Grumman F6F Hellcat Mishaps

An F6F-5 Hellcat moments before striking the ramp.  The Landing Signal Officers are fleeing across the flight deck to avoid what comes next.  Note that the Hellcat is still carrying its’ drop tank, which is white.
Another Hellcat with a drop tank, this is an F6F-3 recovering aboard the USS Cowpens (CVL-25) on 20NOV43.  The pilot was LTJG Magee.  One has to wonder if he knew his aircraft was on fire.
Another view of the same incident.  The flames are coming from behind the engine, likely a ruptured fuel line.  The drop tank does not appear to be involved at this point.
An F6F-3 flipped on its’ back aboard the USS Monterey (CVL-26).  Clear photographs of the underside of aircraft are comparatively rare so this view is particularly useful for modelers.  The patterns of the dirt and grime are worth studying.
This F6F-5 was saved from a watery fate by getting tangled in the catwalk of USS Sable (IX-81).  Sable was one of two Great Lakes steamers which were converted to training carriers (the other being the USS Wolverine (IX-64)).  They both featured paddlewheel propulsion, and neither had hanger decks.  Here the crew is securing the Hellcat in place until a pierside crane can recover the aircraft.
Here an F6F-3 has missed hooking the arresting gear and wound up in the after elevator well aboard the Bogue-class escort carrier USS Barnes (CVE-20).  The Hellcat didn’t miss the wires entirely, they can be seen fouled on the landing gear.
Grumman earned a reputation for building tough aircraft, but even aircraft built at the “Iron Works” had their limits.  The sudden jolt of an arrested landing has pulled this Hellcat in two just aft of the cockpit.  The pilot can be seen exiting what’s left of his aircraft, apparently no worse for wear.
Sometimes your most useful role is that of a sandbag with legs.  Flight deck sailors aboard the USS Monterey (CVL-26) tip an F6F-5 back onto the deck and out of the catwalk.
This Hellcat has wandered off the coral runway and come to grief in a large hole.  Armorers are removing ammunition from the wing guns before recovery operations can start.  The aircraft has attracted a large crowd of recovery vehicles and onlookers despite the rain.

6 thoughts on “Grumman F6F Hellcat Mishaps

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s