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The F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940. First used in combat by the British in Europe, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1941 and 1942. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was outperformed by the faster and more nimble 331 mph (533 km/h) Mitsubishi A6M Zero, but its ruggedness, coupled with 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.
December 29th, 2011
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