The first VF-2 was a prewar unit that had been dubbed the 'hottest outfit afloat' due to the skill of their non-commissioned pilots. This first unit only saw combat at the Battle of the Coral Sea, although VF-2 pilots flying Grumman F4F Wildcats were able to rack up 17 claims there during the bitter 48-hour period of fighting. The second 'Fighting Two' was armed with the new Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter. Arriving in Hawaii in October 1943, the squadron so impressed Cdr Edward H 'Butch' O'Hare, the Medal of Honor-winning first US Navy ace of World War 2, that he requested the squadron replace VF-6 in his CAG-6 aboard USS Enterprise. No unit US Navy unit created more aces than VF-2, whose pilots went into action over the Carolines, Marianas, Guam, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Using exquisite photographs and first-hand accounts from the elite fliers themselves, this volume tells the story of the ace pilots who comprised the original VF-2 and the second.
Read an extract of F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat Aces of VF-2
Table of Contents
Prewar activity and Battle of the Coral Sea, which gives the original unit its first, and only, taste of combat. /Overview of the formation and training in the United States of the second 'Fighting Two', and its first experience of combat in the Gilberts Invasion. /Development of nightfighters, VF-2 working with 'Butch' O'Hare to create the US Navy's first nightfighter capability, and the loss of O'Hare in combat. /Operation Forager and the Battle of the Philippine Sea – the 'Marianas Turkey Shoot' and the Mission Beyond Darkness. /The Bonins Campaign – air battles over Iwo Jima in July 1944 and completion of the Marianas Campaign. /Task Force 38 and the Philippines Campaign. Air battles throughout the Philippine Islands in September 1944 that brought about the later invasion of Leyte Gulf. /APPENDICES