WW2 US Navy Aircraft – MAIN FUSELAGE DATA PLATE – FM-1 Wildcat – RARE!

$999.99

1 in stock

Description






You are bidding on an EXTREMELY RARE and 100% original MAIN General Motors manufactured FM-1 (F4F-4) Wildcat Main Data Plate, Serial Number 15945.  Removed from a downed Wildcat by a US Veteran, this tag was the main data tag located on the fuselage. 


 


The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy (as the Martlet) in 1940. Although first used in combat by the British in Europe, the Wildcat was the only United States Navy or Marine fighter in World War II 1941–42 in the Pacific Theater besides the brief appearance of the F2A Buffalo. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was outperformed by the more nimble 331 mph (533 km/h) Mitsubishi Zero, but its ruggedness and tactics such as the Thach Weave resulted in an air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war. 


Lessons learned from the Wildcat were applied to the faster F6F Hellcat which could outperform the Zero on its own terms. The Wildcat continued to be built throughout the remainder of the war to serve on escort carriers, where larger and heavier fighters could not be used. 


 


Made of aluminum, this is an EXTREMELY RARE piece and was taken off the aircraft by a US veteran in the late stages of the war.  Though most of the paint has faded due to wear and age, all markings are very legible.  It reads,


 


  MFR MODEL           GM-1


      SERIAL NO.            1143    


NAVY MODEL   FM-1        CLASS   VF


SERIAL NUMBER      15945


DATE MFR             MOTOR   R-1830-86 


 


It mounted directly to fuselage, and was from 1 of only 1,150 FM-1’s ever produced!  Would make a SUPERB addition to any collection, display, or restoration project! 


 


General Motors / Eastern Aircraft produced 5,280 FM variants of the Wildcat.  Grumman’s Wildcat production ceased in early 1943 to make way for the newer F6F Hellcat, but General Motors continued producing Wildcats for both US Navy and Fleet Air Arm use. Late in the war, the Wildcat was obsolescent as a front-line fighter compared to the faster (380 mph/610 km/h) F6F Hellcat or much faster (446 mph/718 km/h) F4U Corsair. However, they were adequate for small escort carriers against submarine and shore threats. These relatively modest ships carried only two types of aircraft (along with the GM-built Avengers). The Wildcat’s lower landing speed and ability to take off without a catapult made it more suitable for shorter flight decks.[19] At first, GM produced the FM-1, identical to the F4F-4, but reduced the number of gun to four, and added wing racks for two 250 lb (110 kg) bombs or six rockets. Production later switched to the improved FM-2 (based on Grumman’s XF4F-8 prototype) optimized for small-carrier operations, with a more powerful engine (the 1,350 hp (1,010 kW) Wright R-1820-56), and a taller tail to cope with the torque. 


 Tasked with supporting ground forces off Leyte, sorely under-armed planes from escort carriers such as Gambier Bay in the “Taffy” task groups found themselves up against a major surface fleet which they helped turn back in the Battle off Samar.


 




Please email me if you need additional photos or information.


 

——————- PAYMENT —————–

 Payment should be made within 7 business days at the end of the auction unless buyer contacts me for other arrangements. I accept all forms of payment. 

 


 ——————- SHIPPING —————– 

My goal is to ship within 7 days from auction end. However, depending on circumstances, it may take up to an additional 1 week from receipt of confirmed payment. If you need it shipped sooner, please let me know and I will do our best to accommodate.

  

——————- TERMS OF SALE —————– 

Most of my items are vintage, and as such are AS-IS, so you must therefore expect a degree of wear due to age and/or usage. I will describe each auction to the best of my knowledge and take as many photos necessary to ensure you are pleased upon receiving your item. All sales are final, so please make sure your questions are answered to your satisfaction before you purchase. 

 


——————- ABOUT ME —————– 

Although my passion is the Me109, I do offer many other German Aircraft (Fw190, Me262, etc.), as well as USAF and Japanese items. Occasionally I do offer many non-vintage items such as prints and art relating to the time period. As a private collector myself, I am constantly on the lookout for historical memorabilia, authentic photographs, artwork or anything unique relating to military aircraft.

  


——————- COPYRIGHT —————– 

All pictures and descriptions used in my auctions under COPYRIGHT and I forbid the use of these photos and information in any manner such as paper or electronic (internet) publications or otherwise. Use is solely based on my authorization only.