VF(N)-101 was the first Navy unit to take the Corsair on a carrier successfully, and they did it with essentially the F4U-1 without the “de-bounced” landing gear or the stall strip on the wing, and they operated at night off unlighted ships, flying from USS Enterprise as part of Air Group 10. In the spring/summer of 1944, they provided the first night air defense to Task Force 58, later supplemented with detachments of F6F-3Ns operating from other carriers, and scored five shot down, one probable and three damaged during their tour. Led by LCDR Richard “Chick” Harmer, VF(N)-101’s major contribution was proving night fighters could operate from carrier decks; Harmer himself is credited with the first night victory, a Betty on April 24, 1944, after previously damaging a Betty on February 19 and he shot down another Betty on June 28 in the Marianas, the unit’s last score. VF(N)-101 was actually half of VF(N)-75, the first Corsair night fighter squadron, which was left behind when that unit was sent to the Solomons in October 1943.
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