The Vought F4U Corsair was the greatest fighter plane in the WWII Pacific theatre. For its pilots, survival was not guaranteed. Enemy planes and antiaircraft fire were dangerous, but aerial mishaps, poor flying, mechanical gremlins, weather, and bad luck took their toll too. American, British, and New Zealander Corsair pilots often found themselves with just seconds to escape. Some disappeared as POWs. A few, such as Major Gregory “”Pappy”” Boyington, emerged alive at the end of the war. Others had to rely on their training and the means at hand to escape do-or-die situations. Coast watchers, submarines, blimps, and air-sea rescues saved many. Even the French Foreign Legion smuggled a pilot to safety in the most daring Corsair pilot rescue of WWII. Others escaped death initially only to have to fight alongside their rescuers. Included are first-hand accounts from surviving pilots and tales of many of the great WWII Corsair aces.
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