|The Corsair is one of the worlds most distinctive
looking fighters. The inverted gull-wing is it's most identifiable characteristic. The
Corsair was developed at the beginning of 1938, at the request of the U.S. Navy, which
ordered the construction of the prototype of a new single-seat carrier-based fighter with
Corsair scored a number of Navy firsts. It was the first Navy single engine fighter to fly
over 400 miles an hour. The Corsair also set a record for payload, when Charles Lindbergh
took off with a 4,000lb payload; the heaviest flown by a single engine aircraft at that
point in WWII. The F4U-2 was the Navy's first night fighter and paved the way for other
night fighters in WWII and Korea. A Corsair was the only piston-powered Navy aircraft to
shoot down a jet in the Korean War. In addition, the Navy's only ace of the Korean war,
Lt. Guy P. Bordelon Jr., flew a corsair. The Marines were given numerous copies of this
aircraft as well and had a great deal of success.
The F4U was nicknamed, "whistling death" by the Japanese because of the sound
the oil cooler vanes made. In later stages of the war, the Corsair was armed with weapons
ranging from 500 to 1,000lb bombs, 20mm cannon, and napalm.
There are a number of Corsairs in Lake
Washington including one which was recovered, resorted and is now on exhibit at the
Seattle Museum of Flight.