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Tom Cleaver
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VF(N)-101 F4U-2

July 29, 2013 · in Aviation · · 8 · 3.1K

This is the -2 Corsair in VF(N)-101 markings. More recent research suggests the side color may not be black, but rather fresh Sea Blue over the Intermediate Blue, but as of five years ago, this is how the VF(N)-101 night Corsairs were interpreted.

VF(N)-101 was the first Navy unit to take the Corsair on a carrier successfully, and they did it with essentially the F4U-1 without the "de-bounced" landing gear or the stall strip on the wing, and they operated at night off unlighted ships, flying from USS Enterprise as part of Air Group 10. In the spring/summer of 1944, they provided the first night air defense to Task Force 58, later supplemented with detachments of F6F-3Ns operating from other carriers, and scored five shot down, one probable and three damaged during their tour. Led by LCDR Richard "Chick" Harmer, VF(N)-101's major contribution was proving night fighters could operate from carrier decks; Harmer himself is credited with the first night victory, a Betty on April 24, 1944, after previously damaging a Betty on February 19 and he shot down another Betty on June 28 in the Marianas, the unit's last score. VF(N)-101 was actually half of VF(N)-75, the first Corsair night fighter squadron, which was left behind when that unit was sent to the Solomons in October 1943.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

8 responses

  1. As usual, great build! I interpreted the reference pic I found in the osprey book to have fresh gsb on the intermediate blue areas, which is why I painted mine that way. (See my builds) I plan to shoot in better light and change the pics on that article...

  2. Tom,
    Right,wrong, or indifferent, I like the black scheme. I had never seen this before but it just seems to make scenes as camouflage I like what you did with this..

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    said on July 30, 2013

    Wow, love the paint job. Never seen those colours on a Corsair before, looks good to me.

  4. Two people have asked me questions about Corsair interior and gear painting. Since there is currently an outbreak of "Corsair Madness" with the new Tamiya kit, here is the best information now known:

    Cockpit interior:
    F4U-1/F4U-1A: Dull Dark Green overall (Dark Euro Green with a drop of black is a good choice)
    F4U-1D: As F4U-1A except above side panels the cockpit wall is flat black.

    Cowling interior:
    All Corsairs: grey

    Landing Gear Bay:
    F4U-1/F4U-1A: Early ones may have had Salmon primer bays, others may have had Interior Green bays. (this includes all F4U-1 and early production F4U-1A). Later F4U-1As had the underside color as did the interiors of all the gear doors of all production runs. The tail wheel interior was either Salmon on early ones or Interior Green on the others, with the gear door interior in underside color.

    F4U-1D: overall Glossy Sea Blue in the gear bays as well as the gear doors including the tail wheel.

    Fleet Air Arm aircraft would have been painted similarly, though the underside color used in the bays of Corsair II (Vought-built F4U-1As) would be Sky. All Corsair IVs were Goodyear built FG-1Ds, all Glossy Sea Blue overall, most FAA Corsair IVs used in combat were early ones with the F4U-1A style canopy with the bars on the sliding canopy.

    Landing gear:
    All landing gear of all Corsairs came out of the factory painted aluminum lacquer. Later repaints would sometimes have that done in the surrounding underside color. This includes wheel hubs.

  5. Correct or not, it's a beautifully finished model, as always from you, Tom.

  6. nice unique scheme

  7. I have a whole blog dedicated to VF(N)-101.

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