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WHEEL CHAIR SEVEN

TF-1Z

BUNO 136791

 

On the morning of July 9th, 1956 ( at 0948 to be exact ) Joseph Gaeta of Grumman Iron Works, lifted off Grumman Aircraft's newest addition to the Navy Fleet, from the runway at Bethpage, Long Island. One hour and two minutes later he set her back down again from the first of many flights spanning the last 41 years. It is lost to history just exactly what happened during that flight, but it was noted that it was rather uneventful. The rest of her life has not always been that way.

 

The Navy's first official C.O.D.'s (  [C]arrier [O]nboard [D]elivery ) were the TBM's of the 40's and 50's that had their interiors configured to accommodated cargo and passengers. These planes were normally a part of the ship's company, or attached to some near by Naval Air Station. However, during, and after, the Korean War most were attached to a number of squadrons, including VR-21, to which 136791 would be attached in the future. In the early 50's, many of the TBM's were replaced by AD-3's, and -4's, which also had their interiors reconfigured.

 

Then came the TF-1.......

 

The Grumman TF-1 Trader ( later redesiginated the C-1A ) was the first aircraft built from the ground up to perform the C.O.D. duties that still are carried on by a Grumman aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound, supplemented by the Lockheed US-3A ' Hoover ' which is a conversion of the S-3A  Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft. The C.O.D. is normally the most welcome aircraft to be retrieved aboard ship as they bring the mail, the fresh fruit and vegetables, your replacement, and your ride home. LCDR. Tex Houston tells of a take off from a carrier on Yankee Station on Christmas Day where he heard some pounding on his side window. Looking out to see who and why some one was trying to get his attention, he saw a " Green Shirt " holding up the palm of his hand, where there was written in ball point,

 

" GOT THREE GREAT LETTERS!!

THANKS C.O.D.

MERRY XMAS! "