Subject Index: Chance Vought F4U Corsair

Subject Index: Chance Vought F4U Corsair

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Subject Index: Chance Vought F4U Corsair

Aircraft -Combat Record -Book Reviews -Pictures -Plans

The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was probably the best American naval fighter of the Second World War, although it didn't seen service on American carriers until late in the war.


Chance Vought F4U Corsair - introduction
Chance Vought F4U-1 Corsair
Chance Vought F4U-2 Corsair
Chance Vought XF4U-3 Corsair
Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair
Chance Vought F4U-5 Corsair
Chance Vought AU-1 Corsair
Chance Vought F4U-7 Corsair
Chance Vought F4U Corsair statistics
Goodyear F2G “Super” Corsair

Combat Record

Chance Vought F4U Corsair in American Service
Chance Vought F4U Corsair in British Service

Book Reviews


Chance Vought Corsair: of the French Air Force

Chance Vought Corsair: of the French Air Force


Chance Vought F4U-1A Corsair: Front plan

Chance Vought F4U-1A Corsair: Side plan

Chance Vought F4U-1A Corsair: Top plan

Comparative Plans

U.S. Navy Fighter Aircraft of the Second World War: Frontal Plans

IPMS/USA Reviews

Originally conceived and developed as a carrier-based fighter for the United States Navy, the F4U Corsair was initially adopted by the US Marine Corps as a dependable and extremely lethal land-based fighter-bomber. The Corsair's unique and innovative configuration incorporated engine oil coolers in the inboard wing sections, with the resulting airflow through them making an unmistakable whistling sound, audible over the sound of the engine and firing of its guns. So predominant and unnerving was this sound to the Japanese forces on the receiving end of Corsair wrath that they dubbed the Corsair "Whistling Death." Designed and manufactured by Chance Vought under the designation F4U and license built by Goodyear as FG-1, Corsairs became the staple of Marine Corps fighter units in the Pacific Theatre from 1942 until the end of World War II in 1945. Rugged, fast, dependable, and robustly armed, Corsairs continued service as fighter-bombers into the jet age through the Korean War.

In the Bag

To the delight of Marine Corps Corsair aficionados, FunDekals packs its new 1/32 sheet, "Whistling Death" with markings for 16 distinct F4U-1A, FG-1A, and F4U-1D aircraft as follows:


  • BuNo. 13143 "Blue Baron" VMF-114 Peleliu, 1944
  • BuNo. 14426 "Chief Montana" VMF-223, Bougainville, 1944-45


  • CVG-4 (VMF-124 & VMF-213), USS Essex, 1944-45
  • VBF-83, USS Essex, March 1945
  • VBF-83, USS Essex, April 1945
  • VBF-83, USS Essex, May 1945
  • "Killer's Hash Wagon", VBF-83, USS Essex, Spring 1945
  • BuNo. 57522, VMF-211 Leyte, Winter 1945
  • VMF-216/-217, USS Wasp, Winter 1945
  • BuNo. 57559, VMF-312, Kadena Field, Okinawa, April 1945
  • BuNo. 57670, VMF-312, Kadena Field, Okinawa, Spring 1945
  • BuNo. 57584, VMF-312, Kadena Field, Okinawa, May 1945
  • BuNo. 88042, VF-85, USS Shangri-La, May 1945
  • "My Nel III," VMF-511, USS Block Island, Summer 1945
  • "Maze & Hayes," VMF-511, USS Block Island, Summer 1945

A 49-page marking guide and supporting references are provided in a full-color online document which not only aides in marking placement, but provides fascinating background information about the aircraft, units, and deployment scenarios.

Printed primarily in white, the images are crisp and clear with sharp register.


Although not able to get the sample on a finished Corsair, an example was evaluated on a testbed model with a dark glossy finish maintained for just such purposes. The sample decals were very thin and responded well to initial positioning and subsequent repositioning. The Microscale system was used in their application and they responded well to both Micro Set and Micro Sol. There was no evidence of poor adhesion or silvering at any point.


FunDekals "Whistling Death" 1/32 scale sheet is a great aftermarket pick-up for any modeler wanting to build an accurate USMC F4U-1A, FG-1A, or F4U-1D from the final two years of Pacific island-hopping. I like this sheet and subject matter so much, that it is serving as a catalyst to get my Tamiya F4U-1A and vintage Revell F4U-1A out of the stash and onto the bench. This sheet is Highly Recommended.

Thanks to FunDekals and IMPS/USA for the sample sheet, the opportunity to review it, and the much-needed nudge to get a couple of kits out of the stash and on to the workbench!

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Guyton was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, September 4, 1913. His birth certificate incorrectly spelled his first name “Bond” but was later corrected. His father William Henry Guyton, the Superintendent Transportation, E. St. Louis & Suburban Railroad, died in 1921 before Boone's 8th birthday. His mother, Martha (Windhorst) Guyton raised Boone and his older brother William, much of it during the depression. Boone graduated from East St. Louis High School in 1931.

Guyton then attended Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, graduating in 1935 and starring on the 1934 football team which won the Missouri College Athletic Union (MCAU) championship. Guyton played end and led the league in scoring, setting a college record for most touchdowns caught in the end-zone (seven). [1] He was named on the all-conference team and earned a mention in Ripley's Believe It or Not for having scored all his touchdowns without carrying the ball across the goal line.

In 1927 at the age of 14, Guyton became fascinated by aviation as he monitored the feats of Charles Lindbergh in the Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh was young Guyton's consummate hero, though Guyton would later feel that a flying career would be economically impossible to pursue. [2]

Upon graduating from College in 1935, with the Great Depression in the United States, Guyton's options were few and far between. His college dean, feeling he would be a good teacher helped Guyton land a teaching position. Though grateful, Guyton felt uneasy and did not perceive himself a teacher.

Just after the teaching offer, a large brown envelope arrived from the U.S. Navy announcing a new aviation cadet program at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. [3] Guyton pursued the offer and was accepted. In 1936 he graduated tenth in the first graduating class despite a 44 percent attrition rate. [4]

For the next three years, Guyton flew for the Navy out of Naval Air Station North Island San Diego, California and off carriers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga [4] in various locations around the world, including Midway, Honolulu, the French Frigate Shoals, the Aleutians and Panama. [2] Guyton was a member of Bombing Squadron Five flying mostly Boeing F4B-4s. In 1937, it was Guyton's squadron on the USS Lexington which took part in the search for Amelia Earhart. Guyton, however, was on leave at the time. [5]

Nearing the end of his three years as a Naval aviator, Guyton attended a TWA ground school for the DC-3 aircraft. With only a few weeks remaining at NAS North Island, Guyton reluctantly accepted a position to join TWA as a co-pilot. However, with just days remaining in the Navy, Guyton met a factory representative from Vought-Sikorsky and subsequently landed a test-pilot position for Vought teaching the French Navy to fly American dive-bombers. His last day as a Navy pilot was July 16, 1939. Guyton spent the next three days at Vought's Stratford, Connecticut factory in a “study in frenzy”, preparing for France and learning as much as possible about the SB2U Vindicator (the French version of that plane had been dubbed the V-156) before departing for Paris. [6]

Also during those three days, Guyton caught a glimpse of a mockup of Vought's next generation high-speed, single-seat fighter, the XF4U-1. The production version would later be known as the F4U Corsair. He departed for Paris on the French liner SS Champlain, arriving in Paris in August, 1939, less than a month before the Nazi Blitzkrieg against Poland and the beginning of World War II.

