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"JTF600's P-61 and Nightfighter operations gaming" Topic


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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 Jun 2009 7:28 p.m. PST

After reading the article, "Bite of the Black Widow – Northrop's P-61 Night Fighter" By Warren Thompson, mentioned by Daniel in my other thread, article link , I am interested if anyone has played or is playing any WWII Nightfighter scenarios? How do you game the encounters? What type of special rules or variations or procedures do you use? Is there any other information or sources for the operations and use of the P-61 other then in the Osprey book? Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Daniel06 Jun 2009 8:11 p.m. PST

This might be a start – it seems an entire game based on your premise…

TMP link

Oh look! It has the Black Widow! :)

link

And the designer page…

link

Daniel

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 Jun 2009 8:20 p.m. PST

Thanks again Daniel. I don't know how I missed the previous thread LOL. Some of the info looks helpful :). Especially for the ETO. Too bad Im not interested in another boardgame LOL. Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Daniel06 Jun 2009 8:27 p.m. PST

Here's another one for Duel in the Dark…

TMP link

Heck, a man of your talent could easily transform that board game into a miniature game of wonder. Learn from the mechanics and take it to the next level.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 Jun 2009 8:36 p.m. PST

LOL I could try. Like I said I don't wann fork out more money LOL. But I was thinking more along the lines of what others use for other rulesets like BTH,CY6,Ect. Im going to look at the Nightfighter supplement for Sturmovik-Commander too. Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member07 Jun 2009 5:24 a.m. PST

I guess Im also looking for information on USAAF P-38M and P-70 Ops and Naval Nightfighter Ops using aircraft like the F6F-5N and F4U2. Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member07 Jun 2009 2:22 p.m. PST

Looking at the " Duel in the Dark" site does anyone game in a similar way? I mean with a Ref or the two players basically only seeing thier own aircraft with something blocking eachother's view?

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member08 Jun 2009 12:25 p.m. PST

I did find a little more information about the P-61 in the CBI in another Osprey book "Allied Aces in Asia" of the "Aircraft of the Aces" series. Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Daniel08 Jun 2009 2:32 p.m. PST

Are you getting what you need or are you still stuck?

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member08 Jun 2009 2:56 p.m. PST

Between here and my Yahoo Group Im getting quite a bit of info now. Thanks. Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member08 Jun 2009 3:03 p.m. PST

Found out a bit about the operations of the P-61 and Nightfighter opd in Europe. Still looking for information on USAAF P-38M and P-70 Ops and Naval Nightfighter Ops using aircraft like the F6F-5N and F4U2. Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member09 Jun 2009 3:10 p.m. PST

I find it funny that this is all there is on the P-61 in the CBI in the Wiki article.

"CBI Theater
P-61's of the CBI Theater were responsible for patrolling a larger area than any night-fighter squadrons of the War. Unfortunately, the P-61 arrived too late in the CBI Theater to have any significant impact, as most Japanese aircraft had already been transferred out of the CBI Theater by that time in order to participate in the defense of the Japanese Homeland."

Reading the chapter in the " Allied Aces of Asia" on the P-61 there seems to be quite a bit of action. And its interesting that one of the problems of intercepting Japanese aircraft was the terrain. Quite different from the Pacific and European Theatres. That being that it created a permanent echo on the Ground Controller's radar screen covering half the screen and making interception a problem.

Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member11 Jun 2009 8:08 a.m. PST

I went to the consimworld.com site and I did like being able to get the Playtest version of the Scenario book. Some good examples there for Europe and the CBI/PTO. About 25-30 scenarios. Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member11 Jun 2009 9:32 p.m. PST

Some info on Marine night Ops.
Ownership Of The Night

link

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member12 Jun 2009 4:53 p.m. PST

And some more good info from a personal view,

Night Fighter
nightfighter.info


My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Daniel12 Jun 2009 5:13 p.m. PST

You're fast becoming the resident go-to guy on the topic…

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member14 Jun 2009 3:42 p.m. PST

Thanks Daniel. :) I try to as much research as I can and thought others might be interested :).
Robert

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member15 Jun 2009 6:46 p.m. PST

And another :). Robert

VMF(N) 533
Marine Night Fighting Squadron 533
Black Mac's Killers
link

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member16 Jun 2009 4:55 p.m. PST

And the British in the CBI,

176 Squadron RAF Nightfighters
link


My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member18 Jun 2009 7:44 p.m. PST

Douglas P-70 Nighthawk
link

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member19 Jun 2009 10:35 a.m. PST

Japanese Night tactics.

