Current Civil Registration Number N179PT
BuNo 124493 served exclusively as a test bed with the Bureau of Aeronautics at the Dallas Naval Air Station from 1950-53 before it was stored, then stricken from active service in 1956. It was selected later that year to be sold to the Honduran Air Force and was employed as “FAH-608” upon its arrival at the Honduran air base in Tegucigalpa. It was removed from service prior to onset of the 1969 war between Honduras and El Salvador and remained in outdoor storage until 1979 when it was acquired by Hollywood Wings Inc. and returned to Long Beach, CA.
In 1980, the dismantled components of BuNo 124493 were purchased by John Mullen of St. Louis, MO and spent the next seven years as the subject of an ambitious restoration project. Prior to completion, the fighter was sold to Pete Thelen of Ft. Lauderdale, FL where it took up residence with two other Corsairs owned by Thelen, including the mortal remains of F4U-5N, BuNo 122179 which had been severely damaged in a crash. For reasons unknown, the identities of these two aircraft were swapped and henceforth BuNo 124493 has become popularly recognized as “122179”, and remains so to this day.
BuNo 124493 flew again in 1988 and was sold later that year to UK-based collector Doug Arnold as the latest addition to his “Warbirds of Great Britain” collection. After its arrival it spent the vast portion of the next decade hidden away in hangar storage.
In 1998, James Read of Chesterton, IN acquired BuNo 124493 and had it shipped back to the United States where over the next ten years it became a very high profile player on the US air show circuit flying as number '5' of VMF-312 "Checkerboarders" squadron.
In 2008, BuNo “122179” was sold to Dave Folk, and Danny & Al Schiffer of Kalamazoo, MI and registered to Fighters and Legends LLC who continue to maintain the plane as a prime air show attraction.