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VF-17

Founded :
Country : US
Fate :

VF-17

VF-17 Artwork



Jolly Rogers by Nicolas Trudgian.

Aces for : VF-17
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
NameVictoriesInfo
John Thomas Blackburn13.00The signature of John Thomas Blackburn features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Roger R Hedrick12.00The signature of Roger R Hedrick features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Daniel G Cunningham7.00The signature of Daniel G Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
John T Crosby6.00The signature of John T Crosby features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Aircraft for : VF-17
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by VF-17. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Corsair



Click the name above to see prints featuring Corsair aircraft.

Manufacturer : Chance-Vought
Production Began : 1940
Number Built : 12000

Corsair

The Chance-Vought F4U Corsair was arguably the finest naval aviation fighter of its era. Work on this design dates to 1938 and was headed-up by Voughts Chief Engineer, Rex Biesel. The initial prototype was powered by an 1800-HP Pratt & Whitney double Wasp radial engine. This was the third Vought aircraft to carry the Corsair name. The graceful and highly recognizable gull-wing design of the F4U permitted the aircraft to utilize a 13-foot, three-blade, Hamilton Standard propeller, while not having to lengthen the landing gear. Because of the rigors of carrier landings, this was a very important design consideration. Folding wings were also required for carrier operations. The F4U was thirty feet long, had a wingspan of 41 feet and an empty weight of approximately 7,500 pounds. Another interesting feature was the way the F4Us gear rotated 90 degrees, so it would lay flush within the wing when in the up position. In 1939 the Navy approved the design, and production commenced. The Corsair utilized a new spot welding process on its all aluminum fuselage, giving the aircraft very low drag. To reduce weight, fabric-covered outer wing sections and control surfaces were fitted. In May of 1940 the F4U made its maiden flight. Although a number of small bugs were discovered during early flight tests, the Corsair had exceptional performance characteristics. In October of 1940 the prototype F4U was clocked at 405-MPH in a speed test. The initial production Corsairs received an upgraded 2,000-HP radial giving the bird a top speed of about 425-MPH. The production models also differed from the prototype in having six, wing-mounted, 0.5 caliber machine guns. Another change was a shift of the cockpit about three feet further back in the fuselage. This latter change unfortunately made naval aviators wary of carrier landings with the F4U, due to its limited forward visibility during landings. Other concerns were expressed regarding a severe port wing drop at landing speeds and a tendency of the aircraft to bounce off a carrier deck. As a result, the F4U was initially limited to land-based USMC squadrons. Vought addressed several of these problems, and the Royal Navy deserves credit for perfecting an appropriate landing strategy for the F4U. They found that if the carrier pilot landed the F4U while making a sweeping left turn with the port wing down, that sufficient visibility was available to make a safe landing. With a kill ratio of 11 -to- 1 in WW 11 combat, the F4U proved superior in the air to almost every opposing aircraft it encountered. More than 12,000 F4Us were built and fortunately a few dozen remain in flyable condition to this date.

Hellcat

Click the name above to see prints featuring Hellcat aircraft.

Manufacturer : Grumman
Number Built : 12000

Hellcat

The Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat was to become the US Navys primary carrier borne fighter plane during World War II. Over 12,000 Hellcats were produced, and the Hellcat was credited with 4,947 of the 6,477 kills of enemy planes downed by carrier pilots during the War. The Hellcat had a top speed of 375 MPH, a range of 1,089 miles and was armed with six machine guns. The aircraft was powered by an 18-cylinder Pratt and Whitney, air-cooled, radial engine which generated 2,000 horsepower.
Signatures for : VF-17
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo


Captain Tom Blackburn
Click the name above to see prints signed by Captain Tom Blackburn

21 / 4 / 1994Died : 21 / 4 / 1994
21 / 4 / 1994Ace : 13.00 Victories
Captain Tom Blackburn

From a naval family, Tom Blackburn joined the service in 1929. In 1942 he took part in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa, commanding VF-29. His first mission ended by ditching in the Atlantic, and 60 hours adrift in a dinghy. Surviving this, Tom Blackburn went on to command VF-17, leading the squadron to become one of the most distinguished naval fighter units of the Pacific War. With the accent on teamwork and mission accomplishment, the success of Tom Blackburns Jolly Rogers are legend in the lore of naval aviation. Sadly, Tom Blackburn died on 21st April 1994.



Commander John Ted Crosby USN
Click the name above to see prints signed by Commander John Ted Crosby USN
21 / 4 / 1994Ace : 6.00 Victories
Commander John Ted Crosby USN

Ted Crosby joined the Navy in 1942, and was commissioned in May 1943. Serving on board USS Bunker Hill with VF-18 flying F6F Hellcats, he shared in downing a Betty bomber. Transferring to VF-17 he served on USS Hornet from January 1945 where he scored a further five victories, including three in a day on 16th April, to become a Hellcat Ace.




