By Cory Graff
So, what exactly is a Hellcat? One definition in the dictionary says, “a violently temperamental person; especially: an ill-tempered woman.” The boys at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, though, were a little more literal with the name. Early versions of the Hellcat’s pilot’s manual include drawings of a cartoon scruffy, scrappy “cat from Hell,” complete with horns, a devil’s tail, and a pitch fork. Like many cartoon animals of the era, he’s anything but modest, wearing only a pair of red boots as he waves a loaded pistol at anything that comes into view. This version of the F6F Hellcat’s mascot was created by P.J. Muller for use in my book, “F6F Hellcat at War” published in 2009.