Grumman AF-2 "Guardian"
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J. Adalberto Vargas G., e-mail, 28.02.2024 19:17

Bom dia! Estou terminando a montagem de um AF-2S e gostaria de saber se as aeronaves AF-2S na configuração do número 5 ( aeronave acima) tinham luz anticolisão próxima daquela antena (julgo ser uma antena como no topo do Tracker). Fui mecânico do S2-E Tracker na Força Aérea Brasileira, operei no Navio Aeródromo Brasileiro e guardo ótimas lembranças daqueles tempos. Um forte abraço a todos!


Dave Henderson, e-mail, 26.02.2023 02:20

I was an air man in VS 873 also. I was an AR when you ditched. As I recall, you did not have crewmen with you the day you ditched. I later struck to be an ECM operator. I sometimes wondered how the ECM operator would have faired in a water landing. Started at NAS Oakland than was with squadron when we went to NAS Alameda with the S2F’s.


Barrett Hochhaus, e-mail, 06.01.2023 05:36

Hi Sammy! I have a hunch one of those airframes wound up in Tucson at the Pima Air Museum! Still in its fire service colors! You can see where the finettes on the pitch stabilizer used to be. I'd love to talk to you about your experiences flying this thing if you're up for it!


Barrett Hochhaus, e-mail, 06.01.2023 05:32

Hi! I saw your Grumman Guardian post on Aviastar. Wondering if you would like to talk about your experiences flying this huge thing? I'm very interested! I'm actually a big fan of the Guardian and have a radio controlled model of an AF-2S. Hope to hear from you sometime!


Anonymous, 30.05.2021 16:42

After WW-II both the British and American Navies recognized the increased importance of the specialized carrier-based anti-submarine aircraft over those of carrier-based dive-bomber or torpedo-strike aircraft. That was because, compared with the Germans, Italians or Japanese, the Soviet Navy had much larger preponderance of submarines than surface warships. As a result, shortly after WW-II the development of dedicated carrier-based ASW aircraft began in earnest in both countries. The first purpose-built aircraft of that type to enter U.S. Navy service, the Grumman S2F, was not ready until 1952. In the meantime, the Grumman provided an interim solution in the form of an adaptation of a failed WW-II torpedo-bomber design. The somewhat awkward solution was a two-plane "hunter-killer" aircraft team, one aircraft equipped to locate the submarines and the other equipped to destroy them. It was far from the ideal solution to the problem, but it did the job until the S2F finally became available.


John Voorvaart, e-mail, 06.11.2017 01:15

I was a plank holder in VS-27, AE-2 1950-1953. I flew as a radar operator (seat behind the pilot). I flew with LT Stockdale several times, and became very close to him and his family after his release from Hanoi. I helped restore the AF-2s at Phoenix CAF which was a VS-27 plane.


D.C. Lee AT2, e-mail, 09.12.2016 19:14

Just ran across this site and Harvey Bues" post. I was in same Sqdn at the same time. Also was in SD 6 with "Smokie Stover" when ENS Boyes put it over the side and in the drink during the Med cruise.


Lt. J. K. Penniman USNR-R, e-mail, 20.08.2016 23:35

I as a pilot with VS-873, NAS Oakland, CA using converted TBFs then AF-2S's then S2Fs. It wasn't until we had the latter that we used tactics that made sense. I helped the squadron get rid of the Guardian when I had an engine failure and I ditched one off Pidgen Point CA.


Rich Neumann, e-mail, 05.06.2016 00:46

I served as radio operator on board the USS Siboney, CVE-112 (1952-1954). We carried the AF2S and the AF2W as Anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic, the Med, and the Carribbean. Spent much time on the bridge observing air ops.


Everett Worrell, e-mail, 06.12.2015 07:55

I was stationed Norfolk in VS30 in 1953-1954. Flew Air crew in both 2S and 2W mostly on Sonobouy operation. Went to the Med in 1954 and the Carribean both on the Mindoro. Also several short training. I fired off a retro launched bouy one day when the pilot failed to tell me we were over a surface ship. Fortunately it must have missed. Have pictures of a plane that went over the side on landing and hung up on the catwalk upside down. When they got around to help the crewman with an open hatch under him, he said I was just wondering how I was going to get out of here without getting wet.


