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EwenS's Achievements

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  1. Turn the clock back to July 1945. That was when Spec E.1/45 was issued to cover the FAA version of the Supermarine Type 392 with prototypes TS413 & TS416 becoming "E.10/44 Hooked Jet Spitefuls", then 2 months later being authorised to receive arrester hooks & 'jet spoilers'. However it was not until Eric 'Winkle' Brown landed a hooked Vampire LZ551/G on HMS Ocean on 3 Dec 1945 that it was even confirmed that jets could be operated from a carrier. Prior to that there were grave doubts due to higher landing speeds, the length of time early jet engines took to spool up to full power (a particular issue for a naval aircraft getting a wave off and having to go around again), short range etc. Couple of things about that first series of landings. The aircraft was specially fitted with a more powerful Goblin II engine delivering 3,100lbst. He managed to maintain 6,000rpm on the engine.. 10,000rpm was required for a go around or take off. As he crossed the round down, the aft flight deck pitched up and smacked the tailbooms, leaving small indentations. On the subsequent take off, having reached 60 mph "...I then eased back on the stick until I reckoned that the tailbooms had about a foot of deck clearance." On the fourth landing that day the trailing edge of the flaps hit the deck or the arrester wire and sheared the hinge brackets. Further trials took place through 1946 and onto mid-1947 but "It was now made clear [Aug 1947] that all the work on lift control on the Vampire was aimed at the Supermarine Attacker, or 'Jet Seafang' as it was then known...........While it was patently obvious that the Vampire would never form the basis of a fully operational shipboard aircraft it equally obviously had potential in providing the Navy with experience in the operation of jets from carrier decks." Air International Jan 1985 "Viewed from the Cockpit - Dawn of the Carrier Jet" authored by the great man himself. LZ551 was followed by another hooked Vampire F.1 TG426 and 2 fully navalised prototype Sea Vampire F.Mk.20 conversions and 18 production F.Mk20 adapted from the Vampire FB.5 with clipped wings, airframe strengthening to withstand the forces of carrier launch and landings., enlarged airbrakes and flaps, long travel oleos, A frame arrester hook. These were operated by a number of second line squadrons through to the mid-1950s. Unlike the Sea Venom, it never got folding wings. When it went aboard the light carrier Triumph, sister to Ocean, it proved a tight fit for her lifts. ISTR seeing a photo of them loading one on the lift diagonally - of course now I can't find it!! (lift 45x34ft. Sea Vampire F.20 span 38ft, length 30.75ft). So had it been developed it too would have been restricted to the later carriers. Fitting tip tanks would only have exacerbated the problems. 7 Vampire F.3 were converted as Sea Vampire F.21 for use in the rubber deck trials of undercarriageless aircraft on HMS Warrior in 1948. There was also the Sea Vampire T.22 developed fom the RAF 2 seat Vampire T.11 for use as a jet trainer but which was never made carrier capable. Carrier trials were also carried out with a Meteor F.3, EE337 in June 1948. The prototype Supermarine Type 392 first flew on 27 July 1946. The Naval Staff Requirement NR/A.17 was written around the developing Attacker prototypes in Oct 1947 and the final production Spec issued to Supermarine in Nov 1948 with the first production contract having been issued in Oct 1948. After service clearance etc, it entered front line service with 800 squadron in August 1951. Performance wise, the Attacker outperformed the Sea Vampire, in most respects - max speed, climb rate, endurance, albeit not by much, As for the Sea Hawk, it was Jan 1946 before Hawker got clearance to proceed with development of the P.1040 that led to it, having failed to get Govt interest in the project the year before. It flew on 2 Sept 1947 with the navalised version first flying a year later. It was Nov 1949 before a production contract was issued and March 1953 before it entered front line service. So its development was some 18-24 months behind that of the Attacker. This was a time when the services had plenty of WW2 vintage aircraft to meet immediate needs. Aircraft were developing fast. Planning was for the "year of maximum danger for WW3" to be around 1956. Order many aircraft in 1946 and they would be obsolete by 1956. Delay orders until the next generation of aircraft were developed saved money short term in a cash-strapped UK. Remember as well that the Specs that led to the DH.110 & Sea Vixen were first issued in 1946. Edit:- A Meteor had been hoisted aboard the trias carrier Pretoria Castle on 11 Aug 1945 for deck handling trials (no take offs or landings) and remained aboard until the 26th when it was lightered ashore. 1945 was very much a priod of early experimentation with jet aircraf on carrier decks, at a time when the only 3 jets available for these trials were the Meteor & the Vampire and the US P-59. Brown chose the Vampire for the first jet deck landings even though he considered it less than ideal. It was however better than the other options.
