With the recent discovery of the wreckage of the USS Lexington (CV 2) in the depths of the Coral Sea in March 2018, a large number of aircraft wrecks from the embarked air group were spotted near the carrier.
Among them was an F4F-3 Wildcat with the 'Felix the Cat' insignia painted on it, which at first sight seemed out of place. It is true that VF-3 had flown from the carrier deck earlier in the Second World War, but at the time of the Battle of the Coral Sea on 7-8 May 1942, VF-3 was based ashore in Hawaii.
However, a closer look at the historical records reveals that before boarding Lexington on 15 April 1942 for what would be the ship's last cruise, VF-2 took possession of nineteen of VF-3's Wildcats for the coming campaign.
In addition, twelve pilots from the "Felix the Cat" squadron were transferred to VF-2. As part of the organisation of the squadron's aircraft, the maintenance people assigned them all new side numbers. With the press of events, no effort was made to disguise the markings that the VF-3 aircraft already bore, including the squadron insignia, the Japanese 'Rising Sun' flags that signified air-to-air kills, and the bomb silhouettes to indicate air-to-ground attacks.
One of the old VF-3 aircraft was given the side number F-5 and assigned to Lt Albert O. Vorse, Jr, who had fought with the 'Felix the Cat' squadron. This is the aircraft that inspired our jacket.