BuNo 92629

Current Civil Registration Number N62290

BuNo 92629 was accepted by the US Navy just four days after VJ Day.  Other than a six month stint with VF-713 "Fighting Aces" at NAS Moffett Field, BuNo 92629 was destined to serve out its Navy days with stateside Reserve squadrons.  After it was retired from service in 1957, this FG-1D was selected for sale to the Air Force of El Salvador where it operated as number ‘215’.  It served with the Central American country until well into the 1970s and remained as one of only two Corsairs in the Salvadoran fleet still airworthy following the war against Honduras in 1969.

It was returned to the United States in 1975 at the behest of Texas-based warbird enthusiast John Stokes and soon became a regular flyer around the United States.  He had the fighter painted in the colors of the VF-84 squadron F4U-1D that carried ace Lt. Cdr. Roger R. Hedrick into combat during the final months of WWII. The arrow-tailed “167” became a regular air show attendee until 1976 when it was brought onboard as part of the “Black Sheep Squadron” TV production. 

BuNo 92629 was placed up for sale after filming in 1977 and was passed around among various owners before finding a home with Ray & Delina Jones of Jansen Beach, FL.  They repainted the plane as a VF-53 Corsair that had served aboard the USS Essex, and these are the colors that it still wears today.

The Jones’ eventually sold the FG-1D in 1983 to retired Navy aviator Bob Pond who was building an impressive collection of warbirds as part of his “Planes of Fame East” collection in Minneapolis, MN.  BuNo 92629 was flown on a fairly regular basis until 1996 when Pond uprooted the museum and relocated the entire operation to Palm Springs, CA.  Reincorporated under the name “Palm Springs Air Museum”, the impressive contingent of vintage military aircraft and other collectible vehicles became an instant world-class attraction for the area.  Bob Pond passed away in late 2007 but the museum continues on as a testament to his passions.


 

BuNo 92629 - San Marcos, TX 1975 - Jim Sullivan Collection BuNo 92629 Fresno, CA August 29, 1976 - Jim Sullivan Collection BuNo 92629 Van Nuys, CA Black Sheep Squadron Colors August 11, 1976 - Jim Sullivan Collection
BuNo 92629 San Marcos, TX October 1976 - Jim Sullivan Collection BuNo 92629 - Roanoke, VA May 14, 1978 - Jim Sullivan BuNo 92629 - Roanoke, VA May 14, 1978 - Jim Sullivan
BuNo 92629 - Jim Sullivan Collection BuNo 92629 - 1998 - Doug Fisher BuNo 92629 2008 Palm Springs Air Museum - Gary Takeuchi


BuNo 92629