Have done a bit more research and it would seem that the American Escort Carriers had an unusual advantage over British carriers, with their armoured (metal) decks, in operations off Salerno.antwony wrote: ↑11 Jun 2018 10:08Would argee that WW2 histography would tend to portray the situation vis-a-vis aircover at Salerno as disasterous and in particularly the Seafire being a disaster. But, I'd disagree. The Seafire's on the CVE's were meant to transfer to Salerno airfield on D +1. I think it was about a week they operated off the too slow, too small decks. They still flew the bulk of the missions over the landing zone. There were only 36 fighters in Sicily, the rest of the land based planes were operating out of Tunisia, which was quite a ways off.
According to some interviews I listened to at the Imperial War Museum’s website, one of the problems (the biggest one maybe ???) with the Seafire’s landing in low wind was that as they came in too fast, when they caught a wire the tail rose and this resulted in the propeller smashing into the deck. Fortunately, as both the propeller of the Seafire and the deck of the American Escort Carriers were wooden this “only” resulted in the propellers getting chipped.
According to Douglas Parker, about two inches of the propeller got chipped off per landing. Apparently, the ship’s carpenters got to work with some sandpaper (or something) and could repair the chipping. No one mentioned this, although Parker may have alluded to it, but I presume they must have shortened the undamaged blades too. According to George Baldwin, this shortening didn’t effect the planes performance adversely and later Seafires came with shortened blades from the factory.
However, Parker mentions a technical term “sink”. He was saying the shorter propeller blades increased the engines revolutions, requiring the pilots to use less forward throttle on take off. He explained this was cumulative as more and more 2 inch shortenings happened to the propeller blade. Until, eventually their “sink” was such that they only had 5 feet of clearance from the surface of the water at launch. Once a plane’s sink had got to five feet, it was classified non operational.
Do we have any aviation experts, particularly the naval kind, who would like to comment on ; Parker vs. (or not) Baldwin?
Baldwin’s interview, he starts talking propeller blades after 10 min 30 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80011776
Parker’s interview after 24min
Apologies to the mod’s if linking to IWM is against forum rules.