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Author Topic: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine  (Read 858 times)

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CzechTexan

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P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« on: January 25, 2020, 09:19:37 AM »







These photos show the P-63 with the centerline ferry tank and underwing fuel tanks.  That got me to thinking about having an in-game French version of the P-63 with this ferry tank and underwing NAPALM canisters. 

Would anyone else like to have that?  I love the sight of NAPALM explosions in the morning  :o

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CzechTexan

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2020, 09:03:10 AM »

No one wants NAPALM for the Kingcobra?  :(
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Mick

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2020, 11:24:51 AM »

... may be because the French Armée de l'Air P-63s never dropped a single napalm canister in Indochina (Vietnam) ...?

http://avions-de-la-guerre-d-algerie.over-blog.com/article-134-les-bell-p-63-c-kingcobra-francais-118367925.html
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CzechTexan

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 02:14:09 PM »

... may be because the French Armée de l'Air P-63s never dropped a single napalm canister in Indochina (Vietnam) ...?
Sorry, that's not correct.  The first large-scale use of Napalm was used at the Battle of Vinh Yen, January 1951.

https://books.google.com/books?id=BbKvLs2TZKAC&pg=PT97&lpg=PT97&dq=vinh+yen+napalm&source=bl&ots=7XX1g4TdoC&sig=ACfU3U0KmeXLjdzVjOi_uCuB_0Tz6feBLQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjf3NaTsMXnAhVPnq0KHT9hCuQQ6AEwA3oECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=vinh%20yen%20napalm&f=false
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Dreamk

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 03:28:09 AM »

Napalm was dropped the French in Indochina from Corsairs and Bearcats.
They used to this purpose the "bidons speciaux" SECAN 63 (450 liters) and the smaller SIC 100 (based on original Bearcat fuel tanks, that soon became a rarity in Indochina, in spite of the efforts to look and find them on the the ground and re-use them) , as well napalm canisters originally based upon F-80 US drop tanks (the "750lb, 110gal US fire bomb E74" that evolved into the later 750lb M-116 firebomb. the standard US Napalm bomb of the mid/late fifties and the750lb Mk77 Mod 0 firebomb of the early sixties).
The so-called improvised napalm  bombs based on P-51 fuel tanks (in fact the forerunners of the 110 gal US 750lb Mk78 Firebomb)
Their dimensions did not enable them to be carried under the P-63 (they were too long).
To make things more complicated, some Bearcats were seen in Indochina, carrying...P-51 drop tanks...leaving the question open whether, indeed, such tanks were only carrying fuel...or napalm. The answer may be in the type of napalm igniter used by the French, that need to be attached on the side of the napalm canister, and, if this was quite simple in canisters with a roughly cylindrical body, on oblong shaped canisters it would have been quite a headache for the armourers. (Don't forget also the huge shortage in drop tanks that plagued the French Bearcats.)

M116



SIC 100 (a battered original Bearcat fuel tank)


Fuel tanks or Mk78 napalm?


and to contradict what I wrote, this pic of a SECAN 63 and of a M116 with the igniter fixed at an unusual position (well, in fact it's not a French igniter, but a US one  ;D)

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Mick

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 03:44:09 AM »

... may be because the French Armée de l'Air P-63s never dropped a single napalm canister in Indochina (Vietnam) ...?
Sorry, that's not correct.  The first large-scale use of Napalm was used at the Battle of Vinh Yen, January 1951.

https://books.google.com/books?id=BbKvLs2TZKAC&pg=PT97&lpg=PT97&dq=vinh+yen+napalm&source=bl&ots=7XX1g4TdoC&sig=ACfU3U0KmeXLjdzVjOi_uCuB_0Tz6feBLQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjf3NaTsMXnAhVPnq0KHT9hCuQQ6AEwA3oECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=vinh%20yen%20napalm&f=false

... yep, but I wrote:

"... may be because the French Armée de l'Air P-63s never dropped a single napalm canister in Indochina (Vietnam) ...?"

... you asked for napalm canisters for French Armée de l'Air P-63s ...  ;)

... and DreamK told the rest ...  ;)

"Their dimensions did not enable them to be carried under the P-63 (they were too long)"
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CzechTexan

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2020, 09:27:03 AM »

Ok Mick, I must have overlooked the "P-63" part of what you wrote. 

But, I have a question... DreamK has pics above where he writes, "Fuel tanks or Mk78 napalm?"  So, are these not the same size as the tanks on the P-63 in my pics?  If so, then could not those tanks also be used for napalm?

