F4U CORSAIR "KOREAN WAR HERO"
The "Korean War Hero" F4U4 Corsair has a legendary history. She served two tours on two different carriers. She has the distinction of flying over 200 combat missions.
June thru October 1951 Aboard the USS Boxer (CV21), VF884 Naval Reserve Squadron from Olathe, Kansas. This squadron was known as the "Bitter Birds" using the Kansas Jayhawk on their jacket patch.
While in Korea, The "Bitter Birds" flew 1,519 missions, dropping 750,000 lbs of bombs and firing 3,800 rockets, also 1,400,000 rounds of ammunition. The fighting did take its terrible toll. Eight pilots of VF884 were killed or listed as missing in action, including the squadron's skipper Lcdr. G.F. Carmichael USNR. Normal squadron compliment of pilots were approximately 22 to 24 pilots.
The aircraft served December thru May 1951 aboard USS Valley Forge (CV45), VF653 Naval Reserve Squadron from Akron, Ohio. This squadron's patch emblem consisted of a dragon holding a shield which had a golden triangle and a checkerboard stripe. The golden triangle signified the large percentage of Pittsburgh area pilots in the squadron. The checkerboard stripe signified the winning of the Cleveland National Air Races twice by their Skipper Lt. Cmdr. Cook Cleland. Cook won both races with Corsairs. Six pilots of VF653 were killed or listed as missing in action during this combat tour. The greatest toll was taken by enemy radar guided anti-aircraft guns while repeatedly striking the same targets.
From approximately 1960 to 1970, the aircraft flew with the Honduran Air Force. In 1970 it was sold to an American Airlines pilot and brought to the USA. Joe & Jim Tobul bought this airplane in 1981 and started a very long rebuilding project. Ten (10) years later "Korean War Hero" proudly flew again on December 8, 1991 fittingly over the Pittsburgh skies. Jim Tobul is the man behind the stick in "Korean War Hero," but rather than the owner, he considers himself more the caretaker of this beautiful warbird and her storied history. An avid pilot for over 40 years, Jim takes great pride in carrying the legacy of the veteran Corsair to airshows all over North America.
More information at: http://www.koreanwarhero.com/