"b. At Night

The Japanese apparently feel that moonlight bombing operations are not materially different from the same thing by day. They generally precede their raids with the usual reconnaissance, fly in formation, and use the normal pattern-bombing procedure with light bombs

In a recent attack on a U.S. Navy surface force, Japanese medium bombers approached during darkness, in 2 formations of 12 planes each. One plane detached itself from the formation and flew parallel to the course of the ships on one side, for a distance of 5,000 yards. During this run, it dropped float flares at intervals of about 600 yards. The plane then flew about 5,000 yards across the course of our ships, to the front, and dropped a second line of flares at approximately the same intervals. Finally this plane dropped a red flare and a green flare abreast of the formation and outside of the parallel row of flares.

Recent action in the South Pacific has disclosed a Japanese tendency to employ intruder tactics. On at least one occasion a returning flight of friendly bombers was joined by a Japanese plane which followed the traffic pattern, turned on its landing lights, buzzed the control tower at about 500 feet altitude, and then proceeded to make a bombing run on nearby shipping. This attack occurred after dark but during a full moon period when visual recognition was most difficult. "

"5. DEFENSE AT NIGHT

The Japanese in recent months have increased the number of fighter planes used for defense of airfields at night. In some cases, enemy searchlights have been operating in conjunction with the fighters. The searchlights track the targets until the fighters give a signal, and then all searchlight activity ceases. The fighters then attack from the 5- to 7-o'clock direction, high or low. Sometimes enemy fighters have turned on plane searchlights when approaching our bombers. The fighters usually worked in pairs, with both twin- and single-engined fighters being used."

link

My Yahoo 1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member02 Jul 2012 11:52 a.m. PST

With my recent threads on the Fw-189 night-fighter version,J1N1-S Gekko/Irving and Potez 631 night-fighters I know this thread is an old one but I thought I would point them out . Robert

French Potez 631 night-fighter
TMP link

J1N1-S "Gekko" nightfighters Vs B-17s and B-24s over Rabaul
TMP link

Fw-189 Night Fighter
TMP link


My Yahoo 3mm-1/600 scale Wargaming Group

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member02 Jul 2012 11:56 a.m. PST

I also want to add that with JTF-600's P-61 being OOP the other P-61 now available in 1/600 is the one from Oddzial Osmy (O8) Miniatures. Robert

My Yahoo 3mm-1/600 scale Wargaming Group

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member09 Jul 2012 2:06 p.m. PST

Here is a great page for Nachtjagdgeschwader 100. Robert
cieldegloire.com/njg_100.php

My Yahoo 3mm-1/600th scale Wargaming Group
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member15 Jul 2012 9:30 p.m. PST

"With assistance from the NTRI and Yoji Ito, the ONATD also developed Japan's only airborne microwave radar. Designated FD-2 (sometimes FD-3), this was a magnetron-based, 25-cm (1.2-GHz), 2-kW set weighing about 70 kg. It could detect aircraft at a range between 0.6 and 3 km, satisfactory for close-range night-fighter aircraft such as the Nakajima J1N1-S Gekko. It used four Yagi antennas mounted in the nose area; separate elements for transmit and receive were skewed for searching. Unlike in the air warfare in Europe, there were few night-fighter aircraft used by Japan; consequently, it was mid-1944 before the Type FD-2 was put into use. Some 100 sets were manufactured."

