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Coal Fired Side Wheel Aircraft Carriers during WWII
http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=48962 ^ | Feb 3, 2012 | Mark Allen M

Posted on 08/27/2013 11:34:57 AM PDT by donmeaker

This idea was brought to my attention the other day and thought it a great choice for a thread. Most of us who are US Navy fans can certainly recall the Navy's efforts to train their pilots on the Great Lakes (Lake Michigan) in the early 40's during the war. This thread may give you a nice idea of what that exersize was all about. Many interesting images to study here and quite possibly of interest to those who are involved with the restoration of aircraft that have been recovered from the Lakes. I have also included a page from my dad's logbook showing his 1st thru 8th carrier landings on the USS Wolverine in July 1944. Sources are the NMNA archives, Library of Congress photo archives, LIFE image archives.

(Excerpt) Read more at warbirdinformationexchange.org ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: aviation; germany; godsgravesglyphs; greatlakes; history; lakemichigan; michigan; navy; sourcetitlenoturl; unitedkingdom; usswolverine; worldwareleven; wwii
I hadn't read of these before, and the photographs are very interesting.

Many pictures at the link.

1 posted on 08/27/2013 11:34:57 AM PDT by donmeaker
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To: donmeaker

The Sable and Wolverine are actually mentioned and shown in one episode of Victory at Sea.


2 posted on 08/27/2013 11:42:36 AM PDT by xkaydet65 (.You have never tasted freedom, else you would know it is purchased not with gold but with steel)
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To: donmeaker
Thank you so much for posing this! My late father served on the USS Wolverine. The pictures will be of great interest to me, my brothers, and to the grandchildren.

Again, thanks.

3 posted on 08/27/2013 11:45:51 AM PDT by Leaning Right (Why am I holding this lantern? I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: donmeaker

.


4 posted on 08/27/2013 11:57:41 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income & tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: donmeaker

Thank you for the link.

A needed distraction with all the crap that is going on.

Those are some awesome photos.


5 posted on 08/27/2013 12:01:41 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
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To: donmeaker

The day when men were men and America was America.


6 posted on 08/27/2013 12:08:03 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: donmeaker

The Lake Carriers were pretty cool in their own way.


7 posted on 08/27/2013 12:12:43 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: donmeaker

Those trainees sure are rough on airplanes.


8 posted on 08/27/2013 12:13:19 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the people. T Jefferson)
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To: donmeaker; All
Great thread..wonderful pictures..many thanks..

I'm curious about one thing..hopefully someone will know the answer. Originally designed as ferries..I suspect the ships had a max speed of 10-15 knots...whereas the fleet carriers could max out at about 35 knots..Wouldn't that make take offs and landings much harder, and more dangerous aboard these two training ships?

9 posted on 08/27/2013 12:18:45 PM PDT by ken5050 (2014 Tea Party Trifecta! Retire Mitch, Lamar, and Lindsey)
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To: donmeaker; All
Great thread..wonderful pictures..many thanks..

I'm curious about one thing..hopefully someone will know the answer. Originally designed as ferries..I suspect the ships had a max speed of 10-15 knots...whereas the fleet carriers could max out at about 35 knots..Wouldn't that make take offs and landings much harder, and more dangerous aboard these two training ships?

10 posted on 08/27/2013 12:21:11 PM PDT by ken5050 (2014 Tea Party Trifecta! Retire Mitch, Lamar, and Lindsey)
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To: donmeaker

I bet that showed those pesky Canadians that they’d better not mess with the Good Old USofA.


11 posted on 08/27/2013 12:41:58 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: donmeaker

Coastal defense?

Great Lakes defense?


12 posted on 08/27/2013 12:42:40 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: donmeaker

Thanks for posting.

I could spend all day reading this stuff.


13 posted on 08/27/2013 12:49:15 PM PDT by drunknsage
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To: Blood of Tyrants

US Naval Aviation museum in Pensacola has some actual war veteran fighters that were brought back to the the US to use in training on the Great Lakes. Theses planes were resurrected from the bottom of Lake Michigan.


