Grumman F9F "Cougar"
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02.04.2024 04:57

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01.04.2024 17:07

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01.04.2024 11:41

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01.04.2024 04:25

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31.03.2024 15:36

AIDC Ching-Kuo

Darrell McCool, e-mail, 20.02.2024 07:21

High Ron, I just stumbled upon this link because I was looking up pictures of the f9 cougar. I also, was stationed in VT-21 after my ATN school in Millington Tn. I was at Kingsville when the hurricane hit. I was living in the brick barracks, and didn't have a car yet. You are so right, every window on every car was broken out. As you know, the Cougars had been flown out ahead of the storm. I had a friend who parked his car on the flight line, his windows were saved. I also remember walking to the chow hall in knee-deep water. I see your email was dated in 2011, hope you are still here and doing well.

Jim Blake, e-mail, 03.01.2024 18:52

Hey Arthur, I was in Beeville VT-24 same time as you! A few months on the flight line then a year and a half in the engine shop.

William (Bill) Stein, e-mail, 10.11.2023 00:45

I was an instructor at VT-25 in 1961-64 and would love to have any photos of the Cougars there. If you have some, let me know.

Sincerely, Bill Stein

Arthur F Love, e-mail, 01.03.2023 05:15

What years were you in VT-23? I went straight there after Millington, TN 'A' school in '67 until '70 to VA-75 NAS OCEANA

james albert krueger, e-mail, 17.01.2023 23:20

in 1956 va-146 nas mirmar had f9f8 aircarft and this the first duty station out boot camp. made a cruise on the hornet in va146

Gary Steve Hamre, e-mail, 11.01.2023 05:24

My father Gary Hamre was a flight instructor at Chase Field from 1958- 1961 with VT -24
If you remember him please mail me back. I was 3-6 y/o. I remember that the Cougar could break the sound barrier in a dive, which he did over our house on Huntington. Some neighbors windows broke, but no one complained, it was the cold war and seen as a sign of US strength.

Arthur Love, e-mail, 14.09.2022 15:16

After ADJ school in Millington, TN in mid-1967 I was assigned to VT-23 late in the same year and stayed there till early 1970 as a plane captain/jet mechanic. As you, worked on the J48 along with the test cell at night. Loved being there and still to this day keep in touch with a few mates. Wish I could remember more.

Jamesritten, e-mail, 01.05.2022 05:15

1966_68 amh 2 class

Paul Lareau, e-mail, 13.03.2022 06:57

VT-25 Cougars is on Facebook!
Please reply if interested.
I still live in Beeville!

Paul Lareau, e-mail, 13.03.2022 06:54

VT-25 Cougars has a Facebook page
Thank you for your reply!
I still live in Beeville!

Bruce D Steffen, e-mail, 12.03.2022 19:47

would love to have pic. i was a gate guard at nas kingsville and flew alot. have a great day and thanks.

Bruce D Steffen, e-mail, 12.03.2022 19:45

i was a gate guard there in 1961. did the same stuff. what fun !

Bruce D Steffen, e-mail, 12.03.2022 19:43

i was a gate guard there in 1961. used to fly rear seat every chance i got. as a gate guard i got to know al the pilots so i flew alot.

William Lagler, e-mail, 26.12.2021 04:08

Worked at Kingsville TX, AMD J 65 / J48 power plants shop and Test cell from 1966-1969. Lots of good memories.

john, e-mail, 20.10.2021 07:13

all you had to do was shut fuel off turn battery on and hit engine crank to blow all out of tail pipe,

Don Pearly, e-mail, 21.09.2021 03:51

1955, assigned to VF 782. Commander Miller in charge. Striker for jet mechanic, air traffic control , chose Aviation electronics Technician. Eventually made AT-2. Assignments included NAS Fallon, NV, NAS New Orleans but mostly NAS Barbers Point, Honolulu, Hawaii.

john w sexton, e-mail, 11.09.2021 11:48

I remember the original Blues when assigned to VF191 on my Ship the uss Princeton cv37 in Korea,, I was a flight deck AB,, I later became a AM and three of my pilots became blues .. one was killed in Training and one was a good friend and my Div. Officer, JG Danny McIntyre, 1961 Blues, He later flew Crusader in Viet Nam as LCDR,

john, e-mail, 11.09.2021 11:41

Hell i am 87 and i still can crank one,, The throttle had a micro switch in first detent you hit engine crank, slam throttle left three times and watch rpm at about 10% and bang ignition and then around the horn to idle detent, at 34 % switch to generator, Don't forget to push in ONE AND TWO Inverter breakers,

