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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 9:48 am 
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Would it be early 60's or late 50's?. Anyone care to educate me on this formation? My knowledge of early jet aircraft is quite limited. Does this formation look unusual?
Seems like older aircraft ready to be exchanged with a few newer types?. Just wondering.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 10:56 am 
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Mark - that is a stellar photo!! Wow.


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:12 pm 
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Back when carriers had several different combat types...today we have a choice of F/A-18 and...well, F/A-18! :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:28 am 
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The photo looks like a normal staged air wing photo...all the planes operated from that carrier on a particular cruise. Some of these types of photos I have seen appear to be taken on an actual flyover of the carrier. Others appear to be assembled "in formation" through the magic of the darkroom. Most cruise books have similar photos in them, and you could usually find these kinds of photos for purchase in the ship's geedunk, as souvenirs of the cruise.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:35 am 
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So we'd have a all-weather fighter Squadron with F4Ds...
A day fighter/attack Squadron with Furys,
Two attack squadrons with Skyhawks,
a detachment of recon Cougars,
An attack squadron with Skyraiders and
(a detachment?) of ECM or target tug/transport AD-5 Skyraiders.

That still doesn't include the S2Fs or plane guard rescue helicopters (likely to be Piasecki HUPs at this time).

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:46 am 
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Mark Allen M wrote:
Would it be early 60's or late 50's..


Maybe either!

This COULD be from the Mediterranean cruise aboard the ESSEX from 7 August 1959 to Feb 26, 1960, but in any case would likely not be earlier than August 1967, and no later than February 1960. I base this on a couple of things.

Air wing fits the era.

ESSEX was West Coast Unit until transfer to Atlantic Fleet in August 1957, so the photo is post August 1957 with the East Coast "AK" code on the Air Group 10 embarked.

The F4D Skyray closest to the camera MAY be from VF-13, I can not quite make out the Squadron code on the spine of the aircraft. VF-13 did make the 1959-1960 Cruise on the ESSEX with the Skyray.

Essex designated an ASW carrier after this cruise on March 8, 1960, so would no longer have and air wing with fighters and attack aircraft.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:54 am 
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JohnB wrote:
So we'd have a all-weather fighter Squadron with F4Ds...
A day fighter/attack Squadron with Furys,
Two attack squadrons with Skyhawks,
a detachment of recon Cougars,
An attack squadron with Skyraiders and
(a detachment?) of ECM or target tug/transport AD-5 Skyraiders.

That still doesn't include the S2Fs or plane guard rescue helicopters (likely to be Piasecki HUPs at this time).

A Tracker is posed down on the Essex deck, and yup no HUP.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:43 pm 
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I saw the Tracker on the deck, my comment was that the aerial formation didn't include at least those two other types that would have been aboard the carrier.I

Quite an impressive number of aircraft types...seven.

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