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three matters

March 4 2012 at 12:44 PM
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Nelson  (no login)
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Response to T. Claude lied?


1. > It is possible that Ryan Aero was in the process of tooling up for production under license of the SO3C Seamew (at that time still known as the Seagull) and actually assembled a few, when the Navy decided to pull the plug and cancelled the entire Seamew program. >

Methinks you're beating a dead horse here. It's almost certain that the navy cancelled the SO3C or SOC contract before Ryan built any such aircraft. To remind, it wasn't always the navy or army that pulled the rug out. All too often, certain companies could not endure the rigors of wartime production. They were either too small, or not sufficiently well organized, or in the case of Brewster Aeronautical, mismanaged and fraudulent, and it went under before war's end. The fate of the Bantam Motor Company is too well known: it designed what became the jeep, only to be considered too small to produce it, so lost the contract to Willys-Overland and Ford, and had to content itself with making jeep trailers. I think Ryan was perceived as suitable to build primary trainers, but not sufficiently big league. It was one more aircraft company eventually absorbed into a much larger one. Keep looking!

2. > In your photo essay on OMAHA class CLs you wrote: "One caveat before we continue: some of the photos from the interwar period identifying the biplanes aboard these ships as Vought O2Us may be incorrect. They may be instead Berliner-Joyce OJ-2s."

According to this book (see pages 102, 119, 131 and 294), Berliner-Joyce OJ-2s served on OMAHA class cruisers until replaced with SOCs while Vought O2Us and O3Us went to heavy cruisers. >

Well, in a general sense, we know that everything that appears in a particular book may not be so, and in this specific instance, we know the statement is not strictly true. To repeat them, here are photographs of Vought O2Us assigned to Omaha class light cruisers in the late 1920s and part of the 1930s. And no mistake IMO.

Cincinnati (CL 6), in the late 1920s. Proof can't get any more convincing than this.

[linked image]

Richmond (CL 9), again during the late 1920s.

[linked image]

Here is Memphis (CL 13), May 1933. The aircraft being catapulted off is definitely an O2U Corsair.

[linked image]

3. As I wrote on February 24th, I don't think that all ten Omaha class cruisers received the interim Berliner-Joyce OJ-2. Between them, two on-line sources have corroborated that the highest four hull numbers--Concord (CL 10), Trenton (CL 11), Marblehead (CL 12), and Memphis (CL 13)--had Berliner-Joyce OJ-2s. See

Here is Memphis one year after the previous photo of her, almost certainly displaying OJ-2s.

[linked image]

In addition to those four cruisers, I bellieve this photo of Milwaukee (CL 5) shows such floatplanes, though perhaps the estimated date is a bit early (the OJ-2 did not equip the Omahas until late 1933-early 1934). Take a look and tell me what you think. What persuades me are the open cockpits and hefty fuselage (I cannot see the greenhouse present in the beefy Curtiss SOC).

[linked image]

The upshot of all this, if true, is that some Omaha class CLs transitioned from Vought O2Us to Berliner-Joyce OJ-2s to Curtiss SOCs, while others in this class went directly from O2Us to SOCs. Thass my opinion and I'm sticking to it.


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