The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a carrier-based fighter aircraft developed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat in United States Navy (USN) service. Although the F6F resembled the Wildcat, it was a completely new design powered by a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800. Some tagged it as the "Wildcat's big brother". The Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair were the primary USN fighters during the second half of World War II.
The Hellcat was the first USN fighter designed in view of lessons from combat with the Japanese Zero. The Hellcat was credited with destroying 5,271 aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (5,163 in the Pacific and eight more during the invasion of Southern France, plus 52 with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm during World War II), which was more than any other U.S. naval aircraft. Postwar, the Hellcat was phased out of front line service, but remained in service as late as 1954 as a night fighter.
Source: Wikipedia, "Grumman F6F Hellcat", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
As Described In
Aces of the Pacific: The F4F's replacement was the F6F Hellcat, which entered service in mid-1943. A stable, fast and agile fighter, the F6F soon became the master of most Japanese fighters. It served until the end of the war.
1942 Pacific Air War: The Hellcat was specifically built to outmatch the Zekes. Grumman designed this fighter to take advantage of every known weakness of the Zeros. It’s faster and more maneuverable than the Wildcat, but without sacrificing any of the armor. The F6F’s extra firepower should be more than enough to bring a quick end to any duel. It’s not pretty, but it turned the war in the Pacific around. Never get lured into a close-in dogfight with a Zero; use repeated hit and run passes until you drop him.