F4U Corsair


Whistling Death
A test pilot flies the bent-wing bird
Corky Meyer

Test pilot Corky Meyer not only takes us through the developmental woes of the Corsair, but gives us his cockpit-view of the airplane while testing it during WW II. He has some interesting things to say about the Corsair versus the Grumman Hellcat.

The Corncob Corsairs
A weapon kept in the barn
Warren Bodie

Pratt & Whitney’s enormous 3,000hp, 28-cylinder radial engine was the largest U.S. engine produced in quantity during WWII and hanging it on the Corsair airframe seemed like a marriage made, if not in heaven, certainly on the battlefield. Historian Warren Bodie explains the engine, the airplanes and the mission.

Ken Walsh – First Corsair Ace
Medal of Honor pilot’s combat adventures
Barrett Tillman

On only his second combat flight, Corsair Pilot Ken Walsh knocked down three Zeros and got a piece of a fourth to become an ace, the first to make that claim while strapped to a Corsair. Ken Walsh would continue to blaze a trail ending the war as the USMC’s fourth ranked ace with a Medal of Honor hanging around his neck.

Nocturnal Predators
Marine Night Fighters Over Korea
Warren Thompson

Ground attack missions are dangerous enough, but during the Korean conflict, Corsairs were pressed into making the same types of attacks after dark. Allied air power had forced the North Koreans and Chinese to transport their equipment and troops at night and USMC fighter pilots tell us what it was like to go after them.

The Scariest Part was the Landing
F4U Corsair Carrier Qualifications
Fred Blechman

Any kind of carrier landing is a hair-raising event, but when you’re a new cadet flying a Corsair, they can be downright dangerous. Fred Blechman takes us through the landing sequence one step at a time, including the mis-steps that resulted in him damaging a Corsair. Blechman calls himself a “”Japanese Ace”” because he damaged five Corsairs during his career.

Pappy Boyington’s Last Dogfight
The truth behind the legend
Henry Sakaida

To say Pappy Boyington was flamboyant is an understatement, but his last combat mission, which resulted in him going MIA, has been as controversial as the man. Using Japanese sources, historian/author Henry Sakaida probes the facts and comes to the conclusion that all may not be as it was reported. In addition, former Black Sheep pilot Bob McClurg tells what it was like to be part of the legendary squadron.

Bent-wing Brute
Battling Kamikazes in the Pacific Skies
James Busha

Wes Todd was frustrated flying TBFs in stateside training squadrons and jumped at the chance to volunteer for a fighter slot. In a few months, he found himself strafing Iwo Jima in a Corsair and later had a grandstand seat for the Kamikaze attack that nearly sank his own carrier, the Bunker Hill.