Author Topic: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.  (Read 119 times)

Offline whiteman

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F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« on: July 21, 2021, 08:48:02 PM »
Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check was a double ace and leading scorer of VF-7. His biggest day came October 29, 1944 when he downed 4 zekes while flying ForceCap. His squad downed an additional 17.5 aircraft that day as well. On the 29 of that month he earned the Navy Cross. His citation reads "in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Philippine Islands Area on 29 October 1944. Intercepting an enemy formation of seven bombers and eight fighters while leading his divisions on combat air patrol over an Allied Task Group, Lieutenant Commander Check, accompanied by his wingman, skillfully maneuvered his plane for a direct overhead run and, selecting one of the dive bombers as a target, poured a deadly stream of fire into the hostile craft, shooting it down in flames. Continuing alone in pursuit of the enemy bombers as his flight engaged the fighters, he spotted two additional bombers approaching the Task Group and, plunging to the attack, trailed one of the planes with blazing guns until it crashed into the sea. Pulling out of this successful run to find himself only 500 feet above the water and working desperately to clear his jammed guns as he proceeded up through a heavy cloud formation, he sighted another bomber threatening the friendly vessels and, immediately closing range and bringing his guns to bear, blasted the hostile craft out of the sky. Again working his guns and gaining altitude as he ordered his division to join-up, he observed still another bomber making a run on the Task Group and delivered a short blast of fire into the hostile bomber's engine, causing the plane to nose over, burst into flames and hit the water."

On November 19 1944 he shot down 2 more and damaged another. He then led his flight on two runs over an enemy airfield, knocking out anti-aircraft emplacements, destroying two aircraft on the ground and strafing and damaging at least eight additional grounded aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for that days mission.

On January 4, 1945 and inexperienced pilot collided with Check while flying through clouds killing both over Formosa.

VF-7 was stationed aboard the USS Hancock CV-19 September 1944 to January 1945. This was an early -5 that had the rear window, the squad flew a mix of F6F-3, -5, -5N and -5P. Lt. Cdr. Check flew this plane amongst others but this one stood out with the replaced rudder from a -3 that is intermediate blue and the name Ripper. VF-7 collected 72 kills under Lt. Cdr. Check.


Offline oboe

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2021, 09:13:36 PM »
Great-looking skin, great pilot bio.  Real tragedy for both flyers though.   


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Offline Devil 505

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2021, 09:45:00 PM »
Excellent skin and a fine tribute.
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Offline lyric1

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2021, 02:33:07 AM »
 :aok

Offline Greebo

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2021, 03:07:40 AM »
Great skin and an interesting story, thanks Whiteman.

Offline TequilaChaser

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2021, 05:34:24 AM »
Most excellent 👌 Tex!

"When one considers just what they should say to a new pilot who is logging in Aces High, the mind becomes confused in the complex maze of info it is necessary for the new player to know. All of it is important; most of it vital; and all of it just too much for one brain to absorb in 1-2 lessons" TC

Offline Nefarious

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2021, 07:39:16 AM »
Great job! Excellent work and great historic background. Thank you for your dedication to the community!
There must also be a flyable computer available for Nefarious to do FSO. So he doesn't keep talking about it for eight and a half hours on Friday night!
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Offline SIK1

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2021, 08:53:26 AM »
Good looking skin. It amazes me how you find distinctive skins for planes that are painted monochromatic blue, and with great back stories too.

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Offline whiteman

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2021, 11:10:38 AM »
Thanks guys!

Good looking skin. It amazes me how you find distinctive skins for planes that are painted monochromatic blue, and with great back stories too.

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Sik

Thanks Sik, it's definitely getting harder to find interesting solid blue planes. I came across this story by accident looking for info on others. I like minimalist design so number placement or simple identification symbols can get my attention that others may find completely boring lol.

Offline Vraciu

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Re: F6F-5 VF-7 Lt. Cdr. Leonard James Check, Double Ace.
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2021, 01:46:48 PM »
Nicely done.
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