Copyright Date: 2002
Price: Permanent Collection, National
Museum of Naval Aviation
Second Lieutenant Warner Chapman flew as hard
and as well as any of the intrepid marine aviators of VNF-221.
On 1 April 1943, these Wildcat pilots, flying local combat
air patrol and air strikes from Guadalcanal, were scrambled
to repulse a gaggle of enemy attackers. In a dogfight over
the Russell Islands in the Solomons, marine pilots downed
ten A6M Zeros plus one D3A Val in engagements that lasted
for three agonizing hours. Here a Japanese navy pilot is depicted
playing the fool as he looped his aircraft in front of Chapman
who promptly shot him down.