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  F4U-1 Corsair Bureau Number 02723  
"Black Sheep"

USMC 1943

Pilot  Captain George M. Ashmun, O-011906 (MIA / KIA) Far Hills, NJ
MIA  January 3, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 02723. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Group 11 (MAG-11) to Marine Fighting Squadron 214 (VMF-214) "Black Sheep". No known nickname, nose art or squadron number.

Mission History
On January 3, 1944 took off from Torokina Airfield on Bougainville piloted by Captain George M. Ashmun at 6:30am on a fighter sweep over Rabaul. One of 46 fighters (8 x F4U Corsairs from VMF-214 "Black Sheep", 12 F4U Corsairs from VMF-211 and 16 x F6F from VF-33 from Ondonga Airfield on New Georgia). After take off, several planes aborted the mission due to mechanical failures, including three Corsairs from VMF-214.

Arriving over the target area at an altitude of 20,000' to 24,000', the Corsairs from VMF-214 spotted a group of A6M Zeros below and dove to intercept. Likely, they spotted a formation of 29 x A6M Zeros from the 253 Kōkūtai. Also airborne were 27 x A6M Zeros from 204 Kōkūtai that joined the dog fight.

During the air combat, Ashmum was overwhelmed and never seen again. When he failed to return, he was listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also shot down soon afterwards was F4U Corsair 17915 piloted by Major Gregory Boyington.

Ashmun was officially declared dead on January 15, 1946. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously. Ashmun is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Ashmun also has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery at section MK site 193.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1 Corsair 02723
"02723 (VMF-214) lost to enemy action Mar 3, 1944. Pilot MIA"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George M. Ashmun
FindAGrave - Capt George Malcolm Ashmun (photos, memorial marker photos)
FindAGrave - Capt George Malcolm Ashmun (tablets of the missing photo)
The Black Sheep pages 335-341

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech Info


1 Missing
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