A Most Historic F4F Wildcat Lost to the Scrap Heap

Travel for Aircraft

[This guest post, as well as small scale model, is by Mickeen Hogan who researches World War II U.S. Navy aviation.]


Perhaps the most famous Grumman Wildcat of all time is the F4F-3 Bureau Number (BuNo) 4031—with the “-3” model being the last of the non-folding winged Wildcat made. As luck would have it, this particular Wildcat became historically significant as it was flown into many battles and became the highest scoring of the F4F-3 Wildcats. 

F4F-3 Wildcat (BuNo. 4031) was originally assigned to Marine Fighter Squadron VMF-211 which subsequently sent its Wildcat fighters, embarked on the USS Enterprise (CV-6), to Wake Island during November 1941. However, due to engine trouble, BuNo 4031 remained aboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6) until its return to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii—as fate had it, this ferry mission to Wake Island saved Enterprise from the infamous 7 December 1941 attack by the Japanese Imperial…

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