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Grumman F6F Hellcat — U.S. Navy Top Performing Fighter

Two US escort carriers (USS Tulagi & USS Kasaan Bay) operated F-6F Hellcats during the invasion of southern France (Operation Anvil-Dragoon) where USN F-6F's shot down He-111, Ju-88. Ju-52 & Do-217


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Ensign Alfred Wood (left) and Lt. (j.g.) Edward Olszewski of VOF-1 pose with a Hellcat in which each scored a double victory. (U.S. Navy via Barrett Tillman)

Flying for 13 days, the two American squadrons wrote off 11 F6Fs of the 48 assigned. Fighting 74 lost four pilots and VOF-1 two. But between them they were credited with downing eight German aircraft, destroying some 800 vehicles and wrecking or immobilizing 84 locomotives.

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Two US escort carriers (USS Tulagi & USS Kasaan Bay) operated F-6F Hellcats during the invasion of southern France (Operation Anvil-Dragoon) where USN F-6F's shot down He-111, Ju-88. Ju-52 & Do-217


View attachment 49230
Ensign Alfred Wood (left) and Lt. (j.g.) Edward Olszewski of VOF-1 pose with a Hellcat in which each scored a double victory. (U.S. Navy via Barrett Tillman)

Flying for 13 days, the two American squadrons wrote off 11 F6Fs of the 48 assigned. Fighting 74 lost four pilots and VOF-1 two. But between them they were credited with downing eight German aircraft, destroying some 800 vehicles and wrecking or immobilizing 84 locomotives.

More...

My dad made the Southern France invasion Lyon , France(pictured)
 

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If you're big into aviation history, especially wartime production of aircraft, you'll notice the Hellcat was exclusively produced by Grumman once it was cleared for production after flight testing.
In addition to this, Avenger and Wilcat production moved to Easter Aircraft Division of General Motors.
Only the early production runs of the Avenger were built by Grumman, which makes a TBF-1 extremely rare, if any Grumman examples still exist.
As for the Wildcat, they became the FM-1 and FM-2. As with the Avenger, Wildcats produced by Grumman are a rare bird. If memory serves, there's only one airwaorthy Grumman F4F on the FAA roles.
In the end the Hellcat was used as an advanced trainer, drone controller, drone, aerial target drone, and flying bomb.
And it was the first aircraft used by the Blue Angels.
 
In the end the Hellcat was used as an advanced trainer, drone controller, drone, aerial target drone, and flying bomb.
And it was the first aircraft used by the Blue Angels.
EXCELLENT summary--you know your shizznit! Respect! (y)

AND it was used by the French in the Indochina war, while we were fighting in Korea. ;)
 
Is that statement of the ammo load correct - only 50 rounds per gun? That would go awful quick. Are you sure there shouldn't be another zero with that?
 
Is that statement of the ammo load correct - only 50 rounds per gun? That would go awful quick. Are you sure there shouldn't be another zero with that?
The F4F-3 ammunition loadout was 450 rounds per gun (some accounts state 400), and the F4F-4 loadout was 240 rounds per gun. The FM-1/2 went back to four guns with 430 rounds per gun.

The F4F-3 was armed with four machine guns, while the F4F-4 increased the armament to six machine guns. This required a reduction in the number of rounds per gun, which reduced firing time significantly and was unpopular with the pilots. Some pilots used the gun selection switch to fire only four guns, saving the remaining two guns and their ammunition as a kind of reserve.

Following the battle of Midway, Fletcher pointed out that the folding wings on the F4F-4 were an improvement only if they permitted more fighters to be added to the carrier air group, and Nimitz recommended that the F4F-4 be modified to carry much more ammunition even if this meant reverting to four machine guns. Both Fletcher and Halsey called for the F4F-4s to be equipped with drop tanks. The armament was left unchanged, but the other recommendations were acted on.
 
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