F6F-5N, Lt. William E. Henry, VF(N)-41, USS Independence (CVL-22), September 1944
This aircraft was flown by Lt. William E. „Bill“ Henry,
the most successful night fighter ace within US Navy.
He was credited with 9.5 kills achieved during the
period from September 1944 to January 1945. Three
of his victims were four engine “Emily” flying boats.
This F6F-5N was sprayed Glossy Sea Blue color and
represents the standard late-war Navy camouflage
scheme. The markings and the radar cover were
F6F-5N, VMF-511, USS Block Island (CVE-106), April 1945
The first aircraft carrier to have a US Marine Corps night fighter unit on board was USS Block Island
(CVE-106). VMF-511 embarked on Block Island in
March 1945, and was a mixed group of eight Corsairs,
two photo-reconnaissance F6F-5P Hellcats and eight
F6F-5N Hellcat night fighters. The squadron joined
the Okinawa battle on May 10, 1945 and was consequently sent to the eastern coast of Borneo to support landing operations at Balikpapan. The first and
only success came on July 3, 1945, when 1st Lt. Bru-
ce Reuter shot down an E13A “Jake” floatplane. The
Hellcat nicknamed “Butch” was one of eight VMF-511
Hellcat nightfighters aboard Block Island. The White
block with Blue “I” is a carrier identification symbol
while the small Blue “M” signifies the USMC.