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The FReeper Foxhole Studies the Higgins Boat - March 26th, 2004
see educational sources

Posted on 03/26/2004 5:35:39 AM PST by snippy_about_it


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

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The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

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We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.

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In September, 1943, when the United States Fifth Army landed at Salerno, Italy, and General Douglas MacArthur's forces captured Salamaua in New Guinea, the American navy totaled 14,072 vessels. Of these boats, 12,964, or 92% of the entire U.S. Navy, were designed by Higgins Industries, Incorporated; 8,865 were built at the Higgins plants in New Orleans, La.

Founder and president of this remarkable company was Andrew Jackson Higgins, an outspoken, rough-cut, hot-tempered Irishman with an incredible imagination and the ability to turn wild ideas into reality. He hated bureaucratic red tape, loved bourbon, and was the sort who tended to knock down anything that got in his way. To the Navy's Bureau of Ships, which favored the big Eastern-seaboard shipyards, Higgins was an arrogant small boat builder from the South - a thorn in its side. To the Marine Corps, which desperately needed an effective amphibious assault craft, he was a savior.

Higgins rose to international prominence during World War II for his design and mass production of naval combat motorboats - boats that forever changed the strategy of modern warfare. Thanks to Higgins, the Allies no longer had to batter coastal forts into submission, sweep harbors of mines, and take over enemy-held ports before they could land an assault force. "Higgins boats" gave them the ability to transport thousands of men and hundreds of tons of equipment swiftly through the surf to less-fortified beaches, eliminating the need for established harbors.

Higgins designed and produced two basic classes of military craft. The first class consisted of high-speed PT boats, which carried antiaircraft machine guns, smoke-screen devices, depth charges, and Higgins-designed compressed-air-fired torpedo tubes. Also in this class were the antisubmarine boats, dispatch boats, 170-foot freight supply vessels, and other specialized patrol craft produced for the Army, Navy and Maritime Commission.

The second class consisted of various types of Higgins landing craft (LCPs, LCPLs, LCVPs, LCMs) constructed of wood and steel that were used in transporting fully armed troops, light tanks, field artillery, and other mechanized equipment and supplies essential to amphibious operations. It was these boats that made the D-Day landings at Normandy, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte and Guam and hundreds of lesser-known assaults possible. Without Higgins' uniquely designed craft there could not have been a mass landing of troops and material on European shores or on the beaches of the Pacific islands, at least not without a tremendously higher rate of Allied casualties.

As late as 1930 Higgins was involved in the lumber importing and exporting business. By 1940 he was producing workboats and prototype landing craft in a small warehouse located behind his St. Charles Avenue showroom. When the government began ordering his craft for military purposes, Higgins expanded into eight separate plants in the city, employing more than 20,000 workers. At the peak of production, the combined output of his plants exceeded 700 boats a month. His total output for the Allies during World War II was 20,094 boats, a production record for which Higgins Industries several times received the Army-Navy "E", the highest award that the armed forces could bestow upon a company.

Higgins was the ideal person for the needs of the time. In World War II, with its massive contracts, his strengths - design and rapid production - were all-important. Administrative weaknesses were suddenly irrelevant - the war offered him opportunity. Had the Japanese not bombed Pearl Harbor, Higgins probably would have remained a successful, but small, southern boat builder. Because of the war, he rapidly became an internationally known figure (even Hitler was aware of Higgins, calling him the "new Noah").

In his 1944 Thanksgiving Day address to the nation, General Dwight D. Eisenhower said "Let us thank God for Higgins Industries, management, and labor which has given us the landing boats with which to conduct our campaign." Andrew Jackson Higgins' influence on amphibious warfare and his contribution toward the Allied victory in World War II cannot be overstressed.

FReeper Foxhole Armed Services Links

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Higgins Boats

Higgin's boats, also called LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel), were flat bottomed craft with a very shallow draft specially designed for amphibious landings. They featured a bow ramp that fall open when the craft would run aground on the beach allowing the troops inside to exit onto the beach and begin operations. They were used in most all amphibious landings in both the European and Pacific Theaters.

Unfortunately at Tarawa the Higgins boats could not traverse the reef the surrounded Betio even with their shallow draft on D-Day. That was due to the "Neap Tide" that November morning, which meant the reef would barely be covered with water in that critical stage of the invasion.

Higgins boats head for the beach. Ahead through the smoke lies Betio. Before that lies the edge of the reef. In the upper left corner notice the plane which has probably just dumped its load of bombs.

