Plane: F2H 2 Banshee
Tail Code: LC
F2H 2 Banshee History:
F2H-2 (BuNo 124988) was delivered to the U.S. Navy on 28 June 1951 and was assigned to FASRON-104 at Port Lyautey, Morocco. In June 1952 it was assigned to the “Cavaliers” of VF-22 at NAS Jacksonville. From November to December 1952 VF-22 participated in the shakedown cruise of USS Lake Champlain (CVA-39) off Cuba and Haiti following its reactivation and modernization.
In May 1953 it was transferred to VF-172 also based at NAS Jacksonville. February 1954 it saw service with VF-12 at NAS Cecil Field and deployed with Carrier Air Group 1 aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) for an around the world cruise. In 1959 it was loaned to Westinghouse Aviation Gas Turbine Division in Kansas City for engine research and development. This Banshee was retired in 1961 with 1,704 total airframe hours. It is displayed with markings of the “Candystripers” of VMF-122. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
F2H 2 Banshee Description:
F2H-2: F(Fighter), 2(2nd model) by H(McDonnell) – 2(2nd in Aircraft Configuration Sequence)
The F2H Banshee is a follow-on to the Navy & Marine Corps’ first carrier jet aircraft, the FH-1 Phantom. Although the Banshee was originally envisioned as a modified Phantom, the need for heavier armament, greater internal fuel capacity, and other improvements eventually led to a substantially heavier and bulkier aircraft that shared few parts with its agile predecessor. Despite this, the two aircraft were similar enough that McDonnell was able to complete its first F2H-1 in August 1948, a mere three months after the last FH-1 had rolled off the assembly line.
The F2H-2 version included a strengthened wing that allowed for 200 gallon detachable wingtip fuel tanks and eight weapons pylons. It also had a lengthened fuselage for more internal fuel and an improved engine. In 1949 VMF-122 transitioned from the FH-1 and VMF-224 left the F4U Corsair to join the jet age. They were the only two USMC squadrons to fly the F2H-2 and in 1952 both squadrons ended the F2H-2’s Marine Corps service when they transitioned to the F9F Panther.
VMF-114, VMF-214 and VMF(N)-533 flew the improved all weather F2H-4, and VMCJ-1 and VMCJ-2 flew the F2H-2P photo reconnaissance variant of the Banshee.
Two 3,250-pound-thrust J34-WE-34 turbojets
Length 40 feet 2 inches
Height 14 feet 6 inches
Weight: Empty: 11,146 lb, Combat: 15,640 lb, Gross: 23,200 lb
Ceiling 49,100 feet
Speed 550 mph (sea level)
Range (combat): 790 nm (internal fuel only)
Armament Four internal fixed forward-firing 20-mm guns with a total of 600 rounds; Up to 1,000 lb of ordnance carried externally.
Bureau number: 124988
Year delivered: 1951