Grumman F9F Panther

            The Grumman F9F Panther (or Pantherjet) was a single-seat, single-engine, carrier-based, jet fighter used by the US Navy and Marine Corps during the Korean War.  A prototype of the Panther first flew on 24 November 1947, and deliveries to US Navy squadrons began on 8 May 1949.  Production of the F9F ended on 13 January 1953 after about 1,300 were built.

            The most commonly used version of the F9F in Korea was the F9F-2, but later in the war some squadrons flew the F9F-3 and F9F-5 versions.  Like the MiG-15, the F9F was powered by a British Rolls-Royce Nene engine.  The F9F-5 had a 6,250-lb thrust engine and a maximum speed of 579 mph.  It was armed with four 20mm cannon.

            An F9F of VF-51 flew the Korean War’s first jet sortie from an aircraft carrier on 3 July 1950, and Panthers served throughout the entire Korean War.  The F9F Panther was the most widely used naval jet fighter of the Korean War, equipping seventeen US Navy fighter squadrons, six US Navy reserve fighter squadrons, and two US Marine Corps fighter squadrons.

            F9F photo reconnaissance aircraft were also used in Korea by both the US Navy and Marine Corps.