Chance Vought F4U Corsair Mishaps Part II

CorsairMishap_11_VF-17-CV-17-USS-Bunker-Hill-July-1943-01
A Corsair from VF-17 “Jolly Rogers” noses over after encountering the barrier aboard the USS Bunker Hill CV-17 in early 1943. The deck planking shows evidence of earlier repairs, suggesting this is not the only such incident to have occurred.
CorsairMishap_12_Fleet-Air-Arm-1836NAS-Corsair-II-T8G-landing-mishap-HMS-Smiter-1944-IWM-A29168
A hard landing aboard HMS Smiter has mangled the landing gear leg of this Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Corsair II. The wear pattern on the forward portion of the wing at the root is caused by mechanics servicing the engine and was commonly seen on Corsairs. (Imperial War Museum)
CorsairMishap_13_F4U-4_of_VA-74_crashes_near_USS_Philippine_Sea_(CV-47)_1949
The end of the road for this F4U-4 of VA-74, which is missing the outboard section of its port wing. The carrier is the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) in 1949.
CorsairMishap_14_F4U-4_VMF-322_crashes_near_USS_Sicily_(CVE-118)_on_14_October_1949_(NNAM.1996.253.7157.063)
The Landing Signals Officer looks on as this F4U-4 of VMF-322 goes over the side of the USS Sicily (CVE-118) on 14OCT49. (NNAM.1996.253.7157.063)
CorsairMishap_15_VF-85-Shangri-La-aft-midair-collis-with-US-plane
This F4U-1D was involved in a mid-air collision, but was able to recover aboard the USS Shangri-La (CV-38). However, the jolt of engaging the arresting wire has separated the tail section, leaving the rest of the aircraft to continue on down the deck …
CorsairMishap_16_VBF85_F4U-1D_USS_ShangriLaCV38_21JUL45
… where it eventually slid into the ship’s island. Deck crews have already strapped a dolly under the fuselage. Note the stripped-down jeep, which were used on several carriers as towing vehicles.
CorsairMishap_17_VF-74
Most Navy aircraft types were capable of remaining afloat for at least a few minutes, giving time for the crew to escape. The US Navy routinely positioned a destroyer directly behind an aircraft carrier to quickly rescue aircrew, designating the station as “plane guard”.
CorsairMishap_18_HMS_Illustrious
Firefighting crews go to work on a Fleet Air Arm Corsair aboard HMS Illustrious. Fire aboard ship is a serious threat, even with the armored flight decks of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers.
CorsairMishap_19_USS_Bennington_CV-20_February_14_1945
A similar scene aboard USS Bennington (CV-20) on 14FEB45. The hose team is using a spray applicator to knock the flames down. Note that they have approached the fire from up-wind and are using the wing of the aircraft to protect themselves from the flames.
CorsairMishap_20_F4U-1-Corsair-VMF-214-White-576-BuNo-02576-Marines-Dream-Ed-Olander-landing-mishap-Torokina-Bougainville-1943-02
A crane is used to right this F4U-1 on Torokina, Bougainville in 1943, the aircraft is from VMF-214 “Black Sheep”. This Corsair is somewhat rare in that it carries nose art, this is Ed Olander’s “Marine’s Dream”, BuNo 02576.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Mishaps Part I

