg

JG7_Rall
04-10-2004, 11:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VMF-214_HaVoK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JG7_Rall:
It was the hellcat. Out of 6,477 downed by USN fighters, 4,947 went to the hellcat. Any additional kills where by the USM using the Hellcat during WWII.

_"Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him."_
Badges!? We don't needs no stinkin' badges!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Those 6,477 is for carrier based aircraft only. The P-38 had the most aces not sure on the amont of kills. Im sure someone will post the numbers.
=S=
http://www.vmf-214.net/

http://www.flightjournal.com/fj/images/hellcat_head_short.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry I left that out! I thought most people would assume USN kills where from carrier based planes, but sorry for that http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

S!

"Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him."
Badges!? We don't needs no stinkin' badges!

mike_espo
04-10-2004, 01:35 PM
I think in the PTO, the p-38 was the all around better fighter. The hellcat was a better dogfighter though.....

"Fatte vede che ridemo!"http://www.flying-tigers.net/caccia%20WW%20II/g50.jpg

Aztek_Eagle
04-10-2004, 01:47 PM
they didnt call the hallcat the ace maker for nothing, hellcats got the most aces if i am not mistaken

http://www.angelfire.com/art2/robertosgallery/CORSAIR8.JPG

gotha_g.IV
04-10-2004, 04:33 PM
I don't like Hellcat.

B-29superfort
04-10-2004, 05:47 PM
I would say the P-38 is the better fighter. The P-38 was used in both, North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific. It was also the plane that downed Yamamoto himself. With four 50. caliber machine guns, and a 20mm cannon this beauty was a beast.

JG7_Rall
04-10-2004, 06:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't like Hellcat<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/crazy.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I would say the P-38 is the better fighter. The P-38 was used in both, North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific. It was also the plane that downed Yamamoto himself. With four 50. caliber machine guns, and a 20mm cannon this beauty was a beast.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The P-38's two engines allowed for great reliability and the nose-mounted guns really wreaked havok but other than that I don't see why the P-38 is any better than the Hellcat...

"Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him."
Badges!? We don't needs no stinkin' badges!

heywooood
04-10-2004, 10:12 PM
P38's were there a lot longer weren't they?.

First P38's appeare in the PTO in what sept of '42 ?

the Hellcats had a lot of ground to make up as they were not fully deployed until much later.

VF-10_Snacky
04-10-2004, 11:02 PM
First used militarily in January, 1943 off the carrier USS Essex with VF-9, the Hellcat became the U.S. Navy's most important fighter of World War II, credited with nearly 75% of ALL naval air-to-air combat kills. Although the Hellcat couldn't claim any records for speed, maneuverability, firepower, or endurance, its incredibly strong airframe helped it earn a kill-to-loss ratio of better than 19 to 1. The aircraft began its career on August 31, 1943 and was operational for only two years. During that time it succeeded in shooting down a remarkable number of enemy aircraft. Out of a total of 6,477 enemy planes destroyed by carrier-based pilots, no fewer than 4,947 fell to earth under the Hellcats' fire. This figure increases to 5,156 if you include the victories scored by Hellcat pilots that were land based and those serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. thereby scoring nearly 80% of the kills scored; a 19 to 1 ratio. Some 12,275 Hellcats were built and, along with Chance-Vought's Corsair, became standard Navy equipment for the duration of the war. The Hellcat was so successful that the only substantial wartime modification was the addition of a 150 gallon drop fuel tank to extend its range.

The 3rd highest scoring U.S. ace of WWII, Cmdr. David McCampbell ( 34 kills ) and winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, flew an F6F-5 Hellcat.


The F6F's most spectacular exploit was the destruction of more than 160 enemy aircraft in one day - 19 June 1944 - in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in the aerial massacre usually known as "The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot."



a source:
http://usfighter.tripod.com/f6f.htm


http://www.acepilots.com/planes/f6f_hellcat.html

http://www.faqs.org/docs/air/avf6f.html

"Son of a B**ch! That's gonna leave a mark."

[This message was edited by Seawolf_195th on Sat April 10 2004 at 10:16 PM.]

[This message was edited by Seawolf_195th on Sat April 10 2004 at 10:24 PM.]

[This message was edited by Seawolf_195th on Sat April 10 2004 at 10:26 PM.]

RAC_Pips
04-12-2004, 01:19 AM
Huggy,

The reference made to the P-38 having the highest kill number in the Pacific applies to USAAF aircraft, not USN or USMC.

Kill claims for US aircraft in the Pacific are as follows:

F6F Hellcat 5,156
F4U Corsair 2,140
P-38 Lightning 1,694
F4/FM Wildcat 1,006
P-40 series 706
P-47 Thunderbolt 697
P-51 Mustang 296
P-39 Airacobra 243

Also of note is that more aces were made flying the Hellcat than any other aircraft in the US armoury. And that covers both Europe and the Pacific. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

huggy87
04-12-2004, 07:54 AM
Pips,
I am surprised that those books would state the P-38 had the most kills in the pacific. guess they didn't do their research. I also am surprised that the Mustang had so few kills in the Pacific. I thought it was pretty active in 45'. The USAAF totals you quote is still 2000 below the 5124 figure Eric Hammel gives.

luthier1
04-12-2004, 07:58 AM
Maybe your books are talking about highest total kills for the USAAF? That the P-38 did have.

http://www.il2center.com/PF.jpg

CaptJodan
04-12-2004, 12:51 PM
Don't shoot the messenger.

