CV Ops Old School

Since URR shared Chinese CV ops with us, I’mma steal from CDR Salamander and share some great old video of how we used to do it. USS Randolph (CV-15) was an Essex class carrier. As of the film in 1954, it was still a straight deck carrier, and the cats were still hydraulic, not steam. And there was no more advanced landing aid than the LSO. The mirror and angle deck were still just a bit in the future.


Like I said on URR’s post, when the USN transitioned from straight deck Essex ships to big deck carriers such as the Forrestal (CV-59) class, almost every aspect of CV operations changed.  Steam cats replaced hydraulics, angle decks and bolters replaced taking a cut, and heading for the barrier. The Fresnel lens (originally, a mirror was used) provided the meatball, greatly improving the pilot’s ability to visualize his approach, especially at night. Cyclic operations became a possibility, rather than the traditional deck load strike. And all this took place in the space of a very, very few years, while also introducing an astonishing number of new types into the fleet, and still operating piston engine types.  To think the Chinese will not be able to master at least some level of competency in CV ops is hubris. Will Liaoning ever be the equal of a Nimitz class? Of course not. But will the PLAN learn to operate her in a manner that fulfills their operational needs? Or at least serves as a viable training platform to help them design and build a successful follow on CV? I’d bet it will.

A couple of things I enjoyed seeing- look closely, and you’ll see they’ve brought along an SNJ as a hack. The gunnery practice part was pretty neat. Despite being open mounts, the 5”/38 battery is indeed a base ring mount design. I think the fire control system is the Mk63, but I’m not certain. There’s also the 3”/50 battery for closer in work.  When they show the escorts firing, I was really struck by the rate of fire.

Finally, why the hell can’t the Navy go back to dungarees?

4 thoughts on “CV Ops Old School”

  1. I can’t remember if I posted my reaction to seeing “blueberries” when I was in SD back in July 2011. They had a change of command ceremony for the supply center across the street and a bunch of sailors in Blueberries came over to break down the set up on Midway’s flight deck and elevator. I had a hard time not laughing at the uniform. It looks ridiculous and lubberly. I’d go back to dungarees in a heart beat, and I think the enlisted ranks would as well.

  2. Question, “Finally, why the hell gave the Navy go back to dungarees?”

    This is just my personal opinion, but I believe time will prove it to be true. There is a simple, but complex answer, that raises more questions. My answer would be this, “You are asking the US Navy to use common sense. This thing we call common sense, when was the last time that you actually saw it actually being used? I wonder, does the US Navy actually believe they can wear out common sense? Common sense is not all that common.”

  3. If they went back to dungarees and chambray shirts,
    A) That would embarrass the Flag who made his mark in deveoping the blueberries

    B) They would LOOK like UNITED STATES NAVY SAILORS, Sailors of the Fleet that sailed where it wanted to, and did what it wanted to, when it got there, the Fleet that ate the extremely professional and powerful Nihon Kaigun alive in 1943-45.

    C ) Looking like USN Sailors is threatening and intimidating to the Nasties, so it is better for them to look like members of some 3rd World joke navy, rather than the most powerful NAVY the world has ever seen. Hence, A Global Force For Good replacing KILL! KILL! KILL!

  4. Just a thought, if we win back to a US Navy wearing dungarees, does that start a new precedent? If the Navy goes back, does that mean the rest of the branches go back to fatigues with spit-shined shoes and all-leather jump boots? “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” The last thing, don’t forget a liberal dose of starch. Then you could take the pants and stand them up and lean them against the wall. PLEASE, do not starch the underwear, that really chafes. Thank you.

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