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VF-9 | "Cat o'Nines" and "Hellcats" | WWII


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VF-9 | "Cat o'Nines" and "Hellcats" | Ranger (CV-4), Essex (CV-9), Lexington (CV-16) and Yorktown (CV-10)



One of the longest-serving fighter squadrons of the war (aboard Ranger, Essex, Lexington and Yorktown), VF-9 was also one of the few to engage two enemy powers—Vichy French (Morocco, November 1942, from Ranger) and Japanese aircraft (March 1943–June 1945; Essex, Lexington and Yorktown). With 256.75 victories, VF-9 finished the war as the third-ranking FitRon in the Navy; top scorer was LT Eugene A. Valencia, with 23. VF-9 was the second most successful Hellcat squadron of the war.


VF-9 established at NAS Norfolk on 1 March 1942 as part of the new Carrier Air Group 9 (CVG-9) which was to be deployed aboard the new carrier USS Essex. Originally equipped with the F2A-3 Buffalo, VF-9 began reequipping with the F4F-3 Wildcat in April 1942.

In late August 1942 VF-9 was deployed aboard USS Ranger to support Operation Torch. By late November 1942 Ranger had returned to NAS Norfolk and VF-9 rejoined the rest of CVG-9. VF-9 became the first Navy squadron to receive the F6F-3 Hellcat in February 1943.

In April 1943 CVG-9 embarked on the Essex for deployment to the Pacific Fleet. By mid-June 1943 Essex had arrived at Naval Station Pearl Harbor and CVG-9 was based at Naval Air Station Barber's Point. In September Essex left Pearl Harbor with CVG-9 embarked.



Painted on canvas by Max Berman Costume and Props, Los Angeles, for RKO movie studios.

























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