Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: The Lt. Short letter  (Read 8622 times)

John Ousterhout

  • T4
  • ****
  • Posts: 487
The Lt. Short letter
« on: November 13, 2011, 01:48:32 PM »

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Letters/Short.pdf
In the letter from Lt. Short to his father describing the aerial search for AE/FN, he states "...neither (Fox and Lambert) had ever had duty on a battleship as pilots...".   Ric tells me that Lambrecht's previous billet was on the Lexington, they were trained as aviators at Pensacola (both land and seaplanes), then got carrier qualified.  They were obviously skilled pilots, but what are we to deduce from these skimpy facts as to their ability to search for AE/FN?  What were they trained to do?
The letter raises some other questions, yet I cannot find much related discussion in the forums (forii?).
Note that this also relates to the discussion of the difficulty of spotting people from the air, at http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,512.0.html
Cheers,
JohnO
 
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 07:40:12 AM by John Ousterhout »
Logged

John Ousterhout

  • T4
  • ****
  • Posts: 487
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 07:39:23 AM »

http://bluejacket.com/sea-service_nap_d-g.htm
I've tried to do a little background search for any information about Short, Lambrecht and Fox.  The above link is to the list of Enlisted Naval Aviation Pilots from 1916 to 1981.  It does not list Short, Lambrecht nor Fox.  I take this to indicate they were not "enlisted", not that they weren't active pilots in the Navy at the time of the Earhart search.  I still know virtually nothing about their training or experience, which might be useful as we try to understand what they might have been expected to do when searching for AE/FN.
Does anyone have more information?
Cheers,
JohnO
 
Logged

Dale O. Beethe

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 10:59:23 AM »

They wouldn't have been enlisted pilots, as they were commissioned officers.  The Navy did have enlisted pilots at the time, in fact one squadron was nicknamed "The Flying Chiefs", but by far the most Navy pilots were commissioned officers. 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5355
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 12:44:39 PM »

All three were commissioned officers.  Lambrecht was a Naval Academy graduate.  Not sure about the other two.
Logged

John Ousterhout

  • T4
  • ****
  • Posts: 487
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 06:17:12 PM »

http://tighar.org/smf/index.php?topic=517.new;topicseen#new
This link lists the principal training given to naval aviators in 1935 (thankyou Riker H. Jones).  I would argue that the syllabus was inadequate for the purpose of looking for Amelia and Fred on a desert island, after their aircraft had washed away.  Individuals within the aviation community may well have had the skill and capability, but we don't have records that let us evaluate their likelihood of seeing AE/FN, had they been there.
To give the searchers credit, they appear to have been adequately trained for spotting downed aircraft, and "recent signs of habitation".  Also probably well trained for correcting fire from naval guns.  In the Navy's priorities, the later is likely much more important.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 06:28:31 PM by John Ousterhout »
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5355
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 06:28:55 AM »


To give the searchers credit, they appear to have been adequately trained for spotting downed aircraft, and "recent signs of habitation".

There is no mention of search training of any kind.


Logged

John Ousterhout

  • T4
  • ****
  • Posts: 487
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 09:24:56 AM »

Soorry, poor phrasing on my part.  Lambrecht reported that he saw no signs of aircraft (implying that he was confident that he knew how to recognize downed aircraft), and saw "recent signs of habitation" (ambiguous implications).  Were these observation skills due to training, or to natural ability? If due to training, it would be helpful to find some documentation of the training received.  That would enable a calculation of the chance of spotting things on the island, etc.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5355
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 11:26:42 AM »

If due to training, it would be helpful to find some documentation of the training received.  That would enable a calculation of the chance of spotting things on the island, etc.

I can document that I received training in algebra.  Want to calculate the chances of me being able to solve an algebra equation? ::)
Logged

John Ousterhout

  • T4
  • ****
  • Posts: 487
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 04:24:34 PM »

But were you trained "the Navy way"?
(sorry, tongue now removed from cheek)
Re-reading Short's letter I noticed his mention that the Colorado changed course to head towards the Phoenix Islands, based on the "persistent reports of vague radio transmissions heard on the plane's frequency...given rise to the belief that the plane may have landed on one of these or landed near and drifted on.  The definite opinion opinion of those familiar with the plane's radio equipment is that...the plane must be on land in order to make any transmissions whatever." He writes that on Tuesday the 6th, "the ship changed course rather sharply to the southward...to bring us closer to the Phoenix group which seemed to hold the greatest possibilities."
So, the Colorado folks had received word of the transmissions by the 6th.  By the morning of the 9th they were flying over Gardner.  This all makes me think they were looking for a plane on land.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5355
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: The Lt. Short letter
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 07:57:25 PM »

This all makes me think they were looking for a plane on land.

There's really no doubt about that.  Read Friedell's report.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Copyright 2018 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Powered by PHP