Book Title: Grumman F6f Hellcat, Vol. 1
Author: Oleksandr Boiko
Format: Paperback | 96 pages
Publication Date: 02 Apr 2015
Grumman F6F Hellcat was one of the best fighter aircraft of the World War Two era and the most effective fighter of the US Navy. There is no doubt that Hellcats won complete air superiority for the Americans over the vast areas of the Pacific, largely contributing to the victory over Japan. Volume One presents this legendary fighter in its first year of operational service - from the combat debut over Marcus Island and the Solomons in August 1943 until the end of the Marianas operation in late summer 1944. By then Hellcats participated, among others, in air strikes on Rabaul, Wake, Kwajalein and Truk, and supported the invasion of Tarawa in Gilbert Islands. The culmination of the Hellcats' first year of service with the US Navy came about during the Marianas invasion in June 1944, when they took part in the First Battle of Philippine Sea. This largest aerial and naval battle in the Pacific to date broke the backbone of the Japanese Navy, and the Hellcats won such a tremendous victory in the air that the battle was aptly nicknamed the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.
Throughout the war the only foreign user of Hellcats was Great Britain, receiving first aircraft in March 1943. Until late 1944 the Royal Navy Hellcats operated mainly in northern European waters and in the Mediterranean, participating in several air strikes on German battleship Tirpitz moored in Norwegian fiords, supporting Allied landings in Normandy and southern France, and joining operations in the Aegean Sea.