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would like to learn what it was like to be a flight instructor in pacific theatre

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by mike471, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. mike471

    mike471 New Member

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    hi
    im a civilian pilot, i had a relative who was a flight instructor during WWII in the pacific theater, possibly in the marines but im not certain. im really interested in learning what it was like.

    can anyone describe what it was like to be a flight instructor in the pacific theatre?

    what were the training bases he might have been at?

    is it possible he could have been on an aircraft carrier, or were there no flight instructors on carriers?

    did WWII flight instructors ever see combat?

    am i right that in order to be a flight instructor during the war he probably had to be have a lot of flight experience prior to the start of WWII?

    are there any veteran wwII pacific theatre pilots on this forum.

    im really interested in what it was like.

    thanks
     
  2. PA.Dutchman

    PA.Dutchman recruit

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    Dear Mike,

    Do you have any information on your Uncle as far as his service connection? Things like his Unit, service number, anything that might help us to find out more. You will need more details to track him down and his time in the War.

    Once we have some basic information we can go from there.
     
  3. Biak

    Biak Boy from Illinois Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum Mike471, I believe all flight instruction was done in the US. Here is a link I think you will find interesting.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/VI/AAF-VI-17.html

    Agree with P.A. - post as much info as you can and we'll try to dig up more.
     
  4. PA.Dutchman

    PA.Dutchman recruit

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    The Marine Pilots of WWII have a great history and a record of honor and sacrifice in the Pacific War.

    Do some searches under Marine Pilots, Marine Pilots of WWII, Aces and Training there are many many sources of information.

    Marine Aviation celebrated its 100 Anniversary of Aviation recently. In World War One in 1918 a Marine Pilot earned the Medal of Honor, the first Marine Pilot to do so.
     
  5. mike471

    mike471 New Member

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    Thanks

    All i know is:

    His last name was Evart unless his wife re-married after his death which could have changed her last name, but i doubt it.

    He was a flight instructor during WWII, pacific theater, possibly marines.

    During the 1950's he was a test pilot at Edwards air force base.

    He died in the F-9-F Grumman cougar in 1961, at least thats what his family was officially told.

    According to google the F-9-F flight testing was actually around 1950-1951 and the official test pilot of the F-9-F is still alive and there were no recorded accidents during the F-9-F test program so i think his death may may have just been an accident during a routine ferry flight or something like that, as a pilot myself i know that planes are extremely dangerous machines even during routine flights.

    I think its also possible that during the intense arms race of the cold war it might have been advantageous for the US government to not admit the loss of an important prototype so if the story of his death was fabricated i am ok with that, im sure the only thing his family was concerned about was the loss of a loved one. So im not accusing the government of any wrong doing. i just am curious about his life as a WWII flight instructor.
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Interesting question Mike. Here us a Navy video from WW2 that shows how a fight instructor works. I believe Biak is correct, that most training was done in the US. You also should read his reference in ibblio.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM1jSU4FEPw
     
  7. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Naval aviator training was also conducted in the continental US, not in theater; Marine Corps pilots were designated as naval aviators. There are a couple of threads in this forum which address pilot training, see, for example:
    http://www.ww2f.com/topic/44563-us-navymarine-corps-pilot-question/?hl=%2Bflight+%2Btraining#entry499253

    There were more than a few test pilots operating the F9F (no hyphens) in its various mods. VX-3 (air development squadron three - all weather operations) at NAS Atlantic City and VX-5 (air development squadron five - special weapons delivery) at NAS Moffett Field had more than a few, not to mention TACTEST at NAS Patuxent. The F9F was not particularly secret, after all, by 1951 the North Koreans were seeing plenty, so the unfortunate loss on one and its pilot was not a question of national security.

    Typical F9F non-combat losses, that is without having someone first poke holes in them, a few of which were operating in Marine Corps VMFs:

