Plane: F9F-2 Panther
Tail Code: WL
F9F-2 Panther Airframe History:
F9F-2 Panther BuNo 123652 was delivered to the US Navy on October 20,1950. It was first assigned to Fighter Squadron 721 (VF-721) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Boxer where it saw service in the skies over Korea. It later served with VF-821, VF-51 and Naval Training Units at Naval Air Stations Glenview, Kingsville, Memphis, Corpus Christi, Sherman Field and Jacksonville. It was retired in 1956 with 1,575 airframe hours.
It is painted as a VMF-311 aircraft flown by Captain W.A. Bloomer, who years later as Brigadier General Bloomer, Commander Air Bases West, was instrumental in helping establish the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
F9F-2 Panther Description Story
F9F-2: F(Fighter),9(9th model) by F(Grumman Aircraft) – 2(2nd Major Subtype)
Single seat, single engined, carrier-based day jet fighter.
The F9F Panther was Grumman's first jet fighter and the US Navy’s first successful carrier-based jet
fighter. The Panther was also the most widely used Navy and Marine jet fighter of the Korean War flying
more than 78,000 sorties. It also scored the first air-to- air victory in the war; the downing of a North
Korean Yak-9 fighter on July 3,1950 by LT(JG) Leonard Plog of Fighter Squadron 51 (VF-51).
The F9F was eventually withdrawn from front-line service in 1956, replaced by the FJ Fury, F4D Skyray
and A4D Skyhawk. Some remained in training roles and with Naval and Marine Air Reserve units until
the 1960s. Total F9F production was 1,382 aircraft.
The F9F-2 was the first US Navy and Marine Corps jet to go into combat, performing airstrikes in support
of UN forces fighting in Korea on 3 July 1950.
Pratt & Whitney was licensed to produce the Rolls-Royce "Nene" centrifugal-flow turbojet engine that
powers the F9F. The Nene engine was also the basis for the MiG-15’s Klimov VK-1 turbojet.
THE PANTHER IN THE MARINE CORPS
The Panther was the primary Marine Corps jet fighter and ground attack aircraft in the Korean War.
Marine Fighter Squadron 311 (VMF-311) was the first Marine jet unit to deploy with the F9F to a combat
zone. Astronaut and Senator John Glenn and San Diego born Boston Red Sox All-Star Ted Williams both
flew the F9F as Marine Corps pilots with VMF-311 in Korea.
One 5,000 lb. thrust Pratt & Whitney J-48-P-6 turbojet
Length: 37 ft., 5 3/8 in.
Height: 11 ft. 4 in.
Wingspan: 38 ft.
Empty: 9,303 lb.
Combat: 14,235 lb
Gross 19,494 lb.
Max Speed: 575 mph at sea level
Ceiling: 44,600 ft.
Range: 1,353 miles
Four forward firing Mk-3 20 mm cannon; with 800 total rounds; 2,800 lb of ordnance
carried on six wing hard points
Bureau number: 123652
Year delivered: 1949