Lieutenant Dan Cunningham
Click the name above to see prints signed by Lieutenant Dan Cunningham
21 / 4 / 1994Ace : 7.00 Victories
Lieutenant Dan Cunningham

Dan Cunningham joined the service in December 1942, being posted to VF-17, his first operational squadron. He later flew with VBF-10. A valuable member of the Jolly Rogers air fighting team, Dan Cunningham scored 7 aerial victories flying the F4U, and a number of unconfirmed probables. His combat career was confined to the south west Pacific theater, where he took part in some of the major air battles of the Solomons.




Rear Admiral Roger Hedrick
Click the name above to see prints signed by Rear Admiral Roger Hedrick

10 / 1 / 2006Died : 10 / 1 / 2006
10 / 1 / 2006Ace : 12.00 Victories
Rear Admiral Roger Hedrick

After joining the US Navy in 1936, Roger Hedrick served aboard the USS Ranger before joining VF-17 on USS Bunker Hill as Executive Officer to Tom Blackburn. With over 200 hours in fighters before his first combat, Hedrick brought considerable experience to the squadron. Regarded by Blackburn as the top fighter pilot he flew with in World War Two, Hedrick completed over 100 combat missions and shot down 12 Japanese aircraft, with a number of probables unconfirmed. Flying the F4U he took part in the campaigns in the Solomons, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan. Sadly, he passed away on 10th January 2006.


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DHM925.  Harrier in a Hyde by Geoff Lea.

Harrier in a Hyde by Geoff Lea.
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 Crew of Lancasters 101 Squadron RAF, stand chatting and drinking cups of tea supplied by the WMCA vans. Delays in Ops for an hour or so allow the crews a chance to light up and have a cup of tea. 101 Squadron based at Ludford Magna were a squadron with a difference, from 1943 the Lancasters were fitted with special radio jamming equipment known as ABC or AirBorne Cigar and carried an eighth crew member known as the special duties operator. Squadron letters were SR and targeted by the Luftwaffe fighters giving 101 Squadron the highest casualty rating in Bomber Command.

Crewing Up by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
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 The Sopwith Dolphin was a radical departure from previous Sopwith design philosophies, embodying a reverse-stagger on the wings, a water-cooled Hispano-Suiza engine and an unusual, but highly popular positioning of the cockpit which gave the pilot unprecedented views. One exponent of this purposeful looking machine was Canadian Major A D Carter who claimed many of his 31 victories flying the Dolphin. He is shown here sending an Albatross to the ground on 8th May 1918 whilst flying C4017. Carter was himself shot down soon after became a prisoner of war. He was killed in 1919 whilst test flying a Fokker D.VII at Shoreham, Sussex.

Major Albert Carter by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
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Flight Lieutenant Mick Martin readies his crew to release their bouncing bomb as he makes his run into the Mohne Dam.  Flanking him is the Lancaster of Wing Commander Guy Gibson, using his aircraft to draw flak from the gunners along the dam.

Into Attack by Gerald Coulson.
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Depicting Mustang aircraft escorting Flying Fortresses on a bombing raid over Germany.

Guardian Angel by Anthony Saunders.
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 Adolf Galland hunts down another victim on a raid over the English Channel during the Battle of Britain.

Adolf Galland by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Two Fairey Firefly F Mk1s of 1770 NAS embarked on HMS Indefatigable are shown outbound on Operation Meridian I on 24th January 1945.  The nearest aircraft is DT947, flown by Vin Redding.  Operation Meridian was a series of two air attacks on Japanese-held oil refineries at Palembang on Sumatra. †The huge aviation fuel output of these refineries was reduced to only a quarter of their output after the two raids†on the 24th and 29th January 1945.

Fairey Firefly F Mk.Is of 1770 Sqn, 1945 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 During a patrol on 6th July 1918, Christiansen spotted a British submarine on the surface of the Thames Estuary. He immediately turned and put his Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 floatplane into an attacking dive, raking the submarine C.25 with machine gun fire, killing the captain and five other crewmen. This victory was added to his personal tally, bringing his score to 13 kills by the end of the war, even though the submarine managed to limp back to safety. Christiansen survived the war and went on to work as a pilot for the Dornier company, notably flying the giant Dornier Do.X on its inaugural flight to New York in 1930. He died in 1972, aged 93.

