Naval Legends: History of the US Carrier-borne Aviation. Part 2 | World of Warships

Naval Legends: History of the US Carrier-borne Aviation. Part 2 | World of Warships

On December 7, 1941,
the United States entered World War II, and it was on that day the numerous
critics of aircraft carrier tactics within US Navy command
realized the degree of their error. Together with the line
warships of the Pacific fleet, the flames of Pearl Harbor
burnt down the very doctrine of absolute domination of heavy
artillery ships in naval war. In an instant, all books on the art
of naval warfare became obsolete, and there was
no time to write new ones. The enemy had to be repelled, and they
had to be struck with their own weapon. Naval Legends
History of the US Carrier-borne Aviation On December 7th, the Navy had
three carriers in the Pacific Ocean, we only had three carriers there,
we only had a total of seven carriers. Japan had fourteen carriers. So, the first thing we
needed was more carriers, but the problem with that is that
it takes two years to build a carrier. The second problem was that the
main fighter aircraft of the US Navy, the F4F Wildcat, was inferior to
the Japanese Zero in all respects. The Mitsubishi A6M “Zeke”,
commonly known as a “Zero”. This was arguably the premier fighter
in the Pacific Theater until about 1943. It had a number of advantages. Firstly, its light weight—it had an
aluminum magnesium alloy frame, and this meant it was
highly maneuverable. Had excellent firepower—it had
both cannon and machine gun. Had excellent vision from
its high-mounted canopy. The only drawback was it was a tad
fragile. But first, you had to hit it. Zero was much faster; it could out-
climb, out-dive, and out-turn a Wildcat. So how did we use this old airplane
and manage to make it work so well? The first thing
I already mentioned, it was very-very rugged,
very difficult to shoot down. The fuel tank had a self-sealing bladder
in it, so when a bullet went through it, it sealed itself up,
you didn’t lose your gas, which was important when you’re 100
miles, 150 kilometers from your carrier. The pilot sat in an armored
tub, basically, like a bathtub, he had steel plate all around him,
so the plane was very survivable. The other thing you had
to do if you’re a Wildcat pilot, you had to do formation flying, you had to be with another
Wildcat to protect each other. So, if one Wildcat got jumped, he could maneuver and try to pull
the Zero in front of the other Wildcat. Three days after the
attack on Pearl Harbor, American carrier aviation
achieved its first victory. The author of this victory
flew the SBD Dauntless. Dauntless was responsible for the first kill by US naval
aviation on an enemy combatant. The Dauntless was flown
by Lieutenant Dickinson, who was assigned
to the Enterprise Air Group, and he had survived
being jumped at Pearl Harbor with the loss of his rear-seater. On December the 10th, it sighted this Japanese submarine
I-70 and attacked and sank her. Features of the
aircraft related to the wing include the very large and visible
dive-brakes required for its role. Less visible is the fact that
the wing has no internal spars. Now, this makes it lighter,
but a significant drawback is the fact that you cannot
fold this aircraft’s wing. Despite this, Dauntless entered
service with the US Navy’s fleet. Aircraft specifications
for the SBD Dauntless. Length: 10 m.
Wingspan: 12.6 m. Maximum take-off weight: 4,587 kg. Engine: Wright R-1820-32;
power: 950 hp. Maximum speed: 405 kph.
Service ceiling: 7,680 m. Armament: two 12.7-mm
Browning M2 machine guns and two 7.62-mm
machine guns in rear. Bomb payload: 725 kg. Crew: 2 persons. So, the Dauntless was designed expressly
for one thing and one thing only, and that was sinking ships.
And it was very good at what it did. The Battle of Midway was probably the
definitive battle where everyone knew that airpower was going to be the only
way you were going to win the Pacific. So, at the Battle of Midway,
which we’re probably all familiar with, three US Navy carriers—the Enterprise,
