The Last Corsair and the Last Cutlass

In February of 1953 the last F4U Corsair (the 12,571st) was delivered. This famous World War II fighter was still seeing heavy duty in the Korean War where it was used mostly for low-altitude ground support. Air-to-air fighting was done mainly by jet aircraft, but Corsair pilots shot down ten enemy aircraft including a MIG-15 jet.  The last operational carrier landing of an F4U Corsair was made on the USS Valley Forge in 1956.

The F7U Cutlass was the first U.S. jet fighter designed from the outset with afterburners, and was the Navy’s first supersonic and first swept-wing fighter.  The F7U-1 was first demonstrated to the public in 1948 and went into production in 1953. It was a radical new design, but the development of the government-furnished engines did not meet schedule or expected performance levels and the aircraft had some control problems.  The Navy cut back production in 1954.  The last Cutlass rolled out the door in 1956. However, the experience and know-how acquired during the Cutlass program contributed greatly to the very successful F8U Crusader program which immediately followed.