History: The F4F Grumman Wildcat began life on Grumman’s drawing boards as a biplane, but nevertheless became the Navy’s first monoplane fighter aircraft.
The Wildcat has no hydraulic system and a very simple electrical system. The landing gear is cranked up and down (28 cranks), and the flaps are vacuum powered.
Despite its simplicity, the Wildcat was a great technological advance over its biplane predecessors when it entered service in the late 1930’s.
The Wildcat held the line in every U.S. carrier action in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor through the Guadalcanal Campaign in the face of the superior performing Zero.
The Wildcat’s legendary ruggedness, combined with the superior tactics of its pilots negated the performance advantages of the light weight, unarmored Japanese Zero. It continued in Service with the Navy and Marine Corps through 1945, even after higher performance fighters replaced them on the fleet aircraft carriers.
Despite its limitations Marine and Naval Aviators flying the Grumman Wildcat earned 8 Congressional Medal of Honor medals, more than any other single-engined fighter flown by US pilots in World War II.
The FM-2 is a lightened and more powerful version of the Wildcat developed in 1943 and built by the Eastern Aircraft division of General Motors while Grumman focused production on their new fighter, the Hellcat.
The FM-2 was especially adept at operating from small escort carriers due to its compact size and excellent climbing ability.
This Grumman Wildcat aircraft is marked in the colors of observation composite squadron VOC-1, which operated off of the USS Wake Island and USS Marshall Island during the landings on the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
VOC-1’s main role was to spot and adjust Navy and Marine gunfire from land and sea, although members of the squadron also managed to score 20 air to air victories while performing their duty.
624.9 Hrs Since Complete Restoration by Vintage Aircraft, Fort Collins, CO
624.9 hrs SMOH by JRS Enterprises
A.D. 81-13-06 R2 c/w 5/2019
Exterior: U.S. Navy – colors of observation composite squadron VOC-1, which operated off of the USS Wake Island and USS Marshall Island during the landings on the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Excellent condition.
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