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member28 Jul 2012 7:44 p.m. PST

"In an attempt to oppose at RAF's night intruding missions that were hammering Italian airfields, on 25 August the 4o Stormo borrowed four radio-equipped CR.42s, two by the 208a and two by the 238a Squadriglie of the 101o Gruppo Bombardamento a Tuffo, based at Abar Nimeir. These were to be used as night interceptors.
That same night, at 20:20, Stormo Commander Tenente Colonnello François took off in a CR.42 (probably from the 238a Squadriglia) and circled over Fuka at 500 m. He met and attacked an unidentified enemy twin-engined bomber, which fell on the sea 4 km off coast.
After the landing and refurbishing, at 22:45, Tenente Giulio Reiner took off in the same aircraft, and climbed to 2500 m, radio-guided to intercept another bomber. Once arrived, Reiner saw on the cloud overcast below him two shadows of aircraft; he waved his wings and realized that he was one of them, so he looked around and spotted a bomber above him, just in the same moment that the twin-gun tail turret of it started to shoot at him. He dived to gain speed, and then he pulled up vertically and shot at the belly of the bomber. Since the SAFAT machine guns had not flash hiders, he was dazzled by his guns' flashes, and to avoid a collision he turned over and dived again. During approach to landing, Reiner saw a big explosion followed by a fire, on the ground south-east of Fuka.
On the following morning, Reiner and Capitano Ranieri Piccolomini (CO of the 90a Squadriglia, 10o Gruppo) took off with an Italian Fiesler Storch and headed 10 km south-east of Fuka, where they found the burned wreck of a Wellington. The bombers bomb load had exploded and eight of the crew were dead.
Wellington DV514/U of 70 Squadron was lost during the night. The aircraft had taken off at 22:10-22:40 from LG 86 to seek out targets of opportunity over the battle area. The aircraft was shot down by a night-fighter, crashing in flames. However, all six of the crew managed to bale out successfully (Squadron Leader E. B. Panter wounded), but were all taken prisoners.'

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member31 Jul 2012 12:07 p.m. PST

"Since the declaration of war, Bomber Command had been performing a series of raids against targets in northern Italy and on the night of 13/14 August the fighters of the 150o Gruppo did a series of scrambles in their Fiat CR.42s devoid of radio and any night-fighter equipment against raiders signalled over Turin. At 01:55, 10 minutes after take-off, Capitano Graffer engaged a British bomber that was flying over the Fiat's workshops.

"…the night of August the 14th I was ordered to scramble over Turin. I took off with a wingman against enemy planes signalled by the AA defence. Each of us started to search independently and I was lucky to discover an enemy from the flames coming from its exhaust pipes. I attacked it from astern and it returned fire hitting my engine. I tried again to shot at it from below but my guns refused to fire and the engine was losing oil. Considering that my plane was close to end its life I decide to try to collide with the enemy plane and save myself with the parachute. I flew over the enemy but the stream from its airscrews overturned my plane and I failed my first attempt, so I flew on the side of the enemy plane and I hit its empennages with my airscrew. My plane spun down and I abandoned it. I acted in this way because I'm convinced that the plane that I was flying had been given to me with the purpose of using it against the enemy and my action although quite dangerous if well conducted was not suicidal."

This was Whitley Mk.V P4965/ZA-H of 10 Squadron, which had taken off from Abingdon to bomb the Fiat Aero Engine works at Torino. Badly shot up by a fighter attack over the target, which left one engine out of action and severe damage to the starboard aileron. Pilot Officer Parson succeeded in flying the crippled bomber across France but while trying to land on the beach near Dymchurch Redoubt on the Kent coast, the weakened aileron broke off and the Whitley plunged into the sea. Three of the crew managed to escape, but the two pilots died and their bodies were eventually washed onto the French coast. They are buried in Boulogne's Eastern Cemetery in the Pas-de-Calais. The crew consisted of pilot Pilot Officer Ernest Ian Parsons DFC (RAF No. 43370) (KIA), co-pilot Sergeant Alfred Norman Campion (RAF No. 742698) (KIA), observer Sergeant Chamberlain (RTD), wireless operator Sergeant Marshall (RTD) and air gunner Sergeant Sharpe (RTD).
Graffer had scrambled wearing a pair of tennis shorts and the tale of the pilot scrambled "with only his pants on" became quickly very popular in the press. This was the first successful night interception by an Italian fighter and Graffer, whose claim had been initially treated with some scepticism, became although for a short period, a celebrity.

As a direct result of his bravery he was awarded with the Medaglia di bronzo al valor militare."

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member01 Aug 2012 9:57 p.m. PST

Was looking through the links again and found out the following links are dead. Here is a Wayback Machine link for it,

nightfighter.info
link

VMF(N) 533
Marine Night Fighting Squadron 533
Black Mac's Killers
link

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member05 Aug 2012 2:52 p.m. PST

"The following evening, Captain Kendall took off at 1910 for a routine patrol. Less than an hour later the controller said he had a possible bogey coming toward the P-61 at an altitude of 4,500 feet. Contact was made quickly, and Kendall's radar observer picked up window several times, which meant the intruder was using defensive tactics as he got closer to Ie Shima. As the Black Widow closed, the intruder made some hard turns in an effort to shake any pursuit.

Kendall recalled the chase: "Getting close enough for a positive identification proved to be difficult. He was taking violent evasive action and dropping window, which was bundles of tinsel-like strips of aluminum foil designed to confuse our radar. This guy knew we were behind him but I have no idea how he knew. My R/O, Lieutenant Scheerer, was talking me in closer to about 800 feet when all of a sudden the left side pilot's window pop­ped open and the rush of air drowned out the communications with him. Down this low at such a high speed and not being able to understand my observer was very unhealthy.

"I had to back off, secure the window and then get back in touch with him. In the meantime, I lost contact with the bogey, but quickly picked him up again and was able to close on his tail again despite his defensive moves. I had one eye on my target and one eye on my altimeter. Suddenly, the window popped open again and once again I closed it, and as I picked him up for a third time the same thing happened again! Regardless, I went after him for a fourth time and control gave me permission to shoot him down even though we didn't have a positive identification."

Kendall locked on again, and a few seconds later the bogey completely disappeared off the scope and no more window was detected. According to witnesses on the ground, the intruder crashed and the debris was scattered over a wide area. It had been a Nakajima Ki.44 "Tojo" fighter that probably was up to no good. Lady in the Dark had prevented him from carrying out his mission, assuming he had one. This was not listed as an official kill because the war had already ended. But the fact remains that a Black Widow had made the final two kills of World War II without firing its guns."

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member10 Aug 2012 2:43 p.m. PST

"On 3rd October 1940, the Battle of Britain was beginning to ease up, and the Germans were switching to night bombing. Kuttlewascher was transferred to the No. 1 Squadron that day. He stayed with this unit for almost two years, and contributed significantly to its fame.

The No. 1 Squadron was equipped with Hurricanes Mk. Ia in those days, which were replaced by Hurricanes Mk. IIa in February 1942, with some Mk. IIb's added in April. It was based in Wittering, Loncolnshire. Starting from 15th December 1940, the the Squadron operated from Northolt, Middlesex, and on 5th January 1941, they moved south of London to Kenley, Surrey. It was led by S/Ldr David Pemberon. After his fatal crash in November 1940, Canadian S/Ldr Mark 'Hilly' Brown took over, but he was soon replaced with S/Ldr Richard Brooker, DFC, on January 1941. The unit was mixed, as was common with RAF Squadrons. It was made of the British, Canadians, New Zealanders, French, even one Lithuanian, but mainly Czechs. There were eleven of them in October 1940, and the total number of Czechs serving with the Squadron within the next two years was 30. They formed almost one half of the flying personnel. In May 1941 was the A-Flight declared as Czechoslovak. It was headed by F/Lt Antonín Velebnovský until his death. Several Czech aces were with the flight beside Kuttelwascher -Vaclav Jícha, Bedřich Krátkoruký, Josef Příhoda, Evžen Čízek, and Josef Dygrýn-Ligotický.

