F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat Aces of VF-2.pdf
The first VF-2 was a prewar unit that had been dubbed the 'hottest outfit afloat' due to the skill of their non-commissioned pilots. This first unit only saw combat at the Battle of the Coral Sea, but VF-2 pilots flying Grumman F4F Wildcats were able to rack up 17 claims there during the bitter 48-hour period of fighting. The second 'Fighting Two' was armed with the new Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter. Arriving in Hawaii in October 1943, the squadron so impressed Cdr Edward H 'Butch' O'Hare, the Medal of Honor winning first US Navy ace of World War 2, that he requested the squadron replace VF-6 in his Carrier Air Group 6 aboard USS Enterprise. No other US Navy unit created as many aces as VF-2, whose pilots went into action over the Carolines, Marianas, Guam, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Philippines Sea. Using exquisite photographs and first-hand accounts from the elite fliers themselves, this volume tells the story of the ace pilots who comprised the original VF-2 and the second.
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver is a screenwriter who has written 12 produced motion pictures, and who holds both BA and MA degrees in History. He is a long-time contributor to such aviation publications as Air International, Air Enthusiast Quarterly, Air Force Magazine and Aviation History Magazine. He has been a Contributing Editor to Flight Journal since 1998 and is the author of the book Air Combat Annals, as well as having written Osprey Aircraft of the ACES 115 - Aces of the 78th Fighter Group in 2013. He has recently completed Fabled Fifteen - Air Group 15 In The Pacific War. He is a historical consultant at The Air Museum, Planes of Fame, in Chino, California. He served in US Naval Aviation as enlisted aircrew during the Vietnam War.
Prewar activity and Battle of the Coral Sea, which gives the original unit its first, and only, taste of combat. /Overview of the formation and training in the United States of the second 'Fighting Two', and its first experience of combat in the Gilberts Invasion. /Development of nightfighters, VF-2 working with 'Butch' O'Hare to create the US Navy's first nightfighter capability, and the loss of O'Hare in combat. /Operation Forager and the Battle of the Philippine Sea - the 'Marianas Turkey Shoot' and the Mission Beyond Darkness. /The Bonins Campaign - air battles over Iwo Jima in July 1944 and completion of the Marianas Campaign. /Task Force 38 and the Philippines Campaign. Air battles throughout the Philippine Islands in September 1944 that brought about the later invasion of Leyte Gulf. /APPENDICES