Monday, January 11, 2021

USS Yorktown - The Flight Deck - The Eyes And Ears Of The Fleet


The Grumman S-2 Tracker

The Grumman S-2 Tracker, or the "Stoof", introduced in 1952, was the first Anti-submarine warfare aircraft designed specifically as an ASW aircraft for the US Navy.  The Tracker and served on Essex-class carriers like the USS Yorktown and others.

The Tracker served as an ASW aircraft and as search and rescue operations with multiple foreign nations from both carriers and land based stations.  

The only remaining country  to operate the Trackers operationally in their military is Argentina.  

Trackers still continue to serve and fly today in civilian hands as water-bombers.

The Grumman E1-B Tracer

The "Stoof with a Roof" was Grumman's Airborne Early Warning aircraft.

The Tracer could and did operate from the decks of the Essex-class carriers, providing airborne early warning and control to Navy aircraft.

 and served in the fleet from 1959-1977 when it was completely replaced by the E2-A Hawkeye, which was too heavy to operate off of an Essex-class carrier.

Douglas EA-3B Skywarrior

Another huge aircraft on deck. Note the person standing helpfully to the left for scale. The Skywarrior was the heaviest operational aircraft to operate from a US Carrier, but it did indeed operate from the Essex-class carriers as well as their larger successors.

Originally designed as a nuclear heavy bomber for the Navy, it entered service in 1956.  The EA-3B was quickly phased out of nuclear attack with the ballistic missile submarine taking over the nuclear role, and it soon took on an electronic warfare and reconnaissance role.

The EA-3B served on through the first Gulf War, and was retired from service in 1991.

The number on this electronic warfare plane - 007.


drjim said...

I wonder if those were the last radial-engine aircraft to fly with the USN?

Old NFO said...

Ah yes, the Stoof with a roof... I have a couple of hundred hours in a regular Stoof... Friend of mine was in an A3D crash off the USS AMERICA during 'Nam, and the ALL survived!!! Raytheon Flight Test Office at Van Nuys had the last ones flying up until 2012. Their callsign was Dinosaur. :-)