These Higgin's Boats are probably near the edge of the reef. The boat to the right appears to still have troops aboard. In the background LVTs can be seen heading for Red Beach 1. Red Beach 3 is getting blasted in the center of the picture. The northern point of Green Beach is to the right.
Click here for a larger version.

Supplies are being taken to Betio in an LCVP. They will be unloaded at the long pier. Notice the bow of a Higgins boat sticking out of the water. It was most likely hit from a 127mm AA gun or one of the anti-boat guns located in the

Click here for a larger version.

For more information and specifications on Higgins Boats click here to go to the Higgins Boat Project.

Today's Educational Sources and suggestions for further reading:
1 posted on 03/26/2004 5:35:39 AM PST by snippy_about_it
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To: Don W; Poundstone; Wumpus Hunter; StayAt HomeMother; Ragtime Cowgirl; bulldogs; baltodog; ...

FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

It's Friday. Good Morning Everyone

If you would like added to our ping list let us know.

2 posted on 03/26/2004 5:37:17 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the FReeper Foxhole.

Congradulations to OSU on their win last in the "Sweet Sixteen" at the NCAA.

I'm entertaining guests for the next few days so I'll be in and out. We're going to go shopping today.

3 posted on 03/26/2004 5:40:49 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning, snippy. It's good to be back.
4 posted on 03/26/2004 5:46:52 AM PST by steveegg (It takes more than just a bit of double-secret probation to keep a good website down)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All
Morning, snippy! Morning, SAM and FoxHole crew!

The FReeper Foxhole Studies the Higgins Boat - March 28th, 2004

Thanks for keeping me on my toes, each morning, lol.

Second cup of coffee on the way...for me, too!

5 posted on 03/26/2004 5:54:26 AM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("(We)..come to rout out tyranny from its nest. Confusion to the enemy." - B. Taylor, US Marine)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: snippy_about_it
On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on March 26:
1479 Vasili III great prince of Moscow (1505-33)/son of Ivan III
1516 Konrad von Gesner Zürich Switzerland, naturalist (Bibliotheca Universalis)
1659 William Wollaston Coton England, philosopher
1753 Benjamin Thompson physicist (Royal Institute of Great Britain, Woburn MA)
1773 Nathaniel Bowditch mathematician/astronomer/polyglot/author (Marine Sextant)
1813 Thomas West Sherman Brevet Major General (Union Army), died in 1879
1817 Herman Haupt Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1905
1840 George Smith London England, assyriologist (cuneiform (script))
1863 Henry Royce founder (Rolls-Royce Limited in 1884)
1868 Fuad I king of Egypt (1922-36)
1874 Robert Frost San Francisco CA, poet (Mending Wall, Road Not Taken)
1875 Syngman Rhee President of South Korea (1948-60)
1880 Duncan Hines US, restaurant guide writer (Out of Kentucky Kitchens)
1904 Joseph Campbell mythologist (Mythic Image)
1905 Viktor Emil Frankl pyschiatrist (Man's Search for Meaning)
1908 Hank Sylvern Brooklyn NY, orchestra leader (Jane Froman's USA Canteen)
1911 Tennessee Williams Columbus MS, dramatist (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
1914 William Westmoreland Saxon SC, army general (Vietnam era)
1916 Sterling Hayden Upper Montclair NJ, actor (Dr Strangelove, Asphalt Jungle, Cobra)
1917 Rufus Thomas Cayce MS, singer (Walking the Dog)
1919 Strother Martin Kokomo IN, actor (Cool Hand Luke)(What we have here is a failure to communicate)
1921 Peter Horsley CEO (Osprey Aviation)
1930 Sandra Day O'Connor El Paso TX, 1st woman Supreme Court Justice (1981- )
1931 Leonard Nimoy Boston MA, actor (Spock-Star Trek, Mission Impossible)
1934 Alan Arkin New York NY, actor (Catch 22, In-Laws, Simon, Wait Until Dark)
1934 Gino Cappelletti ORFU, AFL running back (AFL Player of Year 1964)
1937 Wayne Embry holder of 7 basketball records (Miami of Ohio)
1939 James Caan Bronx NY, actor (Brian's Song, Killer Elite, Godfather)
1940 Nancy Pelosi (Representative-Democrat-CA)
1942 Erica Jong [Mann] New York NY, author (Fear of Flying)
1943 Robert Woodward investigative reporter (Watergate, CIA crimes)
1944 Diana Ross [Earle] Detroit MI, (Supremes, Lady Sings the Blues, Mahogany)
1946 Johnny Crawford Los Angeles CA, actor (Mark-The Rifleman)
1948 Steven Tyler New York NY, rock vocalist (Dream On, Walk This Way, Aerosmith-Janie's Got a Gun)
1949 Vicki Lawrence Inglewood CA, actress (Carol Burnett Show, Mama's Family)
1950 Martin Short Hamilton Ontario, comedian (Saturday Night Live, SCTV, 3 Amigos)
1954 Curtis Sliwa founder (Guardian Angels)/radio personality (WABC)
1960 Marcus Allen NFL running back (Los Angeles Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Heisman 1981)
1962 Yuri Pavlovich Gidzenko Russia, Lieutenant-Colonel/cosmonaut
1969 Elizabeth Howell Clinton MS, Miss Mississippi-America (1990)
2233 James T Kirk captain of USS Enterprise (Star Trek)

