Tag Archives: F6F Hellcat

Warbirds – F6F Hellcat

June 26th, 1942 marks the first flight of Grumman’s F6F Hellcat.  Designed as the replacement for the F4F Wildcat, the Hellcat became the U.S. Navy’s premier carrier-based fighter aircraft.

Though Grumman was already working on the design to replace the Wildcat, the contract for the first prototypes wasn’t signed until June of 1941.  Using the design of the F4F as their starting point, the entire aircraft was re-engineered with one thing in mind – defeating the Japanese Zero.  Improve mechanical systems, a 25% more powerful engine, an armored cockpit with better visibility, more potent weaponry, and later even radar were added to this new Warbird.  Night-fighting capability and even a 2000 pound bomb payload capacity would enhance later versions of the F6F.

The Hellcat’s first saw enemy action on September 1st, 1943 when a pair from the USS Independence downed a Japanese “flying boat”.  Operational tempos increased rapidly for the Hellcats.  Engagements at Tarawa, Rabaul, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea saw kill counts soar.  With over 65,000 sorties flown by Hellcats during the war, F6Fs were responsible for over 5,000 downed enemy aircraft.  With only 270 Hellcats lost, they were responsible for over 50% of all U.S. aerial victories – an almost 19:1 kill-to-loss ratio.  Allied versions of the F6F build on this legacy.  Overall, 29 Navy, 2 Marine Corps aces, and one Medal of Honor recipient flew the F6F Hellcat.

The John Wayne film Flying Leathernecks (1951) features quite a bit of combat footage of the Hellcat in action even though F4U Corsairs were supposed to be the stars.  Spoilers like to point out that much of the footage is post-WWII and some even Korean War vintage.  Korea war the last theater of war in which U.S. F6Fs would see combat.

 

 

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Warbirds – F6F Hellcat

June 26th, 1942 marks the first flight of Grumman’s F6F Hellcat.  Designed as the replacement for the F4F Wildcat, the Hellcat became the U.S. Navy’s premier carrier-based fighter aircraft.

Though Grumman was already working on the design to replace the Wildcat, the contract for the first prototypes wasn’t signed until June of 1941.  Using the design of the F4F as their starting point, the entire aircraft was re-engineered with one thing in mind – defeating the Japanese Zero.  Improve mechanical systems, a 25% more powerful engine, an armored cockpit with better visibility, more potent weaponry, and later even radar were added to this new Warbird.  Night-fighting capability and even a 2000 pound bomb payload capacity would enhance later versions of the F6F.

The Hellcat’s first saw enemy action on September 1st, 1943 when a pair from the USS Independence downed a Japanese “flying boat”.  Operational tempos increased rapidly for the Hellcats.  Engagements at Tarawa, Rabaul, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea saw kill counts soar.  With over 65,000 sorties flown by Hellcats during the war, F6Fs were responsible for over 5,000 downed enemy aircraft.  With only 270 Hellcats lost, they were responsible for over 50% of all U.S. aerial victories – an almost 19:1 kill-to-loss ratio.  Allied versions of the F6F build on this legacy.  Overall, 29 Navy, 2 Marine Corps aces, and one Medal of Honor recipient flew the F6F Hellcat.

The John Wayne film Flying Leathernecks (1951) features quite a bit of combat footage of the Hellcat in action even though F4U Corsairs were supposed to be the stars.  Spoilers like to point out that much of the footage is post-WWII and some even Korean War vintage.  Korea war the last theater of war in which U.S. F6Fs would see combat.

 

 

Lost and Found – June 26th Edition

What to  remember about June 26th…

  • 1804  Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the mouth of Kansas River
  • 1819  Major General Abner Doubleday born (d. 1893); popularly believed to be the inventor of baseball
  • 1844  President John Tyler marries Julia Gardiner in New York
  • 1862  Confederates attack Mechanicsville; Seven Days’ Battle begins
  • 1917  American Expeditionary Forces arrive in Europe
  • 1918  Conflict that begins June 1st ends today with victory of General Pershing’s American Army and Marine forces at Battle of Belleau Wood
  • 1942  1st flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat carrier-based fighter
  • 1945  50 delegates sign charter forming the United Nations
  • 1948  In response to Soviet blockade of West Berlin the 1st planes depart from England and West Germany for the Berlin Airlift
  • 1963  President John F. Kennedy speech at Berlin Wall declaring “Ich bin ein Berliner”; grammar mistake translates to “I am a donut”;  meant to say “I am also a citizen of Berlin.”
  • 1975  2 FBI agents and member of American Indian Movement die in shootout at Pine Ridge Reservation; Leonard Peltier convicted of murders
  • 1996  SCOTUS orders Virginia Military Institute to admit women
  • 2000  Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics announce “working draft” of the human genome
  • 2008  In District of Columbia v. Heller SCOTUS rules that 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms

Warbirds – F6F Hellcat

June 26th, 1942 marks the first flight of Grumman’s F6F Hellcat.  Designed as the replacement for the F4F Wildcat, the Hellcat became the U.S. Navy’s premier carrier-based fighter aircraft.

Though Grumman was already working on the design to replace the Wildcat, the contract for the first prototypes wasn’t signed until June of 1941.  Using the design of the F4F as their starting point, the entire aircraft was re-engineered with one thing in mind – defeating the Japanese Zero.  Improve mechanical systems, a 25% more powerful engine, an armored cockpit with better visibility, more potent weaponry, and later even radar were added to this new Warbird.  Night-fighting capability and even a 2000 pound bomb payload capacity would enhance later versions of the F6F.

The Hellcat’s first saw enemy action on September 1st, 1943 when a pair from the USS Independence downed a Japanese “flying boat”.  Operational tempos increased rapidly for the Hellcats.  Engagements at Tarawa, Rabaul, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea saw kill counts soar.  With over 65,000 sorties flown by Hellcats during the war, F6Fs were responsible for over 5,000 downed enemy aircraft.  With only 270 Hellcats lost, they were responsible for over 50% of all U.S. aerial victories – an almost 19:1 kill-to-loss ratio.  Allied versions of the F6F build on this legacy.  Overall, 29 Navy, 2 Marine Corps aces, and one Medal of Honor recipient flew the F6F Hellcat.

The John Wayne film Flying Leathernecks (1951) features quite a bit of combat footage of the Hellcat in action even though F4U Corsairs were supposed to be the stars.  Spoilers like to point out that much of the footage is post-WWII and some even Korean War vintage.  Korea war the last theater of war in which U.S. F6Fs would see combat.

 

 

Lost and Found – June 26th Edition

What to  remember about June 26th…

  • 1804  Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the mouth of Kansas River
  • 1819  Major General Abner Doubleday born (d. 1893); popularly believed to be the inventor of baseball
  • 1844  President John Tyler marries Julia Gardiner in New York
  • 1862  Confederates attack Mechanicsville; Seven Days’ Battle begins
  • 1917  American Expeditionary Forces arrive in Europe
  • 1918  Conflict that begins June 1st ends today with victory of General Pershing’s American Army and Marine forces at Battle of Belleau Wood
  • 1942  1st flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat carrier-based fighter
  • 1945  50 delegates sign charter forming the United Nations
  • 1948  In response to Soviet blockade of West Berlin the 1st planes depart from England and West Germany for the Berlin Airlift
  • 1963  President John F. Kennedy speech at Berlin Wall declaring “Ich bin ein Berliner”; grammar mistake translates to “I am a donut”;  meant to say “I am also a citizen of Berlin.”
  • 1975  2 FBI agents and member of American Indian Movement die in shootout at Pine Ridge Reservation; Leonard Peltier convicted of murders
  • 1996  SCOTUS orders Virginia Military Institute to admit women
  • 2000  Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics announce “working draft” of the human genome
  • 2008  In District of Columbia v. Heller SCOTUS rules that 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms

Lost and Found – March 14th Edition

What to remember about March 13th…

Pi Day – 3.14

  • 1794  Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin; machinery makes cotton production with slave labor economically profitable
  • 1879  Mathematician and physicist Albert Einstein is born in Ulm, Germany (d. 1955)
  • 1914  Naval F6F aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare is born in St. Louis, MO(d. 1943); Chicago-area airport and US destroyer both renamed in his honor
  • 1943  Nazis complete “liquidation” Krakow Ghetto in Poland; 8,000 able-bodied shipped to concentration camps; remaining 2,000 killed in the streets
  • 1950  United States Federal Bureau of Investigation institutes the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List”
  • 1964  Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby is sentenced to death for slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald – assassin of President John F. Kennedy
  • 1990  Mikhail Gorbachev is elected 1st and only President of the Soviet Union; reform attempt fails to maintain union and country collapses next year
  • 1995  NASA scientist and astronaut Norman Earl Thagard becomes 1st American to ride into orbit aboard another nations spacecraft – Soyuz TM-21