Operational activities of the 1 Squadron were wide. Apart from defensive actions, they flew the first attacks over the coast of occupied France. These actions were called Circus: a code name for an air-raid performed by a small number of bombers accompanied by a strong figter escort. The goal was to attract and destroy the enemy right in the air. These offensive sweeps were usually done by a Wing – a higher tactical unit made out of three or more Squadrons. The No. 1 was first operational within the Northolt Wing (1, 601 and 303 (Polish) Squadrons). On 7th Apri 1941, the Squadron moved from Kenley to Croydon, and settled down at the Croydon satelite base of the Kenley sector in Redhill on the very beginning of May. It was transferred to the Kenley Wing made of the 1 and 258 and 302 (Polish) Squadrons, which was soon replaced by the 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron.

Kuttelwascher drew attention to him during these offensive actions. He gained three certain and one probable kills in the Spring and early Summer of 1941. The machines shot down were Bf 109's, the E and F versions, generally considered superior to slower Hurricanes.

On 1st July 1941, the 1 Squadron was withdrawn from sweeps over France, and it transfered from Redhill to Tangmere. The base was located 5 kilometers North-East of picturesque Chichester. The unit stayed there for over a year. It was entrusted with the night defence of nearby ports of Southhampton and Portsmouth. It was rearmed, and the pilots started intesive night training. They were now flying Hurricanes NF Mk. IIc, which completely replaced the Mk. IIb versions in January 1942.

The 1 Squadron experimented with an unusual night tactic called Turbinlite. A two engined Douglas Havoc equipped with a radiolocator AI. Mk. IV and a huge searchlight at the nose was accompanied by a pair of satelite Hurricanes not suited for a radiolocator. Havoc pinpointed the target and lit the enemy, so the Hurricanes could attack it. This idea arose in the fall of 1940 during the massive Luftwaffe night bombing, when there was a shortage of radiolocator equipped night fighters. The project was dropped later, because it yielded poor results in view of high losses caused especially by collisions. There were also enough Bristol Beaufighter night fighters available in the end of 1941. The machines used in the 1st Squadron Turbinlite training were usually Havocs Mk. I of the 1455 Flight located in Tangmere. The 1 Squadron then employed another offensive night method called Night Intruder, which will be described later.

The operation activites of the 1 Squadron dropped a bit in the late Summer and fall of 1941. There were only some sporadic attacks on enemy targets in the Channel known as Channel Stop and Roadstead. In early 1942, Pilot Officer Karel Kuttelwascher was the only Czech serving with the unit, as the others had been transferred to other Squadrons. His abilities and achievments were rewarded on 17th February 1942, by a promotion to the rank of Flight Lieutenant, and the A Flight leader. In November, 1941, S/Ldr Brooker was transferred to the Far East Command, and replaced by famous S/Ldr James MacLachlan, DFC, DSO. This Royal Air Force ace, who had lost his left arm in a combat over Malta, made his mark once again by Kuttlewascher's side in the Night Intruder actions. This method was just getting its finishing touches en early 1942.

