This might not be the most cheery of Valentine Day posts but frankly I couldn’t find a photograph of something that was really cheery and this day does mark an important day in aviation history. The F4U Corsair was one of the fiercest Allied aircraft during WWII but it didn’t have an auspicious start. If you’re into aviation or a bit of a history buff then you’ve probably have heard of all the trouble that Vought had getting this plane from the blueprints to Carrier decks. But once it was there, pilots swore by it.
Today marks the first combat action of the F4U, from Marine units based on Guadalcanal in 1943. On a mission to Kahili Field in Southern Bougainville, fifty alerted Zero’s were ready for the American bombers and their escort of fighters. Two P-40’s, two PB4Y’s, four P-38’s and two Corsairs were shot down during the raid. Only three Zero’s were shot down during the attack. It was a devastating blow to the men stationed at Guadalcanal and was hence dubbed the St. Valentines Day Massacre.