the Yorktown, and the Hornet— up against four Japanese carriers. The Japanese had a huge force with them,
including several large battleships and had over a hundred fighting ships,
and then they had an invasion force. The Navy had three carriers and about
20 other ships, not one battleship, because they’d all been
damaged or sunk at Pearl Harbor. Early in the morning of June 4, about 45 Dauntlesses attacked
the Japanese task force. The lightning-fast strike
of the American dive bombers ended in a sweeping
victory. In just a few hours, the Dauntlesses destroyed almost half
the carriers of the Japanese Imperial Navy, thus turning
the tide of the Pacific War. This battle was also notable because it was here that the Avenger
torpedo bomber made its debut. The Grumman Avenger
was the largest aircraft that we operated off
carriers in World War II. It replaced the Douglas Devastator torpedo
bomber, which was obsolete in 1941. Aircraft specifications
for the TBM Avenger. Length: 12.5 m.
Wingspan: 16.5 m. Take-off weight: 7,876 kg. Engine: Wright R-2600-8;
power: 1,700 hp. Maximum speed: 415 kph.
Service ceiling: 7,193 m. Armament: three
12.7-mm machine guns and one 7.62-mm machine
guns under the fuselage. Eight 127-mm HVAR rockets. The aircraft could carry up to 907 kg
of bombs or one Mark 13 torpedo. Crew: 3 persons. Early on they could do torpedo runs or
they could be used as a dive bomber. So, if you were
attacking an airfield, the Avengers could be dive bombers,
they could come back to the carrier, and if somebody saw
Japanese ships were sighted, they can load them with torpedoes
and go out on a torpedo run. By the end of 1942, the Avengers
had distinguished themselves by sinking Japanese carrier Ryujo during
the Battle of the Eastern Solomons and battleship Hiei in the
first battles for Guadalcanal. However, the finest hour of these
torpedo bombers was yet to come, when in 1942, the Avengers joined
the Dauntlesses and Wildcats, which had borne the weight of the initial
phase of the air war against Japan. Meanwhile, US industry
prepared replacements for the battle-battered aircraft fleet. The F6F Hellcat,
known as the Ace Maker, arguably the most significant
carrier-borne aircraft of World War II, and was responsible for
some 75% of the navy’s kills. 12,274 were built by Grumman— one an hour, every hour,
24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was simple, it was
reliable, it was rugged. It acclaimed 5,157 enemy
kills for a loss of only 270. Another nickname it earned
was “the aluminum tank”, and it earned for the manufacturer
the moniker “Grumman ironworks”. Indeed some pilots spoke of returning
home with battle damage so significant, that more air was passing
through the aircraft, than around it. Aircraft specifications for F6F Hellcat. Length: more than 10 m.
Wingspan: 13 m. Take-off weight: 6,754 kg. Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W
Double Wasp; power: 2,135 hp. Maximum speed: 629 kph.
Service ceiling: 11,278 m. Armament: six 12.7-mm
Colt-Browning M2 machine guns. Six 127-mm HVAR rockets.
Bomb payload: up to 907 kg. Crew: 1 person. When it was all said and
done at the end of the war, the Hellcat had a 19 to 1 kill ratio, which meant for every
Hellcat shot down air-to-air, Hellcat shot down
19 Japanese aircraft, which at that point in the war,
many of them were fighters. In 1943, the US
Pacific fleet began to put heavy strike aircraft carriers
from the Essex class into service, each of which could carry up
to one hundred planes on board. The war had reached a stage where
the success of combat operations was defined by the economic
power of the warring parties. So, it was a huge, huge advantage that
we had, that the Japanese did not have, they did not have anywhere near the
capability to match us in production. So, by mid-’44,
pretty much everywhere we went, we had a huge carrier force
to back up whatever was happening. In 1943, Grumman—the main manufacturer
of fighters for the US Navy— had to make room
for another company. New aircraft carriers boasted
F4U Corsairs, produced by Vaught, on their flight decks. However, this machine did not become
