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One of only four Navy fliers to "make ace" in both the Wildcat and Hellcat
Born in Salt Lake City on Aug. 24, 1919, Charlie Stimpson grew up in Santa Barbara, California, and graduated from Pomona College. He completed Navy flight training in June, 1942, and was assigned to the newly established VF-11 "Sundowners" at San Diego. They arrived at Guadalcanal in April, 1943, by which time Stimpson was a Lt.(jg). In only three combat missions in the Solomons, Stimpson scored six confirmed victories in Wildcats, four coming on June 16, his first combat mission when the Japanese staged their last big raid on Guadalcanal. Flying a Hellcat with the carrier Hornet's VF-11, Lt. Stimpson, nicknamed "Skull" because of his emaciated appearance, scored 5 kills on October 14, 1944, during the big raids on Formosa. Stimpson was one of eight Hellcats under the leadership of Lt. Jimmy Savage, assigned to the Hornet's CAP. They took off and climbed to 20,000 feet. Shortly after detecting the enemy, Lt. Savage discovered a defective compass; Stimpson took over the lead role. Stimpson's division went after the fighters; Savage's for the bombers. Stimpson's division surprised the enemy; all four of them (Stimpson, his wingman Blair, Dayhoff, and Zink) all scored on the first pass. Stimpson quickly brought down another two Hamps, as did Zink, but this time the Japs struck back, downing both Dayhoff and Zink. Savage's division had also been cut up. Very quickly only Stimpson, Blair, and Savage remained in the battle. Stimpson intercepted a Zero threatening a wounded pilot; his deflection shot caught the Zero perfectly. It exploded for Stimpson's fourth victory of the day. He scored one more kill that day, but not without the loss of his wingman Blair.
Stimpson had another big day on Nov.5, getting three kills over Manila's Clark Field.
He finished with war with 16.33 confirmed kills.