Tuesday, October 4, 2011

USMC Korean War Corsair

I have been after a 1/72 scale USMC Korean War F4U Corsair for some time now. I am partial to die cast models and found that Corgi makes, or at least made one. I recently read a book called Darkest Summer which deals with the US Marines experience in Korea in the first few months - up to the recapture of Seoul in 1950. Darkest Summer is a great story and absolutely packed with highly detailed descriptions of very tough challenging fights. It is perfect material for wargaming scenarios, especially the infantry battles that really interest me. As luck would have it I found a Corgi Corsair on eBay and got it for a very reasonable price. Even more lucky it is from the Marines VMF 323 which was one of the two Marines Corsair squadrons that flew in support of the Marine Brigade when it was fighting on the Pusan perimeter in the the first two months of the war. These Corsairs were really skillful at close air ground support and working together with the Marines on the ground who were equally skillful at calling in close air support created a really potent combination of force, (This was in sad contrast to the US Army that had literally forgotten everything it knew about air-ground support since 1945 and had to painfully relearn those lessons). Interestingly the Cobra emblem for 323 which you can see on the cowl of the Corsair gradually disappeared as planes were replaced or shot down. Apparently North Korean AAA recognized the symbol and therefore what the plane emblazoned with it represented and would give special attention to any Corsair so marked. Here are a couple of pictures of the model, which have come alive with the help of the magic of Photoshop. The first shows the Corsair winging in over the sea after leaving or returning to its Carrier. The second shows the Corsair having some fun with a North Korean train - you best blow this one up (a most apt pun in this case) to see it better.

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