Hellcat Aces of World War 2
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Grumman's successor to the pugnacious Wildcat, the Hellcat embodied many of the lessons learnt by F4F pilots in the opening months of the Pacific war. Introduced to the fleet in January 1943, and blooded in combat against the Japanese by VF-5 seven months later, the F6F served as the principal US Navy fighter on board carrier decks until VJ-Day. Despite its lethality in the air when ranged against the best Japanese fighters, it still retained docile handling qualities around the carrier deck. Pilots flying the Hellcat claimed nearly 5000 kills in the Pacific, and over 350 pilots achieved ace status on the type.