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View Full Version : More P-80 stuff wanted - and war story



mmanger
12-15-2004, 08:24 AM
I love the P-80 in IL-2! It makes me want to see a Korea Exp. Pack. Early jet combat is an interesting challenge though in some ways easier than dogfighting with more maneuverable prop planes. Too bad the P-80 can't carry bombs/rockets for ground attack. I find that the P-80 does better than the Me-262 for both speed and durability, though the German jet can't be beat for sheer destructiveness of firepower.

P-80 War story: My grandfather flew the P-80 in the early phase of Korea as ground attack pilot. He had a close call (almost a "Bridges at Toko-Ri" experience). His engine flamed out, due to poor maintenance on the planes which had been hastily assembled for combat after the Pacific journey. Luckily he was high enough up to get it restarted. This was right during the Chinese offensive in the winter of 1950 I believe. He went after vehicles of all kinds, including tanks. Presumably T-34s! Interestingly, his group later switched back to the P-51 (which he'd flown in WW2). Apparently it was prefered for the fighter-bomber role.

mmanger
12-15-2004, 08:24 AM
I love the P-80 in IL-2! It makes me want to see a Korea Exp. Pack. Early jet combat is an interesting challenge though in some ways easier than dogfighting with more maneuverable prop planes. Too bad the P-80 can't carry bombs/rockets for ground attack. I find that the P-80 does better than the Me-262 for both speed and durability, though the German jet can't be beat for sheer destructiveness of firepower.

P-80 War story: My grandfather flew the P-80 in the early phase of Korea as ground attack pilot. He had a close call (almost a "Bridges at Toko-Ri" experience). His engine flamed out, due to poor maintenance on the planes which had been hastily assembled for combat after the Pacific journey. Luckily he was high enough up to get it restarted. This was right during the Chinese offensive in the winter of 1950 I believe. He went after vehicles of all kinds, including tanks. Presumably T-34s! Interestingly, his group later switched back to the P-51 (which he'd flown in WW2). Apparently it was prefered for the fighter-bomber role.

PBNA-Boosher
12-15-2004, 10:22 AM
Yikes, that could have been disastrous. Yes, in Korea the P-51 was used as a fighter-bomber somewhat effectively. It was cheaper to manufacture than other planes like the P-47 which were better in a ground attack role, and it did the job pretty well. We were also using F-84's and F-80's in the ground attack role, but they were gradually phased out because of the unreliability of jet engines (burnouts and flameouts especially) at lower altitudes. It was getting too dangerous, so we turned to our trusty props.

3.JG51_BigBear
12-15-2004, 03:34 PM
My Grandfather also flew F-80s. He started his career in the airforce in 1944 when he was selected for night fighter school. He broke his arm in a jeep accident which set his deployment back. He ended up in the Pacific just in time for the war to end which really didn't bother him too much. He was actually made CO of several squadrons while in the Pacific for short periods of time until paper work could be completed and pilots rotated home or transffered to other units. He also had time to qualify in several aircraft while in the pacific including the P-47 and the P-51.

At the begining of the Korean conflict he was a flight instructor on the P-51 Mustang and later applied for jet training. He was accepted and after training became a ground attack pilot in the F-80. He was credited with thirty-three combat missions before he once again found himself in the US as an instructor.

While in Korea my grandfather saw an enemy aircraft one time. On his last mission he was leading the squadron's second flight of eight aircraft on an armed recon mission. The squadron CO recieved orders to detail two pilots to confirm the position of an enemy ground convoy and to make an attack on the convoy if they were able to locate it. The CO sent my grandfather because it was well know that it was his last mission and no one wanted to see him shot down. After confirming the position of the convoy in a valley, my Grandfather made two attacks on it, first with rockets and then with machine guns. According to his log he was taken under fire on his second attack by a mobile AAA battery that was traveling with the convoy.

It was after recovering from his second attack that he noticed an aircraft above and to the right of him. When my grandfather radioed his wingman to let him know of the possible threat he got no response. After a quick visual scan of the airea he saw his wingman's aircraft spinning out of control and on fire towards the ground. My Grandfather gave it the gas and promtly flamed out. At low altitude it was all he could do to get the aircraft started again and then he ran for his life. As far as he could tell no one followed him. He landed back at base and two weeks later was training new pilots again.