a competitor for Grumman’s Hellcats— the Corsair had other purposes. Corsair’s introduction into service hit
some snags for carrier qualifications. It exhibited some really nasty
low-speed stall characteristics, the landing gear wasn’t suitable,
and it also had such a powerful engine that the torque caused roll
as well as yaw due to P-factor. Finally, the long nose
meant that on final approach you couldn’t actually see the
carrier you were trying to land on. Although the solution
for that was a long curve, which kept your
eyes on the target. As a result, Corsair entered service as a land-based aircraft
with the Marines in early ’43. Aircraft specifications
for the F4U Corsair. Length: more than 10 m.
Wingspan: 12.5 m. Take-off weight: 6,654 kg. Engine: Pratt & Whitney
R-2800-18W; power: 2,380 hp. Maximum speed: 718 kph.
Service ceiling: 12,802 m. Armament: six 12.7-mm
Colt-Browning M2 machine guns. Eight 127-mm HVAR rockets.
Bomb payload: up to 907 kg. Crew: 1 person. The Marines used it heavily, it was more
of a Marine aircraft in World War II, the Navy primarily flew the Hellcat. Corsair first flew in 1940,
it was extremely advanced for its day, it was the first US Navy fighter that
could go 400 mph straight and level. It has a very odd wing
arrangement, it’s got a gull wing, and the reason for that is
because of the size of the propeller. If you had a regular wing,
the landing gear would be so long that you’d have to have a huge wing
for the landing gear to fold up into. So, the Vought engineers came
up with that very unusual design. In 1943, on the basis that the war
was going to continue a while longer, work was started on the development
of a successor to the F6F Hellcat. The result was known as
the engine with a saddle on it. It’s the F8F Bearcat. An interesting design feature at the time
was the addition of exploding wingtips. The idea was that
if the maneuvers were so hard that there was risk of a complete
structural failure with the wing, the outer meter or so
of each wing would detach. Never really worked
in practice though— either one tip would detach and not the
other, or just simply at different times. The solution was to
add explosive charges. However, it never
worked according to plan and indeed an accident with an
explosion killed a Navy technician. So, production aircraft
soon had that idea removed. Aircraft specifications
for the F8F Bearcat. Length: almost 8.5 m.
Wingspan: almost 11 m. Take-off weight: 6,105 kg. Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-30W
Double Wasp; power: 2,250 hp. Maximum speed: 737 kph.
Service ceiling: 11,247 m. Armament: four 20-mm cannons. Four 127-mm HVAR rockets.
Bomb payload: up to 1,700 kg. Crew: 1 person. By the time the F8F Bearcat was
mass-produced, the Hellcats and Corsairs were already dominating
the skies over the Pacific Ocean while the Helldivers and Avengers were finishing off the
remnants of the Japanese Navy. In October 1944, the Americans sank
27 Japanese ships in the Leyte Gulf, including 4 aircraft
carriers and 3 battleships. The following year, in April,
227 planes from 9 American carriers destroyed the flagship of the Imperial
Japanese Navy, the mighty Yamato. When US troops
began landing at Okinawa, aircraft carrier USS Midway was
launched back home in the USA. She would become a symbol of the American
Navy’s power for many years to come. In the early 1940s,
Bureau of Aeronautics learned about the developments of jet
engine technology in England and Germany and asked Westinghouse and Allis-
Chalmers to make American versions. The initial responses
though were not positive. These early jets had
low power at low speed, they were unreliable,
and had high fuel consumption. Add to that the
requirements for swept wings, which seemed
necessary for maneuverability— and it became
unsuitable for carrier use. After the war though, with the development of the threat from
the Soviet Union and their jet program, it became obvious that the Navy
could no longer avoid the technology. In 1947, the FH-1 Phantom
entered fleet service, and with that, the age
of naval aviation jets began. Special thanks to the
US Department of Defense


