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The F2H-2 was first ordered in May of 1948, and the first example (BuNo 123204) flew on August 18, 1949. A total of 364 F2H-2 Banshees were built, the first being delivered in the winter of 1949 and the last in May of 1952.
The F2H-2 Banshee was delivered to the following Navy and Marine Corps squadrons: VF-11, VF-12, VF-22, VF-62, VF-171, VF-172, VMF-122, VMF-214, VMF-224, and VMJ-1
The high climb rate and the good altitude performance of the F2H-2 made it attractive as an escort fighter. VF-172 arrived in Korean waters aboard the USS Essex (CV-9) in August of 1951. Their first mission was to escort a flight of USAF B-29s in an attack on some North Korean railroad marshaling years on August 25, 1951.
This combat cruise ended in November 1951. Since Banshees were assigned with higher priority to the Sixth Fleet in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, the Navy F2H-2s did not return to the Korean War zone until the autumn of 1952.
In September 1952, the Banshee returned to Korean waters, with VF-11 deploying aboard the USS Kearsarge(CV-33). They were followed by VF-22 and VF-62 in June of 1953, deploying aboard the USS Lake Champlain (CVA-39).
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