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Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.



 
 
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  #11  
Old March 29th 10, 02:58 AM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Peter Stickney[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 20
Default Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.

On Sun, 28 Mar 2010 18:49:27 -0700, wrote:

On Mar 28, 9:29*pm, Matt Wiser wrote:
On Mar 28, 7:54*am, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:





On Mar 27, 7:15 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:


On Mar 27, 2:12 pm, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:


On Mar 27, 6:15 am, Diogenes wrote:


On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 00:47:36 -0700 (PDT), "Ken S. Tucker"


wrote:


This article is 'less than flattering' about the Helldiver,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SB2C_Helldiver

If anyone disputes the article please advise, it's a wiki. It
surprised me so many were also built in Canada. Ken


My father was a WWII fighter pilot but flew the Helldiver
several times on ferry missions. He said it was the
worst-handling aircraft he ever had the misfortune to fly.
* *Diogenes


Yeah, just looking at it superficially, aerodynamically it's a
dog. Things like a lot of curvature under the tail sucks the tail
down, then the main wing blanks the elevator, your father
deserves over time danger pay just to ferry it, "Helldiver" might
be an appropriate, name.
Ken


There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


Most a/c have 'idiosyncrasies' ((had to look up the spelin of that)),
if the pilot is knowledgeable of them, he'd know what 'not' to do. It
may be a case the Helldiver had a restricted flight envelope that
required more respect (less forgiving) than other aircraft, so a
properly trained pilot could handle the "beast". I've read that about
the F-104, horses and wives. Ken- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


You're quite right, Keith. But the -1 was underpowered, and had a
three-bladed prop. The -3 and beyond had some more horses in the
engine, a four-blade prop, and the training regimen for SB2C pilots
made sure nugget pilots knew what to do in the plane, and what not to
do. VADM Marc Mitscher (ComTF-38/58) took some convincing, but when
VB-19 arrived on Lexington with the -3 in July of '44 and showed him
what the plane could do, he was convinced. He had reccommeded keeping
the SBD in Fleet Service, but Douglas had shut down the SBD line, so
the Navy had no choice.-


That'd what I've read....the -1 had lots of issues which were
fixed (mostly) in the -3, but by then the reputation was crappy.


It was still a crappy airplane. I've got the NACA report on its
Flying Qualities. Dismal comes pretty close to covering it.
To pull just one example - the friction in the control runs was
so high that it took 40 lbsf of pull force to move the elevators -
while standing still on the ground in no wind.
The SB2C was a prewar design. It took Curtiss nearly all the war
to beat it into marginally acceptable shape.
By that time, the view of attack airplanes had been changing radically.
Rather than the shipboard bombers becoming bigger versions of the
Dantless/Helldiver formula, they became single-seat load carriers like
the AD-1 and AM-1.

--
Pete Stickney
Failure is not an option
It comes bundled with the system
Ads
  #12  
Old March 29th 10, 04:22 AM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
David E. Powell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 168
Default Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.

On Mar 28, 9:58*pm, Peter Stickney wrote:
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010 18:49:27 -0700, wrote:
On Mar 28, 9:29*pm, Matt Wiser wrote:
On Mar 28, 7:54*am, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:


On Mar 27, 7:15 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:


On Mar 27, 2:12 pm, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:


On Mar 27, 6:15 am, Diogenes wrote:


On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 00:47:36 -0700 (PDT), "Ken S. Tucker"


wrote:


This article is 'less than flattering' about the Helldiver,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SB2C_Helldiver


If anyone disputes the article please advise, it's a wiki. It
surprised me so many were also built in Canada. Ken


My father was a WWII fighter pilot but flew the Helldiver
several times on ferry missions. He said it was the
worst-handling aircraft he ever had the misfortune to fly.
* *Diogenes


Yeah, just looking at it superficially, aerodynamically it's a
dog. Things like a lot of curvature under the tail sucks the tail
down, then the main wing blanks the elevator, your father
deserves over time danger pay just to ferry it, "Helldiver" might
be an appropriate, name.
Ken


There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


Most a/c have 'idiosyncrasies' ((had to look up the spelin of that)),
if the pilot is knowledgeable of them, he'd know what 'not' to do. It
may be a case the Helldiver had a restricted flight envelope that
required more respect (less forgiving) than other aircraft, so a
properly trained pilot could handle the "beast". I've read that about
the F-104, horses and wives. Ken- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


You're quite right, Keith. But the -1 was underpowered, and had a
three-bladed prop. The -3 and beyond had some more horses in the
engine, a four-blade prop, and the training regimen for SB2C pilots
made sure nugget pilots knew what to do in the plane, and what not to
do. VADM Marc Mitscher (ComTF-38/58) took some convincing, but when
VB-19 arrived on Lexington with the -3 in July of '44 and showed him
what the plane could do, he was convinced. He had reccommeded keeping
the SBD in Fleet Service, but Douglas had shut down the SBD line, so
the Navy had no choice.-


* * That'd what I've read....the -1 had lots of issues which were
fixed (mostly) in the -3, but by then the reputation was crappy.


It was still a crappy airplane. *I've got the NACA report on its
Flying Qualities. *Dismal comes pretty close to covering it.
To pull just one example - the friction in the control runs was
so high that it took 40 lbsf of pull force to move the elevators -
while standing still on the ground in no wind.
The SB2C was a prewar design. *It took Curtiss nearly all the war
to beat it into marginally acceptable shape.
By that time, the view of attack airplanes had been changing radically.
Rather than the shipboard bombers becoming bigger versions of the
Dantless/Helldiver formula, they became single-seat load carriers like
the AD-1 and AM-1.


Load and speed rose and crew size dropped. Similar to the medium
bombers, from B-25 Mitchell to B-26 Marauder to A/B-26 Invader. Speed
and handling became preferred as a defense over various gunners.

The Mosquito was a big step in that direction too.

It says something that the Helldiver was retired pretty soon after WW2
while the Avenger stuck around a couple more years, both were replaced
by the Skyraider. Corsairs stuck around into the 1950s too, for
multiple uses.

--
Pete Stickney
Failure is not an option
It comes bundled with the system

  #13  
Old March 29th 10, 04:39 AM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Ken S. Tucker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 442
Default Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.

On Mar 28, 6:29 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:
On Mar 28, 7:54 am, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:



On Mar 27, 7:15 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:


On Mar 27, 2:12 pm, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:


On Mar 27, 6:15 am, Diogenes wrote:


On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 00:47:36 -0700 (PDT), "Ken S. Tucker"


wrote:


This article is 'less than flattering' about the Helldiver,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SB2C_Helldiver


If anyone disputes the article please advise, it's a wiki.
It surprised me so many were also built in Canada.
Ken


My father was a WWII fighter pilot but flew the Helldiver several
times on ferry missions. He said it was the worst-handling aircraft he
ever had the misfortune to fly.
Diogenes


Yeah, just looking at it superficially, aerodynamically it's a dog.
Things like a lot of curvature under the tail sucks the tail down,
then the main wing blanks the elevator, your father deserves over
time danger pay just to ferry it, "Helldiver" might be an appropriate,
name.
Ken


There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


Most a/c have 'idiosyncrasies' ((had to look up the spelin of that)),
if the pilot is knowledgeable of them, he'd know what 'not' to do.
It may be a case the Helldiver had a restricted flight envelope that
required more respect (less forgiving) than other aircraft,
so a properly trained pilot could handle the "beast".
I've read that about the F-104, horses and wives.
Ken- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


You're quite right, Keith. But the -1 was underpowered, and had a
three-bladed prop. The -3 and beyond had some more horses in the
engine, a four-blade prop, and the training regimen for SB2C pilots
made sure nugget pilots knew what to do in the plane, and what not to
do. VADM Marc Mitscher (ComTF-38/58) took some convincing, but when
VB-19 arrived on Lexington with the -3 in July of '44 and showed him
what the plane could do, he was convinced. He had reccommeded keeping
the SBD in Fleet Service, but Douglas had shut down the SBD line, so
the Navy had no choice.


