The last of the Naval Furys was the FJ-4. It appears to be a modified F-86 Sabre, but a closer look will show many differences and only the family ancestry is apparent - in particular, the shape of the nose. The most obvious difference is the near 'Delta' wing, rather than a swept wing, with a drooping leading edge, which provided additional lift on takeoff and landing. A later version was the FJ-4B, designed for ground attack, but this aircraft you are looking at is the FJ-4[A]. It was primarily designed for air-to-air combat. Most FJ-4's were assigned to Marine Fighter Squadrons, VMF-232, 235, and 451. One Navy Squadron, the Replacement Air Group (RAG) had a fleet a Furys.
This particular aircraft was assigned to the Marine Squadron VMF-232, the "Red Devils". VMF-232 was activated as VF-3M on 1 Sep 1924, following WWI. It underwent several squadron unit designation changes over the years. It deployed to NAS Atsugi, Japan, on 8 Sep 1958, as VMF-232, and flying off the USS Bennington from 17 Sep to 15 Nov 1958, they provided combat air patrol during the Quemoy and Matsu crisis. The squadron returned to Hawaii in 1959, and the Fury was replaced by the Vought F8U-1 Crusader.
This aircraft was the number 6 aircraft in the squadron, but the veterans of the squadron asked that we place number 3 on it in honor of Capt. Lew Abrams, who flew number 3 and was killed in Vietnam flying a Northrop Grumman A-6 Intruder. He was the Commander of the Marine VMA (AW) 242 Squadron in Vietnam. This is one of two existing Furys, out of a total of 177 built. The other is in the Naval Aviation Museum. For thirty years, until 2001, this aircraft was displayed at the Sea Wolf Park, Galveston, TX, and had deteriorated badly. HAMM members (one in particular) have spent nearly three years putting the aircraft into a displayable condition.
This aircraft is sponsored by the veterans of VMF-232, and they provided the funds for repairs and paint. This aircraft (serial number 139516) is on loan from the US Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida.
- One Wright J65-W-16A (7,700 pounds thrust)
- 39 ft. 1 in.
- 36 ft. 4 in.
- 13 ft. 11 in.
- Maximum takeoff weight:
- 23,700 pounds (empty 13,778 pounds)
- Maximum Speed:
- 680 mph at sea level, 631 mph at 35,000 feet (.95 Mach)
- Combat Ceiling:
- 46,800 ft.
- Combat Range:
- 1485 miles (clean), 2020 miles with two 200 gallon drop tanks (and 2 sidewinders)
- Four 20 mm cannon, and up to 3000 rounds of ordnance on wings, and 2 sidewinders
- Gun Sight:
- Radar-ranging, mounted in top of nose