About midway through the Cleveland Air Races in 1946 an event placed somewhat inconspicuously on the program was dutifully announced over the public address system. The man said that a Navy Flight Exhibition team in four Grumman Bearcat fighters would demonstrate Navy precision flying in formation. On the team were a Lieutenant Commander, a Lieutenant and two Lieutenants Junior Grade. They were all Naval Aviators with combat records.
The tremendous crowd craned sunburned necks and stared out across the broad airport in the direct glare of sun. They were not exactly sure what they were going to see, though most of the spectators were looking forward to a hair raising, dare devilish, unnerving set of aerial stunts. Their desires were fulfilled. Exactly 24 minutes later when the last of the Navy’s exhibition flight team had landed his F8F Bearcat and rolled in formation with the others to a stop at the flight line, the awed thousands had ready acclaim.