Wildcat is by my personal opinion, one of the most interesting navy fighter plane used by US Navy and Marines in the Second World War. He fought from the first day of conflict up to the end of war. Most interesting that this plane also feature all major Navy camouflage pattern, from the pre war golden wings peacetime bright colors up to the late was overall Sea Blue gloss scheme. This book is about this very important plane.

Grumman Wildcat aces bookBook is consisted of nine chapters and one appendix. Start point is the fighting squadron’s deployed prior the Pearl Harbor. Interesting info read in the book is the same name for the type of units- fighter squadron was called fighting and the term fighter is used after the WW2.

Also interesting is the info about the service in the Navy and the Marines. Navy was primary deck operated units and marines start deck operation from 1944. Basically Marines were used in support of the ground forces.

In the early operation is described all of the operation held up to the 1942 and it is interesting to read about heroic fight of the VMF-211, first unit of the Wildcat to take lead in action and which worked with limited number of planes and almost with no spares and ammunition. Unit’s legend still lives.

First ace on the Wildcat was Lt. Edwin O’Hare who has downed five G4M bombers in the action and was decorated. Wildcats fight bitter fights in the battles of Midway and Guadalcanal. By the end of the 1942 Navy had 16 aces on Wildcats and Marines had 30 aces on Wildcats. Leading ace was Joseph Foss and this ace had its special part in this book.

In the middle of the book could be found 23 color profiles. Profiles are for the Wildcat and FM models and here is represent Navy, Marines and Fleet Air Arm planes. Total of 23 profiles are published and authors are some of the leading UK illustrators. To this I would like to mention two pages of the color art of the pilots and their uniform.

In the last year of the war in the service entered new version marked as FM. There was two version of this plane, FM-1 and FM-2. Leading ace on the new type of plane built by Eastern was RE Elliot with nine air claims.

As you have mentioned this plane was also use by the Fleet Air Arm. Book give very good info about the entering in the service and its operational use. Best ace in this service was Captain Eric Brown. Last chapters of the book give good info about the training and the evolution of the plane.

Author Barrett Tillman is one of the most prolific authors in the sphere of the US aviation history. This talks enough about this book. Wildcat is the legend of the Pacific war and WW2 in general and this book is nice representative of the operational use of this plane.

Srecko Bradic

Sample publication provided Ruth Galpine, Marketing Coordinator from “Osprey” publication