The Grumman F9F Cougar was an iconic Navy fighter, being one of two swept-wing aircraft rapidly developed from existing straight-wing designs already operational. Facing a disadvantageous situation in the air war over the Korean peninsula with outmoded aircraft, and yielding the air superiority mission to the United States Air Force F-86 Sabre, swept-wing developments of Grumman’s F9F Panther and North American’s FJ Fury gave the Navy the opportunity to field swept-wing fighters in the quickest possible time, far faster than developing a completely new design.
Detail & Scale has chronicled the history of the Cougar in detail in our F9F Cougar in Detail & Scale—Revised Edition. We now complement that publication with Colors & Markings of the F9F Cougar in U. S. Navy and Marine Corps Service, a comprehensive look at the paint schemes used on this iconic Navy fighter and the squadrons that flew it.
The book begins with a general description of the three major paint schemes applied to the Cougar during its history. The overall Gloss Sea Blue scheme had been in place since 1944 for Navy fighters, and for all carrier-based aircraft from 1945. All F9F-6, F9F-6P, F9F-7, and early F9F-8 variants were delivered to the Navy in the Gloss Sea Blue Scheme. In 1955, a more visually impressive scheme of Non-Specular Light Gull Gray over Gloss Insignia White was established, which became one of the longest-serving military aircraft paint schemes ever, remaining in place for more than twenty-five years. Most of the F9F-8 and all of the F9F-8P variants were delivered in this gray over white scheme. All of the F9F-8T two-seat training aircraft were delivered in one of two training schemes, basically an overall Gloss Insignia White aircraft with varying areas of high visibility Florescent Red-Orange or International Orange paint. The Paint Schemes Chapter includes the official paint colors used and their corresponding Federal Standard paint color numbers as well as color illustrations of the paint schemes as laid out in official Navy documentation. Finally, a look at the dazzling colors used on Navy drone and drone controller aircraft is presented.
The Paint Schemes chapter is followed by a comprehensive look at the colors and markings of the Cougar in service with all types of Naval and Marine aviation units. Ten sections cover all the units that flew the Cougar as a significant aircraft in their inventory, beginning with sections on fighter and attack squadrons. Navy photographic reconnaissance units are covered next, and these are followed by sections on Navy training and fleet air service squadrons. Next is a look at Marine squadrons that flew the Cougar in the fighter, attack, photo recon, and training mission areas. This is followed by a look at Naval Reserve squadrons that supported both Navy and Marine pilots. The chapter concludes with sections on test & evaluation squadrons, miscellaneous squadrons, and the Navy’s “Ambassadors in Blue,” the Blue Angels.
Colors & Markings of the F9F Cougar in U. S. Navy and Marine Service, along with the companion volume F9F Cougar in Detail & Scale, provide a most in-depth look at this iconic carrier fighter.
Colors & Markings of the F9F Cougar in U. S. Navy and Marine Corps Service has 173 pages, 199 photographs (91 in color), 74 full color profiles, and dozens of additional illustrations.