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Quick Draw McGraw – FM-2 Wildcat action in the battle of Leyte Gulf

David Frasca brings in the Frasca Air Museum’s General Motor’s FM-2 Wildcat straight into the camera lens in the skies above Champaign, Illinois. This Wildcat is painted as the aircraft “Mah Baby” that Joe D. McGraw flew in the Pacific. (Photo by John Dibbs/
In mid-1943, the Grumman Aircraft Corp. began to deliver the F6F Hellcat—its latest and greatest fighter—to the U.S. Navy. It was fast, maneuverable, heavily armed and armored. It was built “Grumman tough” and soon earned the nickname “Ace Maker.” As a replacement for its little brother, the F4F Wildcat, the Hellcat was everything the F4F wasn’t. During this period, the Navy began to use a one-two-punch technique against the Japanese. First, it used a full...


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