What WWII fighter did I see?

A few months ago I was in my backyard patting a friendly kitten when a World War Two era fighter (or Similar) flew directly over me. I was unable to see many details, but I noticed it had squared off wingtips, a blunt nose with a pronounced cowling around the engine, and white army stars painted on the underside of each wing.

Any idea what it was?


There were also quite a few trainers and the Navy had several ones like that.

But the cowling, which I assume means a radial engine , and Army, and Fighter =P47

That was fast, thanks. Can’t say for certain, but it looks very similar.

Thunderbolt seems likely.

Unless… A Navy Avenger?

Very few P-47’s had clipped wings, and from a distance, they wouldn’t look very squared off. Maybe an F6f Hellcat, or F8f Bearcat.
Avenger is a good guess, too.

T-6 Texan also fits the profile of radial engine, though its wingtips aren’t super square. It’s really, really common at airshows.

Other common WWII radial engine fighters are mostly navy, but Navy livery does include prominent stars. F6F Hellcat and F8F Bearcat would be the most common in this category. The F4F Wildcat is less common, and the F4U Corsair has pretty round wingtips.

I came in to note the Wildcat, Hellcat, and Bearcat. Not sure how many flyable models exist.

I hadn’t thought of the Texan. Lots more of those still flying than any of the fighters we’ve mentioned.

Yes, but he said Army and fighter. But as i said trainers are very common, and the T-6 has been used in films to pretend as a fighter.

That doesnt look much like a fighter.

The OP’s description pretty much just limits us to a single-engine monoplane with a radial and squarish wingtips, I think. Anyone who could distinguish between fighters and trainers at a glance wouldn’t be here asking what model of aircraft they saw, at least with regards to the T-6. I’ll grant we can rule out the Stearman Model 75.

Yes, which is why I mentioned them as possible candidates. The Mustang is out, IMHO.

But the radial engine loses a lot of American WW2 planes.

The Op did reply -

But there are a LOT of T6’s out there.

To WWII aircraft aficionados the F4F and F6F look very similar. To non-aficionados, the Spitfire and SBD look very similar.

Don’t mind me, just bringing this thread to the attention of some resident aviation experts. What say you, @Asimovian? @Johnny_L.A?

To the OP, do you recall what colour it was? Would you have been able to tell if the upper fuselage was painted blue? Most USAAF fighters were bare aluminum, while most USN fighters were painted deep blue on top and grey on the bottom.

Also, here is the webpage for the Commemorative Air Force with photos of a large number of still-flying WWII aircraft that may assist in identifying what you saw.

My friend, given no picture and a not bad at all but imprecise description, you could bring in the ghosts of a thousand WW2 aircraft spotters, manufacturer and pilots, and they couldnt do any better.

If it is Army, it is P47 or T6. If it is a fighter, it is a P47. There are a few Navy possibilities but the coloring is different, usually.

Based upon the horse vs zebra, the T6 is the most likely, but the only Army radial fighter still flying is the P47. The others were built in such small numbers or destroyed I would be surprised if any are still flying. Brewsters? P36? Nope.

Says the Doper who insisted that a ocelot is a savannah cat.

I said nothing of the sort. I said that if it was a domestic cat, it wasnt a ocicat, that a savannah cat was much more likely. There are all sorts of hybrid domestic cats that look quite a bit different.

In fact i said the likelihood is “ocelot, fake or savannah cat in that order.”

And that cat has still not been IDed. Actually, I think the picture is faked as coming from that locality, that it is a real ocelot from the ocelots normal range.