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dvas16 13th February 2018 13:03

Request for help
Hello to all. Im looking for photos showing Composite Squadrons 66 & 68 FM Wildcats as well as VF-37 Hellcats during Leyte operations in order to create profiles. I hardly can find anything in the net. Kind regards


bearoutwest 17th February 2018 11:30

Re: Request for help
Hi Dimitri,
As far as I can tell, VC-68 operated off the escort carrier USS Fanshaw Bay during the Leyte Gulf Operation as part of Taffy 3.

If you go to this USN historical document archive site -
you can download a short history of the USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE-70) titled "Straddled". It has photos towards the back half of the publication that show a number of Wildcats, though I am not familiar enough to tell if they are six-gun F4F-4s or four-gun F4F-3s or four-gun FM2s (except from directly in front, and then can't always see the taller tail). So the ID of the Wildcats, I will leave to you.

Hope this helps,

bearoutwest 17th February 2018 11:52

Re: Request for help
I cannot find any record of VC-66's involvement at Leyte in either:
- the book "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors"

(If the rather lengthy link doesn't work, try a google-book search for the title for a preview.)

- or in the Military Unit History website:

So, I'm afraid I can't help much with VC-66.


Frank Olynyk 17th February 2018 13:09

Re: Request for help
VC-66 was on the Fanshaw Bay in September 1944. Last aircraft loss I have for them was on Sept 25, 1944. No details yet. On Sept 20 they had losses at Morotai. I suggest checking the online entries for Fanshaw Bay (CVE-70) to check its service in WW2. I believe the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships is available online.



R Leonard 17th February 2018 16:22

Re: Request for help
VC-68 deployed aboard USS Fanshaw Bay on 12 October 1944. The squadron had replaced VC-66.
From USS Fanshaw report CVE70/A16-3 dated 2 November 1944:
"From 18 October through 24 October, VC-68 (Lt.Comdr., R.S. Rogers, U.S.N.), based on U.S.S. FANSHAW BAY, launched 85 sorties for direct support of the landing forces, 18 strikes against Philippine airfields, 10 sorties for air, beach and artillery observations, 4 photo missions, 45 local combat air patrol sorties, 38 target combat air patrol sorties, 27 local anti-submarine patrol and 18 target anti-submarine patrol sorties. A total of 5 Oscars was shot down by VC-68 planes and designated targets strafed and bombed."

The October 31, 1944 Aircraft Location Report (remember these reports actually run 7 to 10 days behind what they are reporting) show VC-66 enroute to the west coast for reforming.

Buckeye30 18th February 2018 14:54

Re: Request for help
VF37 was on SANGAMON in October with Carrier Unit 1 ( 77.4.11) off Leyte and Samar; they had Glossy Sea Blue F6F-5s with a horizontal white tail band ( lower and wider than VF-15s) and number above it on the fin.
VC-66 was with Carrier Unit 2 ( 77.1.2) in Sept. off Morotai with FM-2s but VC-68 was at Leyte in October with Carrier Unit 1 ( 77.4.31) in Taffy 3 ( I'm pretty sure also FM-2s) both units with a white diamond on the rudder and number on the fin.
It's possible some FM-2s were in 3-colour camouflage (the Eastern Aircraft pattern) but most would be Glossy Sea Blue.
The markings notes I made some years ago presumably from photos somewhere.
Regards......... Nick

bearoutwest 19th February 2018 06:58

Re: Request for help
There is a photo in the old Osprey Aircam Series Vol-19 on the F6F Hellcat, of the VF37 Hellcat landing on USS Sangamon during the Leyte Operations. Here's a link to the boxden modellers website where a copy of that page can be found:

There is also higher resolution photo of VT37 TBM Avengers of the same time, sporting similar markings:


dvas16 21st February 2018 06:28

Re: Request for help
Hello. Thank you all for taking a moment from your time and give me help

Kind regards

Buckeye30 26th February 2018 18:23

Re: Request for help
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Dimitris. This is FANSHAW BAY's symbol on a TBM-1C from VC-68 in Oct. 1944 ( also on VC-66); the FM-2s would be similar but with smaller numbers ( 16" high on aircraft up to 50' wingspan, 24" from 50-100'). This was Spec. SR-2D effective March 6 1944.
The TBM is in 3-colour camouflage; note the leading edges of wings and tailplanes should be Non-Specular (matt) Sea Blue rather than the Semi-Gloss on top flying surfaces.
Where necessary the anti-glare panel could be Non-Specular Sea Blue, more common on SB2Cs and Corsairs.

dvas16 18th March 2018 10:39

Re: Request for help
Thank you Nick, much appreciated!

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