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Grumman F7F Tigercat

Grumman F7F Tigercat Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2007 Title Grumman F7F Tigercat
Author Corwin "Corky" Meyer and Steve Ginter Publisher Ginter Books
Published 2007 ISBN 0-942612-75-2
Format 176 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $34.95


There is a new title in the Naval Fighter series published by Ginter Books. This covers the Grumman F7F Tigercat from inception through its military and civilian careers. Designed as a high-performance, carrier-based fighter, the F7F significantly outperformed the F6F Hellcat. Unfortunately, the F7F wouldn't reach the Pacific theater in time for combat before the surrender of Japan.

The Tigercat would see combat in Korea serving as a night fighter with the Marines, and the type did see service in a variety of roles before continuing service fighting forest fires. From a historical point of view, this title covers the development and operational history of the aircraft as well as the users, squadron by squadron. From that point of view, this title provides a valuable insight into the life of this unique aircraft better than anything I've seen in print.

But what fun is history alone? This title is written by Corky Meyer, and the Tigercat was the first full development program he was assigned to as a young test pilot at Grumman. I've read many of his other titles and experiences, and like the other Naval Fighter titles that Corky has authored, this one is pure fun to read.

I also enjoyed seeing the fire bomber Tigercats in this title. When I was first learning to fly in the early 1970s in Santa Barbara, CA, there was a tanker base at the west end of the ramp. It was not unusual to see B-17s, TBMs, and other unusual aircraft taking on fuel and borate to combat some nearby fires. Watching these fully loaded aircraft claw their way into the air was impressive to say the least. Then there was the sport model - when the Tigercat took the runway, you were listening to serious take-off power.

One interesting footnote - Steve Ginter was awarded the Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award for excellence in Naval Aviation History and Literature in May 2007. Congratulations Steve and keep these titles coming. This is only installment number 77 in the Naval Fighter series.

This is another great addition to the Naval Fighter line and I find myself acquiring every one! Definitely recommended!