  2. You need a copy of this book. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Consolidated-Mess-Illustrated-Nose-turreted-Production-ebook/dp/B07CYX2WW6/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=1VPSSQGXRN9I4&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.DD7B67FeBXZjJunrwNc2-zWBYLHnO2IUoLx2tdDG8h4.HmM98yP8XaaUnsWox53UJ38sFgSvYhs5PlMoDe14zfs&dib_tag=se&keywords=consolidated+mess&qid=1717698626&s=books&sprefix=consolidated+mess%2Caps%2C183&sr=1-1 It starts with the various modification programmes that put nose turrets into B-24D aircraft. I'm away from my library at present hut ISTR there were 3 different different versions Hawaian Air Depot converted in Hawaii & Australia Oklahoma Air Depot ASW conversions that took the turret from the tail and put it of the nose instead.
  3. You might like these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blankets-Fire-Smithsonian-Aviation-Spaceflight/dp/1560986654/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=2AG7RPQMPDB34&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.P152e0j87co_F4IJ7LV3CQ0z9aK9PY-p6ZTn59WZmWH0ExgA-S-bs9zS51Ahkc7SU_DRRwHwRcdeloG6SFfFQXjhN8CibCmVA4Cy1PlH3n2xj_myKYsbwN-iZWYvV-iYmHlH6XPN15ZfS8OZqfEAiP4U4Bi7gzyRs60MPEQt3xp6Unn1ro-9Cox4m1C9h6NUXz_OKxBFslq06WSAuwFZbw.BCeGf91MHSsMDxvhyAdp8EruitQW1FfUEnPF99yFHCw&dib_tag=se&keywords=blankets+of+fire+in+books&qid=1717536528&sprefix=%2Caps%2C255&sr=8-1 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Range-Mustang-Units-Pacific-Aviation-ebook/dp/B0BLLQM9PH/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=4S2IJIBKM7P8&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.pQ5LRHJYSnSztF6jglpIF25JOyUcO-ua73jqADO-EyT3Yjs9aC2yMmIK-H6GlJrluXyHOZVxoOO1YoKYlAxbVZiVn6s0R0tHP5klRWKVt7c.fG7W4UWhOqIbobLELmbtAXt14KK6qfrmVrqvSX0LmpQ&dib_tag=se&keywords=p-51+long+range+fighters+against+japan&qid=1717536687&sprefix=p-51+long+range+fighters+against+japan%2Caps%2C154&sr=8-1
  4. One other thing to note that is not usually commented on, is that the Hornet flight deck was respotted, probably the day before the launch. When she left the US the B-25s were spread out in two rows all the way to the forward lift. During the voyage, some of the aircraft from her own air group were brought onto the flight deck. But for the launch all the B-25s were positioned as far aft as possible to maximise the free deck space for take off and parked herring bone fashion, with the aftmost overhanging the end of the flight deck. This can be seen in the various photos already linked.
  5. What do you mean by pre-war? Sept 1939 or Dec 1941? The first USN monoplane fighters were 11 Brewster F2A-1 Buffalo built 1939/40 with 10 going to VF-3 on Saratoga by June 1940. They were followed by 43 F2A-2 from Sept 1940 and 108 F2A-3 between July & Dec 1941. VF-2 on CV-2 Lexington replaced their biplane F2F in 1940 and, along with Saratoga, still had Buffalos at the time of PH. The first Gruman F4F-3 Wildcats were delivered to VF-4 & VF-7 in Dec 1940 for CV-4 Ranger & CV-7 Wasp Air Groups replacing biplanes, followed by Enterprise & Yorktown in 1941. The last biplane fighters in US carrier groups were only replaced during 1941. The CV-8 Hornet Air Group continued to operate biplane SBC-4 dive bombers until it went to the Pacific in March 1942. They were replaced with SBD-3 Dauntless when she reached San Diego. It is also often forgotten that the famous Douglas SBD Dauntless did not start to enter service until the latter part of 1940 (57xSBD-1 produced from June 1940 for the USMC followed by 87xSBD-2 for the USN from Nov 1940) with the first mass produced version, the SBD-3 only beginning to roll off the production line in March 1941.
