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Thread: USS Hornet blog

  1. #706
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Great pics of the FM-2. I believe I told you earlier my uncle flew one and was in the TAFFY 3 GROUP off the Kalinin Bay...VC-3.

    Got to ask....who was ENS EJ Robinson to get the honor of the plan in his name?
    I'll have to check on the name Robinson. Could be the trainee who put the plane in the drink.

    P/C Dave Orias is the volunteer who died of a heart attack about five months ago.

    Edit: apparently somebody on the Warbird Information Exchange recognized the ESN. Robinson and implied that he knew him. I will definitely ask around.
    Last edited by tbm3fan; 23 Aug 17, at 03:19.

  2. #707
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    Thanks....she's a beauty.

    I'll have to dig up a photo at home of me sitting in the cockpit of an FM-2. It was at the P'cola Air Museum in 1988 for the 75th Anniversary of Naval Aviation. That year they honored the Silver Eagles, the Enlisted Pilots of the USN, USMC & USCG. They had a special exhibit of the 3 types of planes most enlisted pilots flew...FM-2s & TBMs which made up the CVE VC squadrons and PBYs. The FM-2 was marked up as my uncle's plane. It had his name and rank at the time along the rail...ENS(T) J. E. Buchanan USNR. I'm sitting in the cockpit with him standing over me. The only problem is I'm wearing my Army uniform!

    I'll find it and send it to you by PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    It would be interesting to know more about the TBM acquired referred to in your post.
    There aren't that many TBM's left so any work being performed either as a static or flyable bird has to be "known about " in the Warbird community...
    http://www.warbirdinformationexchang...5635&hilit=tbm

    and from https://www.facebook.com/warbirdpublisher/ dated 12 Aug 2017 :

    The Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona has acquired the former Quonset Air Museum Grumman TBM-3E Avenger BuNo. 53914 is a former sprayer that force landed in a Maine woods in 1972. It was recovered in 1991 by a CH-54 and brought to the museum where it underwent an extensive restoration. Quonset Point Air Museum closed on December 31, 2016 because their display hangar, of World War Two vintage needed extensive repairs and no funds were forthcoming. The TBM is expected to leave Quonset Point by truck for Mesa, Arizona on August 15th where it will be restored to flying condition. Photos by Mike Rawson

  4. #709
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    40 flying still ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    http://www.warbirdinformationexchang...5635&hilit=tbm

    and from https://www.facebook.com/warbirdpublisher/ dated 12 Aug 2017 :

    The Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona has acquired the former Quonset Air Museum Grumman TBM-3E Avenger BuNo. 53914 is a former sprayer that force landed in a Maine woods in 1972. It was recovered in 1991 by a CH-54 and brought to the museum where it underwent an extensive restoration. Quonset Point Air Museum closed on December 31, 2016 because their display hangar, of World War Two vintage needed extensive repairs and no funds were forthcoming. The TBM is expected to leave Quonset Point by truck for Mesa, Arizona on August 15th where it will be restored to flying condition. Photos by Mike Rawson
    Good information.

    There should be 40 +/- TBM's still flying in the world... it can't hurt to add another one to the list......

  5. #710
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    One of our volunteers happens to be an artist. He has done murals for the Hornet all the way to Travis Air Base. He is also known for his wildlife paintings. We have now have three murals of his. One of the first plane launching off the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay. Another on the Hanger Deck depicting all the planes that flew off the Hornet. Eight of the examples are of planes that flew off and never returned. Some of the families of those lost pilots are aware of this. The third is now up in Flight Deck Control depicting a flight deck scene in the preparation to get two ADs off.The mural was originally on a large metal desk that would expose it to damage by people walking past it. So today two of us helped him move it to a better location. I have to hand it to Rich as he is going through serious health issues but still tries to come down to the ship when he can. Such is the draw of the ship on her volunteers.

    Afterwards Rich is talking about how he had been drawing since childhood. Fast forward to 1957 and he is serving aboard the USS Ticonderoga in the V1 Division. He talks about the scene he painted and recalls what it was like to get around twenty ADs and their propellers. Calls the deck tie downs the best friends of those in a V1 Division. He is then telling us about his money making ability on board. For those with good character he would loan money out. For every $5 loaned he would get $7 back. He would also do extra s duty shifts on the weekend for those who wanted more time off the ship. Again it was $7 per shift taken. He says by the time he got out he had saved $1800 and used it to buy a 1956 Chevrolet Bel-Air.

    Meanwhile he is still drawing and a pilot sees that. He asks him if he can put some nose art on his plane. Rich consents and it takes some time because the canvas was always flying off for training or whatever. Nonetheless, he got it done. Then one day the Chief comes by. This Chief has been in the Navy since 1937 and was due to get out at the time of Pearl Harbor. Naturally, he didn't get out. Now he is one of those old, crusty, curmudgeon Chiefs with a deep raspy voice. He tells Rich the CAG wants to see you and doesn't know why when Rich asks. In the CAG's office the CAG asks him if he can paint some nose art on his plane. He says he can but it will take time for the reasons mentioned. An hour later the Chief comes up to him and tells him he is on special duty as per the CAG. The Chief is none to pleased and tells Rich if he screws up he will be down in the mess helping the cooks. Rich gets the job done and then ends up doing the rest of the planes in the squadron. While he got very good at doing cleavage his V1 mates were a little peeved until they saw all their planes done up.

    Shot of young Rich in Flight Deck Control and an older Rich in front of his 2nd Deck mural.
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  6. #711
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    Next up some general shots of the ship today. We had a scissors lift donated and am now in the process of preparing the lift for a coat of Navy gray. The motor for the L3 hanger door is back in place and seems the painting is done. The inboard cabins for the Captain and Admiral were reopened after water damage through the overhead via the flight deck. I saw a major issue with the work and am now awaiting confirmation on what I saw missing which is an extremely important ship artifact.
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  7. #712
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    So I am just walking off the ship at the security brow and was blinded by how bright the light was. What? Why? Where did the massive Cape Henry across the pier go? It was there at 10:00 am. I look to the right and there it is motoring away for sea trials apparently. I thought it may be leaving the berth to open the space for use during Fleet Week but I guess not. Ah, the smell of fossil fuel smoke wafting over the Hornet.
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  8. #713
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    Almost forgot when I arrived today I stopped by a group of docents at the orientation area. I ask isn't five of you a little much for this? They tell me they are waiting for the farewell party for Jill. I go isn't that the Executive Director? Yes, it is. She is leaving? Hooray! There seems to be an official reason then several unofficial reasons. The interim director happens to be a retired Navy Captain who has done several different things since retiring like being a airport manager at SFO. I hear the newly hired $10,000 bonus people are worried about their jobs. Rightly so...

  9. #714
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    TBM3FAN wrote:

    Afterwards Rich is talking about how he had been drawing since childhood. Fast forward to 1957 and he is serving aboard the USS Ticonderoga in the V1 Division. He talks about the scene he painted and recalls what it was like to get around twenty ADs and their propellers. Calls the deck tie downs the best friends of those in a V1 Division. He is then telling us about his money making ability on board. For those with good character he would loan money out. For every $5 loaned he would get $7 back. He would also do extra s duty shifts on the weekend for those who wanted more time off the ship. Again it was $7 per shift taken. He says by the time he got out he had saved $1800 and used it to buy a 1956 Chevrolet Bel-Air.
    That was standard Slush Fund - $5 for $7 - totally illegal, but there were those in every division who ran a fund (and a day after payday there were always those in need of money!!). We had a 3rd class Boatswain in 1st Division, DD-566 who ran one during our 1966-67 Westpac Cruise - he never left the ship the entire cruise. Came back to San Diego with close to $2000 cash and went on 3 weeks leave!!! What willpower!!!

  10. #715
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    I guess from a Usury perspective (40%) it is pretty illegal.

  11. #716
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Thanks....she's a beauty.

    I'll have to dig up a photo at home of me sitting in the cockpit of an FM-2. It was at the P'cola Air Museum in 1988 for the 75th Anniversary of Naval Aviation. That year they honored the Silver Eagles, the Enlisted Pilots of the USN, USMC & USCG. They had a special exhibit of the 3 types of planes most enlisted pilots flew...FM-2s & TBMs which made up the CVE VC squadrons and PBYs. The FM-2 was marked up as my uncle's plane. It had his name and rank at the time along the rail...ENS(T) J. E. Buchanan USNR. I'm sitting in the cockpit with him standing over me. The only problem is I'm wearing my Army uniform!

    I'll find it and send it to you by PM.
    I found one of the two of us in in front of the aircraft. Still looking for the other one. I was a rifle company commander at the time at FT Stewart, GA.

    Name:  John and John.JPG
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    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  12. #717
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    Nice, thank you...

  13. #718
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    So it seems I am correct in what I noticed missing from the Admiral's quarters. That piece was a mural donated by Pat Nixon to the ship that covered one wall. That would have been a historical part of the ship and it has either been removed to who knows where or covered over. Another violation of the ships contract as per the Navy and the California State Historical Association.

    Wow, these last two years have been a disaster for the Hornet Museum. Rainy day funds acquired up through 2015 are all gone. Money raised for repair of the leaking flight deck to the tune of around 1 million dollars is also gone. None of that money really went to the ship but to payroll for all the new employees hired by the Executive Director who just left. Apparently she looked upon the ship as a make work program for people who the ship didn't really need. Early on, the fellow who went out and raised money, left the ship when he realized what the money was going to after his request for ship donations.

    We need a new Board of Directors and some of them need to come from long time ship volunteers with hands on experience. Just because you own a local business isn't enough, in my opinion, to be on the Board anymore. I could name names. We clearly need some who are on the ship weekly, know the ship, put work into the ship, don't want to see their work go down the drain through inattention or incompetence. This was the second director who apparently put their image first and drained the ship of her reserves and the Board didn't step in till too late to put a halt to it.

  14. #719
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    Fleet week time once again and that means Blue Angels with dogs howling and some humans also. Hehehe. This years pilots includes the son (#3) of one of my patients a Rear Admiral Scott, USN, ret.

    Shows on Saturday and Sunday are flown over the Bay. Practice sessions on Thursday and Friday have them flying over the City. Having lived in the City between 1988-98 I can attest that many times you could hear them but not see them until bam there one is directly over head in the Richmond District. I recall a time when I heard a jet engine, but it wasn't an F-18, and I was in a coffee shop at the corner of Geary and 17th Ave by the window. Then all of a sudden a red Mig-15 shows up flying over Geary from the northeast. Quite a sight. Anyway I didn't go in to the City to see since I have done it so many times. Ships came in before the Parade of Ships on Saturday so the amphib carrier was already in. They haven't done a parade of ships, with a carrier, in years now.
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  15. #720
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    So our temporary Director is now the Director. Retired Navy Captain airedale. According to my long term source he is more than aware of what the Hornet needs to do and where to go. My source also tells me how impressed he is with the Iowa's Board of Directors compared to ours. Some of ours are worthless but apparently money talks, bullshit does not walk, and intelligence isn't a requirement. We lost $40,000 of the July 4th celebration when power went out on the north end of Alameda. I was down there when that happened and up in the Admiral's Sea Cabin when they went out. Fortunately it was at 3:30 in the afternoon. Fours hours outage caused cancellation of the rest of the event. That on top of the deep financial hole the last Executive Director put us in.

    Learned that the Navy contacted the ship to tell us that all planes with special provenance must be kept of the hanger deck and not exposed on the flight deck. That means all WWII planes. The Crusader an F8U-1 now needs to be protected. It is one of the first Crusaders produced out of the original 318. The Sikorsky picked up Gemini 4 so it needs to stay on the hanger deck and always has so far. We are looking into having the TA-4J Skyhawk designated as such since it was the plane of the CO in the last squadron on Skyhawks.

    Other information we have learned in the the Vietnam era Cobra stored on board is apparently the first one in country. It even had a name... Virginia Rose. It is credited with the first kill by a Cobra. It is stuck on our ship due to some red tape and cannot leave the ship so the original people can restore. The Cobra is still classified as a weapon.

    I don't know if the Midway knows or maybe they do but our F-4 Phantom is the last Phantom to take off from the Midway. Any talk of a trade would be listened to although we would only take a similar plane with a complete cockpit and drive train. The Midway seems to like rollers as in cars with no engine and tranny.

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