Archive for the 'Aircraft' Category

Jul 14

USS Forrestal (CV-59) Keel Laying 14 July 1952

Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:01 AM


The keel laying of the first “supercarrier” Forrestal (CV-59) on 14 July 1952 represented a significant step forward in the evolution of naval aviation. In the post-war period, the Navy wrestled with the role naval aviation would play in the atomic age and James Vincent Forrestal, the man for whom the aircraft carrier was named, stood at the center of many of the controversies of this period. After serving as Secretary of the Navy from May 1944 to September 1947, he became the nation’s first Secretary of Defense. The intense strain that stemmed, in part, from inter-service strife over issues… Read the rest of this entry »

May 18

First Bullet Proof Gas Tank

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 12:01 AM


From the Marine Corps History Division… A debate persists as to what constituted the first hostile action for U.S. naval aviation (the earliest distinctions between Navy and Marine aviation were marginal). Some argue the scouting flights in the Veracruz action in 1914, in which Navy and Marine pilots participated, was the first occasion when naval aviation planes came under fire of an enemy. Two purported “bullet” holes were noticed on two different planes at different times. However, at least one of these holes was believed by the pilot to merely be the result of an errant screwdriver.  Whether the incident… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 21

NAVY TV – Hook Down, Wheels Down

Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:42 PM


This month, the Navy Memorial cut the ribbon on its new exhibit “The Art of Naval Aviation” in support of the nationwide celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation. To commemorate the Centennial, NavyTV features one of the most comprehensive (and expensive) films made by the U.S. Navy: “Hook Down, Wheels Down.” This 57-minute film covers the history and development of the aircraft carrier through interviews with many of the men who were instrumental in these ships’ history.Produced in 1974, “Hook Down, Wheels Down” is one of the most comprehensive (and expensive) films made by the U.S. Navy about the… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 30

Carrier Aircraft Lay First Mines, 30 March 1944

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:01 AM


On 30 March 1944 a strong Fifth Fleet force, built around 11 carriers of Task Force 58, launched a series of attacks on Japanese shipping, airfields, and installations on and near Palau, Ulithi, Woleai, and Yap in the western Caroline Islands. Designed to eliminate Japanese opposition to the upcoming amphibious landing at Hollandia, New Guinea, the strikes concluded on 1 April, with the planes of Task Force 58 having destroyed 157 enemy aircraft and sunk 42 enemy ships. During these raids TBF-1C and TBM-1C Avengers from Torpedo Squadrons 2, 8, and 16, embarked on board Bunker Hill (CV 19), Hornet… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 15

Transatlantic Flight Record

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:09 AM


March, 15th 1957 Goodyear N-class ZPG-2 airship, commanded by Commander J. R. Hunt, landed at NAS Key West, Florida after a flight that began on March, 4th at South Weymouth, Massachusetts. The flight continued over the Atlantic toward Portugal, then south toward the African coast and back across the Atlantic covering 9,448 miles and remaining in air 264 hours and 12 minutes, without refueling, setting a new world record in distance and endurance.

Feb 20

Harriers from Nassau

Sunday, February 20, 2011 12:01 AM


On 20 February 1991 the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA4) launched four AV-8B Harriers of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 331, flight call sign ‘Magic’ just before dawn. This flight was the first combat strike by fixed-wing aircraft from the flight deck of an amphibious assault ship, and was directed at Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries and surface to air missile (SAM) sites at Az Zwar on the western end of Faylakah Island. Bad weather diverted the flight, however, and they instead hit targets near Iraq’s IJmm Qasr Naval Base on the Iraq-Kuwait border. The strike was successful, despite Iraqi opposition including… Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 12

First Test of Angled Deck

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:01 AM


On 12 January 1953, the first test landings occurred on USS Antietam’s new angled flight deck. Angling the axis of an aircraft carrier’s landing area slightly off the axis of the ship allows longer landing length (important for the first shipboard jets), affords simultaneous takeoffs and recovery, and ensures that a landing aircraft that misses the arresting gear won’t then plow into parked or launching aircraft. This British idea was originally tested by repainting the landing areas on axial-deck carriers, and the results were good enough that the U.S. Navy installed the first true angled deck on Antietam (CV 36)… Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 5

Variable Time Fuse’s Combat Debut

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 12:01 AM


On 5 January 1943, Task Group 67.2, commanded by Rear Admiral Mahlon S. Tisdale, carried out a bombardment against airfields and military installations at Munda, on the Japanese-occupied island of New Georgia in the Solomons. Shortly after the remainder of Task Force 67 joined up with Tisdale’s warships, Japanese aircraft launched attacks on the force—air strikes that resulted in the near miss of the light cruiser USS Honolulu (CL 48) and the damaging of the New Zealand light cruiser HMNZS Achilles. During this action the light cruiser USS Helena (CL 50) became the first U.S. Navy warship to employ the… Read the rest of this entry »

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