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F4F-3 Wildcat Gayle Hermann, BuNo3982, Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3), USS Saratoga (CV-3), October 1941 (13pcs) 

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John Jenkins Designs 1:30 SARA-02
F4F-3 Wildcat Gayle Hermann, BuNo3982, Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3), USS Saratoga (CV-3), October 1941 (13pcs)
World War II

Historical Note:



**Please note the undercarriage can be switched and the model placed on any of the jjDesigns Stands. And note the retractable tail hook on all F4F-3 Models. Comes with plane only, no figures.**

The Grumman F4F Wildcat is an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940, where it was initially known by the latter as the Martlet. The F4F was Grumman’s first monoplane fighter design and was to prove to be one of the great naval fighter aircraft of World War 2. In 1939 Grumman were successful in obtaining a Navy order for 54 F4F-3’s. The RAF also received 81 F4F-3’s which were named the Martlet I. The initial deliveries to the US navy were in December 1940, with the first of the planes going to the USS Ranger, and USS Wasp. These were the only carriers which had the F4F-3’s when war broke out. First used in combat by the British in the North Atlantic, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1941 and 1942; the disappointing Brewster Buffalo was withdrawn in favor of the Wildcat and replaced as units became available. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was outperformed by the faster 331 mph (533 km/h), more maneuverable, and longer-ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. However, the F4F's ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thach Weave, resulted in a claimed air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war. Lessons learned from the Wildcat were later applied to the faster F6F Hellcat. While the Wildcat had better range and maneuverability at low speed, the Hellcat could rely on superior power and high speed performance to outperform the Zero. The Wildcat continued to be built throughout the remainder of the war to serve on escort carriers, where larger and heavier fighters could not be used. The first WILDCAT F4F-3’s to be delivered to the USS SARATOGA in late 1941 were painted in overall “non-specular Light gray”. The transition to the Blue Gray/light gray camouflage scheme often came as and when each aircraft reached its major service and over haul point. Thus each Carrier Air Group at this time may have had a mix of overall Light Gray and Blue Gray/Light Gray squadrons aboard. The Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat BuNo 3982, is based on an U.S. Naval Historical Center photograph, depicting the aircraft on the elevator of USS Saratoga in early October 1941. This aircraft was piloted by ensign Gayle Hermann. The photograph shows that at this time squadrons were operating with aircraft of mixed paint schemes. BuNo 3982 is seen in overall Light gray while other Wildcats on the deck are painted in the Blue Gray/ Light Gray scheme.

About Gayle Hermann:

Husband of Edith Louise (Allen) Hermann whom he married on December 7, 1940. Gayle served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade and pilot of a F4F 6-F-12 Wildcat, Fighter Squadron Six, U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6), U.S. Navy during World War II. He resided in Ohio prior to the war. During the attack on Pearl Harbor the Enterprise, which was not at Pearl Harbor, dispatched a force of Six Wildcats which escorted a strike force consisting of 18 Torpedo Six TBDs, and six VB-6 Dauntlesses fitted with smoke generators to mask the TBDs as they approached their targets. Their mission was to locate Japanese Aircraft carriers that had launched the attack on Pearl and engage them. Unable to locate the Japanese the 18 Torpedo Six TBDs and the six VB-6 Dauntlesses were told to return to the Enterprise. The six Wildcats were directed to continue on to Pearl Harbor and render any assistance as necessary. As the 6 Wildcats approached Hickam Field near Pearl Harbor their arrival there triggered a panic, even though the message of their arrival was repeatedly broadcast, and they were fired upon by ground anti-aircraft fire. ENS Herbert H. Menges immediately fell victim to the anti-aircraft fire and crashed. He has since been noted as the first Naval fighter pilot to die during World War II. LTJG France F. Hebel's fighter was shot down next and crashed near Wheeler Field. He had suffered a skull fracture during the crash and died. LTJG Eric Allen, Jr., after being shot while still in his aircraft, bailed out at a low altitude over Pearl Harbor and suffered internal injuries. He landed in the oily water near the mindsweeper Vireo (AM-52) and later succumbed to his injuries. ENS James Daniels was the only one of the six airmen to land on an airfield proper (Ford Island Naval Air Station). ENS Gayle Hermann was hit 18 times as he tried to escape. His flight came to an abrupt end when a 5-inch naval shell hit his engine. The shell failed to explode, but it knocked the engine out of the plane. The Wildcat fluttered down tail-first to crash on the Ford Island golf course. On May 25, 1942 Gayle Hermann, after surviving the above Pearl Harbor incident, was declared "Missing In Action" in a flying accident. ENS David Flynn's F4F apparently ran out of fuel, forcing him to parachute into a cane field near Barbers Point. With a loss of three pilots and four aircraft, 7 December 1941 saw VF-6's worst casualties through June 1942. Eric was originally interred in the Halawa Naval Cemetery, Oahu and was later re-interred here on January 26, 1949.

Info: Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, BuNo3982, Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3), USS Saratoga (CV-3), October 1941 (13pcs)

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