Vought OS2U Kingfisher Color Photographs Part III

Kingfisher_21_RA
A beautiful photograph of Kingfishers in the “three tone” graded camouflage. The barred insignia with blue outline was in use from August 1943 through the end of the war. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)
Kingfisher_22
A Kingfisher aboard the portside catapult on the fantail of the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) during her work-ups in the Atlantic, August 1944. The crew appears to be conducting an abandon ship drill. Note the main float of the OS2U is painted Intermediate Blue while the wingtip floats are in Sea Blue.
Kingfisher_23_MissouriBB63_1944
Another Kingfisher aboard Missouri’s catapult, this example has the individual aircraft number 6 painted on the tip of the float. Missouri’s decks do not yet have their camouflage stain applied.
Kingfisher_24_Missouri
An excellent view of Missouri’s crane as a Kingfisher is recovered. The gun director tub for the portside 40 mm mount on the fantail is painted with the number “16”.
Kingfisher_25_Missouri
A Kingfisher is launched from Missouri’s starboard catapult. The catapults could be trained through a wide arc (even across the deck) in order to optimize the wind for launch. The Officer of the Deck was required to calculate the true wind and then determine the proper ship’s course and speed to optimize the relative wind for launching the aircraft.
Kingfisher_26_Missouri
At the end of the mission the aircraft is hoisted back aboard. Crewmen use steadying lines to keep the aircraft from rotating as it is suspended from the crane.
Kingfisher_27
A well-worn Kingfisher is being rigged to the hoist for recovery. This evolution would present an obvious hazard to the aircrew in rough weather. Note that the wingtips and tail surfaces are painted in a lighter shade of blue, perhaps Blue Gray replacements?
Kingfisher_28
An OS2U approaching the recovery sled towed behind the recovery ship. A hook on the underside of the Kingfisher’s float engaged netting on the sled, allowing crewmen aboard the ship to wench the aircraft into the optimum position for hooking up with the crane.  Practice bomb dispensers are under each wing. 
Kingfisher_29
With the hoist secured the aircraft is ready to be brought back aboard. The sailor in the center of the photograph is maneuvering a boom into position to help steady the aircraft and prevent it from swinging.
Kingfisher_30
A Kingfisher at the moment of launch in early-war markings. Note the position of the observer in the rear cockpit as he braces against the acceleration of the catapult.
Kingfisher_30B
A forlorn sight repeated around the world at the end of WWII. Among the types relegated to this boneyard are several surplus Kingfishers, their services no longer needed. Within the next five years advances in jet engine and helicopter technology would render the majority of even the most advanced WWII era aircraft designs obsolete in their intended roles.