|Rare Plane Stops in Gallatin|
|Wednesday, April 25, 2012|
A rare and historic airplane made a pit-stop in Gallatin last week.
First built in 1940 for the Navy, the F4U Corsair was later given to the Marines when the Navy thought it was unsuitable for carrier duty.
Pilot Frank Kimmel told those who came to see the plane just how rare it is to see such a plane.
“There are only 25 or 26 of these planes exist anymore,” he said. “But only 10 or 11 still fly – the rest are in museums.”
The plane that stopped in Gallatin last week was flown by Major Phillip Delong, who was the 13th highest scoring Marine Ace and the recipient of the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and several other awards.
Built in 1949, Delong's plane saw action in the Korean War and continued in service well after the war.
“Delong didn't know it, of course, but the plane flew over the cemetery at his funeral,” Kimmel said.