F4U-4 of VF-32, Flown by Lt. Frank J. Cronin USN, 1950
I first saw a mention of Lt Frank Cronin on page 24 of the Osprey book "F4U Corsair Units of the Korean War". Considering we had the same name I sought to try to locate him to say hello. I did locate him and wrote him a letter. He responded to my letter and we did correspnd for a short while. I made this model for him and sent it to him. He sent me the short note that is attached thanking me for the model. I received a note from his wife stating that his health was fading and again stated how much he enjoyed the model and how much he enjoyed his Naval career and flying the F4U.
Frank enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and went through pilot training and received his wings. In 1944 he deployed to the South Pacific. He was initially assigned to SBD and SB2C aircraft.He was reassigned to Fighters due to the increase of the Kamikazes. He flew F4F and F6F aircraft. In 1945 he returned to the US where he first flew the F4U. In 1950 his Squadron, VF-32, aboard USS Leyte redeployed from the Mediterranean to Korea. He flew numerous missions against Communist forces and played a significant part in the close air support thoughout Korea and for the USMC units at the Chosin Reservoir.
He retired from the USN in 1964 as a Lt. Commander. He was awarded three Air Medals, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Sadly Francis Joseph Cronin passed away on March 9,2011 after a long illness.
I wished that we had had the opportunity to meet each other. This model is my way of saying, thank you, to the persons that have served. To be able to send a model to a person with my own name raises this to a higher level.
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.