Guyton spent six months in France, first living in Paris and flying out of Orly Airport. He was later moved to Brest, (flying out of the air station at Lanvéoc Poulmic) after the nighttime curfews, air-raid sirens and trips to the bomb shelters became all-too-frequent occurrences in Paris. The bulk of Guyton's time was spent testing the new V-156 aircraft as they arrived from the U.S. and training various French pilots. The planes were to be used, it was believed, to attack Nazi tanks when they arrived. [7]

While stationed at Orly Field, Guyton nearly became only the second American pilot to fly the vaunted Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter prior to World War II (the only known American to fly it at that time was Charles Lindbergh himself, who had flown it in 1938 and praised its abilities [8] ). The Messerschmitt pilot had landed in France with engine trouble earlier that year and the plane was brought to the French Aerodrome at Bricy, near Orly. Guyton had arranged a test flight following French racing pilot Michel Detroyat, winner of the Thompson Trophy just three years earlier in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Detroyat experienced mechanical troubles with the Messerschmitt's brakes and plane was damaged upon landing to the extent that Guyton would miss his opportunity. [4]

By the time January 1940 arrived with rising tensions in Europe, Nazis threatening France and the pressures of so-called neutrality laws, Vought terminated Guyton's assignment and sent him back to the States. He exited France via Italy where he boarded the ocean liner SS Manhattan which ran under the American flag and was theoretically safe from German U-boat attacks as it headed through the Strait of Gibraltar. [9] Guyton arrived in New York harbor on January 24, 1940. [10]

Upon returning to the States, Guyton found himself once again looking for work. Things at Vought were quiet as the new XF4U-1 Corsair prototype was not yet airworthy and the OS2U Kingfisher had yet to roll off the assembly line. With no other options, Guyton accepted an offer from TWA and finally flew for the airline he'd passed up three years earlier. Guyton's airline career officially began on March 6, flying mostly DC-3s.

But as luck would have it, a job offer would arrive from Vought's Rex Beisel a mere three months later to fill an open position for an experimental test pilot. [11] At the end of May 1940, Guyton left TWA and reported to Vought's chief of flight test, Lyman Bullard, shortly before the Corsair's maiden flight on May 29.

On July 9, Guyton would fly XF4U-1 for the first time. During his fifth flight in the plane, on July 11, Guyton was caught in bad weather during high-speed testing and was forced to make an emergency landing on a golf course as fuel ran out. [12] The Corsair skidded into a group of trees and flipped over, but the damage was luckily repairable and only set the program back two months. Subsequently, Bullard was able to demonstrate the XF4U-1 for the Navy on October 1 while also becoming the first single seat production fighter to surpass 400 mph (Bullard actually reached 405 mph [13] ).

Guyton continued testing the XF4U-1 Corsair as well as various versions of the SB2U Vindicator and OS2U Kingfisher. On 25 June 1942, he would fly the first production F4U-1 Corsair to roll of the assembly line and from that point on, the pace of the Corsair testing became frenetic and Guyton would spend much less time in the other aircraft. Back in the F4U-1 on June 26, Guyton then got married on the 27th, took one day off and returned to flight testing on the 29th. [14] The next few years also included frequent trips to Navy bases around the country to train Navy pilots on the fighter that would soon carry them into combat. One such "student" was Captain Tom Blackburn of the VF-17 [15] also known as the VFA-103 "Jolly Rogers".

Outside of his Corsair testing efforts, Guyton was also named the chief experimental test pilot for the Vought V-173 “flying flapjack” (or flying pancake) prototype. He took the V-173 on its maiden flight on November 23, 1942. [16] Destined to become the next great propeller driven fighter design, development of the XF5U (the high speed fighter version of the V-173) would be stopped in 1947 before it ever flew. The Navy had switched focus to jet-propelled aircraft.

In late October 1944, Guyton participated in Navy Fighter Meet at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland where pilots from the military and various manufacturers tested and compared military aircraft. It was there that he finally got a chance to fly a captured Japanese A6M Zero fighter and the revolutionary, jet propelled Bell YP–59A Airacomet.

