The Chance Vought F4U Corsair (this example was built under license by the Goodyear Company) was the premier Navy and Marine fighter of World War II. The Corsair, along with the Grumman Hellcat, are credited with turning the tide of the Pacific air war by overwhelming the once-fearsome Japanese Zero fighter. Besides its role in air-to-air combat, Corsairs were used as fighter-bombers near the end of WWII and throughout the Korean War. The Corsair had an unusually long production run for a WWII-era aircraft with 12,571 examples, the last in 1952.
Chance Vought designer Rex B. Beisel, a graduate of Seattle's Queen Ann High School and the University of Washington, designed the Corsair around the large Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" 2,250-horsepower engine and massive propeller. Instead of building long, awkward landing gear needed for propeller clearance, Beisel's bent-wing design allowed for shorter, stronger gear for carrier landings. The unusual wing not only gave the Corsair its distinctive shape, but also reduced drag, allowing the "Bent Wing Bird" even greater speed.
The Museum's Corsair was built in April 1945 and served aboard the USS Intrepid. After the war, it was transferred to the Naval Reserve, and eventually stationed at Naval Air Station, Sand Point, Seattle in 1950. That July, Commander Ralph Milleson made a water landing on Lake Washington following a non-fatal midair collision with another Corsair. The aircraft was recovered from the lake in 1983 and restored.
This aircraft was restored and dedicated to the memory of Lt.(jg) Jerome Reese Schuchart, USNR, to serve as a tribute to all military aviators. Jerome died April 13, 1989 in the service of his country.
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, Florida.