World War II Goodyear Workers Invited to Homecoming
A search is on for the surviving men and women who built 4,000
Corsair fighter planes at Goodyear Aircraft during World War II.
They will be honored at a special Corsair Homecoming in Akron (OH)
on June 18th featuring many of the dozen Corsairs still flying.
Some 35,000 people were employed at Goodyear Aircraft in Akron
during the war, thousands coming from elsewhere in Ohio, West
Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana
to help build the Corsair and other aircraft parts. After the war,
many of them returned to their home states.
"We have never really honored their accomplishments and thanked
them for their service to the nation," said Joe Chevraux, executive
director of the MAPS Air Museum here. "This is perhaps our last
opportunity to pay them the tribute they deserve."
The ceremony will precede the MAPS and Goodyear-sponsored Aero
Expo 2004: Defenders of Freedom Air Show at Fulton Municipal
Airport June 19 and 20. The Corsair Homecoming will feature the
FG-1D and F-2G Corsairs built here. Chevraux said MAPS is inviting
all former pilots, mechanics, designers and builders of this
exemplary aircraft to contact the MAPS Air Museum to be guests for
the celebration. These individuals will be recognized at a special
ceremony on Friday evening before the air show. The only flying
F-2G Corsair owned by Bob Odegaard and the international
award-winning FG-1D Corsair of Gary Kohs will be spotlighted and
fly during the weekend event.
To be invited to the event, members of the Corsair family are
urged to contact the MAPS Air Museum:
C/O MAPS Air Museum
2260 International Parkway
North Canton, Ohio 44720
Phone: 330-896-6332 Fax: 330-896-7656
They are asked to provide their names, ages, address and
telephone numbers and a description of their Corsair activities.
MAPS will then contact them with an invitation and event
The Goodyear FG-1 Corsair was one of the greatest combat
aircraft in World War II. Chance Vought Aircraft began development
on a new Navy fighter in 1938, the first prototype flying on May
29, 1940. It was the first U.S. fighter to exceed 400 mph,
outperforming all other American aircraft at that time.
From the first production F4U-1 of 1942 to the last F4U-6 built
ten years later, 12,571 Corsairs came off the production line, over
4000 being the Goodyear Aircraft version known as the FG-1. The
FG-1 Corsair has a wingspan of 41', a length of 33' 4", and stands
15' 7" high.
Entering action in 1943 with land-based U.S. Marines squadrons
stationed in the Solomon Islands, the Corsair swiftly gained air
supremacy in the Pacific theater. Cleared for U.S. Navy carrier
operations late in 1944, variants of the plane were also used by
the Royal Navy and New Zealand Air Force. After the end of World
War II, the FG-1 saw use in air racing (Goodyear raced this
airplane from 1944 to 1952).
The air show will also have an appearance of the Canadian
SKYHAWKS Parachute Team and many aerobatic acts, military aircraft,
commercial aircraft and fly-bys including the B-2 Stealth Bomber,
the F-117 Stealth Fighter, C-130 Formation, and a B-52