By 1945, Guyton had logged more than 650 hours testing Corsairs (XF4U-1, F4U-1, XF4U-3, XF4U-4, F4U-4 etc.) and nearly 33 hours in the V-173 [17]

In 1948 Vought moved the factory from Stratford, Connecticut to Dallas, Texas. Guyton continued to fly later iterations of the Corsair (F4U-7 and AU-1) as well as Vought jets: the F6U Pirate and the F7U Cutlass. He decided to leave Vought in 1951 after 12 years, completing his career as an experimental test pilot. His last flight for Vought occurred on April 17, 1951 when he volunteered to deliver a F6U Pirate from Texas to Sorocco, New Mexico where it would join other discarded, obsolete aircraft. During the flight, a hydraulic failure forced Guyton to make an emergency landing, which he managed to walk away from unscathed. [18]

In early 1943, Charles Lindbergh began consulting to Vought, related primarily to the engineering of the F4U. Both Lyman Bullard and Guyton debriefed the legendary pilot on the characteristics of the F4U-1 before Lindbergh's first Corsair flight on January 6, 1943. [19] Lindbergh flew the plane three more times on January 6 and then left Vought, not returning for a month. [20]

At dinner one night, Lindbergh and Guyton shared some thoughts. Some were on aeronautical subjects and some not, including their mutual acquaintance, French pilot Michel Detroyat. Lindbergh mentioned that it was Detroyat who rescued him from the masses of exuberant fans the night he landed the Spirit of St. Louis at Le Bourget. [21]

In March 1943, Guyton suffered a near-fatal crash landing after the engine in his F4U seized at 22,000 feet and he attempted to glide it back to the factory's airport where it literally broke in half upon impact. One of his first visitors at Bridgeport hospital, besides Guyton's wife, was Lindbergh himself. [22]

Guyton's relationship with Lindbergh continued throughout the war including a dinner at the newly acquired Lindbergh Westport, Connecticut home in late 1944 [23]

Leaving Vought, Guyton returned to New England with his wife and four children, settling in Woodbridge, Connecticut where they conceived a fifth child. Career-wise, Guyton assumed various management positions at Hamilton Standard, United Technologies Corporation - Missiles and Space Division, and eventually his own company. Guyton continued to fly recreationally until 1982 when he stopped for good, forty-seven years after joining the Naval Aviation Cadet program. He flew over 100 different aircraft including almost all of the top fighters of World War II (P-51 Mustang, Supermarine Spitfire, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning, F4F Wildcat, Japanese Zero, F6F Hellcat, Curtiss P-40), but he is best remembered as the chief experimental test pilot for the Corsair.

During his retirement years, Guyton lectured on the Corsair and V-173 and continued to write. His third and last book, Whistling Death – the Test Pilot's Story of the F4U Corsair, was published in 1990.

Death Edit

Guyton died from cancer 4 April 1996 at the age of 82. He is buried in Woodbridge, CT where he spent the last 40 years of his life. He is survived by five children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Hoof's Warbirds Performance Page

Author's Note: As many readers already know,I have been hired as a programmer for Interactive Magic Online(makers of Warbirds). As such I will probably not be able to makemuch changes to this page for a while. But I did want to statethat this page is *NOT* official IMOL material, this page is aprivate page of the author (me), and represents my views,opinions, and test results, *not* IMOL's. Thus nothing in thispage (unless otherwise specified) is "official", andthus should not be treated as such. I hope to continue this pagein the theme it was created, and test new aircraft as they becomeavailable to the general public. (this had to be said, otherwise*someone* will take something I say as "official" IMOLpublication)

One of my hobbies ever since I started flying ICI's Warbirdshas been to test the planes of warbirds so I'd know how eachperforms relative to each other. This has grown from a simplesustained-turn timing test between the SpitV vs other TnB planes,to testing acceleration/turn rates at different altitudes, tothis web page. Basically, I decided one day that if I'm spendingliterally dozens of hours timing these planes, why not make a Webpage so all can see how these planes fly? So here we are.

The organization of this page consists of a methods pagecontaining the description of my testing methods and what Itested, a series of links to individual plane pages, followed bycharts comparing these planes. As this is a "work inprogress" (dreaded phrase :) , things get added on a regularbasis, new planes, more comparison charts, writeups, and moredetail on plane performance. As the planes are up to date, I amslowing up a bit, and doing a release every month or two.

