Planes of Fame Corsair

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    In case some of you don’t follow on facebook, I’d like to report on a Planes of Fame “event.”

    The museum flies the oldest active F4U-1 Corsair (Bu. No, 17799). Until last week we had a case of “lost history.” Our Corsair was used in “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and then wound up on a Hollywood backlot. We, of course, known the history since then and we know it started life as a “birdcage” F4U-1, was upgraded to F4U-1a, and then, F4U-1d. But we had no indication of its history, other than being told it spent its life in a stateside training group and finally as part of a carrier air support group in 1945, late in the war.

    Last week, we had two different Corsair pilots, one with one mission, one with two missions, come forward with logbook entries in our bird earlier during the war, and the daughter of another who also flew our bird earlier during the war for six missions. All CAP missions were flown from Kwajalien Atol, and so our bird we THOUGHT had been in a training command and late-war carrier air support group has been shown to be an actual WWII veteran combat aircraft! Not only that, but both of the still-surviving pilots were there today and gave talks about flying Corsairs, as well as OUR Corsair on actual WWII Combat Air Patrols. We put both back in the cockpit, and had their names on the side of the canopy rail, one on each side.

    Altogether a very uplifting day and the discovery of a bit of previously-unknown history of an aircraft we have been flying for some decades. It turns out that the museum had cooperated with Disney for the movie “Planes,” and our Corsair was part of the inspiration for the cartoon Corsair. A very determined lady journalist unearthed several pilots who had time in our bird, thought they were all probably deceased, and was delighted to find out they weren’t. She interviewed them all and told them their old bird was still flying. And that’s how all this got started.

    So far, we have had visits from former pilots of MOST of our flying warbirds, and several static warbirds, too. We even had a talk from a former test pilot of our original Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket when it got to Mach 2!


    Pretty cool, from our end, and they were able to get back in the cockpits once again, some 70-odd years later!

    - Greg
     
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  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Excellent!!
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome Greg! Thanks for sharing that and I can only imagine the thoughts going through the minds of those former pilots sitting in their old plane.

    Pretty cool for Plane of Fame to add their names to the canopy rails.
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Both had a few tears in their eyes, and their talks about WWII Ops were quite entertaining.
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Corsair pilots seem to be a breed apart.

    One of my family's close friends was a former Corsair pilot of VMF-212 (PTO) and he owned the F4U that was hangared at SNA for years.
     
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  7. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Greg, great heartwarming news! I follow POF on Facebook and saw a few of the videos!

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
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  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Early Christmas present.
     
  9. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    that is awesome....love hearing stories like that.
     
  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Made me feel good, too, even though I had nothing to do with it except watch it and post on it. When I said "we," it was the collective we, not to mean I had any hand in it at all. I WOULD have helped for sure, but didn't even know about it until I saw and heard about it.

    It was all Planes of Fame / Fighter Rebuilders staff, and no volunteer effort. A bunch of good guys and gals if ever there was one.

    Surely repeated many times over with most of the still-flying and even static warbirds. But these people are soon to be gone, so maybe not too many more left like that. Good to see.
     
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  11. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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