"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
Above:  As seen in our background photo, aircraft #23 of VF-74. It's not possible to tell the color with certainty, but the photo shows that the tip of the prop hub on this plane was painted something other than the standard black factory finish. The artist, Mark Styling, has made an educated guess in using yellow for his illustration.

Below:  The well known VOF-1 #8, displays two victories by LT (jg) Edward Olszewski and two by ENS Alfred Wood. In a recent conversation, Mr. Olszewski has confirmed for us that neither this aircraft, nor any other VOF-1 Hellcats, were painted with red noses for Operation Dragoon. This has been a popular misconception among aviation enthusists and scale model builders for many years.
Above: Although it only flew on the first day of combat operations, VOF-1 aircraft #18, BuNo 58688, is probably the best documented of the squadron's aircraft due to it's dramatic end on 8/15/44, as shown in the photos in Part One of this article on page 6. ENS William McKeever survived the crash unhurt and continued his flight duties.
 
Below: As previously mentioned, individual pilots did not have assigned aircraft. No doubt, aircraft #10, BuNo 58279, was flown by several different pilots before being shot down on  8/20/44 with LT Stanley David Crockett at the controls. Lt Crockett parachuted safely.
Our sincere thanks to Mark Styling for allowing us to share some of his masterful aviation illustrations here. To see more of his excellent work, please visit his web site at http://www.markstyling.com/ where you can view, and purchase, his prints of hundreds of similar high quality works of art. Thank you sir!
 
         Hellcats  over  PROVENCE  
                           VF-74 & VOF-1 IN OPERATION DRAGOON,  Part 2