Yes, landing on a Carrier and landing on lots of pavement are very
different levels of skill, IMO even an average pilot could land the
Helldiver on lot's of pavement, but a Naval pilot would need to know
how to stall that bird real close to the deck edge, to grab the wire,
(I'd need a double hit of adrenaline).
Naval aviators need that extra skill to put a bird on a deck, that the
usual USAF pilots don't need so much, that's always an ongoing
problem for the Navy, landing.
Ken
  #14  
Old March 29th 10, 06:17 AM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Richard Casady
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 47
Default Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.

On Sun, 28 Mar 2010 20:22:14 -0700 (PDT), "David E. Powell"
wrote:

On Mar 28, 9:58*pm, Peter Stickney wrote:
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010 18:49:27 -0700, wrote:
On Mar 28, 9:29*pm, Matt Wiser wrote:
On Mar 28, 7:54*am, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:


On Mar 27, 7:15 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:


On Mar 27, 2:12 pm, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:


On Mar 27, 6:15 am, Diogenes wrote:


On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 00:47:36 -0700 (PDT), "Ken S. Tucker"


wrote:


This article is 'less than flattering' about the Helldiver,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SB2C_Helldiver


If anyone disputes the article please advise, it's a wiki. It
surprised me so many were also built in Canada. Ken


My father was a WWII fighter pilot but flew the Helldiver
several times on ferry missions. He said it was the
worst-handling aircraft he ever had the misfortune to fly.
* *Diogenes


Yeah, just looking at it superficially, aerodynamically it's a
dog. Things like a lot of curvature under the tail sucks the tail
down, then the main wing blanks the elevator, your father
deserves over time danger pay just to ferry it, "Helldiver" might
be an appropriate, name.
Ken


There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


Most a/c have 'idiosyncrasies' ((had to look up the spelin of that)),
if the pilot is knowledgeable of them, he'd know what 'not' to do. It
may be a case the Helldiver had a restricted flight envelope that
required more respect (less forgiving) than other aircraft, so a
properly trained pilot could handle the "beast". I've read that about
the F-104, horses and wives. Ken- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


You're quite right, Keith. But the -1 was underpowered, and had a
three-bladed prop. The -3 and beyond had some more horses in the
engine, a four-blade prop, and the training regimen for SB2C pilots
made sure nugget pilots knew what to do in the plane, and what not to
do. VADM Marc Mitscher (ComTF-38/58) took some convincing, but when
VB-19 arrived on Lexington with the -3 in July of '44 and showed him
what the plane could do, he was convinced. He had reccommeded keeping
the SBD in Fleet Service, but Douglas had shut down the SBD line, so
the Navy had no choice.-


* * That'd what I've read....the -1 had lots of issues which were
fixed (mostly) in the -3, but by then the reputation was crappy.


It was still a crappy airplane. *I've got the NACA report on its
Flying Qualities. *Dismal comes pretty close to covering it.
To pull just one example - the friction in the control runs was
so high that it took 40 lbsf of pull force to move the elevators -
while standing still on the ground in no wind.
The SB2C was a prewar design. *It took Curtiss nearly all the war
to beat it into marginally acceptable shape.
By that time, the view of attack airplanes had been changing radically.
Rather than the shipboard bombers becoming bigger versions of the
Dantless/Helldiver formula, they became single-seat load carriers like
the AD-1 and AM-1.


Load and speed rose and crew size dropped. Similar to the medium
bombers, from B-25 Mitchell to B-26 Marauder to A/B-26 Invader. Speed
and handling became preferred as a defense over various gunners.

The Mosquito was a big step in that direction too.

