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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.|
|John Thomas Blackburn||13.00||The signature of John Thomas Blackburn features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Roger R Hedrick||12.00||The signature of Roger R Hedrick features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Daniel G Cunningham||7.00||The signature of Daniel G Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|John T Crosby||6.00||The 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.|
Manufacturer : Chance-Vought
Production Began : 1940
Number Built : 12000
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.
Manufacturer : Grumman
Number Built : 12000
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.|
Captain Tom Blackburn
Click the name above to see prints signed by Captain Tom Blackburn
| 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
| 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
| 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
| 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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