View Full Version : Corsair story (wonder what this is about)

03-28-2004, 08:54 AM
http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=1741839 Saw this story seems odd that the gov would even care.


03-28-2004, 08:54 AM
http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=1741839 Saw this story seems odd that the gov would even care.


03-28-2004, 08:57 AM
Hmmm that's odd, he seems to have followed the rules. He found their toy 50+ years later and now they want it back after he has dumped money into it. Somtimes our government can be such arseholes.

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03-28-2004, 09:33 AM
It's the US Navy - I don't think they ever take any aircraft out of their inventory, regardless of it's location/condition. This same type of thing has happened before, I believe it was some Navy planes someone located in the Great Lakes. Usually, the "victim" can work something out, like restore two aircraft, keep one, give the other to the Navy.


03-28-2004, 10:36 AM
To be honest, I'd much rather warbirds be owed by the government as they belong in the public domain and not in some rich guy's garage. However, the guy who salvaged it should be compensated in some kind of immanent domain agreement.

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03-28-2004, 12:04 PM
It may depend on who the swamp belonged to, and if the aircraft mechanic had the owner's permission to salvage the aircraft. The story doesn't say if he took it from government or privately held land, just a "North Carolina swamp." He may not have jumped through the requisite hoops.

On the other hand, it may just be some local Federal Attorney angling for a promotion.

Georgeo, while in an ideal world, the government might be the best steward of 'public treasures,' in my real life experience, someone with a personal financial interest in something will usually take much better care of it. Unless a government employee has an abiding love for his area of responsibility, he's simply doing a job, and government projects are always at the mercy of political winds.

This is particularly true of warbirds, where the vast majority of operational examples were bought or salvaged, rebuilt, repaired, and maintained by private individuals and organizations at significant cost and sacrifice. Even the major US government & military sponsored museums are heavily dependent on private sector support, in the form of donations, volunteer labor and expertise.

They can't justify the manhours and tax dollars that would be spent otherwise.



"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

03-28-2004, 02:37 PM
In the world of warbird restoration, this is standard operating procedure. The Navy claims everything they had will always be theirs. Warbird rescuers these days don't touch Blue cause they know what happens. This isn't the first time this has happened and I am very sure it won't be the last.

03-28-2004, 02:42 PM
Let me see if I understand this. Isn't this the same bureaucracy that chopped and bulldozed dozens for brand new Corsairs in the Pacific in October, 1945? The same visionaries that left several squadrons of new P-47s in Russia, ordering them destroyed by the local 'officials?' And the list goes on.

Yes, I can understand why they'd be upset now, sixty years later, when some enterprising fellow recovers and restores an abandoned antique plane at his own expense. The Navy is probably afraid that some secret technology will be compromised.

Has anyone told Leno about this?

There is no 'way' of winning;
There is only Winning!

03-28-2004, 04:16 PM
navy would leave it there to rot tbh, its been there 60years...

<123_GWood_JG123> NO SPAM!

03-28-2004, 07:23 PM
I saw a similar story a few years ago.. The US Navy will never release property like this without a fight.. some of it has to do with a final resting place - like the Arizona - apparently their downed planes are thought of the same way. That plus the fact that once it is Navy property - it is Always Navy property.

03-28-2004, 08:10 PM
Seems I recall a few years ago a deep sea sub found 4 sparrowhawks in a dirigible (don't recall the name right now) wreck off Monterey coast, the sub guys wanted to salvage and were time limited but the Navy, god bless'em, couldn't come to some sort of agreement and the aircraft went unsalvaged. Due to advanced state of deterioration they are now considered lost. A friend of mine has a Corsair he got out of Peru and he still goes around and around with the Navy over ownership, even though the Navy fully relinquished ownership to Peru in the '50's. Some new Navy guy shows up in the jurisdiction and has to check it out for himself. The airforce figures they have enough old airplanes and are willing to help others out with their projects. Polar opposites.

"I race full real exclusively in IL2:The Forgotten Battles." - Mark Donohue

03-28-2004, 08:49 PM
I really have to wonder why anyone would say they would rather have the Government in charge of historic artifacts when their record for preservation has never been any better than that of the private sector.

It's been known for ages that the U.S. Navy retains ownership of everything, no matter its condition or age. I will say that they need to enforce their policy all around, though, instead of just picking certain individuals out and going after them. (There is a former USMC Corsair that was salvaged and semi-restored in Hawaii that they've never claimed but yet they go after this guy?) The Air Force can be just as unpredictable sometimes.

