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When forming VF-17, Blackburn pulled several key people into the unit. This included combat veterans Lt. Kleinman and Lt. Halford who fought at Guadalcanal. Other members of his squadron were Roger Hedrick, Ira Kepford and Lt. Timmy Gile.
Pirates of the Skies
From Sea to Land
The unit was assigned to the newly-built carrier USS Bunker Hill. But the pilots soon discovered the Corsair was difficult to land on the carrier.