  1. Naval legends is great and all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing. But please feature other nation other than USN and RN. I don’t care if you can’t visit a museum ship or the ship is sunk, you have Godlike computer graphics. Do the mushashi, bismarck, or roma.

  2. I can’t wait for part three… I hope you will mention some iconic carrier-based fighters like the F-4D Phantom II, the Grumman Panther, and (probably the greatest carrier-borne fighter ever) The F-14D SuperTomcat.

  3. My Great Grandpa (who is 94) was a Corsair pilot and originally flew the Hellcat in the Pacific. 🇺🇸 (he also was infantry in Korea)

  4. 7:08 the 12.7s on the TBM are in the wings not in the nose, and the bombs are carried in the bomb bay same as the torpedo.

  5. A nitpick about the Avenger: early models had 1 .303 instead of 2x .50 and it was NOSE mounted. When they switched from that to 2 x .50 MGs, the 2 MGs were placed in the wings near the root. Not in the nose.

  6. I am by no means a military expert….but my most fav plane is the P51 Mustang……the sleek look was so cool….no mention of it? Prob cause it was not naval based?

  7. Carriers do not belong in a game that should be about naval surface combat during the Dreadnought/Battleship era.
    Game balance is next to impossible to achieve because of the quantum shift involved here between the carrier and all other surface warships of the time. Battleships became the dinosaurs of the seas because of the carrier rewriting the book on naval warfare. How do you "balance" that? Even in a game?
    You don't…you CAN'T, not without it becoming "World of Carriers", or dropping carriers altogether.

    So now you (WG) force this not-ready-for-premium-time "update" down our throats, using up my premium time for your 0.8.0 open beta testing needs?

    Therefore am I resolved;
    —I will do everything I can (within the rules) to ruin 0.8.0 CV play.
    —I will not support friendly CV's in any way (may you die on the vine).
    —I will hunt down enemy CV's with extreme prejudice (may you just die).
    —I will report CV's for poor play (don't take it personal, it's because the ship you skipper intrinsically creates poor play).
    —If playing a CV, I will misplay it as a YOLO ram ship (as I can't live with the dishonor of skippering one).

    By the by…do we players get a special flag for (what is in effect) open beta testing this ass mess on the live server?
    If we do get a flag for this, may I suggest that the flag resemble a single sheet of used toilet paper?

  8. The F8F Bearcat had four .50 guns not 20mm. It was designed to be as light as possible to be a fleet defense aircraft, so it could launch and climb to intercept enemy aircraft as fast as possible. Four 50 caliber guns were decided to be sufficient against Japanese aircraft.

    The F4U-C had four 20mm instead of six .50" but the 50s were better at shooting Japanese aircraft though the 20mm's were very good at ground attack.

  9. They forgot to mention the F4FU Wildcat which was a version with a more powerful engine making it faster and more effective

  10. I thought I might add info on the F4U. The reason the cockpit was so far back was the result of a armament change during deveolpment. Orignially the cockpit was about 36 inches further forward but the plane only had one .30 and one .50 machine gun mounted over the engine. This was found to be inadequate so those guns were removed and six .50 were put in the wings. This change caused the removal of two wing fuel tanks (75 gallons each I think) They needed to find somewhere to put the fuel since it had to have the fuel. Since fuel needs to be carried somewhere near the center of gravity of the aircraft to eliminate balance problems (weight shift during flight as fuel is used) the only place left was the cockpit space. So the cockpit was moved back and a 128 (?) gallon fuel tank was put in that spot.

    That created vision problems for the pilot during landings. So fixes were put in (some not confined to the F4U) they were; make the tailwheel system taller, raise the canopy and put in a elevating seat, and eliminate the engine cooling flaps on the top of the cowling.

    Also the landing gear bounced on hard landings. The fix was to change the valving in the shocks so they would compress normally but would extend slower. (dirt bike lovers know this as changing the comrpession and rebound dampening) Also one wing (left I think) would stall faster than the other causing loss of control at low speeds, like landing. The fix was to install a spoiler (aka screw a piece of 2X4) to the leading edge of the other wing to disrupt the airflow over that wing so they both stalled at the same time so no loss of direction control was lost in a stall.

    These changes made the aircraft a very good plane that outlived the F6F by quite a bit since it could carry much more ordinace and was used by the fleet untill replaced by the Martin Mauler and the Douglas Skyraider.

    Odd thing, the wing around the gun ammo area was fabric coverd not metal (I assume it was changed in later models, not that it would had added any protection) and the ammo bays were sometimes hit by enemy guns causing the ammuniton to explode. The planes usually just flew home with the big hole in the wing.

