"Nightfighter Ace" is a tribute to the late Captain Guy Bordelon, who holds the unique distinction of being the only U.S. Navy ace of the Korean conflict, the only U.S. pilot to score all five of his victories at night, as well as the only pilot to attain ace status while flying a propeller-driven aircraft. It is also likely that he will forever hold the title of the last "prop ace" in air combat history.
Lt. Bordelon was attached to nightfighter squadron VC-3 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Princeton during the waning months of the Korean Conflict. The squadron was tasked with conducting night interdiction missions against Communist truck convoys, an extremely hazardous undertaking in itself in the pitch-black skies over the Korean Penninsula.
In June 1953, Bordelon was temporarily assigned to an air base near the South Korean capital of Seoul, where his mission would be to intercept "bed-check Charlies", small propeller-driven aircraft used by the North Koreans to conduct night time harassment attacks. These relatively slow aircraft had proven to be difficult targets for the fast, jet-powered nightfighters employed by the Air Force in the region.
Flying his radar-equipped F4U-5N Corsair nicknamed "Annie Mo", Bordelon entered the annals of aviation history by shooting down five enemy aircraft between June 29 and July 16,1953. For this achievement, he was awarded the Navy Cross. He retired from the US Navy at the rank of Captain, and passed away in December 2002.
This painting was awarded an honorable mention in the 2004 EAA Sport Aviation Art Competition, and was sold in a charitable auction in support of the Aviation Heritage Park, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
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