Designed in 1939, the Grumman Wildcat was America's most capable naval fighter in the battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal. By exploiting its advantages of firepower and armor, and using advanced tactics, the Wildcat competed successfully against the faster and more agile Japanese Zero.
The Grumman Aircraft Company suspended Wildcat production in May of 1943 to concentrate on producing the new F6F Hellcat. The Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors also built Wildcats as the FM-1 and FM-2. This aircraft is an FM-2 with the more powerful Wright Cyclone R-1820 engine.