    XF9F-2 bn 122477 ditched with gear down in arrested landing at NAS Patuxent River, MD 10/28/1948.
    F9F-3 bn 122566 (TACTEST) skidded and overshot landing at NAS Patuxent River, MD 4/12/1950
    F9F-3 bn 122571 (TACTEST) emergency landing on short dirt strip Greenfield, OH 5/29/1949
    F9F-3 bn 122573 (VF-51) wheels up landing in sand near NAS San Diego, CA 5/18/1949
    F9F-3 bn 122575 (VF-51) ditched on takeoff from Valley Forge 7/18/1950
    F9F-3 bn 122577 (VF-51) ditched on takeoff from Valley Forge 7/22/1950
    F9F-3 bn 122579 (VF-52) ditched on takeoff from Boxer Jul 8, 1953
    F9F-3 bn 122580 (VF-51) ditched on takeoff from Valley Forge 5/21/1950
    F9F-3 bn 122581 (VF-51) undershot landing Valley Forge 12/11/1950
    F9F-3 bn 122584 (VF-51) ditched on takeoff from NAS San Diego 2/30/1950
    F9F-3 bn 123020 (VF-51) caught fire in taxi accident 10/26/1949 at NAS San Diego
    F9F-3 bn 123025 (VF-24) damaged in deck crash USS Boxer 8/6/1952
    F9F-3 bn 123027 (VF-91) crash landed north of Kangnung AB, South Korea 6/26/1953
    F9F-3 bn 123028 (VF-52) crashed after takeoff from Valley Forge 6/25/1950
    F9F-3 bn 123030 (VMF-224) crashed S of Wonsan, Korea 7/4/1952
    F9F-3 bn 123037 (VF-24) ditched in bad takeoff from USS Boxer 6/25/1952
    F9F-3 bn 123039 (VF-52) caught fire after takeoff 3/19/1951 NAS San Diego.
    F9F-3 bn 123041 (VC-61) flamed out on landing and undershot at NAAS Miramar, CA 8/22/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123046 (MAG-33, 1st MAW) crash landed at K-3, Korea Nov 29, 1952
    F9F-2 bn 123056 (VMF-115) dove in near Palmyra, NC 10/25/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123060 (VMF-115) stalled on takeoff from Roosevelt Roads NAS 2/24/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123063 (VMF-115) lost off MCAS Cherry Point, NC 5/21/1950
    F9F-3 bn 123069 (VF-24) damaged in deck crash on USS Boxer 8/6/1952 off Korea, jettisoned
    F9F-2 bn 123076 (VF-51) hit barrier on landing Valley Forge 11/9/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123077 (VMF-115) undershot landing at Roosevelt Roads NAS 5/29/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123080 went over side of USS Midway 11/11/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123081 (VF-31) ditched short of runway at NAS Quonset Point, RI 12/28/1949
    F9F-2 bn 123397 (VF-71) hit ramp on landing Midway CVB-41 7/18/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123398 (VF-72) ditched in the Sea of Japan after take off from USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) 11/27/51
    F9F-2 bn 123403 (FasRon-11) flew into seawall on takeoff from Kisarazu AFB, Japan during ferry flight 8/22/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123405 (VF-91) ditched in Sea of Japan off Wonsan, North Korea after ran out of fuel 6/19/1953
    F9F-2 bn 123406 (VF-71) tail hook broke on landing on USS Saipan CVL-48 and went over the side off Quonset Point, RI 5/11/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123414 (VF-71) hard landing on USS Wright off Jacksonville FL 6/6/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123415 (VF-71) spun in on waveoff NAS Quonset Point, RI. 7/3/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123421 (VF-91) ditched in Sea of Japan after ran out of fuel 6/261953
    F9F-2 bn 123422 (VF-91) aircraft engine caught fire and had a fire in cockpit over South Korea 7/26/1953
    F9F-2 bn 123424 (VF-71) engine failure near Alligator Lake, NC 5/29/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123427 (VMF-115) hard landing on USS F D Roosevelt 11/28/1950 and bounced over barrier, hitting parked F9F-2s 123429 and 123398, and three other planes
    F9F-2 bn 123428 (VF-71) crashed during landing at NAAS Charlestown, RI. 7/24/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123432 (VF-111) hit barrier on landing USS Philippine Sea after combat mission and struck parked aircraft 9/29/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123433 (VF-112) ditched off USS Philippine Sea due to engine flameout 12/19/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123435 (VF-23) water landing off USS Essex due to engine flameout 12/28/1952
    F9F-2 bn 123437 (VF-11) crashed on catapult shot off USS Philippine Sea 7/10/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123440 (VF-93) crashed into water while landing on USS Philippine Sea 2/16/1952
    F9F-2 bn 123441 (VF-111) ditched during combat mission off USS Philippine Sea 9/18/1950 due to fuel exhaustion
    F9F-2 bn 123442 (VF-112) crash-landed on USS Philippine Sea 11/14/1950 and collided with 5 parked aircraft.
    F9F-2 bn 123443 (VF-112, F9F-2B) crashed in bad take off from USS Philippine Sea 8/7/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123444 (VF-112) 08/29/1950 USS Philippine Sea - Faulty cat shot, ditched
    F9F-2 bn 123446 (VF-112) ditched on takeoff from USS Philippine Sea 2/17/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123449 (VR-31) stalled in turn during emergency landing at Floyd Bennett NAS, NY and crashed into Jamaica Bay 2/8/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123462 stricken for damage at NAS San Diego 4/1/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123463 (VMF-311) in takeoff accident 1/1/1951 in Japan.
    F9F-2 bn 123478 (VX-3) crashed during landing at Atlantic City, NJ 5/25/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123481 (VF-21) crashed into woods on waveoff at NAS Oceana, VA 3/31/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123482 damaged aboard USS Midway 1/11/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123485 (VF-21) went over the side on waveoff from USS F D Roosevelt 9/25/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123494 (VF-21) went through barrier USS Midway 11/11/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123499 (VF-31, F9F-2B) bad landing on USS Leyte 12/9/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123501 (VX-3) missing in flight from Atlantic City, NJ 9/11/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123503 (VF-21) crashed off Elizabeth City, NJ due to unknown cause 6/23/1951 F9F-2 bn 123506 (VF-31) flew into water after waveoff USS Leyte 11/30/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123514 (VF-31) ditched after takeoff from USS Leyte CV-32 10/19/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123525 (VMF-311) undershot landing at K-5 in Korea 2/26/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123526 (VF-31) launch accident from USS Leyte 12/29/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123528 (VF-31) ditched after bad takeoff from USS Leyte 12/20/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123531 (VR-31) struck hill in overcast near Scott Field, IL 5/11/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123537 (VMF-311) crashed on way to target during combat mission in Korea.
    F9F-2 bn 123544 (VF-91) bounced over barrier on landing on USS Philippine Sea
    F9F-2 bn 123549 (VF-71) ditched in Narragansett Bay, RI 2/22/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123550 (VMF-223) crashed near Vicksburg, MS 6/10/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123581 (VF-61) wind gust flipped plane over on deck of USS F D Roosevelt, stricken for damage 1/27/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123586 (VF-721) presumed to have crashed in sea near K-50, Korea, 11/1/1952
    F9F-2 bn 123598 (VF-191) crashed on takeoff from USS Princeton 10/18/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123599 (VF-191) late pullout while strafing target off NAS El Centro, CA 9/23/1950
    F9F-2 bn 123618 (VF-23, F9F-2B) hit ramp on landing on USS Princeton 6/5/1951 and exploded
    F9F-2 bn 123620 (VF-191) hit by landing aircraft 10/18/1950 on USS Princeton
    F9F-2 bn 123625 (VF-781) crashed into water after launch from USS Bon Homme Richard 11/27/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123631 (VMF-311) crashed landed at K-3, Korea, 2/21/1952
    F9F-2 bn 123636 (VF-721) ditched after flameout from USS Kearsarge 12/28/1952
    F9F-2 bn 123640 (VF-721, F9F-2B) ditched after bad takeoff from USS Boxer 5/30/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123648 (VF-721) hook would not extend on landing on USS Boxer , tried to reach Oahu and ditched off NAS Barbers Point, HI 3/12/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123654 (VF-721) ditched off USS Boxer 4/16/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123660 (VF-721) crashed after catapult shot from USS Boxer 8/14/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123664 (VF-781) crashed after bad takeoff from USS Bon Homme Richard 11/21/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123666 (VF-111) ditched due to fuel exhaustion 5/2/1952
    F9F-2 bn 123670 (VF-781) crashed after bad catapult shot from USS Bon Homme Richard 5/31/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123671 (VF-781) ditched in Sea of Japan after running out of fuel from mission over North Korea 11/13/51
    F9F-2 bn 123677 (VF-781) ditched due to fuel exhaustion after combat mission 7/2/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123684 (VF-71) crashed after takeoff from USS Tarawa in Carribean 4/26/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123700 (VF-781) crashed after bad catapult shot from USS Bon Homme Richard 7/27/1951
    F9F-2 bn 123705 (VC-61) hit ramp and skidded over port side of USS Antietam1/29/1952

