Grumman F6F Hellcat

Grumman F6F Hellcat

An American carrier-based fighter aircraft of WWII. It was designed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat, and to counter the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero. It was the U.S. Navy’s dominant fighter in the second half of the Pacific War.

In one mission in October of 1944, two of the F6F Hellcats shot down a record fifteen enemy aircraft. U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing were looking for trouble up ahead and they found it. A squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes, the feared fighter of the Japanese Imperial Navy. Despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered, the American pilots never hesitated. They ascended for the attack. From on high, they waded into the enemy repeatedly for about 20 coordinated attacks. None of the bombers completed their mission. With their formation so scattered, the enemy pilots had to abort their mission.

McCampbell received the Medal of Honor, Rushing received the Navy Cross.

Capt. David Campbell passed away in 1996, Ens Roy Rushing passed away in 1986.

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