    A bonus information tidbit. the Pratt and Whitney R 2800 engine ( R= Radial, 2800 = 2800 ci.), in different models, was used in; F4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-61 Blackwidow, F7F Tigercat, F8F Bearcat, Martin B-26 Maurader, Douglas A-26 Invader ( the A-26 was changed to B-26 post war after the Martin planes were removed from inventory, AKA blown-up on the european bases), Martin PBM (seaplane), Curtiss C-46 Commando ( a transport bigger than the C-47), Lockheed PV-1/PV-2( patrol bomber) and a few other minor prototypes.

  11. I'm kinda sad they just brushed over the Corsair, it's my favorite plane. They didn't even mention its nickname: "Whistling Death"

  12. Funny how they mark that the Avenger TB made its debut in the battle of Midway while not hitting any torpedoes in the battle 😀

  13. I just watched a NG Documentray of the Naval Battle of Guadal Canal…..Introduced by the late president G.H.W. Bush……in perspective of this special…..foes of each other during war reuniting on the bow of ship at Iron Bottom Sound where it all took place…….thought I would share…..….. God Bless All !

  14. Why can't you do both imperial & metric measurements, we don't use km, meters, kg etc. I don't want to have to look all that up.

  15. Being in the Navy myself another nick name that Grumman got was never die cats do to the fact that if you fly a cat (Hellcat, Wildcat, Tomcat or the Bombcat) it was assured she would get you home with holes all over than die and crash.

  16. WG is not worthy to even comment on the brave men who died while in service to the United States Navy, and their pilots. Keep their names and accomplishments out of your Russian minds and mouths.

  17. Japan: Sinks an entire fleet in Pearl Harbor using air crafts
    US: Annihilated the entire Japanese combined fleet mostly using air crafts.

  18. Wargaming stop doing that and instead kill ya all…and stop being part time GRU Agents….fuckign cunts

  19. The Wildcat pilots used the "Thatch Weave" technique for dealing with the zeros. It is a beam defense tactic developed by a combat naval aviator John S Thatch from his experiences fighting them. Very effective until the new Hellcats were deployed.

  20. "The Avenger was the largest aircraft operated by aircraft carriers in the Pacific" Jimmy Doolittle mutters angrily in the corner

  21. WG REALLY? If you bother to translate this into English then bother to translate Kg/Kph into NA standards like lbs. and MPH. The stats you give mean nothing to me.

  22. I know it's about US carrier development but could have at least mentioned the Erick Wincle Brown landed the first jet on a carrier.Just saying

  23. Awesome vid Warships team! I still like the TBD Devastator despite its obsolescence. Was hoping for more coverage of said warbird.

  24. I cannot for the life of me find the piece of music you play when giving the technical characteristics of the planes and ships you feature in this series, i needs it

  25. regarding the "lack of carriers".
    all but 2 of the regular hull essex class carriers were ordered before dec. 7th.
    at least 5(essex,all classes) were under construction prior to dec 7th.

  26. Very cool, but kind of weird that they're talking about American planes exclusively using the metric system in both narration and graphics.

  27. I really liked this video. And it seems they showed the planes in order of introduction. Starting with the VE-7 they mentioned almost every evolution of propeller plane in my opinion except the Grumann F3F. Also, every fighter plane in this series replaced the previous fighter plane. If you are interested I have a list of US navy fighters from the VE-7 to today

    Vought VE-7: 1922-1927
    Curtiss F6C Hawk: 1927-1930
    Boeing F4B: 1930-1938
    Grumann F3F: 1936-1943 (This plane was once of the fastest biplanes ever made and one of the most advanced bi planes, also the last bi plane)
    Grumann F4F Wildcat: 1940-1945
    Grumann F6F Hellcat: 1943- to the end of WW2 I imagine…
    Vought F4U Coarsair: 1942-1953 (Saw action in korean War)


