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in April of 1945 the battle for Okinawa was just beginning and the Japanese use of Kamikaze attack aircraft was being implemented in larger numbers than at any other point in the war to date.
Pictured here are two 'FM-2 Wildcats' of VC-93 Squadron off of the USS Petrof Bay (CV-80). They were assigned to ward off enemy aircraft attacks on the perimeter of the Ryuku Island chain on and around the island of Okinawa. VC-93 was quite successful in the mission, shooting down seventeen of the enemy aircraft. FM-2 White 20 is being flown by Lt (jg) Robert Sullivan of VC-93 who ended up with two kills, and White 17 is flown by Lt Robert I. Myers who finished with four kills.
The 'Wildcat' was used extensively throughout the Pacific Campaign even though its performance against Japanese aircraft was lacking in most respects except for armor and ruggedness. Despite this limitation, the Wildcat could hold its own by using offensive and defensive team based maneuvers that were very successful. One of these techniques was the 'Thach Weave' named after John Thach, also a Wildcat pilot, where the aircraft would weave back and forth across each others path so that no matter which direction an enemy aircraft would turn to defend there would be an aircraft already turning to take up a shooting position.