American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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F6F Grumman

Page 2 GRUMMAN Hellcat II

High mark of the Hellcats’ success was the battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944 when the Grummans smashed the Japanese attack with very small losses to themselves, in the famous “Turkey Shoot.” Each Essex-class carrier carried 36 Hellcats, 36 dive-bombers and 18 torpedo bombers at first, but the fighter number increased to 72 at the expense of the bombers as the war went on. Night fighters operated as detachments with regular carriers, as a squadron on special night-carriers, or as land-based Marine squadrons. GRUMMAN F6F-5N

By the war’s end, Hellcats were credited with 5,156 of the total of 9,282 enemy aircraft destroyed in aerial combat by Navy and Marine planes, although only 270 Hellcats were lost to enemy aircraft in combat. Leading Hellcat ace, and top Navy ace, is Captain David McCampbell with 34 victories, including nine confirmed on one mission from the Essex. The Navy’s second-ranking ace, Commander Cecil E. Harris, scored 23 victories in his Hellcat, and Commander Eugene Valencia got 23. After the war, Hellcats were widely used by reserve squadrons, and in Korea a guided missile unit attacked bridges with six F6F-5K drones, beginning August 26, 1952.

Britain’s Royal Navy was given 251 F6F-3s as the Hellcat I, 848 F6F-5s as the Hellcat II, and 78 F6F-5Ns as the Hellcat NF. II. Delivery began in May 1943, and 12 squadrons formed from July 1943 to June 1945 served aboard British carriers from the North Sea to the Pacific. GRUMMAN XF6F-6

French Army and Navy squadrons received 179 surplus Navy Hellcats flying their last combat actions in Indochina from 1950 to 1954. Argentina and Uruguay each received ten F5F-5s in 1952.

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