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Frank Cronin
80 articles

Hasagawa F6F-3 Flown by Alexander Vraciu

August 8, 2013 · in Aviation · · 12 · 1.7K

When I was aboard Bon Homme Richard, Alexander Vraciu was the Commander of VF-51 flying FJ-2 Fury's. Years later I had the occasion to meet him again and have lunch with him. I gave him this model which he said he appreciated very much. He flew this airplane during the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" He still resides in the Bay Area but I have heard that time is catching up to him. He is almost 95.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. Frank as always your builds and stories are fantastic nice job

  2. Frank...nice model - nicer gesture.

  3. Always liked this & the Atlantic color schemes. Nicely done as usual.

  4. Frank...What a thrill to build a model for the person that flew it.
    Great work as usual on the Hellcat.

  5. Another great connection. Will always remember the iconic photo of him after a day's work in the Marianas. All smiles and fingers. BTW, great looking model.

  6. Frank, a question. I have the Eduard 1/72nd version of his aircraft to build & the instructions call for the undersides & wheel wells to be white like yours appears to be. What did you use?

  7. That's awesome, Frank. Nice build and it must have been great to get an opportunity to build a model for such a distinguished Shipmate!

  8. Actually, "Gadget" (#19) is the airplane he flew during the Truk attack and the fights in the spring of 1944. He transferred to VF-16 when VF-6 and the Independence were relieved at the end of their tour, and flew Hellcat #32 at the Turkey Shoot (he was leading Navy ace at the time and as he said had a bad case of "Zeke fever" so he extended his tour).

    Nice model for sure. Alex is definitely one of the nicest guys i ever had the pleasure of meeting among the aces.

  9. Wow! Very nice plane!

  10. another outstanding build

  11. I only wish my building skills were up to presenting a model to a hero, and that my social network was as full of heroes as yours.

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