Friday Cat Blogging – F4F Wildcat

Special post-Pearl Harbor edition of Cat Blogging here on MO. Here are some Wildcats on Wake Island, photographed by the Japanese invaders after they captured the island:

The Japanese first bombed Wake on December 8th, and eight of the twelve Marine Cats were destroyed on the ground. Three days later, an attempted landing was repulsed before they even reached the beach. One Japanese ship was sunk by coastal artillery and another by the remaining Wildcats. On the 23rd, the Japanese tried again, this time landing and after a bitter battle they secured the island. 52 US military personnel were killed during the ordeal, plus at least 70 civilians. The Japanese lost around 700 to 900 men, the two destroyers, and 20 or so carrier-based aircraft.

A somewhat-controversial decision was made the day before the second landing when Task Force 14, based on the carriers Saratoga and Lexington and steaming for Wake as a relief force, was ordered to break off and return home. The first major sea battle of the Pacific War had been cancelled.

This pic from the Naval Historical Center’s F4F Wildcat page.