The First Landing Aboard USS Shangri La CV-38

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jocko, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. Jocko

    Jocko New Member

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    I'm trying to find out more information on the First Landing aboard the USS Shangri La CV-38.

    It occurred during "Sir Shang"'s shakedown cruise to Trinidad, B.W.I., during 15 September to 21 December 1944. The pilot was CDR W. A. Sherrill, who I believe was the CO of VF-85. The aircraft I believe was an F-4U-1C Corsair. What was the exact date of the landing? What was the approximate location of the ship?

    I know that the CAG of Air Group 85, at that time was CDR J. F. Wigelius. Who was CDR Quilter and what is his significance to the event?

    Could this first landing have taken place as late as 12 December 1944, almost at the end of the shakedown cruise?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Jocko :?:
     
  2. AL Schlageter

    AL Schlageter Banned

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    It would have to be before Nov 15 as that is when the P-51 did its carrier qualification trial.
     
  3. ektra79

    ektra79 New Member

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    Jocko,

    I did a little digging in my library and came up with the entry below. If you want the information on the source material let me know.

    "On September 15, 1944, the USS Shangri-La CV-38 was commissioned with Captain James D. Bainer in command. A preliminary trial run was conducted in Chesapeake Bay on October 15. That same day, Commander Wallace A. Sherrill of Carrier Air Group 85 made the first landing aboard her, flying a TBM Avenger.

    By November 4 all shakedown maneuvers were completed and the carrier reported for duty with the Atlantic Fleet operating out of Norfolk. Air Group 85 reported aboard.

    A series of experimental flights was conducted on November 15...Upon conclusion of the tests the carrier returned to home port and stored provisions for a trip to Trinidad."

    Hope this helps -

    Tim
     
  4. Jocko

    Jocko New Member

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    Tim,

    Thank you for the information. The date really helps. Yes, I was curious to know the source material.

    Regards,

    Jocko :D
     
  5. ektra79

    ektra79 New Member

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    Jocko,

    The text quoted above comes from Gareth Pawlowski's book Flat-tops and Fledglings. It gives histories of all carriers through CV-67, usually 6-12 pages in length for each. While they don't go in-depth into specific operations, they do provide all the milestone events for each carrier: first/last landing, launching/commissioning,etc.

    Tim
     
  6. ShangHist

    ShangHist New Member

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    Jocko,

    The first landing aboard SHANGRI-LA was on October 15, 1944. Here is information from the ship's deck log for that day.

    0000hrs. In Norfolk Navy Yard as before.

    0700hrs. Underway for scheduled builder's trials in southern part of Chesapeake Bay.

    0800hrs. Position - proceeding down Elizabeth River buoyed channel, with Craney Island abeam to port.

    1030hrs. Sounded flight quarters for initial air operation of this vessel, with LCDR L. A. WHITNEY, USN, COMAIRLANT staff, at the landing signal station.

    1132hrs. CDR W. SHERRILL, USN, COMMANDER AIR GROUP 85, opened the air operations with a perfect initial, followed by four successful landings.

    Passengers: LCDR C. W. DOUGHERTY and LT MCDOWELL. Aircraft: TBM-3, Bureau no. 23085

    1151hrs. Secured from flight quarters.

    1200hrs. Position: Lat. 37-20.45N, Long. 76-06.12W.

    1708hrs. Anchored in Berth Zebra, Hampton Roads.


    Capt James D. Barner was the ship's CO; Cdr John F. Quilter was the XO; Cdr F. E. Wigelius was the Air Boss; Cdr Wallace A. Sherrill was CAG-85; Cdr Warren W. Ford was CO of VF-85.

    Experimental tests were conducted on November 15, 1944 in the local op area (Atlantic Ocean) with the P-51 Mustang (Navy designation Sea Horse), F7F-1 Tigercat, and PBJ-1H (B-25). The PBJ was damaged during one of the landings and it was retained aboard overnight for repairs. It was launched the next afternoon in the Chesapeake Bay and it returned to Philadelphia.

    The ship's shakedown cruise was to the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad from November 21, 1944 (departed Norfolk) to December 21, 1944 (returned Norfolk).

    VF-85 was equipped with F4U-1Ds until February 5, 1945, when the -1Cs were hoisted aboard SHANGRI-LA in San Diego. VBF-85, which was formed January 2, 1945, was assigned -1Ds.

    Hope you find this information useful. We are proud of our ship's history and the men who served aboard her.

    Bob Ketenheim
    Historian
    USS SHANGRI-LA Association
    uss shangri-la assn.
    VBF-85.COM January 1945 until September 1945
     
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