GRUMMAN F9F COUGAR (~1956-1959)
OK here is one for you CVA 20 guys, if this plane didn't say VA 192 on the side, I would have sworn this was Bobby Quinn's plane. except, I am sure Bobby had a shamrock on the side of his plane. (Bobby was a plane captain in VF 72)
The photo you sent is a Grumman F9F Cougar, the successor to the Grumman F9F Panther. The Panther had straight wings with tip tanks and served in the Korean war. The Chance-Vought Cutlass had twin engines, twin rudders and a very high nose gear. The Cutlass never entered regular service, its life being short-lived. The Cougar was aboard during my service on Bennington, 1956 - 1959.
Enclosed (ABOVE) is a very poor scan of a Chance-Vought Cutlass coming aboard Bennington. Note the high nose gear, twin engines and the barely visible twin rudders.
Fred A. Flores
The designation for the Cutlass is F7U-3M in the group of photos found under GRUMMAN F9F COUGAR (~1956-1959) The Cutlass had a nick name of the "Gutless Cutlass" That was one fine looking a/c in the air.
I was in one of the first squadrons that received them back in August 1955 - Attack Squadron 86.
In 1956, we made the shake down cruise on the USS Forrestal CVA-59.
On our way to the Gitmo area, the squadron received a urgent message to cease all carrier operations.
The reason that high nose gear wasn't strong enough for landing aboard a carrier.
There were a few Cutlass's that when landing, the nose gear went through the cockpit and ejected the pilot (before the days of the Martin-Baker ejection seats) and the pilot was killed.
VA-86 was lucky that we didn't loose any pilot's on carrier operations.
All a/c were launched once we got into the Gitmo area. On the way back, they loading all by crane.
And when we got close to Norfolk, they catapulted all flyable a/c.
I think there was one that was down and couldn't go - they had to tow that from Norfolk to NAS Oceana.
Shortly after that, we transitioned to the A4D.
Hope to see you Bennington in August.
Ready For Action Aft
Look What is Forward