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 Mar 11, 2005 11:50 PST 

This kind of thing just makes your blood boil. The $2 million liability policy and prohibition on flying for 7 years is the work of the Naval Historical Center (NHC), no doubt. It has NOTHING to do with liability (to which the Navy isn't exposed anyway), and everything to do with not being able to show the public how destructive the NHC is to navy history.

What they don't want is for Cralley to be flying it around at airshows proving that private citizens like himself are restoring history that the NHC tried to let nature continue to destroy. Can you imagine the bad press the NHC would get?? People would be angry and would be writing their congressmen! There are a lot more aircraft like this one sitting in remote areas or underwater rotting, that could be saved and shown in all their flying glory!

I wonder what the Navy feels about ex-Navy aircraft already flying at airshows. Most (if not all) of these were restored from junkyards or worse. If it were up to the NHC, they would still be piles of junk and not the pieces of living history that remind millions of people every year in airshows of the sacrifices that Naval Aviators and mechanics made for us in WWII.

BTW, you can show your support for those who built, maintained and flew the Corsairs, and those who keep them flying today:

JUNE 2-5 - Stratford, CT. - Veterans' Salute - Igor Sikorsky Memorial Airport. Nine F4U Corsairs; recreation of the Chance Vought Corsair Factory during WWII, w/ parts, engines, props, etc. Includes military vehicles and re-enactors. Warbirds welcome! Info: Jerry O'Neill 203-687-9440; web: www.veteranssalute.com or email: aird-@cox.net .

And write your Congressman to tell them to stop the most destructive force to Naval History - the NHC!


-----Original Message-----
From: SeaWolf <Seawo-@compuserve.com>
Sent: Mar 11, 2005 8:32 AM
To: UW Explorer List <uwexplo-@topica.com>

A year ago it seemed that a warbird restorer who recovered a 60-year-old
Brewster F3A-1 Corsair from the mud of a North Carolina swamp would get to
keep the airplane. The Navy had threatened Lex Cralley, 50, of Princeton,
Minnesota, with legal action, claiming that the plane was Navy property.
But Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) introduced an amendment in the defense
spending bill that conveyed title of the aircraft to Cralley. That was only
a first step, as it turns out. Navy concerns about liability mean Cralley's
proposed "gift of deed" comes with restrictions, requiring him to buy a $2
million liability policy for the aircraft and naming the Navy as an insured
party. It forbids him from flying the aircraft for seven years. Cralley
says that would set a bad precedent for other warbird restorers, so the
matter may yet go to trial. Unfortunately, the defense spending bill that
gave Cralley the airplane also contained! a section reinforcing the premise
that the Navy owns all sunken or buried military aircraft. Jones continues
to work on the issue with further negotiations planned for this week.
Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller said a "scheduling
conference" set for March 16 could tentatively set a trial date. Cralley
wants to continue the fight but doesn't want to become a burden on Jones
and others helping him. "I plan to display the Corsair at Oshkosh this year
to promote the change of the latest anti-preservation law," Cralley told

Photo: http://download.aopa.org/images/epilot/corsair_050311.jpg

SeaWolf Productions
The Bikini Atoll and Truk Lagoon Museum

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