Models: Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat

(Model: Tamiya 1/48th, Aircraft Series No.34: Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat)

Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (29 kb)
The plane modelled: "white 2" from VMF-223, Guadalcanal, September 1942

In August 1942, the Wildcats from Marines fighter squadron VMF-223 and the Dauntless from Marines scout bomber squad VMSB-232, took to the air from USS Long Island (CVE-1) and were the first airmen to land on their newly captured base of Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. They were the first elements of what would later be called Guadalcanal's "Cactus Air Force".

F4F-4 Model (40 kb)
Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat

This Wildcat from VMF-223, based on Guadalcanal in September 1942, is said to have been flown by Captain Marion E. Carl, who ended the year with 16.5 confirmed kills.

Some other sources say it has been used by VMF-223's commanding officer, Maj. John L. Smith. Anyway, the meaning (and owner) of each the 19 victory marks is unknown.

Kill markings were quite unusual on a US Marines plane, as it was usually thought that this would generate unwelcome attention from the enemy.

The white "2" on the fuselage has an unusual shape; my guess is that the painter had no mask for the digit "2" at hand, and reversed a mask used for the digit "5".

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Copyright ©: Christophe "stof" Arribat -
Picture from "Wildcat Aces of WW2", Osprey Aerospace.