How the Grumman Hellcat proved to be a powerful weapon

The Grumman Hellcat was among the US Navy’s principal World War Two combat aircraft. Malcolm V Lowe tells the story of this fighter, which turned out to be a powerful weapon

The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation of Bethpage, New York, was a major supplier of combat aircraft for the US Navy (USN) from virtually the commencement of its activities in the early 1930s. Following the US entry into World War Two in late 1941, the company’s robust F4F Wildcat soon proved itself to be a vital component of the USN’s aircraft carrier-based fighter assets. It fought many successful combats with Japanese warplanes. Re-named Martlet, the type also gave valuable service to the British Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm (FAA).

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