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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:09 am 
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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.

This will be a large photo thread in a few parts so we'll start with the two principal ships.

WIKI: USS Sable (IX-81) was a training ship of the United States Navy during World War II. Originally built as the 'Greater Buffalo', a sidewheel excursion steamer, she was converted in 1942 to a freshwater aircraft carrier to be used on the Great Lakes. She was used for advanced training for naval aviators in carrier takeoffs and landings. One aviator that trained upon the Sable was future president George H. W. Bush. Following World War II, Sable was decommissioned on 7 November 1945. She was sold for scrapping on 7 July 1948 to the H.H. Buncher Company.

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The steamship 'Greater Buffalo' before it was converted to the USS Sable (IX-81).

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Overhead view of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) underway on Lake Michigan with an FM Wildcat making a deck launch from the flattop 1945

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The USS Sable (IX-81) lies at anchor in Lake Michigan 1943

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training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) moored alongside a pier on the shore of Lake Michigan during a break in training operations.

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USS Sable 1944

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USS Sable 1944

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USS Sable Underway on Lake Michigan 1945

WIKI: USS Wolverine (IX-64) a side-wheel excursion steamer built in 1913—was originally named 'Seeandbee', a name based upon her owners' company name, the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Co.[4] She was constructed by the American Ship Building Company of Wyandotte, Michigan. The Navy acquired the sidewheeler on 12 March 1942 and designated her an unclassified miscellaneous auxiliary, IX-64. She was purchased by the Navy in March 1942 and conversion to a training aircraft carrier began on 6 May 1942.[5] The name Wolverine was approved on 2 August 1942 with the ship being commissioned on 12 August 1942.[5][6] Intended to operate on Lake Michigan, IX-64 received its name because the state of Michigan is known as the Wolverine State.

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The steamship 'Seeandbee' before it was converted to the USS Wolverine (IX-64)

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The USS Wolverine (IX-64) lies at anchor in Lake Michigan 1943

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A view of the coal burning USS Wolverine (IX 64) while underway in Lake Michigan 1943

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A view of the USS Wolverine (IX-64) while underway in Lake Michigan 1942

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The USS Wolverine (IX-64) lies at anchor in Lake Michigan 1943 with Chicago skyline in background

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USS Wolverine (IX 64) commissioned as Great Lakes-based training carrier in August 1942. She was followed in May 1943 by USS Sable (IX 81).

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The USS Wolverine (IX-64) lies at anchor in Lake Michigan while aircraft fly overhead 1943

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Last edited by Mark Allen M on Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:26 am 
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Training on the USS Sable ...

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Aircraft Tied Down On Board USS Sable

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Aircraft Tied Down On Board USS Sable

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An F6F-5 makes an approach as a landing signal officer looks on aboard the USS Sable (IX-81).

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An FM-2 Wildcat flown by Ensign John E. Hood pictured on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) operating on Lake Michigan. 1945

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An SB2U Vindicator, its flaps and tailhook down, makes its landing approach to the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) operating on Lake Michigan 1943

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An F4U-1 Corsair, an F4F Wildcat, and two TBF-1 Avengers are spotted for launch aboard the USS Sable 1943

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F4U Corsair On Flight Deck of USS Sable

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Flight deck crewmen disengage an SB2U Vindicator from the arresting wires following its recovery on board the training aircraft carrier Sable1943

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Flight Deck Officer Signals Aircraft On Board USS Sable 1945

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Landing Signal Officer SNJ Texan on approach to recover on board the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) operating on Lake Michigan 1943

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Landing Signal Officers aboard the USS Sable (IX-81) while she is underway in Lake Michigan 1945

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One SNJ Texan trainer takes a waveoff as just after another has trapped on board the training aircraft carrier Sable 1943

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SNJ Traps On Board USS Sable 1943

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SNJ Prepares to Launch from USS Sable 1945

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TBM Avenger takes a waveoff as another taxis on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) operating on Lake Michigan.

