Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA8219 F4U-1A Corsair White 29, VF-17, Lt. Ira Kepford, Jan 1944. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The Vought F4U Corsair was literally built around the Pratt & Whitney 2,000 HP radial engine. The engine was so massive and produced so much energy that a Hamilton Standard 13 feet 4 inch propeller, the largest of WWII, was required. The F4U was the first American fighter aircraft to exceed 400 MPH. The Corsair was referred to by the Japanese as “Whispering Death” and became a legend in its own time. This aircraft was one of the most distinctive designs with it bent wings making it an icon.
During the 76 days Ira Cassius Kepford spent with VF-17 “Jolly Rogers” he shot down 16 enemy aircraft. His first F4U was BuNo. 17684 “White 29” and served him well during his first 13 kills. On January 30, 1944 15 Corsairs from VF-17 were escorting TBFs on a raid on Rabaul and encountered about 25 Japanese Zekes along with Tonys and Zeros. Several Japanese fighters were destroyed with the loss of several Corsairs. Kepford claimed one Zeke and one Tony but “17684” was damaged and ground looped on landing destroying the aircraft.