The F2H Banshee was an extraordinarily successful early-generation jet that outlasted both contemporary and more modern fighter types on the decks of the US Navy’s aircraft carriers in the 1950s. It served in a variety of roles, undertaking fighter, strike fighter, night-fighter, nuclear strike and photo-reconnaissance missions. The Banshee was a frontline aircraft for more than a decade in an era when jet fighters came and went with relatively short service careers.
This book examines the entire service life of the F2H in the service of the US Navy, US Marine Corps and the RCN. Initially created as a replacement aircraft for McDonnell’s pioneering FH1 Phantom, the F2H served in the Korean War as a strike fighter, close air support aircraft, B29 escort, and photoreconnaissance aircraft, including the latter’s forays over the Soviet Union and China. Post service in Korea, the Banshee served as a carrier based nuclear strike aircraft, followed by its service as a defensive fighter for antisubmarine aircraft carriers.
Filled with first-hand accounts and rare colour photographs, this is the engrossing story of the F2H Banshee, exploring its variety of roles in service and detailing the technology development that improved the aircraft’s capabilities over time.