|Pilot Lt. James "Jim" G. G. Taylor (survived)
Force Landed March 14, 1943
Built by Grumman Corporation in Bethpage, New York as a model G-36 with manually operated folding wings. On December 6, 1942 delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4F-F Wildcat bureau number 12068 at NAS New York. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Pearl Harbor and across the Pacific to the South Pacific.
Assigned to U. S. Marine Corps (USMC). On January 21,
1943 assigned to Marine Fighting Squadron 214 "Black Sheep" VMF-214 on Espiritu Santo. No known nickname or nose art.
On March 14, 1943 took off from Espiritu Santo piloted by Lt. James "Jim" G. G. Taylor on a ferry flight bound for Henderson
Field on Guadalcanal. This Wildcat force landed in
kunai grass thirty miles to the east of Henderson
Field, about a half mile inland from the north coast of Guadalcanal.
Bruce Gamble adds:
"I think Taylor is now deceased, but I interviewed him for the book more than 10 years ago and got the story."
This Wildcat remained in situ where it force landed until the 1970s.
Richard Rudd recalls the wreck site before recovery:
"Looked like it had been ground-looped, one U/C leg buckled and a wrinkled
in the top skin of the wing on the ground on that side. But in
those days around Henderson Field there were wings, props and all manner
of bits and pieces lying around."
During 1973, recovered using a tractor and loaded onto a barge and transported to Honiara. Later, moved to Vilu
War Museum where it is displayed outdoors to this day.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4F-4 Wildcat 12068
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List March 1943 F4F-4 Wildcat 12068
The Black Sheep page 79, 488, 526 (index)
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 45 (upper)
Thanks to Richard Rudd and Bruce Gamble for additional information
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July 22, 2018