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72nd SQN

Hellcat NF.II - Help please !

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All five photos reward a close look.  NB I do not think all 5 are part of the same sequence: in 1, 3 and 5 the decks are dry, in 2 and 4 there are puddles - apart from the difference in aircraft codes.

 

Photo 1: O-5D and probably O-5C.  O-5C appears to have B type upper roundels, though the port one looks a trifle weird as if someone had started tinkering with adding some white (or, less likely, that it had been partially effaced/worn off).  In the relative close-up of O5D, the proportions of the C type roundel also look odd.  I haven't quite put my finger on it but it may be that the white has been added wholly on the blue portion.  NB code presentation for these 2 aircraft: O5-D port, O-5C starboard: need to check the other photos of other O5-coded aircraft to see if that is uniform across the 892 fleet.

 

Photo 2: the photo that kicked this whole thread off. C-5.  Both upper surface roundels look a little odd but (yes, I agree, Claudio!) look more like B type than C type.  They also look like those on the photo of O-5C,  evidence to support the reasonable assumption that they are the same aircraft recoded.

 

Photo 3: same sequence as photo 1.  NB how clearly the white in a C-Type roundel shows up, even at a distance, and contrast with Photo 1 of O5C in a similar attitude at a similar distance range.  NB that, taken with photo 1 we have evidence of the code presentation on both sides for one aircraft: O5-D port, O-5D starboard.

 

Photo 4: same sequence as photo 2.  The aircraft's starboard code presentation looks like R-5 to me.  This may be one of the photos I recall seeing before of aircraft other than 5C having the anomalous code presentation.  Or, as Ian has already wryly observed, a clearer print may prove me completely wrong.

 

Photo 5: possibly from the same sequence as 1 and 3.  NB aircraft letter on undercarriage doors (might be R but that's a wild guess), rocket stubs and wear to the radome (presumably fibre-glass): maybe this is where Martin Streetly got his idea of a white radome nose from.

 

NB I am sceptical about the October 1945 date for at least some and probably all the photos.  Apart from the different code markings, neither Ballance's FAA Squadrons (3rd ed) nor McCart's The Colossus-Class Aircraft Carriers 1944-1972 make any mention of Ocean embarking 892's Hellcats until 22 Nov 1945 (Ballance.  Deck Landing Training? (my speculation) and again 7 Dec 1945 (Ballance)/ 12 Dec 1945 (McCart) for passage to the Med.  McCart does not mention "Maywell" (more correctly L82 Meynell, a Hunt Type I) as Ocean's escort until departure from Gibraltar on 31 Dec 1945, but that doesn't preclude her having earlier escorted Ocean out from the UK.  In fact she seemed to have remained Ocean's assigned escort until at least April.

 

BTW the other squadron on Ocean during the Med deployment was 1792 Sq with Firefly NFs.  Ballance records them as using single letter codes at Drem and Machrihanish before adopting O4x codes from "12/45".  Photos indicate starboard presentation was O-4x.

 

Must admit I am now wavering and beginning to incline to the view that Sturtivant/Ballance got it right in saying 892's codes progressed from O5 to 5 and not the other way round ie that both 1792 and 894 painted up their O prefixes around embarkation in Ocean in Dec 45.  But against that Ballance dates that lovely photo of 892's Hellcats (at least 4 coded O5), ranged as the Clyde, Apr 46, which, given that the squadron disbanded on 19 Apr 46, is about as late as it gets.  My brain is beginning to hurt!

 

Will edit some of my earlier posts: it's now apparent I may sometimes have been unwarrantedly dogmatic, if not plain wrong!

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Fantastic series of images - Thanks Beema -  and great commentary from the forum  - certainly erring towards the B roundels on 5-C in the original pic. A question on the 20mm cannons everyone -  Did any these NFII's have the 6 x .50cals armament or have did some had the 20mm's removed, leaving 4 x .50 cals (as per the original profile notes)?   I can see the 20mm on some but not others. Very clear on the Rocket Stubbs as well. chrs Paul.

Edited by 72nd SQN

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Before offering more of my own views, I'd be interested in what other people's eyes see.  Which of 892's Hellcats have 20mm cannon?

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 10:33 PM, Whofan said:

 

a73d2e4b-94f0-4c74-9533-62ed9da63b9e.jpg

Ballance: FAA Squadrons (3rd Ed) reckons this photo was taken in the Clyde in Apr 46 at the end of Ocean's commission and just before 892 Sq disbanded.  Note how glossy the aircraft are, with reflections from cowlings and prop blades.  Well-looked after aircraft or a bit of bull prior to disbandment?

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39 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

Ballance: FAA Squadrons (3rd Ed) reckons this photo was taken in the Clyde in Apr 46 at the end of Ocean's commission and just before 892 Sq disbanded.  Note how glossy the aircraft are, with reflections from cowlings and prop blades.  Well-looked after aircraft or a bit of bull prior to disbandment?

Probably a bit of both, perhaps?

 

I suspect a bit more of the bull before disbandment!