    And there’s just bunches and bunches more.

    One should remember that operational losses, that is those without direct combat action, generally equal, if not exceed combat losses. Naval aviation was and is a dangerous business, especially in early jets on straight deck carriers.

    My father’s first flight in any of the F9Fs was in an F9F-5 bn 125229 on 8/8/1951 at Anacostia NAS. He was newly arrived at WSEG at the time, having just previously been CAG-17 and, before that, CO of VF-171 which operated F2H Banshees. By the summer of 1953 he was XO of VX-3 and the next year CO of VX-5. In both of those squadrons he flew various versions of the F9F.

    Take google on this with a grain of salt, the F9F was already in combat in Korea in late 1950.
     
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  8. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    USAAF FLYING CADETS -- Part 1 of 4 (10 Minutes)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB5bI4k5s90

    USAAF FLYING CADETS -- Part 2 of 4 (10 Minutes)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x1hJPQWu6c
     
  9. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    USAAF FLYING CADETS -- Part 3 of 4 (10 Minutes)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLBvXW_rggE

    USAAF FLYING CADETS -- Part 4 of 4 (10 Minutes)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcjlZBNyQn4
     
  10. mike471

    mike471 New Member

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    thanks so much guys, i will spend a lot of time going over all this info and get back to you.

    any more info would be great too :)
     
  11. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    Since you are beginning this very interesting study I will say that Trey Brandt wrote a book covering the early training flights that crashed in the state of Arizona from 1942 to 1977 and the book is called "Faded Contrails: Last Flights Over Arizona" and he has met with many of the survivors to write their recollections. Why is this important? Well for me it is important to understand how many flyers and crews gave their lives in acquiring the training to go to war. When you can get so specific to one state and have enough material to write a book about the various crashes, it is evidence of how massive was the effort made by our flyers and instructors to train pilots for aircraft that was not always fully tested in preparation for war. Many of these flyers gave their lives and were actually less recognized than those who made it to serve in combat but of course I always think for their families the suffering the losses must have felt exactly the same as for those lost in combat.
     
  12. mike471

    mike471 New Member

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    thanks again guys, im still looking through all this.

    im interested in any more info there is.

    Victor, in researching "WWII flight instructor" i learned that half of all the american pilot deaths that occurred during WWII did not occur during combat but rather training and accidents.

     
  13. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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