Also, The F8F did not participate in the Vinh Yen battle (13-17 January 1951) where napalm was first used.  The first F8F combat mission was not until March 7, 1951.  So, the only other available aircraft at this time to drop napalm would be the F6F-5 Hellcat, P-63, and/or perhaps the A-26 Invader.  I'm curious to know which aircraft dropped napalm at Vinh Yen.
Thanks for the discussion.

Edit:  From "Setting the Stage in Vietnam"...
Napalm was used on a large scale for the first time. The French air force used every available aircraft in Indochina, including cargo planes, to dump napalm on the massed Viet Minh formations.
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CzechTexan

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2020, 03:06:28 PM »

In further reading today, I learned that Hellcats dropped napalm at Vinh Yen but I found nothing about Kingcobras carrying napalm.
Thanks DreamK and Mick, for the education.  ;D
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CzechTexan

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 11:14:49 AM »

from:  Aviation Francaise Magazine (AFM) Dec 2004 / Janv 2005
"Kingcobra en Indochine"

page 9
"Ce sera ensuite l'opération Diabolo sur le secteur du Canal des
Bambous qui occupa le 2/5 durant la deuxième quinzaine de
décembre, suivie début janvier 1950 par une intervention au
Centre-Annam. Le 10 janvier 1950, les Cdt Prayer et Boudier
effectuèrent les premiers bombardement Napalm du 2/5 ...."

Google translation:
"It will then be the Diabolo operation on the Canal des
Bamboos which occupied 2/5 during the second half of
December, followed in early January 1950 by an intervention at
Center Annam. January 10, 1950, Cdt Prayer and Boudier
carried out the first Napalm bombing of 2/5...."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"2/5" refers to the GC 2/5 Ile de France fighter group which flew the Kingcobra at this time, January 1950.
Therefore, I believe that this is proof that the Kingcobras carried napalm.
This was one year before the Vinh Yen battle.

Also of note, page 14 of same magazine states that GC 3/6 Roussillon mounted rockets on their P-63s for the first time (October 16, 1950).
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Gaston

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 02:15:41 PM »

I remember there was a mod for this, back in 2010... a P-63 field mod, if I remember correctly. It was working in 4.10/DBW. But now... I can't remember where it came from !
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Dreamk

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 12:49:57 AM »

Quote
Aviation Francaise Magazine (AFM) Dec 2004 / Janv 2005 "Kingcobra en Indochine"
Though the use of napalm by Aircobra may be discussed on the view of the following photographies, the aforementioned article is erroneous and cannot be trusted a s a reference, as is often the case with such publications - the GC 1/5 left indochina before the beginning of the use of Napalm by the French in January 1951.
If P-63 were involved in napalm delivery, as we must be speaking of aircraft belonging to the 1/9 Limousin or to the GC III/6 Roussillon squadrons (these two squadrons left their P63 for Bearcats in March 1951).

Napalm was first used by the French in Indochina during what is often called called the 1951 Tet offensive (13-18 January 1951, while in fact the Tet festival fell on February 6 this same year) when the Viet Minh 308 and and 312 divisions attacked Vinh Yen, about 50 km south of Hanoi. The 308 was the main focus of the Napalm bombardments, described  in French reports as "new, terrifying and efficient".

Although all the legends of the following photos speak of "additional fuel tanks" the issue of napalm can be raised (although one must keep in mind that the range of the fighters was a real headache for the French in Idochina and they tried to add, use and re-use additional fuel tanks as far as they could)
I must add that I have been unable, till now, to find reports by pilots of French P-63 speaking of napalm bombardment - but this is not a definitive proof, as I had no access to squadrons' operational reports.

BTW , in March 1954, during the Dien Bien Phu fighting, the French dropped 20 liters "jerricans" filled with Napalm from Dakotas and C-119s.





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CzechTexan

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Re: P-63 Kingcobra Armée de l'Air en Indochine
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2020, 10:01:45 AM »

Thanks Dreamk.  In my reading of Aviateurs Au Combat, I also did not find any mention of Kingcobras carrying napalm.  The only mention was of Hellcats and napalm.

My other curiosity is about the Kingcobra carrying cluster bombs and rockets.  The AFM article mentions this but is it true?  There are no photos and I have yet to see that specifically mentioned in Aviateurs Au Combat

I think it would be very possible to carry cluster bombs and rockets.  Perhaps we could have a mod with those plus the under-belly fuel tank.
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