CorsairMishap_01_VF-17-CV-17-USS-Bunker-Hill-July-1943
A birdcage Corsair of VF-17 “Jolly Rogers” bounces high during a landing attempt aboard the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17). The squadron was working up their new mounts during the first half of 1943, but a high accident rate led the US Navy to initially declare the Corsair unsuitable for carrier operations. Note the ammunition coveres prominent on the wings.
CorsairMishap_02_USS-Shangri-La
This Corsair has suffered a landing gear collapse and tail separation as the pilot is assisted from the remains of his aircraft. The ammunition covers on the upper wing were interchangeable, and this has led to the white bar of the national insignia being scrambled – a common occurrence and an interesting detail for modelers.
CorsairMishap_03_Bunker-Hill-VF-17-1943
One of several Corsair mishaps aboard the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) is this VF-17 Corsair, showing details of the undersurfaces. VF-17 would deploy from land bases in the Solomons later in 1943, where they fought against Japanese aircraft operating from Rabaul. They went on to become the most successful Navy fighter squadron of the war.
CorsairMishap_04_USS-Essex-1945
A Corsair misses the wire and noses over aboard the USS Essex (CV-9) in 1945. The paintwork is very sloppy, showing overspray on the tail and runs on the side number. The shuffling of the ammunition covers on the wings has again scrambled the markings and contributes to the disheveled appearance.
CorsairMishap_05_VF-17-Bunker-Hill-1943
A deck crane is used to right this Corsair aboard the USS Bunker Hill. The ailerons appear to be replacements and are much darker than outer wing panels. The position and style of the insignia are standard for the first half of 1943.
CorsairMishap_06_HMS_Victorious_SumatraRaid
A Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Corsair loses its drop tank while recovering aboard HMS Victorious during the Sumatra Raid, January 1945. While the Royal Navy Carriers embarked fewer aircraft than their American counterparts, their armored flight decks proved more resistant to damage.
CorsairMishap_07_USSPrinceWilliam
A bad day aboard the USS Prince William (CVE-31), a Bogue-class escort carrier. The Prince William spent most of the war ferrying aircraft to the combat zone.
CorsairMishap_08_VF-17 on the deck of the USS Charger, May 1943
A Corsair crashes through the barrier aboard USS Charger (CVE-30). Charger operated as a training carrier off the Atlantic coast.
CorsairMishap_09_F4U-7 15F-2 aboard the Bois-Belleau
A French Navy F4U-7 has nosed over aboard the carrier Bois Belleau. The ship was commissioned into the US Navy as the Independence-class light carrier USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24). She was transferred to the French Navy in 1953 and served until 1960.
CorsairMishap_10_Vought-F4U-4-Corsair-VF-4B-White-F227-landing-mishap-CVB-42-USS-Franklin-D-Roosevelt-1948-01
The Corsair served as the primary US Navy carrier fighter in the years immediately after the war, until new jet aircraft were introduced. Here a F4U-4 goes over the side of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42). Note the twin 20mm Oerlikon mount in the catwalk beneath the aircraft.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part III

F4U_21_RA
A factory-fresh F4U showing details of the landing gear. A total of 12,571 Corsairs were produced. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_22_Vought-F4U-1A-Corsairs-VMF-214-White-829-at-Munda-Point-1943-01
A study in paint wear. This F4U-1A is seen at Munda Point during the last months of 1943. It was assigned to VMF-214, a Marine squadron.
F4U_23_HG
A view of the underside of a birdcage Corsair in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme. The folding portion of the wings were painted Blue Gray so they would better blend in with an aircraft carrier’s Deck Blue flight deck when the wings were folded. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
F4U_24
This Corsair carries a bomb rack under the wing. Even though this is a comparatively new aircraft the paint has already begun to wear at the ring root where mechanics stand while servicing the engine.
F4U_25_RA
The same aircraft from a different angle. The white dots on the fuselage are factory inspection stickers. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_26_RA
A posed photograph of a brand-new Corsair, showing details of the wheels. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_27
A Navy Lieutenant Commander in his “choker whites” summer dress uniform poses for the photographer. Interestingly, the propeller on this Corsair displays the pre-war warning stripes on the tips.
F4U_28
Another shot of a factory fresh birdcage Corsair. The radio mast was offset to starboard to allow an unobstructed view through the gunsight.
F4U_29_HG
A sentry armed with a shotgun protects the aircraft as they roll off the assembly lines. Sabotage was a constant concern which never materialized. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
F4U_30
A derelict F4U-4 at Blythe, CA. The outer wing panels were covered in fabric, which has mostly rotted away on this aircraft.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part II

F4U_11_HG
A fine study of a Corsair in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme showing how the grime can build up on the inner wings. On this aircraft the cowl flaps have been installed without regard to color. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
F4U_12
The Corsair was a beautiful aircraft from any angle. The bent wings were adopted to allow ground clearance for the 13-foot propeller, giving the Corsair its distinct appearance. (LIFE Magazine)
F4U_13
Artwork on Corsairs was a rarity compared to types operated by the USAAF. Here is a close-up of a FAA Corsair displaying a colorful image of Donald Duck.
F4U_14
The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm ordered over 500 Corsairs. The examples here are seen in the Temperate Sea Scheme with the last three digits of their serial numbers roughly sprayed on their cowls.
F4U_15
A Fleet Air Arm Corsair showing details of the wing fold mechanism. The three dark circles near the wingtip are colored recognition lights, red, green, and amber.
F4U_16_USS_Block_Island
A Marine from VMF-511 inspects the guns of this F4U-1D aboard the USS Bock Island (CVE 106). The covers for the ammunition feed trays were interchangeable, this has disrupted the bar of the insignia on the port wing as Glossy Sea Blue panels have been substituted for white, a common occurrence.
F4U_17_RA
One of the first Corsairs off the production lines, this is BuNo 02170. She is seen in the standard Blue Gray over Light Gray Scheme in September 1942. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_18
The photographer has caught this Corsair cycling its landing gear. The wheels turned 90 degrees when retracted to lie flat within the wings. (LIFE Magazine)
F4U_19-VMF-218-White-465-Barakoma-Airfield-Vella-Lavella-Solomon-Islands-15th-Jan-1944-02
A Marine Corsair of VMF-222 on Barakoma Field, Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands in November 1943. This is BuNo 03833. She wears a Graded Scheme camouflage which is already showing fading and wear under the harsh South Pacific sun.
F4U_20_HG
An atmospheric photograph of a birdcage Corsair semi-silhouetted in the glare. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)

Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part I

F4U_01
The first of the breed! This is XF4U-1 BuNo 1143 seen in 1940. The prototype flew just 1n time to be painted in the colorful US Navy “Yellow Wings” scheme.
F4U_02_RA
Early production Corsairs had a framed canopy center section, leading to the nickname “birdcage Corsairs”. Although the paint is rather worn and faded, the white dots visible on the fuselage are factory inspection stickers. Note the primer showing through at the forward wing root, and the fading of the fabric wing panels and ailerons. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_03_RA
Although designed as a fighter, the Corsair could carry an impressive bomb load. This F4U-1D is seen hauling two 1,000-pound bombs beneath the fuselage. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_04-4-corsair-of-vbf-82-uss-randolph_1946
The Corsair was kept in service after the war, even as several other types were retired in the general de-mobilization which followed. Here is a rather worn F4U-4 in overall Glossy Sea Blue of VBF-82 aboard the USS Randolph (CV-15) in 1946.
F4U_05_XF4U-3_1_RA
The XF4U-3 was designed to provide the Marines with a high-altitude interceptor by fitting a turbocharged Pratt & Whitney XR 2800-16 engine and four bladed prop. The turbocharger inlet is visible under the fuselage in this photograph. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_06_XF4U-3_2_RA
A fine study of one of the three XF4U-3 prototypes. Problems with the engine resulted in fitting a Pratt & Whitney R 2800-14 engine instead, the aircraft achieving an impressive speed of 480 mph at 40,000 feet. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
F4U_07_TorokinaAirfield_Bouganville
Torokina Airfield on Bouganville provides the standard South Pacific setting for this Corsair as it taxies out on the Marston mat runway.
F4U_08
Several Marine squadrons employed the Corsair primarily in the close air support mission. This aircraft is being prepped for another mission to add to her already-impressive scoreboard.
F4U_09
The FG-1D of Marine Lt Leroy Anheuser displays his Ace of Hearts emblem. The aircraft was assigned to VMF-122, based on Peleiu during 1944-45.
F4U_10_Jeremiah_OKeef
Marine 1Lt Jeremiah O’Keefe of VMF-323 poses in the cockpit of his Corsair on Okinawa. O’Keefe downed five Japanese aircraft during a single sortie on 22APR45, and an additional two on 28APR45. He was awarded the Navy Cross.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher Color Photographs Part III

Kingfisher_21_RA
A beautiful photograph of Kingfishers in the “three tone” graded camouflage. The barred insignia with blue outline was in use from August 1943 through the end of the war. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

Kingfisher_22
A Kingfisher aboard the portside catapult on the fantail of the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) during her work-ups in the Atlantic, August 1944. The crew appears to be conducting an abandon ship drill. Note the main float of the OS2U is painted Intermediate Blue while the wingtip floats are in Sea Blue.

