Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The FHC’s Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat goes into the paint shop on Valentine’s Day. The Glossy Sea Blue fighter will get its complement of Insignia White markings over the top — national insignia, numerous warning data plaques, and, of course, squadron insignia. The scheme was chosen to honor a local ace. Lt. Reuben H. Denoff flew in the invasion of North Africa, fought with VF-9 in the Pacific, and then joined VF-12 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Randolph. The Hellcat, adorned with the Randolph’s distinctive striped “G-symbol” tail, will fly this summer as part of the FHC’s Free Fly Days. Denoff finished the war with a total of five confirmed air-to-air victories. Eventually, he settled in Kennewick, Washington, and worked for McDonnell Douglas Laboratories in Richland. He passed away in 1988.