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KRK4m

SNJ on USN flat tops in December 1941

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It is said there https://bluejacket.com/ww2_12-07-41_carriers.html  that at the time of Pearl Harbor attack four USN flattop-based units were using (as supplementary type of course) the SNJ-3 Texan scouts.

Has anybody ever seen the gray-painted SNJ-3 sporting 5-S-... (Yorktown), 41-F-... (Ranger), 6-T-... (Enterprise), 8-F-... (Hornet) or 72-F-... (Wasp) fuselage codes?

Were these aircraft hook-equipped SNJ-3Cs or "plain" SNJ-3s with no arrester gear? Did they have the rear-cockpit gun or not?

Cheers

Michael

Edited by KRK4m
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I find it very hard to believe that there were any SNJs aboard a carrier in 1941.  They were undoubtedly assigned to the squadrons, but if they had been aboard the carriers, don’t you think that sometime in the intervening 80 years we would have seen photos of them somewhere?  I’ve certainly never seen any SNJ aboard any carrier in WWII except USS Wolverine and USS Sable in Lake Michigan.  

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I've seen a photo of an SNJ in what appears to be Blue Grey uppers and an open rear.  I don't remember if a gun was visible but I think so.  The coding however was a simple black 11.

 

I would expect these allocated aircraft to be based at the unit's land base, but would not be surprised to learn that they would visit the carriers when they were near in a pre-CODD role.  Ferrying out VIPs, despatches, key spares etc.  This would not require rear armament, but if in Hawaii after the attack, then quite possibly.

 

If they were specifically allocated to those units you mention, then I would expect them to carry the unit's code but not necessarily be camouflaged.  The lack of photos would just be a matter of less attention being paid to the ordinary, non-combat, types.

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5 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

I've seen a photo of an SNJ in what appears to be Blue Grey uppers and an open rear.  I don't remember if a gun was visible but I think so.  The coding however was a simple black 11.

Ohlrich and Ethell's The Incredible T-6 Pilotmaker has a half a dozen or so photos of blue grey/light grey SNJs serving with HQ MAG-11 at shore bases in the Espiritu Santo.  It also has a few photos of similarly coloured SNJs, armed with both nose and dorsal guns, taking off from/landing on USSs Bunker Hill and Lexington during work-up: the caption says "as the war progressed, many SNJs were sent to both coasts for use in carrier work-ups and for general use of air groups and ship".  The other blue-grey SNJ photos all relate to USSs Wolverine and Sable on the Great Lakes. 

 

But we digress from OP's question.  Perhaps more relevantly the book also states (p.37) that the initial batch of SNJ-3s were taken in hand to receive the tailhook modification (ASC-33) in "mid 1942". 

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Thank you, Gentlemen, for your interest.

Sonoran - they were surely on the carrier deck, 1 or 2 each on all five "new" CVs (save the Lex and Sara). 

Graham - the a/c you mention is the one from Marines unit in New Hebrides. And I can't recall uncamouflaged (i.e. yellow-winged) planes on the deck in late 1941.

Turtle - interesting link, although devoted mostly to the postwar era

Seahawk - thanks for the info on the ASC-33 modification date. So it looks that these planes in December 1941 were not hooked, plain SNJ-3s.

Bunker Hill and Lexington you say? It means 1943 or even later! Now I have to find this Ohlrich/Ethell book.

Cheers

Michael

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I need to see photographic proof that there was an SNJ on a fleet carrier in 1941.  I have been looking at photos from that time period for most of my life, and I’ve never seen even one photo, and never seen any mention anywhere in any book about carrier aviation that they were there.  People *say* all kinds of things, but without the photographic proof, it’s just wind over the deck.

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