This Navy Corsair was built by Brewster and Co., Aircraft Division, in Long Island City, NY. The company produced military aircraft from the 1930s until the end of WWII.
In 1940, the Vought aircraft company designed one of the best all-around Navy fighters of the war: the F4U Corsair. Unable to meet demand, Vought licensed production to Brewster in November 1941 and to Goodyear Aircraft Corporation one month later. Brewster built 735 Corsairs, with 430 going to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.
Brewster as a company never reached its potential. Its reputation for poor quality carried over to the license-built Corsairs. Reports from pilots differed as to how well Brewster Corsairs compared to the Vought aircraft. None of the Brewster Corsairs went to front line combat units during the War.
The US Navy closed Brewster’s production line at the end of June 1944 because the company was continually behind schedule building the much-needed Corsair, much of it due to labor unrest and strikes.
This Brewster Corsair was assigned to VMF-914 at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. On December 19, 1944, it crashed in a swamp 10 miles southwest of Cherry Point while on a Ground Controlled Interception training mission. The pilot parachuted but was killed. This Corsair spent many years in the swamp until found again.
The remains were salvaged in 1990. It underwent a seven-year restoration and is now resident at the museum.