F3F-2 encore – F3F-2 of VF-6
Since everyone liked the Marine F3F-2, here’s a Navy F3F-2 of Fighting 6 aboard USS Enterprise.
This is a model of the airplane that Fred MacMurray’s character “crashed” during the high altitude test in “Dive Bomber.” Again, done OOB with kit decals – the kit provides all the decals you need to be able to do any F3F-2 used by any squadron that flew it. One of the first “serious” airplane books I ever read as a kid (in the school library, remember when they used to have those?) was a pre-WW2 memoir by a Naval Aviator whose name I now forget (he was killed in Belgium in 1940 as US Naval Attache during a German air raid). The book gave a full account of going through Navy training, flying all the airplanes he flew, etc. The end painting was a beautiful picture from the POV of someone in a small boat of a F3F-2 pulling out low over the ocean with the USS Saratoga off on the horizon. That picture – and his account of how much fun the F3F was to fly – were where I first fell in love with this airplane.
Interestingly enough, if you watch “Dive Bomber,” you will see some formation shots of F3F-2s – the very last airplane in the formation is flown by future AVG ace and Medal of Honor awardee ENS James O. Howard. In the formation shot of SB2U-2s, in the middle of the formation, the third section leader is Lt (jg) Tex Hill, also a future AVG ace.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.