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Personal items of Cdr. Hamilton 'Mac' McWhorter III, Hellcat double ace
Cdr. Hamilton Mac MacWhorter III, is a WWII, three combat tour, Naval double ace - and a really nice guy! He tells a great story and has written a book about his exploits and agreed to share some of his personal images from his days as a Naval aviator here. The above photo is from his VF-9 tour book. He flew with VF-9 and VF-12.

Nothing is more important to Mac than his wife Louise who has been by his side all these years. Here they are on their wedding day.

The first Hellcat Ace is Mac's claim to fame. Here he is in his Hellcat from VF-9 with his first five victories painted on the side. At this time Mac was flying off of the USS Essex.

This is Mac's first tour book from VF-9. The squadron flew Wildcats from the USS Ranger and and were part of Operation Torch where they flew against Vichy French forces out of Casablanca. On the second tour, VF-9 flew off of the USS Essex in the Pacific.

VF-9 was known as Fightin' Nine or the Cat of Nine Tails squadron. This image is from the front of the tour book. The cat was drawn by the artists at Walt Disney Studios.

This Fightin' Nine patch is Mac's original from his squadron jacket. Mac not only was the first Hellcat ace of the war but also the first Hellcat double ace. Off the Essex, VF-9 flew many famous raids including the first Wake raid, Rabaul, the first Truk raid (where Mac was made double ace) and Saipan.

One of the missions flown by VF-9 was a strike on Marcus Island, August 31, 1943. This is Mac's original briefing map on which he has drawn approaches, defenses and targets.

VF-12 was Mac's third combat tour and was aboard the USS Randolph. Mac and other veterans of VF-9 trained the USS Randolph pilots.

Big Mac's Team as depicted in Mac's tour book from VF-12.

A membership card from the famous officer's club on Mog Mog island. Once the fleet got as far out as the Ulithi anchorage, there was no friendly place to take leave and Mog Mog was it. Just a lot of sand and warm beer.

Mac was a lucky pilot as he took his share of fire. This shot is after he returned from the first raid in support of the Okinawa invasion while he was on a strafing run. His wingman, Jay Finley, was not as lucky and spent 5 days floating in his dinghy until rescued.

Buy this book! And read first hand how it was to be in the famous Wildcat and Hellcat in two different theaters of WWII. Mac is a humble guy and tells a straightforward story. You can get the book from Pacifica Military History or Amazon. Also, contact Mac at aceww2@aol.com for an autographed copy. Tell him you saw it on the Rathbone Museum.

© 2003 Tod Rathbone
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