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 Carousel 1 Model# 6183 F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat USMC VMF-211. Pilot - Butch O'Hare, USS Lexington, 1942 White 15

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PostSubject: Carousel 1 Model# 6183 F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat USMC VMF-211. Pilot - Butch O'Hare, USS Lexington, 1942 White 15    Sat Feb 18 2017, 22:33

Grumman F4F-3  Wildcat  

Producer  Carousel 1    
Scale 1/48
Model number 6183
Grumman F4F-3  Wildcat  
USMC VMF-211.    Pilot  -  Butch O'Hare, USS Lexington, 1942    White 15
Number produced 2000.   Data from the Flying Mule web page & Wikepedia
C1 exited the business in the big downturn we had that shook out a lot of diecast producers.   Even their domain name is for sale. A real shame.  They also produced beautiful diecast formula one series racers from the 50's and 60's.   This model does not show up very often, even on ebay.   Most online distributors are long out of stock.       I don't have an FM version  to compare it to but the detail, fit and finish appears to be a bit crisper, but then C1 was a newer mold.   I believe there are a few 1.72 producers out there like Americom.

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy (as the Martlet) in  1940. First used in combat by the British in Europe, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1941 and 1942; the disappointing Brewster Buffalo was withdrawn in favor of the Wildcat and replaced as units became available. !st flying on September 2nd 1937 and introduced to service squadrons in December 1940  it had a a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h).  The Wildcat was still outperformed by the faster 331 mph (533 km/h), more maneuverable, and longer ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. But the F4F's ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thatch Weave, resulted in an air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war in the PTO



Lessons learned from the Wildcat were later applied to the improved F4F's and FM1/2 series as well as the all new & faster F6F Hellcat. While the Wildcat had better range and maneuverability at low speed,the Hellcat could rely on superior power and high speed performance to outperform the Zero. The Wildcat continued to be built throughout the remainder of the war to serve on escort carriers, where larger and heavier fighters could not be used.

   I would still assess the Wildcat as the outstanding naval fighter of the early years of World War II ... I can vouch as a matter of personal experience, this Grumman fighter was one of the finest shipboard aeroplanes ever created.
   —Eric M. "Winkle" Brown, British test pilot

The Japanese ace Saburo Sakai described the Wildcat's capacity to absorb damage:

   I had full confidence in my ability to destroy the Grumman and decided to finish off the enemy fighter with only my 7.7 mm machine guns. I turned the 20 mm cannon switch to the "off" position, and closed in. For some strange reason, even after I had poured about five or six hundred rounds of ammunition directly into the Grumman, the airplane did not fall, but kept on flying. I thought this very odd—it had never happened before—and closed the distance between the two airplanes until I could almost reach out and touch the Grumman. To my surprise, the Grumman's rudder and tail were torn to shreds, looking like an old torn piece of rag. With his plane in such condition, no wonder the pilot was unable to continue fighting! A Zero which had taken that many bullets would have been a ball of fire by now.
   —Saburo Sakai, Zero

Joe Foss, was the top scoring Wildcat ace with 26 victories, flying with VMF-121  and a recipient of the Medal of Honor.
John Lucian Smith, second scoring Wildcat ace with 19 victories while flying with VMF-223 and   a recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Marion Eugene Carl, the third scoring Wildcat ace with 16.5 victories while flying Wildcats,




Specifications (F4F-3)

Data from The American Fighter  on   Wikipedia.

7,860 Wildcats were built.  The first five aircraft off the assembly line were sent to Canada, with the next 90 (designated "Martlet Mk I" going to the 804 Squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. During the course of the war, Navy and Marine F4Fs and FMs flew 15,553 combat sorties (14,027 of these from aircraft carriers), destroying 1,327 enemy aircraft at a cost of 178 aerial losses, 24 to ground/shipboard fire, and 49 to operational causes (an overall kill-to-loss ratio of 6.9:1).True to their escort fighter role, Wildcats dropped only 154 tons of bombs during the war.  During Operation Torch significant damage was inflicted upon the French Air Force defending North Africa. VF-9 claimed six certain kills and four probables in the air, as well as 49 planes on the ground for the brief ETO/MTO appearance for US flown F4F's