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 6:29 PM, tonyot said:

 

20mm cannon- Ocean- FAAM

 

What we haven't commented on so far in this photo from Tony is that there is a Type C underwing roundel.  Wing undersides are rarely visible in photos (and when they are the radar pods gets in the way!) but personally I'd extrapolate that this was a standard feature for GSB Hellcats in European colours.  NB also that the cartridge ejection slots have been doped over (red dope?).

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On 9/10/2018 at 1:41 AM, 72nd SQN said:

Fantastic series of images - Thanks Beema -  and great commentary from the forum  - certainly erring towards the B roundels on 5-C in the original pic. A question on the 20mm cannons everyone -  Did any these NFII's have the 6 x .50cals armament or have did some had the 20mm's removed, leaving 4 x .50 cals (as per the original profile notes)?   I can see the 20mm on some but not others. Very clear on the Rocket Stubbs as well. chrs Paul.

If you look at one of my models you will see that it had 4 x Brownings fitted with the cannon and fairing removed,....... my understanding is that the 20mm cannons were removed by the time they got to the Med,...... they do appear to have gone by then.

Edited by tonyot

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On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 12:13 AM, Seahawk said:

All five photos reward a close look.  NB I do not think all 5 are part of the same sequence: in 1, 3 and 5 the decks are dry, in 2 and 4 there are puddles - apart from the difference in aircraft codes.

 

Photo 1: O-5D and probably O-5C.  O-5C appears to have B type upper roundels, though the port one looks a trifle weird as if someone had started tinkering with adding some white (or, less likely, that it had been partially effaced/worn off).  In the relative close-up of O5D, the proportions of the C type roundel also look odd.  I haven't quite put my finger on it but it may be that the white has been added wholly on the blue portion.  NB code presentation for these 2 aircraft: O5-D port, O-5C starboard: need to check the other photos of other O5-coded aircraft to see if that is uniform across the 892 fleet.

 

Photo 2: the photo that kicked this whole thread off. C-5.  Both upper surface roundels look a little odd but (yes, I agree, Claudio!) look more like B type than C type.  They also look like those on the photo of O-5C,  evidence to support the reasonable assumption that they are the same aircraft recoded.

 

Photo 3: same sequence as photo 1.  NB how clearly the white in a C-Type roundel shows up, even at a distance, and contrast with Photo 1 of O5C in a similar attitude at a similar distance range.  NB that, taken with photo 1 we have evidence of the code presentation on both sides for one aircraft: O5-D port, O-5D starboard.

 

Photo 4: same sequence as photo 2.  The aircraft's starboard code presentation looks like R-5 to me.  This may be one of the photos I recall seeing before of aircraft other than 5C having the anomalous code presentation.  Or, as Ian has already wryly observed, a clearer print may prove me completely wrong.

 

Photo 5: possibly from the same sequence as 1 and 3.  NB aircraft letter on undercarriage doors (might be R but that's a wild guess), rocket stubs and wear to the radome (presumably fibre-glass): maybe this is where Martin Streetly got his idea of a white radome nose from.

 

NB I am sceptical about the October 1945 date for at least some and probably all the photos.  Apart from the different code markings, neither Ballance's FAA Squadrons (3rd ed) nor McCart's The Colossus-Class Aircraft Carriers 1944-1972 make any mention of Ocean embarking 892's Hellcats until 22 Nov 1945 (Ballance.  Deck Landing Training? (my speculation) and again 7 Dec 1945 (Ballance)/ 12 Dec 1945 (McCart) for passage to the Med.  McCart does not mention "Maywell" (more correctly L82 Meynell, a Hunt Type I) as Ocean's escort until departure from Gibraltar on 31 Dec 1945, but that doesn't preclude her having earlier escorted Ocean out from the UK.  In fact she seemed to have remained Ocean's assigned escort until at least April.

 

BTW the other squadron on Ocean during the Med deployment was 1792 Sq with Firefly NFs.  Ballance records them as using single letter codes at Drem and Machrihanish before adopting O4x codes from "12/45".  Photos indicate starboard presentation was O-4x.

 

Must admit I am now wavering and beginning to incline to the view that Sturtivant/Ballance got it right in saying 892's codes progressed from O5 to 5 and not the other way round ie that both 1792 and 894 painted up their O prefixes around embarkation in Ocean in Dec 45.  But against that Ballance dates that lovely photo of 892's Hellcats (at least 4 coded O5), ranged as the Clyde, Apr 46, which, given that the squadron disbanded on 19 Apr 46, is about as late as it gets.  My brain is beginning to hurt!

 

Will edit some of my earlier posts: it's now apparent I may sometimes have been unwarrantedly dogmatic, if not plain wrong!

Note that page 6 has a sequence of photos showing H land and page 7 of the photos show the source photos for those shown in post 18.  They show a lot more detail, but do not provide any more clarification as to code presentation or serial number

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1 hour ago, detail is everything said:

Note that page 6 has a sequence of photos showing H land and page 7 of the photos show the source photos for those shown in post 18.  They show a lot more detail, but do not provide any more clarification as to code presentation or serial number

In the slightly clearer version of the "S"crash photo on page 7 it can be seen that she has the reinforcing struts between the rocket stubs.  I can see that they are there but can't see clearly enough to tell what the exact arrangement is.  Why the Admiralty/Blackburns felt the need to tinker with an arrangement the USN presumably found entirely satisfactory beats me.

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