Odd PV-2 accident

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by VBF-13, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Here's how it sets up:

    - 18 Feb–1Mar 1945: VPB-142 boarded Intrepid (CV 11) for transportation to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, arriving on 24 February. The squadron became operational at NAS Kaneohe on 1 March, and commenced combat training and operational patrols in Hawaiian waters. Retrofits on the landing gear and gas tanks of the Harpoons delayed training somewhat. The new APA-16 radar bombsight was also installed on squadron aircraft during this period, greatly improving the Harpoon’s hitting ability in both day and night attacks.

    - 27 Mar–20 Apr 1945: Six of the squadron aircraft were flown to Midway for experience in operational combat patrols. On 2 April, the squadron had its first casualty of this combat tour when Lieutenant (jg) Allen W. Keagle struck the cable of a towed target sleeve, causing the aircraft to spin into the ocean. The entire crew was lost in the crash.

    This is from the DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS—Volume 2. It's confirmed in a number of other sources.

    If this, indeed, happened as reported, an FM-2 from FAW-2 was towing this sleeve. It had to have taken on some kind of damage. Yet, nowhere do I find it mentioned, neither in connection with this incident, nor elsewhere. I think that's odd. I mean, if this PV-2 actually went down, as they say, for hitting a tow line.
     
  2. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    I have an F6F-5 going down in those waters on that date but those weren't rigged to tow. If they were, that's news to me.

    4/2/1945 | PV-2 | 37096 | VPB-142 | KANEOHE | HAWAII | ECENPAC
    4/2/1945 | F6F-5 | 70867 | POOL | KANEOHE | HAWAII | ECENPAC

    Source: USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List April 1945
     
  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Why do we assume the towing aircraft sufferred damage? The target sleeve is most likely very light weight but of durable material, connected via a low tensile strength cable over 300ft+ long and with a safety disconnect (mechanical fuse). The towing airplane typically had to make a max takeoff run to get the target airborne and clear any ground obstacles. These targets could physically be 50ft long and 5ft tall with a metal bar in the forend to keep the target furled and a metal weight attached via wire to keep it vertical. You can imagine what that would do if you ran into it at altitude, it wrapped around your prop/engines or tail and that metal bar and weight hit your plane it the target closing speeds. Certainly could be catastrophic.
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Corsairs were equipped for target towing (see VF-14)
     
  5. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    #5 VBF-13, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
    Good information, Matt. I'll figure the wire must have come dislodged, then. I don't know that any other aircraft besides FM-2s target-towed in Kaneohe in 1945, though. If they did, I never heard it. They had a lot of other squadrons, there, but, from what I know, FAW-2 did the tows, and I believe those were exclusively in FM-2s.
     
  6. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    #6 Matt308, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
    Like I said, VF-14 did target towing. Dont know deployment.
     
  7. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    #7 VBF-13, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
    This is what I got from VF-14 Squadron History:

    "Late 1944 had seen a move to the Pacific theatre of war. Now flying SB2C Helldivers off the carrier USS Bunker Hill the Tophatters fought in the latter stages of the island hopping campaign. In 1945, for the last few months of the war, they switched to the USS Essex and took part in actions over Iwo Jima, Tokyo and Okinawa."

    Your point, though, is that they did rig other aircraft for tows. I just don't think they did that at NAS Kaneohe, in 1945. Here's a photo of their towing aircraft (background). Again, the only thing I could figure, now, is, you're right, the tow line came dislodged, and the tow aircraft didn't sustain any damage. I doubt that F6F-5 I referenced was the tow aircraft. My Dad's squadron finished off in those on the Saratoga, which was stationed at Pearl. My Dad got out there ahead of the bulk of the squadron, and settled in at NAS Kaneohe. When he wasn't target-towing, there, in his FM-2, he took carrier training in F6Fs with the squadron on the Saratoga. That's why this question is somewhat of a curious one to me. Certainly, though, as you noted, a PV-2 could easily go down hitting a line.
     

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