The philosophy behind these tests is to test the actualWarbirds planes. Numbers and figures pulled from history are fineand dandy, but when we fly in WarBirds, we have to deal with theplanes as they are modeled in Warbirds, however accurate they maybe. For the fighter information part of each plane's page, I'vedone a bit of research, to find out what each plane's componentsare (such as wing area, weight, engine, etc). For the performancepart, I set up a standard testing pattern, set each plane up with10 minutes of fuel, and used a simple stopwatch and theaircraft's flight instruments. Thus, someone repeating my testsmight come up with different numbers, but that is OK, since theintention here is *comparison* of planes, and if two plane'sfigures are close, then they probably will do the same stuff inWB. And finally I wrote a small blurb on my tips and opinions onflying the particular plane, it's strengths/weaknesses, as wellas a bit of history on the plane.

Some of the plane's information (such as weights, wing areas,and engine types/power) are missing and this represents a lack ofinformation on my part. I am doing research on the side for asmany planes as possible to provide accurate data on the planesand WarBird's implementations, but if someone has someinformation I don't I would be more than happy to receive Emailon the subject referring me to books or giving me some of mymissing stats (preferably with sources to back it up). I wantthese pages to be as accurate as possible, so that people can getan accurate comparison of the diverse plane set in warbirds!

Anyway, enough blabbering! On to the planes!

Warning: these pages use tables. This was virtuallyunavoidable considering the nature of the data being displayed.

Note: all speeds in these pages are Indicated Air Speed!Since WB instruments focus on Indicated Air Speed and not TrueAir Speed I decided to use Indicated Air Speed for allmeasurements. Altitude information accompanies all speedrecordings for use in conversion to True Air Speed if desired.

Also note: all tips and writeups on the plane pages arethe author's opinion only and are not intended as professionalwriteups but merely my opinion of the planes based on the dataand my experiences with them (as well as my knowledge of theplane's history).

North American P-51 Mustang vs Vought F4U Corsair

4 x 20mm long-barrel Hispano-Suiza cannons in wings (two guns to a wing).
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns in nose (A-36).
4 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns in wings (two guns to a wing).

6 x 0.50 cal Browning M2 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in wings (three guns to a wing).

Up to 1,000 lb (454kg) of conventional drop bombs, rockets, or fuel drop tanks carried under wing.

6 x 12.7mm M2 Browning heavy machine guns (three to a wing).

4 x 20mm M2 automatic cannons (F4U-1C).

Mission-specific armament (up to a maximum of 4,000lb) to include aerial rockets and conventional drop bombs.

IPMS/USA Reviews

Opening the package of decals you will find two large sheets of beautifully printed markings for no less than nine Corsairs These aircraft include mostly F4U-1A's with markings for two F4U-1D's and one late war FG-1D. There is no instruction booklet included in the package. However going to the Fundekals website you can download the instruction booklet as a PDF file. I call this an instruction booklet as it is comprised of 24 pages of Color and B&W illustrations and photographs of each of the aircraft covered on the sheet. Also in the booklet are precise instructions pointing out the various differences in each of the covered aircraft. A detailed history of each covered aircraft and its pilot is included. A really nice touch was a page covering the various different antenna arrangements. Covering, as they say, "Some stuff you might not have known". Another page explains "New research on insignia colors in the Solomons. 1943-1944".

Included are markings for two of Maj. Greg Boyington's planes flying off Valla La Vella in 1943 as well as a plane for Maj. Marion Carl of VMF-223 on Bougainville. Most of the covered aircraft are in the three-color Non-specular White/ Non-Specular Intermediate Blue/ Non-Specular Sea blue scheme with the later warplanes in the glossy sea blue scheme. One covered plane was flown by 1st Lt. William Eldridge Jr. flying with VMF-441 who won the Navy Cross for downing four Japanese aircraft while defending the USS Laffey during the massive kamikaze attack on April 15, 1945.

