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  #1  
Old 22nd September 2016, 14:19
Phil L. Phil L. is offline
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Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

Hello,

I've got a biplan fighter Curtiss F6C-3 A-7144 taken in 1930 or 1931 with 4-J-3 as codes painted on the fuselage. As far as I know at that time there was no VJ-4, so what was the unit? This aircraft was used for a time by the Naval Aircraft Factory, was is possible that 4-J was associated to the NAF?

Thanks

Phil
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  #2  
Old 23rd September 2016, 00:21
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

Quite odd Phil

I have a photo of A-7145 coded 4-J-4 flown by Dwight Harris over NAS Hampton Roads, VA in 1931.

No idea if VJ-4 existed at the time but I doubt the code was for NAF, but then again I have been wrong countless of times....

Neither can I see the relevance of a VJ Squadron having at least two Curtiss fighters at their disposal.

Your A-7144 at one time carried the code 1-R-23 (but due to photo status could easily be 1-F-23)

With regard to your e-mail to me, I have to check with my wife since she carries the computer brain in the family....

Cheers
Stig
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Old 24th September 2016, 04:03
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

1-R-23 (b/n A7144) was a station utility plane at NAS Norfolk in 1930. I don't see any reference to VJ-4 before 1941.

Larkins notes in passing, and referring exactly to this particular airplane, that obsolete fighters were popular as fast, one man, transports, such as if someone needed to quick dash from Norfolk to Anacostia.
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Old 24th September 2016, 09:27
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

Thanks Leonard

So the 'R' letter is then correct. Not sure exactly which year the Navy decided to use this letter instead of J to mean transport, but 1930/31 could fit quite nicely.

Also interesting that the whole scenario here involves these two letters!

I also see that sources use both NAS Hampton Roads and NAS Norfolk which I have always assumed to be the same place. Since at least two of the photos referred to are associated with this NAS there is at least a good chance that Phil's photo also is.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 25th September 2016, 06:25
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

There is no NAS Hampton Roads, it was always, at least up to 1998, NAS Norfolk; the original airfield was Chambers Field. There were eventually an Old Chambers Field and a New Chambers Field. NAS Norfolk was absorbed into Naval Station Norfolk which combined the NAS and Naval Operating Base (NOB) Norfolk.

VR's were Transport Squadrons . . . VR-1 was established at NAS Norfolk, not bothering to look it up, I believe in March 1942.

VJ's were, as has been noted above, Utility Squadrons. Circa 1930, there were three VJ squadrons of which I am aware: VJ-1F, USS Argonne; VJ-2S, USS Wright; and VJ-3S, USS Langley.
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Old 25th September 2016, 09:35
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

Way back when there was a NAS Hampton Roads.

on August 27, 1918, the air detachment became NAS Hampton Roads, a separate station under its own commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Patrick N. L. Bellinger.
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Old 25th September 2016, 12:17
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

Leonard

I am no US Navy expert so I can only state what others do, and 'others' do use Hampton Roads (even Bill Larkins does in many places).

During the 1920s the J letter certainly did mean transport. The Navy used the designation JA and JR for their Super Universal and Trimotor aircraft.

If you check Bill Larkins' US Navy aircraft book, he clearly states Transportation Squadron One (VJ-1) in 1926. Now heavier transporation by air obviously took some time for US Navy to hang on to, so these VJ squadrons established at this time seems to have used a large number of different aircraft, many not readily associated with transports at all.

But if you excuse me saying so, we are diverging away from the topic, which unit used the 4-J-x code during the early 1930s. Since we agree on there was no VJ-4 established at this point, the question posed by Phil is still not solved, even if my money right now is with NAS Hampton Roads/Norfolk.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 10th October 2016, 21:01
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Curtiss F6C-3 coded 4-J-3

The Navy Dep't Appropriation Bill for 1931 talks of a VJ-squadron with 4 planes at NAS Hampton Roads (5th Naval District).
VJ-4 likely here?

Regards,

Leendert
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