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Old 13th July 2017, 14:27
dvas16 dvas16 is offline
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Research Help

Hello to all of you.
Is there anyway were i can find the individual aircraft number of a USN Squadron as the only data i find in after action reports is the Bu.Nu.
Any help will be deeply appreciated.

Kind regards
Dimitris
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Old 13th July 2017, 15:39
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: Research Help

Squadron numbers can sometimes be found in the ship's deck log. And sometimes you can find a match with photographs. If you can tell me the date, squadron, and pilot I can check my files.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Old 13th July 2017, 16:37
dvas16 dvas16 is offline
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Re: Research Help

Thank you Mr Frank I ll do my list and send it over. It's about four pilots. Could you send me your email? Otherwise I'll send a pm.

Thanks again.
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Old 14th July 2017, 11:31
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: Research Help

I should perhaps have been more explicit. To the best of my knowledge there are no surviving USN/USMC records which list the BuNo and/or squadron code, and pilot for each mission flown. For a given pilot, if you can locate his flight log it should have all his flights with BuNo and length, and possible indication of target and claims. These were supposed to be filled out by a yeoman aboard ship, and typically returned to a pilot at the end of a cruise/tour. Flight logs were not considered government property and would be kept by a pilot after leaving service. Any held by the USN/USMC at the end of the war would be returned to the pilot, or to his family, or most likely discarded if no beneficiary could be located. They may be in museums at this point, but they are not in any archive, like NARA.

BuNos and sometimes squadron codes, will only appear in a deck log as a result of an accident or loss (combat or operational). And not every carrier did this consistently. There is a set of four folders at NARA II in RG 24 which lists most aircraft losses outside the US, with the BuNo, squadron, date, and usually the pilot (but not any other crew members). They are coded as to cause.

So, unless you have someone's flight log, or you know the aircraft was lost and/or a crew member killed, you are not going to have much luck trying to track down a BuNo or squadron code. In case of an accident photographs might help with the squadron code. In which case you can investigate RG 80 in the Still Pictures section at NARA II. However photographs of pilots sitting in the cockpit are usually worthless in establishing a squadron code, since they frequently just lined the pilots up in "score order" starting at zero, and took pictures; added a meatball decal to the side of the plane, and continued shooting pictures until they finished with the highest scorer.

A pilot in combat, afloat or ashore, rarely had an assigned aircraft they he flew regularly. The exceptions would be the Group commander (CAG) or a squadron commander (rare).

Enjoy!

Frank.
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