John Sexton, e-mail, 11.09.2021 11:34

I was a AM E-4 with VF111 and we got a F9F8T early 1957. I did acceptance check and also Installed In Flight Fueling Probe, As far a si know i was only or first enlisted to fly second seat in training for NAVCAD My skipper had a special interest in me for some reason and wanted me try for fighters, I was sent to all the requirement for jet flying certification seat ejection high altitude pressure chamber, and i had 60 hours in simulator, And on Sundays he sent his best pilot to take me up and give me the stick to do maneuver's, I loved it but failed eye exam so ended that idea and i staye enlisted and retired years later E-6 . I did fly lots of air crew and right seat with out wings as pilot like me since i had the training ,Later in VF111 we transitioned to FJ3 and the T bird went to NAS Miramar as NAS Alameda transferred all air groups out and to Miramar, I left the squadron in July 1957 just before its West Pac cruise, My F9F8 T , Nose number 199, Bu Number 42471. its on the list of Models, I still can remember how to crank it up and do the maneuvers,,

john, e-mail, 11.09.2021 11:15

I was on USS Princeton in Korean war, and VF191 had been assigned the original Blue Angels .I have the Korean War Patch of Satan Kittens,, LCDR J Magda was only Blues that was killed in Combat,

Joseph H Sanders, e-mail, 19.05.2021 03:44

If you send me your E-mail, I have a picture that you might like. I was at VMT-1 from !960-!964

Jesus gallegos, e-mail, 01.12.2020 15:33

Served with VMT-1 MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. 1962-1964
i have written to the Windsock (base newspaper) trying to get pictures of the F9F Cougar T with the designation BE on the tail. could you help with the matter ? I would appreciate it.

Mike Griffin, e-mail, 27.11.2020 21:50

Wondered if you were still on this email. Flew with you in Kingsville. Also ended up in F4Bs in VF-41.

Reply if you would. Hope you are well


Gerald Sobel, e-mail, 30.08.2016 00:54

I had a number of flights in this bird in the winter of 1969 out of Beeville. Lots of fun. Got to dogfight in it, and it made me want to barf. Also, got to do a loop and immelman which made me want to vomit. After first dog fight we were looking for another plane to dogfight but couldn't find him, and I was sorta relieved, heh heh. I was an RIO candidate for F4-Js, but sadly, I washed out on my 12 check when I went starboard instead of port on my last intercept. Phooey. No farm in Vietnam, and no stay at the Hanoi Hilton. Shucks!

Michael Hardy, e-mail, 06.06.2016 20:16

Went to VT 22 in 69 from ADJ A school, work line and P/C until I made AD3 just as Zommie took over. Was qualified form low/high power. We transitioned to the TA4J and I became low /high power turn qualified, also worked P/P and phase shop. Left in July 71.

Bill Deskin, e-mail, 28.01.2016 04:20

My first squadron out of school at NAS Memphis was VMT-2 at El Toro, I was a seat mech and cross trained as a rigger by the Master Gunny who was NCOIC of Seat Shop and Flight Equipment. We had too many folks so I volunteered to work on the flight line. Made Plane Captain and then was allowed on many occasions to fly back set on Seat hops to play target for the F4's working up training to go on West Pac to Nam'. Great officers and many VERY senior enlisted personnel. Great Squadron under Rex Deasy and Jimmie Green.

Glenn Schenenga, e-mail, 09.01.2016 23:20

Flew the F-9 in advanced training in Beeville, VT25, early 1971. Great, rugged (under powered) airplane. Tough to bring aboard, but other then that the thing could out turn almost anything and was very stable. Fun to fly.

Bob Snyder, e-mail, 23.03.2015 21:00

Was assigned to VT-26 from May 1970 - July 1972, AMH-3. Plane Captain on the TF-9J. The Cougar was so rugged that they took the wings off and used it for a tank.

Dean Woodman, e-mail, 17.02.2015 03:37

I got my wings out of Navcad school in November 1982 and was assigned to VF191 (Commander Bob Elder) at Moffett, which was the second squadron on the west coast to receive the Cougar. Later, while CarQualing at Barber's Point on the way to Korea, I transferred to VF143 (Commander Paul Paul) at Miramar, which had lost several pilots to accidents and several consequent resignations by scared former prop reservists, who were never became comfortable in jets. VF143 toured on the Essex, and my most memorable moment occurred after an auto acceleration at 40k forced me to shut down the engine over the South China Sea 200 miles from the ship, on top of a high overcast. SOP for an air start was to fire one of three shotgun shells at joy on # 1. No luck on #2 at 15k either. Thank God I got a start on my final try at 10k, so I didn't have to eject and hope to survive in a poopy suit in frigid water in the middle of nowhere. Afraid to shift from the emergency manual throttle control back to auto, I realized that the manual control gave me extremely rough RPM control for the carrier approach, and I so informed the ship. But the ship neglected to tell the LSO, so he waved me off several times with some nasty comments about my unusually rough approaches (in a heavy sea). Finally I was so low on fuel I told him to bring me aboard no matter what, which he did.... I had to dive for the deck and caught a wire but crunched my left landing strut. When the authorities sorted out my predicament, I received zero pilot error and pats on the back from Cdr. Paul and the ship's captain. In VF143 I was proud to be the wingman of Lt. Valentine Schaeffer ("Prince Valient"), an admiral's son, Annapolis grad and a great pilot and friend for life. He hung in there with me all through my flameout adventure. I later instructed jet instrument flying in TV2's at FAWTUPAC at Moffett and then flew Reserve Cougars and Furys at Floyd Bennett through 1962. The FJ4 Fury (Air Force Sabre F86) was the Porsche of the skies in those of the finest fighters of all time.

