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  F4U-1 Corsair Bureau Number 02270  
"Hell’s Angels"

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William Bartsch

Pilot  2nd Lt. James A. Vittitoe (survived)
Ditched  May 5, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 02270. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 2nd Marine Air Wing (MAW-2), attached to Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12) to Marine Fighting Squadron 321 (VMF-321) "Hell’s Angels". This aircraft had no known nickname, nose art or squadron number.

Mission History
On May 5, 1944 one of twelve Corsairs that took off from Quoin Hill Airfield to escort SBD Dauntless on a training mission. After four hours and 12 minutes of flight, Vittitoe ran out of fuel and ditched in shallow water near Quoin Hill off Efaté Island. He survived the ditching unhurt.

This aircraft remained in situ until the late 1970s. At some point, most of the rear fuselage was removed.

During 2009, Robert Jarrett / Classic Jets Fighter Museum (CJFM) negotiated with the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and landowner to recover the wing section, removing everything from the crash site. The wreckage was exported to Australia.

Since 2009, this aircraft is under restoration by Classic Jets Fighter Museum (CJFM) at Hanger 107. The wing section was restored. Parts from five other Corsairs are being used in the restoration. The finished Corsair will be restored to airworthy condition.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1 Corsair 02270
"02270 ditched in lagoon on Efate Island, New Hebrides May 5, 1944 after running out of fuel. Reported recently recovered and delivered to Classic Jets Fighter Museum, Adelaide, Australia"
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List May 1944 - F4U-1 Corsair 02270
Classic Jets Museum - F4U Project
Thanks to Robert Jarrett / Classic Jets Fighter Museum (CJFM)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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