US Navy WWII Grumman F6F Hellcat 1:48 Model (VF-27)
1:48 scale model of the Grumman F6F Hellcat; with details appropriate for fighters flown by the famed VF-27 on the USS Princeton (CVL-23) durning the Mariannas campaign in 1944. New in the box, these Hellcats include rockets, a drop tank, options for two different canopy configurations, and landing gear for both retracted and deployed display. Has a wingspan of 10-5/8"; overall length 8-1/2". The aircraft is finished in airbrushed two-tone blue and white camo paint scheme and marked appropriately with post-Sept. 1943 pattern star insignias. Easy, snap-together glueless assembly required; fully illustrated instructions included. There small parts, so recommended for ages 5+.
VF-27 and the 'cat mouth' Hellcats: (From VF-27 history website)
In early 1944, after a stateside refit in which the squadron traded their Wildcats for the new Grumman F6F-3 Hellcats, and further intense training in Hawaii during March and April, VF-27 embarked aboard the USS Princeton CVL-23. This would prove to be one of the most spectacular Light Carrier cruises of the war. Under Lcdr. Ernest Wood, the "Cat Mouthed" Hellcats flew warm-up missions against Saipan, and Tinian, on June 11th and 12th of 1944. Within a week the squadron participated in the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot", on June 19th. The Hellcats of VF-27 claimed 30 kills against Japanese aircraft attempting to strike Task Force 58. Squadron commander Lt. Cdr Wood was lost on this day however, his replacement was Lcdr. Fred Bardshar. Future aces Bill Lamb, Dick Stambook, and Gordon Stanley splashed four enemy aircraft apiece during the operation. Lcdr. Bardshar led VF-27 on a fighter sweep over Manila on Sept 21st, with VF-27 claiming 38 victories over IJN, and IJAAF aircraft. The day's bag included 4.5 kills for Lt. John Rodgers, and 4 kills for Lt. Jim "Red" Shirley.
After strikes against Formosa in mid- October, the Princeton was back in the Leyte Gulf as part of Task Force 38.3 on 24 October. Near Pollilo Island in the eastern part of the gulf VF-27 wrecked havoc on the Japanese, destroying 36 enemy fighters that day. Four pilots emerged as "Aces in a Day" in this engagement. They were Lt. Carl Brown, Lt. Jim Shirley, plus Lt. (jg) Gene Townsend, and Ensign Tom Conroy.
However upon return to the fleet, "Sweet P", the USS Princeton was found afire and sinking. At 9:38 that morning a lone JUDY dive bomber appeared suddenly out of thick clouds and dropped a single bomb on the Princeton's flight deck. The bomb exploded amidst fueled and armed Grumman TBF Avengers on the hanger deck. The ship was rocked by multiple explosions. Seven hours later, gutted by fire, the Princeton was scuttled by American torpedoes. VF-27's 5 month war cruise was over. Of the 136 victories credited during the deployment, a staggering 104 occured on three days. This was a record unbeaten by any other CVL fighter squadron during the war.
Grumman F6F Hellcats are credited with more than 6,000 victories over Japanese Aircraft, including over 160 enemy aircraft in a single day during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Hellcats accounted for 75% of all aerial victories by US warplanes in the Pacific, and more pilots became Aces in Hellcats than in any other US WWII aircraft (306).