The sheets include star and bar national markings as well as the white sealing tape. The profiles for the aircraft point out the variations found in the sealing tape and how it was used only as needed and could change on any given day. The decals were thin and printing registration was spot on. The decals worked well with Micro Set and Micro Sol.

I used the markings for the F4U-1A in VMF-321 Hell's Angels. This aircraft had yellow prop hub as well as yellow on the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer and tip of the tail. I mixed a little Tamiya flat red into some Tamiya flat yellow to get the correct shade of yellow. After painting the undersides with Tamiya flat white I used Aeromaster intermediate blue and sea blue to finish the three-color scheme. The plane also had two different names painted on the cowling as well as two different pilots' names under the sliding canopy. By this time in the war, there were more pilots available than planes so they were shared. Each pilot named his plane and they are covered on the sheet.

I enjoyed working with these decals and I highly recommend them for anyone wanting to do a Marine F4U Corsair. If you have the display space and can build more than one of these big airplanes then this is the sheet to get.

Edward T. Maloney

Edward T. Maloney (May 21, 1928 – August 19, 2016) was an American aviation historian based in Southern California.

He assembled much of the collection of historic airframes displayed at the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino Airport, Chino, California. [1]

Maloney believed that today's scrap is tomorrow's history, and in 1946 began collecting odd airframes for a future museum. His first item was reportedly an Ohka Kamikaze rocket.

Maloney opened his first aviation museum at Claremont, California, on January 12, 1957, and then moved to LA/Ontario International Airport, Ontario, California, in the 1960s. His collection included several military aircraft including a rare P-26 Peashooter, a P-51A, a Hanriot HD.1, a Heinkel He 162, the Northrop N9M flying wing testbed, the nose section of a B-36 Peacemaker bomber. It also includes the last B-17 Flying Fortress bomber in United States Air Force operation, the drone-director Piccadilly Lilly II (44-83684). This B-17 starred in the Twelve O' Clock High television series from 1964-1966. Interactive displays included a vintage World War II gunnery training machine.

In 1969, Maloney was forced to move his collection from the Ontario Airport hangar, and chose its present location at Chino Airport. Maloney remained active in the preservation of aviation history until he died from colon cancer on August 19, 2016, aged 88. [2]

AVG 83

VBF-83 F4U1-D’s on board Essex as part of AVG-83

On March 10, 1945 AVG-83 replaced AVG-4 and embarked on board Essex. The air group comprised four squadrons, VT-83 (TBM-3’s), VB-83 (SB2C-4’s), VF-83 (F6F-5’s), and VBF-83 (F4U1-D’s). As was becoming increasingly common, the bombing and torpedo squadrons embarked only 15 aircraft each to make as much room as possible for fighters to combat the increasing threat of Kamikaze attacks. Between them, VF-83 and VBF-83 added a total of 73 fighters aboard Essex as she departed on a cruise that would last until war’s end.

A little over a week after leaving Ulithi in the Caroline Islands, Essex, with the other fast carriers took part in an attack on the Japanese home Islands. VBF-83 logged its first kills March 18 with VF-83 splashing nine the following day. These attacks were only the beginning however Essex and the rest of her group were to be key players in a far more important task beginning April 1, 1945 – Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa.

VB-83 SB2C-4 Helldivers

The campaign began in the last week of March and did not officially end until the last week if June. During this time AVG-83 had the distinction of leading the Task Force in enemy aircraft shot down with a remarkable score of 182 confirmed kills (VF-83 with 122 & VBF-83 with 60). In addition, both VT and VB-83 played a key part in the attack and sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato. Finally, but most certainly not least, countless support missions, both ground attack and CAP, were flown by all Essex’s squadrons which helped the 10th Army on the ground secure the Islands at the end of June 1945.

Each squadron was tasked with different mission priorities. VB-83’s Helldivers and VT-83’s Avengers were given shipping strikes, anti-submarine patrols, ground troop support and various special mission functions. VF-83’s Hellcats were, along with the other fighter squadrons, charged with the safety of the fleet flying constant CAP missions, supported by VBF-83’s Corsairs when they weren’t flying support missions for the ground personnel.

