The LOOTM Archive

March 2014

Ever since I saw the movie, "The Bridges at Toko-Ri," I've had a fondness for this clean little jet. A product of the famed "Grumman Iron Works" it served in Korea with the Navy and Marines as both an air-to-air fighter and a ground support aircraft.

While the straight wings made for a relatively slow jet, it proved a match for the Yak-9 by downing two of them. Much more impressive, however, is the fact that Panthers shot down seven MiG-15s--four of them falling to a single pilot on only one day.

The Panther normally carried four 20 mm cannon and was powered by a Pratt & Whitney engine (though a few utilized an Allison J33--most were later converted to P&Ws). F9F's were the first jets used by the US Navy Blue Angels, and flew some shows as a mixed formation with Chance-Vought F7U-1 Cutlasses. Besides the US, the only other country to operate the Panther was Argentina, replacing them in 1969 with A-4 Skyhawks.


  The March 2014 LOOTM

Grumman F9F Panther Jet


A pair of F9F-2 Panthers from the USS Boxer over Korea in 1951. More from Wiki here:


They didn't nickname Grumman the "Iron Works" for nothing. Here's an example (but, um, "What're ya gonna tell your Dad?). More photos here:


Inner details from a Russian web site here:


This Panther, photographed by Kendrick Shackleford, lives in the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola. More great Shackleford photos here:


A commemorative Blue Angels scheme in honor of Commander John Magda. More here: