Hobby Master HA1105 US Navy Grumman F6F-5N Hellcat Fighter - William Henry, VF(N)-41, USS Independence (CVL-22), September 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The F6F embodied the early lessons learned by users of Grumman's previous fleet-defense fighter, the Wildcat. In June 1941, Grumman lowered the wing center section to enable the undercarriage to be wider splayed, fitting more armor-plating around the cockpit to protect the pilot while also increasing the fighter's ammunition capacity. When the prototype made its first flight, it was realized that a more powerful engine was needed to give the fighter a combat edge. A Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 engine was installed for added power.
The aircraft made its combat debut in August 1943, and from that point on, the question of aerial supremacy in the Pacific was never in doubt. Hellcats served aboard most of the US Navy's fleet carriers, being credited with the destruction of 4,947 aircraft up to V-J Day. The Fleet Air Arm was also a great believer in the Hellcat, procuring almost 1,200 planes between 1943-45. The Hellcat saw only limited service in the post-war years, being replaced by the more powerful F9F Bearcat. Of the nine F6Fs believed to be airworthy today, seven are based in the USA and two are located in the UK.
This particular 1:72 scale aircraft was piloted by US Navy ace William Henry, then assigned to VF(N)-41, which was embarked upon the USS Independence, during September 1944. Comes with standing pilot figure. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: June 2008
Historical Account: "In the Navy" - The fourth USS Independence (CVL-22, also known as CV-22) was a United States Navy light aircraft carrier, lead ship of her class.
Begun as the light cruiser Amsterdam, CL-59, she was launched as CV-22 on August 22nd, 1942, by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, located in Camden, New Jersey. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Rawleigh Warner, and commissioned January 14th, 1943, with Captain G. R. Fairlamb, Jr., in command.
The first of a new class of carriers converted from cruiser hulls, Independence conducted shakedown training in the Caribbean. She then steamed through the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet, arriving in San Francisco July 3rd, 1943. Independence got underway for Pearl Harbor on July 14th, and after 2 weeks of vital training exercises sailed with the carriers Essex (CV-9) and Yorktown (CV-10) for a devastating raid on Marcus Island. Planes from the carrier force struck on September 1st and destroyed over 70 percent of the installations on the island. The carrier began her next operation, a similar strike against Wake Island from October 5th to 6th.