    The first jet was the Mc Donnel FH Phantom which was the first ever US Navy Jet fighter but didnt really see service, it was a test jet kind of…
    The next one was the Mc Donnel F2H Banshee, which replaced the F4U, it saw service in korea 1948-1959
    Grumann F9F Panther: similar to the F2H Banshee…
    Grumann F9 Cougar: 1952-1974. This was the first swept wing US Navy jet, and it was a version of the F9F Panther.
    Mc Donnel F4 Phantom II: 1960-1974. This plane replaced all F9F's and F2H's I think… It was in Vietnam. First on this list to go faster than the Speed of sound, It could Actually go mach 2
    Everyones favourite… The Grumann F14 Tomcat: 1974-2006. This replaced the F4 Phantom and has been in a lot of the more modern middle eastern conflicts I assume…

    More Modern Jets…

    F/A-18 Hornet: 1984-Now. I think its slowly being Retired and replaced by the next jet
    F/A-18 SUPER Hornet: 1999-Now. This is what the US Navy uses mostly now. Basically the most up to date jet
    F-35 Lightning II (Navy Variant). Kind of a failure but worth mentioning… 2006-Now. Probably wont replace the Super Hornet.

    Summary List:

    Vought VE-7: 1922-1927
    Curtiss F6C Hawk: 1927-1930

    Boeing F4B: 1930-1938

    Grumann F3F: 1936-1943
    Grumann F4F: 1940-1945
    Grumann F6F: 1943-1945
    Vought F4U Coarsair: 1942-1953
    McDonnell FH Phantom: 1947-1949
    McDonnel F2H Banshee: 1948-1959
    Grumann F9F Panther: 1947-1958
    Grumman F9F Cougar: 1952-1974
    McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II: 1960-1987
    Grumann F-14 Tomcat: 1974-2006
    McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet: 1984-Present
    McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Super Hornet: 1999-Present and In service right now.

    Hey! You got to the bottom, you must be really interested. I know there are hundreds of other US navy planes that served at the same time as these like the F2A Buffalo, or FJ-3 Navy Sabre. But if you pick any year between the first navy plane and now, at least one of those planes was in service. Most of the other planes were either prototypes, or planes that were not produced much.
    I also know there are other types of navy planes, like Rescue planes, Torpedo Bombers, Dive bombers, Radar planes, Electronic Warefare, Cargo and then the planes of Marines, Airforce, General Aviation and Civilian stuff and different nations, but this is just US navy fighters
    Thanks for reading I guess. I may have got some things wrong but that's the timeline of US navy FIGHTERS from 1922 to 2019

  28. When I see the F4U I can't help but think of the anecdote where Pappy Boyington would fly around in his Corsair taunting the Japanese to fly up and engage him in a dogfight.

  29. U forgot the part where the Japanese top cover ran out of gas altitude and ammo from murdering the first 3 waves of attacks. We won fair and square…but a bit of luck is acceptable in "far and square" and we had some.

  30. You Commies stop using the metric system, the only country to land on the moon and win both world wars uses STANDARD get with it.

  31. Remember the Bearcat but forgot the Firegball? While never deployed, there was a squadron in training at the end of the war.

  32. The early narrative is wrong when the idiot says the Zero could out dive the Wildcat! NO WAY! The wildcat was much heavier!

  33. The Zero couldn't out dive a Wildcat. With the Wildcat's extra weight, it could dive better. If the Zero dove too hard, its wings would tear off.

  34. Excellent production, but I'm always a little irritated by the assertions that the U.S. Navy was somehow ignorant of the impacts of air operations to Naval Combat, like Dept of the Navy were all a bunch of Battleship idiots.  The Fleet that eventually defeated the Japanese Empire was already being laid down prior to 1940.  The Essex class carrier was already under construction.  The Fletcher class destroyers, perhaps the most effective naval weapon of the war was also already being built, the first one joining the Fleet a mere 5 Mos after Pearl harbor (175 would eventually serve), The Gato class submarine was again, already under production.  Where the Navy could legitimately be criticized was tardiness in actually developing the techniques for fighting a large carrier Task Force, something the Japanese had already implemented.  That being said, by 1943 the IJN had already forgotten it's own lessons, while USN was well on its way to perfecting those same techniques.  I will say this though…it is interesting how an on-line game producer does a far better job of teaching military history than many other institutions.

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