AVG-83 – Codes and Markings.

Specification SR-2C dated January 5, 1943 initiated the Tri-Colour scheme for USN aircraft operating in the Pacific. This scheme remained in effect until the fall of 1944, when all over Glossy Sea Blue became the designated scheme for all Pacific carrier aircraft.

Essex class carriers carried 103 aircraft of all types. By spring 1945, they were numbered in an orderly system that, with few exceptions, listed as follows:

Fighter Squadrons – VF and VBF: 100’s
Bomber Squadrons – VB: 200’s
Torpedo Squadrons – VT: 300’s

Replacement aircraft usually arrived with a temporary number on the cowling that was the last three digits of the Bu. No., this was quickly replaced with the assigned code for the squadron.

In a Confidential Letter No. 2CTL-45, dated January 27 1945, the USN Air Force, Pacific Fleet, instituted The Geometric Symbols (“G” Symbols) system as a way to have all carrier based aircraft easily identifiable to their carrier. All carriers were assigned a G-Symbol which was painted on all aircraft on each side of the tail fin, on the upper side of the starboard wing, and lower side of the port wing. AVG-83 received the “Hourglass” or “Bowtie” assigned to USS Essex.

Profile of an F4U with the USS Essex “Bowtie” G-Symbol.

Other temporary markings were sometimes applied. The best known example of this is for the attacks on the Japanese home islands in February 1945. All assigned aircraft had their forward cowls painted either yellow or white. Although there is circumstantial evidence to suggest the yellow/white cowlings made a reappearance, one VF-18 pilot, CDR J. Ted Crosby has no recollection of them ever being reapplied to VF-18 aircraft.

In July 1945, the Navy changed again and instituted a system of Letter Codes. Each carrier was to replace their G-Symbol with an assigned single or double letter code to be painted in the same locations as the G-Symbol. Essex’s new code was the single letter “F”. This order was almost universally implemented, though some exceptions occurred and indeed some aircraft ended the war still displaying their G-Symbol.

By August 1945, most of AVG-83 had switched to the new standard of assigned letters for identification as seen here on a TBM-3 of VB-83


The airport was originally Avon Field, a racetrack where aircraft landed on the grass infield. It was the site of the country's first air show held in 1911, on the grounds of what is now St. Michaels Cemetery. [4] It became known as Mollison Field after Captain Jim Mollison's crash landing there in 1933 during an attempt to fly across the Atlantic. The City of Bridgeport purchased the airport in 1937, after which it became Bridgeport Municipal Airport.

In 1972 it was rededicated as the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport, honoring the airport's most famous tenant, Igor Sikorsky, who selected Stratford as the site for his Sikorsky Aviation Corporation in 1929. [5]

In the 1950s American Airlines stopped at Bridgeport, one Convair a day American left in 1960. Allegheny Airlines then provided service until 1976.

In the 1980s the airport was served by five carriers or their regional affiliates: Business Express Airlines, Continental Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, US Air and United Express. [6] In 1992 airlines flew from Bridgeport to several cities in the northeast, including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston and Newark. [7]

The airport has been the subject of heated debate in Stratford and Bridgeport. While the City of Bridgeport owns the airport, the whole property is in the Town of Stratford. Before the end of World War II little more than salt marshes surrounded the airport, but in the 1950s and 1960s Stratford permitted extensive residential development in the Lordship area near the airfield. Bridgeport has pushed for runway and terminal expansion, hoping to attract new service to the airport, arguing that service to the airport is necessary for the growth of Bridgeport's economy. Stratford has opposed terminal expansion and runway lengthening that would interfere with existing roads. Even when the airport was served by major carriers, Stratford advocated for limits on flights because of noise in the Lordship and South End neighborhoods. In 2003 the Federal Aviation Administration mandated the lengthening of the two runways with unpaved safety overruns at each end. Stratford and Connecticut officials have resisted the FAA effort to install the overruns, but the FAA has notified Stratford, Bridgeport and state officials that it may obtain a federal court order to use eminent domain to complete the overruns.

