It is now just over seven years since F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02465 rose to the surface of Lake Michigan following a retrieval effort sponsored by Chuck Greenhill. As with many other Lake Michigan aircraft salvage operations, the experts at A & T Recovery were behind this successful endeavor. The Corsair had slumbered at the bottom of Lake Michigan for seven decades, following a landing accident aboard the training carrier USS Wolverine on June 12th, 1943. Her pilot at the time, Ens Carl Harold “Harry” Johnson survived the ordeal almost unscathed, though sadly lost his life later that year in an aerial collision over Hawaii.
This Corsair, the world’s only substantially original survivor of the earliest breed of production Corsairs, has been under restoration at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida since she arrived there in November, 2010. While the museum has no official timeline on when the aircraft will be ready for display, a lot of work has taken place in the intervening years, with most of the major structural elements now complete. Recently, Joel Edwards visited the museum’s restoration shop and took a great series of images which he agreed to share with us, and we thought our readers would love to see them too. Many thanks indeed to Joel for this update!
Many thanks again to Joel Edwards for his marvelous images!
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