British Corsairs – Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A
Both Corsair IIs, the FAA designation for the Vought-built F4U-1A.
The British were the second-largest user of the Corsair. While the US Navy was sending the Corsair to the Marines because it couldn’t operate from a carrier (too bouncy, to long-nosed) the British were operating Corsairs from CVEs that had not been “de-bounced” or had the stall warning “edge” put on the starboard wing. Off Okinawa, a US Navy officer recorded a British Corsair landing aboard his carrier and the 19 year old pilot climbing out to ask for more gas – he said it made him ashamed to be a US Naval Aviator since they weren’t operating Corsairs.
The first one is the Corsair flown by Royal Marine Major T. Ronnie Hays, Air Group Commander aboard HMS Illustrious during the Palembang strikes in February 1945. Hays scored his first victory in a Skua over Norway, his next three in Fulmars in the Med, and his last three in the Corsair, making him one of very few Allied pilots to score against the Germans, the Italians and the Japanese.
The second was flown by Flight Sub Lt. Dennis Sheppard, RCNVR, the only all-Corsair ace of the FAA, all five being scored during the Okinawa campaign.
It’s finally become known that FAA Corsairs were painted in “US Equivalent” colors: Neutral Grey and Olive Drab for Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey, and Light Aircraft Grey for Sky. Converting the kits to FAA Corsairs was easy – just gut off the outer wing tip on the first panel line.
Decals from an older Aeromaster sheet long OOP. Both models done in about 2003.
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.