Marine Ace, Phillip DeLong Korean War

United States Marine Corp Ace

Korean War Corsair Pilot VMF-312

Artwork and research is by; Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

Marine Ace, Phillip DeLong Korean War

There are 350 limited edition prints in this series. Print size 12×18″

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Limited Edition, Signed by the Ace. $75.00

All signatures by both the Aviator and the Artist is done in soft graphic pencil.

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Poster Print $14.95    Poster prints are not autographed or numbered.

Phillip DeLong

Korean War Tour

By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

Phillip DeLong was born on July 9, 1919 in Jackson, Michigan and graduated from high school there in 1937. He attended the University of Michigan and enrolled in the NROTC program. Phil left college and entered the Naval Aviation Cadet program. Phillip entered the U.S. Marine Corps in Corpus Christi, Texas and graduated from his flight training on December 16, 1942. Phillip was given his aviation wings and commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Phillip served in the Pacific during WW II and scored 11.166 aerial victories with VMF-212 flying the F4U-1 Corsair.

After the war Phillip continued his service as a Marine. During the years after the war he was assigned to several different bases and checked out in many of the new aircraft that was being produced at the time.

The invasion of South Korea by the North caught many people off guard. In July 1950 Phil received orders to VMF-312, MAG-12 at El Toro, California. The following month the unit was deployed to Japan and then to Korea. Phillip was promoted to Major at the age of thirty-one and joined the “Checkerboard” squadron flying the F4U-4 Corsair. The squadron was stationed on the carrier USS Bataan for duty with the Seventh Fleet, Task Force 95.

The squadron’s primary mission was to fly reconnaissance along with close air support for Army and Marine units. The “Checkerboards” also escorted Allied ships and took part in the blockade of enemy ships off the coast of North Korea.

On April 21, 1951, Captain DeLong was leading his division on an armed reconnaissance flight. They were flying near Chinnampo, Korea, along the Yellow Sea. Captain DeLong and his wingman, First Lieutenant H. Daigh was flying north when they both noticed they had fighters approaching them. Both Phillip and Daigh assumed they were American P-51 fighters. Within moments DeLong called on the intercom that his aircraft had been hit. DeLong quickly split-essed to avoid further fire. Daigh pulled behind a Yak and opened fire. Daigh’s guns struck the Yak in the tail, wing, and fuselage. The Korean’s wing broke off and the aircraft plunged to earth. As DeLong climbed and turned to the left, two of the enemy Yaks attacked him from astern. While in a defensive turn Phil found one of the Yaks crossing his path and he fired. The passing Yak caught fire and crashed.

DeLong turned and spotted his wingman Daigh, who was in pursuit of one of the Yaks. Unknown to his wingman there was another Yak was in pursuit of Daigh. DeLong radioed Daigh to take evasive action which he quickly did. Daigh evaded the pursuing Yak. Daigh then turned onto the enemy aircraft and fired. The Yak began smoking from his cockpit and wing. The Yak flew off and the two Marines did not see the enemy aircraft crash.

Phil gained on the last Yak and fired on the enemy fighter. The Yak started to stream smoke and desperately tried to get away. Phil fired another burst from his guns into the Yak. Pieces fell away from the enemy fighter and Phil watched the pilot jettison his canopy and bail out. The enemy fighter that Daigh fired on and damaged was found several days later which confirmed an aerial victory for Daigh.

These were the first Marine aerial victories of the Korean War and the first kills by Corsairs. The “Checkerboard” squadron was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and eight Air Medals for their service in Korea. Phillip flew 127 missions during the conflict. Phillip was one of the only pilots that flew Corsair’s in both World War Two and the Korean War.

Phillip’s aerial victories in WW II and Korea totaled 13 1/6 with one probable and two damaged. He is the 13th highest scoring Marine Ace. For his service to his country and the Marine Corp, Phillip DeLong earned the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, along with the Distinguished Flying Cross with 6 Gold Stars. He also received the Air Medal with 16 Gold Stars and the Navy Commendation Medal.


This is Phillip landing Number 5.


Phillips F4U at Cherry Point. This is the only time his fighter carried his victory marking.


DeLong in the cockpit of an F9F Panther.


Phil Delong and the Artist


Phil signed 350 of this print.

Here is the Marine Ace signing the original painting.


Original paintings of Phillip’s F4U Corsair’s are available.

Each canvas has been autographed by the Ace.

Painting size is 24×48″ $3,000.00.

This includes shipping.