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 Corsair that was piloted by Lt (JG). Ira C. Kepford, "White 29", who was attached to VF-17 "Jolly Rogers", then deployed to Bougainville during February 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8-1/4 inches
Release Date: April 2012
Historical Account: "Whistling Death" - Born Ira Cassius Kepford he joined the USN Reserve in August 1941 and was accepted as an Aviation Cadet in April 1942. On November 5th, 1942, Kepford earned his wings and commission as Ensign, USNR. In January 1943 he was assigned to the Fighting Squadron 17 the famous "Jolly Rogers," until March 1944. He then transferred to the VF-84 until December 1944 when he once more transferred, this time to the staff of Commander Fleet Air, West Coast. In May 1945, he was promoted to Lieutenant and left active duty on November 7th, 1945, to return to the USNR. When he retired in June 1956 he was a Lieutenant Commander. Flying his F4U-1 Corsair Kepford became an Ace with 16 confirmed victories and one unconfirmed.