April 11, 2013 - The Cavanaugh Flight Museum of Addison, Texas, confirmed this week its North American P-51D The Brat III would be among the museum's vintage warbirds it plans to fly to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture 2013.
Also a possible attendee is the museum's Goodyear/Chance-Vought FG-1D Corsair, "and a T-28 or two," according to Flight Operations Lead and Museum Director Doug Jeans.
The plane that became The Brat III was manufactured in 1944 and shipped to England where it was assigned to the 9th Air Force, 370th Fighter Group, 401st Fighter Squadron, and flown by Lt. Hjalmar Johnsen.
It was sold to the Swedish Air Force in 1947, then in 1952-53 was acquired by the Dominican Republic where it remained until 1984 when it was retired from active military service. James Cavanaugh acquired the airplane in 1991. It was restored by Ezell Aviation in Breckenridge, Texas, and carries Lt. Johnsen's paint scheme.
The museum's Corsair will fly to Oshkosh pending installation of a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-18W Double Wasp R2800 engine, Jeans said. This will be the fourth engine installed on this airplane. "Hopefully we've got a good one this time," Jeans said.
The plane carries the scheme of U.S. Marine Corps Ace Col. Archie Donahue, who shot down 14 Japanese aircraft while assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons 112 and 451 aboard the USS Bunker Hill.
The Corsair was built in 1945 as part of a batch of 120 Corsairs ordered from Goodyear Aircraft Corporation under contract for the British Royal Navy. When that order was canceled due to the end of the war, they were delivered to the U.S. Navy instead.
Corsairs achieved an impressive 11:1 victory ratio against Japanese aircraft during World War II. They also excelled in the ground attack ops and were close air support aircraft during the decisive Pacific island-hopping campaign. Enemy ground troops nicknamed it "the Whistling Death" for a Corsair's distinctive whistling caused by airflow over the leading edge oil coolers.
Corsairs were also effective weapons during the Korean War, as the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps used the plane almost exclusively in the attack role, carrying high-explosive bombs, napalm, and high-velocity aircraft rockets. Corsairs were the only U.S. piston-powered WWII fighter produced in large numbers after 1945.
Advance EAA AirVenture tickets at discounted rates, along with camping, parking, flight experiences, and merchandise are available at www.airventure.org/tickets.