Deaths which occurred on March 26:
0752 Pope Stephen II dies only 4 days after his election
0809 Liudger missionary/1st bishop of Münster/saint, dies at about 66
1649 John Winthrop Puritan & 1st Governor (Massachusetts), dies
1797 James Hutton geologist, dies

1827 Ludwig van Beethoven German composer (Appassionata), dies in Wien (Vienna) at 56

1831 Richard Allen AME Church Bishop, dies at 71
1892 Walt Whitman poet, dies in Camden NJ at 72
1900 Isaac Mayer Wise rabbi/found American Hebrew Congregations, dies at 80
1923 Sarah Bernhardt [Henriette-Rosine Bernard] actress (Qn Elizabeth), dies at 77
1945 David Lloyd George British (L) premier (1916-22), dies at 82
1959 Raymond T Chandler US detective writer (Long Goodbye), dies at 71
1973 Noel Coward English playwright (Private Letters), dies at 73
1976 Richard Arlen actor (Apache Uprising, Wings), dies at 75
1983 Anthony F Blunt British art historian/spy for USSR, dies at 75
1990 Roy "Halston" Frowick fashion designer, dies of AIDs at 68
1994 Constantine Koukouchkine Russian diplomat, murdered in Algeria at 41
1996 David Packard electronic engineer/businessman, dies at 83
1996 Edmund S Muskie Vice Presidential candidate/(Governor-Democrat-ME), dies at 81


[03/16/73 RELEASED, ALIVE IN 98]
[02/18/73 RELEASED BY DRV, ALIVE 98]

POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.

