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Guy Vincent
Vought F4U-Corsair
ken kemper
Super Corsair Shot John
Jim Tyson
I flew these F4U-5 Corsairs in 1950-51 while in VF-173 embarked in USS Coral Sea (CVB-43). Every flight was a thrill, even the night ones. Many stories surround the Corsair - it was a privilege to fly those wonderful machines.
aka - 'the bent wing widow maker' What a beautiful airplane! Lucky you, Jim!
Chris Croft
Hi Jim, you said even the night missions for the VF-173 "Jesters" were a thrill. I remember stories about the Polikarpov PO-2s "Bedcheck Charlies" that skulked around at night, any encounters you recall? I sure hope someone in your family has taken down an oral history of your Korean War service. It's worth documenting and remembering. Hand Salute! GO NAVY!
The bent wing is unforgettable, what an aircraft, nice shot!
Super sweet.
I appreciate the enthusiasm, Chris. But as a note, the Polikarpov PO-2 was a bi-plane that in a slight descent might make 120KPH (75MPH), armed with hand-held bombs while defended (maybe) with a 6mm to 9mm pistol was in no way a threat to a Corsair. Unless the Corsair pilot was in bed, therefore, the name Bed check Charlie. If I recall correctly only one “Bed Check Charlie” attack using PO-2s was what you could call successful. The next attempt using the PO-2, Navy Lieutenant Guy Bordelon dispatched five (Korea’s first ‘prop’ Ace) of them in an F4U-5N (target radar-equipped, hardly a fair fight).

Fortunately for most PO-2 Pilots, their most notable theater of action was West of the Black Sea roughly 5000 miles from Korea, and a decade earlier in the WWII period where Germans were invading Russian turf across Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine. Speaking of PO-2 Pilots, google "Night Witches" sometime. They were bad-ass.
Chris Croft
skylab, I never suggested the PO-2 was any sort of threat to a Corsair. I was asking someone who was actually there (Jim Tyson) for his recollections.
Jim Tyson
Chris - sorry to disappoint, but my time in the F4U-5 was spent in the Atlantic fleet with deployment to the Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet. It was quite interesting though.
Chris Croft
Jim Tyson, thanks for setting the record straight regarding my previous comments.Believe me, I don't feel an ounce of disappointment in your response. Regardless of which fleet or squadron you served, the fact that you were fortunate enough to fly such an historic aircraft in the Navy must be very satisfying. Let's face it Jim, there's not too many of you old timers left. As previously mentioned your family should take down an oral history of your Naval service. It"s important that your service is remembered. Sincerely, your Shipmate, Chris.
a mentor
The bird is clearly marked MARINES and the Navy rejected the F4U as a carrier plane due to difficulty in forward vision during landings -- so these were assigned to Marine squadrons for ground based support.


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