Kapitanleutnant zur See Friedrich Christiansen by Ivan Berryman.
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 The submarine depot ship HMS Maidstone is pictured off Hong Kong with a quintet of British submarines alongside for replenishment, namely (left to right) an S-class, a U-class, a T-class and two more U-class.

HMS Maidstone by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 HMS Thrasher returning from patrol off Crete in March 1942.

HMS/M Thrasher by John Pettitt. (Y)
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 HMS Norfolk and HMS Belfast of Force I are shown engaging the Scharnhorst which has already been hit and disabled by both HMS Duke of York and the cruiser HMS Jamaica.  Scharnhorst was never to escape the clutches of the British and Norwegian forces for, having been slowed to just a few knots by numerous hits, fell victim to repeated torpedo attacks by the allied cruisers and destroyers that had trapped the German marauder.

HMS Norfolk at the Battle of the North Cape by Ivan Berryman.
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Originally constructed as a Home Fleet Repair Ship, HMS Cyclops was later converted into a submarine depot ship and enjoyed a long career, both in the Mediterranean and in home waters.  Here she prepares to receive HMS Sceptre.  Another S-class submarine is already tethered alongside.

HMS Cyclops Prepares to Receive HMS Sceptre by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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USS Maddox engaging North Vietnamese torpedo boats with 5-in gunfire, August 2nd, 1964, in the Gulf of Tonkin.

USS Maddox by Randall Wilson (AP)
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 Type 42 HMS Southampton (D90), Type 22 Beaver (F93), Type 42 Manchester (D95) and Type 21 Amazon (F169) formate during a World cruise on which they visited 17 countries in 9 months.

Around the World by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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H.M.A.S Hobart glides past Mount Fiji for the surrender ceremony with Missouri in the Background. Tokyo Bay 1945.

Slow Ahead by Randall Wilson.
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On 29th and 30th April 1944, while surfaced close to jagged reefs, and Japanese shore guns, the USS Tang rescued 22 downed flyers from Task Force 58s strikes against enemy positions on the islands - This was the largest rescue of airmen by a submarine in the war. USS Tang (SS-306) would later be sunk by its own torpedo off Formosa, on the 24th of October 1944.

USS Tang, The Life Guard of Truk Atoll by Robert Barbour.
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 St Mere Eglise, Normandy, 6th June 1944.  U.S. Paratroops of the 82nd <i>All American</i> Airborne Division, descend on occupied France.

First to Fight by David Pentland.
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 M3 Lee tanks and troops from General Slims 14th Army clear Japanese resistance form the village of Ywathitgyi in their drive to Mandalay.

Road to Mandalay, Burma, February 1945 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Sturmgeschutz IIIg and Paratroops of the 4th Fallschirmjager Division, driving to the front line, pass one of the two giant 28cm K5 (Eisenbaum) railway guns responsible for the shelling the Allied beacheads at Anzio and Nettuno.

Anzio Annie, Italy, 29th January 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Vielsalm, Belgium, 22nd December 1944.  Men of the 508th PIR, along with the rest of the 82nd Airborne Division were rushed to the Ardennes and deployed in an attempt to halt the onslaught of 6th SS Panzer Army, specifically Kampfgruppe Peiper.

Holding the Line by David Pentland.
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9th (Irish) Field Battery firing on the Run-in-shoot to Queen Beach. They were the first rounds fired at the Normandy Coast, D-Day 6th June, 1944. Queen Beach, one of the 4 sectors of Sword Beach, where most of the landings of D-Day were carried out. The Queen Beach sector which extended for 1.5km between Lion-sur-Mer and the western edge of Ouistretham. The attack was thus concentrated on a narrow one-brigade front. For once the DD tanks and other armour came in exactly on time and ahead of the infantry. The 8th brigade, with the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment on the right and the 2nd East Yorkshire on the left.

Operation Overlord by David Rowlands (B)
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 Sturmgeschutz IIIF of Stug Battalion Grossdeutschland, and supporting infantry from GD Regiment 1 battle against Soviet forces defending the strategically important city of Voronezh on the Don. Combined arms operations such as this proved the value of the assault gun, which took a terrible toll on enemy armour and men alike.

Assault on Voronezh, Russia, 2nd - 7th July 1942 by David Pentland. (F)
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 Bastogne, Ardennes, Belgium, 20th December 1944.  Newly arrived 81mm Mortars of 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, fire in support of U.S. Paratroopers defending against German probes to the north of Bastogne.

Fire for Effect by David Pentland.
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 Having made contact the previous evening with troops of 4th Infantry Division pushing inland from Utah Beach, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne division The Screaming Eagles help mop up the pockets of German resistance in their general advance towards Carentan.

Screaming Eagles in Normandy, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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