The Corsair was one of the most outstanding fighter-bombers of World War II.
The Corsair first flew in March 1940, and production Corsairs joined the Marine Corps fighter squadrons on Guadalcanal in February 1942. Carrier use was delayed until 1944.
The inverted gull wing design allowed the mating of a large propeller with the huge radial engine while keeping the overall height of the aircraft within the limitations imposed by carrier use. The “-1D” was the first true fighter-bomber version of this aircraft being able to carry a bomb or rocket load in support of ground troops.
Although a Chance Vought design, Corsairs were also built under contract by Brewster and Goodyear. The latter built 4,017 Corsairs with the “FG” designation.
History of the Artifact
This aircraft was built in Akron, Ohio in April 1945. It is a combat veteran having been flown by the Marine aviators of VMF-115 in the southern Philippines in July and August 1945. The Marines were based at Zamboanga and flew close air support and combat air patrols during these months.
The aircraft rode out Typhoon Louise on Okinawa in October 1945 and then rotated through a number of training commands before disposal in 1958.
While under civilian ownership, it was flown at the Flying W, a western themed airpark in New Jersey, exhibited at a museum, and flown off the USS Carl Vinson in August 1995 during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. The Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum acquired the Corsair in September 1998.
Did you know?
The Corsair also went by the nicknames "Sweetheart of Okinawa" and "bent wing bird."