In June 2006 US Helicopter began scheduled flights to New York's Downtown Manhattan Heliport, continuing to John F. Kennedy International Airport. This was the first airline service since 1999. On September 25, 2009 US Helicopter suddenly shut down.

In February 2007 state legislators from Bridgeport, in an effort to force expansion, introduced legislation allowing the State of Connecticut to take over the airport. Officials from Stratford would prefer the town take ownership of the airport and oppose the proposed state takeover.

In October 2016 runway 6-24 re-opened after closing in late 2014 for a 300-foot length of “EMAS,” or engineered materials arrestor system, could be installed at its east end. [8]

The airport covers 800 acres (324 ha) at an elevation of 9 feet (3 m). It has two asphalt runways: 11/29 is 4,761 by 150 feet (1,451 x 46 m) and 6/24 is 4,677 by 100 feet (1,426 x 30 m). [1]

Each runway has a runway safety area that does not meet FAA requirements. Both are wide enough, but 6/24 is 10% and 11-29 is 25% of the required length. [9] [ needs update? ]

In the year ending February 28, 2019, the airport averaged 136 aircraft operations per day: 94% general aviation, 6% air taxi, and <1% military. 155 aircraft were based at the airport: 107 single-engine, 32 jet, 10 multi-engine, 5 helicopter, and one glider. [10]

Airships Edit

At over 800 acres, the airport has room for a number of airships, usually moored south of the 11-29 runway. Often blimps use Sikorsky as a base for flyovers of regional sporting events because of lack of space at other airports, security concerns, and avoiding controlled airspace around cities and larger airports. Approximately 20 dockings are made per year. [11] Visitors have included the Ameriquest, Fuji, Hood,. [12] Metlife, [13] and Monster.Com airships.

Helicopters Edit

Connecticut Airpad 37 (CT 37) is a private-use heliport active since November 1960, featuring two asphalt helipad landing facilities called H1 and H2. [14]

Stratford Eagles Composite Squadron Edit

The Stratford Eagles Composite Squadron is a member group of the non-profit and all-volunteer Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol, which is an official auxiliary of the United States Air Force, carrying the designation NER-CT-022. [15] It performs various duties such as pilot training, search and rescue, disaster relief, and fire watch. [16]

Formed in 1963, the group moved to its present World War II era barracks on west side of the airport at 1100 Stratford Road in 1972. [17] A predecessor group of the same name had been active in spotting German U-boats and air-sea rescue operations during the war from the airfield. [18]

In September 2016 Major Kenneth Fortes was named squadron commander, and was the first African-American to lead a Connecticut Wing squadron. [19] As of May 2018, the current squadron commander is Captain Robert Talley. [20]

Curtiss and Sikorsky hangars Edit

A historically important structure on the airport's grounds is the Curtiss Hangar, built in 1928 by Glenn Curtiss. The hangar served as the home of a branch of the Curtiss Flying School for several years. In 1930, Sikorsky began flying boat production next to the hangar including the Pan AM Clipper. Early Sikorsky helicopter development, including the first practical helicopter, the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 occurred on the grounds. [21]

The Curtiss hangar was referred to as "Hangar 1", while the Sikorsky hangar was referred to as "Hangar 2". [22]

Howard Hughes kept aircraft in the hangar, Amelia Earhart visited, and Charles Lindbergh test piloted the Vought V-173 "Flying Pancake" in the 1940s. [23] During World War II 8000 Chance-Vought F4U Corsair fighter-bombers were produced across the street and flown from the hangar for the war in the Pacific. [24] The XF4U prototype was stored in the hangar. [21]

In 2018 the Connecticut Air and Space Center announced that the hangar is being restored into a museum of flight focusing on locally manufactured aircraft including a Chance-Vought F4U Corsair, a replica of the Gustave Whitehead 1901 flyer and a Sikorsky S-60 helicopter. [25]

Watch the video: Vought F4U Corsair Disassembled u0026 Reassembled


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