Joining the fight
I joined VF- 19 “Satan’s Kittens” as one of its
founding members in August of 1943. We
gathered at Los Alamitos, California, and
“Fighting Nineteen” was supplied with a
paltry sum of airplanes; an SNJ, a JF2 Duck,
a Piper Cub, and a single F6F- 3 Hellcat. Most
of them were not much to write home about
as far as fighters go except of course, the F6F.
To me, the Hellcat was a thing of beauty. It
was Grumman made and damn near indestructible! As a gun platform it was hard hitting with six . 50 caliber machine guns in the
wings, bulletproof glass up front and armor
protection for the pilot. It was certainly better than anything the Japanese had, especially
with self-sealing gas tanks, better radios, better firepower and better trained pilots.