Best Kill:Loss Ratio
The Corsair attained a 11:1 kill:loss ratio in the Pacific during World War II while only losing 169 planes of their own. 2,140 enemy aircraft were shot down by Corsairs. Corsairs went on 64,051 missions in the Pacific.
Land Based Beginnings
Even though the Corsair was designed to be a carrier based fighter it spent the first part of its combat life as a land based fighter. Many in the United States Navy felt it was unsuitable for carrier operations. In April 1944 the Corsair was finally cleared for carrier operation with the US fleet.
In October 1942 the VF-12 was the first to be outfitted with the F4U-1.
The US Marine Corps VMF-124, at Guadalcanal, was the first to use the Corsair in combat on February 13, 1943. This combat occurred over Bougainville.
In September 1943, the VF-17, land based, was United States Navy squadron equipped with the F4U.
The XF4U-2 was used by the VFN-75 and VFN-101 as a night fighter late in the war.
The United States' carriers first used the Corsair regularly in 1944 / January 1945.
Korean War Success
A Corsair night fighter pilot was the only one to become an ace during the Korean War that didn't fly a F-86 Sabre.
A Corsair pilot shot down a MiG-15 jet.
End of Service
The last Corsair to be withdrawn from active service was in 1965.
The F4U-1 Corsair was used by Britain, New Zealand, and the United States.
New Zealand used the 364 / 370 F4U-1As and F4U-1Ds primarily for close support.
The United Kingdom flew the Corsair from their carriers for the first time in 1943.
The HMS Victorious first used the Corsair IIs in combat.
The No. 1834 Squadron first used the Corsair in combat in a mission against the Tirpitz on April 3, 1944.
How many received by Lend Lease:
- Corsair Mk I (F4U-1): 95
- Corsair Mk II (F4U-1A): 510
- Corsair Mk III (F4U-1D, F3A-1): 430
- Corsair Mk IV (FG-1): 977
- Total: 2,012, 2,382
United States Carrier Operations
In January 1945 the first F4U-1Ds and FG-1Ds were used from American carriers.
The United States used the F4U-4 Corsair. Only a few were used against the Japanese. Deliveries started in October 1944.