Navy gets Intrepid Corsair back after 71 years
On March 18, 1945, 19 F4U Corsairs flew off the Essex-class fleet carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11) with orders to strike a naval air base on the northern end of Kyushu in the Japanese Home Islands. While their mission was successful, two aircraft did not return.
One gull-wing fighter a “Grim Reaper” from VF-10 surfaced 50 years later when a fisherman caught part of it in a net. This led to a salvage in 2007 of the plane’s engine, propeller and part of a wing which were put on display at Saiki’s Yawaragi Peace Memorial Hall.
Now, the relics have been brought back to the U.S. and turned over to the NHHC on March 22.
Archaeological conservator Shanna Daniel commented, “We are really looking forward to working on these pieces and cannot wait to begin documentation and starting the conservation process.”
The Reapers of VF-10 were deactivated in November 1945 and have remained that way ever since but their flattop, from which the Corsair sortied, is of course very much preserved in New York harbor.