Grumman F4F Wildcat (1940)

USN aviation Main USN fighter 1941-43: 7,885 built 1940-1945

The frontline USN fighter until 1943



The Wildcat had the difficult task of carrying out the defense of the last USN assets in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor. But also to defend British aircraft carriers, for long deprived of a satisfying naval fighter. It fought on all fronts, under many flags, and suceeded that task facing the superior Mitsubishi A6M Zeke or Messerschmitt 109. Deployed on all aircraft carriers from 1940 to 1943 it was sidelined in favor of the F6F Wildcat that from then on, dominated the Pacific sky, but still soldiered on in the Atlantic and as an advanced trainer.

Development history of the Grumman F4F

Before it was called the Wildcat after wartime recoignition usage, the Grumman F4F was only the fourth iteration in a process of designing the world's best naval fighters, at least from the US perspective. Before the F4F, the frontline naval fighter of the USN was of course the F3F, a biplane. The Grumman F3F (1935) was accepted in 1936 and in service on USN aicrat carriers and land bases until 1941. A contemporary of the Gloster sea gladiator and Japanese Mitsubishi A5M, it introduced an enclosed cochpit, retractable wheeltrain and many other innovations, making it still relevant for many pilots in the Navy still reluctant after the monoplane before the war.

F3F trainer F3F-2 used as a trainer in 1942. The modern caracteristics of the design and numerous similarities made it still relevant for the advanced training of F4F pilots until late 1942.


Poster dedicated to the F4F Wildcat, USN Grumman versions, GM versions, and Fleet Air Arm Martlet plus British Pacific Fleet's Wildcat Mark VI. Help support the site !

The last version produced for the Navy was the 27 F3F-3s, a late deliver only accepted by the Navy's good will, already set on monoplane designs. At the same time the Brewster F2A presented all what the Navy needed and received generous contracts. Grumman expected this move since 1935 however, and already worked on a monoplanedesign, based on the F3F. However this development was taking much longer than anticipated and in 1936 essentially, Brewster "stole the show" and obtained the contracts Grumman expected. The F2A-1 necame the first modenr monoplane in the USN. But the company's numerous design shortcuts combined with constant additions and modifications turned the fast, nimble and agile fighter into a "pig", vilified by its pilots. Produced in large numbers if filled the ranks promptly and all the F3Fs were sidelined from frontline service month before Pearl Harbor.

In the meantime, Grumman pushed its engineers to deliver the goods. Well informed by its contact in the Navy secretariate Leroy Grumman knew the growing difficulties encountered with the Brewster, and was ready to pounce.

The path to the F4F started with the multirole FF biplane in 1930, a two-seat model that was the first with a retractable landing gear. Retracting into the fuselage and leaving the tires visibly exposed, they added to the fuselage's "belly", giving this somewhat stocky apperance to all the biplanes which followed. The single-seat F2F afterwards was designed specifically as a fighter, and then the F3F, established the general fuselage outlines later reused for the F4F. Indeed in 1935, while the F3F was flight testing, Grumman worked on his next biplane fighter, the G-16. Soon however her was informed the U.S. Navy now looked for a monoplane design. Brewster presented is model and the F2A-1 entered production early in 1936. The Navy still trusted Grumman and his new biplane, and wanted a backup fighter anwyway since Brewster was a newcomer, former supplier wih no previous experience but dubious models. So an order was also placed for Grumman's G-16 at the same time. It received the navy designation XF4F-1.

Grumman XF4F-1

XF4F-1
The XF4F-1 (Grumman G-16) never went further than the drawing board.

However Grumman now saw the Brewster and its early performances, and it seemed to him obvious that his XF4F-1 could not compare. He gathered his team for a reunion, and announced he would just abandon the XF4F-1. The obvious direction was now to convert the aborded project into a new monoplane fighter. To gain time and present a prototype as soon as possible, the new XF4F-2 program retain the same fuselage with an hand-cranked main landing gear and its narrow track. This choice of a manually-retractable main landing gear was criticized later, but at the time, it was believed the risk of an electric/hydraulic system was too risky in case of a hit. But landing accidents caused by failure of the main gear to fully lock into place were far too common for comfort.

Grumman XF4F-2 (1937-38)

XF4F-2
XF4F-2
The XF4F-2 The final XF4F-2 was obviously fitted with two mid-fuselage wings due to the location of the retractable wheeltrain, like previous models. The XF4F-2 made its maiden flight on September 1937, this was BuNo 0383 prototype designed by Grumman’s Chief Engineer, Robert Leicester Hall. The first impression were no serious vices were found but it was not overly better than the previous F3F, and moreover, far less agile and fast than the F2A in its initial version.

This first flight was followed in April 1938 by another to the Naval Air Factory in Philadelphia for evaluation against the XF2A-1 Brewster Buffalo, and the Seversky P-35, converted by NAF as XFN-1.4 The XF4F-2 was damaged after a crash due to engine failure but repairs were made quick enough for it to resume trials. She was the winner for best top speed, at 290 mph (466 km/h)versus for the Brewster XF2A-1, 280 mph (450 km/h) and the Seversky XFN-1, 250 mph (402 km/h). Yet, the navy goal of 300 mph (482 km/h) was not achieved.


XF4F-2 in 1937

XF2A-1 Brewster XF2A-1, 1938. Given that Grumman was not ready to show its F4F prototype, newcomer Brewster from New York came out with its own design. The "nice little ship" according to Greg "Pappy" Boyington when testing it, was soon overloaded and lost its performances. In 1942, it proved it was no match facing the A6M, and was soon sidelined. Fortunately Grumman since 1940 also impressed the Navy with the F4F and obtained considerable orders.

It was conclusive in the end as since overall performance were not stellar, as she only was marginally faster. the Navy would not adopt it, neither the USMC on grounds of standardization, the F2A winning instead. After some tweaks, the XF4F-2 ended marginally faster, but it was still far less agile, and deserved by its looks.

Loosing to the Brewster in a direct comparative flight ordered by the Navy, Leroy Grumman knew he had work to do. Rebuilding the prototype as the XF4F-3 became a priority. Nearly all aspects were reworked in detail. Only the canopy and some aspects of the fuselage were kept as well as the manual wheeltrain handcrack sytem. Agility had to do with the small tail and wings surfaces, the lenght of the fuselage and moreover the fittng of a better engine. The major discrepancy as it appeared, was the location of the wing tip. The XF4F-2's wingspan was 34 feet (production F4F-3 38 feet) and the wingtip was located too far outboard, with rounded shapes, not squared as made later.

XF4F-3 XF4F-3
Early and late versions of the XF4F-3. Src Tommy H. Thomason, http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com

The XF4F-3

The prototype was considerable reworked, ended as the "late" XF4F-2, presented in March 1938. An open canopy side brace was added to minimize buffeting when open, a single exhaust stack located directly in front of the landing gear attach-points fairing to reduce drag, gun barrels shortened, new backside for the propeller blades, completely new engine hood. The aft tip of the fuselage ended a bit sooner than later F-3 production models, so the fuselage now measured 26 feets and 5 inches. The part of the fuselage behind the pilot had a raft stored in a large tube behind the headrest. Armor plating was not added at this point, nor self-sealing tanks. During the trials of this second version, one crash landed due to engine failure. This happened on 11 April 1938 but the pilot, Lieutenant Gurney, was not injured and BuNo 0383 was rebuilt eventually and became the XF4F-3 once a new engine was delivered in late 1939.

Grumman XF4F-3 (1939)


XF4F-3 as rebuilt in late 1938. The tail and fuselage transition were modified and the propeller cap was removed for production.

At the time Gumman was trying to iron out the new prototype for the U.S. Navy, both the French Navy and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm were interested, and ordered practically "on the drawing board" the Wildcat in their own respective configurations, so at least Leroy Grumman was assured of sells in great numbers to make the whole R & D campaign quite profitable, fixing theses issues for more urgent orders, and having a more refined product for the USN later. Procurement was done via the Anglo-French Purchasing Board, settled in the US. The latter was created as desperation amounted during the "phoney war" to increase the input for all sorts of aircraft types and facing the luftwaffe that both feared.

France in particular, experienced many industrial delays and reconversion into a wartime industry and deliveries were slow. It was believed that the much larger output of US industries could gap their needs. Aside available bombers such as the Douglas Boston, France indeed ordered hundreds of Curtiss P-36 Hawk for its Armée de l'air early on, but also needed the Wildcat for its sole aircraft carrier, the Bearn, which atual fighters were old parasol models from the early 1930s.

For the British, the needs was no less urgent: In 1940 its policy of small air groups and versatile aircraft let the FAA adopt in 1940 the Fairey Fulmar, a modern monoplane designed as a jack of all trade, but certainly not on par with the Bf 109 at the time. Later, the Gloster sea Gladiator was adopted as a transitional model, until adaptations of the Hurricane and Spitfire were available. Without even knowing about final performances of Grumman's model, it seemed a good fit and ideally could be delivered fast.



The new model of late 1939 and early 1940 had reworked wings and tail: Extended wings, new vertical fin and rudder, horizontal tail to get more stabilizing surface. At that stage, the prototype still internally kept the -2s Bureau Number, but due to the new engine ot was redesignated XF4F-3. Indeed the fuselage received a new supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial engine. Testing showed this time performances head and shoulders above the production version of the F2A, considerably slowed down by all the required additions asked by the Navy.

The new F4F-3 was also way better than the previous version and led to an order completed in February 1940 for Britain. France ordered another variant powered by a Wright R-1820 "Cyclone 9" radial but the country fell in May before they could be be delivered. They were re-routed to the British Royal Navy, renamed locally Martlet.

Some work has to be done to convert them (notably all the instrumentation from metric back to imperial). The U.S. Navy at last adopted it too, on 1 October 1941, as the Wildcat. This was the first time a name was given to Grumman planes, but it was felt a necessity in wartime. The production F4F-3s had four .50 in (12.7 mm) Browning and they were pressed into service from mid-1940.

Early production F4F-3 in the summer of 1940 showing its propeller
Early production F4F-3 in the summer of 1940 showing its propeller

On 16 December 1940, the XF4F-3 prototype BuNo 0383 was lost in odd circumstances, killing unfortunately the pilot. After studying what left of it, an enquiry concluded the pilot may have been confused by the layout of fuel valves and flap controls, having them turned off after takeoff (instead of flaps "up"). This was a red light and those commands were swapped and made clearer. There will be no other accident of the type, at least on trials.

Detailed design of the F4F-3

cutaway The F-3 was still stubby and short, just 28 feet, 10½ inches (8.801 meters) long for a wingspan of 38 feet (11.582 meters). Resting at 3-point attitude the height was 11 feet, 9 inches (3.581 m). Total area was 260 square feet (24.16 sq/m). Wings had 0° incidence and no leading edge sweep, thewings had 5° dihedral. Empty weight was 5,293 pounds (2,401 kilograms) and ready for takeoff 7,432 pounds (3,371 kilograms), filled with 147 gallons (556 liters).


The trademark, very simple sto-wing principle explained by Leroy Grumman (USN)

Engine of the F4F

Pratt & Whitney twin wasp R-1830
Pratt & Whitney twin wasp R-1830

This was the air-cooled, supercharged, 1,829.39-cubic-inch-displacement (29.978 liter) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp SSC7-G (R-1830-86) engine. This was a radial twin row, 14-cylinder in all, with a compression ratio of 6.7:1. The R-1830-86 normal power rating was 1,100 at 2,550 r.p.m. at Sea Level and 3,300 feet (1,006 meters). It went down to 1,000 horsepower at 2,550 r.p.m. at the altitude of 19,000 feet (5,791 meters). On takeoff, it was rated at 1,200 horsepower at 2,700 r.p.m., with a sufficient ratio to allow it taking off wothout a catapult on short distances (with hand-held wheels sabot brakes).

This will prove later a crucial fact in the longevity of the model: When production swapped at Grumman to the Hellcat, provided to the fleet carriers and light fleet carriers (Essex and Independence class as well as Saratoga and Enteprise), the numerous CVEs (escort carriers) were in need of fighters, and were provided with the General Motors version. They were chosen because of the reduced size of their flight deck and less opposition.

The spinner shaft activated a three-bladed Curtiss Electric propeller, 9 feet, 9 inches (2.972 meters) in diamater, through a 3:2 gear reduction. The R-1830-86 engine itself measured 4 feet, 0.19 inches (1.224 meters) in diameter and 5 feet, 7.44 inches (1.713 meters) long for 1,560 pounds (708 kilograms) which means it could be replaced on the field with little equipment, a simple hand-cranck gantry.

Performances were a top speed of 278 miles per hour (447 kilometers per hour) at Sea Level, 330 mph (531 kph) at high altitude, 19,000 feet (5,791 meters). It was tested at more than 32,000 feets, but it was able to climb to 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) in 7.6 minutes.Service ceiling was 30,500 feet (9,296 meters). Its maximum range was 1,280 miles (2,060 kilometers). It was brough to much better figures on the rare photo conversions at the end of the war (see above).

Armament of the Wildcat

The F4F-3 Wildcat was initially armed with four Browning AN-M2 0.5-caliber machine guns(12.7 mm) in the wings, whereas early prototypes of the F-2 had guns mounted in the engine and fuselage hood. Later variants would have six guns mounted in the wings, like the Hellcat.

Production of the F4F-3




The ex-French Wright Cyclone engine version which ended up with the Fleet Air Arm in June 1940 had to be converted from metric to imperial instruments and other perks asked by the French. This considerably delayed their introduction and they only entered service on 8 September 1940 as Grumman as G-36A. They also had a specific cowling, and fixed wings, without armament which was to be French, and some avionics were missing as they would have been also provided and installed by the French, tailored to their needs. All this took the best of July and August to fix in a workshop. In British service they were given the name Martlet I (or Mark I). They featured and armament of four .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns.

The British also ordered a version fitted with the Twin Wasp engine (the Martlet I had the Wright Cyclone). They were given also a modified cowling, under the manufacturer designation G-36B. These were designated Martlet II when introduced into service, or G-36B (factory code). The first ten had non-folding wings and were called Martlet III, followed by 30 with folding wings (F4F-3A in USN designation), originally to be provided for the Hellenic Air Force, also as Martlet IIIs and then Martlet III(A) as a second serie of Martlet III was delivered.


First production G-36A Martlet at Bethpage, long island october 1940

The armament installation initially was probematic. The heavy Browning machine guns were supremely reliable, but their installation was leaky and caused frequent jam. This problem was not unknown in wing installations, subject to vibrations and cold, but a better inultation eventually cured the problem. Befre this was done, early USN Wildcats were frequently plagues by jamming issues. For example, when Lieutenant Edward O'Hare famously shot down five twin-engine bombers attacking USS Lexington off Bougainville (20 February 1942), his wingman could not participate as his machine guns jammed.

The supercharged F4F-3A


The production line at Bethpage, Long Island.

Another production issue, that slowed down deliveries, due to a shortage of two-stage superchargers: Indeed the new F4F-3A had a 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90 radial engine, fitted with a single-stage, two-speed supercharger. It was able to fly at 312 mph (502 km/h) and climb rapidly to 16,000 ft (4,900 m). But the somewhat unreliable supercharger made it unpopular. It became the Martlet III(B) with the FAA. In June 1942, a total of 18 F-3s and a single 3A were converted as photoreconnaissance planes, known as F4F-3P (for "photo"). Their reserve fuel tanks were replaced with Fairchild F-56 cameras, making them short range models, although a bit lighter. The F4F-3Ps were still fully armed in case and were operated by VMO-251, flying from Espiritu Santo. Missions started from July 1942 but they started to be replaced from October with the longer ranged, unarmed F4F-7.

The F4F-3S "Wildcatfish" Floatplane (1943)


F4F-3S Wildcatfish at Edo Aircraft Corporation

Encounters of the Japanese A6M2-N "Rufe" an A6M-2 on floats, first encountered in the Aleutian islands made the USN reflecting on the concept of having a good flighter on floats, operating from isolated island bases as a defensive fighter when no airfield was available notably, or to be carried in complement to scout floatplanes aboard some units of the USN. The initial plan was however to have them used on forward island bases. BuNo 4038 was taken of production for modifications. The end model was known as the F4F-3S, "S" for "seaplane". The unofficial nickname was first coined by the design team, and stuck, "Wildcatfish".

This was a standard model without wheeltrain, which was retired and openings plated over, no tailhook, and two floats manufactured by Edo Aircraft Corporation as per the contract signed with Grumman in september 1942. They were fitted with struts resting under the fuselage and the wings base. To restore stability there small auxiliary fins added to the tailplane and later after production was ongoing, a ventral fin was also added.

