Griffin Corsair warming up
A Vought F4U-4 Corsair fighter of fighter squadron VF-871 Griffins being prepared for a mission in Korea on the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) in 1952. The Essex was deployed to Korea from 16 Jun 1952 to 6 Feb 1953 with Air Task Group Two (ATG-2) and VF-871 flew both from the Essex‘s deck and that of the USS Princeton (CV-37). VF-871 was a reserve squadron that was called to active duty on 20 Jul 1950. As such it was one of the last US Navy fighter squadrons to fly the WWII-era gull wing Corsair, with most of these craft being rapidly retired after Korea cooled down. VF-871 was redesignated VF-123 The Blue Racers in 1953. On 12 Apr 1958 it was again redesignated VF-53 Black Knights before it was finally redesignated VF-143 Pukin’ Dogs on 20 Jun 1962. Today they fly F-18E’s of CAW7 currently assigned to the Eisenhower— who was likely President when this picture was taken.