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Boeing F4B-4 A-9023, Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6B), No. 3 Left Wingman, USS Saratoga (CV-3), 1935--RETIRED--LAST ONE!!

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John Jenkins Designs

Item Number: IWA-12

Boeing F4B-4 A-9023, Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6B), No. 3 Left Wingman, USS Saratoga (CV-3), 1935

The Interwar Aviation series covers aircraft that were developed and used between World War I and World War II, and was known as the “Golden Age of Aviation.”  In the two decades between the end of World War I and the start of World War II, military aviation underwent a complete transformation.

The Boeing P-12/F4B was an American pursuit aircraft that was operated by the United States Army Air Corps and United States Navy.  Though best known in later years for producing large bomber or transport aircraft, Boeing produced a series of excellent fighters from 1923 to 1933.  The most famous of those biplane fighters, the F4B, was the refinement of design experience gained from its FB, F2B, and F3B predecessors.  Nimble, rugged and reliable, the F4B-4's debut coincided nicely with advances in carrier operations aboard the new carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3).  The aircraft remained the Navy and Marine Corps' first-line fighter until replaced by faster and more powerful Grumman biplanes.

VF-6B, known as the “Fighting Six” had as their mascot, “Felix The Cat”, a well known cartoon character of the time.  The lit bomb he carries relates to when the squadron first started as a Bombing Squadron in 1929.  “Felix The Cat” is one of the longest serving squadron insignia in the US Navy.

In December 1930, the US Bureau of Aeronautics directed that all aircraft under construction be painted using a scheme of section markings that would visually identify their position in the squadron.  The normal squadron strength was 18 aircraft.  This was divided into two divisions of three sections, and each section was made up of three aircraft. The first division was made up of sections 1, 2 ,3 and the second division was made up of sections 4, 5 and 6.  Normally, the squadron Commander would lead the first division as Section Leader of Section 1, and his Executive officer would lead the second division as Section Leader of Section 4.

The first instruction to allocate a color to all squadrons operating from the same carrier came in 1935, as it was creating confusion by the different tail colors that squadrons were selecting. In the 1935 directive the colors were white for USS Saratoga.

Stand not included.

Box Size:  13 ¾” x 9 ½” x 5 ¾”