~SOLD~ FRANGER Marvin James
Estabished in March 1942 VF-9 saw combat in Operation Torch, the invasion of French Morocco. Flying off USS Ranger, the unit bagged six Vichy French kills with their F4Fs. In January 1943, the unit transitioned to Hellcats and deployed to the Pacific on board USS Essex. Their second cruise, from August 1943 to March 1944, saw hard-fought combats over Rabaul, Tarawa, Truk and Saipan which netted the squadron 120 kills. Ten aces were crowned including Ham McWhorter, the first Hellcat ace/double-ace.of the war, Gene Valencia and Mayo Hadden. The last combat cruise from February to June 1945 produced 128 kills scored in combats over the Home Islands and Okinawa.Ten more pilots become aces including James French, Marv Franger and Bert Eckard. Gene Valencia ran his score to 23, making him the third-highest scoring F6F ace. By war's end, VF-9 was the second-highest scoring Hellcat squadron with 257 victories.
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