General characteristics
   Crew: 1
   Length: 28 ft 9 in (8.76 m)
   Wingspan: 38 ft (11.58 m)
   Height: 11 ft 10 in (3.60 m)
   Loaded weight: 7,000 lb (3,200 kg)
   Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1830-76 double-row radial engine, 1,200 hp (900 kW)

Performance
   Maximum speed: 331 mph (531 km/h)
   Range: 845 mi (1,360 km)
   Service ceiling: 39,500 ft (12,000 m)
   Rate of climb: 2,303 ft/min (11.7 m/s)

Armament
   Guns: 4 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) AN/M2 Browning machine guns with 450 rounds per gun
   Bombs: 2 × 100 lb (45 kg) bombs and/or 2 × 58 gal (220 L) drop tanks





Operators

Belgium
Belgian Air Force: at least 10 Martlet Mk I's ordered, never delivered, transferred to Royal Navy after surrender.

France
Aeronavale: 81 aircraft ordered, never delivered, transferred to Royal Navy after French defeat.

Greece
Hellenic Air Force: 30 Martlet Mk III's ordered, delivered to Gibraltar, transferred to Royal Navy after defeat.

Canada
Royal Canadian Navy: RCN personnel assigned to the Royal Navy HMS Puncher, were to provide the RCN with experience in aircraft carrier operations. The RCN flew 14 Martlets as part of 881 (RN) Squadron from February–July 1945.[47]

United Kingdom   Nickname:  Peanut Special (British nickname not explained)
   Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm  The Wildcat scored its first combat victory on Christmas Day 1940, when a land-based Martlet destroyed a Junkers Ju 88 bomber over the Scapa Flow naval base. This was the first combat victory by a US-built fighter in British service in World War II. The type also pioneered combat operations from the smaller escort carriers.

Six Martlets went to sea aboard the converted former German merchant vessel HMS Audacity in September 1941 and shot down several Luftwaffe Fw 200 Condor bombers during highly effective convoy escort operations.These were the first of many Wildcats to engage in aerial combat at sea.

The British received 300 Eastern Aircraft FM-1s as the Martlet V in 1942/43 and 340 FM-2s as the Wildcat VI.In total, nearly 1,200 Wildcats would serve with the FAA. By January 1944, the Martlet name was dropped and the type was identified as "Wildcat."  In March 1945, Wildcats shot down four Messerschmitt Bf 109s over Norway, the FAA's last victory with a Wildcat.

United States
    United States Navy
   United States Marine Corps






The pilot     Source Wikipedia.

Many of the members will recognize the name an have probably seen the aircraft on display in Chicagos' O'Hare international airport.   I have a few photos taken of it  during my travels over the years  but I found one on the web that was clearer than mine.   If I have enough time next week I have to pass through O'Hare and if I go through that terminal I will get a new one to post here.

Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare (March 13, 1914 – November 26, 1943) was an Irish-American naval aviator of the United States Navy, who on February 20, 1942 became the Navy's first flying ace when he single-handedly attacked a formation of 9 heavy bombers approaching his aircraft carrier. Even though he had a limited amount of ammunition, he managed to shoot down or damage several enemy bombers. On April 21, 1942, he became the first naval recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II.



O’Hare’s final action took place on the night of November 26, 1943, while he was leading the U.S. Navy’s first-ever nighttime fighter attack launched from an aircraft carrier. During this encounter with a group of Japanese torpedo bombers, O'Hare's F6F Hellcat was shot down; his aircraft was never found. In 1945, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS O'Hare (DD-889) was named in his honor.

A few years later, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, suggested that the name of Chicago's Orchard Depot Airport be changed as a tribute to Butch O'Hare. On September 19, 1949, the Chicago, Illinois airport was renamed O'Hare International Airport to honor O'Hare's bravery. The airport displays a Grumman F4F-3 museum aircraft replicating the one flown by Butch O'Hare during his Medal of Honor flight. The Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat on display was recovered virtually intact from the bottom of Lake Michigan, where it sank after a training accident in 1943 when it went off the training aircraft carrier USS Wolverine (IX-64). In 2001, the Air Classics Museum remodeled the aircraft to replicate the F4F-3 Wildcat that O'Hare flew on his Medal of Honor flight.[3] The restored Wildcat is exhibited in the west end of Terminal 2 behind the security checkpoint to honor O'Hare International Airport's namesake.