On this day...
1027 John XIX crowns Conrad II the Salier Roman German emperor
1147 Jewish community in Cologne fast to commemorate anti-Jewish violence
1150 Tichborne family of Hampshire England started tradition of giving a gallon of flour to each resident to keep deathbed promise
1636 University of Utrecht opening ceremony
1668 England takes control of Bombay India
1780 1st British Sunday newspaper appears (British Gazette & Sunday Monitor)
1790 Congress passes Naturalization Act, requires 2-year residency
1793 Pro-royalist uprising in Vendée region of France
1799 Napolean captures Jaffa Palestine
1804 Congress orders removal of Indians east of Mississippi to Louisiana
1804 Territory of Orleans organized in Louisiana Purchase
1812 Earthquake destroys 90% of Caracas; about 20,000 die
1824 1st performance of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis"
1845 Joseph Francis, New York NY, patents a corrugated sheet-iron lifeboat
1845 Patent awarded for adhesive medicated plaster, precusor of bandaid
1859 1st sighting of Vulcan, a planet thought to orbit inside Mercury
1862 Battle of La Glorieta Pass New Mexico Territory (Apache Canyon, Pigeon's Ranch)
1863 Voters in West Virginia approve gradual emancipation of slaves
1871 Paris Commune founded
1872 Thomas J Martin patents fire extinguisher
1878 Sabi Game Reserve, world's 1st official designated game reserve, opens
1885 Eastman Film Co manufactures 1st commercial motion picture film
1885 Louis Riel's forces defeat Canadian forces at Duck Lake, Saskatchewan
1910 US forbid immigration to criminals, anarchists, paupers & the sick
1913 Dayton OH almost destroyed when Scioto, Miami, & Muskingum River reach flood stage simultaneously
1916 Birdman of Alcatraz receives solitary
1926 The 1st lip-reading tournament held in America
1930 Congress appropriates $50,000 for Inter-American highway
1931 New Delhi replaces Calcutta as capitol of British-Indies
1936 200" telescope lens shipped, Corning Glass Works, New York-Cal Tech
1936 Mary Joyce ends a 1,000 mile trip by dog in Alaska
1937 Joe DiMaggio takes Ty Cobb's advice & replace his 40 with 36 oz bat
1937 Spinach growers of Crystal City TX, erect statue of Popeye
1937 William H Hastie becomes 1st black federal judge (Virgin Islands)
1942 1st "Eichmann transport" to Auschwitz & Birkenau Camps
1942 1st 700 Jews from Polish Lvov-district reach concentration camp Belzec
1945 British premier Churchill looks over at the Rhine (near Ginsberg)
1945 Japanese resistance ends on Iwo Jima
1945 Kamikazes attack US battle fleet near Kerama Retto
1951 USAF flag approved
1953 Dr Jonas Salk announces new vaccine to prevent polio [myelitis]
1955 "Ballad of Davy Crockett" becomes the #1 record in US
1958 US Army launches America's third successful satellite, "Explorer III"
1962 Supreme Court backs 1-man-1-vote apportionment of seats in state legislature
1967 Pope Paul VI publishes encyclical Populorum progressio
1969 Marcus Welby MD, a TV movie is shown on ABC-TV
1970 Golden Gate Park Conservatory made city landmark
1970 Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary) pleads guilty to "taking immoral liberties" with a 14 year old girl
1971 "Benny Hill Show" tops TV ratings
1971 "Cannon" with William Conrad premieres on CBS-TV
1971 Bangladesh (East Pakistan) declares its independence
1974 George Foreman TKOs Ken Norton in 2 for heavyweight boxing title
1974 Romanian communist party names party leader Nicolae Ceausescu President
1979 Camp David peace treaty between Israel & Egypt
1981 Police & Albanian demonstrators battle in Kosovo Yugoslavia
1982 Ground-breaking in Washington DC for Vietnam Veterans Memorial
1989 1st free elections in USSR: 190 M votes cast; Boris Yeltsin wins
1992 Mike Tyson sentenced to 10 years in rape of Desiree Washington
1994 Bonnie Blair skates world record 500 meter ladies (38.99 seconds)
1997 The bodies of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate techno-religious cult who'd committed suicide were found inside a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
1999 Dr. Jack Kevorkian was convicted in Pontiac, Mich., of second-degree murder for giving a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease a lethal injection, an action videotaped and broadcast on television.

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Bangladesh : Independence Day (1971)
Hampshire, England : Tichborne Dole (1150)
Hawaii : Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianole Day/Regatta Day
Lesotho, Spain : Arbor Day/Fiesta del Arbol (1895)
Taiwan : Birthday of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy
Alaska : Seward Day (1867) (Monday)
US Virgin Island : Transfer Day (1917) (Monday)
US : Make Up Your Own Holiday.
US : Chocolate Week (Day 6)
National Poetry Month

Religious Observances
Christian : Commemoration of St Braulio of Aragon
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of St Ludger, bishop, confessor

Religious History
1830 Joseph Smith, 24, first published "The Book of Mormon." Having derived it from golden plates he had discovered with the aid of the angel Moroni, Smith maintained that the plates were written in "Reformed Egyptian" which he had translated with the aid of "Urim and Thummim" two stones hrough which he had viewed the writings.
1840 Birth of George Smith, famed English Assyriologist. During several expeditions to the site of ancient Nineveh, (1873Â74), Smith unearthed over 3,000 cuneiform tablets, including one which told the story of an ancient deluge, similar to Noah's Flood.
1862 Hymnwriter Joseph H. Gilmore, 27, a professor of Hebrew at Newton Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, penned the words to the enduring hymn, "He Leadeth Me."
1929 The Congregation of the Sacraments within the Catholic Church published a document instructing that a plate of silver or metal gilt be held under the chin of the communicant at the reception of the Holy Communion.
1957 Dr. Basil W. Miller founded the Basil Miller Foundation in Altadena, CA. In 1959 its name was changed to World_Wide Missions.

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.

Thought for the day :
"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."

Newspaper Headlines in the Year 2035...
Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.

New State Slogans...
Virginia: Who Says Government Stiffs and Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?

Female Language Patterns...
All we're going to buy is a soap dish REALLY MEANS,
It goes without saying that we're stopping at the cosmetics department, the shoe department, I need to look at a few new pocket books, and OMIGOD those pink sheets would look great in the bedroom and did you bring your checkbook?

Male Language Patterns...
"I brought you a present," REALLY MEANS,
"It was free ice scraper night at the hockey game."

This document should be read only by those persons to whom it is addressed. If you have received this message it was obviously addressed to you and therefore you can read it, even it we didnt mean to send it to you. However, if the contents of this email make no sense whatsoever then you probably were not the intended recipient, or, you are a mindless cretin; either way, you should immediately delete yourself & destroy your computer! Once you have taken this action please contact us.. no you idiot, you cant use your computer, you just destroyed it, and by the way, you are also deleted, but we digress
7 posted on 03/26/2004 6:50:20 AM PST by Valin (Hating people is like burning down your house to kill a rat)
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To: snippy_about_it
I went and saw the D-Day Museum in New Orleans six months ago and there is a Higgins Boat in the lobby, as well as a lot of great information.

The book about D-Day by Ambrose has a great deal of information about these boats built in Louisiana. I highly recommend this book.
8 posted on 03/26/2004 6:52:12 AM PST by RobFromGa (Bring on Hillary, the Electorate is Ready For Her...)
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To: Matthew Paul
Oh, shit! Free Republic's gone!

It's not gone, we just moved it and did tell you.
And really can you blame us?

(yes it IS a giant plot)
9 posted on 03/26/2004 6:53:24 AM PST by Valin (Hating people is like burning down your house to kill a rat)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; radu; All

Good morning everyone in The FOXHOLE!
Happy Friday.

10 posted on 03/26/2004 6:56:09 AM PST by Soaring Feather (~The Dragon Flies' Lair~ Poetry and Prose~)
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To: snippy_about_it
fyi, after WW2, Higgins built a BUNCH of civilian motorboats.

i owned a 1955 ski-boat, when i was an undergrad.-wish i had been SMART ENOUGH to not sell it!

free dixie,sw

11 posted on 03/26/2004 8:26:52 AM PST by stand watie (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. -T. Jefferson)
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To: All

Air Power
Lockheed P2V "Neptune"

First flown on 17 May 1945, the Neptune was designed as a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and this dictated that it have extreme endurance and range, in addition to a large internal weapons bay, defensive capabilities and good short-field capability. Its design featured high-aspect ratio wings, a large fuel load and powerful engines -- a combination which eventually resulted in a production Neptune setting a world distance record of 11,235 miles in 1946, by flying nonstop and unrefueled from Perth, Australia to Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Although the Neptune just missed involvement in WWII, it was used extensively in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, becoming the standard Anti-Submarine Warfare platform for not only the USA but the Netherlands, Japan and many other nations. In addition to the first production model, the P2V-1, many, many additional variants were produced, serving in such roles as Airborne Early Warning (P2V-3W / P-2D), Nuclear weapons carrier (P2V-3C), VIP transport (P2V-3Z), Special-sensor aircraft (OP-2E/AP-2E), Drone controller (DP-2E / DP-2H), crew trainer (TP-2F), Antarctic skiplane (LP-2J), Electronic surveillance (RB-69A), Target tug (UP-2J) and Gunship (AP-2H).

Today, at least 40 P-2s still serve in civilian roles, mostly as firebombers in the USA. A few are pure warbirds, providing their proud owners with the great range, endurance and utility which defined the Neptune's success while in military service.

The Lockheed P2V Neptune can trace its maritime patrol ancestry back to the Lockheed-Vega Hudson. The Hudson, a twin engined, twin tailed low wing aircraft, was a bomber version of the Model 14 Super Electra airliner. The Hudson was Lockheed’s answer to a British Purchasing Commission search for a general reconnaissance aircraft. Design work began in 1938 and the resulting Model B14L lead to the delivery of more than 2941 Hudsons to the UK and to the USAAF.

Lockheed-Vega’s follow up to the Model 14 was the Model 18 Lodestar. The British, well satisfied with the Hudson, were interested in a 1939 Lockheed-Vega proposal to produce a military version of the Lodestar. After further discussion, the RAF ordered 300 examples of a more advanced development of the Model 18, and christened it Ventura I. As was the case with the Hudson, the USAAF also took delivery of 200 Venturas, designated as the B-34-VE in US service.

When Navy patrol squadrons assumed full responsibility for antisubmarine warfare, the USAAF discontinued procurement of the B-34 so that Lockheed-Vega could concentrate on producing a specially configured maritime patrol version for the Navy. The PV-1 was optimized for its primary mission with an increased fuel capacity, modified defensive armament, the installation of an ASD-1 search radar in the nose and could carry eight 5-inch HVAR rockets mounted on the wings. 1600 PV-1s were delivered to the USN with many aircraft diverted to the RAF, RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF, SAAF, and the Fôrça Aérea Brasileira.

When the production of the Ventura was transferred from the USAAF, the Navy and Lockheed-Vega began discussing a major redesign of the aircraft to further tailor it for the maritime patrol role. The Vega Model 15 had an increased wing span, which allowed an increase in fuel capacity and an increased bomb load. With an estimated increase in range and improved field performance, the Navy ordered 500 aircraft designated PV-2 Harpoon. Delivery of the Harpoons began in March 1944. Delivery of the last PV-2D Harpoon occurred in September 1945 bringing production of the Ventura and Harpoon to an end. After the war, the Navy transferred Harpoons to France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru and Portugal.

Even before the United States’ entry into World War Two, it had become apparent that the US Navy would need a land-based patrol bomber with greater range and armament, higher level and climbing speeds and slower approach and landing speeds than the Hudson and Ventura. What the Navy needed was an aircraft designed specifically for the primary mission of day and night ASW and anti shipping operations. Although no official requirement was issued, preliminary work on V-135 was begun in September 1941 by chief engineer John B. Wassall and his Vega team.

The initial concept called for an aircraft with a gross weight of 25,000 to 35,000 lb., power operated turrets, tricycle landing gear and the ability to carry two torpedoes, bombs and depth charges internally. The favored powerplants were a pair of eighteen cylinder Wright R-3550s producing 2000 hp. Mac V. F. Short, at the time, Vice President Engineering of the Vega Airplane Company authorized the first internal work order for design studies of a new aircraft on December 6, 1941.

Progress on the new patrol plane was slow as the Navy needed proven aircraft during the critical months following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Eventually, by early 1943 the Navy switched its procurement attention from acquiring immediately available aircraft, to supporting the development of newer and more capable types. The Navy issued a letter of intent on February 19, 1943, to the Vega Airplane Corporation for two XP2V-1 prototypes based on the V-146 design study. The V-146 was itself a development of the V-135 with a revised tail, a lowered wing and a relocated dorsal turret. Contact NOa(s)-375 was awarded on April 4, 1944 for the construction of the two prototypes, and ten days later, Contact NOa(s)-3297 for fifteen production P2V-1s. During this time, the PV-2 Harpoon still had a higher priority than the XP2V-1 in both engineering staff and floor space allocation. It was not until the summer of 1944 that project engineer R. A. Baily was able to get the project into high gear.

The main development objective of the V-146 was to maximize target detection and increase offensive power against those targets. Through the use of new designs and improved production techniques, Lockheed was able to meet the design’s need for long range, short takeoff and easy maintenance. This design philosophy would a provide easier production and decrease the manufacturing cost of each individual aircraft.

One design feature was the major portion of the fuselage contour was curved in only one direction which permitted the use of uniformed metal skins. Expensive forming was eliminated by producing the center wing and mid fuselage sections, including the bomb bay door area, as a continuous cross section. This allowed multiple use of numerous parts and assemblies. The wing and fuselage intersection was unfilleted, the wing box running continuously through the fuselage. This also allowed the entire bomb bay load to be directly distributed throughout the wings.

The Neptune was also designed to be manufactured into easily accessible sub assemblies, keeping mating and final assembly time to a minimum. With all of these considerations, the Neptune became much more serviceable. A complete engine change could be accomplished in 30 minutes, a propeller in 22 minutes and an outer wing panel in 79 minutes. The attention to production and tooling details ensured that Lockheed would set economic standards that would set a precedent in the aerospace industry.

In the spring of 1945, thirteen months after the initial contract was awarded, the Neptune was ready to fly.

The fifth P2V-1 airframe (BuNo 89086) was modified during construction to serve as prototype for the P2V-2 version. The 2,300 hp R-3350-8As of the P2V-1 were replaced by the 2,800 hp Wright R-3350-24Ws with water injection. Designated XP2V-2, it was first flown on 7 January 1947.

Delivered between June 1947 and August 1948 the production P2V-2s (Models 026-52-02 and 126-52-02) were powered by the same R-3350-24Ws as the XP2V-2, driving three-bladed propellers. The nose gunner position was replaced by six forward-firing 20 mm cannon in a metal-covered nose, of similar shape to that of The Turtle, and provision for carrying sonobuoys was added. The first eight P2V-2s retained the Bell tail turret introduced on the P2V-ls, whereas the next seventy-two P2V-2s had an Emerson tail turret with two 20-mm cannon installed. The first eight P2V-2s were sent to Emerson in St. Louis, MO where they were retrofitted with the new tail turret.

The P2V-5 was the most numerous Neptune variant produced and would serve as the basis for the largest number of sub-type modifications developed of any of the Neptune series.

First flown on 29 December 1950, twenty-three Model 426-42-06s (124865/124887) were built. The new P2V-5 replaced the six cannon solid nose cone of the P2V-4 with an Emerson Aero 9B turret armed with a pair of 20mm cannon. The 20mm tail turret as well as the .50 caliber machine gun armed dorsal turret remained unchanged from the P2V-4. The P2V-5 was capable of carrying an 8,0001b load of mines, torpedoes, bombs or depth charges and sixteen rockets on under-wing launch stubs, later reduced to 8 with the addition of the J-34s. An APS-20 radar was mounted in the underbelly position just behind the nose wheel doors. The wing tip fuel tanks were enlarged and were moved from an under wing tip position on the P2V-4, to the outside center of the wing tips and could carry an additional 350 gallons of fuel in each tank. In an emergency, the new tip tanks could be jettisoned. In addition, the forward portion of the starboard wingtip tank housed a powerful searchlight with a moveable reflector and arc element that was linked by servomotors to the nose turret guns. The port wingtip tank had APS-8 search radar mounted in its forward portion. The increase in ASW/ECM equipment increased the aircrew to nine men. The Wright Cyclone R-3350-30W engines remained unchanged from the P2V-4. The weight of the additional equipment without an increase in power caused the top speed to drop to 341 mph. However, the added fuel capacity increased the P2V-5's range to 4,750 miles.

They were followed by 147 Model 426-42-11s for the US Navy, the RAF and the RAAF, in which accommodation was provided for an ECM operator, to increase crew size from eight to nine. 98 model 426-42-13s were built for the US Navy (127781/127782 and 128327/128422), and were fitted during production with a 17-ft (5'18-m) tail 'stinger' extension housing a MAD (magnetic anomaly detection) system. 80 Model 426-42-15s (131400/131479) had the MAD 'stinger' extension, an observation nose, and the defensive armament reduced to two 0-50-in guns in the dorsal turret. The Marineluchtvaartdienst (MLD, Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service) received twelve Model 426-42-16s which were similar to the 426-42-13s (with MAD 'stinger', nose and dorsal turrets) but had revised crew accommodation. Finally sixty-four Model 426-45-15s (131480/131543) which differed from the 426-42-15s in being powered by 3,500 hp R-3350-32W Turbo-Compounds were delivered to the US Navy the last of which was delivered in September 1954.

In addition to the US Navy, the P2V-5 would serve the military needs of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, The Netherlands and Portugal.

The Lockheed Model 726, the P2V-7, was the final Neptune variant off the Lockheed production line. First flown on April 26, 1954, Model 726-45-14 was powered by a pair of 3,700hp (with water injection) Wright R-3350-32W Turbo Compound engines and a pair of Westinghouse J-34-WE-36 turbo jet engines. This model had a top dash speed of 364mph making it the fastest of the Lockheed produced Neptunes. The APS-20 search radar with its larger radome was mounted further forward than that on the earlier P2V-5s. The P2V-7 could carry an ordnance load of 10,000 lbs. in a larger weapons bay. The flight deck was raised and a redesigned canopy provided improved visibility. The smaller wing tip tanks of the later P2V-5s were also fitted. An aircrew of nine was carried.

Some early production P2V-7s were equipped with the Aero 9B nose turret and tail turret. These aircraft were later modified with the observer nose and MAD tail. Towards the end of the production run, the dorsal turret was replaced with a skylight observation window.

A total of 287* Neptunes, including forty-eight assembled in Japan by Kawasaki at Gifu, were built under the P2V-7 designation as Model 726-45-14s (148 aircraft for the US Navy, Aéronavale and Japan.) Model 726-45-17s (114 aircraft, with revised accommodation, for the same customers and the RAAF), Model 826-45-14 (25 aircraft for the RCAF, delivered without the under-wing J-34s). The P2V-7B (Model 726-45-18) designation was given to 15 aircraft built for the MLD. Neptune production ended in 1962.

By the 1970s, P-2s had been phased out from all Fleet Patrol Squadrons remaining in service with only twelve Reserve Patrol Squadrons. In April 1978, VP-94 transitioned to the P-3 Orion ending 31 years of P2V Neptune operations with the US Navy.

P2V-7 Neptunes served with the military forces of Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Japan and The Netherlands.
*This total does not include the 4 P2V-7LP/LP-2J and 5 RB-69As

Manufacturer: Lockheed
Roles: Maritime and antisubmarine patrol
Engines: Two 3,500-hp Wright R-3350-32 turbo-compound radial piston engines, plus two 3,400-lb thrust Westinghouse J34-WE-36 auxiliary turbojets.
Number Built: 1,181.
Number Still Airworthy: ~40.
Nicknames: Owashi ("Giant Eagle") (Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force designation); Firestar (SP-2H firebomber developed by Aero Union, Chico, California.)

Weight: Empty 49,935 lbs., Max Takeoff 79,895 lbs.
Wing Span: 103ft. 10in.
Length: 91ft. 8in.
Height: 29ft. 4in.

Performance :
Maximum Speed: 403 mph at 14,000 ft.
Ceiling: 22,000 ft.
Range: 3,685 miles

Two 12.7-mm (0.5-inch) machine guns in dorsal turret,
plus rack for underwing rockets, and
up to 8,000 lbs of bombs, depth charges or torpedoes.

In the Beginning...

Perhaps the most famous Neptune, the "Turtle" was the 3rd P2V-1 off the assembly line modified
for a long distance flight, setting a record that still stands today!

P2V-2, BuAer 39318 of VP-2.

P2V-3C, NAS Alameda, 01/29/52

P2V-4, NAS Los Alamitos, 08/62.


P2V-6, Buaer 126529 of NAS Olathe in storage at NAS Alameda, 08/20/60.


Later use as a wildfire "Water drop" aircraft

All information and photos Copyright of P2V Neptune.Org and War Bird Alley
12 posted on 03/26/2004 9:03:48 AM PST by Johnny Gage (God Bless our Military, God Bless President Bush, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!)
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To: snippy_about_it
Howdy ma'am. I didn't know about Higgins until a reference here in the Foxhole a couple of months ago. WOW
13 posted on 03/26/2004 10:07:03 AM PST by Professional Engineer (3/11/04 saw the launching of the Moorish reconquest of Spain.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
The FReeper Foxhole Studies the Higgins Boat - March 28th, 2004

14 posted on 03/26/2004 10:14:08 AM PST by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: Narcoleptics of the world, Uni *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*)
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To: Matthew Paul; snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Valin; Samwise; Darksheare
Imagine my face when I saw there was no FR on the Internet. (LOL)

Snippy and Sam CANNOT both be gone at the same time again. They not only broke the internet, they've caused hardware failures as well! Wednesday my monitor burnt up.

The old monitor

This one was waiting for me Thursday morning.

15 posted on 03/26/2004 10:14:49 AM PST by Professional Engineer (3/11/04 saw the launching of the Moorish reconquest of Spain.)
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To: Professional Engineer; snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
Ahhh, NOW I know who broke it!
And this time it wasn't me!
16 posted on 03/26/2004 10:17:06 AM PST by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: Narcoleptics of the world, Uni *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*)
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To: Valin
2233 James T Kirk captain of USS Enterprise (Star Trek)

17 posted on 03/26/2004 10:20:50 AM PST by Professional Engineer (3/11/04 saw the launching of the Moorish reconquest of Spain.)
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To: Valin
1982 Ground-breaking in Washington DC for Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Welcome Home guys and gals.

18 posted on 03/26/2004 10:26:08 AM PST by Professional Engineer (3/11/04 saw the launching of the Moorish reconquest of Spain.)
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To: All
I second RobFromGa's favorable comments on the Ambrose book and the D-Day museum in New Orleans. Higgins boats were still in use in Viet Nam. The Army operated Higgins-built FS and Y-Tanker types, in addition to harbor patrol boats (Q-boats) and LCM-6 and LCM-8 types.
19 posted on 03/26/2004 12:15:24 PM PST by kilowhskey (Proud member of the Army's Navy, 3/67 - 5/69)
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To: Johnny Gage
The "RB69A" was actually built for the CIA and used for "offshore" recon. Evidently not very far off shore as a number of RB69As and other Neptune marks where shot down by the Chinese and Soviets during the Cold War.
20 posted on 03/26/2004 5:28:56 PM PST by InABunkerUnderSF (DNS is for wimps.)
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