7 March 1961
S. A. Suydam, L-121
Office of Counsel, BuWeps
Aviation History Unit, Op-05A5G
Information concerning SB2C-5
1. Search of records on file in the Operational Archives Branch of the Division of Naval History confirmed the information previously submitted orally that the SB2C-5 was used in combat by one squadron on board the Wasp, but also revealed one additional instance of its combat employment by a squadron on board the Intrepid.
2. Verification of the conclusion that the two carriers named were the only ships to employ the SB2C-5's in combat during World War II lies in the following documents:
a. Location of U.S. Naval Aircraft, Op 034R, No. 2745, SCA4-30Z of 30 June 1945, based on Aircraft Availability Reports from Commander Air Forces Pacific and Commander Air Forces Atlantic dated 19 and 23 June 1945 respectively.
This report lists 10 Squadrons having custody of one or more SB2C-5 aircraft and gives the locution of each at a shore base.
b. Location of U.S. Naval Aircraft, Op 034R, No. 3745, SC A4-30Z of 7 September 1945, based on reports from ComAirPac and ComAirLant of 28 August and 1 September 1945 respectfully.
This report lists 20 squadrons having custody of one or more SB2C-5 aircraft, one of which had the Canadian Car & Foundry version designated SBW-5. Of the 20, four are located on board carriers, one in the Atlantic and not in position to have reached the combat zone prior to the war's end, and Wasp, Intrepid and Antietam in the Pacific.
c. Wasp War Diaries for June, July and August 1945, serials 0151, 0203 and 0269 of 11 July, 16 August and 28 September 1945 respectively.
These diaries establish the location of the carrier at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 1 June 1945, at Alameda on 11 and 1? June when the Air Group reported on board, her passage to Pearl Harbor 13-19 June, and her training activities in the Hawaiian area from 20 June to 10 July. They report her transfer to Eniwetok 11-19 July, her departure from Eniwetok on 21 July to Join Task Force 38 off Japan, her joining that force on 26 July, and launching of air strikes on 28 July. They report additional strikes on 5 subsequent days and routine flight operations on 6 other days, accounting for the carrier's combat operations with Task Force 38 to the cessation of hostilities on 15 August 1945.
d. Intrepid War Diaries for June, July and August, serials 083, 093, and 0101 of 11 July, 16 August and 9 September 1945 respectively.
The diaries establish the location of the carrier on 1 June 1945 at Hunters point, Calif., where she was under repair, her transfer to Alameda on 22 June and her departure for Pearl Harbor on 29 June. They report her training activities in the Hawaiian area from 8 to 29 July and her departure from Pearl Harbor on 30 July for Eniwetok under orders to attack Wake Island on the way. They report that she launched 4 sweeps and 2 strikes on Wake Island on 6 August 1945 and departed on the same day for Eniwetok where she arrived on 9 August and remained until after the cessation of hostilities,
e, Antietam War Diaries for June, July and August 1945, no serials and no dates.
These report the ship passing through the Panama Canal on 1 June, her passage to San Diego 2-10 June and to Pearl Harbor 13-19 June. They show her in the Navy lard at pearl Harbor 20 June-17 July for repairs and alterations, and training in the Hawaiian area from 10 July to 11 August, They report her departure from Pearl Harbor on 12 August for Eniwetok where she arrived on 19 August,
3. In summary of paragraph 2., three squadrons equipped with SB2C-5 aircraft were ship based and in a position to have gone into action some time after 30 June 1945. Of these, the Antietam squadron did not reach the combat area. It is therefore apparent that the action of a squadron on board the Wasp, from 28 July to 15 August 1945, and by a squadron on board the Intrepid on 6 August 1945, constitute the extent to which SB2C-5 aircraft were used in combat during World War II.
4. The reports and diaries cited above are held by the Operational Archives Branch, located in the Service Center, Court House Road, Arlington,
Head, Aviation History Unit