Short Straw, Korean War Book Review


Short Straw
Memoirs of Korea
by Captain Bernard W. Peterson

Short Straw, F4U Corsair taking off of the USS Sicily during the Korean War.

Memoirs of Korea Page 7

VMF-212 marine squadron aircraft being catapulted from the aircraft carrier USS Sicily in the Korean War.

Short Straw is a tremendous book written by Captain Bernard W. Peterson about the Korean War and the F4U Corsair.  It is a radial engine fighter known for both its bent wings and its unique sound.  The corsair was 33' 4" long, 16' 1" high and had a wingspan of 41'.  It had an empty weight of 8,982 lbs and a gross weight of 14,000 lbs.  The f4u corsair used one Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine which produced 2200 - 2300 hp.  The corsair had a cruise speed of 182 mph, a max speed of 417 mph and a max climb rate of 2,890 ft/min.  The corsairs maximum range was 1,015 miles.  This airplane was mostly a carrier based airplane however it was also used from land based runways in the pacific by now well known pilots like Pappy Boyington of the Black Sheep Squadron.   This Warbird worked very well in WW2 as well in the Korean war.  

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Photo of a Vought F4U Corasir taking off from the front of an Aircraft Carrier
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Scanned by C. Jeff Dyrek

Vought F4U Corsair single seat fighter leaving the deck of a U.S. carrier:  note rockets under wing of craft.  On 4-5 August 1950, Navy planes attacked targets in the Suwon Seoul area and provided support for troops fighting in the Chirju area.  B-29's, B-26's and fighter planes were active at this time, attacking the Seoul marshaling yards and enemy shipping, as well as rendering support to ground troops. On 3 Aug 1950 eight VMF-214 Marine Corsairs, led by Squadron Executive Officer Major Robert P. Keller USMC, catapulted from the deck of the USS Sicily to launch the first air strikes in the Korean action.  My friend, Lt Col. John S. Perrin USMS Ret, was Keller's wingman at the time. 
Excerpt from "Short Straw," by Captain Bernard Peterson.. 

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