B.J. O'Sullivan, e-mail, 23.12.2014 19:45

Worked in the engine shop of Marine Training Squadron One ( VMT-1) from 1962-1965. The squadron trained pilots of reciprocals or helos on how to fly jets, and the Corps wasn't about to let them fly anything expensive, so hence the TF9J.They were very reliable, and we had very few problems with them. Stationed at Cherry Point N.C. the largest Marine Air Station.If any others on here are from that base, e-mail me.

David Fox, e-mail, 26.09.2014 05:37

I have come across a picture of a Cougar hanging over the side of an Aircraft Carrier, being held only by the tail hook with both pilots in the cockpit with canopy open.
If interested, let me know how to attach the picture or visit Facebook, Terry McGinnis, Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, posted 9-25-14

George Haloulakos, CFA, e-mail, 28.06.2014 23:25

The F9 Cougar was an important asset in our arsenal of freedom throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The F9 Cougar was also an important part of TV science fiction during that same period. In a 1960 Twilight Zone episode titled "King Nine Will Not Return" an F9 Cougar jet is briefly seen flying overhead near the end of the episode. The storyline featured a WWII B25 pilot suffering survivor's guilt transported to the crash site in a North African desert where his bomber went down in 1943. The episode largely deals with his unsuccessful efforts in trying to locate his missing crew. Upon finding a grave for one of the missing crewmen, he sees an F9 Cougar flying overhead. The pilot realizes that this particular aircraft does not exist in WWII. Filled with anguish and regret that he was not able to have been with the ill-fated mission due to suffering from a fever, he collapses in the sand. When he awakens we learn that the pilot is now in a hospital bed 17 years after the crash. He apparently hallucinated his return to the crash site upon seeing a newspaper headline noting the discovery of the long lost B25. Reading the headline caused him to faint on the city street, when he was then taken to a nearby hospital. The pilot comes to terms with the reason for his not being part of the ill-fated mission but also notes that it felt as if he had actually been traversing about the North African desert. His doctors concur that it was all in his mind, but one mystery remains: how did the pilot's clothes and shoes get filled up with sand when all of this supposedly occurred on a city street in a great metropolitan area [nowhere near a desert or beach area]?

Believe it or not, when I learned that the jet aircraft seen flying at the end of that TZ episode was an F9 Cougar, it inspired me to learn more about it. At the Flying Leatherneck Aircraft Museum at MCAS Miramar [San Diego, CA] there is an F9 Cougar on static display. Ironically there is also a B25 [PBJ version] also there, but at the moment it is under refurbishment and will be returned to public display at a later time.

Identifying real aircraft featured in TV or motion picture fiction is part of my love for aviation. The love for aviation inspired me to write this book:

Aviation as a Teaching Tool for Finance,
Strategy and American Exceptionalism
By George A. Haloulakos, MBA, CFA
ISBN: 9780-1007-2738-0
Order your copy online at:
Or by phone: 858-534-4557
“Partial proceeds support aviation heritage”

Hansell Schaefer, e-mail, 05.03.2014 00:24

I was in VU-4 NAAS Chincoteague VA 1957/59. We had F9F6s and well as several other types of aircraft. Worked in the engine shop and spent may hours in the intake preparing for tail removal and pump adjustment. I will never forget my first turn up. Didn't light off in time and had to shut down and mop all the fuel out of the tailpipe.

When it did light off I just barely escaped going over max tp temp.

DENNIS LIND, e-mail, 03.03.2014 21:42

I was a rigger at Oceana VA in NAS Fleet All Weather Training from 1956 to 1958.Iwent for my OMYASS and flew about 9o hrs. in the back seat. It was one my best lifetime memories in the Navy along with my first jump.

John, e-mail, 17.12.2013 20:10

I was with VF111 Sundowneres from 1955 thru to July 1957, We Transitioned from F9F/6 to F9F/8 Cougars about the time I arived in squadron. I was an AB/AN at first then skipper said I had to change to Aviation Metal smith, I also got involve with the Cougar fast as I got trained on my own in the NAMO trainer for Cougar Flight qualifications. I was recomened by skipper for Flight school after some education advances. We got one of the first Trainer Cogars early in 1957 and Lt Pete Petterson would pick me up at the barracks on Sundays and take me up for a spin,, I had completed Egr4ess, night vision and High Alt, Pressure chamber and was qualified. He would give me the stick and l;et me do several combat moves and stunts. I9t was a thrill as I may have beem the first or only Elisted to fly the T bird at that time. The Cougar is of course always my favorite Air craft as I served 30 years in the Navy and flew air crew and worked on many many aircraft. I didnt pass Physical so didnt make fighter pilot but did make air crew. My time in the Cougar and with the Sundowners has never left my memory and Is still my best years in The Navy. I was also a bad kid at that Time and even told the skipper CDR Medic that i should be thrown out of the Navy,, He chewd my butt and said if he ever saw a 30 year sailor I was it,, I didnt think he knew what he was talking about but guess what,,Ha,Ha,, He went on and made Admiral and I did my 30 years.

