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View Full Version : Any chance of a p61 black widow anytime soon?



Destraex
11-02-2004, 01:05 AM
This is something friends who are not so forum inclined keep asking. THe Black widow, a beast that handles like an Angel for its size and has the firepower to boot. Could be the new uber A/C to beat the lightning and a lot of fun to boot

Destraex
11-02-2004, 01:05 AM
This is something friends who are not so forum inclined keep asking. THe Black widow, a beast that handles like an Angel for its size and has the firepower to boot. Could be the new uber A/C to beat the lightning and a lot of fun to boot

necrobaron
11-02-2004, 01:46 AM
I don't know when we'll get it, but it's being modelled (as AI only). Evidently, interior pics are hard to find. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Phil_C
11-02-2004, 01:47 AM
Good call, other than the Avenger, shes one of the few planes i wish that get added to the game sometime. Both are fantastic, and very important to Pacific Operations.

Mozzie_21
11-02-2004, 04:43 AM
I have always thought that the P-61 saw little or no action in WWII. Last night I read up on it and was surprised, they were in combat in '44.

In any case I doubt that the Il2 engine would support radars etc... Although I would love a night fighter sim, that would rock.

WOLFMondo
11-02-2004, 06:31 AM
They were in combat in 1944 but have you looked at the figures of them in use? There were not very many and it didn't effect the outcome of the war 1 bit.

berg417448
11-02-2004, 07:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
They were in combat in 1944 but have you looked at the figures of them in use? There were not very many and it didn't effect the outcome of the war 1 bit. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

P-61 saw more use than some of the other planes we have in the game already.

Not all of its use was as a night fighter either. They were used in the ground attack role too.

WOLFMondo
11-02-2004, 09:06 AM
No disagreement there about being used more than some planes which never even got off the ground or saw operation use but that doesn't mean we need another barely used planehttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Phil_C
11-02-2004, 09:12 AM
Are you just counting the P-61 a and b or the F-15 variants as well? (they were the reece, unarmed versions)

Destraex
11-03-2004, 01:20 AM
http://www.daveswarbirds.com/usplanes/photos/bwidow1.jpg

Pacific Theatre
The first operational use of the P-61 Black

http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/p61_9.html

Widow was in the Pacific theatre. The 418th, 419th and 421st Night Fighter Squadrons shipped out to the Southwest Pacific Area late in 1943. The first operational mission by Black Widow took place out of Saipan on June 24, 1944, and the first kill was made on June 30, when a Black Widow piloted by 6th Night Fighter Squadron members 2nd Lt. Dale F. Haversom and radar operator Raymond P. Mooney shot down a Betty. The Black Widows flew numerous missions against Japanese night intruders, which were a real nuisance to American forces and which up to this time had been virtually immune from interception. On typical missions, the Black Widow would be directed to the vicinity of its target by ground based radar. The onboard A/I radar under the control of the radar operator would then be used to direct the pilot to close with and intercept the the enemy. As soon as the Black Widow had gotten close enough to its target to make a visual identification, the guns would be aimed and fired by the pilot or by the gunner. The appearance of the Black Widow in the night skies over the Pacific was a rude and unpleasant surprise for these night raiders.

One of the primary missions of the Black Widow squadrons was the protection of B-29 bases on Saipan against night attacks, and these aircraft flew combat air patrols and interception missions. They also aided in the rescue of many crippled and lost B-29s trying to return from raids on Japan.

Black Widows were also based in New Guinea and later in the Philippines. In the Philippines, Black Widows flew night intruder missions against Japanese airfields and ground installations. The Black Widow also participated in the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.


China-Burma-India Theatre
The Black Widow also served in the China-Burma-India theatre. The first Black Widow kill in that theater took place on October 30, 1944, when a Kunming-based Black Widow flown by Capt. Robert R. Scott and Charles W. Phillips of the 426th Night Fighter Squadron shot down a Japanese twin-engined aircraft. The initial mission of the China-based Black Widows was to destroy Japanese night intruders, but as enemy nighttime flying ceased, the Black Widows went over to night intruder missions, attacking Japanese ground installations in China and Burma.


European Theatre
The first P-61 arrived in Europe on May 23, 1944. The Black Widows were initially based in England, and their first assignment was to chase night-flying V-1 "buzz bombs". The Black Widows would be vectored to intercept approaching V-1s by ground control. Since the V-1 was a little faster than the P-61, the Black Widow had to approach the V-1 from behind and go into a slight dive in order to catch up with it. The first Black Widow V-1 "kill" took place on July 16, 1944, credited to pilot Herman Ernst and radar operator Edward Kopsel of the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron. One of the greatest dangers involved in killing V-1s was the possibility of getting too close to the flying bomb when one fired at it, running the risk of damage to your own plane if the bomb exploded when hit.

