Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon and PV-1 Ventura Photo Gallery
The Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon is one of the forgotten warbirds that served with the US Navy during WWII.  Below are the ones I have seen on my various journeys around the United States.  Only three Harpoons are currently flying.

RAF Ventura II which became a USAAF Model 37 Restricted, not an RB-37 as thought by the Air Force Museum and consequently the Pueblo Aircraft Museum.

Location:  Pueblo Aircraft Museum, Pueblo, CO
Date:  May 26, 2010
Owner:  National Museum of The United States Air Force, Dayton, OH
FAA Registration:  None
Lockheed Serial Number:  137-4449
RAF and US Army Serial Numbe
r:  AJ311

Records at the museum (see pictures of them in the photo gallery) show that the Air Force Museum believes this to be an RB-37.  I disagree.  If one references Rene J Francillon's "Lockheed Aircraft since 1913", 1988 page 202 and 203 one will note that 264 Lockheed built  Ventura II, Lockheed Model 37-27-01 aircraft went to the USAAF as Model 37s and not as B-37s.  Eighteen B-37s were built under a separate contract with the USAAF with US Army Serial Numbers and used for reconnaissance and observation, which met they could have been designated RB-37s, but this is unlikely because these type aircraft carried either an F- or L- designation with Army Air Force during WWII.  This aircraft carries RAF Serial AJ311 and is marked with 4449 which would be the matching Lockheed Serial Number.  These aircraft were also given the designation Model 37 R for Restricted in October of 1942.

It would therefore not have been difficult for someone at the Air Force Museum to misidentify this as an RB-37 mistaking this for the Model 37 Restricted it actually was, which was a really oddball designation for the USAAF along with the RAF serial number AJ311 that came along with it from the British.  If it is actually an B-37, then the numbers are wrong, it is painted incorrectly, and should have a USAAF Serial Number between 41-37470 to 41-38019 along with R-2600-13 engines.  The Ventura II /Model 37 had the more powerful R-2800-31 engines.


According to the docent at the Museum this warbird has been in limbo ever since it arrived at the Museum in 1980.  Due to the fact that the Air Force Museum owns the the Ventura and keeps promising to come and get it, the Pueblo Museum has not spent any money for upkeep and it will not be placed in the new hangar that will be right behind the aircraft. One can see where the ground was cleared for the new hangar right behind the Ventura.  All of the other aircraft the Museum had outside with the exception of this aircraft and the B-47 which was too large will go in the new hangar, which became operational in late 2010.  I was lucky to be able to get all of the following photos because the evening before I was at this location a rain and hail storm made it impossible for the contractors to work.  I had to cross the construction area to get to this.


  The end of the wing has broken off and is being held on by 2x4s and cargo tie downs.


After WWII the aircraft was to be transferred to Brazil, but that did not transpire.  Instead it went to the Lightening Transient Research Center in St. Paul, MN for static only tests between 1960 and 1970.  Then in 1980 it was trucked to Pueblo.  This is the original glass nose for the location of a bomb aimer for the RAF or a bombardier for the US.  Note the Plexiglas window in the bottom to look straight down.


This is where the ventral turret would have been located.  It appears that it was replaced and this possibly an opening for a tow rope to come out of .  


If there is a silver lining in the fact that this Ventura has been neglected is that it appears to have the original paint and some of the equipment inside.  So while it does not look pretty to the uninitiated observer to the warbird enthusiast this is an unfiltered look back to WWII.  I spent about a half hour just walking around it taking photo and inspecting its features.  It was one of the high points of my 3 week warbird/aviation drive-about to California in May 2010.


The nose art is a recreation.  PV-1s and PV-2s had typically had Disney art work on the fuselage rather than the nose.  Due to the fact the aircraft were built in Burbank, CA near the Disney Studios it was the artists from there that came over to the plant to paint the artwork.  Walt Disney gave permission to use his cartoon characters on the planes to help support the war effort.


The bomb bay.  This differs from PV-2 Harpoon bomb bay in that on the Harpoon it does not have the "shelf" down the center.


The markings on the props seem to be original.


 


Location:  Gathering of Warbirds and Legends, Topeka, KS
Date:  August 3, 2013
Owner: Stockton Field Aviation Museum   
FAA Registration:  N6657D
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1606
Navy Bureau Numbe
r:  84062 

This is a D model and according the serial Navy Bureau numbers was the second to last PV-2 Harpoon built.  In looking at the interior it appears to be fully restored.  What a great restoration!


Looking forward in the PV-2D Harpoon.


The radar operator's station right across form the door.  Where did the Stockton Field Aviation Museum in California find all these internal items?


A closer view of the radar station.


Looking aft from the door one see as fully restored Martin top turret on a Harpoon as possible.  Empty shell bags and the flexible conduit for the power runs up from the floor.  Very nice.


Only this Harpoon had the life boat with instructions on the door.


The external fuel tank not only has the filler cap but the vent also, which is normally not seen on restored warbirds.


I have never seen a Harpoon with bomb or torpedo in the weapons bay.  If I remember correctly the weapon in front is a small torpedo.


