A Jolly Roger Corsair, a tricky Dick and an near Ace golfer.

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Here we see a Vought  F4U-1A Corsair being serviced in the Pacific after a forced landing on Nissan Island in March, 1944. Nissan is in the Green Islands of Papua New Guinea, exactly midway between Rabaul and Bougainville. The place had just been secured a month before by Kiwi’s of the 3rd New Zealand Infantry and at the time a young Richard Millhouse Nixon was a Navy supply officer at the base.

The plane belongs to one Lt (JG) Tom ‘TK’ Killefer of U.S. Navy fighter squadron VF-17 (the original Jolly Rogers). The unit flew Corsairs from island strips in the Solomons until late 1944 when they transitioned to Hellcats and moved to the USS Hornet. Although the squadron was near-legendary, counting among their number no less than 12 aces and 161 Japanese victories, they were redesignated after the war and then disestablished. Today, VFA-103 flies an almost identical Jolly Roger unit emblem on their F-18s, although the two squadrons are not related.

Lt (JG) Killefer himself earned 4.5 victories, just escaping being an ace by the skin of his teeth. He passed at a ripe old age of 79, while dressing for a Father’s Day dinner and after having played 18 holes of golf.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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