Chance Vought F4U-1A Corsair
2H, HB, 2B, Pencil on 2 ply Strathmore acid free regular surface bristol,
17″ × 10″. I shot the photo of this Corsair in the early 1980’s at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque. As I researched this Corsairs’ ID, I ran into contradictory information (until I looked into the unit histories). Appears this aircraft was in both the Second World War in the Pacific, and in the Korean War.
This aircraft is painted in the manner of the VMF 312 “Checkerboards” as they served in 1950 Korea, however, This (VMF-124 F4U-1, No.13), was flown on 1 April 1943, by 1st Lt Ken Walsh during his first combat tour.
“First Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh, a former enlisted pilot (he received his wings of gold as a private), shot down three enemy aircraft on 1 April. Six weeks later, after several patrols, Walsh dropped three more Zeros on 13 May 1943, becoming the first Corsair ace. By 15 August, Walsh had 10 victories to his credit.
He was the first F4U pilot to be decorated with the Medal of Honor, for a mission on 30 August 1943, during which he shot down four Japanese Zeros before ditching his borrowed Corsair.
The Corsair’s first engagements were tentative. The pilots of the first squadron, VMF-124. had only an average of 25 hours each in the plane when they landed at Guadalcanal. They (the Marines) …began to exploit the great performance of this (aircraft) …soon to become known to the Japanese as “Whistling Death,” and to the Corsair pilots as the “Bent Wing Widow Maker.”
(TIME OF THE ACES: Marine Pilots in the Solomons by Commander Peter B. Mersky, U.S. Naval Reserve