Douglas BTD-1

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Airman 1st Class
Dec 11, 2020
From 1977-79, I worked at the Naval Air Rework Facility in Norfolk VA. At that time they were just emptying out the last of the post-WW2 storage sheds where there were some amazing and rare aircraft, so unfortunately I only got to see a few. I saw the mixed-propulsion Curtiss XF15C but got no photos of it; luckily it's still in existence at a museum in Hickory NC although I believe it's being displayed outside, which in that climate isn't ideal. I also saw one of the very few Douglas BTD-1s, which apparently is in limbo somewhere now, belonging to the Naval Aviation Museum but on loan to a place in Tennessee for restoration; they have a website but I'm told that they're actually closed permanently. That one I did manage to take a couple of photos of, and over the years I've searched through all my collections without finding them, so I thought I must have lost them. Today I found them tucked into an album that I'd misplaced, and thought I'd share them here. I particularly remember this aircraft because it had suffered some damage to the vertical tail at some point, which I see has been repaired on it now. One of the photos is good, the other is way underexposed but I include it anyway, just because I'm so pleased to have found it at all!
Old Norfolk airplane photo 1.jpg
Old Norfolk airplane photo 2.jpg
Found 1 more, also underexposed but not quite so badly. And behind it, on the extreme left, is the airplane my group was responsible for, the immortal RF-8G. I love Crusaders!
Old Norfolk airplane photo 3.jpg
There was also a Kawanishi H8K seaplane sitting out on what was called Breezy Point for years, and I believe it's the one that's on display in Japan now. The Convair XFY Pogo sat in front of one of the buildings on base in a nice little grassy area that I drove by every day, got a photo of that somewhere. A Vought-Sikorsky VS-44 seaplane showed up one day behind one of our buildings, looking bedraggled and having obviously suffered an engine fire; it had belonged to Maureen O'Hara's husband and was put on a barge (the airplane, not the husband) and sent down with some other things to Pensacola, but today it's been restored and it's in the New England Air Museum. An F4U flew in one day but then sat for many months in decrepitude over on one of the ramps. A TBM or TBF cycled through too, or maybe that was a year or two earlier when I worked at another NARF, the one at Cherry Point. I have photos of that one around here, just saw them recently. Fun times for a young airplane nut like me!

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