Jim Tobul and the "Korea War Hero" F4U-4 Corsair are an exciting tribute to the men and machines that fought to defend democracy and freedom in the Korean Conflict from 1950-1953. Jim tells the story of this celebrated aircraft with a dramatic aerial display that no one will ever forget. "Korean War Hero" was built by Vought with the Bureau Number 97143, registration N713JT and manufactured in August of 1945. The aircraft has a legendary history. She served two tours on two different carriers and has the distinction of flying over 200 combat missions. December through May of 1951, she served aboard the USS Valley Forge as part of VF653 Naval Reserve Squadron from Akron, Ohio. She served aboard the USS Boxer as part of the squadron known as the "Bitter Birds" (VF884 Naval Reserve Squadron from Olathe, Kansas) from June-October, 1951. The "Bitter Birds" flew 1519 missions in Korea, dropping 750,000 pounds of bombs and firing 3800 rockets and also 1.4 million pounds of ammunition. The fighting did take its terrible toll. Eight pilots of VF884 were killed or listed as missing in action, including the squadron's skipper Lcdr. G.F. Carmichael USNR. Following the time in the Korean War, the aircraft served as part of the Honduran Air Force from 1960 to 1970. In 1970 she was sold to an American Airline pilot and brought to the USA. In 1981, Joe & Jim Tobul purchased the plane and started the very long rebuilding project. 10 years later, in December of 1991, the "Korean War Hero" proudly flew again.
Jim Tobul is the pilot for the "Korean War Hero" Corsair. He doesn't view himself as an owner though, but rather a caretaker of this beautiful Warbird and her storied history. Jim began flying at the age of 9 years old flying his dad’s Stinson 108 and acquired his pilot’s license in the mid ‘70’s. His dad purchased a 1943 North American SNJ-4 in 1980 and Jim started to fly that plane in 1981. Since that time, Jim has flown many different Warbirds such as the B-25, T-28, L-5, B-17, P-51, F-18 Super Hornet, PBY-5 and others. Currently, Jim flies his Mitsubishi MU-2 Solitaire all over the US and has flown this type since 1987. In 1991, both Jim & Joe begin flying the "Korean War Hero" after a lengthy restoration. Unfortunately, however, Joe was lost in a crash in the plane in November 2002. Jim stored the wrecked plane for six years, then decided to put it back to flying condition. After two years, with some help from Bill Klaers of Westpac Restorations, "Korean War Hero" took to the skies once more. Now, Jim and the famed "Korean War Hero" F4U Corsair, is one of the most sought after Warbird acts on the airshow circuit! Don't miss the famous "Gull-Winged Bird" in a terrific aerial salute during our Air Show June 30 - July 1.