  6. Mill Meece, aka HMS Fledgeling, was a training establishment for WREN aircraft maintenance ratings between 1943 & 1946. Seemingly no runways, with 1 hangar & 2 aircraft sheds (I.e. what is visible in the wide photo of the Corsair) and a single dispersal area. Home to instructional airframes only. So it's entirely possible that that Corsair, and the other aircraft, had been mucked about, parts replaced, repainted etc, all in the name of training WRENS who go on to service aircraft at other bases. https://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/FAA-Bases/Millmeece.htm Info taken from a 1945 RN handbook of Naval Air Stations.
  7. There is a series of photos over on Navsource taken while Hornet was launching the Doolittle raiders. Looks like some of her light AA was covered (20mm in side galleries) and some uncovered (quad 1.1" in front of the bridge and 0.5" forward. https://www.navsource.org/archives/02/08.htm https://www.navsource.org/archives/02/020811.jpg https://www.navsource.org/archives/02/020807b.jpg The large roller covered side openings were intended to protect the spaces where the athwartship hangar deck catapults would sit. As designed, it was intended to fit 2, but in the event only the forward one was fitted. This was reported to be removed from Enterprise and Hornet at Pearl Harbor on 26 June 1942. While at sea, and given the prevailing weather conditions, I can see no reason for these being open on either carrier. The Doolittle Task Force ran across a Japanese picket boat while some 650 miles off the Japanese coast, and some 170 miles short of and some 10 hours steaming time off their intended launch point. (Sources differ as to the exact figures) So they knew they probably had some time before a Japanese attack force turned up. Final prep of the B-25s then took place with the first being launched about 40 mins after their discovery. Launching all 16 took about an hour at a distance of 600-610 miles from the Japanese coast. At the point of discovery Hornet's own air group was in the hangar, and would not have been fuelled nor armed for safety reasons. Once that refuelling process began, which probably happened fairly quickly after discovery, some of the shutters on the smaller side openings would probably have been opened at least partially to aid ventilation to dissipate any avgas fume build up on the hangar deck. This is a photo of her taken later on the 18th April after launching the B-25s with her air group now ranged on deck. The smaller hangar openings now appear uncovered. The larger ones are closed (note the presence of the vertical pillars dividing up the 3 sections). https://www.navsource.org/archives/02/020846d.jpg Enterprise had begun operating its aircraft around two and a half hours before the TF16 was discovered.
  8. Yes. See this Britmodeller thread about A-26 Invaders supplied to the 3rd BG on Okinawa from summer 1945 - the so called "Paciific Specials". Conclusion was Block -61 & -66 WERE overall OD as delivered from the factory.
  9. From Halley "Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918-1988" B.58 Melsbroek (Now Brussels Airport IIRC) 4/2/45-26/3/45 detachment only B.77 Gilze-Rijen entire squadron from 1/4/45 B.91 Nijmegen 13/4/45 B.109 Quackenbruck 20/44/5 B.152 Fassberg 26/4/45 B.156 Luneberg 3/5/45 B.158 Lubeck 7/5/45-29/8/45 when the squadron disbanded.
  10. Don't know if it would make a difference, but that Hellcat is parked right at the deck edge. To spread the wings for rearming would mean respotting it (or hanging some poor sod over the side with a rocket in his arms!). We have no way of knowing how many others need respotted to allow that to happen. It looks awkward, but may be the simplest route.
