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  F6F-3 Hellcat  

Pilot  Lt Wayne Riley, USNR (survived)
MIA  September 16, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Grumman. Assigned to the US Navy to VF-38.

Mission History
This Hellcat took off from Munda Airfield, as part of the escort for 24 TBFs attacking Ballale Island. The escort consisted of 13 Hellcats from VF-38. Other attacking aircraft included: 31 SBD, 11 F6F Hellcats from VF-40, in addition to other F6F, F4U, P-40, P-38's making up a total of 71 escorting fighers.

Over the target, 40-50 intercepting Zeros and heavy anti-aircraft encountered. In the ensuing dogfights, 3 Zeros were destroyed and a probable claimed. American losses were: F4U 17127 and three F6F from VF-38 (two ditched, including F6F 25839 and this aircraft), and one Hellcat was damged, landing at Munda, then flown to Fighter One for a week of repairs.

This Hellcat ditched, pilot Riley was rescused (details unknown).

NOTE: Ted Darcy notes state this loss did not happen.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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