WW II Air­craft ID’d

Flight Journal - - EDITORIAL - Gary Mo­line, Fort Laud­erdale, FL

I thought that I knew ev­ery plane from

WW II, but one photo has me stumped!

On page 48 of the Fe­bru­ary 2017 is­sue, the top photo shows a U.S. Army Air

Forces “Edna” drone. But what air­plane is the yel­low fighter in the top right of the photo? It has a huge ra­dial en­gine, a

4-blade prop, what looks like twin 20mm can­nons in the wing, and a fixed ra­dio an­tenna. Be­ing yel­low means that it might be a cap­tured fighter or an ex­per­i­men­tal type. Fold­ing wings suggest a Navy fighter.

I’ve looked at Ja­panese fight­ers, and the “Os­car” only had a 3-blade prop and the an­tenna was on the right side of the fuse­lage; the “Ge­orge” only had the an­tenna be­hind the cock­pit, as did the “Raiden.” I’m not sure many, if any, had fold­ing wings. Any ideas? We asked our res­i­dent WW II air­plane expert, Bar­rett Till­man, and he says it’s an SB2C Hell­diver. It looks weird and hard to iden­tify in yel­low. We have no ex­pla­na­tion for that.—BD

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