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Rich Kirsch's "Fighting Hannah"
U.S.S. Hancock CVA-19
OA/OP Division Photo Lab
1953-1955

www.richkirschsfightinghannah.com

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Rich Kirsch's Photo Lab Photo Galleries

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Meet Rich KirschWe 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 it all.

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:

Click photo to see a Close-up of my Photo Station on the Island
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Here

Click Image for Larger View
The USS Hornet (CVA-12) - a Naval Museum now
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
Please 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

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.

A F7U-3 Cutlass at full throttle for Launch
An F7U-3 Cutlass at full throttle for Launch
Can you still hear the roar?

 F7U-3 Cutlass getting the 'high sign' from a yellow shirt
An F7U-3 Cutlass getting the 'high sign' from a yellow shirt


The Cutlass was the first carrier-based jet with afterburners
The Cutlass was the first carrier-based jet with afterburners

A Launch medley
A Launch Sequence
Top left AD5s, right Panther
bottom left and right - cougars

Lifting a Cougar aboard dockside using crane
Lifting a Cougar aboard dockside using crane


Cougars on Port side elevator
Cougars on Port side elevator §


Mixed deck of Spotted Douglas AD-5's and F9F Cougars on the rear flight deck
Mixed deck of Spotted Douglas AD-5's and F9F Cougars on the rear flight deck §


Setting up a Cougar launch sequence
"
Prepare to launch the Jets!" §

Grumman S2F-1Tracker leaving the deck
Grumman S2F-1Tracker leaving the deck

A McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee parked on Port side amidships. Planes on elevator is an AD5

TRAPS

Crash of a Douglas AD5 which missed arresting gear but caught first wire barrier
Crash of a Douglas AD5 which missed arresting gear but caught first wire barrier

Douglas F3D-2 Skyknight 'night fighter'
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

Click Picture for a Larger View

June 17, 1954 marked the first time a Jet powered Aircraft was launched from the deck of the
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
A McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee on approach §

In the cockpit sits one very rattled pilot
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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 31 May 2008