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USS Sable (IX-81) recovers an F6F-5 Hellcat while underway in Lake Michigan 1945

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Three FM-2 Wildcats pictured in flight over Lake Michigan while conducting carrier qualification on board the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81).

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FM-2 Wildcat In Flight Over USS Sable

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:37 am 
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A landing signal officer on board the training aircraft carrier Sable pictured in the cockpit of an F4U Corsair 1945

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A TDN-1 aircraft gets ready to launch from the USS Sable (IX-81) in Lake Michigan 1943

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aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) showing a TBF hanging over the side after crashing during carrier qualifications on Lake Michigan.

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An F6F Hellcat hangs over the side after it crashed into the catwalk of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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Close-up photograph of the damaged cowling and propellers of an FM-2 Wildcat after it crashed on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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Close-up photograph of the damaged landing gear of an FM-2 Wildcat after it crashed on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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damaged FM-2 Wildcat being hoisted by crane onto a barge after it crashed on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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damaged FM-2 Wildcat on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) after it crashed during carrier qualifications on Lake Michigan.

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F6F Hellcat Accident On Board USS Sable

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F6F Hellcat after it crashed on board the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) during carrier qualifications on Lake Michigan 1945

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F6F Hellcat Crash On Board USS Sable 1945

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F6F Hellcat, damaged during a landing accident on board the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) during carrier qualifications on Lake Michigan

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F6F Hellcat, damaged during a landing accident on board the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) during carrier qualifications on Lake Michigan-2

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Firefighters Next to FM Wildcat On Board USS Sable

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FM Wildcat Hits the Deck of USS Sable

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FM-2 Wildcat After Crash On Board USS Sable

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FM-2 Wildcat after it crashed on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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FM-2 Wildcat pictured after it crashed on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable 1945

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FM-2 Wildcat pictured after it crashed on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable-2

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:44 am 
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Personnel surround a damaged FM-2 Wildcat on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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Personnel surround a damaged FM-2 Wildcat that crashed on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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Photograph showing where an aircraft propeller damaged the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable

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Sailors on board the Sable (IX 81) man two lines and pull and FM Wildcat over onto its wheels after it crashed on the flattop

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Sailors on board the Sable (IX 81) man two lines and pull and FM Wildcat over onto its wheels after it crashed on the flattop

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Sailors on board the Sable (IX 81) man two lines and pull and FM Wildcat over onto its wheels after it crashed on the flattop

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Sailors rig lines to an F6F Hellcat after it crashed on board the training aircraft carrier Sable 1945

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TBM Avenger Ditches Alongside USS Sable

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TBM Avenger Ditches Alongside USS Sable

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TBM Avenger noses over after its propeller hits the barrier wires on flight deck on board the training aircraft carrier Sable 1945

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USS Sable (IX-81) recovers a TBF-1 Avenger after a mishap while underway in Lake Michigan 1945

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USS Sable 1944

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USS Sable 1944

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USS Sable 1944

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USS Sable 1944

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:54 am 
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Training on the USS Wolverine ...

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TBF, F4F Wildcat and an SNJ Texan tied down on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Wolverine operating on Lake Michigan 1943

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The USS Wolverine (IX-64) recovers a TBF-1 Avenger while underway in Lake Michigan 1943

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SNJ-3 Texans on the flight deck of the USS Wolverine (IX-64) while underway in Lake Michigan 1942

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An SNJ-3C Texan launches from the deck of the USS Wolverine (IX-64) while underway in Lake Michigan 1943

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An SNJ-3C Texan has a mishap on the deck of the USS Wolverine (IX-64) while underway in Lake Michigan.

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An SNJ-3 Texan races along for takeoff on the flight deck of the USS Wolverine (IX-64) while underway in Lake Michigan.

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An F4U-1 Corsair is recovered aboard the USS Wolverine (IX-64) in Lake Michigan 1943

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An F4F-4 avoids the flight deck during a mishap aboard the USS Wolverine (IX-64). 1943

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A TBF-1 Avenger approaches the flight deck of the USS Wolverine (IX-64) 1943

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A mishap with an F6F Grumman Hellcat aboard the USS Wolverine (IX-64) in Lake Michigan 1945

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A mishap with an F4F-4 is captured aboard the USS Wolverine (IX-64) 1943

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Dad's logbook showing his carrier landings on the USS Wolverine, NO mishaps!!! :D

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Crewmen gather on the deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) for a memorial service in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1945

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Crewmen gather on the deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) for an impromptu celebration of V-J Day 1945

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Once again Mark, great pictures. Thanks for sharing. I'd never heard of the TDN's before. Here's another picture I found of 2 TDN's on the Sable.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Mark,
You always deliver with some great photos.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Thx guys, I'm just filling in for Jack Cook until comes back to do this right :wink:

Here's dad on what is starting to look more and more like he could have been on the USS Wolverine at the time these photos were taken. BTW he was very tall (6-2) for a Navy pilot back then. Correction: I'm now to think this is dad at NAS Glenview, not on the Wolverine as all pilots were required to perform eight successful take-offs and landings and I believe the only way to have been out of the cockpit on the Lakes carriers was to have had a mishap of some sort. That's not for sure though.

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July 21, 1943, this F4F-3 Wildcat (Bureau Number 4039) was in the process of making a deck launch from the training aircraft carrier Wolverine

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Piece of wreckage from the first aircraft to crash on board the Wolverine (IX 64)

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Last edited by Mark Allen M on Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:06 pm 
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I like the way you have organized these! Thanks Mark. Can we tie any of the aircraft pictured into ones that have been recovered from the bottom of the lake?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:49 pm 
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bdk wrote:
I like the way you have organized these! Thanks Mark. Can we tie any of the aircraft pictured into ones that have been recovered from the bottom of the lake?

Anyone else pick up on the BRUNSWICK TDN-1 in photo #3?, later they turned out lots of despised 'bowling ball' H-D's, and that's oxymoronic, a poor quality H-D :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:12 pm 
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A few more Sable images. Chuck Wahl I'm going through my SBD photos for more as well. I've seen a few Sable SBD photos.

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1945 USS Sable

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USS Sable (IX-81)

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USS Sable upbound on her delivery trip to Chicago Photo taken from the onboard the Joseph Wood upbound on Lake St. Clair in 1942.

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Winter on Lake Michigan as seen from the deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) 1944

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View of the Chicago, Illinois, skyline as seen from the deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) moored in Lake Michigan.

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LT C.V. Timberlake, a landing signal officer on board the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81), pictured in the cockpit of an SNJ Texan.

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Personnel surround a damaged SBD Dauntless that crashed into the catwalk on the flight deck of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) 1945

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Last edited by Mark Allen M on Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:19 pm 
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A few more Wolverine images.

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Steamer Seeandbee on the way just before the launch

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November 9, 1912. Wyandotte, Michigan. Steamer Seeandbee, the launch, which would be converted to the USS Wolverine

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USS Wolverine steaming past some sailboats 1943

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Pilot crashes while attempting a landing on the USS Wolverine. The plane is an SNJ, the Navy version of the USAAF's T-6 trainer.

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Pilot successfully takes off from the USS Wolverine

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SBD crashes into Lake Michigan after attempting a landing on the USS Wolverine.

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Wave-Off, vol. 2, no. 8 (1 November 1944), the ship's newspaper of USS Wolverine (IX 64),

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Last edited by Mark Allen M on Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:49 pm 
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Here's the first recovery in 1979:
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BuNo 05954, now with Harland Avezzie - I've never seen any other photos of this one. I took these after it was deposited on the ramp at NAS Glenview.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Looks like we already have a 'winner' ... See the two TBF photos of (T-5) in the water. Very cool.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:02 pm 
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I thought so at first, but this T-5 has a star but no bars. Guess that wasn't a lucky number...

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