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Topic review - Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MartinJQuinn wrote:
Thank you! Looking at photos, it seems that the Helldivers are always spotted at the rear of the flight deck, so that makes the most sense. I thank you very much for your time and effort - greatly appreciated!!


You're very welcome!
Post Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:32 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Thank you! Looking at photos, it seems that the Helldivers are always spotted at the rear of the flight deck, so that makes the most sense. I thank you very much for your time and effort - greatly appreciated!!
Post Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:34 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MartinJQuinn wrote:
Do you know in what order they were spotted on the deck? I'm assuming Hellcats first, Helldivers last?


I've continued to look, and this is not definitive, but it appears that CV-9 often times spotted F6F, TBF/M, then SB2C. I ran across something last night with CV-9/CVG-15 stating that SB2Cs had a longer deck run than TBFs/Ms.

Looking at Hornet's report for 20 June 1944, it states that at 1619, Strike 1A was launched "(15 VF, 8 VT and 14 VB) to attack enemy fleet." Perhaps this means spot was Hellcats, Avengers, & Helldivers.

However, on other days on the same cruise, the order between VT & VB are swapped, so I can't be positive. Maybe there's some photographic (still or motion) evidence of the day's launch... :thinking:
Post Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:07 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Tracy's right about the losses--American airplane losses were bad (ditchings and crashes), but in the summer of 1944, production was in high gear, so replacing the aircraft took a few weeks, if that.

And the aircrew losses weren't near that bad. According to Barrett Tillman in "Clash of the Carriers", p 286, "After search and rescue operations, missions on the twentieth cost sixteen pilots and twice as many aircrew."

The flow of replacement pilots and crews to the fleet replaced them in relatively short order (I hope that doesn't come across as too callous), and a new carrier (Franklin) joint TF 58 just a few weeks after the battle, further increasing American dominance.

The Japanese, on the other hand, lost hundreds (~3) of aircraft and aircrew, and thousands of sailors on their damaged and sunk ships. And they didn't have anything close to the American search and rescue plan in place to save their downed pilots & aircrew.
Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:53 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
There were so many carriers... there ought to be a handful of flight deck officers or their assistants still alive out there who might be able to give some insight (not saying they'd likely remember what the whole procedure was, just that they might recall how they got trained for the task)?

- Sean F.
Post Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:08 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MartinJQuinn wrote:
Do you know in what order they were spotted on the deck? I'm assuming Hellcats first, Helldivers last?


This is as good as a point as any to mention this. One thing that has held up my much delayed Essex class book is deck spotting. I started writing the actual text a couple of years ago and found that while I had a lot of information on the SHIPS and the AIR GROUPS, I had nothing on the interface between the two.

It turns out this is another case where "It's easier to theorize than actualize" is very true. It's one thing to say "I'm going to include information about how decks were spotted and how the carriers worked to turn around air groups and quite another to actually find that information. No one seems to know where one might find that and if any of it was kept. I've talked with Dr. Friedman, Doug Siegfried (Tailhook association Archivist), Dana Bell, I think Bob Cressman, and two different archives staff members who specialize in Naval records and no one can remember seeing any manual or materials for deck operations.

US WWII Carriers had what was known as a Flight Deck Officer, and there must have been some institutionalized training and procedures for them, but I've found bugger all in the records of BuShips (not surprising), BuAir, Chief of Naval Operations, Commander of Aircraft Carriers, Pacific. There's still a couple of other record accessions to look through, but for the time being I'm going to press on and treat it as a dead topic. No publisher so there's probably enough time for one more research trip, but we'll weight time spent on that against the other details that are coming up missing in the writing. Those points were whittled down by a fair amount on my trip last week.
Post Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:12 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MFH wrote:
Sorry for the delay, Martin, but I don't know, and you're welcome on the book (it's pretty good).

I tried to hunt up Carrier Air Group Two's report in fold3 for the "mission beyond darkness", and didn't find it (either under the air group or the carrier). I looked up TG 58.1's report, and it just mentions that all carrier's in the group launched deckload strikes.

I'll keep looking, and if I find anything, I'll post it for you.

No need to apologize - appreciate you looking.
Post Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:50 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
ModelMonkey wrote:
Those are some shocking single-mission losses, probably catastrophic for the squadrons involved. Really brings home the gravity of the fighting.


Not to make light of it, but it's potentially not as catastrophic as you might believe. The "lost operationally" doesn't mean lost during the mission, and it doesn't necessarily mean the air crew was lost as well. This is an excerpt from Hornet's War Diary for the day:

Attachment:
File comment: 6-20-1944 War Diary
CV12-1944-6-20-WarDiary.JPG
CV12-1944-6-20-WarDiary.JPG [ 100.42 KiB | Viewed 623 times ]


Note that they specifically count one pilot and two air crew. Lots of wrecks though.
Post Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:24 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MartinJQuinn wrote:
I don't have that book - thank you very much!

Do you know in what order they were spotted on the deck? I'm assuming Hellcats first, Helldivers last?


Sorry for the delay, Martin, but I don't know, and you're welcome on the book (it's pretty good).

I tried to hunt up Carrier Air Group Two's report in fold3 for the "mission beyond darkness", and didn't find it (either under the air group or the carrier). I looked up TG 58.1's report, and it just mentions that all carrier's in the group launched deckload strikes.

I'll keep looking, and if I find anything, I'll post it for you.
Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Those are some shocking single-mission losses, probably catastrophic for the squadrons involved. Really brings home the gravity of the fighting.
Post Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:53 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MFH wrote:
MartinJQuinn wrote:
Does anyone have information on the make up of Hornet's (CV-12) strike group for the Mission Beyond Darkness, on June 20, 1944?

TIA


From William T. Y'Blood's "Red Sun Setting", pp. 234-5, Hornet's Carrier Air Group Two (CVG-2) air operations against the Japanese Fleet were:

VF-2 (F6F-3) - 15 launched, 1 abort; 14 attacked the Japanese Fleet; 7 lost operationally
VB-2 (SB2C-1C) - 14 launched, no aborts; 14 attacked the Japanese Fleet; 11 lost operationally
VT-2 (TBF/M-1C) - 8 launched, 2 aborts; 6 attacked the Japanese Fleet; 2 lost operationally

All should have been in the tri-color camouflage scheme, with the white "ball" on each side of the vertical stabilizer.

If you need more information, let me know!


I don't have that book - thank you very much!

Do you know in what order they were spotted on the deck? I'm assuming Hellcats first, Helldivers last?
Post Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:16 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MartinJQuinn wrote:
Does anyone have information on the make up of Hornet's (CV-12) strike group for the Mission Beyond Darkness, on June 20, 1944?

TIA


From William T. Y'Blood's "Red Sun Setting", pp. 234-5, Hornet's Carrier Air Group Two (CVG-2) air operations against the Japanese Fleet were:

VF-2 (F6F-3) - 15 launched, 1 abort; 14 attacked the Japanese Fleet; 7 lost operationally
VB-2 (SB2C-1C) - 14 launched, no aborts; 14 attacked the Japanese Fleet; 11 lost operationally
VT-2 (TBF/M-1C) - 8 launched, 2 aborts; 6 attacked the Japanese Fleet; 2 lost operationally

All should have been in the tri-color camouflage scheme, with the white "ball" on each side of the vertical stabilizer.

If you need more information, let me know!
Post Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:05 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Does anyone have information on the make up of Hornet's (CV-12) strike group for the Mission Beyond Darkness, on June 20, 1944?

TIA
Post Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:05 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Hello all

Thanks for the replies...
@Mark, the pictures you showed show the starboard side...but I mean the port side. Below is a picture of that area on Hancock that I got from Tracy quite a while back. I assume Antietam should look like that?

Image

The issue with the flight deck lenght I can fix...but what I do not know is... Did the catapults stay in the same position or did they also move fwd a bit?

Another interesting detail on Antietam is the angle deck support. At first is was only I-beams that after a while seemed to have gotten covered up somehow. At that time the angle section seems to have to cat walk, only savety nettings. In the pictures taken tight before she got scrapped she has a proper cat walk and doors to a section right under the flight deck just like a "normal" carrier. Also the structure to support the deck now looks refined in comparision to earlier days. I guess (?) this was done at the overhaul in 58?

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/023630.jpg

Anyway, an intersting subject but as I said before, the picture situation on her is rather thin and being in Bavaria with no access to the US archives does not make things easier.

cheers
Uwe
Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:07 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Dick J wrote:
Unfortunately, there is another flaw with the Antietam kit that is not so easily fixed. The first two long-hulls (CV's 14 & 19) had a shortened flightdeck to allow the bow and stern quad 40MM to have improved arcs of fire. The air departments hated that and only Hancock went to war with the short deck. Tico had the forward end extended prior to combat, and had the after end extended in her first major refit/repair. All others commissioned with the original full-length (same length as the short-hull ship's decks) flightdeck. The Antietam kit has the shortened deck forward. :mad_1:


I'm not familiar with the Antitam kit but other Dragon Essex class come with an additional transparent flight deck to show off the hangar. For my build I cut this and the solid plastic deck in different places so I could graft on a longer forward flight deck. Only downside is losing the engraved deck details on that section.
Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:41 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Unfortunately, there is another flaw with the Antietam kit that is not so easily fixed. The first two long-hulls (CV's 14 & 19) had a shortened flightdeck to allow the bow and stern quad 40MM to have improved arcs of fire. The air departments hated that and only Hancock went to war with the short deck. Tico had the forward end extended prior to combat, and had the after end extended in her first major refit/repair. All others commissioned with the original full-length (same length as the short-hull ship's decks) flightdeck. The Antietam kit has the shortened deck forward. :mad_1:
Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:01 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Don't forget the biggest issue with the Dragon long hull kits is the bow is too skinny and too curved. It's not a difficult fix, I've done it but stupidly didn't take progress pictures. You just need to join a slightly curved plastic triangle from about 4mm above the waterline to the front of the flare (bridging the gap across the existing, exaggerated curvature), then fair it into the rest of the hull back to about the forward 5" single mounts with some more plastic sheet. Check pictures of the real thing, drydock or launch shots taken from under the bow are best.

And yes you'll be better off scraping away and rebuilding the forward 40mm tubs as well.
Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:14 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Hi Uwe,

Here is a link to a photo of Antietam in 1951, prior to the angle deck. It shows the opening on the starboard side which appears to be close to what Dragon modeled.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/023613.jpg

This shot appears to have the same opening but the doors are closed and the shadows hide the detail to see if it was changed during the modification.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/023607.jpg


It appears that it is the same but I couldn't really tell.

Hope that helps a bit.

Good Luck,

Mark
Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:07 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Hello all

I received my 1/700 Antietam last Monday and after seeing some heavily warped parts on the hull decided to do some basic glueing and re-enforcing in order to straighten things out right away. Now...when taking a closer look two major faults (?) caught my attention.

1. I believe that late long hull carriers should not have this 5 opening section that was initially intended for the hangar catapults on the port side, only starboard! Am I correct in saying ALL long hulls were like that?
2. Dragon's representation of the 40mm gun tubs on the long nose has little to nothing in commen with the real thing.

I also have Trumpeter's log hull ships and they seem to be way more accurat...but they are overall smaller. For example, Dragon has no details under the overhanging flight deck :-(

All in all Antietam is an intersting subject but unfortunately also a rather badly documented one it seems. Where are those tons of yard photos that for sure were taken during the first US angle deck installation, during the first landing mirror testing, etc...very little stuff out there on that significant but slightle over looked ship!

thanks
Uwe

Image
Image
Image

Had to take the port sponson off again after I detected the glitch in that area in order to make room for the modification to come...
Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:49 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Tracy White wrote:
Plan was to use a contour gauge like I did here.


Is that gauge long enough to do the waterplane or were you planning to do sections/frames? I was thinking a simple digital comparison of the waterline itself would suffice. Would you strongly object to scanning and sharing a page?
Post Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:10 pm

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