Grumman F4F Wildcat

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VMF-212 -- The Hell Hounds-- and their F4F Wildcats

 

"Wildcat pilots were a scrappy bunch. F4F fliers won more Medals of Honor than any other fighter pilots in World War II. Of the eight medals, six went to Marines fighting in the Solomon Islands campaign in 1942‑1943.

From Sept 3 to Nov 4, 1942, the Cactus Air Force – flying Grumman F4F Wildcats —claimed 263 aerial victories and inflicted heavy damage on at least an equal number of Japanese aircraft.  

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was the only U.S. Navy fighter to serve throughout WWII. The aircraft was more durable under fire compared to its counterpart, the Mitsubishi Zero, thanks to the addition of armor for the pilot and the engine. Six 50-caliber wing-mounted machine guns provided the firepower. Self-sealing fuel tanks made the aircraft more resistant to small arms and machine gun fire.

The lighter, faster, and more agile Zero could out-climb and out-maneuver the Wildcat. To stay alive in air-to-air combat, Cactus pilots continuously refined their strategies and techniques, relying on teamwork and accurate marksmanship."

Click below to view the F4F Wildcat video: