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The Jolly Roger

Every Pirate Scores

posted Oct 15, 2016, 2:24 PM by VF-17 The Jolly Rogers   [ updated Oct 16, 2016, 1:37 AM ]

For the second frame of October's FSO, "Out of the Sun: Egypt 1942," the pirates have done it again. Taking off ten strong, VF-17 climbed to 28,000 and circled near the forward base that it was tasked with defending.

Contact was made with a massive bomber formation far below the squad, and the pack descended to intercept. After many individual air battles, the clouds settled to reveal that the Jolly Rogers shot down 19 enemy aircraft (17 bombers and 2 P-40 fighters). The squadron only suffered two aircraft lost and overall achieved an excellent performance. 

Every pilot either shot down an enemy aircraft or received a credited assist. Branch37, the squadron CO, and Kingpin scored 3 victories each, while Seighin bagged 4 enemy bombers. VF-17 looks forward to more virtual victories in the last frame of this month's FSO.

The pirates form up to prepare for another raid on enemy air formations

Twelve Victories and No Losses

posted Oct 8, 2016, 1:06 AM by VF-17 The Jolly Rogers   [ updated Oct 8, 2016, 10:30 AM ]


The first frame of this month's FSO, "Out of the Sun: Egypt 1942," proved a successful one for VF-17. Eight pilots took off in Bf 109F-4s from a field behind the front and climbed as they headed toward the combat zone. Their mission: defend A13, a forward Axis air base.

After climbing to 27,500 ft, the squad attained visual on several groups of bombers. At this point, the squad inadvertently split into several fragments that lost sight of each other, all the while shadowing the groups of enemy Boston bombers. Several enemy Hurricanes passed harmlessly underneath the squad as they continued stalking their prey: the "buffs" (bombers).

The enemy made several passes over A13, but the "Jolly Rogers" regrouped and tore into their formations, inflicting serious damage. On the contrary, the Allied buffs caused minimal damage to A13, so the mission was a success all around for VF-17. All squadron pilots returned to base safely, racking up a total of 12 victories. Kingpin and Seighin scored 3 victories each to their personal credit on this mission.

Well done, pirates!

A squadron Bf 109F-4 makes a successful pass on an ailing Boston bomber in frame 1 of the October 2016 FSO

Top Guns

posted Oct 7, 2016, 9:34 PM by VF-17 The Jolly Rogers   [ updated Oct 7, 2016, 9:41 PM ]

Members of VF-17 "Jolly Rogers" pose in front of their aircraft prior to deployment to the Philippines.

THE US NAVY'S AIR PIRATES MAUL JAPANESE FORMATIONS

The second day of operations for VF-17 in the Philippines saw the Jolly Rogers covering units of the 7th Fleet in San Pedro Bay once again. This time the safety of the Naval Task Force was entirely in the hands of 15 VF-17 aviators and their Corsairs as MAG 12 and MAG 14 units were needed elsewhere. Within twenty minutes of the time LT "TheBug" Fumia established the squadron in a Combat Air Patrol near the fleet bogies were reported in the area by fleet radar. Lt Fumia moved VF-17 into an intercept position and the Jolly Rogers engaged a large force of Japanese Navy A6M5 Zeros at mixed altitudes. Battle was immediately joined with the Japanese  aviators suffering heavy losses to the Jolly Rogers. Of the eleven Zeros encountered in the early action not one survivor escaped the guns of VF-17.

LT Randy "Wolfie" Flynn in White 17 and LTCMDR John "Shifty" Vandeventer in White 1 score hits on a Japanese Zero.

After shooting the tail off this A6M5 Zero LTCMDR Vandeventer climbs to rejoin the fight.

Once the Zero threat had been eliminated LT Fumia ordered VF-17 to climb and reestablish defensive positions over the fleet. His instincts were proven correct as a flight of eleven Japanese Army KI-45 "Nick" twin engined fighters arrived over the American ships and begain making bombing attacks. Like their Navy cousins the Japanese Army pilots fell victim to vicious attacks by the pilots of VF-17 and once again none were seen escaping the area. LT Fumia's attack on one KI-45 resulted in a collision. Fumia calmly ordered LTCMDR Vandeventer to take control of the squadron before he exited his aircraft.

A Japanese Army KI-45 Fighter comes apart after taking hits from the guns of Petty Officer Kris "Noah" Johannssen. The plane crashed a few moments later.

As the squadron reformed over the Fleet LTCMDR Vandeventer ordered half of the Squadron to form up on LT "Wolfie" Flynn and return to a nearby land base for rearming and refueling. As LT Flynn's flight was on the ground he received orders from the Area CIC for VF-17 to continue it's Combat Air Patrol of the shipping in San Pedro Bay. Lt Flynn took his flight of Corsairs back out over the fleet establishing a fresh Combat Air Patrol and allowing Vandeventer's flight to refuel and rearm. Lt Flynn's small force defended the fleet against a determined attack of Japanese Army Ki-61 "Tony" Fighters. The Army fighters brought along a Navy escort of Zero's for this attack. Even though outnumbered LT Flynn's flight destroyed at least 4 of the attacking KI-61s and three Zeros. As the attack was ending LTCMDR Vandeventer's flight arrived on station and engaged a Zero who was obviously a scout. The Zero was able to evade and apparently got word to the other Japanese aircraft that the low Corsairs had just been reinforced with high cover. Surviving Japanese aircraft immediately left the area. One US Destroyer was reported sunk during the day's heavy attacks.

A Japanese Army KI-61 "Tony" fighter loses it's right wing as it falls victim to Ensign Nate "Duke" LeBeck of VF-17.

VF-17 reformed and returned to their land base after the action of the second attack ended. As Intel reports came in from the entire Philippine area of operations it became apparent that VF-17 had destroyed more enemy aircraft than any other unit in the day's fighting. Destroying 25 Japanese aircraft and damaging another 17. The Squadron XO summed up the days effort. "We've come a long way operationally. Today our Mission Leader had to bail over the fleet leaving me in charge of things. The guys responded well and immediately switched gears to perform the tasks I gave them. This included setting up two separate flights in the middle of the mission to ensure the fleet was covered and our pilots had the fuel and ammo to do the job. I'm very proud of the way the guys responded and the challenge."

LTCMDR Vandeventer went on to say. "VF-17 added two more Double Aces to their roster today with Lt Flynn and LT Bolderson passing the 10 kill mark. Just as important is we are now getting kills and quality flying out of our younger pilots. I think you'll be hearing a lot in the future from guys with the callsigns of Gearmesh, Noah, Thunda, Duke, Modeus, Rooster, Gus, Sand, and Sigma. These are just a few of the guys that VF-17 is depending on to make us a great a squadron. The Marine squadrons are known for their Corsair Prowess. I think  the young pilots of Navy Squadron VF-17 have proven we can operate the F4U as well or even better than any other Corsair  squadron out there. We still have a lot to improve on and when Lt Fumia gets back from his swim I'm sure he'll have plenty of observations on where we need to make those improvements. This battle isn't over yet."

In two days of fighting VF-17 has shot down 36 enemy aircraft for a loss of 8 of their own. Flying their F4U1A Corsairs they have successfully battled against and bested both Japanese Army and Navy aircraft to include the KI-84, KI-61, KI-67, KI-45, and A6M5.

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