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Rob Anderson
190 articles

Interesting national insignia on Marine Corsairs

May 4, 2023 · in Aviation · · 10 ≡

So as I work on my Richard Petty '73 Charger (more on that later!) I am researching my next build, Tamiya -1A . I figured I'd do a Marine bird, so I started looking at pictures and stumbled across some birds with no surround to the national insignia. I'd always been under the impression that all -1A Corsairs came from the factory with either red or blue surrounds, but apparently not. I am thinking of building 735

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

2 additional images. Click to enlarge.

10 responses

  1. Depends on the time period. Many earlier Corsairs made it to the field with just the white star in the blue circle. The white bars were added later, so what it looks like is an airplane that had the bars added in the field. There wasn't always time to comply with the specs, so it wouldn't surprise me that the red or blue surrounds didn't get added until later, or didn't get added at all. From a maintenance standpoint, there are sometimes much more important things to do than paint airplanes!

  2. The white bars were originally added for recognition improvement over the circle stars. P-40's in the Solomons started adding white stripes on tail and wings too. Seems they were getting shot at as "Tony's" (Kawasaki Ki-61's, new in theatre.) Later on they fancied up the "official" new insignias.

  3. All true guys, the point is, it has been accepted wisdom that no F4U-1As came off the assembly line with just the star & circle seen on birdcage Corsairs, early F6Fs, and had the bars added then surrounds. TBMs etc. Now the other theory is that they came off partially marked during that odd transition time where red surrounds were being added and simply shipped without the surrounds, expecting either the red or blue to be added? I cannot find any pictures of F4U-1As with just the circle and star. Now another thing that can play into this is there are pictures of Marine Corsairs that have medium blue around the stars and bars. I've always assumed this was red surrounds being painted over, again, plenty of evidence for that, what if some were marked like the pictures I posted, and the blue was added and there never was red? At least on some.

  4. Regardless of whether the stars and bars were out lined or not, it is amazing that the pilot of 735 made it back alive with all that rear end damage.

  5. I think the second set of pictures is a different aircraft. If you look close I think the first # is a 2

  6. Amazing what research reveals, Rob!

  7. Does anyone remember a TV show from the sixties called The Rowan and Martin Laugh In? There was a character who, I think, was supposed to be a German soldier, his catch line was “very interesting”. Not sure why this topic reminded me of it. Sorry if my sense of humor offends anyone.

  8. Thanks for posting your research. Interesting battle damage on White 25 - good news for the pilot to make it back to base.

  9. That's some war weary Corsairs.

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