This basic model took 80% of the elements of a standard land F4F-3 Wildcat, the four cal.05 caliber Browning machine guns preserved. Reinforcing rigging was installed between the two new floats and the aircraft. They attached to the fuselage as well as to the airfoil. Small vertical stabilizers had been installed at the horizontal tail planes to reduce drag. A wheel cart could be installed on the floats but was not used for takeoff or landing of the XF4F-3S, only for taxiing during logistical phases.

If the floats were not very heavy, they caused a lot of drag and agility suffered as a result. Top speed also fell to 241 mph (388 km/h). But these tradeoffs were still considered OK to some to propose a limited production. The prototype indeed flown on 28 February 1943 and it compared badly to the Rufe, even so to the Zero. This demonstrated also its XF4F-3S needed a proper keel for lift-offs and large ventral fin was installed so that testing could be resumed. The wildcatfish nevertheless setup a national record for rapid take-off in just thirty-four seconds, but in closed water and no wind.

Officials were however frustrated as the lack of results for the whole program. By May 1943 the fighter was now obsolete with a cruising speed of just 385 kph, making it vulnerable to all Japanese fighters of the time. In June, the whole program was terminated, but it was not the end of the story however:

The sole seaplane was indeed transferred to Edo's workshops to support several test programs, testing floats and other equipments. Eventually the Wildcatfish was scrapped in 1946, but proved like the Spitfire Floatplane developed by Folland that a good land based fighters does not necessarily translate into an equally good fighter seaplane. With a limited usefulness and airfields by the "Seabees" in the matter of days or even hours just made this project no longer relevant at that stage. The single prototype remained unused in combat and the fighter with floats concept was really only mastered by the Japanese and remained for the allies a dead end concept.

The ultimate wildcats: F4F-4, F-5, and FM-1/2 (1943)


FM-2, CVE-66 USS White Plains, Rota island, June June 1944

Altough by far and large, the F-3 was the main production version of the Wildcat, the model was improved, up to the time the F6F was already worked out. Two early production F4F-3s (N°3 4, BuNo 1846 & 1847) were given the new Wright R-1820-40 engine. They were tested and given the designation XF4F-5, making it into production with General motors. Indeed, the bulk of the overall production or nearly 8,000 aircraft was made not by Grumman, but by General Motors through the Eastern Aircraft plant. They produced altogether 5,280 Wildcat known as "FM-1". Indeed at Grumman, the paper F5F was soon replaced by the new F6F.

The Wildcat was no longer produced in in early 1943, but General Motors went on, not only for the FAA (Martlet) but also the U.S. Navy second-line units and USMC. Obsolescent as front line fighter indeed, it was still good enough to defend small escort carriers against rare long range planes, or spotting/attacking submarine or deal with aircraft from the shore.

These escort carriers outside the Wildcats only carried the GM-built TBM Avengers. The wildcat at this point was still light enough to take off without catapult, a low landing speed making better for small flight decks. GM FM-1 wildcat was Wright engine F4F-4, with just four HMGs but added wing racks to carry two 250 lb (110 kg) bombs, or rails for six rockets. Production swapped later in 1943 FM-2 derived from the XF4F-8 prototype, fully optimized for small-carrier operations. This FM-2 was given the more powerful 1,350 hp (1,010 kW) Wright R-1820-56). It was also fitted with a taller tail, to compensate for the added torque.

The last General Motors F4F was the The F2M-1. It was a paper project only, a planned development of the FM-1 created by General Motors with Eastern Aircraft and the improved XR-1820-70 engine. It was cancelled at that stage so late into the war.

The ultimate version of the Wildcat was in reality the F4F-7 specialized photoreconnaissance variant (only 21 built). It had no armor nor armament to make it lighter, and non-folding "wet" wings used as extra tanks, with 555 gallons (2,101 L) making for a grand total of 700 gallons (2,650 L), the range jumpring to 3,700 mi (5,955 km).




XF4F-5
XF4F-5

⚒ Grumman F4F-3 specifications 1941

Dimensions28 ft 9 in (8.76 m) x 38 ft 0 in (11.58 m) x 11 ft 10 in (3.61 m)
Wing areaWing area: 260 sq ft (24 m2)
AirfieldRoot: NACA 23015; tip: NACA 23009
Weight, empty4,907 lb (2,226 kg)
Weight, gross7,423 lb (3,367 kg)
PropulsionPratt & Whitney R-1830-76 14-cyl 1,200 hp (890 kW)
Propeller3-bladed constant-speed propeller
Speed, max.331 mph (533 km/h, 288 kn)
Ceiling39,500 ft (12,000 m)
Climb Rate2,303 ft/min (11.70 m/s)
Range845 mi (1,360 km, 734 nmi)
Wing load28.5 lb/sq ft (139 kg/m2)
Power/mass0.282 kW/kg (0.172 hp/lb)
Armament: MGs4 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) AN/M2 Browning MGs with 450 rounds
Armament: Bombs2 × 100 lb (45.4 kg) bombs
Armament: RocketsSix 5 inches (127 mm) rockets underwings, 2x3 racks (FM-2)
Payload:2 × 58 US gal (48 imp gal; 220 l) drop tanks
Crew:One Pilot

The Wildcat in action

USN use 1941-45

The United States Navy began deploying Grumman F4F-3 fighters aboard its carriers in January 1941. However, it was a slow process and at the time of Pearl Harbor, only USS Enterprise had a fully equipped Wildcat squadron, VF-6. She transferred when the attack happened a detachment of VMF-211's F4F-3s to Wake. USS Saratoga in San Diego was still working up its freshly arrived F4F-3s, VF-3. Also eleven F4F-3s (VMF-211) has been delivered to the Ewa Marine Air Corps Station, Oahu. Nine were damaged/destroyed on December 7th. Wake's VMF-211 lost seven Wildcats on 8 December, the remaining five shooting bombers from 9 December and even claiming a destroyer, IJN Kisaragi with bombs and machine guns. This was the first Japanese reverse of this war, and the invasion force retreated (only offering a respite).

In May 1942, the F4F-3s of VF-2 and VF-42 (Yorktown, Lexington) fought at Coral Sea, pitted against zeros from IJN Zuikaku and Shōkaku plus Shōhō. The contest for Port Moresby happened to be a pyrrhic victory during which bombers and torpedo planes without fighter escort were doomed. However tat that stage the weak fighter component was both insufficient for escorts and to provide even a CAP with less than 20 fighters. That role was played much later by the CVLs (Independence class).

One particular way the F4F became a legend, was during the protracted battle of Guadalcanal. The squadrons deployed in Henderson field became almost all aces in the span of days (see later). They were deployed from all fleet carriers of the USN, the three Yorktown, the two Lexington class, USS Wasp, and Ranger, and the CVEs derived from USS Long Island. They also even equipped the first Essex class aicraft carriers from December 1942 to mid-1943, until replaced by the F6F.

Its only use in between, in the western hemisphere was Operation Torch, from USS Ranger. They also participated in Operation Leader in October 1943, an anti-shipping strike on Norway for US escort carriers. During the initial phase of Guadalcanal (1st August - 15 November) 115 Wildcats were lost, traded for 106 Zeros to all causes. After the Battle of Coral Sea and Midway, land-based Wildcats at Guadalcanal held the line despite a known inferority, before the Grumman F6F Hellcat and Vought F4U Corsair couild be introduced in numbers. That transition took time, and between those used by fleet carriers, onboard escort carriers, from land bases and by the USMC, the Wildcat was still the dominant USN fighter in the summer of 1943. The longer transition was made, the longer this model stayed active. Some started to arrive in advanced combat training units only from 1944 and most escort carriers still used it until the end of the war.

General Motors FM Wildcats which were not pressed into the USMC and escort carriers were used in the Fleet Air Arm. The arguably best of the whole serie was probably the 1943 FM-2 based on the XF4F-8 and nicknamed the "Wilder Wildcat". It was especially optimized for small-carrier operations and started to be equipped as fighter bomber, with racks underwings to drop bombs and depht charges on U-Boats, deployed against ground targets, despite the larger payload of the Hellcat and especially the Corsair. They were still perfect for the small decks.

On the Pacific, one of their last use was during the Battle off Samar, on 25 October 1944. Thos onboard the few CVEs of TF 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3") off Leyte, covering landings and had to face a mighty surface fleet and all available Avengers and FM-2 Wildcats (Taffys 1, 2 and 3) despite the AA, resorted to strafing. Yamato's bridge for example was crippled. Combined with the unexpected rush of USN destroyers, this firce opposition was enough to dissuade the Japanese, confused, which eventually withdrew.

