Grumman F4F Wildcat Mishaps, Part II

An F4F-4 of VF-9 hung up in the catwalk aboard USS Ranger (CV-4).  Note one of Ranger’s smokestacks in the lower left of the photograph.  Ranger’s stacks hinged down to clear the flightdeck for air operations.
Flightdeck crewmen rush to clear a Wildcat after a landing gear collapse.  Crews were trained to move quickly as other aircraft could not be recovered as long as the deck was fouled.  The tailhook has successfully engaged the arresting wire.
Sailors vs. an overturned Wildcat in a tug-of-war aboard the USS Makin Island (CVE-93), a Casablanca class escort carrier.  Fifty Casablanca class carriers were built for the USN in less than two years, making them the most numerous class of aircraft carriers ever built.
Another Wildcat suspended in a catwalk, giving a good view of the underside.  The arresting wire is still caught on the tailhook.
Deck crew struggle to right an F4F-4 early in the Pacific War.  The tail stripes were ordered to be removed on 06MAY42.
An FM-2 of VC-68 ditches as the pilot quickly leaves the aircraft.  The Wildcat was originally designed with floatation bags in the wings which would deploy automatically when the aircraft entered the water, but these were deleted as a weight saving measure.
One of the lesser known Wildcat variants, this is an F4F-7P of the U.S. Marine squadron VMO-251, damaged after ground looping on New Caledonia.  The -7P was a dedicated photo-reconnaissance version which traded all armament to carry additional fuel tanks and cameras.
Crewmen hit the deck as an F4F-4 crash lands aboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6) during the Battle of Santa Cruz on 26OCT42.  The Enterprise was hit by two bombs but remained in action, however her sistership Hornet (CV-8) was sunk.  At that point Enterprise was the only U.S. fleet carrier left in the Pacific.
A rather violent crash as a Wildcat misses the barrier and impacts the aircraft spotted forward.  Flightdecks remain one of the most hazardous working environments in the Navy.
An F4F-4 of Escort Scouting Squadron 12 crash landed on Guadalcanal.  Note the tents on the hillside in the background.
In the debris field of the USS Lexington (CV-2) the RV Petrel discovered this F4F-3 resting on the seafloor, her paint remarkably intact after seventy-six years under water.  The aircraft has been identified as that assigned to LT Noel Gaylor, his kill markings and VF-3’s famous Felix the Cat insignia are still visible.  Gaylor was awarded three Navy Crosses for his service with VF-3, and eventually rose to Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC).

Part III here: