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Ray Diekman taxies a Grumman built F8F Bearcat along the ramp at Stead Field in Nevada. The Bearcat was designed as an interceptor with a high rate of climb to counter the Japanese kamikaze threat. The first Bearcat squadron became operational in May of 1945 but World War II ended before the aircraft saw combat service. It was largely replaced as a front line fighter with the arrival of jets prior to the beginning of the Korean War. Their were 1,126 Bearcats produced of which approximately 11 airworthy examples remain. Photographed 09/07