Military history

Hellcat: The F6F in World War II

Hellcat: The F6F in World War II

Largely responsible for crushing Japanese airpower wherever the American fast carrier force sailed, the Grumman F6F Hellcat was considered the most important Allied aircraft in the Pacific during 1943 and 1944. Designed for speed, range, and climb to compete with Japan's exceptional Mitsubishi A6M Zero, it succeeded not only in engaging the "Zeke" on equal terms but also in dictating the rules of combat. Fighters in every sense of the word, the Hellcats were credited with destroying more than five thousand Japanese aircraft, gaining outright air supremacy over the invasion beaches, and helping ensure Allied amphibious victories in the Central Pacific.

Preface

Chapter 1. Fox-Six-Fox

Chapter 2. Into Combat

Chapter 3. With the Fast Carriers

Chapter 4. The Marianas Campaign

Chapter 5. Hellcats over Europe

Chapter 6. To the Philippines

Chapter 7. Interim

Chapter 8. Hunters in the Night

Chapter 9. Okinawa and Japan

Chapter 10. Victory

Appendices

Appendix A. The Prototype Hellcats

Appendix B. Surviving Hellcats

Appendix C. Specifications

Appendix D. Combat Evaluation: F6F-5 and Zeke 52

Appendix E. The Top Hellcat Aces

Appendix F. U.S. Navy Escort Carrier F6F Squadrons in the Pacific, 1943–45

Notes