View Full Version : Wildcats v Zero's 1940?

16th Aug 2022, 19:08
The Imperial War Museum (allegedly) made a comment (po-far) on social media about how the American Wildcats fought with Japanese Zero's during WW2 in 1940 ?
Now we all know that America and Japan didn't officially lock horns until December 7th 1941 and most likely the comment was misinterpreted or just a mistake,
but I'm always wary of dismissing such things out of hand.

So did Wildcats and Zero's fight in 1940 in any capacity?

17th Aug 2022, 06:58
I think we can confidently say that those two types of aircraft never met in 1940. The Zero was going into operational service over China by September 1940, and I believe one was even captured by the Chinese and studied prior to Pearl Harbour (the RAF got to hear about it, probably from Claire Chenault - spelling?). Pretty certain that the two types must have met at Coral Sea (early May 1942), then Midway (early June 1942), but definitely NOT at Pearl Harbour.

17th Aug 2022, 08:57
Is there something missing in your initial quote? World War 2 ran for more than 1940 and Wildcats certainly tangled with Zeros during the conflict.

Pug Southerland v Saburo Sakai is one that springs to mind.

17th Aug 2022, 12:18
Perhaps it should be "Wildcats v Zero's 1940s".

17th Aug 2022, 12:38
Perhaps it should be "Wildcats v Zero's 1940s".
Yes, typo. It was specifically combat during 1940.

17th Aug 2022, 12:40
Now before you all think I've gone hat stand I'm thinking either foreign crewed Wildcats or maybe a Flying Tigers type engagement with non Japanese crewed Zero's?

17th Aug 2022, 13:23
`Flying Tigers` did not start combat until Pearl Harbour...

17th Aug 2022, 14:34
Should Zeros's be Zero the apostrophe ? Just a minor point...........

17th Aug 2022, 15:43
Jiro Horikoshi in his book about the design of the Zero says that was the first clash between the F4F and the Zero was there on or after the 12th of December 1941. The Zeros came from the Pearl Harbour attack fleet on the way home.