Additional (Corrected) Info About VT-8

Eventhough I now live in Virginia, I still volunteer for the USS Midway Carrier Museum in their Library.  One of my library shipmates, Carl Snow, provided more accurate information about the crew and layout of the plane.

From Mr. Carl Snow:

In the TBF-1 that VT-8 flew, there were three positions: the pilot, the turret gunner, and the radioman. The turret gunner manned the single .50 caliber machine gun in the powered turret and was almost always an Aviation Machinist’s Mate petty officer. The radioman was in the compartment below and behind the turret gunner and operated the radio equipment. He was an Aviation Radioman petty officer. He had a single .30 caliber machine gun that protruded through a window at the bottom rear of the fuselage, just in front of the tail wheel. If it had to be fired, the Radioman would fire it, but his primary duties were radio communication (he made sure that the pilot’s radio was tuned to the correct frequency and operational, in addition to monitoring any other necessary communication). The “other” .30 caliber gun was mounted forward of the pilot’s cockpit and fired by the pilot through the propeller with an interrupter gear synchronized with the propeller blades. This was soon deleted as inadequate and unnecessary, and replaced by two .50 caliber machine guns in the wings, also fired by the pilot.
AM3 Ferrier was an Aviation Machinist’s Mate third class and not an Airman third class. He manned the turret gun and not the radio, although he could talk to the other two crewmen by internal communication (intercom). Sadly the Radioman did not survive the flight, and AM3 Ferrier was seriously wounded.
Thanks for the correct dope, Carl.
Much obliged,
Pat

 

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6 thoughts on “Additional (Corrected) Info About VT-8”

    1. It is well worth the trip. Many of the docents actually served on the Midway or similar carriers. It was voted the best museum in California and the number one attraction in San Diego. Allow several hours if you want to tour the entire ship. The library is not open to the public but you might be interested in the Master Crew List that the Library is maintaining.

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    1. GP The Master Crew List is not open to the public. If you know someone (friend or family member) who served on the Midway, the Library staff will be happy to look the crew member’s name up for you and provide any information they have collected. Possible info includes when he was aboard, their rank/rate, which Division he was in, maybe where he went next, which page of the cruise book his picture might be found, whether he was ever mentioned in the deck log, and any mention in the POD, irregular ship’s newsletters or magazines.

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  1. I believe that shooting a machine gun through the propellers began in WWI. I am not aware of any documented disasters but I know the locations of the guns were always redesigned so it does make you wonder why. Disastrous consequences could be an explanation.

    Liked by 2 people

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