Short Straw, Korean War Book Review


Short Straw
Memoirs of Korea
by Captain Bernard W. Peterson

Memoirs of Korea Page 12

Short Straw is a tremendous book written by Captain Bernard W. Peterson about the Korean War and the The McDonnell F9F Panther.  The F9F Panther was made by Grumman aircraft.  It was 37' 5" long, 11' 4" high and had a wingspan of 38'.  The Panther weighed 16,450 lbs empty and 19,494 lbs Maximum gross weight.  The F9F-2 was powered by one 5000 lb Pratt & Whitney J-42-P-6 engine however there were several versions which also used two Westinghouse J34 axial flow turbojets of two Rolls-Royce Derwent centrifugal-Flow turbojets mounted on the wing roots.   The F9F had a cruise speed of 487 mph a maximum speed of 575 mph a climb rate of 6,000 ft. per minute and a maximum range of 1,353 miles. 
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Captain William Shanks boarding his F9F Grumman Panther jet fighter in Korea, July 1952.  Attached to the famous Able Eagle Squadron, VMF-115, he flew out of K3 strip at Phoang Dong.

Bill and I flew together in WWII, both attached to VMF-223 in Bougainville, Philippines and Okinawa.   Bill stayed in the Marine Corps, completing an action-packed flying career, including Viet Nam, prior to retiring as a full colonel in July 1974.  Refer to his biography in the text for his full and interesting story.  Few fighter pilots are still around to talk about surviving three major wars in their lifetimes -- WWII, Korea and Viet Nam.  Well done, Bill!!


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