The Night Intruder was not Kuttelwascher's invention, as was sometimes claimed. It is true, though, that Kut brought this method to perfection, and achieved the highest score with it. These actions meant the night destruction of enemy bombers near their bases. The first RAF unit to use this method was the No. 87 Squadron, in return of similar actions taken by Junkers Ju 88's of the I./NJG 2 penetrating over British airports by night. It was later joined by the 3, 32, 43, and 253 Squadrons, but none got anywhere near the No. 1. The method itself developed significantly. In the beginning, British coastal guard reported German bombers approaching the coast. Several Hurricanes took off heading for selected German airports to wait for the returning attackers there. The bombers were very vulnerable on return. They had little fuel and ammunition, the crews were tired and frequently wounded, and the gunners had to leave their positions for the landing. They flew at a low speed with their positioning lights on, over lighted runway. All of this offered some chances to the Hurricanes. There is no denying this was sabotage tactics. Tired bomber crews shaken by the hell they had experienced over England were returning to their base, happy they had been given another day. Suddenly – right over their own airport – the shadow of a Hurricane emerges from the darkness. Tracing shots cut through the darkness. Explosions, flames, end… None of those blond men would have time to say their prayers… However advantageous this method was for the intruder, it was a passive method. The attacks were staged on machines that had already done their job. Another stage of the Night Intruder actions started when the British took the initiative, sending out the Hurricanes soon after dusk to catch the German bombers on the take off. This was riskier, since the German crews were more concentrated, but the effect was higher – the bomb load intended for British cities was destroyed with the aircraft. This was important especially in the Spring and Summer of 1942, when the Luftwaffe waged the so called baedecker offensive targeted at British historic towns, such as Bath, Canterbury, York, and Exeter, as well as other places of a high historic value. The Night Intruder operations, undertaken by lonely Hurricanes, were extremly dangerous. They were only suitable for pilots with strong nerves and cats' eyes, because no radiolocators could be installed into the single seated Hurricanes. The pilot was on his own, over enemy teritorry, near heavily defended airports, under circumstances that made him visible. He had to count with flak, German night fighters or engine failure. A short distraction could prove fatal in low flight. Navigation was very difficult. The pilot had to hold the lever in one hand, trying to spread the map on his knee with the other hand, and read it in the faint light of the controls. If he managed to find the badly visible enemy airport, he still had no guarantee of seeing anything there. Kuttelwascher sometimes visited up to five bases in one flight with no success. Luftwaffe frequently returned to other airports than they had taked off from. The crews had some twenty bases to choose from. Kuttelwascher remembered this later: "…I wonder around and wait. I must not be too low, or else I would not be able to copy the terrain, but I must keep to the ground as much as possible to see the sillhouettes of the returning airplanes above me. Sometimes waiting is in vain. I spent tens of minutes lost in the dark while my planes were not coming back. They were landing somewhere else, or they had never taken off from that particular airport. Sometimes I get lucky and managed to join them as they were getting ready for the landing. I had to decide quickly. If somebody went into my way, I took him immediately. If I was not sure, I climbed up a little bit, and joined them in the circle, so I could choose well. I occasionally turned on my lights, so they thought I am one of them – a Luftwaffe aircraft – and did not get scared unnecessarily. This is what I needed, I have to had order in my work. Just no turmoil. It will start anyway when the first catches on fire. It is best when it falls and explodes on the ground. The other then thought this had been a crash, and I had more time to choose another one…"

As the Night Intruder missions were pointed at airports deep in France, the Hurricanes carried two additional tanks under their wings, 200 litres of fuel each. Together with the 313 litres in the main wing tanks, and the 127 litres in the reserve fuselage tank, this made 840 litres of fuel – from 3 to 3,5 hours of flight at speed of 270 kph. No wonder the pilots returned quite exhausted from these long thrilling missions.

The Night Intruder operation was run by the 1 Squadron from 1st April to 2nd July 1942. They took 180 missions, shot down 22 enemy aircraft, and damaged another 13. They also destroyed 67 trains, 5 boats and a one vehicle. The highest scoring pilot in No. 1 was F/Lt Karel Kuttelwascher. In only 15 missions, he gained 15 confirmed kills, and 5 damaged airplanes. It was by far the best individual score in this operation. Kuttelwascher's personal scores went up to 20 confirmed kills, 2 probable, and 5 damaged. "

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member23 Aug 2012 12:33 p.m. PST

" Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 533 was first organized as FMF(N)-533 (Marine Night Fighter Squadron) on 1 October 1943 at Cherry Point, North Carolina. It was the third such squadron of night fighters to be organized by the Marine Corps in World War II, and flew the F6F-3N "Hellcat: as its first assigned aircraft.

In April 1944, the squadron reached the West coast and embarked on the USS Long Island. On the 6th day of May, it arrived at Eniwetok and reported to MAG-22. Since MAG-22 was stationed at Engebi, this meant that VMF(N)-533 would operate entirely independent of the group, except for administrative purposes.

On May 14, 1945, VMF(N)-533 flew fifteen "Hellcats" to Yontan Airfield in Okinawa, and was attached operationally to MAG-31 though still under administrative control of MAG-22.

