Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Lieutenant John L. Callan, U.S.N.R.F., to Captain Thomas T. Craven

28 February, 1918.           

M E M O R A N D U M.

TO:  Captain Craven.

          The Officer Pilots from Pensacola, who have lately reported for duty in England and France, have only received training on Curtis type N.91 and R.62 tractor seaplanes. Each one has had on an average only about 25 hours in the air; none of them have been trained on flying boats.

          As our present policy calls for the use of only flying boats at our Stations in France and Ireland, it will be necessary to give all of these Pilots and any others who may come in the future, with the same training, another course in flying which will include flying boats.

          At present the facilities for this training in France are very limited owing to the fact that the Lake at Moutchic is too small to conduct both a school for pilots and one for bombing instruction. As the school is primarily for bombing and firing, and as practically all of the Lake is needed for that purpose, it will be very difficult to handle the pilotage instruction there.

          However, it is suggested that at least four dual control flying boats, Tellier type, be bought immediately and sent to Moutchic to be used for the instruction of those Pilots who have already reported from Pensacola and for the training of those Pilots now in England on patrol work at British Stations, using tractor seaplanes, who will eventually come to France after completing their work there.

          It is further suggested that the Department be notified of the limited conditions for training in France and be advised of the necessity for training on flying boats, and be so instructed that in the future all Pilots will know how to fly boats before being sent abroad for active service.

<JLCallan>

Source Note: TLS, DLC-MSS, John L. Callan Papers, Box 3. Callan was head of the Schools section of the United States Naval Aviation Forces, Foreign Service, in Paris. Craven was in charge of the Operations section. Rossano, Stalking the U-Boat: 44, 47. They were both based in Paris, France.

Footnote 1: The Curtis N-9H seaplane was a single engine training craft with a single centered pontoon. The navy used the model to train more than 2,500 pilots. For more on this aircraft, see, “Curtiss N-9H,” Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, accessed on 6 February 2018, https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/curtiss-n-9h.

Footnote 2: The Curtiss R-6 was a two seat version of the Curtiss R-3 bomber that utilized a longer wings and pontoons for water landing and take off. It was also successfully launched from a catapult. The bomber could carry up to two 50 pound bombs or a torpedo. Roscoe, One the Sea and in the Skies: 83.

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