Monday, 11 November 2013

Vought OS2U Kingfisher - "Avions" magazine issues 195 & 196

The Vought OS2U Kingfisher was a US catapult-launched observation and rescue floatplane, a compact mid-wing design with a central float and small stabilising floats. Performance was modest, because of its light engine. The OS2U could also operate on fixed, wheeled, tail dragger landing gear. The OS2U was the main shipboard observation type used by the US Navy during WWII and 1,519 of the aircraft were built. It served on battleships and cruisers of the US Navy, with the US Marine Corps in Marine Scouting Squadron THREE (VMS-3), with the US Coast Guard at coastal air stations, at sea with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy and with the Soviet Navy. US Navy Kingfishers based in Alaska were regularly deployed on dive-bombing or low altitude bombing sorties carrying 159 kg bombs due to lack of more suitable types in this theatre during the Japanese landings of June 1942. On 15 July 1942 two Kingfishers of VS-9 participated in the sinking of U-576 off Diamond Shoals, North Carolina.

Issues 195 & 196 of leading French aviation magazine "Avions" feature an extended two-part series on the Vought OS2U Kingfisher by Rene Francillon, chock full of fabulous colour photos and artwork by Thierry Dekker. A selection of the photographs in the articles courtesy of editor/publisher Michel Ledet. Click to view large..

Below;   about to embark for a training sortie from the Pensacola NAS training school during 1942. Note the adhoc boarding 'plank'. The pilot, left, is in full flying kit, while the ground crews are more appropriately attired for the hot Florida sunshine. Note the two Consolidated P2Y-2 of VN-4-D8 in the background - USN photo via RF

Corpus Christi (Texas) NAS Kingfisher in the standard camo scheme circa 1942 (Blue Grey and Light Grey) with areas of orange yellow on the wings denoting training aircraft. Note the wingtips in blue-yellow-red. Just visible is the red safety stripe on the central float to highlight the passage of the prop blade...

Above; OS2U-2 "32" preparing for a training sortie from the Pensacola NAS training school during 1942. The instructor crouched on the wing gives his final instructions to the student pilot.

1 comment:

  1. Just built this model, great pictures and background stories, thanks!