Fairey A-43A Gannet USAF Korean War Service

Started by b29r, November 21, 2017, 01:22:13 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Postwar Air Force leadership in the US recognized the value of intruder/night interdiction aircraft during WWII, and sought to develop more capable aircraft for this role.  The newly minted Fairey Gannet seemed to be a natural candidate in this role, and the US arranged for the lease of three aircraft for trials and evaluation.  The Gannet was given the A-43 designation and retained it's name in USAF service.

Trials proved successful during early 1950, and the USAF ordered 54 new build aircraft from Fairey, with changes mainly centered on elimination of the naval equipment needed for carrier operations.  The radar carried was the AN/APQ-13W ground search radar to facilitate identification of ground targets in the tactical role.  The first aircraft was accepted in November, 1951 with the last unit being delivered on October 28, 1952.

With the outbreak of the Korean War, eight available aircraft and crews of the 452nd Night Interdiction Squadron were initially sent to the Far East, and based at Itazuki AB in Japan.  After familiarization and operational  training, they moved to  Pusan East (K-9) Airbase.  There they were detached to the 37th Bomb Squadron, flying B-26 Invaders as part of a Hunter/Killer operation.  The role of the Gannet was to locate by radar movements of truck convoys and rail units at night, and mark them for attack by orbiting B-26 "killers".  The usual method was to drop M-69 incendiary bombs at the head and tail of the convoy or train to immobilize it, thus marking it for the B-26's to effectively cover the target.  Another method was to drop flares over the target, which would illuminate it for attack.

Cooperating with the bombers, the Gannets contributed to the destruction of about 38,000 trucks, and over 400 locomotives and associated rolling stock.  A number of enemy aircraft and facilities were also destroyed in this manner.  During May of 1952, the Gannets were inactivated and returned to their home bases.  Gannet Night Intruders continued in regular and reserve roles until 1962, when they were retired.   A number of them were employed as Gate Guardians, and can also be found in various museums in the US.

This is of course the old UPC/Frog Gannet, stand and all.  It was still a very enjoyable old school build, a simple kit for a simple builder  ;).  Image quality is just terrible, so many apologies .

Best regards,


Magic, I LOVE it!  :wub:  :thumbsup:

Quite what the USAF would have made of the Double Mamba I hate to think but the idea is brilliant.
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



That is brilliant :mellow:
A very similar role I have lined up for my Revell Gannets too. It looks right in NMF too, marvelous :thumbsup:
The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!

Glenn Gilbertson

Great backstory and it looks really good as well!

comrade harps



Will die without understanding this world.


Looks great.
Particularly in that second pic with the light reflecting off the wings.

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..


Reality is an illusion caused by an alcohol deficiency


Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"


I've said it elsewhere and I'll say it again: seeing your photos gave me a big smile and I really, really like your choices! The story's great, the scheme works...I love it.
Zac in NZ
#avgeek, modelbuilder, photographer, writer. Callsign: "HANDBAG"


Thanks all for your very nice comments . . . . you are all good sports  ;)  This old Frog kit was a lot of fun, but FAR from perfect with lots of little warts.  At least you can't see most of them due to the terrible pics!  :mellow:

Best regards,
Photographer wannabe


Well done!.......and quite believable too. I'm very impressed.

  To take Kit's comment on...I assume that by the time that  USAF had finally got on top of the double Mamba it would time to retire it; but fortunately the retired  ground staff would eventually  have new jobs available: AEW.3 XL482 being refurbished in 1982 and sold to Hamilton Standard in the USA and flying during 1983 for propeller vibratory stress trials.  I think NASA borrowed  it for a while too.
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
It  means that you read  the instruction sheet