Friday, March 7, 2014

The Friday Flyby - 07 March

The Grumman S-2 Tracker (previously S2F prior to 1962) was the first purpose-built, single airframe anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to enter service with the U.S. Navy. Designed and initially built by Grumman, the Tracker was of conventional design with twin engines, a high wing and tricycle undercarriage. The type was exported to a number of navies around the world. Introduced in 1952 the Tracker saw service in the USN until the mid-1970s with a few aircraft remaining in service with other air arms into the 21st century. The last operating fleet is maintained by Argentina and Brazil. - Wikipedia
So it seems that a very good buddy of mine ran into a fellow who used to fly S-2 trackers with VS-24 off of the USS Intrepid during Vietnam. A request was made to showcase the Grumman S-2 Tracker. It's a request I'm honored to fulfill. This one goes out to that naval aviator Murphy met at the local airport. Sir, I salute you and your shipmates!
A U.S. Navy Grumman S-2E Tracker from Anti-Submarine Squadron VS-24 Duty Cats unfolding its wings aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CVS-11). VS-24 was assigned to Carrier Anti-Submarine Air Group 56 (CVSG-56) aboard the Intrepid for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea from 16 April to 15 October 1971.

VS-24 Stoof onboard USS Intrepid
The S-2 carried the nickname "Stoof" (S-two-F) throughout its military career; and the E-1 Tracer variant with the large overhead radome was colloquially called the "stoof with a roof." - Wikipedia
E-1 Tracer "Stoof with a roof"

There was also a COD variant, the C-1 Trader -

Carrier Onboard Delivery, The COD

Old school ASW!

A U.S. Navy Grumman US-2C ''Tracker'' (BuNo 133345) from composite squadron VC-3 ''Chukar Pups''.
VC-3 operated the US-2C as target tugs in the 1960s and 1970s.

S-2 of VS-34, USS Randolph (CV-15)

S-2 Tracker NAS North Island (Sandy Eggo, of course)

S-2 Tracker Cockpit

Plan view of the S-2

Cutaway view of the "Stoof"

S-2 Tracker onboard USS Lexington (CV-16)

Grumman S-2E Tracker of VS-41 on the catapult of USS Bennington (CV-20).

Of course, it's important to remember that Murph's acquaintance served on the USS Intrepid, "on the line". Southeast Asia. Yankee Station.

USS Intrepid (CV/CVA/CVS-11), also known as The Fighting "I", is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in August 1943, Intrepid participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier (CVS). In her second career, she served mainly in the Atlantic, but also participated in the Vietnam War. Her notable achievements include being the recovery ship for a Mercury and a Gemini space mission. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed "the Fighting I".

Decommissioned in 1974, in 1982 Intrepid became the foundation of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. - Wikipedia
USS Nitro (AE-23) and USS Intrepid UNREP* (early 1960s)
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CVS-11) pulls up alongside the Gemini 3 spacecraft during recovery operations following the successful Gemini-Titan 3 flight. Navy swimmers stand on the spacecraft's flotation collar waiting to hook a hoist line to the Gemini 3, on 23 March 1965. Astronauts Virgil Grissom and John Young made history's first controlled re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

Intrepid functioning as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, aviators and maintainers, the S-2 Tracker and the USS Intrepid. They made America proud in their day.

Present...  ARMS!

The old vet showing the new kid around, back in the day.

*UNREP = Underway Replenishment


  1. I like the men in white.

  2. Well, they are sailors. My old NCOs would have them practising present arms for hours. Great post, however.

    1. Heh. I was kinda surprised that all the muzzles in that photo were pointed in the same general direction. Though not at the same angle!

    2. Heh. I think the Chief over to the right of that photo has noticed the, well, let's just call it "the anomaly" and let it go at that.

      Most Air Force types can't march to save their lives either. I have seen this personally, if you're wondering...

  3. Another fine Friday, thanks to you. Have a good weekend.

  4. That honor guard has it easy...
    We had 1917 Springfields (really!).
    They weren't for shooting, they were for show.
    The M-1s were locked up.
    We held them like that so we wouldn't soil our whites.

    Also - We called the Stoof with a Roof the Willy Fudd because back then it was a WF.

    1. I'm thinking that particular honor guard is actually getting ready to fire those M-14s. That's just a guess as they're all wearing ear plugs.

      That also appears to be one of the elevators on a carrier, perhaps a burial at sea?

      The Willy Fudd, I like that.

  5. I like how you sneaked that Viking shot in there! I'm off to watch some guys turning left and going fast for a couple of days. I'll check back in when I return.

    1. I kinda figured you'd like that.

      Have fun at the races.


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