Medal of Honor flight

O'Hare's most famous flight occurred during the Pacific War on February 20, 1942. LT O'Hare and his wingman were the only U.S. Navy fighters available in the air when a second wave of Japanese bombers were attacking his aircraft carrier Lexington.

Butch O'Hare was on board the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, which had been assigned the task of penetrating enemy-held waters north of New Ireland. While still 450 miles from the harbor at Rabaul, at 1015, the Lexington picked up an unknown aircraft on radar 35 miles from the ship. A six-plane combat patrol was launched, two fighters being directed to investigate the contact. These two planes, under command of Lieutenant Commander John Thach shot down a four-engined Kawanishi H6K4 Type 97 ("Mavis") flying boat about 43 miles out at 1112. Later two other planes of the combat patrol were sent to another radar contact 35 miles ahead, shooting down a second Mavis at 1202. A third contact was made 80 miles out, but reversed course and disappeared. At 1542 a jagged vee signal drew the attention of the Lex's radar operator. The contact then was lost, but reappeared at 1625 forty-seven miles west and closing fast. Butch O'Hare, flying F4F Wildcat BuNo 4031 "White F-15", was one of several pilots launched to intercept the incoming 9 Japanese Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers from 2nd Chutai of 4th Kōkūtai,[9] at this time five had already been shot down.

At 1649, the Lexington's radar picked up a second formation of Bettys from 1st Chutai of 4th Kōkūtai[10] only 12 miles out, on the[11] disengaged side of the task force, completely unopposed. The carrier had only two Wildcats left to confront the intruders: Butch and his wingman "Duff" Dufilho. As the Lexington’s only protection, they raced eastward and arrived 1,500 feet above eight attacking Bettys nine miles out at 1700. Dufilho’s guns were jammed and wouldn’t fire, leaving only O'Hare to protect the carrier. The enemy formation was a V of Vs flying very close together and using their rear-facing guns for mutual protection. O'Hare's Wildcat, armed with four 50-caliber guns, with 450 rounds per gun, had enough ammunition for about 34 seconds of firing.

O'Hare's initial maneuver was a high-side diving attack employing accurate deflection shooting. He accurately placed bursts of gunfire into a Betty's right engine and wing fuel tanks; when the stricken craft of Nitō Hikō Heisō Tokiharu Baba (3rd Shotai)[13] on the right side of the formation abruptly lurched to starboard, he ducked to the other side of the V formation and aimed at the enemy bomber of Ittō Hikō Heisō Bin Mori (3rd Shotai) on the extreme left. When he made his third and fourth firing passes, the Japanese planes were close enough to the American ships for them to fire their anti-aircraft guns. The five survivors managed to drop their ordnance, but all ten 250kg bombs missed.] O'Hare's hits were so concentrated, the nacelle of a Betty jumped out of its mountings, after O'Hare blew up the leading Shōsa Takuzo Ito's Betty's port engine. O'Hare believed he had shot down five bombers, and damaged a sixth. Lieutenant Commander Thach arrived at the scene with other pilots of the flight, later reporting that at one point he saw three of the enemy bombers falling in flames at the same time

In fact, O'Hare destroyed only three Bettys: Nitō Hikō Heisō Tokiharu Baba's from 3rd Shotai, Ittō Hikō Heisō Susumu Uchiyama's (flying at left wing of the leading V, 1st Shotai) and the leader of the formation, Shōsa Takuzo Ito's. This last (flying on the head of leading V) Betty's left engine was hit at the time it dropped its ordnance. Its pilot Hikō Heisōchō Chuzo Watanabe[n 1] tried to hit Lexington with his damaged plane. He missed and flew into the water near Lexington at 1712. Another two Bettys were damaged by O'Hare's attacks. Ittō Hikō Heisō Kodji Maeda (2nd Shotai, left wing of V) safely landed at Vunakanau airdrome and Ittō Hikō Heisō Bin Mori was later shot down by LT Noel Gayler ("White F-1", VF-3) when trying to escape 40 miles from Lexington.[16]

With his ammunition expended, O'Hare returned to his carrier, and was fired on accidentally but with no effect by a .50-caliber machine gun from the Lexington. O'Hare's fighter had, in fact, been hit by only one bullet during his flight, the single bullet hole in F-15's port wing disabling the airspeed indicator. According to Thach, Butch then approached the gun platform to calmly say to the embarrassed anti-aircraft gunner who had fired at him, "Son, if you don't stop shooting at me when I've got my wheels down, I'm going to have to report you to the gunnery officer."

