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Location: /Squadron Patches/USN NAVY Squadrons

WWII Patch, USN, VO-3, #2

WWII Patch, USN, VO-3, #2

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WWII US Navy Squadron Patch #2
USN VO-3
Navy Observation Squadron 3
Observation Squadron Three (VO-3), Battleship Division Three / SOC3 and SON-1
USS New Mexico (BB-40): Observation Squadron Three (VO-3) / SOC-3
USS Mississippi (BB-41): Observation Squadron Three (VO-3) / SON-1
USS Idaho (BB-42): Observation Squadron Three (VO-3) / SOC-3

5.25 inches


VO-3 USN Naval Aircraft Factory OS2N Kingfisher Accident Reports
08-10-1942, type= OS2N-1, #01242
,  SQ= VO-3,  USS Idaho (BB-42)              Landing Accident,  destroyed,  USS Idaho at sea,  Observation & Inner Air Patrol
10-10-1942, type= OS2N-1, #01238
,  SQ= VO-3,  USS New Mexico (BB-40)  Landing Accident,  destroyed,  USS New Mexico at sea     Simulate Spotting
11-20-1942, type= OS2N-1
, #01321,  SQ= VO-3,  USS New Mexico (BB-40)  Mid Air Collision,  destroyed,  Oahu Island, Waianae Beach, 3mi.SE,  Pilot Fuqua
11-20-1942, type= OS2N-1
, #01321,  SQ= VO-3,  USS New Mexico (BB-40)  Mid Air Collision,  damaged,  Oahu Island, Waianae Beach, 3mi.SE,  Pilot Wooten
12-25-1942, type= OS2N-1
, #01354,  SQ= VO-3,  USS New Mexico (BB-40)  Taxiing Accident,  damaged,  Fiji, Saweni Beach,  Ferry Flight

USS Idaho and sister ship USS Mississippi departed Iceland two days after Pearl Harbor to join the Pacific Fleet, and arrived at San Francisco, California, via Norfolk, Virginia, and the Panama Canal on January 31 1942. She conducted additional battle exercises in California waters and out of Pearl Harbor until October 1942, when she entered Puget Sound Navy Yard to be regunned.


BB-44
California  The 3 sisters of the New Mexico class were all assigned to BatDiv 3. VO-3 provided a 3 plane Detachment to each of the ships in the division which were identified by the blue tail surfaces. 3 planes is the standard number of aircraft assigned aboard a battleship. These would be the 3 SOC Seagulls (bi-planes). When a fourth aircraft was assigned it was specifically for use of an admiral (note also the the fourth plane does not carry the blue tail of VO-3) (detail 1). In the photo, the battleship has an admiral's flag flying from the top of the foremast (detail 2). These two details add up to the fact that the ship pictured was the flagship of BatDiv3; from 1937 onward that ship was Idaho(BB-42).
The other interesting detail is the fact that the fourth aircraft is an OS2U Kingfisher, rather than an SOC. The first batch of OS2U's entered fleet service between April and December of 1940. the first being assigned to VO-4 on the Colorado(BB-45). Although it is possible that an admiral pulled rank to get the latest and greatest assigned as his personal mount, the presence of this aircraft more than suggests that the date of the photo is late 1939 at best but more likely some time in early 1940.
The case of this photo I know that the SOC's have blue tails because my reference material tells me that ALL of VO-3's A/C had blue on their tails, irregardless of the ship they were assigned to. Unlike Aircraft carriers, who had a specific colors assigned by ship to designate all A/C assigned to a ship, the A/C of VO squadrons were split up among the several ships of a single BatDiv and the color assignment was by Division and not ship. Thus all three of the New Mexico class battleship would have carried blue tail A/C.
The mixed wing is interesting, especially since squadrons usually trained for a specific aircraft. To my mind that reinforces the suggestion that the "odd bird" was not specific to the ship's aviation division but was assigned for a separate function, in this case the Admiral's "Hack" and may in fact be a detachment from a VJ squadron( I've not seen anything that tells me from where the Flag Birds were assigned). With in a year of this photo all SOC's would have been removed from service aboard BB's being replaced by the OS2U. Interestingly, though, the SOC would continue aboard cruisers (especially the inter-war cruiser classes) until after Normandy. This was because that, like most of the first monoplane of a type, the OS2U did not have the ability to fold its wings for better storage in hangers.
I suspect it's the XOS2U-1, which would account for its lack of color (Flag Planes would have been dark blue.) or apparent markings.

Price: $85.00


Product Code: PatchUSN.003.VO3.v2
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