F4F-3 Wildcat

The Navy’s front-line fighter for the first part of World War II, the Wildcat flew in the landmark battles at Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal, with eight F4F pilots receiving the Medal of Honor.  A unique design feature of the airplane was the fact that the pilot had to retract the landing gear himself by turning a lever in the cockpit between 28 and 32 times.  The aircraft on display flew from USS Wasp (CV 7) as part of the Neutrality Patrol in the Atlantic before the United States entered World War II.