Soccer War Corsair. Some of the most unusual Corsairs in the world are the two dozen that participated in the last-ever air war involving piston-engine fighters, during the July 1969 “Soccer War” between El Salvador and Honduras. (The two air forces had a total of 30 Corsairs on the books, but not all were operational.)
The 1969 Soccer war was a 100 hour border war between Honduras and El Salvador, and was the only time Corsairs fought against each other, and was also the last time a Corsair downed a combatant. (Look it up for more details – that’s all I’ll mentioned about the history here).
More Soccer War Corsair images
I typically don’t build too many US aircraft in foreign service markings but I remembered seeing the Soccer (or Football, depending on your preference) War scheme both on the 1/48 Hobbycraft release as well as in some online searches of other Corsair builds.
The model shows one of the five El Salvadorian Corsairs that took part in the 100 Hours War or Soccer War between El Salvador and Honduras from 14th to 18th July 1969, the last time Corsairs went into battle.
September 2015. The last dogfights between piston-engine, propeller-driven airplanes weren’t fought in the skies over Germany in the 1940s or even Korea in the 1950s. They occurred in Central America in 1969, and all of the combatants were flying U.S.-built Corsairs and Mustangs. The dogfights were among the final acts in a brief but bloody four-day conflict between Honduras and El Salvador, commonly (but misleadingly) known as the Football War.
The Honduran Corsairs also took part in the 1969 ‘Soccer War’, where a single Corsair scored three victories against two Salvadorian Corsairs and one Mustang, piloted by Capt. Fernando Soto. These were the only air-to-air victories of the war. The Honduras Corsairs also performed strafing missions at the border.
They had 25 F4U/FG-1 Corsairs in service as well. During the fighting, Honduran Corsairs downed a P-51 and two Corsairs, gained air superiority over the battlefield, and began pushing the invaders back. Anti-aircraft fire claimed two more Salvadoran Mustangs, while two P-51s were lost in a mid-air collision.
The Football War was a brief war fought between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. Existing tensions between the two countries coincided with rioting during a 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifier. The war began on 14 July 1969, when the Salvadoran military launched an attack against Honduras. The Organization of American States negotiated a cease-fire on the night of 18 July, which took full effect on 20 July. Salvadoran troops were withdrawn in early August.