Very Rare F4u-1A Corsair with pilot -
This aircraft was piloted by Ira Cassius Kepford (May 29, 1919 – January 19, 1987) he was an American flying ace of World War II who served with a land-based unit of the United States Navy. In 76 days of combat flying with the VF-17 "Jolly Rogers," he was credited with shooting down 16 enemy aircraft. At the close of his combat service in April 1944, Kepford was the Navy's leading ace.
Kepford first made headlines in local papers as a promising high school football player. He went on to become a starting halfback for Northwestern University before signing up as a Navy reservist in anticipation of World War II. Kepford ultimately attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander before his discharge from the Navy and his entrance into the private sector. He worked his way up from trainee at a Liggett Drug Company store to President of the company, retiring in 1960. Kepford died in 1987, aged 67 in Harbor Springs, Michigan.
J-Bar Item 51918
21st Century Item 10127