jim barnes, e-mail, 28.11.2013 00:16

The only F9F-8 I ever flew was Zeke Cormiers #1 aircraft when I tried out for the Blues in 1956. It was the cadilac of any a/c I had flown. It would still look good at todays airshows.

cecil walker, e-mail, 26.11.2013 23:44

pc on f9f8t mid 50s at miramar/ vf124. got some back seat time. erceived omass had nose gear problems/desinged fix and solved problem.great time of my life

Bill Dobra, e-mail, 02.11.2013 05:51

I was at NAS Chase Aug.1970-Nov.1973 in VT-25.
Started in Line Div. as plane captain, went to fuel crew, then went to Power Plant Shop. Worked on TF-9J and TA-4J, and a few old Chevys. Made a couple of trips out to the Lex for 'quals'. Nearly got blown off the flight deck while greasing a tailhook when the JBD came up to soon!
Made lots of friends, still see a few from time to time, and it is still HOT-HUMID here in Beeville !!

Dennis Jennings, e-mail, 26.08.2013 06:04

VT-23 Kingsville TX, I was a plane captain for the Cougar and was later transferred TID to AMD as a aviation structural mechanic. Got out in 72 as an E-5. I went to Corpus Christie and did my ejection seat check and Oxygen tank training. I think I logged about 30 hours back seat time. I really cherish those memories. I loved that old bird. I probably logged as many hours in the back seat of the A-4 Skyhawk. There's an old VT-23 Cougar sitting out in the desert at one of the aviation museums in Tucson AZ. If I could post pictures here I share them with you.

Glen Hutchinson, e-mail, 21.01.2013 03:04

Gruaduated from jet engine school Feb. 1967 and by late August I was in Iwikuni Japan. We had two or three TF9J Cougars,I was plane captain on the flight line in MAG 15. I especially remember the pilots doing dual takeoffs, and having to start one for a pilot, because he keep missing the igniters while throttling up. Just found this web site, it brought back a lot of memories.

Bill Smith, e-mail, 10.01.2013 22:37

I have many, many hours in this bird. Flew with it in VF-124 out of Moffet Field, circa 1958-1960. Had many great dog fights of Monterray Bay. During holiday vacations those who didn't take leave, mounted in their birds and met over 'Mig Alley/Monterray Bay' for dog fights. Would have 6-8 aircraft goint at it for about a thrilling 30 minutes. Had on F-8 crusader try to turn with me in this bird, his F-8 departed flight, he flipped end over end for about 10,000 feet and pulled out at about 500 ft. Thought we lost him for a few minutes there. I taught swept wing spin recovery in this aircraft. Climb to 20,000 ft, spin to 10,000 ft about 3 times. It would beat you to pieces, slamming your helmet against the cockpit canopy. You had a full days work after one of those. Made my first hydraulic catapult shot in this aircraft on the USS Antietam in the Gulf of Mexico. Had to take 3 shots... almost didnt' come back aboard after the 2nd shot.... That catapult shot hurt like h...!!!
Had an interesting landing at Miramar one night... strong cross winds at 40 kts. GCA had me crabbed 45 deg... after landing I would run to the left side of runway and the wind would blow me to the right... brakes were totally ineffective in all the water... after about 3 cycles trying to stop.... took the barricade.... wild ride, but the bird hele up nicely.

Larry Haatvedt, e-mail, 19.10.2012 02:18

I flew the A and TF-9J at NAS Kingsville in 1965. Loved that old truck - solid as a tank and went supersonic from 40k to 20k for my first Mach ride. Then on to F-4Bs with VF-32. Great memories.