It says something that the Helldiver was retired pretty soon after WW2
while the Avenger stuck around a couple more years, both were replaced
by the Skyraider. Corsairs stuck around into the 1950s too, for
multiple uses.


Invader? My uncle hunted trucks on the Ho Chi Mihn trail, at night and
got more than a hundred of them. Nimrod they called the mission. His
outfit used up the last of the flyable planes, he told me.

Casady
  #15  
Old March 29th 10, 07:12 AM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Matt Wiser[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.


"Peter Stickney" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010 18:49:27 -0700, wrote:

On Mar 28, 9:29 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:
On Mar 28, 7:54 am, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:





On Mar 27, 7:15 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:

On Mar 27, 2:12 pm, "Ken S. Tucker" wrote:

On Mar 27, 6:15 am, Diogenes wrote:

On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 00:47:36 -0700 (PDT), "Ken S. Tucker"

wrote:

This article is 'less than flattering' about the Helldiver,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SB2C_Helldiver

If anyone disputes the article please advise, it's a wiki. It
surprised me so many were also built in Canada. Ken

My father was a WWII fighter pilot but flew the Helldiver
several times on ferry missions. He said it was the
worst-handling aircraft he ever had the misfortune to fly.
Diogenes

Yeah, just looking at it superficially, aerodynamically it's a
dog. Things like a lot of curvature under the tail sucks the tail
down, then the main wing blanks the elevator, your father
deserves over time danger pay just to ferry it, "Helldiver" might
be an appropriate, name.
Ken

There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.

Most a/c have 'idiosyncrasies' ((had to look up the spelin of that)),
if the pilot is knowledgeable of them, he'd know what 'not' to do. It
may be a case the Helldiver had a restricted flight envelope that
required more respect (less forgiving) than other aircraft, so a
properly trained pilot could handle the "beast". I've read that about
the F-104, horses and wives. Ken- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

You're quite right, Keith. But the -1 was underpowered, and had a
three-bladed prop. The -3 and beyond had some more horses in the
engine, a four-blade prop, and the training regimen for SB2C pilots
made sure nugget pilots knew what to do in the plane, and what not to
do. VADM Marc Mitscher (ComTF-38/58) took some convincing, but when
VB-19 arrived on Lexington with the -3 in July of '44 and showed him
what the plane could do, he was convinced. He had reccommeded keeping
the SBD in Fleet Service, but Douglas had shut down the SBD line, so
the Navy had no choice.-


That'd what I've read....the -1 had lots of issues which were
fixed (mostly) in the -3, but by then the reputation was crappy.


It was still a crappy airplane. I've got the NACA report on its
Flying Qualities. Dismal comes pretty close to covering it.
To pull just one example - the friction in the control runs was
so high that it took 40 lbsf of pull force to move the elevators -
while standing still on the ground in no wind.
The SB2C was a prewar design. It took Curtiss nearly all the war
to beat it into marginally acceptable shape.
By that time, the view of attack airplanes had been changing radically.
Rather than the shipboard bombers becoming bigger versions of the
Dantless/Helldiver formula, they became single-seat load carriers like
the AD-1 and AM-1.

--
Pete Stickney
Failure is not an option
It comes bundled with the system


Which is what VB-83 in its report halfway through its 1945 deployment was
already urging. Single seater, lots of bombload, the works. (by 1945
standards, anyway)


  #17  
Old March 30th 10, 04:13 PM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Jim H.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.

On Mar 27, 10:15*pm, Matt Wiser wrote:


There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


I saw a passage in Hugh Ambrose's "The Pacific" where he quoted a Navy
flier who flew both the 'Speedy B' and SB2C. After transitioning from
SBD's, he felt that the SB2C flew 'more like a brick than an airplane'
or words to that effect. Dunno which dash number he flew, but the
book mentioned a four-bladed prop.

Jim H.

  #18  
Old March 30th 10, 06:37 PM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Matt Wiser
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Curtiss SB2C Helldiver wreckage found in Oregon's woods.

