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Helldiver Debut at Rabaul

Details of the combat debut of the U.S. Navy’s Curtiss SB2C Helldiver dive bomber at the Battle of Rabaul from Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, February 1944.

HELLDIVER
The Navy’s New Dive Bomber Makes Debut In Smash at Rabaul

The Navy’s newest air weapon, the Curtiss Helldiver (SB2C), is in action. With the Vought Corsair (F4U) and Grumman Hellcat (F6F) fighters and the Grumman Avenger (TBF) torpedo bomber, it completes, to date, the Navy’s war-born aerial attack team. All four planes incorporate the lessons of modern warfare taught by battle experience since Pearl Harbor.

A fifth Navy combat plane placed in service since America entered the war is the Ventura (PV) patrol bomber.

Helldivers on a carrier roll forward to take off.

Helldivers on a carrier roll forward to take off. Official U.S. Navy photographs.

In its first combat action, the 11 November raid on Rabaul, the Helldiver–bigger and heavier than any dive bomber previously used by our armed forces–accounted for the bulk of the extensive toll taken of Jap shipping.

Continue reading Helldiver Debut at Rabaul

Horned Toads

A report on net tenders from Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, August 1944.

Horned Toads
Net Tenders Shield Allied Ships From Enemy Submarines

Those odd-looking “horned” craft you may have seen operating around harbors or fleet anchorages are playing an important part in the constant campaign against enemy submarines and other torpedo carriers.

Horned Toads

Stern view of tender as she hauls the net, with its flotation buoys, along her wake.

They are the Navy’s ANs–sometimes called “Bulls” or “Horned Toads,” because of the twin permanent booms which form their prows–and their job is to lay and tend the steel nets which close off ports and shield anchored warships against underwater attack.

Net Tender Prow

Closeup of tender’s prow shows horns used as booms for lifting net.

Two types of nets are used–one designed to ensnare a sub or to warn of its presence, the other to stop a torpedo. Some nets are more than two miles long and extend from the surface of the water to the bottom. Net layer crews are called upon to repair breaks in sections after overly strong currents or storms have ripped holes in the heavy mesh.

MK II buoy

Gulls on MK II buoy watch as net tender prepares to move new section into position.

ANs come in two sizes–one, carrying a crew of 44, is 152 feet long; the other, with a complement of 52, is 195 feet overall. Both are Diesel-electric driven.

Torpedo Net

Completely mended, the torpedo net now maintains its protection of ships anchored in distance.

Most of the tenders operate at advance bases. Others protect U.S. ports. Despite their diminutive size and specialized duties, ANs can fight, too. One of them shot down a Zero at Pearl Harbor and another got two Japanese planes at Tulagi.

Official U.S. Navy Photographs.

 

Naval 3-Inch Mark 21 Mount

Left and right-side views of the Mark 21 mount for the 3-inch/50 cal. naval gun from Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); left-side view.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); right-side view.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); left-side view.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); left-side view.

 

M39 .50 Cal. Pedestal Mount

Illustration of the M39 pedestal mount for the .50 caliber machine gun. (Source: TM 9-230: Machine Gun Mounts for Boats, War Department Technical Manual, October 1943.)

Figure 1—Cal. .50, Machine Gun, Pedestal Mount M39, with Aircraft Machine Gun

Figure 1—Cal. .50, Machine Gun, Pedestal Mount M39, with Aircraft Machine Gun

 

Mark 24 Naval Gun Mount

Illustration of the Mark 24 3"/50 cal. naval gun mount from: Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.

3"/50 cal. gun and Mark 24 mount.

3"/50 cal. gun and Mark 24 mount.

 

SBD-3 Flying Characteristics

Basic flying characteristics of the SBD Dauntless from Pilot’s Handbook Model SBD-3, Douglas Aircraft, 1942.

Flying Characteristics

The model SBD-3 airplane is a single engine, low wing, monoplane, designed for dive bombing or scouting operations from either shore stations or aircraft carriers. This airplane performs all ground and flight maneuvers with the normal characteristics of its type. As a land plane, this airplane will take off from the ground or carrier deck with or without the aid of a catapult, and will land on an ordinary landing field with or without landing flaps, or on a carrier deck in an arresting gear. Dive bombing maneuvers may be made with or without the use of the diving flaps.

Douglas SBD Dauntless

Continue reading SBD-3 Flying Characteristics

Battleship’s Main Battery Directors

Illustration of U.S. Navy WWII battleship’s main battery directors. Source: Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.

Main battery of directors.

Main battery directors.

 

Naval Twin 5-Inch Turret

Details of the twin mount 5-inch/38 cal. naval gun from Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.)

Enclosed twin mount and handling room; 5-inch/38 cal. gun.

Enclosed twin mount and handling room; 5-inch/38 cal. gun.

Twin mount plan view; 5-inch/38 cal. gun.

Twin mount plan view; 5-inch/38 cal. gun.

 

The Doolittle Raid

Old U.S. Air Force video of the WWII Doolittle Raid in April 1942, when B-25 Mitchell bombers took off from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet to attack the Japanese islands.


 

Navy Educational Services

us-navy-educational-services

Source: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, March 1944.