Operation: Western, Central and Eastern USA
Wing Span: 41' 0"
Length: 33' 8"
Height: 14' 9"
Max Speed: 470 mph
Gross Weight: 15,200 lbs
Power Plant: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-18W
Fuel Capacity: 234 gallons internal, plus
(2) 150 gallon drop tanks
Armament: (6) .50 caliber machine
guns with 2,400 rounds, (8) 5" HVAR (high
velocity aircraft rockets), (2) 1,000 lbs bombs
or Napalm or 15" Tiny Tim rockets.
Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair "Korean War Hero"
Jim Tobul is the owner and
operator of this
beautifully restored Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair "Korean
War Hero" (BuNo
a Korean War combat veteran and is available for airshows, flybys and film.
The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was the first American
fighter to demonstrate air superiority over Japanese
aircraft during the Second World War and the most
capable of all carrier-based fighter aircraft. The F4U
model 4B was delivered to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm
aircraft carriers in June of 1945 just in time for the
final push against the Japanese mainland.
Chance Vought, the second oldest aircraft
manufacturer having been founded in 1917, designed and
built the prototype of the Corsair, a single-seat
carrier-based fighter which first flew on May 29, 1940.
Deliveries to the military started in July 1942 when
they first entered combat from land bases on recaptured
Pacific islands and from Allied aircraft carriers in the
Pacific Ocean. Corsairs were the first American fighter
to exceed 400 mph. They were soon recognized by the
Japanese as a formidable adversary and considered
superior to their own best fighters. More than 12,000
Corsairs of various models were built before production
ceased in 1952.
Corsairs have a distinctive and ingenious gull-shaped
wing design, which serves three purposes. First, it
enables the wings to fold upward which allowed more
aircraft to be stored on the flight decks and hangars of
the small aircraft carriers of the time. Second, the
wing design resulted in a shorter and stronger landing
gear strut to withstand the tremendous shock loads
resulting from carrier landings. Finally, it provided
ground clearance for the thirteen-foot diameter, four
bladed propeller. The F4U model 4B was built under the
U.S. government’s “Lend-Lease” program for the Royal
Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.
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. This exact
aircraft was flown in combat by the following pilots:
Lt. Duane Edge from Brondon, Mississippi; Lt. R. Fritz
Schierenberg from Fort Collins, Co.; Lt. Robert Warner
from Pensacola, Florida and Lt. Bill Wallace.
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.
December thru May 1951 Aboard USS Valley Forge
(CV45), VF653 Naval Reserve Squadron from Akron, Ohio.
This squadron 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
LtCmdr. Cook Cleland. Cook won both races with Corsairs.
Many other pilots of VF653 previously flew in World War
"Korean War Hero" was flown by at least four VF653
pilots in combat: Cmdr. Cook Cleland Pensacola, Flordia;
Lt. Henry Sulkowski Bel Air, Maryland; Lt. J.R. Rohleder
(became Admiral) AZ; Lt. Robert Jeffel Pittsburgh, PA.
and Lt. David Robertson San Diego, CA.
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.
"Korean War Hero" still retains three (3) combat flak
repair patches on the starboard (right wing) wing and
rear fuselage area. The aircraft was retired from Naval
service on July 5, 1956. From approximately 1960 to
1970, the aircraft flew with the Honduran Air Force. In
1970 was sold to an American Airline 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.
"Korean War Hero" has just completed an extensive
rebuild and won Grand Champion Post World War II at the
2011 Sun 'n Fun fly-in in Lakeland, FL.
367 Highland Circle
Bamberg, SC 29003
Korean War Hero Website
Please fill out your contact information
below if you are interested in contacting
the operator, or representative,
of this Warbird and you require more
information for booking this aircraft at
your Airshow or Event.