WWII Original VF-17 “Jolly Rogers” F4U Corsair Pilot Photo Grouping


One of my favorite avenues of collecting has to be Marine or Navy photographs related to aviation.  The Corsair pilots of the Pacific were certainly some of the toughest pilots of the war!  I’ve read numerous articles, books, and publications related to the VF-17 and finally had the opportunity to purchase some original snapshots from the unit.  Although they were a bit expensive, they now have a solid place in my collection.  These were taken on Bougainville, likely at Torokina airfield.  Identified pilots include Lemuel D. Cooke, Doug Gutenkunst, Windy Hill, John Orrin Ellsworth (Fatso) and Robert R.  Hogan.


VF-17 Mechanics


VF-17 Unit Insignia


Inscription on Reverse


Doug Gutenkunst, Bob Hogan, and Lem Cooke




Windy Hill and Fatso



Windy Hill Bougainville

Windy Hill Bougainville (Source)

The above photo shows Corsair pilot Robert “Windy” Hill posing near the Bougainville scoreboard and was taken by U.S Navy photographer Charles Fenno Jacobs (1904-1975).  Jacobs was known for capturing the melancholy side of the war in the Pacific.  For more info on Jacobs and his wartime work, please check out the National Archives website. 


One thought on “WWII Original VF-17 “Jolly Rogers” F4U Corsair Pilot Photo Grouping

  1. Any information on John Smith pilot from Owatonna, Mn. Was a war ace that flew a Corsair. He was my uncle. Tom McGreevey

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