From "Fork-Tailed Devil: The P-38" by Martin Caidin...

"We know, now, the nature of the machine, its extraordinary success and performance, and there can hardly be a statement more meaningful than that the P-38, despite the lack of numbers desired by the men who commanded the fighters, was the airplane that destroyed more Japanese aircraft than any other fighter plane of the United States or its Allies

That's probably one of the books Huggy may be referring to.

huggy87
04-12-2004, 06:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CaptJodan:
Don't shoot the messenger.

From "Fork-Tailed Devil: The P-38" by Martin Caidin...

"We know, now, the nature of the machine, its extraordinary success and performance, and there can hardly be a statement more meaningful than that the P-38, despite the lack of numbers desired by the men who commanded the fighters, was _the_ airplane _that destroyed more Japanese aircraft than any other fighter plane of the United States or its Allies_

That's probably one of the books Huggy may be referring to.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, I had never seen that book. But you could have pulled the boldface out of any of the three books to which I was referring. All three books were encyclopedic. One was published by Barnes and noble, one by Janes, and the other by Enzo Angelucci (sp?). None of these books had any details to back up the claim that the P-38 downed more japanese planes. The few sources I have seen that actually include numbers all point to the hellcat by a long shot.

huggy87
04-12-2004, 07:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by luthier1:
Maybe your books are talking about highest total kills for the USAAF? That the P-38 did have.

http://www.il2center.com/PF.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't know luthier. Correct me if I am wrong but the P-38 did not have many kills in the ETO/Med. I saw one site claiming 1771 for the p-38 (I don't know which theater), and another listing 1694 for kill claims by p-38 in Pacific. Nobody has yet to provide statistical data to back up the oft claimed "the p-38 had the most kills in the pacific theater".

CaptJodan
04-12-2004, 09:10 PM
Well I'm not trying to dispute the Hellcat's record or anything, but the prevalence of more or less the same thing over and over again both in books and in websites I'm seeing seems a bit odd. No doubt, they can all be wrong, but rarely do such huge mistakes go so far.

DONB3397
04-12-2004, 09:59 PM
There are other measures for judging the value of an aircraft than kills alone, I think. Some writers, rethinking the war in the Pacific, believed the P-38 was the first aircraft that took away the one-plane dominance of the zero. And some of them were Japanese pilots.

The Wildcat was a tough plane, but didn't have the performance of the Zero. The P-39 was not a match. The P-40, effective in certain situations, has never been considered the equal of the A6M2, let alone later variants of the Zero. But the P-38, before the Corsair, could fly higher and faster. It rattled the Japanese because it could pick its fights and bring down a Betty or a Nell in a single pass. Flying escort, the Zeroes simply couldn't get there in time to make a difference.

McDonald and Bong and McQuire could even get into a turning fight and succeed (though McQuire was lost in a slow, turning dogfight).

The Hellcat, I agree, was the better weapon for this battle in this theater. It was tough and portable (carrier-based) and designed to beat the Zero. And it did. It had more opportunities against a deminished enemy, and it shot down more aircraft.

But I tend to credit the P-38 for turning the corner in the Pacific, for providing confidence and, for the Japanese, a new sensation: fear.

http://us.f2.yahoofs.com/bc/3fe77b7e_1812a/bc/Images/Sig---1.jpg?BCMCkdABH1uSLZQo
There is no 'way' of winning;
There is only Winning!

huggy87
04-12-2004, 11:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DONB3397:
There are other measures for judging the value of an aircraft than kills alone, I think. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I couldn't agree with you more. But I have an issue with clearing up the glaring discrepancy regarding number of kills between all of these authors. It seems like some authors were too lazy to research themselves and copied others misinformation.

I am still as unclear which had the higher kills as when I started this thread.

RAC_Pips
04-13-2004, 03:07 AM
The confusion may stem from the fact Huggy that the authors/books in question may simply be referring to USAAF aircraft alone, not including USN or USMC aircraft. In which case yes, they are right, the P-38 was the most successful US Army Air Force fighter in the Pacific.

Also bear in mind that it is not uncommon for the wrong fact/s to be regurgitated time and again by authors. One guy writes a book that is printed. His book then becomes accepted as (overall) offering the best analysis of a particular aircraft, action, battle, history whatever. Other authors who wish to expand on a poarticular theme may use that book as a reference point. So then the facts appear in other books. And so ad infinitum until a serious researcher comes along an delves into a specific fact eg aircraft kills in the Pacific.

It has happened time and again. And will continue to happen. That's why it pays never to accept just one or two books as gospel. Read as much as possible on any subject to gain a good appreciation.

Or do what you have doen here. Ask questions. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Oh and btw, the reason why the Mustang scored so few kills in the Pacific is mainly due to lack of opportunity. By the time it was available (in numbers) both in China and for VLR's from Iwo Jima Japanese air resistance was very low. It's surprising in fact that it scored as many as it did.