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CVE 1 photos respecified (attn: J. Broshot)

October 16 2009 at 9:43 PM
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Nelson  (no login)
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Response to Re: CVE 1's diagonal flight deck catapult

Jim (and others):

Was anyone, Jim included, able--or for that matter unable--to see ANY or ALL of the four photos of USS LONG ISLAND (CVE 1) that I posted? Please, anybody, let me know, because without seeing the photos, understanding the arguments and suggestions I am making is a lot more difficult, perhaps impossible. Using another, long disused screen name, I was still able to see three of the photos, but the fourth came up as a "linked image". Returning to my standard screen name, however, I visualized once again all four of the photos posted. Until I get some feedback here, I shall assume that the difficulty was not unique to Jim, so here are the .jpg photo URLs lacking the http:// part, without which the photos will not post, but highlighting and dropping what I'm posting now will enable you see these photos and grasp my points.

The four photos are NOT in the order I originally posted, but chronological between early July 1941 and mid-June 1942.

The first photo is an aerial of LONG ISLAND dated July 8, 1941, with her original 362-foot flight deck. I for one cannot see any catapult cut in that flight deck, diagonal or otherwise (and read below).

The second photo is a deck level shot dated May 10, 1942, showing a line of SOC-3A Seagulls on the starboard side of the lengthened flight deck, with one aircraft angled to port, in launch position on the catapult.

The third photo is a bow-on aerial of the ship at the Naval Air Station, North Island, dated June 2, 1942, clearly showing the diagonal catapult track in the lengthened flight deck.

The fourth photo is a deck level shot dated June 17, 1942, showing a line of six F4F-4 Wildcats on the starboard side, with the first one angled to portside on the catapult, ready to launch.

Thus whenever the catapult was relocated parallel to the ship's centerline, it was done after mid-June 1942.

Jim Broshot wrote:

< No, the photo in Terzibaschitsch's book on USN Escort Carriers of LONG ISLAND as of 7 Aug 1941 shows the short flight deck and the diagonal catapult. >

Question: Is it then possible that the diagonal catapult in the short (362-foot) flight deck was installed after July 8, 1941, but before the 77-feet-longer flight deck was built? I realize at first glance that question seems somewhere in the realm between silly and ridiculous, but just mebbe not. I think it safe to describe the addition of 77 feet more to the flight deck as major surgery, and IF a suitable availability was not forthcoming in the near future, the stopgap solution to a flight deck too short for safe take-offs was perhaps to cut a diagonal slit in the flight deck and install a catapult. And yes, to replace that diagonal catapult in the newly lengthened flight deck, only to relocate it even later parallel to the ship's centerline would have been inefficient to the max. Look at these four photos and tell me what you think, because the evidence for my hypothesis seems to be there.


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