Douglas TBD Devastator’s of USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise (7) (8)

Unfortunately, both aircraft were reassigned to VT-8 of USS Hornet and met their fate with the rest of that squadron at the Battle of Midway.

That being said, I argue that the TBD is much maligned for its supposed “obsolescence” at Midway. After all, the TBD’s replacement, the new and nifty TBF Avenger was itself shot to pieces at Midway – 5 of 6 aircraft lost.  Of course the TBF was superior to the TBD in all respects, but the idea that the TBD squadrons were annihilated at Midway simply because the plane they flew was a couple years old doesn’t add up – their near-annihilation (and the TBF’s) was caused by their lack of fighter escort.

Grumman FF

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The FF made up for in innovation what it lacked in the “svelte and graceful” department.  What was so innovative, you ask?  It was the first US Navy carrier plane with retractable landing gear.  Pic #1 shows an FF-1 (9361) of VF-5B (USS Lexington).  It crashed in 1935.  #2 is an FF-2 (9371) of NAS Norfolk.  The hangars are those of Roosevelt Field, NY.

The SBU-2

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The SBU was one of several aircraft named “Corsair” by its manufacturer, Vought.  A speedy scout bomber when it entered service in the mid-30’s, it was soon overtaken by the lightning fast changes in aviation of that era.  Even so, it stayed around as a trainer well in to WWII.  Serving in that role, the aircraft seen here, BuNo 811, crashed in 1943.