Kingfisher_23_MissouriBB63_1944
Another Kingfisher aboard Missouri’s catapult, this example has the individual aircraft number 6 painted on the tip of the float. Missouri’s decks do not yet have their camouflage stain applied.

Kingfisher_24_Missouri
An excellent view of Missouri’s crane as a Kingfisher is recovered. The gun director tub for the portside 40 mm mount on the fantail is painted with the number “16”.

Kingfisher_25_Missouri
A Kingfisher is launched from Missouri’s starboard catapult. The catapults could be trained through a wide arc (even across the deck) in order to optimize the wind for launch. The Officer of the Deck was required to calculate the true wind and then determine the proper ship’s course and speed to optimize the relative wind for launching the aircraft.

Kingfisher_26_Missouri
At the end of the mission the aircraft is hoisted back aboard. Crewmen use steadying lines to keep the aircraft from rotating as it is suspended from the crane.

Kingfisher_27
A well-worn Kingfisher is being rigged to the hoist for recovery. This evolution would present an obvious hazard to the aircrew in rough weather. Note that the wingtips and tail surfaces are painted in a lighter shade of blue, perhaps Blue Gray replacements?

Kingfisher_28
An OS2U approaching the recovery sled towed behind the recovery ship. A hook on the underside of the Kingfisher’s float engaged netting on the sled, allowing crewmen aboard the ship to wench the aircraft into the optimum position for hooking up with the crane.  Practice bomb dispensers are under each wing. 

Kingfisher_29
With the hoist secured the aircraft is ready to be brought back aboard. The sailor in the center of the photograph is maneuvering a boom into position to help steady the aircraft and prevent it from swinging.

Kingfisher_30
A Kingfisher at the moment of launch in early-war markings. Note the position of the observer in the rear cockpit as he braces against the acceleration of the catapult.

Kingfisher_30B
A forlorn sight repeated around the world at the end of WWII. Among the types relegated to this boneyard are several surplus Kingfishers, their services no longer needed. Within the next five years advances in jet engine and helicopter technology would render the majority of even the most advanced WWII era aircraft designs obsolete in their intended roles.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher Color Photographs Part II

Kingfisher_11
A training Kingfisher being refueled at NAS Corpus Christy while the pilot waits to board. The uppersurfaces of this Kingfisher have been camouflaged in Blue Gray but the float is Aluminum. Also unusual is the absence of fuselage insignia.  A pair of Consolidated P2Ys are on the water in the background.

Kingfisher_12
Ground crew wait beside a Kingfisher in the pre-war Yellow Wings scheme which was Aluminum Dope overall with Orange Yellow upper wing surfaces. They wear immersion suits to protect them from hypothermia.

Kingfisher_13
Another OS2U in the Yellow Wings scheme. Note that the aircraft number 32 is repeated on the cowling and on the fuselage. It is hard to imagine much of a conversation over the roar of the engine.

Kingfisher_14
Even in the middle of the war, many Kingfishers assigned to training duties had their upper wing surfaces painted Orange Yellow to make them more visible in case of emergency. This could be vital in the event of an aircraft downed at sea, as the fuselage and float color seen here demonstrate the effectiveness of the Blue Gray camouflage.

Kingfisher_15
A section of Kingfishers warm up their engines in preparation for a training sortie. Diorama builders should note the various designs of boarding ladders in these photographs.

Kingfisher_16
A beautiful study of a Kingfisher with beaching gear, which are detachable wheels which allowed an OS2U on floats to be hauled up a ramp onto shore. This aircraft wore camouflage but carried Orange Yellow upper wing surfaces, as can also be seen displayed on the aircraft in the background.

Kingfisher_17
A section of three taxiing for a water take-off. The weight of these aircraft is carried by the center float, the stabilizing floats on the wings are all clear of the water.