All in all, from 7,860 Wildcats of all types built, they flew a combined 15,553 combat sorties, including 14,027 from aircraft carriers, claimed 1,327 enemy aircraft for 178 aerial losses, 24 to ground/shipboard fire, and 49 to operational causes, making for an overall kill-to-loss ratio of 6.9:1. This was a far cry from the later Hellcat, but still far better than expected in light of to their opposition in 1942-43.

Comparison with the Zero

The Wildcat is compared to the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero, of the same generation and created to perform the same role. It was generally eccepted that the latter outperformed the F4F at any level, in the context of a pure dogfight. But unexpectedly, it held its own due to two main reasons:
-A relatively heavy armor, self-sealing fuel tanks, robust airframe
-The ZB homing device allowed to find their carriers in poor visibility or at night (30 mi (48 km) range).

This went down to design philosophy. The Zero was a lightweight, long range fighter design with agility first in mind. It was powered by a generally smaller engine, and had a very lightweight structure, often easily dealt for with a single burst of 0.5 inches machine guns rounds. The Wildcat on the other hand, could survived an amazing punishement. The pilots adored it for that, taking advantage of this to compensate for their lack of built-in agility or speed, and of skills at the beginning.

In the hands of an expert pilot, and with a tactical advantage at the start, the Wildcat was just proven deadly even against the Zero. Fleet Air Tactical Unit Intelligence Bureau reported USN Commander "Jimmy" Thach, a former ace, devising a defensive tactic in which formations acted in a coordinated way to counter a diving attack. It was called the "Thach Weave". This became the textbook tactic for the whole Guadalcanal Campaign. It comnined high-altitude ambush followed by coordinated hit-and-run maneuvers, using altitude and the power and climbing rate as advantages. This also combined an early warning system with Coastwatchers and radar to direct flights in the most favourable spot.

When Wildcats could not gain altitude in time, losses were high. On 2 October 1942, when trying to fend off an undetected Japanes force from Rabaul the "Cactus Air Force" (Henderson field) lost six Wildcats for one Zero. But American pilots skills only improved in time, and they were grizzly veterans on really better machines, the F6Fs, in 1944. Meanwhile the Japanese never really succeeded to replace the Zero in significant numbers, and lost heir superiority in skilled pilots. Training standards and experience were poor at Leyte in 1944.

Japanese ace Saburō Sakai described the Wildcat's amazing resilience in thes terms: "I had full confidence in my ability to destroy the Grumman and decided to finish off the enemy fighter with only my 7.7 mm machine guns. I turned the 20 mm cannon switch to the "off" position, and closed in. For some strange reason, even after I had poured about five or six hundred rounds of ammunition directly into the Grumman, the airplane did not fall, but kept on flying. I thought this very odd—it had never happened before—and closed the distance between the two airplanes until I could almost reach out and touch the Grumman. To my surprise, the Grumman's rudder and tail were torn to shreds, looking like an old torn piece of rag. With his plane in such condition, no wonder the pilot was unable to continue fighting! A Zero which had taken that many bullets would have been a ball of fire by now."

Allied use: FAA

The F4F was introduced in the FAA as the Martlet, as an interim replacement for the Fairey Fulmar, still in development. The Fulmar was a far larger two-seat, versatile fighter-bomber with good range but lacking agility. Navalised Supermarine Spitfires were a dream as production was reserved for the Royal Air Force. Adapting the Hurricane was in process, but will take tome to mature. Therefore, apart the obsolete Gliadiator, the only modern fighter in the Royal Navy at the time, and for long, was the Martlet. Its first combat victory came on Christmas 1940, from a Scapa Flow airfield. It shot down an incoming Junkers Ju 88 bomber, also the first combat victory by a US-built fighter in British service.

The Martlet also was adopted soon on smaller escort carriers, Six for example operated from HMS Audacity by September 1941. They proved invaluable, shooting down several Luftwaffe Fw 200 Condor, nicknamed the "scoyrge of the Atlantic" by Churchill. They gave a strong defence in convoy operations until the German mastery of the sky evaporated and the last operational units were reduced to nil. Martlets with the roundel were also heavily engaged in aerial combat in the Mediterranean. One of such missions was for Convoy HG 76 to Gibraltar in December 1941, when Martlets claimed many kills, mostly Stukas and Italian bombers.

As Grumman cased production, 300 Eastern Aircraft FM-1s (Martlet V), the first produced, were shipped in 1942–43 to the FAA, and 340 more FM-2s, (Wildcat VI) in 1943, as well as 1,200 former F-3 Wildcats in surplus, whereas in January 1944, the type was definitely identified as the Wildcat. By March 1945 their last victories were four Messerschmitt Bf 109s over Norway. Eric M. "Winkle" Brown, British test pilot only had praised about it.

The last air raid in Europe was Operation Judgement on May 5, 1945, with Avenger bombers escorted by eight Wildcat VI (846, 853 and 882 NAS) from escort carriers. The target was a U-boat depot near Harstad in Norway. One Wildcat and one Avenger were lost. Deployment in the far east afterwards was limited, as the Sea Hurricane and Seasprifire, seafire and Firebrand were all now involved in operations. The Wildcat made its time.

In total the Fleet Air Arm received 1172 Wildcat 1940-1945. The first Wildcat used by the Fleet Air Arm were 53 Grumman G-36a Martlet I, and 6 Grumman G-36a Martlet III diverted from a French order which had not been delivered before the Fall of France in 1940. The aircraft were all delivered to the British Purchasing Commission on 23 August 1940 and transferred to the first FAA unit 804 Hatston on 7 September 1940 (eg AX827), 778 squadron at Arbroath in September 1940 (eg AX826), 759 squadron at Yeovilton in October and November 1940 (eg BJ555) and 802 squadron at Donisbristle on 23 November 1940 (eg AL237). Further aircraft in 1940 were lost when 20 Grumman G-36a Martlet I diverted from an undelivered French orders sank with SS Ruperra which was torpedoed 500 miles NW of Ireland on 19 October 1940. Originally Belgium ordered at least 10 Martlet Mk I's never delivered and transferred to the Royal Navy after surrender while the French Aeronavale also had 81 aircraft on order initially. The Hellenic Air Force also ordered 30 Martlet Mk IIIs which were delivered to Gibraltar transferred to Royal Navy after April 1941.

The next Wildcat to be received by the Fleet Air Arm were in Spring of 1941, when 30 Grumman F4F-3a Martlet III ordered by Greek Purchasing Commission in August 1940 for shipment to Greece reached Port Suez in April 1941, then diverted to the Royal Navy under Lend-Lease transfer on 4 April 1941. These aircraft were subsequently involved in convoy patrols, one Martlet piloted by Sub Lt R Griffon shot down a S.79, forced two others to jettison bombs, then hit by return fire attacking a fourth, dived vertically into sea 50m N of Ras el Milh on 28 December 1941.

Martlet II started to be delivered in December 1941, when 54 were shipped from New York to Bombay arriving in March 1942 (AJ100), this was closely followed by further losses of 10 Martlet III in HMS Audacity on 21 December 1941. With this situation, 16 Grumman F4F-3 [Martlet III equivalent] were loaned from the US Navy to 890 and 892 Squadrons during work up at Norfolk, Virginia, USA from 18 July 1942 until 12 September 1942 after which the aircraft were returned to the USN. All these aircraft were from the USN squadron VF-9, and carried 9F codes (they kept their US Nos: BuAer Nos 1858-3873).

By February 1942, the first major delivery of 220 Wildcat IV (ex Martlet IV until 1.1.44) was made. 806 squadron was equipped with Martlet II from July 1942 on HMS Indomitable, whilst most were shipped to the UK in September 1942 onwards, first reaching 896 squadron in November 1942, and 312 Grumman FM-1 Wildcat V delivered in June 1943 to 787 squadron and C Sqdn A&AEE in July 1943, and 1832 squadron from August 1943.

The Wildcat was one of the FAA's primary naval fighter up till the end of 1942. However, during 1943 Wildcat squadrons started to be re-equipped with either the larger Grumman F6F Hellcat or the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair. However, orders continued and 288 Grumman FM-2 Wildcat VI were delivered in May 1944, firstly to AHU Stretton, and 881 squadron in July 1944. Many of these latter aircraft remained in service with the FAA until 1946. The final 82 Grumman FM-2 Wildcat VI were delivered in August 1945 up until November 1945, and mainly being sent out to the Far East and Australia.

It should be added that the Royal Canadian Navy had RCN personnel assigned to the escort aircraft carrier HMS Puncher, providing the RCN with experience some carrier operations skills, aviators flewing 14 Martlets, as part of 881 (RN) Squadron lent from February–July 1945. So they were not properly featured as "canadian Martlets".

Wildcat aces


Cdr. Clarence Wade Mc Clusky Jr. in February 1943

In the hands of Butch O'Hare, Joe Foss, Marion Carl, and many others the stubby and rugged Wildcat held the line in the crucial battles of Guadalcanal, Coral Sea, Midway, and Eastern Solomons. This early phase which lasted for one year and a half saw the most intense and brutal fighting a navy pilot could even fathom. It was trial by fire, an unforgiving cauldron of deadly dogfights in which only the thoughest, bravest and most agressive, steel nerved and skilled people would emerged from. The Wildcat formed the cream of navy pilots that became officers (like Thach) and formed the next generation, as well as transitioned in 1943-45 on the Hellcat, putting their skills into good use in a much better fighter the Japanese could rightfully fear. Note that in the following detail (source in the links), O'Hare is perhaps one of the best known, as well as Stanley W. "Swede" Vejtasa, a few that fought on the F6F and survived to tell the tale. Half of these, included the first USN ace, Thatch, just had five confirmed victories but did not survived the war.

Top scorers:

  1. Joseph FossVMF-121, 26 victories
  2. John L. SmithVMF-223, 19
  3. Marion E. Carl VMF-223, 18.5
  4. James E. SwettVMF-221, 15.5
  5. Lt. Elbert McCuskey VF-3/VF-42/VF-8 13.5
  6. Robert E. Galer VMF-224, 13
  7. William P. MarontateVMF-121, 13
  8. Kenneth D. FrazierVMF-223, 12.5
  9. Loren D. EvertonVMF-212, 12
  10. Harold W. BauerVMF-212, 11
  11. Jefferson DeBlancVMF-112, 9
  12. Stanley W. "Swede" VejtasaVF-10/VF-8 10.3
  13. Whitey Feightner 9
  14. Ralph E. ElliottVC-27, 9
  15. Edward "Butch" O'HareVF-3, 7
Two pilots of VF-10 in between alerts
Two pilots of VF-10 in between alerts. To the right, Stanley W. "Swede" Vejtasa. He became "an ace in a day" by shooting down five planes duing the Santa Cruz island battle, onboard USS Enterprise (CV-6). He was a former Dauntless pilot, earning for this feat a third navy cross. He survived the war and made a brillant career until 1968, including Korea.

Sources/read more

Links

thisdayinaviation.com on the F4F
thisdayinaviation.com in the xf4f-2
tailspintopics.blogspot.com
aviation-history.com
weaponsandwarfare.com
thanlont.blogspot.com
www.angelfire.com on F4F pt.1
On thoughtco.com
On wwiiaircraftperformance.org

On acepilots.com/
Cactus AF on historynet.com
O'Hare on acepilots.com
On historyofwar.org
On mcara.us
The F4F-7 on historyofwar.org
On ibiblio.org
On bbc.com
On uboat.net
On naval-history.net
doczz.net: Canadian use of the Hellcat
Wiki
history.navy.mil
flyingleathernecks.org
daveswarbirds.com

Books

Aircraft Pictorial No. 4: F4F Wildcat
Wildcat Aces of World War 2 (1st ed.). Osprey 1995.
Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage
Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p. 205.

Videos:

Grumman F4F Wildcat - Foreign Variants (British Martlet)
Grumman Wildcat and FM-2 - Greg's channel
F4F Wildcat / Martlet - Armoured carriers channel

The Models Corner:

F4F Airfix kit

A very popular model as one could imagine: 150+ kits over the years by a multitude of makers. Link: scalemates general query.

US Navy models Gallery:

Grumman-F4F3-production
F4F-3 first production plane, BuNo 1844, 1940. It was a test machine, not yet given to any unit.

F4F-3 VF-41 USS Ranger 1940
F4F-3 VF-41 USS Ranger 1940

Grumman-F4F3-vf-41_ussranger-early41
F-3 from USS Ranger, neutrality patrols April 1941

F-3-CV-3-USS-SaratogaSpring1941
F3 from CV-3, USS Saratoga, Spring 1941

Gumman-F4F3-VMF-111-quantico1941
F4F-3 from VMF-111 from the "red team" in exercizes, Quantico mid-1941

F4F-3 from vmf-211 defending Wake Island, 8 Dec. 1941
F4F-3 from vmf-211 defending Wake Island, 8 Dec. 1941

F4F-3 from VF5, Mid-1941
F4F-3 from VF5, Mid-1941

F-3 from VF-7n, USS Wap, 1942
F-3 from VF-7n, USS Wap, 1942

F4F-3 from VF8, USS Hornet, Doolittle Raid 18 April 1942
F4F-3 from VF8, USS Hornet, Doolittle Raid 18 April 1942


F-3, VMF-111 Samoa, March 1942

vf-3 felix USN Ace J.S. Thach, Midway May 1942
vf-3 "felix" USN Ace J.S. Thach, Midway May 1942

F4F-3A of VF-41, USS Ranger, Operation Torch November 42
F4F-3A of VF-41, USS Ranger, Operation Torch November 42

F4F4-FV41-ussranger-Nv42-Torch
F-4 from Vf-41 US Ranger November 1942, Op. Torch

Grumman-F4F3-VMF-224-HenFld-Guad-Nv42-RGaler
F3 from VMF-224, Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Ace Robert Galer, late 1942

F4F-4 from VF-22
F4F-4 from VF-22

F4F-3 from VMF-111
F4F-3 from VMF-111 "Devil Dogs" USMC March 1942, Tafuna Airfield, Tutuila island (Samoa)

Gumman-F4F4-usslongisland1943
F4F-4 onboard USS Long Island, 1943

Grumman-F4F-4-vf29-nov43-uss-santee-atlantic
F4F-4 VF-29, USS Santee, Atlantic Nov. 1943

Grumman-F4F-3P-espiritu-santoNewhebr-late42
F4F3P reconnaissance version, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Late 1942

Gumman-F4F3-vf6-enterprise-GuadalcanalAug42
F3 from VF-6, USS Enterprise, Guadalcanal August 1942

F3-VF39-CVE-56-USS-LiscomeBay-Nov43
F-3 frim VF-39 USS Liscome Bay, November 1943


F4F-4 from a training unit in 1943


F3 from VGF-29 USS Santee 1944

General motors/Eastern Aircraft FM series:


FM-1 from VC-12, YSS Core, CVE-13


East Aircraft FM-2, VC-2, USS White Plains 1944


FM-2 VC-10 onboard USS Gambier Bay October 1944: She was sunk at the battle of Samar


FM-2 VC-80 USS Manila Bay, May 1944


FM-2 VC-9 USS Sargent Bay, 1945





FM-2, USS Rudyerd Bay, April 1945


FM-2 onboard USS Hogatt Bay, 1945


FM-2 from VC-93, USS Petroff Bay, May 1945


East Aircraft GM FM-1, USS Guadalcanal, 1944

FM2 1944
Eastern Aircraft FM-2, "judy" VC-14 USS Hogatt Bay (CV-75), Emirau Island (Bismarck Archipelago), May 1944. The latter was a Casablanca-class escort carrier commissioned in January 1944 and decommissioned in 1946, then CVHE-75 (heli-carrier) in 1955-59 and AKV-25 from 1959.


FM-2 on uss Hoggatt Bay, Okinawa 1945


General motors FM-2 CV93 USS Fanshaw Bay August 1945


FM-2 advanced trainer, winter 1945


Fleet Air Arm Gallery:


Martlet IIF (one of the ex-French models) 805 Squadron from a Naval Air Station in North Africa used in night patrols, winter 1941-42.

Martlet-MkIII-805Sqn-RNAS-MaatenBagushEgyptAp42
Martlet Mk.III 805 Squadron Matten Bagush, Egypt, April 1942

Martlet II from Sqn.881, HMS Illustrious 1942
Martlet II from Sqn.881, HMS Illustrious 1942

Martlet V, 893 Sqn. HMS Formidable 1943
Martket V, 893 Sqn. HMS Formidable 1943

Martlet V
Martlet V "that old thing", 856 Sqn. over Normandy, June 1944

martlet-MkVI-hmsBiter-Feb44
Martlet IV HMS Biter February 1944

wildcat-VI-RN-May44FarEastFleet
Wildcat VI of the Far East Fleet, Pacific, May 1944

wildcat-VI-882NAS-FAAFarEastFleet
Wildcat VI 882 Squadron Far East Fleet 1945.

Photos


Wrecked F4F on Wake Island December 1941


F4F from VGS-1, USS Long Island June 1942


F4F parked with and without folded wings, circa 1942


F4Fs over Guadalcanal, 1942


F4F flight from VF41, early 1942


GM FM-2 landing on USS Makin Island in 1945


FM-2 barrier crash, USS Sable, 8 May 1945


Martlet II onboard HMS Formidable 1942


Martlet/Wildcat REJS


Martlet on HMS Formidable


Martlet winched abord HMS Empress 1944


Martlet III 805 NAS North Africa


Martlet II from 888 Sqn. HMS Formidabe, Oran 1942


Martlet Mark.V over Normandy, june 1944


Wildcat Mark.VI at Duxford, 2008


Wildcats in formation mid-1943, colorized by Irootoko Jr. .

Naval History

❢ Abbrev. & acronyms
AAAnti-Aircraft
AAW// warfare
AASAmphibious Assault Ship
AdmAdmiral
AEWAirbone early warning
AGAir Group
AFVArmored Fighting Vehicle
AMGBarmoured motor gunboat
APArmor Piercing
APCArmored Personal Carrier
ASAntisubmarine
ASMAir-to-surface Missile
ASMDAnti Ship Missile Defence
ASROCASW Rockets
ASW// Warfare
ASWRL/// rocket launcher
ATWahead thrown weapon
avgasAviation Gasoline
awAbove Waterline
AWACSAirborne warning & control system
BBBattleship
bhpbrake horsepower
BLBreach-loader (gun)
BLRBreach-loading, Rifled (gun)
BUBroken Up
ccirca
CAArmoured/Heavy cruiser
Capt.Captain
CalCaliber or "/"
CGMissile Cruiser
CICCombat Information Center
C-in-CCommander in Chief
CIWSClose-in weapon system
CECompound Expansion (engine)
ChChantiers ("Yard", FR)
CLCruiser, Light
cmcentimeter(s)
CMBCoastal Motor Boat
CMSCoastal Minesweeper
CNOChief of Naval Operations
CpCompound (armor)
CoCompany
COBCompound Overhad Beam
CODAGCombined Diesel & Gas
CODOGCombined Diesel/Gas
COGAGCombined Gas and Gas
COGOGCombined Gas/Gas
commcommissioned
compcompleted
convconverted
convlconventional
COSAGCombined Steam & Gas
CRCompound Reciprocating
CRCRSame, connecting rod
CruDivCruiser Division
CPControlled Pitch
CTConning Tower
CTLconstructive total loss
CTOLConv. Take off & landing
CTpCompound Trunk
cucubic
CylCylinder(s)
CVAircraft Carrier
CVA// Attack
CVE// Escort
CVL// Light
CVS// ASW support
cwtHundredweight
DADirect Action
DASHDrone ASW Helicopter
DCDepht Charge
DCT// Track
DCR// Rack
DCT// Thrower
DDDestroyer/drydock
DEDouble Expansion
DEDestroyer Escort
DDE// Converted
DesRonDestroyer Squadron
DFDouble Flux
D/FDirection(finding)
DPDual Purpose
DUKWAmphibious truck
DyDDockyard
EOCElswick Ordnance Co.
ECMElectronic Warfare
ESMElectronic support measure
FFarenheit
FCSFire Control System
FFFrigate
fpsFeet Per Second
ftFeets
FYFiscal Year
galgallons
GMMetacentric Height
GPMGGeneral Purpose Machine-gun
GRPFiberglass
GRTGross Tonnage
GUPPYGreater Underwater Prop.Pow.
HAHigh Angle
HCHorizontal Compound
HCR// Reciprocating
HCDA// Direct Acting
HCDCR// connecting rod
HDA// direct acting
HDAC// acting compound
HDAG// acting geared
HDAR// acting reciprocating
HDMLHarbor def. Motor Launch
H/FHigh Frequency
HF/DF// Directional Finding
HMSHer Majesty Ship
HNHarvey Nickel
HNCHorizontal non-condensing hp
HPHigh Pressure
hphorizontal
HQHeadquarter
HRHorizontal reciprocating
HRCR// connecting rod
HSHarbor Service
HS(E)Horizontal single (expansion)
HSET// trunk
HTHorizontal trunk
HTE// expansion
ICInverted Compound
IDAInverted direct acting
IFFIdentification Friend or Foe
ihpindicated horsepower
IMFInshore Minesweeper
inInche(s)
ircironclad
KCKrupp, cemented
kgKilogram
KNC// non cemented
kmKilometer
kt(s)Knot(s)
kwkilowatt
ibpound(s)
LALow Angle
LCLanding Craft
LCA// Assault
LCAC// Air Cushion
LFC// Flak (AA)
LCG// Gunboat
LCG(L)/// Large
LCG(M)/// Medium
LCG(S)/// Small
LCI// Infantry
LCM// Mechanized
LCP// Personel
LCP(R)/// Rocket
LCS// Support
LCT// Tanks
LCV// Vehicles
LCVP/// Personal
LCU// Utility
locolocomotive (boiler)
LSCLanding ship, support
LSD// Dock
LSF// Fighter (direction)
LSM// Medium
LSS// Stern chute
LST// Tank
LSV// Vehicle
LPlow pressure
lwllenght waterline
mmetre(s)
MModel
MA/SBmotor AS boat
maxmaximum
MGMachine Gun
MGBMotor Gunboat
MLSMinelayer/Sweeper
MLMotor Launch
MMSMotor Minesweper
MTMilitary Transport
MTBMotor Torpedo Boat
HMGHeavy Machine Gun
MCM(V)Mine countermeasure Vessel
minminute(s)
MkMark
MLMuzzle loading
MLR// rifled
MSOOcean Minesweeper
mmmillimetre
NCnon condensing
nhpnominal horsepower
nmNautical miles
Number
NBC/ABCNuc. Bact. Nuclear
NSNickel steel
NTDSNav.Tactical Def.System
NyDNaval Yard
oaOverall
OPVOffshore Patrol Vessel
PCPatrol Craft
PDMSPoint Defence Missile System
pdrpounder
ppperpendicular
psipounds per square inch
PVDSPropelled variable-depth sonar
QFQuick Fire
QFC// converted
RAdmRear Admiral
RCRadio-control/led
RCRreturn connecting rod
recRectangular
revRevolver
RFRapid Fire
RPCRemote Control
rpgRound per gun
SAMSurface to air Missile
SARSearch Air Rescue
sbSmoothbore
SBShip Builder
SCSub-chaser (hunter)
SSBNBallistic Missile sub.Nuclear
SESimple Expansion
SET// trunk
SGSteeple-geared
shpShaft horsepower
SHsimple horizontal
SOSUSSound Surv. System
SPRsimple pressure horiz.
sqsquare
SSSubmarine (Conv.)
SSMSurface-surface Missile
subsubmerged
sfsteam frigate
SLBMSub.Launched Ballistic Missile
spfsteam paddle frigate
STOVLShort Take off/landing
SUBROCSub.Fired ASW Rocket
tton, long (short in bracket)
TACANTactical Air Nav.
TBTorpedo Boat
TBD// destroyer
TCTorpedo carriage
TETriple expansion
TER// reciprocating
TFTask Force
TGBTorpedo gunboat
TGTask Group
TLTorpedo launcher
TLC// carriage
TNTTrinitroluene
TSTraining Ship
TTTorpedo Tube
UDTUnderwater Demolition Team
UHFUltra High Frequency
VadmVice Admiral
VCVertical compound
VCE// expansion
VDE/ double expansion
VDSVariable Depth Sonar
VIC/ inverted compound
VLFVery Low Frequency
VQL/ quadruple expansion
VSTOLVertical/short take off/landing
VTE/ triple expansion
VTOLVertical take off/landing
VSE/ Simple Expansion
wksWorks
wlwaterline
WTWireless Telegraphy
xnumber of
YdYard
Organizations
GIUKGreenland-Iceland-UK
BuShipsBureau of Ships
DBMGerman Navy League
GBGreat Britain
DNCDirectorate of Naval Construction
EEZExclusive Economic Zone
FAAFleet Air Arm
FNFLFree French Navy
JMSDFJap.Mar.Self-Def.Force
MDAPMutual Def.Assistance Prog.
MSAMaritime Safety Agency
NATO
RAFRoyal Air Force
RANRoyal Australian Navy
RCNRoyal Canadian Navy
R&DResearch & Development
RNRoyal Navy
RNZNRoyal New Zealand Navy
USSRUnion of Socialist Republics
UE/EECEuropean Union/Comunity
UNUnited Nations Org.
USNUnited States Navy
WaPacWarsaw Pact

