USA: Warplanes of the Second World War preserved: Vought OS2U Kingfisher

Vought OS2U Kingfisher

Vought OS2U-1 Kingfisher in flight.  (USN Photo)

The Vought OS2U Kingfisher is an American catapult-launched observation floatplane. It was a compact mid-wing monoplane, with a large central float and small stabilizing floats. Performance was modest because of its low-powered engine. The OS2U could also operate on fixed, wheeled, taildragger landing gear. The OS2U was the main shipboard observation seaplane used by the United States Navy during the Second World War, and 1,519 of the aircraft were built.

The Kingfisher served on battleships and cruisers of the U.S. Navy, with the United States Marine Corps in Marine Scouting Squadron Three (VMS-3), with the United States Coast Guard at coastal air stations; at sea with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy; with the Soviet Navy; and with the Royal Australian Air Force.The Naval Aircraft Factory OS2N was the designation of the OS2U-3 aircraft built by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The OS2U first flew on 1 March 1938. (Wikipedia)

(USN Photo)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane is hoisted aboard the U.S. Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), during her shakedown period in the summer of 1944.

(RN Photo, IWM A17648)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher being catapulted from the battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) at Scapa Flow, Scotland (UK) while operating with elements of the British Home Fleet.

(NMNA Photo)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher taxiing towards the recovery sled for recovery by the battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) in April 1943.  The USS South Dakota was operating in the North Atlantic at that time.

(USN Photo)

Vought OS2U-2 Kingfisher (Serial No. 3117), early in 1942.

(Robert Dilley Photo)

(Greg Goebel Photo)

Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher (Serial No. 5926). National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida. It was one of six OS2U-3 Kingfishers that were transferred by Lend-Lease to the National Navy of Uruguay during World War II. This aircraft operated as a seaplane until 1958 and was obtained in 1971.

Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher (BuNo. 1368), painted as (BuNo. 0951), 60.  Obtained years ago from Mexico, this aircraft was previously displayed aboard the battleship Alabama and is now displayed inside the aircraft pavilion adjacent to the battleship in Mobile, Alabama.

(Author Photo)

Vought-Sikorsky OS2U-3 Kingfisher (BuNo. 0951), 60. 5725.  This aircraft was mounted on its launch rail on the battleship USS Alabama.

(USN Photo)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, Aug 1942.

(USMC Photo)

Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher (BuNo. 3073), 8, based on an assigned air group, on board the battleship USS North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina.  With the assistance of a Royal Canadian Air Force Piasecki helicopter, Lynn Garrison salvaged this Kingfisher from Calvert Island, British Columbia, during the winter of 1963.  It crashed there on a ferry flight to Alaska during the Second World War.

(USN Photo)

USS New York (BB 34), placing 3rd OS2U on catapult, May 1943.

(YoSam Photo)

(Adrian Brooks Photo)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher aboard the battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55).  his aircraft is one of the type used by the USS North Carolina during the Second World War, and crashed in 1946 on Calvert Island, British Columbia, Canada, while on a flight to Alaska.  It was restored in 1970-71 by members of Vought Quarter Century Club of Dallas, Texas.

(Ryan Somma Photo)

Vought-Sikorsky OS2U-3 Kingfisher (BuNo. 5909), served on the USS Indiana, May 1942 to Dec 1944.  This aircraft is preserved in the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Virginia. Kingfisher (Serial No. 5909), was on loan from the NASM and placed on display on the USS Massachusetts for many years (1960s to 1980s) until it was returned to the NASM.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher (BuNo. 09643), c/n 2731, in storage with the Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher (Serial No.).  Wreckage recovered from a crash site.  Parts stored in a box in the barn. Virginia Beach, Military Aviation Museum, Virginia.

Vought OS2U (Serial No. 35985), is with Whale World, Albany, Western Australia. It is waiting to be restored. Originally built for the Netherlands Navy in the Dutch East Indies, it was transferred to the RAAF in 1942, serving with Seaplane Training Flight (later 3 OTU) and 107 Sqn before being sold as war surplus in 1945.

(aeroprints Photo)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher (Serial No. 5925), Chilean Navy, Santiago Los Cerillos, Chile.

(aeroprints.com Photo)

Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher (Serial No. 314), Santiago Los Cerillos, Chile.

(Ji-Elle Photo)

Vought-Sikorsky OS2U Kingfisher, (BuNo. 09650), coded 50, Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolución), Havana, Cuba. It is fitted with fixed landing gear rather than a float.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher (BuNo. 35985), Pioneer Aero, Auckland, New Zealand. Currently undergoing restoration. Originally built for Netherlands Navy in Dutch East Indies, it was transferred to the RAAF in 1942, serving with Seaplane Training Flight (later 3 OTU) and 107 Sqn before being sold as war surplus in 1945.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher (Serial No. 5982). Pioneer Aero, Auckland, New Zealand. Currently in Storage for future restoration.

(USN Photo)

U.S. Navy Vought OS2U Kingfisher in flight, c1944. Note the squadron code "2SU1" on the plane. This Kingsisher was possibly assigned to Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 1 (CASU-1) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

(NMNA Photo)

U.S. Navy personnel inspect a damaged hangar at Naval Air Station Ford Island in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 1941.  A destroyed Vought OS2U Kingfisher is visible on the right, another OS2U of Observation Squadron VO-2 is worked on.

(USN Photo)

U.S. Navy Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher floatplane is hoisted on board the USS Missouri (BB-63) after a flight, during the ship's shakedown cruise, circa August 1944.

(USN Photo)

The stern of the U.S. Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) with two of the ship's Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher observation aircraft on the catapults, circa 1944. Note the antiaircraft gun mounts and the crane.

)USN Photo)

A Vought OS2U Kingfisher is launched off the starboard catapult while the port one is preparing to launch in the same direction. There is also a third one resting on a dolly on the deck. Note the many manned 20mm Oerlikons on the aft deck, mid 1944.

(IWM Photo, A 12043)

Catapult Training For Fleet Air Arm Pilots. HMS Pegasus, Originally Named HMS Ark Royal, Is Now USED As a Catapult Training Ship For Fleet Air Arm Personnel. Lamlash, Scotland, September 1942.

(IWM Photo, A 12023)

Catapult Training For Fleet Air Arm Pilots. HMS Pegasus, Originally Named HMS Ark Royal, Is Now USED As a Catapult Training Ship For Fleet Air Arm Personnel. Lamlash, Scotland, September 1942.

(USN Photo)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher (Serial No. A48), coded JE-K, of No. 107 Squadron RAAF.

(Soviet Air Force Photo)

Vought OS2U Kingfisher in Soviet service during the Second World War.

(USAF Photo)

Piasecki CH-125 Workhorse, RCAF (Serial No. 9611) picking up a wrecked USN Vought OS2U Kingfisher from Mount Buxton, British Columbia.

Canadian Minister of Defence, Paull Hellyer, authorized Lynn Garrison's salvage of Vought Kingfisher from Calvert Island, British Columbia utilizing 121 S&R Flight, Sea Island, BC. Flown to Calgary, Alberta by 435 Squadron Hercules. Donated to North Carolina Battleship Commission 1970 Restored by Vought Aeronautics 25 Year Club.

(Lynn Garrison Photo)

The restored Kingfisher salvaged from Calvert Island.

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