Barrett H, e-mail, 21.11.2015 06:17

To ANYONE WHO SERVED ON AN AF-2S OR AF-2W: I am in the planning stages for a large 84-inch wingspan AF-2 Guardian radio controlled model to be built next spring/summer.

I would love a chance to talk to crew members of the aircraft about the airplane and about their experiences aboard it! If you feel like talking more about your experiences, I can be reached at diamondback78@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Write something short about "Grumman AF-2" in the subject so I won't dismiss it as spam. Thanks again!


Oliver Evans, e-mail, 20.08.2015 20:54

Did about 600 Hrs in the 2w as radar operator from 1952 - 1955 with VS-39 (Quonset Point. Started on the CVE's and finished on the CV's. Made 99 flights (and successful) landings and would not trade that "fun" for anything, but wouldn't try it again.Hello to any VS-39ers still around


charliepilger, e-mail, 07.03.2014 00:12

was in vs27 1950to 1954 flew for a couple 0f years in the old tbms and the afs was on the barracks master arms force the lst year


sammy, e-mail, 05.12.2013 17:25

I worked for Aero Union Corp. in California during the 70s and 80s. The company had 5 AF-2S aircraft, two were used as fire bombers and were flyable the other three were for parts. One of the parts planes carried Mfg. S/N 2 you could see where the jet engine had originally been installed, the fuselage structure in that area had been modified to the single engine version. One of the two flyable airplanes was painted in Navy colors and ended up in the Navy Museum at NAS Pensacola, the other supposedly went to the EAA. I don't know what happened with the remaining three airframes.


Duncan Porter, e-mail, 02.05.2013 22:27

I reported to VS-24 in 1993 and served until Sep 1956. I was AT-3 Aircombat crewman on the Valley Forge, Antietam,Leyte, and Cabot Lodge. I Spent 1954 in Guantanamo Bay Base detached from the Leyte for three months. Tail hook landing on the AF was exciting.


Leroy McVay, e-mail, 06.03.2013 04:11

Disreguard my comment re -1 & -2! Thought I was on S2F page.


Leroy McVay, e-mail, 06.03.2013 04:09

Worked on -1 & -2 at Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle in 1956 & 57. Active duty USNR. Sent one out from line, crashed on t.o. Ruled single engine assist rudderS messed up.


Duncan Porter, e-mail, 25.08.2012 03:16

I flew in the AF-2 in VS-24 Anti-submarine Squadron at Quonset Pt Naval Air Station from 1953 to 1956 as an aircrewman. . We switched over to the S2F in 1954. Capt Koval and Lt Cook were some of the pilots I flew with.


shea, e-mail, 19.06.2012 22:36

i have a mk.41-3 periscope that i believe came off an af-2s guardian looking for some info on it....?


M. Halsey, e-mail, 28.05.2012 23:33

I flew as Radar/ECM & Sonobouy crewman in VS-27, AT3 in 1952 to early '54 and flew a few flights with Lt. Stockdale. I was involved in a crash off of the USS Kula Gulf 11/13/53, Pilot Ens. Don Miesbauer, Ordinance man AD Bob Riensburg.


crgrantham, e-mail, 16.01.2012 10:50

Would like to hear from any AF-2S crewmembers or mechanics who can give us information about pilot Admiral Stockdale, VS27 or the Torpedo the aircraft carried. We are restoring the one at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona


Tom Mersich, e-mail, 29.11.2011 05:51

I was with VS24 at Quonset Pt. from 1952-1955. Went from airman recruit to AO2. Hello Rangerunner: from the dates and the ships we must have known each other. Also two Gitmo cruises. Wasn't aware of it at the time, but the Gilbert Islands and the AF2S were just about the smallest and biggest. Sixty feet eight inches is some wingspan. Filled in for a while as plane captain. Remember starting up and checking out the plane.


