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Rick Kent
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Camouflage & Markings – Grumman F8F Bearcat

December 21, 2014 · in Aviation · · 6 · 4.3K

Too late to see service in WW II, the operated with the US Navy's frontline fighter squadrons from 1946 to 1950 as their last piston-engined fighter, alongside late marks of the F4U Corsair. It fitted very neatly into the period of peace between WW II and Korea, a very interesting time of reorganisation and redesignations for Navy air units. They were, of course, all painted in the standard sea blue gloss colour scheme which suited them very well. Various changes in their unit markings reflected the organisational changes that occurred in this now somewhat forgotten period of US Naval air operations.

For those interested in further study of the Bearcat I thoroughly recommend Volume 80 in Steve Ginter's marvellous Naval Fighters series, published by the author in 2008. They are a truly great series of books, packed with information on the aircraft and their complete unit service histories, well illustrated with photos. There is no other equivalent series in the field of aircraft histories.

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6 responses

  1. Good stuff, Rick...keep 'em comin'. And thanks.

  2. Very nice, Rick. Great profiles of one of the most powerful piston engined fighters.

  3. Sure wish someone made decals of these markings!

    • Hi again Drew. If you check on ebay you'll see there are some decal sheets of USN Bearcats on offer in 1/48 and 1/72. Just search Bearcat decals in toys and games.

  4. Hi Drew, I've never understood why there has been comparatively little interest in the Bearcat in the history of US Navy aviation. As a Brit I find it particularly strange in the F8F's own country. The only decals I've ever seen were for French and Thai aircraft produced in the 1990's by Aeromaster. You could try writing to the decal producers; with your credentials as a modeller of USN aircraft they might listen to you. There isn't any research they'd need to do for them - the gen is all there between Steve Ginter's book and my profiles which they are welcome to use.

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