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French AF F8F-1Bs Napalm Tanks

Geoff Hays

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Hi Folks,

While researching a model project (a French AF F8F-1B at Dien Bien Phu in March 1954) I ran across a number of images on the French Ministry of Defense Office of History site.




The images show F8Fs at Dien Bien Phu airfield armed with a napalm tank I can't identify. It uses standard AN-M16 WP igniter's, but it may be a field improvisation of some sort. Since the igniter's fit the filler caps, I'm guessing they are aircraft drop tanks or some kind; or at least started out that way. Does anyone have any idea what the tank is, or what tanks they may have used as a basis for a field devised napalm bomb?

Appreciate any help you might be able to provide.

Thanx in advance to all for your time and attention.


Geoff Hays


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Hi Geoff

Have-you tried asking a question to "Contactez nous" on the ECPAD front page?



The simple ideas are the best. Thanx I will give it a try. From the photo on your login, when did you visit the USAF Museum?



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You may be interested in the following :


A part of th text says :

"Les allumeurs situés sur les bidons de napalm sont des détonateurs au phosphore vissés à la place des bouchons ; un fil de fer relié au pylône libère l’hélice qui en tournant amorce le dispositif lors du largage. En inerte le fil de fer part avec l’hélice qui reste goupillée et le système ne fonctionne pas. Souvent ça ne marchait pas et le pilote faisait un passage et mettait le feu au napalm d’une rafale de canon » ; dixit le Général FAURE ancien pilote de Bearcat que Jean BODSON venait de rencontrer."

Ok, I kno' what ya gonna ask 4... Here goes :

The igniters on the tanks are phosphorus detonators screwed on the filler cap place; an iron wire connected to the pylon frees the propeller which ignites it all while turning when tank's dropped. It proved to be unseccesful many times, so the pilot came back and shot cannon rounds at its dropped tank to set it on fire...

Hope this helps...



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