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  F4U-1A Corsair Bureau Number 49668  
"Fighting Corsairs"

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Captain Bruce Diving 2004

Pilot  2nd Lt. William H. Holden (survived)
Ditched  April 17, 1945 at 4:15pm

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 49668. Disassembled and shipped to Oahu.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12), Marine Fighting Squadron 215 "Fighting Corsairs" VMF-215. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On April 17, 1945 took off from Molokai Field on Oahu piloted by 2nd Lt. William H. Holden a ferry flight bound for Ewa Field. Twenty minutes during the flight, this Corsair was at a bearing of 85° 10 miles off Diamond Head, when he noticed his engine rpm fluctuating. Soon afterwards his oil began to spray on his windshield and his engine lost all power. His engine was wind milling when he stalled into the water in a three point attitude at approximated at 90 knots at 4:15pm, weather was ceiling and visibility unlimited (CAVU) with a 13 knot wind.  Location at time of ditching was 85° roughly four miles off Makapu'u Point on the southeastern corner of Oahu.

During the ditching, Holden was cut slightly over the right eye climbing from the floating plane and was later rescued. Afterwards, Holden reported all engine instruments registered correctly, except the cylinder head temperature which was broken before takeoff. The cause of the accident was deemed to be 100% caused by the engine.

During 1995, this Corsair was discovered and afterwards has become a popular SCUBA dive site.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U Corsair 49668
"49668 (VMF-215) ditched Apr 17, 1945 on ferry mission due to engine failure off Makapu'u point on east side of Oahu, Hawaii. Pilot rescued. Wreck rediscovered around 1995."
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List April 1945 - F4U Corsair 49668
Thanks to Captain Bruce Diving for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2019


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