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Author Topic: USS Small Fry old photos  (Read 46051 times)

Offline Bob Hunt

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USS Small Fry old photos
« on: March 16, 2024, 06:55:52 AM »
I thought you Carrier guys might be interested in a couple of old photos I found that my father took at one of the early Willow Grove Nats. I'm pretty sure these were taken by dad at the 1953 Nats. As I understand it, S. Calhoun Smith was the father of the Navy Carrier event, and he designed and oversaw the construction of the Small Fry for the AMA. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this... (It might have been 1957...)

The first photo is a posed shot with some Navy brass; probably doing a PR shot for the Navy program to recruit young men with an interest in aviation. The Navy sponsored the Nats in those days (and up until 1969...), and indeed many young model fliers went on to careers in Naval Aviation. That's Cal Smith walking up to the deck on the left side of the photo.

The second photo shows S. Calhoun Smith on the deck of the small fry getting his Bearcat ready for a flight. Again, all of this information came to me from my father (who knew Cal Smith well). Check out the huge number of spectators!

Hope you guys enjoy the photos!

Bob Hunt


Offline Paul Smith

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Re: USS Small Fry old photos
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2024, 09:35:35 AM »
That was in the days of unlimited free NAVY labor and materials.  They even built ponds for ROW free flight.  Local clubs and AMA dues will never bring this back.

Starting the engine behind the cables must have been a posed photo op.
Paul Smith

Offline Bob Heywood

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Re: USS Small Fry old photos
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2024, 09:41:19 AM »
Navy Carrier became an official AMA event in 1953. The first Navy Carrier competition was held at the 1950 Dallas NATS as a novelty class for the closing Sunday airshow. Cal won that first one with a Skyraider. His Bearcat was published in the November 1952 Air Trails.

Great photos. Thanks for sharing.
"Clockwise Forever..."

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: USS Small Fry old photos
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2024, 06:19:51 PM »

 Great stuff, thanks again Bob!
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A. IC C/L Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: USS Small Fry old photos
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2024, 07:39:54 PM »
What a crowd!  Wish we still had that kind of public support.  Notice the cars in the 1sp photo.  All the same.

AMA 15382
If it is not broke you are not trying hard enough.
USAF 1968-1974 TAC

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