Monday, April 14, 2014

Trivia...

Did you know about the paddlewheel aircraft carriers of the USN? Among other chores, they were used to test early Navy attack drones.


18 comments:

Sabre22 said...

I know a little bit i think they were mostly used for training carrier pilots on the Great lakes

Tam said...

" they were mostly used for training carrier pilots on the Great lakes"

That was their reason for being, yes.

staghounds said...

Was any other country than the US big enough to actually build practice aircraft carriers rather than using old worn out ones?

Tam said...

To be fair, I don't think there were any old, worn out carriers in the world in the early '40s. Furious had only had her full-length flight deck for fifteen years at the time.

Tam said...

Nevertheless, building special fresh-water miniature training carriers was pretty decadent.

D.W. Drang said...

Woulda swore I blogged about those... somewhere... once...

One of these years I'll get my tags all straightened out... I think I need a month of Sick Leave.

NAVIGATOR said...

HUZZAH TAMARA !

YOU DISCOVERED TWO OF OUR "SECRET"
TASK GROUPS OF WW II !

THEY WERE THE USS WOLVERINE (IX-64)

AND THE USS SABLE (IX-81)

THESE TWO VENERABLE LAKERS CONTRIBUTED MUCH TO THE WAS EFFORT
TRAINING THOUSANDS OF PILOTS AIRCREWS FLIGHT DECK PERSONNEL AND SERVING AS A TEST BED FOR CARRIER
EQUIPMENT

STATIONED IN THE GREAT LAKES THEY
COULD GIVE THE BASIC TRAINING FOR
FLIGHT OPERATIONS OFF A CARRIER WITHOUT RISKING A TORPEDO RUINING THEIR DAY

CONSIDERING MARITIME RESOURCES AT THE TIME AND A TWO OCEAN WAR GOING
ON WITH ALL SORTS OF SHORTAGES AND PRIORITIES THEY PUT TOGETHER A PACKAGE IN A VERY SHORT LENGTH OF TIME AND IT DID THE JOB RATHER WELL !

COAL FIRED SCOTCH BOILERS
INCLINED COMPOUND ENGINES
DRIVING TWO PADDLE WHEELS
PRODUCING SOMETHING LESS THAN 10,000 IHP = 16 KNOTS
RECONSTRUCTED FROM NON CRITICAL LOCAL MATERIALS AND USING LOCAL
SHIPWRIGHTS AND SHIPYARDS TRAINING
THOUSANDS SAFE FROM A VERY CAPABLE ENEMY NOT DECADENT AT ALL ! SMART!

YOU CAN LOOK UP QUITE A BIT ABOUT THEM FROM THE STEAMSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICAS HOLDINGS AS WELL AS THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Larry said...

Dang you woman. you are killing me on this wiki wander. Started at Paddlewheel carriers and attack drones- history of UAVs-Target drones - use of BQM-74 Chukars as decoys during the initial Gulf war opening air attacks- stealth aircraft-F117- B2 ... and sidetrips to JDAM, ADM-141A/B TALD and others

been at for and hour and still going

THANKS TAM :)

Angus McThag said...

The Naval History Museum has a whole exhibit on the planes lost in training on Lake Michigan from those carriers; including a short film.

Steve C said...

The Sable and Wolverine were not new construction. They took a couple of old excursion boats ripped off the superstructure and decked them. they did not have a hanger deck, elevators, or catapult. The aircraft were based at Great Lakes NAS and were not based on the carriers. One of the pilots that trained on them was George Bush the Elder. Due to these training operations, there are a lot of WW II aircraft on the bottom of Lake Michigan in very good condition.

Tam said...

"The Sable and Wolverine were not new construction."

Yes, I know that.

Tam said...

"they did not have a hanger deck, elevators, or catapult. The aircraft were based at Great Lakes NAS and were not based on the carriers."

Yes, I know that, too.

Kristophr said...

I thought I was Captain Obvious ...

Comrade Misfit said...

They were probably the only coal-fired aircraft carriers every operational (other than maybe a couple of Great War balloon tenders).

Anonymous said...

I read about the two paddlewheel carriers a while back. It seems there are around 300 WWII aircraft at the bottom of Lake Michigan as a result of training accidents. If the pilot they are wargraves and hence sacred. If the pilot survived they are eligible for salvage and since the planes are in cold, dark freshwater they are remarkably well preserved.
A friend tells me that two such recovered aircraft, a Dauntless and a Hellcat are in the terminal at O'Hare.

Al_in_Ottawa

Anonymous said...

Yup. These were tied up to Navy Pier (well before the Silversides was there) and some of the few training ships to see a real German U-Boat. (They were still around, I believe when the U-505 was pulled ashore for the Museum of Science and Industry.)

They have recovered some of the aircraft from lake Michigan and have been restoring them.

Joseph from IL

markm said...

As for "worn-out aircraft carriers", the US certainly didn't have any until late in the war, when there were sufficient escort carriers (converted freighters) to allow the half-sized and somewhat slow CV-4 USS Ranger to be transferred from Atlantic antisubmarine patrol to training.And that only happened after the engineers convinced the CNO that a new carrier could be built faster than the Ranger could be lengthened and re-engined to keep up with the big boys.

But the Ranger was bigger and nearly twice as fast as the first ship designated as a carrier CV-1 USS Langley. She was converted from a collier in 1920, and she might have been used as a training carrier, except that in 1936 she had been converted to a seaplane tender. She was acting as a freighter again, delivering crated Army P-40's to Java, when she was sunk in February 1942.

Geodkyt said...

I can't help but look at that photo and think, "Geez, I could install the AN/SLQ-59's there, the Nulkas there, slap some sponsons for SeaRAM there and there. . . "

Hazard of my job, I guess. . . LOL