Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA8224 F4U-4 Corsair “Medal of Honor” White 205, flown by LTJG Thomas (Lou) Hudner, VF-32, USS Leyte, 4th December 1950. 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.
On December 4, 1950 LTJG Thomas “Lou” Hudner and 5 other Corsairs from VF-32 departed the USS Leyte to help USMC troops trapped at Chosin Reservoir. When they arrived the enemy had gone but Ensign Jesse L. Brown’s Corsair had a fuel leak caused by small arms fire. He crash landed but he was trapped with a flaming engine. In an attempt to help Brown, Hudner crash landed his White 205 but in vein, Brown died on the scene. Hudner was rescued and two days later both planes and Brown were consumed by napalm.