If it weren't for civilians the bulk of the warbirds that survive today would have long since disappeared. Witness Ed Maloney and the Planes of Fame Museum or Roy Shoffner and the Glacier Girl; better yet the Commemorative Air Force...

I think that some people have fallen for that age-old misconception that there's no such thing as a wealthy philanthropist. Personally I think that, if someone wants to put their hard earned money into restoring a warbird then it's their business. I also agree that many of the warbirds owned by individuals or non-profit organizations are actually taken better care of than many of those the Government has.

03-28-2004, 09:21 PM
I watched a documentary recently where some guys located an ancient cargo boat off the coast of Sweden. In the midst of spending a considerable amount of resources in their excavation effort the Swedish government moved in to claim the same right of ownership. In another excavation off the coast of Greece about the discovery of very, very ancient ruins their government claimed the same right. Anything now considered of historical value and I suspect most nations will do the same.

I don't agree with such laws if it could be judged beyond any reasonable doubt such relics would otherwise go unfound or become utterly destroyed. Anyone who does discover them should inform themselves concerning the laws of ownership before spending any further effort. It should be a nation's policy worthy compensation be an integral part for everyone's benefit.


03-28-2004, 09:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by georgeo76:
To be honest, I'd much rather warbirds be owed by the government as they belong in the public domain and not in some rich guy's garage. However, the guy who salvaged it should be compensated in some kind of immanent domain agreement.


I work for the USG. Where there's a private individual or company willing to put in the time and money to upkeep something of historical value, you don't want to give that something into the stewardship of our gov't.

Let's take an example: Stratford Hall, the boyhood home of Robert E. Lee, vs. Wakefield, the boyhood home of George Washington. For those of you who have visited both, which is better run? (Hint: it's not GW's home)

03-28-2004, 10:23 PM
Just to add to the thread, I agree, what a bunch of "a" holes. Off topic a little, in Oz we have legislation to prevent divers who find wrecks in the ocean claiming them for themselves. There were a few cases where people who had located such wrecks got virtually no compensation from the Government for their time or effort so now no one really invests much in looking or if they do, they smuggle any aritfacts they find out of the country. I have no objection to protecting such wrecks (whether ships or aircraft) but when the alternative is to leave them there to rot, one has to think there is a better way. On a more military theme I have dived Million Dollar Point in Vanuatu where the USA dumped literally millions of bucks worth of equipment at the end of WW2. One wonders how the beaurocratic military mind works if in situations like this they can come back 50 years later and say to anyone wanting to preserve such relics - its mine, give it back and pay me for the privilge. Like I said...a holes

03-29-2004, 12:01 AM

There are many "million dollar holes" throughout the Pacific and I've dived lots of them.

The fact is, that the US government had no use for much of that stuff when the war ended (they had depots full of it, brand new, in the United States) and it would have gone to a scrap yard anyway, AFTER the taxpayers paid to have it shipped home. So, yeah, they pushed lots of equipment off the ends of lots of docks.

Now, as for the Aussies and salvage:

If you ever get to dive the wrecks around Guadalcanal, you will see the destruction caused by Aussie salvors in the 1970s (the Solomons were governed by Australia back then, as I'm sure you know).

There are many horrid examples of Aussie salvage stupidity, but the worst is a Japanese submarine that sunk in shallow water while trying to resupply Japanese forces on Gudalcanal. It was an intact wreck until an Aussie salvage company tried to raise it (to cut it up for scrap). In the process, it fell apart and dropped back into the sea. Today it's just a pile of junk on the ocean bottom. If I hadn't known it was a submarine when I dived it, I wouldn't have recognized it.



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-- Chuck Yeager describing "The Best Airplane."

03-29-2004, 12:03 PM
The United States has taken the position, and it is generally accepted in maritime law, that a sovereign government never abandons its vessels or aircraft. Thus, whenever a military wreck is discovered, whether it be a vessel or a plane, the United States still asserts its ownership interest. However, in a recent Federal Court case involving salvage rights to a submerged World War II Navy plane allegedly in 500 feet of water less than one mile off the coast of Miami the court rejected the Navy's claim and sided with the private salvor. This was an important case for those interested in salvaging the many scattered World War II Navy planes on the bottoms of Lake Michigan and Lake Washington