Thach calculated that O'Hare had used only sixty rounds of ammunition for each bomber he destroyed; an impressive feat of marksmanship. In the opinion of Admiral Brown and of Captain Frederick C. Sherman, commanding the Lexington, Lieutenant O'Hare's actions may have saved the carrier from serious damage or even loss. By 1900 all Lexington planes had been recovered except for two F4F-3 Wildcats shot down while attacking enemy bombers; both were lost while making steady, no-deflection runs from astern of their targets. The pilot of one fighter was rescued, the other went down with his aircraft.

The Lexington returned after the New Guinea raid to Pearl Harbor for repairs and to have her obsolete 8-inch guns removed, transferring some of her F4F-3 fighter planes to the USS Yorktown (CV-5) including BuNo 4031 "White F-15" that O'Hare had flown during his famous mission. The pilot assigned to fly this aircraft to Yorktown was admonished by O'Hare just before take off to take good care of his plane. Moments later, the fighter unsuccessfully took off, rolling down the deck and into the water; the pilot was recovered, but "White F-15" was lost.



O'Hares loss and controversy. From ace pilots .com
The night's events were complicated and confusing: the Hellcats had trouble finding the Avenger, the FDO had difficulty putting any of them on the targets, and it was all new to everyone. Phillips, in his lightly armed Avenger, found some of the attacking Japanese bombers and surprisingly, shot two of them down. Following that brief action, in the dark, with nothing to be seen but the flaming gasoline from the downed Bettys burning on the water (for over an hour?), the O'Hare and Skon got into position behind the Avenger. About that time, the Avenger identified a Betty behind the Hellcats. Kernan fired at it. Moments later, O'Hare failed to respond to the radio; he had gone down.

What happened? There are three possible explanations:
1) Friendly fire, i.e. Kernan mistakenly shot O'Hare down.
2) The Japanese bomber shot O'Hare down, in a quick, lucky burst that killed Butch instantly without heavily damaging the Hellcat.
3) When Kernan opened up, O'Hare took evasive action, the Hellcat's wingtip touched a wave and dipped into the ocean.

In a recent, thoroughly-researched biography of O'Hare, the respected author and naval historian John Lundstrom and his co-author Steve Ewing incline toward the second explanation (Butch was shot down by the Betty), in a "freak occurrence in a dangerous and complicated operation."  Their specific conclusion is that "Butch fell to his old familiar adversary, a Betty. Most likely he died from, or was immediately disabled by, a lucky shot from the forward observer crouched in the Rikko's [Betty's] forward glassed-in nose...the nose gunner's 7.7mm slugs very likely penetrated Butch's cockpit from above on the port side and ahead of the F6F's armor plate." Further, the Index references to TBF gunner Alvin B. Kernan explicitly state he is "wrongly accused of shooting down Butch."

Ewing and Lundstrom trace over a half-century's confusion about what happened to O'Hare from a 1962 history of  Enterprise written by U.S. Navy Commander Edwin P. Stafford. This history is based on action reports and remembrances of other crew members of Enterprise, but does not contain interviews with surviving members of O'Hare's last flight. By contrast Ewing and Lundstrom talked with three of the four persons who survived that flight, the other F6F pilot, Andy Skon, TBF radar officer Hazen Rand, and TBF gunner Alvin Kernan. Until their Fateful Rendezvous, Ewing and Lundstrom write, "Through Stafford and other accounts based largely on the action reports, Butch has wrongly become known as one of America's most famous 'friendly fire' casualties."  He is officially listed with 7 victories .


______________________________________________________
If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.
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Carousel 1 Model# 6183 F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat USMC VMF-211. Pilot - Butch O'Hare, USS Lexington, 1942 White 15
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