2021 Marks the 20th Year of Warbirds in Review: F4U-4 Corsair

Thursday July 26 at 10am CST / 7pm EST

The F4U-4 Corsair sponsored by Jumbolair Aviation Community and owned and operated by the American Honor Foundation. It is newly painted in honor of U.S. Naval Aviator Charles Joseph “Obie” O’Brien.  Growing up building models, hanging out at the airport and devouring aviation books and magazines Obie took to the skies at 9 years of age in a Ford Tri-Motor in 1937. Flying was in his blood.

In 1946 while Obie graduated from Prep-School the Navy started a new program for potential pilots, known as the Naval Aviation College Program. Obie took advantage of this new program. Passing all the necessary exams he was eligible to attend a College with a Naval ROTC program. He enrolled in Villanova College and was also sworn into the Navy on July 18, 1946 as a V-5 Apprentice Seaman.

After spending the required 2 years in College, Obie reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida where he trained in the SNJ and Hellcat.  He earned his gold wings in June of 1950.

Upon graduation he reported for duty with Jet Training Unit One at Whiting Field where he logged time in the Lockheed TO-1, the Navys designation for the F-80C Shooting Star.  Completing his jet training Obie was assigned to a Corsair unit! As he says, “Go Figure?”

Obie has over 7,000 flight hours in 52 types of aircraft and 735 arrested landings on 20 different carriers.  He also held the honor of being the only pilot in the world actively flying the Corsair, like he flew in combat, until he retired in 2013 at the young age of 85.