Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat, Eduard 1/72
My first Hellcat!
ENS Gordon Arthur Stanley, VF-27, USS Princeton (CVL-23),
I couldn’t resist and I did the cat mouth camo.
Gordon Arthur Stanley, born on July 13th, 1921, in Seattle, Washington state, shot down 8 enemy airplanes in the course of World War Two, all achieved flying with VF-27. This unit became famous thanks to its unique marking – cat mouth and eyes, painted by Robert Burnell on all noses of the Hellcats belonging to this unit. Some* of the Hellcats sporting the cat mouth with eyes were destroyed on October 24th, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The aircrafts ended up on the ocean bottom together with Light Aircraft Carrier Princeton sunk by the single bomb launched from the D4Y Suisei (Judy) dive-bomber. Afterwards VF-27 operated from the board of CVL-22 Independence, however without the cat-mouth and eyes markings.
* I’ve corrected the above text after the great contribution in the comment section by Tom Cleaver who has provided me the following information in regards to the Cat mouth planes:
“Actually, most of the VF-27 Hellcats were airborne on October 24, and landed aboard USS Essex, where that night they were “shanghaied” back into the Navy and press-ganged into VF-15, with the cat mouths painted out per the orders of Admiral Fred Sherman, who had been out to get those cat mouths since Princeton had arrived in the task group that summer.”
Thank you Tom!
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.