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This museum treasure represents the WWII American fighter that took on the Japanese Zero during the outbreak of war in the Pacific. Placed in service only months before Pearl Harbor, the Wildcat delivered crucial blows to the enemy at Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal. Perhaps the most famous F4F pilot was Edward "Butch" O'Hare. In February of 1942, launched from the carrier LEXINGTON (CV-2), O'Hare and his Wildcat were in great peril as the only thing standing between the carrier and as many as nine attacking Japanese bombers. Roaring full throttle into the enemy's formation, O'Hare shot down five of the bombers. Other Wildcats joined the fight defending LEXINGTON from the rest of the bombers. For his bravery and skill, O'Hare was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Craft Stats

Type Single-seat Carrier-based fighter
Bureau Number 3956
NMNA ID 2005.070.001
Manufacturer Grumman
Powerplant  One 895-­kW (1200-­hp) Wright R-­1830-­36 Cyclone radial piston engine
Maximum speed 512 km/h (317 mph)
Cruising speed 249 km/h (154 mph)
Range 1239 km (768 miles)
Service ceiling 12,010 m (39,400 ft)
Armament Six fixed 12.7-mm (.50-­cal) Browning air-­cooled machine guns with 240 rounds per gun plus two 45-­kg (100-­lb) bombs
Weights Empty 2612 kg (5746 lb) Maximum take-­off 3607 kg (7935 lb)
Dimensions Span: 11.60 m (38 ft) Length: 8.50 m (28 ft) Height: 3.60 m (12 ft) Wing area: 24.15 m2 (260 sq ft)
  • Active Duty / Retired Military (ID required)
  • $19
  • In Person
  • Active Duty Military In Uniform
  • Free
  • In Person
  • Veterans / Teachers / First Responders
  • $21
  • In Person
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COVID-19 Notice

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