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Texas Tail: 1942

Texas Tail: 1942

August 1942. Corpus Christi, Texas. "Mrs. Virginia Davis, a riveter in the assembly and repair department of the Naval Air Base, supervises Chas. Potter, a NYA trainee from Michigan. After eight weeks of training he will go into civil service. Should he be inducted or enlist in the armed service, he will be valuable to mechanized units of the Army or Navy." Pay attention, sonny -- you might end up flying this thing. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information. View full size.



The man looks a bit like Brad Pitt in Inglorious Basterds.


Young Potter bears a passing resemblance to "Westley" from Princess Bride when he came back as the "Dread Pirate Roberts"

Holding the Bucking Bar

Learning to hold the Bucking Bar is one of the FIRST things an FNG learns to do. I worked for Sikorsky Aircraft for 14 years making S-76s. "Here, Hold this Buckin' Bar" was one of the first things I heard after punching in on the first day.

Anyone else look at this photo...

...and say, "Gee, I didn't know Orson Wells did aircraft construction in WW2."?

In his hand

He is holding the most important part of the riveting operation...THE BUCKING BAR.

Nothing under construction.

Based on the already existing "U. S. Navy", the general appearance of the aluminum skin, the well-worn interior anti-oxide paint, and the rivetless holes where rivets obviously once, well, riveted, this Falcon's tail section is nothing more than a training piece. Most likely there used to be a complete airplane from there on up, but chances are good that as a training aircraft it came to grief and various bits went on to serve as instructional materials. I do wonder how many eyes were lost in such situations before someone realized it'd be smart to wear goggles.

The SNC-1 Falcon

It does appear by the narrowness of the tail section forward of the vertical tail and the location of the tail attachment rivets that the are constructing a component of a Falcon.

National Youth Administration

I must admit I had never heard of the NYA (National Youth Administration). My father was in the CCC, so we knew all about that one, but not the NYA.

Thanks Bridesmill

After commenting I realized that the Ryan ST/NR-1 has fabric covered flight surfaces and not metal as in the photo.

SNC-1 Falcon (CW-22N)

Build number belongs to a Curtiss SNC 1 (Navy advanced trainer, variant of the civil CW-22). Comparing this with the fairings & angles of the vertical & horizontal stabilizers seems to confirm this. First flight '40, introduced '42. One of 305 built for the Navy.

If I could see the rest of the tail

I might be able to ID the plane. It's definitely a small fighter. A P-40, maybe?


The tail assembly might be part of a Ryan NR-1 primary trainer (a variation of the Ryan ST).

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