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Re: Treaty cruisers and O3U-3 Corsairs

March 20 2012 at 11:15 PM
Nelson  (no login)

Response to Treaty Cruisers and O3U-3 Corsairs


A few things to write or show before I address your separate points (and YES, I agree that you've demonstrated O3U-3s aboard treaty tinclads--THANK YOU--but I'm dubious if you've done so in all instances). First of all, for the benefit of ALL of us, here are some photos from various angles of the Vought O3U-3 Corsair, to show its salient features, which included a partial cowling covering the radial cylinder heads and a curved extension from the base of the vertical stabilizer to well forward along the dorsal fuselage--a critical identifier. The empennage of the O3U-3 was thus utterly different from that of its operational predecessors. As can be seen, without that partial cowling in place, as seen from forward of the aircraft, the radial ring of cylinder heads is wider and blacker than with the cowling in place. Although there were exceptions both ways, generally, the O2U and O3U-1 floatplanes lacked the partial cowling, whereas the O3U-3 was equipped with it. Such cowlings could, of course, be removed for maintenance and repair.

In the third website, discovered by you--and though I've waffled from one to the other, I cannot make out if Minneapolis (CA 36) or Indianapolis (CA 35)--that long forward extension from the vertical stabilizer base is readily apparent, and an important distinguishing characteristic, as we'll see. On to your cruiser discoveries....

Salt Lake City (CA 25): Absolutely NOT an O3U-3--the wide ring of cylinder heads is apparent, and the vertical stabilizer is not that of the O3U-3.

Houston (CA 30): Am equally dubious--the forward starboard aircraft has a wide cylinder head ring (= no cowling) and the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer of the after starboard aircraft falls off vertically, as in the O2U-4 and O3U-1, one type of which we know Houston had during her first tour with the Asiatic Fleet, and I do NOT think the USN replaced such little different aircraft with O3U-3s.

Astoria (CA 34): AGREED that O3U-3s are aboard her in that 1935 photo. Good find!!

Indianapolis (CA 35): Absolutely NOT an O3U-3, for the same reasons in the first two cruisers alleged: cylinder head ring exposed and NO forward extension of the vertical stabilizer.

Minneapolis (CA 36): I agree with you, definitely NOT Curtiss SOCs (no way!), and probably O3U-3s (which may very well impact on the photo cited above of the O3U-3 off the USS -----apolis).

IMO, you've thus far demonstrated O3U-3 floatplanes aboard three prewar American heavy cruisers: Astoria, Minneapolis, and San Francisco (CA 38).

I need to iterate that I THINK to replace wholesale one 'tween-wars floatplane with another aboard ship, there had to be more than a marginal difference betwixt the two types, e.g., a ship already having O2U-4s or O3U-1s would NOT be getting O3U-3s, The replacement of individual aircraft by more advanced types when the supply of earlier ones had been exhausted was something else again (although if so, with the usual logistical difficulty of the resulting mixture of certain spare parts).

Have asked you several times already, so puleeze eyeball these two Omahas and tell me if you think the aircraft are Berliner-Joyce OJ-2s.

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