Lincoln’s Corsair, FG-1D 92085 – Update January 17, 2018
In February of 1959, a retired FG-1D Corsair of the Minneapolis Naval Air Station arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska to be put on display at Antelope Park. The Corsair had made it as far as Denver Naval Air Station, on its way to the aircraft bone-yard in Tucson, AZ before being redirected to Lincoln. It stood guard during the next 13 years until April 1972.
Bureau number 92085 was accepted by the Navy on May 22, 1945 and arrived in San Diego in June of that same year. It served in various Navy squadrons until November of that same year, when it ended up at Barbers Point, HI. During 1947 it served with squadrons at NART Columbus, ending up at NART New York until September 1949. After this date, the details on the history of 92085 are unknown. When it arrived in Lincoln, however, it displayed the markings of a Minneapolis Navy reserve squadron.
While in Lincoln the Corsair was accessible to many young aviators during this time. However, the lack of a canopy and vandals took their toll early on the airplane. Several local children volunteered their time to repaint it in 1965, covering all markings on the exterior.
During June of 1968, Nebraska Congressman Robert Denny was contacted by Connecticut Congressman Donald Erwin, who was aiding in the search of a Corsair for the Marine Corps League in Stratford, CT, where the corsairs were built. They wanted to build a memorial to honor the Marines of the area and the civilians who built the airplanes. Jim Ager, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Superintendent at the time, was willing to give up the airplane, but only in trade for another plane. The deal fell through and the airplane stayed in place, at least for now.
On the 9th day of June 1970, the local paper reported the airplane was being traded to the Confederate Air Force in Harlingen, TX for another airplane. A request was sent out for the return of all scavenged parts off the plane. However, the deal apparently fell thru as the plane was not moved.
In April 1972, the airplane was loaded up on a U.S. Army trailer and made ready for shipment to the Pima County Air Museum in Tucson, AZ., reportedly being traded for an F-84 jet fighter. But instead of being trucked down to Arizona, the plane ended up in the yard on North 14th street. It sat there for another two years, when it was again loaded up on a trailer and moved, the exact whereabouts unknown. Lincoln Parks did finally receive a plane in trade for the corsair, an F9F Cougar, Bu No 146416, a Navy training plane. This went on display in Pioneers Park in Lincoln for a few years (see photo below of Bob Miller in front of the airplane, photo credit Lincoln Journal Star around 1978.)
During 1976, just 4 years later, Brigadier General Robert Raisch of the 4th MAW, discovered the airplane resting in the gunnery range in Yuma, AZ. How the plane managed to get from Lincoln to Yuma is a story waiting to be told.
In 1976, Brig Gen Raisch entered into an agreement with the Marine Corps Aviation Museum at Quantico and the airport manager at Mojave to truck the aircraft into Detroit. The Commander of the Detroit Squadron, Marine Corps Aviation Association transferred custody of this FG-1D to the Military Air Museum at Selfridge ANG Base on September 30, 1981.
Four years later, after extensive restoration efforts by Navy, Marine Corps, and Air National Guard personnel at Selfridge, 92085 had its roll out on June 30, 1984 at the Selfridge Air Show.
This FG-1D has been completely repainted a number of times, the last time just late last year by one of the Museum volunteers. It is one of the centerpieces of the 27 aircraft the museum has on display.
BU 92085 today (1/29/2018)
The corsair is now inside undergoing restoration, according to the museum’s webpage.