Thomas Jantz, e-mail, 16.06.2012 07:14

Hello! I would like to tell everybody about my Navy combat experience in Vietnam while flying the Cougar. In Oct. of 1965 I was flying a FAC mission over northern S. Vietnam calling in air support for a platoon of US Marines about to be overrun by hundreds of North Vietnamese supported by several t-34 tanks. My copilot and I called in a couple dozen Navy, Air Force and Marine aircraft of various types. Our smoke/marking rockets were right on the mark according to after action reports and at least 300 enemy soldiers were confirmed dead, mostly from air to ground munitions. My co-pilot and I also participated in the attacks with our 20 mm cannons, knocking out one t-34 tank and disableing another. As we were about to head back to Da Nang air base I recieved a distress call asking any aircraft in the area for help. An F-1oo Super Sabre was down about 10 miles north of the DMZ in N. Vietnam. The pilot ejected and was OK but enemy troops were closing in fast. As I arrived on scene I saw at least 20 various American aircraft bombing and strafing the area. I saw the rescue Green giant helicopters coming in but they radiod in that they could not find the location of the pilot. I saw him crossing a small bridge and directed the choppers to him. Just then I my co pilot spotted about 2 dozen enemy troops on the other side of the bridge so I swooped down with my 20mm cannon blazing. The ones that were not killed ran like hell into the jungle. One of the helicopters then arrived and picked up the F-100 pilot followed by 3 or four other F-100s dropping bombs and then followed by 2 A-4 Skyhawks strafing the area. Just when I thought all was well and most of the American planes were gone I saw 2 Mig 17s heading straight at our planes heading south. I had to do something! I turned head-on at the Migs at about 1000 feet and blazed away with my 20mm hitting one and sending it down in flames, no ejection. The other one zoomed past me so I did a tight U turn and sprayed it with a short burst of 20mm, blowing its wing completely off and killing the pilot. Upon return to base My co-pilot and I were given a heroes welcome by hundreds of American servicemen. I later recieved the distinguished flying cross, air medal and recommended for the medal honor. Most of you reading this know that what I just wrote is a bunch of BS. I never left the USA, was in the Army and the war was mostly over. I wrote this to bring attention to the problem of fake Vietnam Veterans and how disgusting they are. I have cought several men lying to me over the last 30 years or so. Usually I press them for more details about their combat service and they drop the subject or "have to leave". I ask them what base they served on or ask questions about the plane, vehicle or weapon they were talking about. One guy told me he flew attack helicopters in Vietnam, Apaches! Another told me he flew F-101 voodoos in Vietnam as a back seater[ only one seat rf-101s were used in Vietnam]. Another told me he helped with the evacuation in 1975 from Sagon, as an American Army MP, he would have been about 15 years old. Another fraud said he served 2 tours in Vietnam as a US Navy Seal but forgot to do the math because it would have made him about 13 on his last tour. Still another chap in my Army National Guard unit said he lost his thumb at Khe San, in 1959. Another fraud said he just got out of the Navy and just got back from afghanistan. He was about 130 lbs overweight, a heavy smoker and living on welfare. I am sick and tired of frauds in this world, especially claiming to be combat veterans of Americas wars. Getting back to my days flying the Cougar. I forgot to mention that I also shot down a mig 21 while I was............... Tom in Michigan

David Graham, e-mail, 29.04.2012 04:00

Flew the TF-9J at Beeville in 1971. 6 carrier landings on the Lex.Never wanted to get "low and slow" landing on the carrier. Throttle response was an eternity.

Vincent R. Lombardo, e-mail, 23.04.2012 18:33

TF-9J was the plane that VA127 out of Lemoore, Calif. flew when I joined the squadron in mid 60's until we rec'd F4 Phantoms under the command of CMR. Duck. I'm now 66 & look back at those years as some of my best times. We were a 20 plane attack training squadron.

Vincent R. Lombardo, e-mail, 23.04.2012 18:33

TF-9J was the plane that VA127 out of Lemoore, Calif. flew when I joined the squadron in mid 60's until we rec'd F4 Phantoms under the command of CMR. Duck. I'm now 66 & look back at those years as some of my best times. We were a 20 plane attack training squadron.

Jack Rivers, e-mail, 11.03.2012 19:39

I was an AE-2 with VA-76 based in Oceana, VA in '58-'59. We had F9F-8's when I joined, A4D's sometime later. The Cougar had a start relay problem that could be fixed by crawling up the left intake and banging on the relay with a hammer. A little windy and noisy while backing out.

Iliff v. Gray, e-mail, 30.01.2012 00:24

I was a proud member of VF-121 pacemakers.Was a plane Captain for our overseas trip to japan,Our skipper was Commander Rhodes,a former Blue angel,our exec was LT . Commander Sedaker who took over as Skipper. Both were Great Skippers. I made third class on the cruise and was promoted to the Metal shop.I ended my career in Kingsville texas as am2..i.v. Gray

Dennis M McCabe, e-mail, 29.12.2011 04:17

I was a plane captain with VT-25 in Beeville,Texas 1967-1970 was able to take many a hop on training missions with gun and bomb runs in thr F-9. Lots of memories.

greg beach, e-mail, 04.12.2011 22:58

spent a couple years with vt-21 at kingsville. fueler,plane captain,then the powerplant shop.pretended to hate the airplane because everyone else pretended to as well-but like many others secretly loved the work and the airplane.wish i had a nicle for each time i was down that intake,engine at 80%,bleeding the fuel filters to eliminate surge.