Loveday, e-mail, 16.10.2011 02:31

I was in VS-21 1952 to1954


LeRoy Bidgood, e-mail, 20.09.2011 21:04

I was aircrew in AF-2S, radar and sonobouy operator. My Sqdn was VS-931/VS-20. Joined the Sqdn in 1952, left 1955. Airman when I arrived, AT2 when I left. Flew off the Sicily, Rendova and Badoeng Strait, all CVEs. Our -2S aircraft were modded with the the ASQ-8 MAD gear. Constant problems with the retractable boom. Recieved the much better S2F in late 54.


Don Noland, AT-2, e-mail, 20.09.2011 04:00

From Jan, 1955 until Dec, 1955 I flew as Radar Operator (APS-20)on the Grumman AF Guardian clearing the Regulus & Sparrow Missile Sea Test Range west of Point Mugu Missile Test Center, CA. The 2 AFs must have been among the last to fly in the regular Navy. No one would volunteer to fly as radar operator until I checked into the Electronics shop at Point Mugu. When asked if I wanted flight skins I quickly answered "Of course" then I heard Pettigrew, the AT ordered to fly celebrating the news back in the shop & I knew I had answered that question wrong. The greatest system on that A/C was the radar, very powerful. Vectored the pilot to a good signal from 15 miles & he couldn't see it 'til he got down to several feet then announced that it was a dead/floating shark.


Dave Hamilton, e-mail, 18.07.2011 08:45

I have a series of photos taken aboard an unidentified carrier showing a VS-21 AF-2, Aircraft #10, serial number 126793, catching a line with a landing gear and nosing over and burning. I have the date and carrier narrowed down to the Bairoko (CVE115) or the Phillipine Sea sometime in '51-'53 time frame. Any information about this insident would be appreciated.


pree, 21.06.2011 06:55

Vice Admiral Stockdale then LT Stockdale was a pilot. A great hero and medal of honor winner.


john beirne, e-mail, 14.06.2011 21:23

I was in VS-30 1962-65 @ Key West and I am looking for info on the squadrons cruises as VS-801 and VS-30 in the 1950's with AF-2S/2W and then S2F....Thank You.


MARVIN, e-mail, 30.05.2011 20:56

STATIONED AT QUONSET POINT, RI SERVED WITH VS-39. WAS A MECHANIC AND A CREWMAN. FLEW OFF MANY CARRIERS, SIBONEY, GILBERT ISLANDS, ETC. SERVED WIITH A BUNCH OF GREAT PEOPLE.


Mike Ciminera, e-mail, 25.04.2011 22:39

Who was the designer and project engineer of the AF-2 Guardian?


John Depert, e-mail, 25.03.2011 06:23

We here at the Arizona Wing of the CAF are getting ready to restore an AF2-S for static display. We're short of funds for the project but have high hopes of it being a great exhibit and tribute to those who flew this rare airplane.


Herb Foxman, e-mail, 08.03.2011 01:12

Flew it form NARTU Lakehurst NJ in the late 1950's to about 1959.On active duty as a TAR. Was attached to AWS 75 as a photographer, got my flight time in the upper radar seat, one time the Hatch over my head blew open,and i had to use my web belt to hold it down. ?Good Old Days?


Will Tackaberry, e-mail, 13.01.2011 15:41

I flew in the AF2S while serving with the VS-27 Squadron and will always cherish my aircrewman days aboard the USS Wright. I later trans to the US Air Force and retired with 37 and half
years of service, but will always be proud of my Navy career. I flew in alot of aircraft in my military days, but nothing as cool as the Af2S, 2W aircraft built by Grumman.
WILL TACKABERRY, CMSGT USAF RET.