Lost and Found – March 14th Edition

What to remember about March 13th…

Pi Day – 3.14

  • 1794  Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin; machinery makes cotton production with slave labor economically profitable
  • 1879  Mathematician and physicist Albert Einstein is born in Ulm, Germany (d. 1955)
  • 1914  Naval F6F aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare is born in St. Louis, MO(d. 1943); Chicago-area airport and US destroyer both renamed in his honor
  • 1943  Nazis complete “liquidation” Krakow Ghetto in Poland; 8,000 able-bodied shipped to concentration camps; remaining 2,000 killed in the streets
  • 1950  United States Federal Bureau of Investigation institutes the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List”
  • 1964  Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby is sentenced to death for slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald – assassin of President John F. Kennedy
  • 1990  Mikhail Gorbachev is elected 1st and only President of the Soviet Union; reform attempt fails to maintain union and country collapses next year
  • 1995  NASA scientist and astronaut Norman Earl Thagard becomes 1st American to ride into orbit aboard another nations spacecraft – Soyuz TM-21

Warbirds – F6F Hellcat

June 26th, 1942 marks the first flight of Grumman’s F6F Hellcat.  Designed as the replacement for the F4F Wildcat, the Hellcat became the U.S. Navy’s premier carrier-based fighter aircraft.

Though Grumman was already working on the design to replace the Wildcat, the contract for the first prototypes wasn’t signed until June of 1941.  Using the design of the F4F as their starting point, the entire aircraft was re-engineered with one thing in mind – defeating the Japanese Zero.  Improve mechanical systems, a 25% more powerful engine, an armored cockpit with better visibility, more potent weaponry, and later even radar were added to this new Warbird.  Night-fighting capability and even a 2000 pound bomb payload capacity would enhance later versions of the F6F.

The Hellcat’s first saw enemy action on September 1st, 1943 when a pair from the USS Independence downed a Japanese “flying boat”.  Operational tempos increased rapidly for the Hellcats.  Engagements at Tarawa, Rabaul, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea saw kill counts soar.  With over 65,000 sorties flown by Hellcats during the war, F6Fs were responsible for over 5,000 downed enemy aircraft.  With only 270 Hellcats lost, they were responsible for over 50% of all U.S. aerial victories – an almost 19:1 kill-to-loss ratio.  Allied versions of the F6F build on this legacy.  Overall, 29 Navy, 2 Marine Corps aces, and one Medal of Honor recipient flew the F6F Hellcat.

The John Wayne film Flying Leathernecks (1951) features quite a bit of combat footage of the Hellcat in action even though F4U Corsairs were supposed to be the stars.  Spoilers like to point out that much of the footage is post-WWII and some even Korean War vintage.  Korea war the last theater of war in which U.S. F6Fs would see combat.

 

 

Lost and Found – June 26th Edition

What to  remember about June 26th…

  • 1804  Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the mouth of Kansas River
  • 1819  Major General Abner Doubleday born (d. 1893); popularly believed to be the inventor of baseball
  • 1844  President John Tyler marries Julia Gardiner in New York
  • 1862  Confederates attack Mechanicsville; Seven Days’ Battle begins
  • 1917  American Expeditionary Forces arrive in Europe
  • 1918  Conflict that begins June 1st ends today with victory of General Pershing’s American Army and Marine forces at Battle of Belleau Wood
  • 1942  1st flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat carrier-based fighter
  • 1945  50 delegates sign charter forming the United Nations
  • 1948  In response to Soviet blockade of West Berlin the 1st planes depart from England and West Germany for the Berlin Airlift
  • 1963  President John F. Kennedy speech at Berlin Wall declaring “Ich bin ein Berliner”; grammar mistake translates to “I am a donut”;  meant to say “I am also a citizen of Berlin.”
  • 1975  2 FBI agents and member of American Indian Movement die in shootout at Pine Ridge Reservation; Leonard Peltier convicted of murders
  • 1996  SCOTUS orders Virginia Military Institute to admit women
  • 2000  Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics announce “working draft” of the human genome
  • 2008  In District of Columbia v. Heller SCOTUS rules that 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms