Wednesday, January 30, 2013


There were lots of TBMs left over after World War II so some were repurposed. One new mission was Carrier On-board Delivery, or COD.

The gun turret was removed along with other mission equipment and seats added.

The canopy was extended over the tail gunner's position. Two seats were installed in the compartment aft of the pilot and two in the former turret area. Two seats were also provided in the former radioman compartment below the turret area for a total of six passenger seats. One was usually occupied by the load master/crew chief, leaving the other five available for passengers.

There were at least three difference variations of the canopy modification incorporating different amounts of sheet metal but the cabin access remained the same:
A basket was installed in the bomb bay for cargo.

Rick Morgan reports that the conversions were first used in early 1951 for transport of urgent cargo (spare parts, etc.) and personnel to the carriers off Korea as reported in the July 1951 edition of Naval Aviation News. According to his search of allotment records, approximately 27 TBM-3Rs were created; most were assigned to VR (air transportation) squadrons worldwide. In July 1954, for example:

VR-5 (RS)     San Diego, California                           4
VR-22 (RB)   Norfolk, Virginia                                  6
VR-23 (RK)   Atsugi, Japan                                        8
VR-24 (RD)   Port Lyautey, Morocco/Naples, Italy    7

Although one mission proposed for the multipurpose Douglas AD-5 was COD, the TBMs were all replaced in the Navy VR squadrons by the Grumman TF-1 (C-1) by January 1957. See

Saturday, January 12, 2013

AJ Savage Bombardier Station

There were two different basic configurations for the AJ Savage bombardier station. The first one provided displays for the navigation and attack radars used for all-weather strike from level bombing. The second incorporated the new AN/ASB-1 radar system that incorporated the visual bombing capability of a periscope.

The first 40 AJ-1s were produced with this bombardier station:
The AN/ASB-1 station looked something like this:
My guess, based on the A3D-1 station, is that it looked like this:
Note that the pilot station also changed between the AJ-1 and -2. The AJ-1 was set up with power quadrant (throttles, propeller controls, mixture, etc.) on the left and a control stick. For various reasons, the AJ-2 pilot was provided with a control wheel and the power quadrant on the center console. The third crewman was also relocated from the cabin under the flight deck in the AJ-1 to the flight deck on the AJ-2.

More later.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

F-4S ECM Antennas

Part of the F-4S modification was the addition of four small ECM antennas on the underside of the airplane. I took pictures of the ones on the QF-4S BuNo 153821 at the Veterans Memorial Air Park at Meacham Field, Fort Worth, TX and modified a sketch that I found on line to match them.

Note that no two are alike.

Right Forward Antenna
Left Forward Antenna

Left Rear Antenna


Right Rear Antenna