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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Navy's Air War

the Aviation History Unit OP‑519B, DCNO (Air)

Harper & Brothers Publishers
New York and London

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
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This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p389  Appendix A

Naval Aircraft Designations

The system for designating naval Aircraft is intended to indicate the principal function, or functions, to which the plane may be put, the chronological number of that particular type accepted from a particular manufacturer, the manufacturer, and the modification of the original model. Thus, for example, the PB4Y‑2 is the second version of the fourth patrol bomber made by the Consolidated Aircraft for the Navy. The following are the letters designating the principal functions:

B Bomber
F Fighter
J Utility
N Training
O Observation
P Patrol
R Transport
S Scout
T Torpedo

Although, during the war, the Navy employed a great many types of planes for training, transport, and utility purposes, the following list gives only the principal combat types mentioned in the narrative.

Navy Designation Army Designation Name Manufacturer
F2A Buffalo Brewster
F4F, FM Wildcat Grumman, Eastern Aircraft
F6F Hellcat Grumman
F4U, FG‑1, F3A Corsair Chance-Vought, Goodyear, Brewster
OS2U, OS2N Kingfisher Chance-Vought
PBJ B‑25 Mitchell North American
PBM Mariner Martin
PBO A‑29 Hudson Lockheed
PV‑1 B‑34 Ventura Vega
PV‑2 Harpoon Vega
 p390  PBY, PBV, PB2B, PBN OA‑10 Catalina Consolidated, Vickers, Boeing, Naval Aircraft Factory
PB2Y Coronado Consolidated
PB4Y‑1 B‑24 Liberator Consolidated
PB4Y‑2 Privateer Consolidated
SBD A‑24 Dauntless Douglas
SB2A Buccaneer Brewster
SB2C, SBW, SBF A‑25 Helldiver Curtiss-Wright, Canadian Car and Foundry, Fairchild
SB2U Vindicator Chance-Vought
SOC Seagull Curtiss-Wright
SO3C Seagull Curtiss-Wright
SC Seahawk Curtiss-Wright
TBD Devastator Douglas
TBF, TBM Avenger Grumman, Eastern Aircraft

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Page updated: 12 Dec 20