SIGNED BY THE FIRST HELLCAT ACE, HAMILTON MCWHORTER
MCWHORTER, Hamilton. The First Hellcat Ace. (Pacifica, California): Pacifica Military History, (2000). Octavo, original navy cloth, original dust jacket. $300.
First edition of the World War II memoirs of the first U.S. pilot to achieve ace status in the new Grumman F6F Hellcat, signed by him on the title page and also inscribed and signed on the title page by his co-author, “3 May 01, Especially for Ken Day! Regards, J.A. Stout.”
McWhorter first saw combat in November 1942 against Vichy French forces in North Africa. After returning to the United States, his VF-9 Fighter Squadron became the first unit to convert to the new Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter plane and shipped out to the Pacific. From mid-1943, McWhorter was continually engaged in fierce aerial warfare against Japanese pilots. His fifth victory, in November 1943 off Tarawa Atoll, made him the first ace in the Hellcat, and seven subsequent victories ensured his place in the annals of air-to-air combat.