Although most commonly seen with floats, the OS2U could be rather easily converted to a landplane and it was not unusual to see them with conventional wheeled landing gear. Here a Kingfisher has ground-looped and torn off its gear. Note the 100 lb bomb under the starboard wing. The white bars on the tail surfaces were an Aleutian Theater recognition marking.
A fine color photograph of an Aleutian Kingfisher on a ramp made from Marston matting. She carries the white Aleutian recognition markings on her tail, the markings on the upper horizontal tail surfaces are just visible in this view. Her national markings are non-standard, the red outlines were authorized from 29JUN43 to 14AUG43, but at that time national insignia were only to be carried on the upper port wing and lower starboard, in addition to the fuselage sides.
Another view of the Kingfisher with too many stars, here is #3 again seen launching from the Omaha-class light cruiser USS Detroit (CL-8). Recognition stripes are just visible on the horizontal tail surfaces. Note the size of the wing insignia, spanning from the leading edge to the front of the aileron.
Another view of Detroit’s Kingfisher showing the placement of the underwing insignia. Detroit was one of two ships present at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack and at Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender (the other being the USS West Virginia (BB-48)). She served in the Aleutian theater for most of the war, from NOV42 through JUN44.
A cold job, an OS2U being brought ashore on 08JAN43. Note the placement of the underwing insignia, and the retention of the pre-war propeller warning markings consisting of blue, yellow, and red bands. (World War Photos)
A scenic shot of a Kingfisher on a Marston mat seaplane ramp in the Aleutians. Her wing markings are unique. Perhaps the starboard wing insignia has been painted out to comply with the directive to reduce the national markings to four positions?
While not as well covered by the press as the action in the South Pacific, the Aleutian Theater was still a war zone. Here a Kingfisher has received damage to her wing and is being hoisted back aboard ship. (World War Photos)
Here is an interesting sequence showing several Kingfishers of VS-56 being moved by truck. In this view two kingfishers have already been loaded onto flatbeds while the third is being hoisted by a wrecker. Note the beaching gear is in place on the central floats, and the variation in height of the tail stripes.
An interesting subject for a diorama. The wrecker is a Sterling DDS235. All the trucks are equipped with snow chains.
Seven Kingfishers preparing to move out. An unusual traffic jam.
More VS-56 Kingfishers in a photograph dated NOV43, each with a different scheme. Number 14 in the foreground is in the blue gray over light gray scheme with a short tail stripe and national insignia without bars. The middle aircraft, number 12, carries the graded camouflage scheme, tall tail stripes, and her insignia appear to have the short-lived red outline. The last plane in the line is unusual in that she appears to be painted in the graded scheme but without any intermediate blue being present on the sides of the fuselage – the non-specular sea blue extends down to the white underside. (World War Photos)
More Kingfisher photographs here: