Rich Kirsch's Photo Lab Photo Galleries
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We now take you into the Aircraft Section of the my "Fighting Hannah" Photo Gallery. I
stood (or sat) at my Photo Station many times to capture these photos - not all of them are my personal contribution
to the Ship's photographic History, but I did participate a great deal in adding to this fine collection of photographs,
many of which are not included here, but may be found at the Naval Historical Center Website, or at NavSource.org and many other fine Naval History sites around the Internet. I would
like to think I played a part in the whole scheme of Naval Photography. I am proud of my little contribution to
Many of the photos that I personally snapped while aboard
ship, were taken while I was at my Photo Station depicted here from a photo I snapped while visiting the U.S.S.
Hornet CV-12 Museum which is now located
at old NAS, Alameda, California, Pier #3... that was the Hancock's homeport during the post 1956 refitting through
the Vietnam years, until her decommissioning in 1976:
The USS Hornet (CVA-12) - a Naval Museum now
Click photo to see a Close-up of my Photo Station on the Island
CD-Rom users Click Here
is in the dires and needs your help and support so
that she can continue afloat as a Naval Sea and Air
Museum.. without which, she could be sunk as a Reef
visit here to offer your Financial Support Now.
The History of Photography in the Navy can be found here. I encourage you to go
there for a brief stay to learn how much Photography has played a part in Naval Aviation as well as in all areas
of the United States Navy.
Photo Gallery #2
Aircraft which were Launced
from the HANCOCK's Deck
Photos marked with the † are from the Hancock Photo Lab
Photos marked with § by Richard Kirsch
AIRCRAFT AND AIR OPERATIONS
LAUNCHES AND TRAPS
In the Beginning, the F7U Cutlass was the first twin engine Jet with afterburners to
be launched from our Deck - we were not prepared. The first launch produced dangerous conditions when the wood
deck caught fire.. later a steel plate was installed before the Deflector Shield. Here you see Firemen spraying
water to cool down the Deck to avoid a fire. I was scalded from the Steam while standing at my Photo Station attached
to the Island Structure. Read my story in my Oral History here.
An F7U-3 Cutlass at full throttle for Launch †
Can you still hear the roar?
An F7U-3 Cutlass getting the 'high sign' from a yellow shirt †
The Cutlass was the first carrier-based jet with afterburners †
A Launch Sequence †
Top left AD5s, right Panther
bottom left and right - cougars
Lifting a Cougar aboard dockside using crane †
Cougars on Port side elevator §
Mixed deck of Spotted Douglas AD-5's and F9F Cougars on the rear flight deck §
"Prepare to launch the Jets!" §
Grumman S2F-1Tracker leaving the deck †
A McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee parked on Port side amidships. Planes on elevator is an AD5
Crash of a Douglas AD5 which missed arresting gear but caught first wire barrier †
Douglas F3D-2 Skyknight 'night fighter' §
All-weather carrier-based Fighter Pilot & Radar Observer
Tail hook is down on approach..
"We didn't see too many of
these" - Rich Kirsch
June 17, 1954 marked the first time a Jet powered Aircraft was launched from the deck
USS Hancock when an F2H-3 Banshee #71, piloted by Lt(jg) W.T. Brooks made Hancock History..
The Banshee was also the fastest Jet Aircraft at the time.
A McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee on approach §
In this cockpit sits one very rattled pilot... †§
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Continue on to the Next Page (Page #3) as we take a look at the Aircraft that the HANCOCK launched
during this period we call the HANCOCK'S Middle Years... the "Trap" sequences continue...
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Photo Lab Crew Page
U.S.S. Hancock CV/CVA-19 Memorial Galleries Launch
Click Liberty Launch or Here