F4F-4 preamble

I was an avid modeler as a kid, but drifted off as I got into girls and rock and roll. After 30+ years, I decided to have a go at doing a build again. While I had considered picking up a kit over the years, I was always dissuaded by huge amount of stuff you need to actually put one together to any standard. The impetus that finally overcame this was running across some artifacts from my grandfather’s service in WWII and wanting to somehow connect with that.

2nd Lt Jacob Stub served at Guadalcanal with VMF-121 at the height of the battle, from late September 1942 through the end of the year and was awarded the DFC. He’s credited with 4 aerial victories in that action. While I don’t know the details, as a kid I do remember being told something about Bettys and  thinking that wasn’t as glamorous as Zeros. (Kids… sheesh.)

On November 7, both he and squadron mate, the legendary Joe Foss, were shot down and forced to ditch off of Malaita. Foss was picked up a few days later, and Stub a few days after that. (They would eventually reconnect in VMF-115.)

Since a squadron would only have about half as many planes as pilots, pilots didn’t really get assigned to a particular aircraft, and I haven’t been able to find any record or photo showing him with a particular plane. Except one.

The military dutifully records the BuNo of every aircraft that went down, and his is no exception: BuNo 03480. This is the only shot I’ve been able to find of that aircraft. Note how far back the fuselage star is.

So, one night after a glass of wine or two, I internet shopped a copy of Tamiya’s  1/48 F4F-4 along with paint and gear. My intention is to build BuNo 03480 as it would appear on the morning of November 7 1942.

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