Hobby Master 1-48
HA8905 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat Maj. Robert E. Galer, Guadalcanal, VMF-224,
February 1942

Early in the Pacific War in WWII the Grumman F4F Wildcat was the best fighter aircraft the U.S. had but was out performed by the Japanese Zero. The Wildcat’s folding wings allowed for a greater number of aircraft that could be carried but added extra weight and reduced the aircraft performance. New features such as self-sealing fuel tanks, heavy armor made up for the Wildcat’s lesser performance. By the end of WWII the F4F had flown approximately 15,500 sorties with a kill ratio of 6.9 victories to 1. In March 1941 Robert Galer was appointed Captain and in 1942 became the CO of VMF-224 “Fighting Bengals” and became a Major. Between August 30 and November 2, 1942 VMF-224 shot down 60 enemy aircraft with Galer credited with 11 of these during a 29 day period flying the F4F-3. After WWII Galer served in Korea; ending his flying career with 14 victories. Robert Galer retired as a Brigadier General who had received the Medal of Honor, the British DFC and Purple Heart plus numerous others.

Specifications For The Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat
British Name – Martlet
Number Of All Wildcat Variants Produced – 7,860
Role - American Carrier-based Fighter
Crew – 1 Dimensions
Length – 28 ft 9 in (8.8 m) Wingspan – 38 ft (11.6 m) Height – 9 ft 2.5 in (2.8 m)
Weight
Empty – 5,895 lb (2,674 kg) Loaded – 7,975 lb (3,617 kg) Maximum Takeoff – 8,762 lb (3,974 kg)
Performance
Powerplant – 1 X Pratt & Whitney R-1830-86 Double-Row Radial Engine, 1,200 hp (900 kW) Maximum Speed – 320 mph (290 kn / 515 km/h) Rate Of Climb – 2,200 ft/min (11.17 m/s) Normal Power Service Ceiling – 34,000 ft (10,363 m) Range – 830 miles (721 nmi / 1,337 km)
Armament
Guns – 6 X .050 in (12.7 mm) AN/M2 Browning Machine Guns