First blood for the squadron was scored by 1st Lt. Robert M. Wilhide, USMCR when he splashed a "Betty" during the early hours of May 16, 1945. Lt. Wilhide was also the first and only pilot casualty of the squadron. On May 17, he made contact with two enemy bombers approaching Iwo Shima. Warned that friendly A.A. could be expected, he refused to turn off and was not heard from again.

Three "Bettys" were shot down by 1st Lt. Rogert E. Wellwood, USMC, the night of May 18, 1945. Six nights later, 1st lt. Albert F. Dellamano, USMCR flamed three bombers in one engagement. During June 1945, Capt. Robert Baird, USMCR shot down five enemy planes to become the one and only marine night fighter Ace in World War II. In July, he bagged another bomber. By the war's end, VMF(N)-533 had shot down more enemy aircraft than any other Marine Night Fighter Squadrons, and all by radar contact.

From October 1945 to January 1947, the squadron was stationed with MAG-24 in Peiping, China with F7F-3N "Tigercat". During the Korean conflict the squadron trained aircrews for the night fighter squadrons in Korea. "

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member30 Aug 2012 12:38 p.m. PST

Just found this article about the Development of Naval Night Fighters in World War II that was printed in the USNI Proceedings Magazine – July 1948 Vol. 74/7/545. Some very good inf and a great scenario,
"A Japanese seaplane, refueled from a submarine at sea, did raid Hawaii in March, 1942. Our anti-aircraft guns were silent due to the presence of friendly fighters who were unable to reach their target although it was held in searchlights during most of its bombing run. Four bombs from this plane dropped harmlessly in an open area."
Robert

usni.org/print/6895

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member02 Sep 2012 9:54 p.m. PST

A good scenario might be when on 5 December 42,night fighter Beaufighters of 89 Sqn RAF shoot down three He.111s. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member03 Sep 2012 3:17 p.m. PST

Great Site with information and photos on the Allied director ships,

"Fighter Direction Tenders were, in effect, floating command and control centres which bristled with antenna and aerials for radar, communications and intelligence gathering purposes. They were the eyes and ears for the large scale invasion forces off the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944. There were 3 Fighter Direction Tenders designated FDT 13, 216 & 217 and this is their story."

combinedops.com/FDTs.htm

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member12 Sep 2012 8:58 p.m. PST

FTD 217

picture

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member15 Sep 2012 10:38 a.m. PST

Another interesting night encounter. Though not involving night fighters. 28th July 1942. Finnish Fokker C.X. recon bomber shoots down a Soviet R-5 night harassment bomber. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member17 Sep 2012 3:35 p.m. PST

Another candidtate for scenarios is the Japanese Nakajima C6N Saiun (Myrt).

"A night-fighter version C6N1-S with oblique-firing (Schräge Musik configuration) single 30 mm (or dual 20 mm) cannon and a torpedo carrying C6N1-B were also developed. The C6N1-B developed by Nakajima was not needed after Japan's aircraft carriers were destroyed. As Allied bombers came within reach of the Japanese home islands, there became a need for a first class night fighter. This led Nakajima to develop the C6N1-S by removing the observer and replacing him with two 20mm cannons. The C6N1-S's effectiveness was hampered by the lack of air-to-air radar, although it was fast enough to enjoy almost complete immunity from interception by Allied fighters.

Despite its speed and performance, on 15 August 1945, a C6N1 was the last aircraft to be shot down in World War II. Just five minutes later, the war was over and all Japanese aircraft were grounded.[6]"

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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member26 Sep 2012 5:31 p.m. PST

NIGHT AIR COMBAT
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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member29 Sep 2012 3:15 p.m. PST

"A transcript of a report on a combat mission flown by a Bristol Beaufighter of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron during which a German Heinkel He 111 was intercepted, identified and shot down. It illustrates the role of ground control personnel who, using ground radar equipment, guided the night fighter into proper position for an interception."