Ron Kolstad, e-mail, 15.11.2011 18:59

I reported to VT-21 at Kingsville, TX in Dec of 1966 straight out of boot camp. Worked as a plane captain, tire changer and then AE shop. Saw the first snow in Kingsville in 26 years in 1967. Only us Minnesotan's dared to drive! Also went through hurricane Beulah which took out every car window in the parking lot when the gravel blew off the roof. Left VT-21 in Dec of 1968 for VF-103 NAS Oceana, Va. Beach, Va. F-9's to F-4J's

Dick Burke, e-mail, 30.10.2011 15:16

VF 32 was 1st sqdn to get the Cougar We deployed on a 'round the world cruise Sept. '53 to Sept.'54 Mayport, Fla. USS Tarawa CVA 40, straight deck.Very exiting! Shortly after returning we received the new F9F8.A beauty!

Ray Altmann, e-mail, 13.10.2011 00:34

Does anyone know who supplied brake systems for F9F in the early 50s? We need info to help a Vet.

Jim Ostergren, e-mail, 01.10.2011 02:44

I too am a lover of the F9F-8T. I originally flew the -8T as an instructor in FAWTUPAC at North Island refreshing returning deployed pilots the latest in the FAA, vertical gyro usage doing the loft maneuver and spacial disorientation recovery. School was transferred to VF-121 as part of the new RAG training concept at Miramar. Flew as CAG Dale's driver. Later flew as instructor in VT-25, Chase Fld. Great memories in a great airplane.

Dick Cook, e-mail, 29.09.2011 00:54

I was in the Navy during the Korean War and we started out with F4U Corsairs then F9F Panthers and finally F9F Cougars. In my opinion they were all great Aircraft and helped us immensly to win the war, so to speak. Was sationed at Miramar Naval Base in San Diego Cal when ashore and on Carriers for half the year when at Sea.I'll say it again we did have great Aircraft.

Tom Riddel, e-mail, 30.07.2011 20:34

I waqs the "pool" reporter for the Radio-TV area around Barksdale AFB, when I rode the rear seat. My pilot, learning I was a private pilot, allowed me to fly for a few minutes. I did a chandelle and then went inverted and pulled back on the stick, and the energy when I pulled out absolutelly scared me. I did not black out, but the hour I spent with the Blue Angels is still an exerience I live over and over now in my "golden years". Thank you, U.S. Navy for the chance to fly in 1968, at the 50th Anniversary of Barksdale AFB. May God bless our current force!

Jeff Schirle, e-mail, 26.05.2011 00:00

I, too, was at NAS Kingsville with Holden from 1968-70 at VT-23. I worked in ground support, driving tow tractors, NC-5 jet starters, and the "Stud Mobile" van that took instructors and student pilots out to the line. I was able to fly back seat through the OMIAS program whenever there was an open seat and a willing instructor. What a ride! Got to ride along on gunnery & bomb training runs, tactgical dog-fights, navigation hops, and formation flying training. I learned early on to not eat much before going out with Lt. Alvarez...he loved hearing me groaning back there, and that I never asked him to back off.

Steve Holden, e-mail, 24.05.2011 23:59

I was at NAS Kingsville Feb. 68- Oct. 70 in VT-23.
Can't remember the exact date, but somewhere toward the end of this time we went to the TA-4J, but the old F-9s were always my favorites. Tear 'em down, fix 'em and put 'em back together in a heartbeat. Probably couldn't crawl down the intake with the engine running like I used to do, but I'll never forget it. Whole lot more stories than I can tell here, but I'll bet all of you do, too.

Hank Davis, e-mail, 11.05.2011 07:25

I was the flight surgeon for VF-126 at Miramar 1966-67, when we were still flying the TF-9J. I taught Spatial disorientation Avoidance and was fortunate enough to be augmented to the Front seat and logged quite a few flights. Cdr Russ Mc Junkin was the Skipper and monitored my first cross country to Beale AFB in CA and we sent pheasant hunting with my relatives. We used to make 'Crab runs to Whidbey IS to load the nose with 10# boxes of King Crab, then costing $5 per box. Life was good. Handle " Quack".

Darrell Oberlies, e-mail, 15.03.2011 15:13

I graduated from Avionics school in 1962 and was assigned to VMT-2 at MCAF El Toro. We had 12 to 18 TF9J's. Very basic avionics systems, UHF radio, Tacan, IFF/SIF, compass and gyro.
Deployed to Yuma, and Litchfield Park for war games.

Carl Newman, e-mail, 07.03.2011 04:14

I flew the TF-9J at NAS Chase in 1970. I remember when it got above about 95 degrees, we stopped flying because the "Lead Sled" was too under-powered to fly in hot humid weather. The article above doesn't mention this trainer version or the engine, but it definitely had a Westinghouse centrifugal flow engine which could take an eagle in the intake and not have much effect on the 6900 pound thrust engine. It wasn't the safest plane to fly. In the 6 months I flew it, the base lost at least 4 planes that I remember, three were fatal - one my classmate and one a friend I had dinner with the night before.

