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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
Photo # 80-G-K-16431:  Three F3F-3 fighters fly in formation, circa 1939-40

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY AIRCRAFT -- 1922-1962 DESIGNATION SYSTEM --

Grumman F3F Fighters

The Grumman F3F was a development of the F2F-1, featuring a longer fuselage and greater wingspan. The prototype XF3F-1 (Bureau # 9727) first flew in early 1935. It crashed in May of that year and was replaced with a second prototype, with the same serial number. Fifty-four production F3F-1 fighters (Bu#s 0211 through 0264) were delivered to the Navy in 1936, initially serving with USS Saratoga (CV-3) and USS Ranger (CV-4) fighting squadrons.

Featuring a more powerful engine for better performance, a larger engine cowling and a different cockpit canopy design, the prototype XF3F-2 (Bu# 0452) began Navy testing in January 1937. Eighty-one F3F-2 models were ordered (Bu#s 0967-1047). These initially equipped two Marine Corps fighting squadrons and that of USS Enterprise (CV-6) during 1938. One of these (Bu# 1031) became the XF3F-3. Twenty-seven F3F-3 fighters (Bu#s 1444-1470) were delivered in 1938-39, serving with Fighting Squadron Five in USS Yorktown (CV-5).

The Grumman F3F served with front-line squadrons until 1940-41. During the first part of World War II, the surviving planes were used for advanced training and in utility roles.

This page features views of all models of Grumman F3F fighters.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 44277

Grumman XF3F-1 Fighter
(Bureau # 9727)

In flight, 10 January 1936.
Date indicates that this is the second XF3F-1 prototype, which had the same Bureau # as the first.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 56KB; 740 x 565 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 91168

Grumman F3F-1 Fighters
,
of Fighting Squadron Four (VF-4) from USS Ranger (CV-4)

In flight over the Southern California coast. Photo is dated January 1939.
Plane in the foreground is Bureau # 0261.

Original photograph is in the collections of the Aviation History Branch, Naval Historical Center.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 97KB; 740 x 625 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 91167

Grumman F3F-2 Fighters


On the Grumman assembly line at Bethpage, Long Island, New York, February 1938.
The two planes in the foreground are Bureau #s 1025 and 1024, both in the markings of Marine Fighting Squadron One (VMF-1).

Original photograph is in the collections of the Aviation History Branch, Naval Historical Center.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 127KB; 740 x 565 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 83924

Grumman F3F-2 Fighters
,
of Marine Fighting Squadron Two (VMF-2)

Flying in formation, during the later 1930s.
Planes are (from front to back) Bureau #s 0977, 0973 & 0979.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Chief Boatswains Mate Ralph E. Turpin.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 85KB; 610 x 675 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-16431 (Color)

Grumman F3F-3 Fighters
,
from Fighting Squadron Five (VF-5), USS Yorktown (CV-5)

Flying in a three-plane formation over the Southern California coast, circa 1939-40.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 85KB; 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-16442 (Color)

Grumman F3F-3 Fighters
,
from Fighting Squadron Five (VF-5), USS Yorktown (CV-5)

In a three-plane formation over the Southern California coast, circa 1939-40.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 147KB; 740 x 580 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: NH 53593

USS Hovey
(DD-208)

Stands by while a launch assists in recovering a ditched Grumman F3F fighter, 7 February 1938.
The plane, marked "3-F-12", belonged to Fighting Squadron Three, based on USS Saratoga (CV-3).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 595 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-651042

USS Yorktown (CV-5)


At Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, California, in June 1940, embarking aircraft and vehicles prior to sailing for Hawaii. Aircraft types on her flight deck include TBD-1, BT-1, SBC-3, F3F-2, F3F-3, SB2U, JRF, J2F and JRS-1. Some of these planes were on board for transportation, while others were members of the ship's air group.
Three Torpedo Squadron Five (VT-5) TBDs at the after end of the flight deck are painted in experimental camouflage schemes tested during Fleet Problem XXI.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 105KB; 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-CF-8005-1

USS Ranger (CV-4)


Ship's senior officers and heads of departments, 10 June 1941.
Those present are identified in Photo Number 80-CF-8005-1 (Complete Caption).
In the background are Grumman F3F aircraft of Fighting Squadron Five, which was on its way back to the U.S. to receive new F4F aircraft.

Photograph from Department of the Navy collections in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 108KB; 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 


If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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Page made 3 May 1999
New image added 8 October 2004