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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member11 Oct 2012 1:27 p.m. PST

"Tarawa and Makin – 10-27 November 1943

This action report covers Enterprise's operations in support of the Gilbert Islands Invasion, which began on 20 November 1943 with landings on the Tarawa and Makin atolls. This was Enterprise's return to action, after undergoing a major refit in Puget Sound Navy Yard at Bremerton, Washington in the summer and fall of 1943. Nearly 40% of her pre-refit crew had been replaced, and she also embarked a new Air Group Six, led by Medal of Honor recipient Edward "Butch" O'Hare. O'Hare played a critical – and tragic – role in the first successful carrier-based night fighter interception mission, launched from the Big E on 26 November 1943."

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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member12 Oct 2012 10:21 a.m. PST

Some interesting accounts about the AAF's early attempts against the Japanese night intrusions in early 1943 over New Guinea and Guadalcanal. Robert
Against the Rising Sun
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Oberst Radl Inactive Member12 Oct 2012 6:50 p.m. PST

I've been thinking about that too. But so far the only semi-worthwhile idea I had was to make cloth-covered or smooth plastic "black baskets" that would dome over a mini and help confuse players about which are the bombers and which are false/bad radar returns or the result of erroneous navigation.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member13 Oct 2012 1:46 p.m. PST

I hadn't thought of that. Though I remember seeing a similar idea used for the ships in the Battle of Iron bottom Sound and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal,1942. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member14 Oct 2012 9:32 a.m. PST

Here is what it looks like,

picture

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member14 Oct 2012 2:38 p.m. PST

Forgot the link :).
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Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member15 Oct 2012 3:22 p.m. PST

This is interesting . I have never thought of identifying aircraft this way LOL. Robert

"Another stateside lesson involved using exhaust flame patterns to identify the targeted aircraft. One pilot who received such "extensive training" in flame pattern recognition techniques reported that after eighteen months of combat operations in Europe, he had never seen the exhaust of a German plane that was not entirely blacked out by flame dampeners. This training technique was not a total waste, however, because if a suspect aircraft did show exhaust flames, it was usually American. The best method for identifying the target, according to combat returnees, was to silhouette it against the sky from below and identify it by shape and size. A bonus of this technique was invisibility, because if the enemy was using radar, he would be blind to an approach from below. "
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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member15 Oct 2012 3:28 p.m. PST

And this also,

"A night fighter pilot followed his R/O's directions to get within visual distance, usually 750 feet or less. Some veterans learned that if they could not make visual contact, a trick of the trade was to fire the aircraft's cannons blindly, hoping the bogey would open fire, revealing his presence. As one pilot reported, "the practice is admittedly risky but at times has proven effective." The riskiest practice, however, was following an intercept into the antiaircraft artillery zones-enemy or Allied. To a man, night fighter combat veterans agreed that the biggest threat they faced was Allied ground fire. Having the ground control radar fighter controller also in charge of antiaircraft artillery fire helped, but friction between the ground artillery and airmen usually prevented any effective cooperation. "

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member17 Oct 2012 7:57 p.m. PST

Found this interesting answer to the question,
" Q. Which RAF night figher scored the first British intruder victory of the war?"

"A. Blenhiem MKIF. In the early hours of June 18, 1940, a Blenhiem intruder, flown by Pilot Officer Alastair Hunter, shot down a He 115 floatplane near Calais, France, giving the RAF intruders their first victory. Later, when anxious members of his wing asked him how he found the German aircraft, Hunter told them the curtious pilot had been flying with his navigation lights on!"

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Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member18 Oct 2012 1:17 p.m. PST

Would anyone have any information on the operations and encounters of Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 and RAF night fighters over Malta mentioned on the Fun Trivia site? Robert

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Mako1119 Oct 2012 3:34 a.m. PST

"A bonus of this technique was invisibility, because if the enemy was using radar, he would be blind to an approach from below".

Yes, and no. Probably depends upon the aircraft and time period.

A lot of German twin-engined aircraft were fitted with rearward facing radar detectors, that could detect NFs using radar to their rear, and below, from the mid-war period, both over Western Europe, and the Mediterranean Front.

Many would use a tactic similar to Bomber Command's corkscrew, and change directions and altitudes rather quickly, to try to shake their pursuers. Usually, they'd drop to lower levels, since look-down capability of the early radars was poor, with range being equal to, or less than the height of the searching aircraft above the ground/water.

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