  11. You might find this interesting. History of development of the USAAF weather service. https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/VII/AAF-VII-11.html The 655th BS (55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron from 16 June 1945) deployed 3 flights to Guam in Dec 1944, Mar/Apr 1945 and July 1945, later operating from Iwo Jima and Okinawa and covering the whole of the western Pacific. They used specially equipped B-24L/M aircraft and flew alone. They provided weather information ahead of B-29 raids and fighter sweeps as well as tracking Pacific typhoons. The latter was significant following the typhoon damage to TF38 in Dec 1944 & June 1945. Two operations that jump to mind about the weather faced by crews across the Pacific theatre are:- 1. The "Shady Lady" B-24 raid on Balikpapan from Darwin in 1943. IIRC they had to cross 3 tropical fronts there & back. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shady_Lady_(aircraft) 2. On 1 June 1945, 148 Mustangs from 15th FG, 21st FG & 506th FG set off from Iwo Jima to escort 400 B-29s to attack Osaka. This was againstvthecadvice of the weather officer. Weather was good on take off and they met their B-29 navigational guides as planned. When they reached about 370 miles from base they found a "well formed front, with angry cumulonimbus reaching to 30,000ft" blocking their path. Being heavily loaded with drop tanks they couldn't climb over it, so attempted to plough through it. Only 27 Mustangs reached the target area. 24 aircraft & 23 pilots were lost that day, none to enemy action, all to the weather. It as the worst loss rate for a VII Fighter Command mission during the war. Most of the time aircraft just disappeared without explanation. The USN had its own weather reporting system with its long range patrol aircraft (PBY Catalinas / PBM Mariners / PB4Y-1 Liberators / PB4Y-2 Privateers / PB2Y Coronados) making regular reports. They generally operated in pairs for mutual protection. There were also weather reports from island bases & ships being used to build a weather picture. Weather information was also coming out of China via USN/USMC personnel located there. https://web.archive.org/web/20091121042722/http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/nov09-marines_in_china.asp In the later part of the War in the Pacific, LORAN was used for navigation. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LORAN Edit - 1945 was the first year to be included in the Pacific Typhoon Database. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1945_Pacific_typhoon_season
  12. The A-36A did find its way to China. The 311th Fighter Bomber Group arrived with its A-36A in India in September 1943 and was assigned to the 10th AF. By the end of 1943 it was also flying the Allison engined P-51A. It moved into northern Burma in July/Aug 1944 to support Merrill's Marauders. It then crossed the "Hump" into China and spent the rest of the war there assigned to 14th AF. Along the way it became the 311th Fighter Group and in 1945 was receiving P-51B/C/D models.
  13. Accepting the surrender of Japanese personnel in Malaya, DEI (Indonesia), Thailand and the southern half of FIC was a SEAC responsibility. The boundaries between the US SWPA and SEAC were adjusted, after a two and a half week delay, on 2 Sept 1945 when the formal surrender took place in Tokyo Bay. The northern part of FIC was a Chinese Nationalist responsibility. The only US personnel involved in FIC came from the OSS units dropped in before the end of the war to establish guerrilla forces. (Edit - and of course PoWs) So highly unlikely to have been US forces painting "stars & bars" on ex-Japanese aircraft in those regions. So it was British & Indian forces that landed in Malaya between 28 August & 9 Sept (Operation Jurist & Zipper). Advance parties were flown into Bangkok on 3rd Sept & Saigon on 6th Sept. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Vietnam_(1945–1946) I've can't recall seeing or reading of any evidence of communist forces in these regions gaining any ex-Japanese aircraft in 1945/46. The legitimate Govts in several did. China still seems the most logical place for this photo. Edit- the chap in the cockpit looks Caucasian to me.
  14. USMC units were deployed in NE China where the communists held sway in order to accept the surrender of Japanese forces, because Nationalist Chinese forces were not immediately able to do so as they were located further south & West. It was the Nationalists under Chaing Kai Shek that was the recognised govt of China. The USMC even came to blows with the communists. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Beleaguer
  15. Those photos date to 18 May 1944 and look like stills from the movie sequences shot when the Eastern Fleet was saying goodbye to USS Saratoga and her 3 escorts off Australia. After she left Philadelphia on 26 June 1943, she underwent further modifications at Devonport 9 July-28 Aug 1943, which according to one source I have immediately to hand saw the removal of the catapult and repurposing of the hangars. The boats would have been relocated at that point. She then had a further short docking at Portsmouth 11-30 Nov before sailing for the Far East on 30 Dec. This is a photo of her taken at Trincomalee in April 1944.
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