Hobby Master HA8208 USMC Chance-Vought F4U-1A Corsair Fighter - VMF-312 "Checkerboards," Okinawa, 1945 [Dive Brakes Down] (1:48 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
Its gull-wing shape made it instantly recognizable. Its characteristic sound while in an attack dive led the Japanese to call it "The Whistling Death." Combined with its high speed, agility and toughness, the Vought F4U Corsair was one of the finest fighters ever built. Originally thought to be too powerful to fly from a carrier, the Corsair weaved a path of destruction in battle after battle during WWII, totally outclassing the much-feared Zero. The last of the great piston-engine fighters, the Corsair went on to become an important component of the US naval air power during the Korean War. Even while it was being replaced by jet aircraft, pilots flying this tough warbird were credited with downing a few MiG-15 jet fighters.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a USMC Chance-Vought F4U-1D Corsair fighter that was attached to VMF-312 "Checkerboards," then deployed to Okinawa during 1945.
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8-1/4 inches
Release Date: September 2013
Historical Account: "Day's Knights" - Marine Fighter Squadron 312 (VMF-312) was commissioned on June 1st, 1943, at Page Field, Parris Island, South Carolina/ Originally it was part of MAG-31, 1st MAW. As first aircraft the squadron received 10 SNJ-4 Texans and one F4U-1D Corsair. As their unit crest the squadron members choose a satan-like bulldog wearing a flying helmet and carrying -at that time- six .50 caliber machineguns (the armament of the Corsair) drawn by Technical Sergeant James R. Wroble. In honor of their commanding officer, Major Richard M. Day, the men nicknamed their squadron "Day's Knights". Also at this time, the Checkerboards emblem began to appear on both the cowling and rudder of the aircraft.
After being transferred in August 1943 to MAG-32, 3rd MAW, the squadron relocated to San Diego, California, and departed Parris Island on January 2nd, 1944, and headed for Miramar. They departed MCAS Miramar on February 28th, 1944 and headed for Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on Hawai. VMF-312 trained at Ewa for 3 months and then headed out for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides to become part of MAG-11, 2nd MAW.
Assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11 on June 25th, 1944, the squadron was transported to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, where they received 24 FG-1 Corsairs. VMF-312's first combat action came on April 12th, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa as part of Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33), when four squadron aircraft intercepted 20 Japanese Zeros and achieved eight kills without a loss. VMF-312 continued to operate from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa until the cessation of hostilities. By war's end, the squadron had accounted for 59.5 air combat kills in the Pacific Theater. Between September 1945 and February 1946 VMF-312 participated in the occupation force stationed on Okinawa.