The sign which accompanied the Corsair. It reads
"Sweetheart of Okinawa" to the U.S. Marine Corps. "Whistling Death" to the
Japanese and "Bent Winged Bird" to the American Ground Forces, the Corsair was
universally acknowledged to be the finest Naval fighter of the Second World
War. It was designed by Chance
Vought Aircraft, first flown in May 1940 and accepted by the Navy in
February of 1941. The Brewster Aeronautical Corporation and Goodyear
Aircraft Corporation were associate contractors. Its military
designation was F4U for Vought Aircraft, F3A for Brewster and FG for Goodyear.
Britain's Royal Navy had the distinction of first introducing the remarkable
Chance Vought fighter to carrier service.
The FG1D Corsair on display in the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum carries
the paint scheme of VMF312, a Marine Fighter
Squadron based on Okinawa in 1945.
The Corsair was not introduced to combat until February 1943, but its
performance as a fighter and fighter bomber was spectacular. In addition, it
enjoyed a distinguished post-war career highlighted by the Korean campaign.
The Corsair's first-line service stretched into the 1920. It was the last
propeller-driven fighter built in the United States. During World War II it
had a victory to loss ratio of 11 to 1.
|Manufacturer: Goodyear Aircraft Corp.
||Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8W
|Branch of Service: Navy/Marine Corps
||Wing Span: 41'
|First Flight: May 1940
||Weight: Empty 8,982 lbs; Max 14,000 lbs
|Entered Service: February 1943
||Speed: 417 mph
|Markings: VMF 312 Okinawa 1945
||Rate of Climb: 2890 fpm
|Victory to Loss Ratio: 11 to 1
||Armament: 6/50 cal machine guns
|Sponsored by Preston L. Parish