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Haiti Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
Adder class Monitors (1870)
A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
Djambi class corvettes (1860)
Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

Marine Française 1870 Marine Nationale
Screw 3-deckers (1850-58)
Screw 2-deckers (1852-59)
Screw Frigates (1849-59)
Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
Paddle Frigates
Paddle Corvettes
screw sloops
screw gunboats
Sailing ships of the line
Sailing frigates
Sailing corvettes
Sailing bricks

Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
Taureau arm. ram (1865)
Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)
French converted sailing frigates (1860)
Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
Talisman cruisers (1862)
Resolue cruisers (1863)
Venus class cruisers (1864)
Decres cruiser (1866)
Desaix cruiser (1866)
Limier class cruisers (1867)
Linois cruiser (1867)
Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

Curieux class sloops (1860)
Adonis class sloops (1863)
Guichen class sloops (1865)
Sloop Renard (1866)
Bruix class sloops (1867)
Pique class gunboats (1862)
Hache class gunboats (1862)
Arbalete class gunboats (1866)
Etendard class gunboats (1868)
Revolver class gunboats (1869)

Marinha do Brasil 1870 Marinha do Brasil
Barrozo class (1864)
Brasil (1864)
Tamandare (1865)
Lima Barros (1865)
Rio de Janeiro (1865)
Silvado (1866)
Mariz E Barros class (1866)
Carbal class (1866)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1870 Osmanlı Donanması
Osmanieh class Bd.Ironclads (1864) Assari Tewfik (1868) Assari Shevket class Ct. Ironclads (1868)
Lufti Djelil class CDS (1868)
Avni Illah class cas.ironclads (1869)
Fethi Bulend class cas.ironclads (1870)
Barbette ironclad Idjalleh (1870)
Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
Hamidieh Ct.Bat.Ironclads (1885)
Abdul Kadir Batleships (project)

Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
Selimieh (1865)
Rehberi Tewkik (1875)
Mehmet Selim (1876)
Sloops & despatch vessels

Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
Monitor Atahualpa (1865)
CT. Bat Independencia (1865)
Turret ship Huascar (1865)
Frigate Apurimac (1855)
Corvette America (1865)
Corvette Union (1865)

Regia Marina 1870 Regia Marina 1870 Imperial Japanese navy 1870 Nihhon Kaigun Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine Russian mperial Navy 1870 Russkiy Flot Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
⚑ 1898 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class Gunboats (1873)
La Plata class Coast Battleships (1875)
Pilcomayo class Gunboats (1875)
Ferre class Gunboats (1880)

Austro-Hungarian Navy 1898 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy
Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne
Koninklije Marine 1898 Koninklije Marine
Konigin der Netherland (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class CDS (1894)
Atjeh class cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
Banda class Gunboats (1872)
Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
Combok class Gunboats (1891)
Borneo Gunboat (1892)
Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
Colbert class CT Battery ships (1875)
Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
Courbet class CT Battery ships (1879)
Amiral Duperre barbette ship (1879)
Terrible class barbette ships (1883)
Amiral Baudin class barbette ships (1883)
Barbette ship Hoche (1886)
Marceau class barbette ships (1888)
Cerbere class Arm.Ram (1870)
Tonnerre class Br.Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br.Monitors (1876)
Tonnant ironclad (1880)
Furieux ironclad (1883)
Fusee class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class (1892)
Bouvines class (1892)

La Galissonière Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1872)
Bayard class barbette ships (1879)
Vauban class barbette ships (1882)
Prot. Cruiser Sfax (1884)
Prot. Cruiser Tage (1886)
Prot. Cruiser Amiral Cécille (1888)
Prot. Cruiser Davout (1889)
Forbin class Cruisers (1888)
Troude class Cruisers (1888)
Alger class Cruisers (1891)
Friant class Cruisers (1893)
Prot. Cruiser Suchet (1893)
Descartes class Cruisers (1893)
Linois class Cruisers (1896)
D'Assas class Cruisers (1896)
Catinat class Cruisers (1896)

R. de Genouilly class Cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Duquesne (1876)
Cruiser Tourville (1876)
Cruiser Duguay-Trouin (1877)
Laperouse class Cruisers (1877)
Villars class Cruisers (1879)
Cruiser Iphigenie (1881)
Cruiser Naiade (1881)
Cruiser Arethuse (1882)
Cruiser Dubourdieu (1884)
Cruiser Milan (1884)

Parseval class sloops (1876)
Bisson class sloops (1874)
Epee class gunboats (1873)
Crocodile class gunboats (1874)
Tromblon class gunboats (1875)
Condor class Torpedo Cruisers (1885)
G. Charmes class gunboats (1886)
Inconstant class sloops (1887)
Bombe class Torpedo Cruisers (1887)
Wattignies class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)
Levrier class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)

Marinha do Brasil 1898 Marinha do Brasil
Siete de Setembro class (1874)
Riachuleo class (1883)
Aquidaban class (1885)

Marina de Mexico 1898 Mexico
GB Indipendencia (1874)
GB Democrata (1875)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
Cruiser Heibtnuma (1890)
Cruiser Lufti Humayun (1892)
Cruiser Hadevendighar (1892)
Shadieh class cruisers (1893)
Turkish TBs (1885-94)

Regia Marina 1898 Regia Marina Pr. Amadeo class (1871)
Caio Duilio class (1879)
Italia class (1885)
Ruggero di Lauria class (1884)
Carracciolo (1869)
Vettor Pisani (1869)
Cristoforo Colombo (1875)
Flavio Goia (1881)
Amerigo Vespucci (1882)
C. Colombo (ii) (1892)
Pietro Micca (1876)
Tripoli (1886)
Goito class (1887)
Folgore class (1887)
Partenope class (1889)
Giovanni Bausan (1883)
Etna class (1885)
Dogali (1885)
Piemonte (1888)
Staffeta (1876)
Rapido (1876)
Barbarigo class (1879)
Messagero (1885)
Archimede class (1887)
Guardiano class GB (1874)
Scilla class GB (1874)
Provana class GB (1884)
Curtatone class GB (1887)
Castore class GB (1888)

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Glatton (1871)
Devastation classs (1871)
Cyclops class (1871)
HMS Rupert (1874)
Neptune class (1874)
HMS Dreadnought (1875)
HMS Inflexible (1876)
Agamemnon class (1879)
Conqueror class (1881)
Colossus class (1882)
Admiral class (1882)
Trafalgar class (1887)
Victoria class (1890)
Royal Sovereign class (1891)
Centurion class (1892)
HMS Renown (1895)

HMS Shannon (1875)
Nelson class (1876)
Iris class (1877)
Leander class (1882)
Imperieuse class (1883)
Mersey class (1885)
Surprise class (1885)
Scout class (1885)
Archer class (1885)
Orlando class (1886)
Medea class (1888)
Barracouta class (1889)
Barham class (1889)
Pearl class (1889)

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

Infanta Maria Teresa class (1890)
Emperador Carlos V (1895)
Cristobal Colon (1897)
Princesa de Asturias (1896)
Aragon class (1879)
Velasco class (1881)
Isla de Luzon (1886)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Reina Regentes class (1887)

Destructor class (1886)
Temerario class (1891)
TGunboat Filipinas (1892)
De Molina class (1896)
Furor class (1896)
Audaz class (1897)
Spanish TBs (1878-87)
Fernando class gunboats (1875)
Concha class gunboats (1883)

US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
USS Maine (1889)
USS Texas (1892)
Indiana class (1893)
USS Iowa (1896)

Amphitrite class (1876)
USS Puritan (1882)
USS Monterey (1891)

Atlanta class (1884)
USS Chicago (1885)
USS Charleston (1888)
USS Baltimore (1888)
USS Philadelphia (1889)
USS San Francisco (1889)
USS Newark (1890)
USS New York (1891)
USS Olympia (1892)
Cincinatti class (1892)
Montgomery class (1893)
Columbia class (1893)
USS Brooklyn (1895)

