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F4F Wildcat

F4F Wildcat Book Review

By Stephen Sutton

Date of Review March 2012 Title F4F Wildcat
Author Dana Bell Publisher Classic Warships Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 978-0-9823583-9-9
Format 72 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.00


Classic Warships has produced the 4th in a series of aircraft pictorial books keeping with the navel airpower theme.  Dana Bell again has produced an outstanding reference for the Grumman F4F Wildcat.  Dana begins with a general history of the F4F Wildcat production variants as well as the Wildcat serial numbers.  Many new photographs retrieved from the National Archives in Washington DC show very crisp the clear pictures of the XF-4F-2 during flight tests in 1937, as well as F-4F-4 and FM-2 variants.


This book contains over 80 color and black & white photos, with extreme close-ups of the 9-cylinder Wright R-1820 Cyclone engine and extensive black and white photos of the cockpit and one color photo of the instrument panel.  Photos are also provided for the wings, guns, and armament provisions. Extensive photos of the landing gear and fuselage interior.  The rare F4F-7 photographic reconnaissance Wildcat is given a page.

Scale three view drawings and beautiful color lithographs are provided for the early factory applied colors, the blue gray camouflage, the three toned camouflage scheme as well as the British colors.  Color illustrations provide the series of markings on the tail and wings for aircraft of the Escort Carrier Force.  Wildcat Carrier Units are listed in four full pages along with some unit insignia.  It is evident that Dana Bell has put in the extra effort to provide you with the most comprehensive reference for the Wildcat. This is by far the best book published in this series; they just keep getting better and better.

I highly recommend this book for your naval aircraft collection. 

Thanks goes out to Steve Wiper of for the review sample.