FUNNIES

Or, things I've come across but aren't quite right...

Whilst researching this site, I have come across a few things that don't seem right or aren't what they seem or just raise a few questions.

Bulldogs?

First up, on the website GO NAVY, there is a page for VF 19/VF 191. It states that from 15 August 1943 to 24 August 1948, VF 19 were known as the "Bulldogs". Apart from a few other websites, that have used this as a reference, I have not been able to find any official reference of this. In the command history reports for the period, the squadron is always referred to as FIGHTING NINETEEN. Neither "Satan's Kittens" nor "Bulldogs" is mentioned. The only official reference to the name is in the program for the establishment of the second squadron to carry the number VF 191. Considering the badge of the squadron has been the cat with pitch-fork and lightening bolts from 1943, it seems odd they would be called "Bulldogs". I have emailed the owner of the GO NAVY website a couple of times, but have never received a reply.

UPDATE: I have been in touch with CAPT Bruce A. Linsday USNR (Ret.), who served with the squadron from its commissioning and first deployment. He has clearly stated that VF 19 were called "Satan's Kittens" from the very beginning.

USS Bennington (CV 20)

VF 19 Bearcat aboard USS Bennington? Images courstey of Steven Horvat and Toons at War website.

A crashed Bearcat aboard USS Bennington (CV 20) sometime in early 1946. Note the similarity between the badge on the aircraft and the badge of VF 19 for the same period. Image of crashed Bearcat from the Bennington website and squadron badge courstey of Steven Horvat and Toons at War website.

Whilst going through Joe Baugher's Navy Aircraft Serial Number lists of incidents involving F8 Bearcats for the squadron, I saw one was commented as "95204 Also have this plane as being with VF 19 and ditched off Bennington CV 20 3/18/1946.". I started looking for USS Bennington. On the web-site for USS Bennington, there are several pages of photographs. On one page, there are some photos of Bearcats which have suffered mishaps. The aircraft 101 and 107 appear to have VF 19's badge just fore of the cockpit. You can see Stephen Horvat's photos here.

I got in touch with Joseph Pires who maintains the website for Bennington and with Mr Horvat. Both were fairly sure that VF 19 was never aboard Bennington. From the "Allowances and Location of Navy Aircraft" records for February 1946 and March 1946, the location of VF 19 is given as Barber's Point, but with no carrier assigned. The same records put the Bennington in the Navy yard at Pearl Harbor at the start of March 1946 and by 22 March, enroute to San Diego, while it's own carrier group& CVG 80 was still at Kahului.

But... having looked through squadron badges on show at BlueJacket.Com, I could not find another squadron whose badge could be mistaken for the Satan's Kittens. I wrote to the U.S. Navy for the Historical Command Reports for both Air Group NINETEEN and USS Bennington.

UPDATE: I have received the Command History Reports for Carrier Air Group Nineteen and USS Bennington for early 1946. The Bennington's report stated that she was was stationed at the Hawaiian islands to be used for training, no further details were given. However, the report for CVG 19 stated that while stationed at Barber's Point, CVG 19 boarded the carrier for carrier operations training and a joint Navy-Army exercise. Please see the 1945 to 1950 page for more details.

You can visit the website of the USS Bennington (CV 20) here.

USS Midway (CV 42)

Badge of VF 191 aboard USS Midway

Badge of VF 191 aboard USS Midway (CV 42).

I received a mail from someone who saw the badge of VF 191 aboard USS Midway (CV 42). Again, according to the records I have, and through correspondance with folk connected to Midway, we can safely say the squadron was never aboard Midway. The most like reason is that it was put it up with badges from the remaining squadrons from CVW 19 - VFA 192 and VFA 195.

Grumman FJ-3 Fury of VF 191. Image courtesy of USS Intrepid museum.

Grumman FJ-3 Fury. In the markings of VF 191 Satan's Kittens, on display at USS INTREPID museum. (Photo George Canciani)

USS Intrepid (CV 11)

During one web-search for photos of aircraft, I found a photo of an FJ-3 Fury in VF 191 colors (See page 1953 to 1963. The photo was taken aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. From the records I have, I didn't think the squadron were ever aboard the Intrepid. After getting permissionto use the photo from George Canciani (who took the photo), I contacted the museum to check with them if it was OK to use the photo and if they had any information about the aircraft. They wrote back to say that the FJ-3 was painted up in VF 191 colors, but that particular aircraft was never in the squadron. It has since been repainted in the colors of a US Marine squadron.

If you have any information on any of the above, or have something that seems to involve the VF 19/VF 191 "Satan's Kittens", please contact me.

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