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Robert Royes
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F4F-3 Wildcat F-5, Coral Sea, USS Lexington. Academy 1/72

October 16, 2021 · in Aviation · · 13 · 1.9K

This is the aircraft of Lt. Noel Gayler, one of the pilots of VF-3 that transferred to VF-2 on the Lexington. Gayler had claimed two kills and two partial/shared kills before the battle of the Coral Sea, and had dropped 30lb bombs on a Japanese airfield on New Guinea on March 10th 1942, At the battle he was credited with two more kills and a possible before landing back on Lexington.By then the ship was damaged such that aircraft were unable to take of again. He went over the side when the order to abandon ship was given at 1710. He survived the war and retired as an admiral in 1976. He passed on July 14, 2011. [ info per Into the Breech blog]. The ship and aircraft were located by Paul Allen in 2018.

The kit is the not so accurate -4 which had to be backdated to a -3, four guns, no wing fold.

I modified decals from Starfighter USN Hit and Run sheet.

As it turns out inadvertently added to my Felix lineage collection. I think all I need now is a Buffalo, a Boeing F-4b, and a Hellcat.

Reader reactions:
19  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Robert, @roofrat

    By the looks of things, you are well on your way to finishing up your collection. Years ago Monogram made a 1/72 scale F4B, and I think that Airfix made a Buffalo of the same scale. Every since I have seen these magnificent underwater pictures that were taken back in 2018, I have wanted to build one of the F4F's and TBD's that were shown in them... Someday.

    Thanks for the story about the pilot, and his military career. It was very interesting.

    I definitely pressed the "Like" button.

  2. Gayler was later CINCPAC and then director of the NSA before retiring in 1976.

  3. Robert, great story and my favorite shots are the following: all three planes together and the one shot of the F/A-18 and Wildcat together. Nice work!

  4. The Devastador is so much larger ! I like the 1/72 scale models that way for size comparison , All the While Saving on display space real estate ! Nice line up Robert.

  5. One more nicely done Robert, all three look good, Meeooww.

  6. Another really nice model, Robert!
    Thanks for the story, as well!

  7. Beautiful build, Robert @roofrat
    Nice background information added to this headline.

  8. Fantastic story and model! I like it very much! I am always inspired by the story of a man who flew a given airplane. What paints did you use?

  9. You’ve been busy, Robert, another great model and an interesting write-up, definitely liked.

  10. Thanks every one.

  11. Man, you've been cranking them out! A great-looking Wildcat - well done.

  12. Beautiful aircraft collection !

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