Archaehistoria

The Walande Hellcat fighter (F6F-3, BuNo. 09000)

Figure 1
A Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat (White 14) of U.S. Navy Fighting Squadron 38 (VF-38) in November 1943 at the Ondonga Airfield on New Georgia Island in the Western Solomons. Hawthorn sound can be seen in the background through the trees. The unit was based at Segi Airfield on the same island earlier in the month, when squadron pilot Lt.(jg) Larry H. Englade, AVN, USNR,  became lost in bad weather after a Combat Air Patrol over the friendly shipping at Bougainville. He then managed to fly his Hellcat at least another 500 miles (800km) before his fuel ran out and he ditched off an island. The island turned out to be the South East coast of Malaita.

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