When COUGARS Prowled THE MIDWAY
Posted by Matty on October 29, 2010, 15:20:53, in reply to "PAULO ROBERTO's Revell MIDWAY"
Message modified by board administrator October 30, 2010, 1:22:14
Paulo, I started doing some research exactly as I would for a build of my own - starting out with determining when the aircraft you already have in hand were deployed aboard Midway - for which I go first to GoNavy's CVs page, in this case scrolling down to the (earlier-period) Midway - as that's the fit of your Revell model. And we find that, before receiving her angled-deck (SCB-110) fit, starting August, 1955, she only carried your Cougars on two cruises: |
Jan 8 - Aug 4, 1954 Mediterranean Cruise
----F9F-6-------VF-33 [(K)200], VF-73 [(L)300]
----HUP-2-------HU-2 DET 35 [(UR)xx]
----AD-6/4N---VA-25 / VC-33det.35 [(SS)8xx]
----AD-4W------VC-12 DET 35 [(NE)7xx]
----F2H-2/2P--VF-34 [(K)400]/ VC-62 DET 35 [(PL)9xx]
Dec 27 - Jul 14, 1954-5 World Cruise
----AD-5N/4W---VC-33det.35 [(SS)8xx]/ VC-12det.35 [(NE)7xx]
----F2H-2/2P----VF-101 , VF-12 / VC-62det.35 [(PL)9xx]
Note I've rearranged the data to group by aircraft - starting at the top, with the ones you already have, and working down through the ones you might want to add.
Planes you Already Have
Both your Cougars (F9F-6) and Retrievers (HUP-2 - the helicopters) deployed aboard both cruises: two Cougar squadrons on the first, reducing to one on the second. Armed with these specific dates, we can then go (again, for USN ships) to NavSource, there (hopefully) to find historical pics explicitly corroborating the above aircraft types - or to alert us to the possibility of any others. In this case - in fact, for all the Midway-class sisters - photos from this specific time are achingly rare, however I did find the following pic, which happens to show probably very nearly if not exactly the deckload you were contemplating:
Click on Image for FULL-RESDuring the first of her above cruises Midway's deck is loaded with SkyRaiders, surrounded (literally) by Cougars, plus a few Banshees aft, to starboard. All completely in agreement - so far as we can determine (within limits of the poor photo-quality) - with the GoNavy data, above.
AD-6/4N "Bubble-Canopy" SkyRaiders
Next below the choppers on the above lists, I've grouped together all models of "bubble-canopy"-type SkyRaiders: (standard) AD-6, and (night-attack) AD-4N (the latter appearing on the first cruise only). Now, the Bad News about your "only three (Revell) Skyraiders" is that they were so inaccurate: the (two only) bubble-top SkyRaiders in the Midway kit having inaccurately high wings, looking very different from the real thing (and far more like Grumman Guardians, IMHO). But the Good News (which you already know) is that you can snag great upgrades - in the form of Matt Stein Models' "bubble-canopy" SkyRaiders. And again, the improved versions - not yet shown on the website, but available at the same prices listed there - include drop tanks, wing-racks, accurized nose air intake and tail stabilizers.
AD-5N/4W "Long-Canopy" SkyRaiders
Note above, on the second cruise the earlier, night-attack AD-4N SkyRaiders were replaced by AD-5Ns, which were "long-canopy"-fit SkyRaiders - as also were the AD-4W (radar early-warning) SkyRaiders, of both cruises. Either of these long-canopy variants can be depicted using Matty's Models' "long-canopy" SkyRaiders. As you can see, the casting already includes the huge, belly radome of the AD-4W (and later) "AEW" SkyRaiders - simply whittle it off, for the AD-5N - and again these items area also now available in improved versions, not yet shown at the website, including drop tanks, wing-racks, accurized nose air intake and tail stabilizers - again, at the same prices currently listed.
Next-listed are ("day"-fighter) F2H-2 and (photo-recon) F2H-2P Banshees: variants of the the original, smaller-airframe design of this fighter. Unfortunately, Matty's Models has not yet entered into the panoply of jets, including these. Now, I know you already bought some decals from StarFighter - so perhaps you already saw and passed on the following - but in case nobody made you aware of it at the time, currently they are listing what appears to be a (pretty rough-looking) repopped Revell (possibly Renwal) F2H-2. These might be good enough (unless, again you've already determined otherwise) to add some Banshees as desired.
F2H-3/4 "Big Banjos"
Last-listed are the larger, F2H-3 (on the 1st cruise) and -4 (on the 2nd) all-weather Banshees, dubbed "Big Banjos" - distinguishable also by their folded wings, which locked straight up, as opposed to arching overhead, as for the F2H-2/Ps. Again, exactly the same situation appears to exist as for the F2H-2s, above, with none available from me, but StarFighter currently listing a repopped F2H-3/4 (in case you didn't already know, buddy).
AJ- or K/AJ Savages
Not indicated in the GoNavy data, above, were the type(s) of in-flight refeulling tanker(s) carried. Although possibly performed by additional (modified) SkyRaiders, in-flight refuelling on USN carriers during this time period was also commonly done by converted (K/)AJ Savage bombers, of which two or three were frequently seen on-deck. GoNavy listings often being incomplete - and with me unsure if they would even list tankers separately, anyway - I checked the data for Midway's sisters Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) and Coral Sea (CVA-43), finding the former to be grossly incomplete, but the latter identifying AJ-1s - at least one squadron, continuously present (and two on the first cruise) - between Jul 7, 1954 thru Feb 11, 1957. Thus proving that Savages were - at least, on Coral Sea - deployed in quantity, as bombers, too.
Thus, it seems highly likely that during the same period Midway would have carried (at least a couple of) these - either as tankers, or a whole bombing squadron, missed by the GoNavy list - and sure enough, a couple of (even more-achingly-rare) color photos from the period confirm it:
Click on Image to Enlarge
FULL RES--------FULL RES--At left, aboard Coral Sea July 28, 1955, two Savages (dark blue, tail codes illegible) are parked in line-of-sight with the island - again, typical of USN carriers in this era (even if a whole AJ squadron was not aboard). And then at right, specific evidence regarding Midway herself: a Savage (tail code "AM" - possibly "AN" - and Modex 8xx), either going aboard or coming off her, sometime "around 1955". So, you could also add (at least) a few Savages - AJ-1s being very close in appearance to Matty's Models' (AJ-2) Savages - which would really add variety to your deckload.
Perhaps the above is now suggesting the possibility (as it did, to me) of building the kit as one of Midway's sisters: FDR or Coral Sea. This is yet more to look into - including a couple more pics I found - and we haven't even discussed any of the fittings (particularly weapons and directors) yet! So, stay tuned and we'll take that up - as best we can, and for all three sisters - in our next exciting installment!