Download VF-11 111 'Sundowners' 1942-95 (Aviation Elite Units) by Barrett Tillman PDF

By Barrett Tillman

Battling Squadron eleven used to be demonstrated at San Diego in August 1943, starting a half-century checklist that spanned aerial wrestle in 3 wars from the piston to the jet age. First deployed to Guadalcanal, the 'Sundowners' flew Grumman Wildcats and accomplished its journey because the Navy's third-ranking F4F squadron by way of aerial victories. Upon returning domestic, the 'Sundowners' transitioned to Hellcats in practise for a moment wrestle deployment. In 1944-45 the squadron flew from USS Hornet (CV-12), engaging within the quickly service moves opposed to the Philippines, Formosa and the Asian mainland. It comprehensive the struggle because the Navy's eleventh score fighter squadron with 158 credited victories. Redesignated VF-111 in 1948, the 'Sundowners' switched over to F9F Panthers and scored history's first jet-versus-jet victory over Korea in 1950. After the armistice, the squadron flew FJ-3 Furies and F11F Tigers, earlier than receiving the world-class F8U Crusader in 1961. through the lengthy Vietnam conflict, the 'Sundowners' logged six deployments, scoring MiG kills in either F-8s and F-4 Phantom IIs. From 1978 to disestablishment in 1995, the 'Sundowners' flew F-14 Tomcats from USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and Carl Vinson (CVN-70), finishing a list of 37 deployments from 17 flattops in its 52-year occupation. From global battle 2 till after the chilly struggle, the 'Sundowners' validated an unsurpassed checklist 'at the end of the spear' in naval aviation historical past.

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VF-11 111 'Sundowners' 1942-95 (Aviation Elite Units)

Combating Squadron eleven used to be demonstrated at San Diego in August 1943, starting a half-century list that spanned aerial strive against in 3 wars from the piston to the jet age. First deployed to Guadalcanal, the 'Sundowners' flew Grumman Wildcats and accomplished its travel because the Navy's third-ranking F4F squadron by way of aerial victories.

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As MacArthur had just landed on Leyte, I thought I might have the chance to tell him what the real war was about’, Saggau quipped. But the only person he talked to was the GI jeep driver who led him to the parking area. It turned out that both men were from the same county in Iowa. On 20 November Hornet’s task group prepared to return to Ulithi, but 26 junior pilots were transferred to other carriers, along with their aircraft. Although some of them eventually rejoined VF-11, their departure came as a shock to the squadron.

The presence of four ‘Zeke’ escorts indicated an important passenger aboard the Nakajima, and the CO radioed to ‘Leave the transport aeroplane until we have the escorts’. Fairfax, Jake Robcke, Ens Howard H Moore and James P Wolf each got a ‘Zeke’, then Fairfax and ‘Soapy’ Suddreth went after the ‘Tabby’. ‘We probably overkilled it’, Fairfax said, and the only way to decide credit was to flip a coin. It was squadron policy not to split a kill, and Suddreth won the toss. The ‘Tabby’ went in the records as his third victory – Fairfax now had four.

Although some of them eventually rejoined VF-11, their departure came as a shock to the squadron. Indeed, Gene Fairfax looked upon it as the loss of a large part of his family. The ‘Sundowners’ enjoyed an unusually lengthy rest while the task group laid up at Ulithi late that month. Other than two test hops, almost no flying was done between 23-30 November. Some local CAPs were conducted during the first week in December, leading up to the next sortie on the 10th. That afternoon the ‘Sundowners’ launched 47 Hellcats in two ‘group gropes’ to practice for upcoming operations in the Philippines.

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