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Hobby Master: 1/32 Grumman F6F-3 “Hellcat” – Diecast Model
In 1942–43 the F4U program was bogged down with delays and the USN needed a top notched carrier-based fighter. The Grumman F6F-5 was exactly what they were looking for with the first production model flying in October 1942 and 12,274 Hellcats built by the end of the war. In terms of size, the Hellcat was the second largest single engine fighter of the war, being just slightly smaller than the Republic P-47 “Thunderbolt”.
Alexander Vraciu born in Indiana, started flight training in late 1941 earned wings in August 1942. First assigned to VF-3, he downed his first aircraft in October 1943. June 20, 1944 brought his nineteenth and final kill. Alex also destroyed 21 aircraft on the ground and one merchant ship. Known as “Grumman's Best Customer” he survived two carriers being torpedoed, ditched twice and two parachute jumps. He was shot down in December 1944 and returned to the US where he remained as a test pilot. Post war, he commanded VF-51.
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