The D model PV-2 Harpoon was built for strafing attacks by having six .50 caliber machine guns in the bottom of the nose.  Previous there were two machine guns over the top and then three in an add on fairing at the bottom.


Location:  Tillamook Air Museum
Date:  May 27, 2012
Owner: Jack Erickson   
FAA Registration:  NL83L
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1501
Navy Bureau Numbe
r:  37535
This is the first of the 35 D model Harpoons built.

 

Location:  Fort Campbell, KY @ Base Air Show
Date:  May 19, 2007
Owner:  American Military Heritage Foundation - Indianapolis, IN   
FAA Registration:  N7265C
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1362
Navy Bureau Numbe
r:  37396


Location:  Midland, TX Airport @ Commemorative Air Force Airsho 2010
Date:  October 7-8, 2010
Owner:  Warbird Aircraft Sales and Dave's Custom Sheet Metal/Aircraft - Heber City UT   
FAA Registration:  N7670C
Lockheed Serial Number:  15- 1438
Navy Bureau Numbe
r:  37472


Location:  Palm Springs Air Museum 
Date:  May 23, 2010
Owner: 
Palm Springs Air Museum     
FAA Registration:  N7273C
Lockheed Serial Number 15-1177
Navy Bureau Number 37211 -
Change of registration for this Harpoon shows April 26, 2010.  It was not at this location when I visited a year earlier.  It must have been one heck of a ferry flight because I do not think this would have been trucked in. 


Location:  Vacaville, CA @ Nut Tree Airport 
Date:  May 12, 2010
Owner:  Earl Benedict, Bangor, CA   
FAA Registration:  N20PV
Lockheed Serial Number 15-1182
Navy Bureau Number 37216 -
This is sitting along with a Grumman S-2 Tracker at the airport.


Location:  Chino, CA @ Chino Airport 
Date:  May 16, 2009
Owner:  Kermit Weeks Polk City, FL    
FAA Registration:  N7483C
Lockheed Serial Number 15-1168 
Navy Bureau Number 37202 -
This is sitting on the ramp with the port engine off.  This was actually on the walking and tram path between the parking lot and the location of the 2009 Chino Air Show.


Location:  Mesa, AZ @ Falcon Field
Date:  May 16, 1009
Owner:  Kermit Weeks Polk City, AZ    
FAA Registration:  N7433C
Lockheed Serial Number 15-1177
Navy Bureau Number 37211


Location:  Mesa, AZ @ Falcon Field
Date:  May 13, 1009
Owner:  Was Delaware Warbirds, Wilmington, DE             
FAA Registration:  N86492
Lockheed Serial Number: 15-1473 
Navy Bureau Number: 37507
This is sort of interesting.  When I was there the Harpoon was being worked on with some of the engine cowlings off.  Yet according to  the registration N86492 number it was deregistered in February of 2008. 


Location:  Mesa, AZ @Falcon Field
Date:  May 13, 1009
Owner:  Robert Kropp, Mesa, AZ
FAA Registration:  N7454C
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1599 
Navy Bureau Number:  37633


Location:  Tucson, AZ @ Pima Air and Space Museum
Date:  May 12, 1009
Owner:  Pima Air and Space Museum (This may be on loan from the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL.)
FAA Registration:  N/A
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1223
Navy Bureau Number:  37257


Location:  Midland, TX @ Commemorative Air Force Museum
Date:  May 11, 1009
Owner:  Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL.
FAA Registration:  N/A
Lockheed Serial Number:  Unknown 
Navy Bureau Number:  Unknown


Location:  Branson, MO - Prof Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf
Date:  May 9, 1009
Owner: 
Prof Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf
FAA Registration:  N/A
Lockheed Serial Number:  Unknown 
Navy Bureau Number:  Unknown


Location:  Galveston, TX @ Lone Star Aviation Museum
Date:  March 19, 2009
Owner:  Lone Star Aviation Museum
FAA Registration:  N6655D
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1600
Navy Bureau Number:  37634

This aircraft was stuck back in the hangar with many of the other aircraft that were damaged by Hurricane Ike in September of 2008.  It will probably never fly again after being damaged by the salt water that came into the hangar during the storm.  I am not sure why someone would build a museum with so much irreplaceable historical artifacts and aircraft in such a location when they know sooner or later a hurricane will flood it and destroy what is in the hangar.  This is totally irresponsible on the part of the Lone Star Museum ownership and management.  It is my understanding as of late 2012 that the Lone Star Museum is going to move its museum and aircraft to Ellington Airport in Houston, TX.  Good idea but too late to save the invaluable aircraft and priceless artifacts already lost.


Location:  Las Cruces, NM @ Airport
Date:  January 26, 2008
Owner: Southwest Aviation
FAA Registration:  N2PV
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1220
Navy Bureau Number:  37254


Location:  Pensacola, FL @ Naval Aviation Museum
Date:  November 16, 2006
Owner:
Naval Aviation Museum
FAA Registration:  N/A
Lockheed Serial Number:  15-1196
Navy Bureau Number:  3723


 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


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