Kingfisher_18
The graded camouflage scheme was introduced in January 1943 and consisted of Sea Blue upper surfaces, Intermediate Blue sides, and White undersurfaces.

Kingfisher_19
A beautiful shot of two Kingfishers in early war markings preparing for patrol. This picture gives an excellent view of the beaching gear and bomb shackles under each wing.

Kingfisher_20
A Kingfisher heads down to the water from a Marston mat ramp in the Aleutians. The red outline to the national insignia was only authorized for a short time during the summer of 1943. This aircraft, like many in the Aleutians, carried non-standard insignia as the markings on the upper starboard wing were directed to have been removed several months earlier. The white stripes on the tail surfaces are theater markings.

Kingfisher_20B
Instrument panel and cockpit details of a museum aircraft. Note the size and color of the pilot’s lap belt.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher Color Photographs Part I

Kingfisher_01_RA
A beautiful photograph of a formation of OS2U Kingfishers assigned to the USS Mississippi (BB-41). Like most USN floatplane types of the period, the floats of Kingfisher could be easily replaced by conventional fixed landing gear for operations ashore. The aircraft are BuNo 1714, 1715, and 1716. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

Kingfisher_02__RA
Another aspect of one of Mississippi’s Kingfishers, showing off details of the Yellow Wings scheme. The blue tail indicates assignment to Battleship Division Three (BATDIV Three), the aircraft are from VO-3. The solid white nose indicating the lead aircraft of the second section. The Squadron’s insignia is visible on the fuselage just behind the pilot, “Oswald the Luck Rabbit” riding a bomb. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

Kingfisher_03
Here is a rather worn looking Kingfisher in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme and the enhanced national markings authorized from 23DEC41 to 06MAY42. Modelers note the oil streaking on the cowling and the wear to the paint on the forward float strut. The side markings indicate an inshore patrol squadron.

Kingfisher_04_HG
An officer walks between rows of Kingfishers in the wheeled configuration in early 1942. The white blocks on the vertical tails cover the Bureau Numbers of the aircraft, this is likely a security measure – either tape before the picture was taken or the actions of a censor afterwards. (NASM Hans Groenhoff collection)

Kingfisher_05
This Kingfisher is maneuvering alongside a battleship to be recovered. The side code 5-O-7 allows for identification of the aircraft’s squadron and ship assignment. The code identifies Squadron (5), Type (O for Observation, and aircraft number. Observation Squadron Five was assigned to BATDIV Five, aircraft 5-O-7, 5-O-8, and 5-O-9 were assigned to the USS Texas, BB-35. (LIFE magazine photograph)

Kingfisher_06
Another Texas Kingfisher comes alongside. Note the individual aircraft number repeated on the upper wing surface. This was common among Navy aircraft to aid in spotting aircraft. (LIFE magazine photograph)

Kingfisher_07
This Kingfisher carries the national insignia style in use from August 1943. The pilot and observer are watching the aircraft’s approach to a recovery sled, which was a canvas panel towed behind the ship. The Kingfisher had a hook protruding from under the main float which would engage the sled allowing the aircraft to be hauled into the proper position and winched back aboard.

Kingfisher_08_USS_uincyCA71_Aug44
The fantail of the Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-71) with two of her Kingfishers warming their engines on their catapults. Quincy spent most of the war in the Atlantic Fleet, including supporting the invasion of Southern France and embarking President Roosevelt for a summit.

Kingfisher_09_ IowaBB61
Sailors posed in a 40 mm gun director tub on the fantail of the USS Iowa (BB-61) with one of the ship’s Kingfishers on the catapult behind. The Iowa class battleships typically carried two Kingfishers on the catapults ready for launch.

Kingfisher_10
A fine study of one of Texas’ Kingfishers. Considerable spray could be generated even in calm seas. The colorful markings were changed in May 1942, eliminating all red to avoid confusion with the Japanese Hinomaru.

Kingfisher_10B
The observer leans out of his cockpit as a Kingfisher comes alongside for recovery. One of the observer’s duties was to climb out onto the wing and secure the crane hook to the aircraft so it could be hoisted aboard.