Donald Allen, e-mail, 05.03.2011 21:03

We had Cougars......VF-144 Miramar

uncle-mac, e-mail, 11.02.2011 20:51

Chase Field and the supersonic F-9 Great fun and a v good instructou ? Forgot his name. No ship to land on so-Shame on me, I went from USMC to USNR. Last one ever to do this and the corps was not happy! Off to GMGRU-1 at Barbers Pt. Hawaii. F9-5 and FJ-3/4s. More fun.

Charlie Tannehill, e-mail, 14.01.2011 05:22

I was a sim tech (TD2) attached to VF126 at NAS Miramar in 1965 to 1968 and was fortunate enough to fly back seat. The purpose of this was to train F4 crews for Viet Nam. I was even fortunate enough to get some stick time in the back seat to and from the exercise area. One time, on the way back to Miramar, I was flying back seat and noticed a lot of right wing down trim required. I found I had an F8 flying just underneath our starboard wing tip. Was a great opportunity. Can't do that now of course unless you are assigned to a flying billet.

leroy McVay, e-mail, 12.01.2011 05:58

1953 First swept wing F9F came into North Island. I was posted as armed guard with loaded 45. Told only people with security card could come near the plane. Piolet left and returned shortly with an Admiral. I did n ormal challange and asked to see their cards. Seems the Admiral didn't have his so I told him he could not approch the plane. As he was getting into his car to go back to his office I realized maybe that wasn't the right way to handle it. Wrong! Got an attaboy for standin g my mpost as ordered.

Fred Kaler, e-mail, 06.01.2011 22:00

Great airplane. I started at NAAS Chase field, Beeville, TX as an E3 airman in an engine check crew. I was there from 1958-1961. Finished up there as a crew leader ADJ2. I loved taking that F9 apart, inspecting, and then running it up. I will never forget crawling down the intake with a small allen wrench to set the fuel pumps to 99% in emergency with the engine at idle. I am now 75 yrs old. Anybody out there remember me?

Ed Mattocks, e-mail, 28.12.2010 14:13

I was a plane captain at Kingsville '58 and later went to the P/P shop. Also worked on the "bowser" crew awhile. Washed and polished a lot of F-9's. Darned blow-in doors would get your "boys" if your weren't careful crawling over the spine.

Elmer (Al) Mingle, e-mail, 22.12.2010 02:42

AE2,VA36 ATTACK, we had 14,F9F-8 and 2 trainers.great aircraft. taxied many to compus row to set the mag. compuses,back in 1957,I am now 76 years old.

Elmer Cranton, e-mail, 16.12.2010 22:41

Flew this bird as a weekend warrior while attending premed on the GI bill at the University of Colorado in 1957-1959 era. Flew out of NAS Denver (old Henderson Field). On a hot summer day it took all of 10,000 feeet to get into the air and still blew dust off the prairie for a few miles before starting to climb. Noseed over straight down at 40,000 feet, full throttle and after a bit the mach needle bounced through 1.0, shaking and shuddering. We did our summer 2 week active duty at Miramar before it bacame the Top Gun school. Underpowered but fun to fly.

ROBERT G HOWARD, e-mail, 03.11.2010 20:26


Howard Nickerson, e-mail, 25.10.2010 20:32

Flew the 8T in Instrument training with VF-124 at Moffett in '58 & '59, and also a proficiency flying at Whidbey Island while my day job was a bombarder/Navigator in A3s.

don pearly, e-mail, 13.10.2010 00:50

I was an AT3 in VF-782 at Los Alamitos, Calif. Flying F9F-Cougars. Then VF-777 Then VA something then AWS-77. Anybody I know out there?

Ron Johnson, e-mail, 07.10.2010 03:56

I was an ADJ3 in VT-25 (1963 to 1966) at NAS Chase Field, Beeville, Texas. We had AF9J's & TF9J's. I started with the squardon as a Plane Captain then moved to power plant shop. I qualified for High Power engine runup's and spent alot of my time doing that. Have many fond memories of fellow shipmates and Beeville, Texas.

Tim Barzen, e-mail, 19.08.2010 05:34

Fast Ed,
Was that John Major that departed at the 180? I got my wings in Aug of 1971 & John was a classmate who got plowed back to vt-24. Great airplane.

Fast Ed, e-mail, 16.08.2010 17:12

Flew this airplane in the Training Command in VT-24...great jet to fly and fight. It took off at around 180kts on a hot day in Beeville, TX, and the landing speed was around 145kts. Did the hot runway trick in El Paso...was in ground effect for about 6 miles! The centrifugal flow engine was not very powerful but it never stalled. It went a long way at 40K...flew from Alameda back to Beeville non-stop! We took off heading toward the Bay Bridge and had to fly underneath it due to the hot temps...then climbed out over San Fransico and got up to 45K with great tail winds. The instructor knew how to get it "on the step" and we cruised all the way home...had to do a straight-in since the fuel was almost gone and putting G's on in the break would've probably flamed it out. We had an instructor plow-back park one in the trees at the 180 one night...they got the plane out the next morning and cleaned it up, then flew it on the flight schedule that afternoon! Grumman Iron Works at it's finest! Great dogfighting jet, and a good bomber too. I left there to go to Lemoore fying A-7s...great fun!

