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U.S. Navy Tigercat
Palm Springs Air Museum visit November, 2008

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Grumman F7F Tigercat "King of the Cats"

F7F Tigercat at Palm Springs Air Museum

The Tigercat was a night fighter bomber manufactured by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., Bethpage, L.I., N.Y.

The information that follows is from the the museum sign. The first flight of the prototype (XF7F-1) was made in December 1943. In October 1944 the first service delivery was made and final delivery was in December 1946. Approximately 240 F7Fs were built but no Tigercats saw no action during WWII.

"King of the Cats" nose art

F7F-1,2,3,4 is read as follows: The first letter "F" designates fighter aircraft, (Navy); the number "7" designates the 7th U.S. Naval fighter produced by Grumman; the second letter "F" designates a Grumman built aircraft; and 1,2,3,etc. designates continuing improved or revised versions of the same model aircraft.

For armaments the Tigercat had four nose mounted 0.50 Browning machine guns and four 20 mm M-2 cannons in the wings. One 1,000 pound bomb could be carried under each inner wing and a standard torpedo could be carried under the fuselage. Various delays kept this aircraft out of action in WWII, but the F7F played an important role in the post war era with the U.S. Marines in the Pacific Theater, the U.S. and in China. In Korea, the F7F was used specifically as a night fighter.

The Tigercat in the Palms Springs Air Museum was formerly with U.S. Marine fighter squadrons VMF-312, VMD-254, VMF(N)-531 and VMF(NT)-20. It was a night fighter and night fighter trainer and was retired fro the Navy in 1956.



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