IWA-11 Boeing F4B-4 A-9226, Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6B), No. 2 Right Wingman, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
VF-6B, known as the “Fighting Six” had as their mascot, “Felix The Cat”, a well known cartoon character of the time. The lit bomb he carries relates to when the squadron first started as a Bombing Squadron in 1929. “Felix The Cat” is one of the longest serving squadron insignia in the US Navy.
The white tails of the aircraft were the squadron’s carrier identification color during their service aboard the USS Saratoga.
In December 1930, the US Bureau of Aeronautics directed that all aircraft under construction be painted using a scheme of section markings that would visually identify their position in the squadron. The normal squadron strength was 18 aircraft. This was divided into two divisions of three sections, and each section was made up of three aircraft. The first division was made up of sections 1, 2 ,3 and the second division was made up of sections 4, 5 and 6. Normally the squadron Commander would lead the first division as Section Leader of Section 1, and his Executive officer would lead the second division as Section Leader of Section 4.
The first instruction to allocate a color to all squadrons operating from the same carrier came in 1935, as it was creating confusion by the different tail colors that squadrons were selecting. In the 1935 directive the colors were white for USS Saratoga.