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Found 1 result

  1. Seahawk

    Use of rocket projectiles in BPF

    Sorry to unearth this old chestnut. Over in the "FAA Pacific Theatre Corsair Paint Question" thread ClaudioN linked to a very interesting Canadian biography of Don Sheppard, a Corsair pilot: http://www.vintagewi...Bitter-End.aspx Buried in the text is a mention of 1844 Sq (Hellcats) using rocket projectiles for the first time on 31 March 1945. I don't think this was new to me: I believe I have seen references to BPF RP expenditures in posts by Iang. It seems to me there are 2 options: either these were Hellcats fitted with British 60lb RPs complete with rails and massive blast plates (I have seen photos of these both in rear areas (eg S Africa, Australia) and with the East Indies Fleet, but never with the BPF) or these are late model Hellcats fitted with stubs for HVARs (introduced from BuNo 42185 so from somewhere about JV190-221 in the UK serial allocation). The former seems more likely to me. Quite apart from the received wisdom eg from David Hobbs that the BPF only used UK munitions, the pilots complain (as reported in the Sheppard article) about the reduced speed and rate of climb, which didn't improve even after the weapons had been expended: I don't imagine that HVAR stubs would have had that much effect on the aircraft's performance. On the other hand the UK RP installation was too bulky to overlook so I'm surprised it hasn't turned up in photographic evidence before now. So: has anyone any photographic evidence of rocket-firing Hellcats in the BPF?
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