Dale Evans, e-mail, 05.12.2010 09:40

I joined VS-36 in Norfolk on my birthday in 1955 and went straight into Aircrew Division where I stayed until March of 1957. I remember thinking how huge the plane was. We flew the AF until it was replaced by the S2F. I crewed both the AF2S and the AF2W. I loved the APS20 because of its range. I really didn't care for calling out the altitude while doing rocket runs in the 2S,
My pilot always kidded me about how my voice would change pitch when we passed 500 ft on the way down. The engine fumes in the crew compartment were terrible on either plane. I never went to sea with the AF because we were equipped with Stoofs by the time it was our turn on rotation; something for which I am glad because the AF was a ground loving sob on takeoff. I can still feel the harness against my legs as we approached the coal trains at the end of the runway. I am sure that all 3 of us were trying to lift the plain into the air.
I remember one of the aircrew member we called Preacher who had swapped out with one of the crewmen who was killed in the midair. He would never swap crew assignments after that.
All in all it was a good airplane, built like a tank and did the job it was designed to do.


Ken Dowd, e-mail, 25.09.2010 18:28

AF-25 Guardian Bu129233 is displayed at Pima Air Museum in Tucson and painted as a "fire bomber" N9995Z in US Forest Service (E 21)


Bill Dornbach, e-mail, 22.09.2010 06:58

Airborne Controller served in VS27 at NAS Norfolk 1953-1956 SM designation on aircraft, with "Smile" as the voice radio communication ident. Brian Compton, a pilot, transferred to fighter training and later was John McCains Commanding Officer in Vietnam. I have seen pictures of SM10 restored and I flew in that plane on the search radar APS20 and vectored the attack plane on targets.


Charles Church, e-mail, 05.09.2010 00:07

arrived Quonset pt. June 51 as a AA served with VS 31 until March 55 discharged as AM 3 requmented for AM2
Served on uss Wright, uss Palau, uss Gilbert Island,
uss Block Island, uss Siboney, uss Kula Gulf. uss Valley Forge. VS 31 was awarded the navy E for excellence in 1952 and again in 1953.

the only shipmates I have been in contact With was Andy Lynch who passed away last year moved to Az. then Nv.
Enjoyed my 4 yrs with VS31


Charlie Wright, e-mail, 09.08.2010 08:30

PLEASE TELL ME THE CORRECT NUMBER OF CREWMEN OTHER THAN THE PILOT IN THE AF2S AND THE AF2W. WHAT WERE THEIR FUNCTIONS? WAS THERE A SEARCHLIGHT OPERATOR? WAS HE IN THE BILGE? WHO OPERATED ECM? WAS THEIR A SIDE DOOR ON THE 2W? ETC.
PLEASE ANSWER ME DIRECTLY BY E-MAIL. TITLE THE E-MAIL AF-GUARDIAN.
THANKS hcw@cfw.com


Norm E. Conolly AT3CAC, e-mail, 07.08.2010 20:18

VS-24 NAS Norfolk,Quonset Pt. 50-54 crashed CVS-28 pilot Blackwell APs-31,


Jerry R. Rhodes, e-mail, 02.08.2010 04:06

Tried to e-mail jim kincheloe Ret. CDR. USN but could not
get a good e-mail address. If perhaps he reads this wish he
would be in touch with me. I was in the Ordnance Div. VS-31
from 1952 until 1957. I also remember his brother was in the same Squadron. Still have contact with some of the old
shipmates he might like to hear about.


Leroy McVay, e-mail, 01.08.2010 19:50

Engine mechanic (AD2) at Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle. Got these to replace our TBMs. Never had any real problems with them other then the synthetic hydrulic fluid that kept corroading the check valves. VERY underpowered. Better then the S2F -1 & -2 we later got, wanted the AFs back.


Jim Kincheloe, e-mail, 12.05.2010 05:20

I was a combat aircrewman in VS-31 from July 1952 until November 1955. I flew as the bombardier/MAD operator in the AF-2S. I often state that I was one of the few who didn't get their feet wet (See Harvey Bues post). The airplane was seriously underpowered. The S2F was a breath of fresh air.
Jim CDR USN(Ret)


Chuck Hemstreet, e-mail, 26.04.2010 20:09

I was stationed at NAS South Weymouth in Reserve Squadron VS-914 during 1956-57. I was an AT-3 and flew as a radar operator on the AF-2w's and later on S2-F's. When I went on active duty I was with VX-3 at NAS Oceana.