14 posted on 08/27/2013 12:58:29 PM PDT by wordsofearnest (Proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs it. C.S. Lewis)
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To: ken5050

I don’t know the answer to your question. But I can try to guess.

I just checked. Aircraft carriers still turn into the wind for flight operations.

Do you know the nickname of Chicago? I knew you did.


15 posted on 08/27/2013 12:59:20 PM PDT by Daaave ("All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by")
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To: donmeaker
Thanks donmeaker .

My father was on a carrier during the Vietnam war. He has also been stationed at Great Lakes NS.

I had heard of a WWII plane being recovered from Lake Michigan. I've never heard of these carriers though.

16 posted on 08/27/2013 1:03:50 PM PDT by Daaave ("All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by")
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To: wordsofearnest

I was there last year. I could have spent many more hours than we had available to spend there. And it’s free!


17 posted on 08/27/2013 1:07:07 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the people. T Jefferson)
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To: donmeaker

Very cool!

I am still always struck at what a beautiful machine the F4U Corsair was.


18 posted on 08/27/2013 1:07:28 PM PDT by Spruce
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

ping


19 posted on 08/27/2013 1:17:25 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: donmeaker

home viewing bookmark


20 posted on 08/27/2013 1:22:18 PM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: GeronL; centurion316; neverdem; Nachum; SunkenCiv; cogitator

Coastal defense?

Great Lakes defense?

No! For defense of the carrier against German U-boats.

The German U-boats were sinking hundreds of ships off of the East COast and Gulf coasts of the US during this period. Before that, they were winning the Battle of the Atlantic against Britian in her coastal waters.

SO, since the Germans couldn’t get to Lake Michigan, that was the place to run “practice” aircraft carriers up and down against the wind without needing aircraft, destroyers, mine-sweepers, and other escorts - AND the trained men and weapons and arms and fuel and parts to run all of those extra ships! - who were then released to do their real job protecting real warships and convoys. The practice aircraft were much slower, less highly loaded than the more modern carrier aircraft, so the lower speed of these paddle wheelers was not as important.

Also, since Lake Michigan was “deep water” almost immediately off the pier, they could begin practicing take-offs and landings almost immediately. If you leave Norfolk harbor, you need a long time to get far enough out to sea to do the high-speed runs in rougher water (on average) so you end up wasting even more time.

A simple “day trip” out from Chicago - since they didn’t need to practice night landings, was possible every day at very little expense and without burning extra fuel oil: the paddlerwheelers coal was available right at dockside, and was used by most other merchant ships even. Liberties and Victories and troop ships and military auxiliaries and landing ships and true warships were all oil-burning


21 posted on 08/27/2013 1:36:44 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Those trainees sure are rough on airplanes.

They lost almost 150 of them during the course of the war, along with more than a few of their pilots.

Link

22 posted on 08/27/2013 1:37:50 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: donmeaker

bfl


23 posted on 08/27/2013 1:47:07 PM PDT by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
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To: donmeaker

Fascinating. Until today, I did not know those ships existed.

The Japanese were so desperate for flat tops, those ships would have seen combat. Once.


24 posted on 08/27/2013 1:56:45 PM PDT by henkster (If the Feds create an unlimited demand for bastard children, you get an unlimited supply of them.)
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To: Daaave

They always turn into the wind for flight ops..but a slower speed means LESS wind over the deck for take offs..which is more dangerous, and for landing..the relative speed of the plane and the deck is greater, which is also more dangerous..


25 posted on 08/27/2013 1:59:36 PM PDT by ken5050 (2014 Tea Party Trifecta! Retire Mitch, Lamar, and Lindsey)
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To: donmeaker

Interesting.


26 posted on 08/27/2013 2:07:41 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Not only did the St. Lawrence Seaway keep the German U-Boats out, the submarines that we built on the Great Lakes couldn’t get to the Atlantic. So, they put them on barges and floated them down the Mississippi.

However, those carriers were very effective in defending our Northern borders. There is no record of any invasion from that direction during World War II.


27 posted on 08/27/2013 2:17:28 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: donmeaker

Cool. I think I want a model of one.


28 posted on 08/27/2013 4:01:20 PM PDT by Kommodor (Terrorist, Journalist or Democrat? I can't tell the difference.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE; cripplecreek; Perdogg

Thanks Robert A. Cook, PE.

29 posted on 08/27/2013 6:17:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: donmeaker
There were a total of 200 aircraft accidents aboard the WOLVERINE and SABLE that trained fledgling Naval Aviators on Lake Michigan in WW2. Of these accidents, 128 aircraft were lost overboard. Losses included: F4U-1, F4F-3 and F4F-5. F6F-3 and F6F-5, TBF-3, SBD-3 and SBD-5, and SB2U. Here: http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/org12-6i.htm

A&T Recovery, 2500 South Corbett Street, Chicago, Illinois 60608 has surveyed Lake Michigan and recovered many of these lost aircraft. Here: http://atrecovery.com/Pages/ShipWrecks.htm

One of the A&T recoveries is a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat. It was restored and now graces O’Hare International Airport's Terminal 2. The Wildcat is painted in the colors of LT Butch O’Hare when he won the Medal of Honor defending his carrier, USS LEXINGTON (CV-2). O’Hare engaged a flight of Mitsubishi G4M-1 “Betty” torpedo bombers. O’Hare shot down three and severely damaged two before running out of ammunition. He continued to attack the bombers without ammunition and was instrumental in breaking up the attack. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_O%27Hare

30 posted on 08/27/2013 7:20:22 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: centurion316

“Not only did the St. Lawrence Seaway keep the German U-Boats out, the submarines that we built on the Great Lakes couldn’t get to the Atlantic. ...”

The St Lawrence River was never navigable by even the smallest oceangoing vessels, not even in the 18th century.

Locks were necessary, with the earliest getting built in the 1870s. However, they permitted transit of relatively small vessels only, drawing 10 ft or less. And even before, there was the minor obstacle of Niagara Falls, which blocked upriver passage of even the smallest boat.

The Seaway in present form (channels big enough for serious oceangoing vessels, accompanied by hydroelectric plants) was proposed as early as the 1890s, but approval lagged as the governments of Canadian provinces and US states could not reach agreement. Construction did not start until the 1950s, and it opened in 1959.


31 posted on 08/27/2013 8:22:20 PM PDT by schurmann
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To: schurmann

You’re right. Technical foul to call it the St. Lawrence Seaway, but there were smaller locks along the St. Lawrence River and Welland Canal that permitted passage of smaller vessels, but not large enough for Gato Class Submarines.


32 posted on 08/27/2013 8:46:22 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: GeronL

Training. I think the ships were so small that they didn’t have room to take the aircraft on board in a serious way, but served as landing and takeoff platforms, with a minimal sea going crew to keep them “lake worthy”.

Though the water in the great lakes can get rough.


33 posted on 08/27/2013 9:18:26 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: centurion316

Though you can see a German U boat in Chicago....


34 posted on 08/27/2013 9:20:15 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: centurion316

However, those carriers were very effective in defending our Northern borders. There is no record of any invasion from that direction during World War II.


My father was a police detective when he joined the Navy in WWII to “see the world”. He ended up “seeing Chicago”. He spent the entire war as a SP patrolling the Chicago docks. He always said he must have done a good job because no Japs ever made it past there.


35 posted on 08/27/2013 9:22:00 PM PDT by chaosagent (Remember, no matter how you slice it, forbidden fruit still tastes the sweetest!)
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To: donmeaker

That sounds pretty cool still.


36 posted on 08/27/2013 10:23:59 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: chaosagent

I think it was Heinlein who said that the bravest thing anyone ever did was signing up. When you sign up you put yourself under orders, and give up a lot of control.

After you have signed up, all anyone can do is follow through. The difference between returning as a live hero or a dead one is mostly luck. Eisenhower thought his career was ruined at the end of WWI when he hadn’t been permitted to go overseas because of his German sounding name, but he continued to follow through, and eventually was recognized for doing well.

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is ever an orphan. Your father did his bit. My father was 8 when the war started and served in WWII by delivering papers. When the war was over, he was fired, so the returning veterans could have a job. He later served in the field artillery just after the Korean war, so I had a chance to be born at a stateside Army post. My sister was born at another post.


37 posted on 08/27/2013 10:35:32 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: chaosagent
However, those carriers were very effective in defending our Northern borders. There is no record of any invasion from that direction during World War II.

They did let the Canadians who served with the US in the 1st Special Service Force get by though. Good thing, as they helped train the shockingly green US soldiers of that unit. Later, US survivors of that units many battles stiffened the 45th Division, and the 1st Special Service Force commander (Robert T. Fredrick) ended his career with the Special Forces group fighting the Greek insurrection as a Major General with 7 or 8 Purple Hearts. The Special Forces insignia has a likeness of his V-42 commando knife on it.

But they had to go the long way around, all the way to Montana to avoid those aircraft carriers (and your dad).

38 posted on 08/27/2013 10:49:27 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: centurion316

“... there were smaller locks along the St. Lawrence River and Welland Canal that permitted passage of smaller vessels, but not large enough for Gato Class Submarines.”

Posters with greater knowledge of US & Allied submarine production 1939-45 must shed light on which subs were launched, and from where.

Please accept my apologies for lack of clarity: my original focus was on the threat. My intent was to remind the forum that there never has any interval of time when any oceangoing warships were able to reach any of North America’s Great Lakes, unimpeded or unobserved.

Technological advances in civil engineering and vessel power systems worked together to improve access: from roughly 1800 to 1960, impediments to access were reduced, but the chances of any hostile naval vessel gaining access unobserved improved only slightly.


39 posted on 08/29/2013 7:00:53 PM PDT by schurmann
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To: donmeaker

That was nice, thanks!


40 posted on 08/29/2013 7:10:37 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Uncle Miltie: Obama poisoned race relations for a generation. Everything is racial now.)
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To: Spruce
"I am still always struck at what a beautiful machine the F4U Corsair was.'

As sexy as the sheet metal is, I've always loved the sound that big ass propeller makes as it chops through the air...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQxb-V-rZqA

41 posted on 08/29/2013 7:10:45 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

The gull wing gave clearance to the efficient large diameter prop while permitting light short landing gear. It was interesting in that the short landing gear gave it initial problems with the damping as it bounced onto ships, so they gave it to Marines based on land bases where the ‘oleo’ damping was not so critical.

Eventually that was fixed, and it was fielded off carriers, where it was still a darned fine fighter.

During the Korean War they asked communist prisoners which of our weapons were most feared.

High scores were nearly always given to “The Blue Airplanes”.


42 posted on 08/29/2013 8:05:03 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: schurmann

No problem. The Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Maniotowoc, Wisconsin built 25 Fleet Submarines for the U.S. Navy in WW II. the U505 was towed from the Atlantic to Chicago in 1954.

Of course, one of the reasons that the Navy built submarines in Wisconsin was that there was no threat, the same reason that they built training aircraft carriers. Just a running joke with my friends in the Canadian forces.


43 posted on 08/30/2013 6:00:00 AM PDT by centurion316
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To: donmeaker

Fascinating. Never heard of this before either.

Thanks for posting.


44 posted on 08/30/2013 6:06:11 AM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: DoodleDawg
...along with more than a few of their pilots.

And this is why it always bothers me to hear a soldier/sailor/airman/marine ridicule another for not having been "In combat", or measuring their combat experience against another's based on how bad historians, etc. said it was, etc., etc.

Being in the military can be dangerous. Being around fuel, live ammunition and standing watch in adverse conditions can be deadly. Unlike civilians, you are under orders and cannot say no and walk away because it's dangerous or deadly.

I think the National Guard used to have slogan that said, "He serves, who also stands and waits."

45 posted on 08/30/2013 6:13:59 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: donmeaker

Great post!


46 posted on 08/30/2013 6:20:40 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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