Monday, November 14, 2022

The last Wildcat pilot

  Ah, to be young and invulnerable! Here's Samuel Folsom eighty years ago at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, in his Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter. When he arrived in the South Pacific at the age of 22, Second Lieutenant Folsom had never flown at high altitude, and he'd fired the wing guns on his Wildcat only once, in practice. But like the other young Marine Corps pilots, he met and sometimes bested the far more experienced Zero pilots of the Imperial Japanese Navy. In the end, he was credited with one A6M Zero and two G4M medium bombers shot down. Unlike nearly half the pilots in his squadron, he survived Guadalcanal and the Second World War, and he died last Saturday at the age of 102. Photo courtesy of his son Gerrit and the New York Times  

Blue skies! -- Daniel Ford


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