The Vought F4U Corsair is perhaps the best-known American naval fighter of World War II. Work on the Corsair began in 1938 in response to a Navy requirement for a new carrier-based fighter, and the prototype made its first flight in May 1940. By the end of that year, the Corsair had been flown at speeds of over 400 miles per hour, faster than any American fighter up to that time. The first production Corsairs were ordered in June 1941 and deliveries began in October 1942. The Corsair would eventually be in production for longer than any other American World War II fighter with the last being delivered in 1952. The F4U-4 was introduced in April 1944 and featured a more powerful engine that raised its top speed to 446 miles per hour. The –4 version of the Corsair saw limited service in World War II but was the mainstay of Marine ground attack squadrons during the Korean War.
U.S. Marine Corps, 1952
Pima Air & Space Museum
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