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Curious Scout Plane story

 
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Curious Scout Plane story - 11/12/2012 1:13:41 PM   
GI Jive

 

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I just saw a story on-line about the U.S.S. Savannah's scout planes during the invasion of Sicily. http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s6/savannah-iv.htm Sadly, 3 of the 4 were shot down by German fighters on July 10, 1943. "As soon as the first light appeared, the cruiser launched several scout planes. Swift German Messerschmitts intercepted with tragic results. Senior aviator Lt. C. A. Anderson was killed in flight, although his radioman, Edward J. True, was able to land the riddled plane on the sea and get picked up shortly after the plane went under." I'm puzzled how a radioman could land the plane. Did either the SOC Seagull or the Kingfisher have flight controls in the rear cockpit?
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RE: Curious Scout Plane story - 11/12/2012 5:22:27 PM   
geofflambert


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The Kingfisher was heavily used as a training aircraft, so it may very well be. I don't actually know. The Seagull was converted to trainers mid-war, but in '43 they started equipping war ships with them again, so perhaps it was a Seagull that was a converted trainer.

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RE: Curious Scout Plane story - 11/13/2012 10:45:18 AM   
YankeeAirRat


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My sources aren't near by right now, but from what I remeber reading about the history of the SBD/TBD and a couple other dual seat aircraft was that the Radio Operator/ observer was trained in how to use and was equipped with controls. The idea being that if the pilot was injured they could at least get the aircraft back to the fleet and dunk the plane near a destroyer for pick up. I think they finally delete this option in the TBM variants and on.

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Take my word for it. You never want to be involved in an “International Incident”.

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RE: Curious Scout Plane story - 11/13/2012 1:31:08 PM   
Mundy


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Even SBD's had connections and a removable stick for the rear seat, so this might have been fairly common in USN aircraft.  I think the middle seat on the TBD was flyable, too.

Ed-

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RE: Curious Scout Plane story - 11/13/2012 2:12:55 PM   
GI Jive

 

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Thanks for the info on the rear seat controls. I never knew about it.

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