Jack Steed, e-mail, 23.04.2010 17:47

re; Wade Owen: I often flew with Mr. McMeekin as an aircrewman. I learned of his death shortly after my 1954 discharge. He was an excellent pilot and fine man. I have always wondered the circumstances surrounding his collision. I was acquainted with all six men who died.


Billy Arnold, e-mail, 23.03.2010 03:39

I was in V.S.-30 stationed at Norfolk, Va.1955-1956 I flew 2nd. seat rader,mad gear,sonor.plane captain on S2F. squadron went on cruises aboard antitam, tarawa, & valley forge. any one in V.S,-30 at this time, e-mail.


John (Jack) Voorvaart, e-mail, 19.03.2010 01:40

I reported to VS-27 for commissioning in 1950. I was fresh out of AE-School in Memphis. I made AE3 shortly thereafter. The squadron was short of radar operators so I voluntered, whic was a great move. I flew second seat in the AF2-S. Once were were launched off the USS Wright with the engine at idle. My great pilot managed to get the enginer going and we came around and landed safely. Vice Admiral Stockdale then LT Stockdale was a pilot. A great hero and medal of honor winner.


N. EVANS CDR RETIRED, e-mail, 23.02.2010 23:06

I FLEW THE AF WHILE ATTACHED TO VX-1. IT HAD MAD EQUIPMENT INSTALLED AND WORK EXTREMELY WELL IN TRACKING AND BOMBING OUR TARKET SUBMARINES.


D.E.Lowry PR1, e-mail, 31.01.2010 07:02

pr1 flew 2nd seat af2w VS801 VS30 NAS Norfolk IN the 50's . flew off THe palau ,block Island, Gitmo for OP's med cruise 50's.


Quonset Point RI, e-mail, 30.01.2010 17:08

I was assigned to VS-24 at from July 1952 to Jan 1956. I reported to the squadron as a AM3 and departed a AM1. I flew in the AF-2S as radar and sonorbouy operator. VS-24 flew off the Cabot, Gilbert Islands, Leyte,and Valley Forge. Late 1954 we transitioned from the AF to the S2F. The aircrews loved it because we went from one engine to two and from straight carrier decks to the canted decks.


WILLIAM H Loveday, e-mail, 30.12.2009 02:41

ser in vs-21 1952 to 1955 at nas san deigo


WILLIAM H Loveday, e-mail, 30.12.2009 02:39

ser in vs-21 1952 to 1955 at nas san deigo


WILLIAM H Loveday, e-mail, 30.12.2009 02:39

ser in vs-21 1952 to 1955 at nas san deigo


wayne covell, e-mail, 02.12.2009 04:36

trying to find the AD5W & queen closes I've seen in the AF-2 Guardian we had them in VAW 11 AND 13


Harvey Bues, e-mail, 09.10.2009 12:28

Wade & Thos,
I was a combat aircrewman in squadron VS-831/VS-36 in 1953 through 1955.
Flew off the Mindoro, Cula Gulf, Gilbert Islands and Layte.
Had to swim back after we blew an engine off Cuba May 5 1954.
Would like to contact anybody from that same period.
Harv (AO3)


Wade Owen, e-mail, 03.11.2008 22:53

My uncle Ltjg Frank McMeekin was killed Oct. 26, 1954 when his Guardian collided with another during a training excersise off of Norfolk. Both crews, all six men, were killed and are buried at sea.


Thos Doyle, e-mail, 02.11.2007 06:08

My squadron was VS-30, based in Norfolk, 1953-1955. I was an AT3, and flew mainly in the AF-2S, from the USS Block Island, USS Mindoro, and USS Paleau. I do remember a number of "Emergency Landings" because of hydraulic leaks, mainly in the wingfolds and brakes. In the fall of 1954, we replaced the Guardians with the S2F.




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