On Mar 30, 8:13*am, "Jim H." wrote:
On Mar 27, 10:15*pm, Matt Wiser wrote:



There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


I saw a passage in Hugh Ambrose's "The Pacific" where he quoted a Navy
flier who flew both the 'Speedy B' and SB2C. After transitioning from
SBD's, he felt that the SB2C flew 'more like a brick than an airplane'
or words to that effect. *Dunno which dash number he flew, but the
book mentioned a four-bladed prop.

Jim H.


That would be the -3 onward.
  #19  
Old April 5th 10, 06:26 PM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Jack Linthicum
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 301
Default Ditched: Curtiss SBC-2 Helldiver wreckage found off Maui

On Mar 30, 1:37*pm, Matt Wiser wrote:
On Mar 30, 8:13*am, "Jim H." wrote:

On Mar 27, 10:15*pm, Matt Wiser wrote:


There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


I saw a passage in Hugh Ambrose's "The Pacific" where he quoted a Navy
flier who flew both the 'Speedy B' and SB2C. After transitioning from
SBD's, he felt that the SB2C flew 'more like a brick than an airplane'
or words to that effect. *Dunno which dash number he flew, but the
book mentioned a four-bladed prop.


Jim H.


That would be the -3 onward.



Pics at the citation

WWII-era plane IDd
Pilot ditched Helldiver in Maalaea Bay in 44

By ILIMA LOOMIS, Staff Writer
POSTED: April 4, 2010
Email: "WWII-era plane IDd"
*To:

HARRY DONENFELD photo

The nose of a World War II-era Helldiver bomber rests on the ocean
floor off Maalaea. Divers have identified the wreck as a plane that
crashed during training maneuvers in 1944.

WAILUKU - A World War II-era wreck off South Maui first documented in
January has been identified as an SBC-2 Helldiver, ditched in Maalaea
Bay on a training flight by a Navy pilot in 1944.

Maritime archaeologist Hans Van Tilburg of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration dived to the site Saturday and confirmed
that it was the plane identified by two groups of private divers
separately investigating the wreck. He said the U.S. Navy was in the
process of making a plaque to mark the site, which is protected under
state and federal law, and that officials may also consider installing
a mooring nearby.

Van Tilburg said the aircraft was a rare find, not only because the
wreck was almost completely preserved, but also because there are very
few Helldivers left in existence.

"I'm definitely impressed," he said. "It's remarkably intact. I've
seen a number of aircraft like this, and this one is very intact. That
makes it very special."

When the wreck was first documented in January, it was initially
believed to be an SBD Dauntless dive bomber. But B&B Scuba Maui owner
Brad Varney, who first reported the site to government authorities
after learning about it from a local fisherman, said he realized after
visiting the wreck a second time that it was actually a Helldiver.

Today the plane rests on the sandy bottom of Maalaea Bay in about 50
feet of water, encrusted with coral and surrounded by schools of fish.

According to Navy crash records researched by private divers
investigating the site, the plane was making a dive-bombing practice
attack Aug. 31, 1944, when high-speed maneuvers damaged the tail fin
and jammed the rudder controls. With only limited ability to control
the aircraft, pilot William E. Dill, a Navy lieutenant, made a water
landing, surviving the crash without injuries.

Varney, a self-described "history nut," said it was exciting to pore
over 60-year-old crash reports and other documents as he and
colleagues pieced the story together.

"It was pretty cool," he said. "It wasn't that hard to figure out,
once you had all the records."

Maui-based documentary producer and photographer Harry Donenfeld, who
investigated the site with a group of divers from North Shore
Explorers, said he was impressed by how smoothly Dill put the plane
down in the water with only limited control. The only part of the
plane to break off was the tail fin, which had been damaged during the
maneuvers.

"Clearly he did an incredible landing," he said. "It's like he parked
it there."

