F4U-1D Corsair Fires Rockets

US Marine Chance-Vought F4U-1D Corsair of the Tenth Army's Tactical Air Force (TAF) engaged in ground attack with 5-inch rockets. Fifteen Marine fighter squadrons served with TAF. The necessity for TAF to protect the fleet from kamikaze suicide attacks caused some ground commanders to worry that their own close air support would be low priority. But Navy (and some Marine) squadrons from escort carriers picked up the slack, flying more than 60 percent of the close air missions. Between April 1 - June 21, 1945, the combination of TAF and carrier pilots flew 14,244 air support sorties. Nearly 5,000 of these supported the Marines of III Amphibious Corps. They dropped 152,000 gallons of napalm on enemy positions. The photographer, David Duncan, was unhappy with photos like this one and found a photo reconnaissance F-5E-2-LO Lightning flown by US Army Air Forces Major Ed Taylor that had a special pod for transporting casualties. Flying in the pod, he was able to chase the Corsair while it fired its rockets. The backwash from the rockets flipped over the F-5, nearly causing it to crash.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Friday, June 1, 1945