FM-2 FM-2 Wildcat Sponsor Group
|Manufacturer||General Motors / Eastern Aircraft|
N5833 was produced in Mid August 1945 by General Motors under contract as Grumman Eastern Aircraft Division as a FM-2. After flight test it was immediately put into surplus and then sold. It operated for a number of years as an aerial bug sprayer out of Idaho and the pacific northwest. N5833 was purchased by Bob and Claire Reiss of San Diego, CA and donated to the CAF. During restoration in 2003 it was painted as a Martlet VI to commemorate RAF Squadron 835 on the aircraft carrier HMS Nairana. 835 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm was a composite squadron of six Wildcat/Martlet VI's and eighteen Swordfish biplanes crewed with a mix of British and New Zealand pilots. The squadron was led by Lieutenant Allen Burgham, from New Zealand. The Squadron deployed on Atlantic convoy patrols of the Gibraltar run area.
The FM-2 differed from the F4F as it was lighter, faster, had improved climb rate, longer range and was more maneuverable with the more powerful Wright R-1820 (1350HP) engine. Armed with 4 .50 Cal Browning machine guns. Max speed of 332 MPH and service ceiling of 35,000ft. Typical range of 900 miles. The Wildcat was the only Navy fighter to serve throughout the entire war from Pearl Harbor to VJ day. More Wildcat pilots were awarded the Medal of Honor than any other fighter including Joe Foss and Marion Carl. British and French pilots operated the Wildcat prior to the US Navy and acquired its first combat victory on 12/25/1940 on a JU-88.
N5833 is based in Upland Ca, but is typically on display at the CAF Airbase Arizona Museum, Mesa, during the winter months.