According to Navy records researched by Donenfeld, Dill survived
another water landing in a Helldiver just three months later, during
the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where his flight group was assigned to the
USS Essex aircraft carrier. Leyte was the scene of the largest naval
battle during World War II, and it represented a push by the United
States to reclaim the Philippines from the imperial forces of Japan.

Donenfeld said he wanted to research more of Dill's story and hoped to
make contact with his family or people who knew him to help "fill in
the blanks."

"I would love to hear what the rest of his life was like," he said. "I
think it would put an excellent end to the story."

Van Tilburg said the wreck represents an important time in Hawaii's
history, when thousands of soldiers, sailors and pilots came to the
islands to train and prepare for war before being shipped on to the
brutal battles of the Pacific.

As special as this particular wreck may be, the Helldiver off Maalaea
is actually just one of 1,484 naval aircraft known to be lost in
waters off the Hawaiian Islands, most on training flights like the one
made by Lt. Dill, Van Tilburg said.

Pilots like Dill put their planes through extreme maneuvers to prepare
for battle, and those steep dives and sharp turns were too much for
some aircraft to take.

"That's what happened with this one particular crash - the rudder's
broken off completely," he said.

Pilots also practiced how to ditch a plane, and Van Tilburg said he'd
seen cases of pilots who'd survived three, four or even five water
landings over the course of the war.

The Helldiver was a heavy plane with a large payload, designed to
carry 1,000-pound bombs, with a large wing and tail so that it could
take off from the short decks of aircraft carriers.

"They called it 'the Big-Tailed Beast' or just 'the Beast,' " Van
Tilburg said.

While the dive site may see a rush of visitors now that its location
is public knowledge, anyone visiting the wreck should be aware that
the plane is still property of the U.S. Navy, and it's against the law
to touch or disturb the site.

"It's always exciting to dive an aircraft like that, because that was
such a significant period for the island," Van Tilburg said. "It's a
bit of history on the bottom of the ocean. I'm glad to see the dive
shops are taking a careful approach to accessing the site."

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content...id/530164.html
  #20  
Old April 6th 10, 03:19 AM posted to sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military
Ken S. Tucker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 442
Default Ditched: Curtiss SBC-2 Helldiver wreckage found off Maui

On Apr 5, 10:26 am, Jack Linthicum
wrote:
On Mar 30, 1:37 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:



On Mar 30, 8:13 am, "Jim H." wrote:


On Mar 27, 10:15 pm, Matt Wiser wrote:


There was another name that pilots called the aircraft: "Son of a
Bitch, 2nd Class." The -1 version was the worst, but the -3 onward
handled very well.


I saw a passage in Hugh Ambrose's "The Pacific" where he quoted a Navy
flier who flew both the 'Speedy B' and SB2C. After transitioning from
SBD's, he felt that the SB2C flew 'more like a brick than an airplane'
or words to that effect. Dunno which dash number he flew, but the
book mentioned a four-bladed prop.


Jim H.


That would be the -3 onward.


Pics at the citation

WWII-era plane IDd
Pilot ditched Helldiver in Maalaea Bay in 44

By ILIMA LOOMIS, Staff Writer
POSTED: April 4, 2010
Email: "WWII-era plane IDd"
*To:

HARRY DONENFELD photo

The nose of a World War II-era Helldiver bomber rests on the ocean
floor off Maalaea. Divers have identified the wreck as a plane that
crashed during training maneuvers in 1944.

WAILUKU - A World War II-era wreck off South Maui first documented in
January has been identified as an SBC-2 Helldiver, ditched in Maalaea
Bay on a training flight by a Navy pilot in 1944.

Maritime archaeologist Hans Van Tilburg of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration dived to the site Saturday and confirmed
that it was the plane identified by two groups of private divers
separately investigating the wreck. He said the U.S. Navy was in the
process of making a plaque to mark the site, which is protected under
state and federal law, and that officials may also consider installing
a mooring nearby.

