Vought F4U-4 Corsair BuNo 97388 will be operated from a museum in Minnesota
The airworthy machine, resplendent in the VF-42 colours it wore in service, has been loaned to the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum in Granite Falls, Minnesota, by owners Cindy and Whitney Beck. The move has come about after the closure of its previous home, Eden Prairie’s Wings of the North Air Museum.
This Corsair did not serve in World War Two, but entered US Navy hands in 1946, and flew with a variety of units, including Marine Fighter Squadron 225 (VMF-225) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and then with Japan-based VMF-212 from 1949. It may have participated in actions during the Korean War, but was returned to the US in 1950 for overhaul. More assignments followed, culminating in a stint with VF-42.
This well-travelled machine was later assigned to the Honduran Air Force, but was eventually acquired by North Dakota warbird expert Gerry Beck who spent 16 years restoring it to flight worthy condition. From 1998, when it made its first post-restoration flight, it became well known on the Dakota airshow circuit, and following Gerry’s tragic death in 2007 it passed into the hands of his family.