Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA8901 Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat White 2, VMF-223, USMC, Guadalcanal, September 1942. Buy online now at Flying Tigers.
Early in the Pacific War in WWII the Grumman F4F Wildcat was the best fighter aircraft the U.S. had but was out performed by the Japanese Zero. The Wildcat’s folding wings allowed for a greater number of aircraft that could be carried but added extra weight and reduced the aircraft performance. New features such as self-sealing fuel tanks, heavy armor made up for the Wildcat’s lesser performance. By the end of WWII the F4F had flown approximately 15,500 sorties with a kill ratio of 6.9 victories to 1.
Originally assigned to VMF-221 Marion Eugene Carl scored his first victory on June 4, 1942 during the Battle of Midway. After rest in Hawaii, Carl was re-assigned to VMF-223 “Bulldogs”. On August 20, 1942 VMF-223 was deployed to Guadalcanal where he was shot down on September 9, 1942 and was missing for 5 days before returning. Marion Carl became the USMC first ace with 3 victories occurring later in September 1942. Carl ended the war with 18.5 victories, the USMC seventh ranking ace.