Van Tilburg said the aircraft was a rare find, not only because the
wreck was almost completely preserved, but also because there are very
few Helldivers left in existence.

"I'm definitely impressed," he said. "It's remarkably intact. I've
seen a number of aircraft like this, and this one is very intact. That
makes it very special."

When the wreck was first documented in January, it was initially
believed to be an SBD Dauntless dive bomber. But B&B Scuba Maui owner
Brad Varney, who first reported the site to government authorities
after learning about it from a local fisherman, said he realized after
visiting the wreck a second time that it was actually a Helldiver.

Today the plane rests on the sandy bottom of Maalaea Bay in about 50
feet of water, encrusted with coral and surrounded by schools of fish.

According to Navy crash records researched by private divers
investigating the site, the plane was making a dive-bombing practice
attack Aug. 31, 1944, when high-speed maneuvers damaged the tail fin
and jammed the rudder controls. With only limited ability to control
the aircraft, pilot William E. Dill, a Navy lieutenant, made a water
landing, surviving the crash without injuries.

Varney, a self-described "history nut," said it was exciting to pore
over 60-year-old crash reports and other documents as he and
colleagues pieced the story together.

"It was pretty cool," he said. "It wasn't that hard to figure out,
once you had all the records."

Maui-based documentary producer and photographer Harry Donenfeld, who
investigated the site with a group of divers from North Shore
Explorers, said he was impressed by how smoothly Dill put the plane
down in the water with only limited control. The only part of the
plane to break off was the tail fin, which had been damaged during the
maneuvers.

"Clearly he did an incredible landing," he said. "It's like he parked
it there."

According to Navy records researched by Donenfeld, Dill survived
another water landing in a Helldiver just three months later, during
the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where his flight group was assigned to the
USS Essex aircraft carrier. Leyte was the scene of the largest naval
battle during World War II, and it represented a push by the United
States to reclaim the Philippines from the imperial forces of Japan.

Donenfeld said he wanted to research more of Dill's story and hoped to
make contact with his family or people who knew him to help "fill in
the blanks."

"I would love to hear what the rest of his life was like," he said. "I
think it would put an excellent end to the story."

Van Tilburg said the wreck represents an important time in Hawaii's
history, when thousands of soldiers, sailors and pilots came to the
islands to train and prepare for war before being shipped on to the
brutal battles of the Pacific.

As special as this particular wreck may be, the Helldiver off Maalaea
is actually just one of 1,484 naval aircraft known to be lost in
waters off the Hawaiian Islands, most on training flights like the one
made by Lt. Dill, Van Tilburg said.

Pilots like Dill put their planes through extreme maneuvers to prepare
for battle, and those steep dives and sharp turns were too much for
some aircraft to take.

"That's what happened with this one particular crash - the rudder's
broken off completely," he said.

Pilots also practiced how to ditch a plane, and Van Tilburg said he'd
seen cases of pilots who'd survived three, four or even five water
landings over the course of the war.

The Helldiver was a heavy plane with a large payload, designed to
carry 1,000-pound bombs, with a large wing and tail so that it could
take off from the short decks of aircraft carriers.

"They called it 'the Big-Tailed Beast' or just 'the Beast,' " Van
Tilburg said.

While the dive site may see a rush of visitors now that its location
is public knowledge, anyone visiting the wreck should be aware that
the plane is still property of the U.S. Navy, and it's against the law
to touch or disturb the site.

"It's always exciting to dive an aircraft like that, because that was
such a significant period for the island," Van Tilburg said. "It's a
bit of history on the bottom of the ocean. I'm glad to see the dive
shops are taking a careful approach to accessing the site."

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content...id/530164.html


I'll confess to finding this humorous,
"just one of 1,484 naval aircraft known to be lost in
waters off the Hawaiian Islands"
(I wonder how many 'non-naval' a/c there are).
Is that really true?
The Japs didn't need an airforce, just a guy in a row boat with a pair
of binoculars counting splashes!
Ken
 




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