Grumman F6F Hellcat Color Photographs Part III

A fine study of an early F6F-3 fresh from the factory in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme. (NASM, Rudy Allen Collection)
Grumman finished their aircraft with superior craftsmanship, the rugged designs soon earning them the nickname “Grumman Iron Works” for their ability to withstand damage and still keep flying. The quality of the workmanship is apparent in this photograph. (NASM, Rudy Allen Collection)
The red surround to the national insignia was unpopular and short-lived, only being used for a short time during the summer of 1943. Some commanders were so concerned that any red on the insignia might lead to confusion with the Japanese Hinomaru that they refused apply the outlines, which were soon changed to use Insignia Blue paint. (NASM, Rudy Allen Collection)
This F6F-3 is finished in the graded camouflage scheme and insignia with blue surrounds authorized in August 1943. The numbers sprayed on the cowling and tail were to identify the aircraft prior to her delivery and usually were the last digits of the Bureau Number.
Sailors hoisting an F6F-3 aboard the old-fashioned way using a block and tackle. The large yellow buzz numbers V5 on the wings indicate a training aircraft. (80-GK-2625)
An F6F-5N nightfighter with an AN/APS-6 radar pod mounted to the starboard wing. Most of the Hellcat nightfighters replaced the inboard .50 machine gun with a 20 mm cannon in each wing.
A mechanic works on the Pratt and Whitney R-2800-10 Double Wasp radial engine, which produced 2,000 horsepower. Modelers note the primer showing through on the wing leading edges and the oil staining on the cowling.
Flight deck crewmen await the signal to pull the chocks from this F6F-3 prior to launch. The gun muzzles have been taped over to prevent fouling, and the last two digits of the aircraft number are repeated on the landing gear doors and cowling.
Commander David McCampbell poses in the cockpit of his F6F-5 “Minsi III”. McCampbell was the leading U.S. Navy ace of WWII with 34 victories, including 9 in one mission during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
F6F_20_LTJG Eugene R. Hanks
LTJG Eugene R. Hanks in his F6F-3 Hellcat of VF-16. Hanks became an “ace in a day” after downing five Japanese Zeros in as many minutes while operating from the USS Lexington (CV-16) off Makin on 23 November 1943. He was awarded the Navy Cross for this action. (Eduard Steichen photograph, 80-G-K-15562)

Part I here:

11 thoughts on “Grumman F6F Hellcat Color Photographs Part III

  1. Thanks for some more great reference shots. I remember coming across another shot of that F6F undergoing maintenance and saved it for a weathering reference.
    Too bed about the red surround insignia as I have always found it quite attractive on some schemes, but completely understandable as to why they’d hate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for all your great content. A very nice mix of topics here. Take another look at your second to last photo in Hellcat Color Part III though and you will see the pilot is actually climbing into a Grumman Avenger, not a Hellcat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Hellcat is my favorite plane of WW2 and I’m building models of them. These pics will greatly help. Great stuff and thank you for posting these rare and hard to find pics!

    Liked by 1 person

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