Against All Odds Wiki

A pair of Bethpage AF F-4/40 Defenders in flight over the ocean.

The Bethpage AF F-4/40 Defender was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that served in the American People's Navy during World War II[1]. The Defender was the only effective fighter available to the American People's Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1942; the disappointing F-2/37 was withdrawn in favor of the Defender and replaced as units became available. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Defender was still outperformed by the faster 331 mph (533 km/h), more maneuverable, and longer ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. But the F4F's ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thach Weave, resulted in an air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war.

Lessons learned from the Wildcat were later applied to the faster F-6/43 Protector which, with the exception of range, could outperform the Zero on its own terms.

The BAF-4 Defender's OTL equivalent is the Grumman F4F Wildcat.