What I would like to know is how many of these were clay pigeons, I mean, kamakazes?
The number 5,168 is somewhat of a moving target, I'd admit. US Naval Aviation combat aviation statistics compiled in 1947 or so mark the F6F total credits as 5163 fighters and bomber types only. If you look a little deeper into the report you can also find just for the period 1 Sep 44 to 15 Aug 45 a total of 3,518 credits to F6Fs, this includes 2,278 single engine fighters, 36 land based single engine reconnaissance, 515 bombers/torpedo bombers, 89 floatplanes, 530 twin engine combat types, 17 flying boats, 36 transports, and 17 trainers. Were one to add just the land based single engine reconnaissance, floatplanes, flying boats, transports and trainers from this last year of the war to the gross 5163 reported fighter and bomber credits, the F6F total rises to 5,358, higher than that which you protest and still does not count any of these types credited to F6Fs from their introduction to combat through 31 August 1944. And to forestall the question, these numbers do not include any destroyed on the ground.