Cappe ITA, 04.07.2010 22:58

Hello everybody, can anyone tell me please the landing and takeoff speed of the cougar? i mean takeoff full loaded

Al Smith, e-mail, 03.03.2010 02:30

I was a helocopter pilot in the Marines and retrained in jets at Cherry Point in the TF9J in 1964. I found it to be a good transition jet. Later I flew A4's in the reserves. To this day I miss the old Marine Squadron life.

R Stotts, e-mail, 12.01.2010 16:52

Was assigned to VT-22 in 1962 started out as plane captain then worked in the maintenance office making enteries in aircraft log books. Was then assigned to the AME shop even though I was a AMH. Made many flights in the back seat of F9F-8T. Are there any F9Fs in salvage yards or parts available.

buzz Schmeltzer, e-mail, 30.12.2009 01:12

I also was lucky enought to get checked out in the pressure chamber etc. . I was in vf 101 nas key west at the time9 (A PROUD PLANE CAPTAIN) we had 2 f9's. got to go up in a lot of hops

WHALEY, e-mail, 02.12.2009 18:14

I was in VF 32 from 1952 till 1955. We were the first squadron to get the Cougar, received the first f9f-6 Nov 1952. The first models were powered by the j48-p6 6250 lbs thrust. The flying tail was not activated at that time. Later in 1953 they were activated. The cougar stall dirty was very honest. Clean it was wicked. Th -8 model cleaned that up. The major flying difference between the 6 and 8 was the 8 did not loose as much speed in turns as the 6. It would go supersonic in a vertical dive. 1.15 is the highest I ever saw. Our skipper Jack Evans led four cougars in a supersonic dive over Melbourne Australia and Wellington New Zealand summer 1954. It was the first sonic boom heard in New Zealand. Broke windows downtown.

rick polikowski, e-mail, 27.10.2009 17:22

I was in vt-22 in the late 60's, as what was called an aircrew survival equipmentman. I took care of things like helmets,oxygen masks and such. Dealing with the instructors, and students at personal level I was able to get rides in the back seat of the F-9. There was a Marine Capt that was considered the top gun instuctor,so to speak, he wore a umpire's cap with the little brim and when he went to his plane, for a traing mission he would say "kick a tire and light a fire" I had never heard that before. He took me up on what was called J stage which was dog fight training. We blew the nose gear tire on take off and he just said the hell with it, and went on with the lesson.

wayne curry, e-mail, 01.07.2009 05:42

This is the first Navy aircraft I worked on .The year was 1964 at NAS Kingsville Texas ,with VT-22.
I would like to find a Hat Pin for a F9F-Couger or TF9J ,Or both if possible.
Thank You
Wayne Curry

Silver, e-mail, 14.07.2008 10:37

Got my wings flying the plane in Beeville, TX. Got a lot of time in photo version and the dual seat one too. One of my memorable takeoffs was in this plane. I had to wait until about 0200 to takeoff at El Paso due to the high runway temperature. I managed to get it in the air but spent the next minute or so flying down the slope of the terrian with my hand on the fuel dump switches to see in I was ever going to start climbing. Not a lot of power in that engine, but it flew well for its time. It would go a pretty long way at 40,000 feet. Never made it back from OKC or DAL, but going east with some tail wind was not a problem. My first squadron had three of the duals and about nine photo types in NKX when I got there. Flew the two seat plane a lot during my first half of my career. The plane was a brick and that's why the company got its name the Grumman Iron Works. Don't remember an over stress on the F9. Had to play it cool to get it over the number from about 40,000 feet in a good dive. Pretty reliable though. Other than shearing off start dogs at AFB's and some radio problems, it did well for itself. It was used as an instrument trained in VF-126 until replaced by the TA4 version which also made a better laser marker in VN too. Had to wrap your cross country bag over the guns in the nose on cross countries. We had one F9 photo det out when I arrived at NKX in 1959. Loved the two seat version and saw a lot of the US in it. Not many in NKX can say that for a Crusader jock. Made a good radar target for the F8 radar training since the F8 was so hard to see on fighter radar.

Marv Garrison, e-mail, 02.04.2008 19:38

The two seated version of this ole bird (TF9J) provided me with 40 combat missions in 1966-1967 as a TACA (Tactical Air Commander, Airborne) with Marine Aircraft Group-11. Same number of take-offs and landings.

ML Kiskis, e-mail, 06.10.2007 00:23

I would like to know the measurments of the engine noise at full power and at 60% power. Or where could I find this out. Thank you for you help.

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