After D-Day, many Black Widows moved to France. Although several interceptions of night-flying German aircraft were made, most Black Widow missions were night intruder missions against trains, armor, and other ground targets


Black Widow Wartime Units
Wartime units using the P-61 included:



6th Night Fighter Squadron, Seventh Air Force. Received Black Widows in May 1944. Served in Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Saipan, Iwo Jima. Inactivated February 1947 and reactivated as 339th All Weather Squadron.


414th Night Fighter Squadron, Twelfth Air Force. Received Black Widows in December 1944. Served in Algeria, Sardinia, Corsica, Italy, plus detachment to Belgium. Inactivated August 1947 and reformed as 319th All Weather Squadron.


415th Night Fighter Squadron, Twelfth Air Force. Received Black Widow in March 1945. Served in Italy, Corsica, France, Germany. Inactived September 1947.


416th Night Fighter Squadron, Twelfth Air Force. Received Black Widow in June 1945. Served in Italy, Corsica, France, Germany. Inactived November 1946 and redesignated 2nd Fighter Squadron (All Weather).


417th Night Fighter Squadron, Twelfth Air Force. Received Black Widow in April/May 1945. Served in Italy, Corsica, France, Germany. Inactived November 1946.


418th Night Fighter Squadron, Fifth Air Force. Received Black Widow in September 1944. Served in New Guinea, Philippines. Inactivated February 1947 but reactivated August 1948 as 4th All Weather Squadron.


419th Night Fighter Squadron, Thirteenth Air Force. Received Black Widow in May 1944. Served in New Guinea, Philippines. Inactivated February 1947.


421st Night Fighter Squadron, Fifth Air Force. Received Black Widow June 1944. Served in New Guinea, Philippines. Inactivated February 1947. Reactivated august 1948 as 68th All Weather Squadron.


422nd Night Fighter Squadron, Ninth Air Force. Received Black Widow May 1944. Served in England, France, Belgium, Germany. Inactivated September 1945.


425th Night Fighter Squadron, Ninth Air Force. Served in England, France, and Germany. Inactivated August 1947.


426th Night Fighter Squadron, Fourteenth Air Force. Received Black Widow September 1944. Served in India, China to protect B-29 bases from attack. Inactivated November 1945.


427th Night Fighter Squadron. Served briefly in Italy then moved to India, Burma, China. Received Black Widow in August 1944. Inactivated October 1945.


547th Night Fighter Squadron, Fifth Air Force. Activated March 1944 with P-61. Served in New Guinea, Philippines, Ie Shima, Japan. Inactivated February 1946.


548th Night Fighter Squadron, Seventh Air Force. Activated April 1944 with P-61. Served in Saipan, Iwo Jima, Ie Shima. Inactivated December 1945. Reactivated in 1969 as the 548th Combat Training Squadron. Still in service.


549th Night Fighter Squadron, Seventh Air Force. Activated May 1944 with P-61. Served on Saipan, Iwo Jima. Inactivated February 1946.


550th Night Fighter Squadron. Activated June 1944. Received first Black Widows January 1945. Served in New Guinea, Philippines. Inactivated January 1946.
The Black Widow did not rack up an impressive list of kills. Its entry into the war was relatively late, at a time when the Allies had already established almost complete control of the air. Consequently, enemy aircraft were at this time relatively few and far between, even at night. Nevertheless, there were a few Black Widow aces. In accounting for Black Widow aces, there is a complication since the aircraft had more than one crew member. Does only the pilot get credit for the kill, or does the radar operator get credit as well? What happens if the pilot has had different radar operators on different missions? What if a radar operator has had more than one pilot? In the European theatre, there was an additional complication because some of the Black Widow kills were against unmanned V-1 'buzz bombs". Should these V-1s kills be included in the count? If V-1s are included, and if both pilots and radar operators are to be given credit for the kill, in Europe, there were two sets of pilots and radar operators who achieved six victories. These were the pair 1st Lt. Herman E. Ernst (pilot) and 2nd Lt. Edward H. Kopsel (radar operator) and the pair Lt. Paul A. Smith (pilot) and Lt. Robert E. Tierney (radar operator). One V-1 is included in the count for each pair of crew members. All of these crew members were from the 418th Night Fighter Squadron. The leading Black Widow crew in the Pacific was the pair Major Carrol C. Smith (pilot) and Lt. Philip B. Porter (radar operator) of the 418th Night Fighter Squadron, who destroyed five Japanese aircraft.

So far as I am aware, the Black Widow never served with any foreign air forces.