The Vought F4U Corsair was literally built around the Pratt & Whitney 2,000 HP radial engine.
The engine was so massive and produced so much energy that a Hamilton Standard 13 feet 4
inch propeller, the largest of WWII, was required. The F4U was the first American fighter aircraft
to exceed 400 MPH. The Corsair was referred to by the Japanese as “Whispering Death” and
became a legend in its own time. This aircraft was one of the most distinctive designs with it
bent wings making it an icon.
In September 1942 James Cupp joined VMF-213 “Hellhawks” based in Hawaii and transferred
to Espiritu Santo arriving on March 1, 1943. Their Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats were replaced with
Chance Vought F4U Corsairs. July 15, 1943 Cupp scored two victories and three days later
became an Ace. His official total is 12 confirmed kills. Cupp had his wife’s name “Daphne C”
painted on the aircraft. On September 20, 1943 Cupp was shot down and severely burned
spending a year and a half in hospital. Cupp retired from the USMC in 1968.