USS Vesuvius (1888)
USS Katahdin (1893)
USN Torpedo Boats (1886-1901)
GB USS Dolphin (1884)
Yorktown class GB (1888)
GB USS Petrel (1888)
GB USS Bancroft (1892)
Machias class GB (1891)
GB USS Nashville (1895)
Wilmington class GB (1895)
Annapolis class GB (1896)
Wheeling class GB (1897)
Small gunboats (1886-95)
St Louis class AMC (1894)
Harvard class AMC (1888)
USN Armoured Merchant Cruisers
USN Armed Yachts

WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
B3 class (1918)

WW1 British Battlecruisers
Invincible class (1907)
Indefatigable class (1909)
Lion class (1910)
HMS Tiger (1913)
Renown class (1916)
Courageous class (1916)
G3 class (1918)

ww1 British cruisers
Blake class (1889)
Edgar class (1890)
Powerful class (1895)
Diadem class (1896)
Cressy class (1900)
Drake class (1901)
Monmouth class (1901)
Devonshire class (1903)
Duke of Edinburgh class (1904)
Warrior class (1905)
Minotaur class (1906)
Hawkins class (1917)

Apollo class (1890)
Astraea class (1893)
Eclipse class (1894)
Arrogant class (1896)
Pelorus class (1896)
Highflyer class (1898)
Gem class (1903)
Adventure class (1904)
Forward class (1904)
Pathfinder class (1904)
Sentinel class (1904)
Boadicea class (1908)
Blonde class (1910)
Active class (1911)
'Town' class (1909-1913)
Arethusa class (1913)
'C' class series (1914-1922)
'D' class (1918)
'E' class (1918)

WW1 British Seaplane Carriers
HMS Ark Royal (1914)
HMS Campania (1893)
HMS Argus (1917)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Vindictive (1918)
HMS Hermes (1919)

WW1 British Destroyers
River class (1903)
Cricket class (1906)
Tribal class (1907)
HMS Swift (1907)
Beagle class (1909)
Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
Acasta class (1912)
Laforey class (1913)
M/repeat M class (1914)
Faulknor class FL (1914)
T class (1915)
Parker class FL (1916)
R/mod R class (1916)
V class (1917)
V class FL (1917)
Shakespeare class FL (1917)
Scott class FL (1917)
W/mod W class (1917)
S class (1918)

WW1 British Torpedo Boats
125ft series (1885)
140ft series (1892)
160ft series (1901)
27-knotters (1894)
30-knotters (1896)
33-knotters (1896)

WW1 British Submarines
Nordenfelt Submarines (1885)
Flower class sloops
British Gunboats of WWI
British P-Boats (1915)
Kil class (1917)
British ww1 Minesweepers
Z-Whaler class patrol crafts
British ww1 CMB
British ww1 Auxiliaries

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Europe
Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Greek Royal Navy Greece

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spain Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden


WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
Wyoming class (1911)
New York class (1912)
Nevada class (1914)
Pennsylvania class (1915)
New Mexico class (1917)
Tennessee Class (1919)
Colorado class (1921)
North Carolina class (1940)
South Dakota class (1941)
Iowa class (1942)
Montana class (cancelled)

WW2 American Cruisers
Omaha class cruisers (1920)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
New Orleans class cruisers (1933)
Brooklyn class cruisers (1936)
USS Wichita (1937)
Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1942)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1921)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
IJN Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1940)
Zuiho class (1937)
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class CBBs (1918)
Interwar Swedish CBB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies

naval aviation Naval Aviation
Latest entries

USN aviation
Boeing model 2/3/5 (1916)
Aeromarine 39 (1917)
Curtiss VE-7 (1918)
Aeromarine 40 (1919)
Douglas DT (1921)
Naval Aircraft Factory PT (1922)
Loening OL (1923)
Huff-Daland TW-5 (1923)
Martin MO (1924)
Consolidated NY (1926)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U/O3U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)
Curtiss SOC seagull (1934)
Grumman FF (1931)
Grumman F2F (1933)
Grumman F3F (1935)
Northrop BT-1 (1935)
Vultee V-11 (1935)
Grumman J2F Duck (1936)
Curtiss SBC Helldiver (1936)
Vought SB2U Vindicator (1936)
Brewster F2A Buffalo (1937)
Douglas TBD Devastator (1937)
Vought Kingfisher (1938)
Curtiss SO3C Seamew (1939)
Cessna AT-17 Bobcat (1939)
Douglas SBD Dauntless (1939) Grumman F4F Wildcat (1940)
Northrop N-3PB Nomad (1941)
Brewster SB2A Buccaneer (1941)
Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger (1941)
Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf (1941)
Grumman F6F Hellcat (1942)
Vought F4U Corsair (1942)
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (1942)
Curtiss SC Seahawk (1944)
Douglas BTD Destroyer (1944)
Grumman F7F Tigercat (1943)
Grumman F8F Bearcat (1944)

Curtiss H (1917)
Curtiss F5L (1918)
Curtiss NC (1919)
Curtiss NC4 (1918)
Naval Aircraft Factory PN (1925)
Douglas T2D (1927)
Consolidated P2Y (1929)
Hall PH (1929)
Douglas PD (1929)
Douglas Dolphin (1931)
General Aviation PJ (1933)
Consolidated PBY Catalina (1935)
Fleetwings Sea Bird (1936)
Sikorsky VS-44 (1937)
Grumman G-21 Goose (1937)
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado (1937)
Beechcraft M18 (1937)
Sikorsky JRS (1938)
Boeing 314 Clipper (1938)
Martin PBM Mariner (1939)
Grumman G-44 Wigeon (1940)
Martin Mars (1943)
Goodyear GA-2 Duck (1944)
Edo Ose (1946)
Hugues Hercules (1947)

Japanese WW2 naval aviation
Mitsubishi 1MF
Mitsubishi A5M
Nakajima A4N
Mitsubishi A6M "zeke"

Mitsubishi B1M
Aichi D1A "Susie" (1934)
Aichi D3A "Val" (1940)
Aichi B7A "Grace" (1942)
Mitsubishi B5M (1937)
Nakajima B5N "Kate" (1937)
Nakajima B6N "Jill" (1941)
Yokosuka B4Y "Jean" (1935)
Yokosuka D4Y "Judy" (1942)
Yokosuka MXY-7 "Baka" (1944)
Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" (1935)
Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" (1941)
Yokosuka P1Y1 "Frances" (1943)

Aichi M6A1-K Nanzan (1943)
Kyushu K10W1 "Oak" (1941)
Kyushu K11W1 Shiragiku (1942)
Kyushu Q1W1-K "Lorna" (1943)
Mitsubishi K3M "Pine" (1930)
Yokosuka K5Y1 "Willow" (1933)
Yokosuka MXY-7K-1 "Kai" (1944)
Yokosuka MXY-8 Akigusa

Nakajima E4N
Nakajima E14Y
Nakajima E8N "Dave"
Mitsubishi F1M "pete"
Kawanishi E7K
Kawanishi H6K
Kawanishi E11K
Kawanishi K6K
Kawanishi K8K
Kawanishi E15K Shiun
Kawanishi H8K "Emily"
Kawanishi N1K1 "Rex"

Italian WW2 air arm
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano
CANT Z.506 Airone
Fiat RS.14
IMAM Ro.43
IMAM Ro.44
Macchi M5

British Fleet Air Arm
Carrier planes
Fairey Flycatcher (1922)
Blackburn Backburn (1923)
Blackburn Dart (1924)
Fairey IIIF (1927)
Fairey Seal (1930)
Blackburn Shark (1931)
Blackburn Baffin (1934)
Vickers Vildebeest (1933)
Blackburn Ripon (1934)
Fairey Swordfish (1934)
Gloster Gladiator (1938)
Fairey Albacore (1940)
Fairey Fulmar (1940)
Grumman Martlet (1941)
Hawker sea Hurricane (1941)
Brewster Bermuda (1942)
Fairey Barracuda (1943)
Grumman Tarpon (1943)
Grumman Gannet (1943)
Supermarine seafire (1943)
Fairey Firefly (1943)
Blackburn Firebrand (1944)

Floatplanes/seaplanes
Supermarine Southampton (1925)
Blackburn Iris (1926)
Hawker Osprey (1930)
Short Rangoon (1930)
Short Valetta (1930)
Fairey Seal (1930)
Supermarine Scapa (1935)
Supermarine Stranraer (1936)
Supermarine Walrus (1936)
Fairey Seafox (1936)
Short Sunderland (1937)
Saro Lerwick (1940)
Short Shetland (1944)

The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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