The war fought on the Korean Peninsula between June, 1950 to July, 1953 has been called The Korean War, the Korean Police Action, the Korean Conflict or, most unfortunately, The Forgotten War. But thanks to Louis Gardner, our Group Build host, we here at iModeler can, in our own way, remember those who sacrificed in that war by showcasing our models and NEVER FORGETTING.
I recently posted these Corsairs on iMod Headlines but to honor these two brave aviators, Louis asked me to add them, with a brief history, in this Group Build as well.
Between November 27 to December 13, 1950, US Marine and Army forces were surrounded by Chinese forces in northern Korea at a place called the Chosin Reservoir. The incredible struggle for survival against brutal enemy attacks, bitter winter conditions, followed by a successful “attack in the other direction” has been become US Marine and Army legend. Those who survived have been deemed the Chosin Few.
On Dec 4th aircraft of US Navy squadron VF-32, flying off the aircraft carrier, USS Leyte, were flying support cover for the surrounded forces at Chosin. F4U-4, Corsair, BuNo. 97231, being flown by flight leader, ENS Jesse LeRoy Brown, US Navy’s first black aviator, was hit by ground fire and crashed landed west of the reservoir. Flying F4U-4, Corsair, BuNo. 82050, Jesse’s wing man, LTJG Thomas Hudner, decided to risk his own life and land near Brown’s crashed Corsair with hopes of rescuing him. Unfortunately Jesse was trapped in his cockpit and could not be removed.
A Marine helicopter was sent to the scene. After a 45 minute, unsuccessful, battle to free Ens Brown, the helicopter departed before dark, along with Hudner. No more rescue attempts were made and ENS Brown was declared dead. It was decided to Napalm the crash site on Dec 7th and to date the fate of Jesse’s body remains unknown. ENS Jesse Brown is still listed as MIA.
Because of his gallant rescue attempt, LTJG Thomas Hudner was awarded the US highest military award, the Medal of Honor. Thomas Hudner passed away in November 2017.
ENS Jesse Brown was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and Republic of Korea Service Medal. In 1972 Knox-class frigate USS Jesse L. Brown (FF-1089) was named in his honor.
I hope my Corsairs do ENS Brown and LTJG Hudner justice.
LET US NEVER FORGET!