The F4U Corsair is one of the most famous and recognizable fighters from World War II. It was the first U.S. fighter to exceed 400 mph in level flight. The unusual gull wings are the result of having to place the main landing gear at the lowest point in the wings to prevent the huge 13-foot diameter propeller from hitting the ground or flight deck on take off or landing.
Soldiers nicknamed the Corsair the “the sweetheart of the Marianas” and “the sweetheart of Okinawa” for its roles in these campaigns, respectively. But pilots dubbed it “Ensign Eliminator” and “Bent-Wing Eliminator” because it required many more hours of flight training to master than other Navy carrier-borne aircraft. It was also called simply “U-bird” or “Bent Wing Bird.”