"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
This film (and a companion book), produced in 1944 by the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, was made to commemorate their 15th anniversary which was to occur the following year. The original was filmed in 16mm and was 40 minutes in length. Our video copy is from the University of North Texas Digital Library and is part of the Gordon Knox Film Collection.

By the time it was made, production of the Wildcat and Avenger had been taken over by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors Corporation, under their FM and TBM designations, to allow Grumman to concentrate on production of the F6F Hellcat, the star of this film.

In the opening sequences, we see an aircraft that is represented as the "first F6F ever made", however this is not true, but rather artistic license on the part of the filmmakers. The XF6F-1, which had it's first flight on June 26, 1942 can claim that distinction, however, the "stand-in" Hellcat shown is actually an F6F-3 in Test Department markings. Nonetheless, this film gives us an unparalled look (in full color) at the Hellcats, the Grumman production facilities and the men and women who helped design, build, test and fly this pivotal Navy fighter.
 
         Grumman at War