Tamiya 1/48th Chance-Vought F4U-1/2 Corsair, Lt Kenneth Walsh USMC
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Kenneth Walsh was born in Brooklyn, NY on 24 November 1916. At age 17 he enlisted in the Marine Corp in December 1933. He was sent to Parris island, So Carolina for boot camp. He became a mechanic and a radioman while stationed at Marine Corp station Quantico, Virginia. He applied for flight training, and was accepted and soon transferred to NAS Pensacola for flight school in March 1936. He was still a private when he received his “Wings of Gold” as a US Naval Aviator in April 1937. He was promoted to corporal soon after. He flew scout observation aircraft on 3 different aircraft carriers for the next 4 years before being assigned to VMF-121 in N. Carolina. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, he was a master technical sergeant and a Marine Gunner assigned to MAG 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in May 1942. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt in October 1942 and again promoted to 1st Lt in June 1943. One of his skills was an aircraft carrier landing signals officer. He had been serving with VMF-124 since September 1942 the first Marine Squadron to operate the Corsair. The unit arrived in Guadalcanal in February 1943. They were immediately put into action. Lt Walsh had his first 3 kills on 1 April 1943 and 2 more on 13 May, making him the first ace in the Corsair. By the end of August 1943 Lt Walsh had 20 kills to his credit including 2 separate combat missions over the Solomon Islands that earned him The Medal of Honor. In October 1943 he returned home to the U.S. On 8 February 1944, President Roosevelt presented Lt Walsh the Medal of Honor, and was promoted to temporary Captain, which became permanent in November 1948.
Capt Walsh returned to action in April 1945 with VMF-122, while serving with them he was awarded his 7th Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement from April 1945 to 12 May 1945. He become the operations officer for VMF-222 and while serving with this squadron achieved his last kill on 22 June 1945. He then was assigned as the Assistant Operations Officer for MAG 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing on Okinawa until March 1946. Walsh stayed in the Marines after the war, flew C-54 transports in the Korean War. Was promoted Major in 1955 and then Lt Colonel in 1958. Lt Col Walsh retired from the Marine Corp in 1962. Walsh passed away from a heart attack at the age of 81, 13 August 1998. A man of duty.
I don’t have to add what has already been written and said about the Tamiya Corsair. Fun to build, plenty of details with out any of the over engineering gimmicks needed to achieve a great model. The wing fold option is my favorite part of the kit. Though a WWII single engine fighter, in this scale, it is still a good sized plane to put on the shelf, and the folded wings just like on a real carrier is a space saver.
I used Aeromaster WarBird Acrylic for the Blue Grey (M485)FS35189, Polly S Lt Grey ANA 620 (Lt Gull Grey FS36440 is a match). I had some left over faded Blue Grey from the Vindicator build last year, so airbrushed that lighter shade over certain panels of the upper and wing surfaces to give it that sun faded look an airframe will get sitting in that harsh environment in the So. Pacific. The decals are from Aeromaster US Navy-Marine Top Guns of WWII SP48-08 set. Nice set of decals listing several Navy/Marine Aces that flew Wildcats, Hellcats and Corsairs. So far I have used 2 of them. Eduards zoom set for the cockpit. A little wash was used for the under surfaces. These were land based Corsairs so a little more harsher environment compared to being on the boat. Looking forward to the next Corsair in line to build, hopefully next year. Thanks for viewing.
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