Grumman AF-2 Guardian

1946

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Grumman AF-2 Guardian

Originally designated the XTB3F-1 (G-70), this aircraft was designed as a torpedo bomber with a composite power plant consisting of an R-2800-34W piston engine in the nose and a Westinghouse 19XB-2B turbojet engine in the rear fuselage. During evaluation trials considerable modifications were made to change its role to anti-submarine: in 1949 two new prototypes incorporating all the changes were built (carrying the designations XTB3F-1S and XTB3F-2S) the former equipped as a submarine hunter and the latter as a killer.

Both types were ordered by the US Navy under the respective designations AF-1S and AF-2S, but before completion of the first AF-1S its designation was changed to AF-2W. The AF-2S Guardian (G-82) carried one 900kg torpedo, two 720kg depth charges or two 900kg bombs internally, while a similar load could be carried externally. In addition a searchlight was carried under the port wing and a radar scanner under the starboard. The AF-2W carried a large search and early-warning radome beneath the forward fuselage. In 1952-53 the AF-3S version was produced with additional submarine detection gear. Production of the Guardian ended in March 1953.

AF-2W Guardian

Specification 
 MODELAF-2S
 CREW2
 ENGINE1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-48W, 1780kW
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight11567 kg25501 lb
  Empty weight6613 kg14579 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan18.49 m61 ft 8 in
  Length13.21 m43 ft 4 in
  Height4.93 m16 ft 2 in
  Wing area52.02 m2559.94 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed510 km/h317 mph
  Ceiling9905 m32500 ft
  Range2414 km1500 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 907kg torpedo, or 2 x 907kg bombs, 2 x 726kg dive bombs

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
Anonymous, 30.05.2021 16:42

After WW-II both the British and American Navies recognized the increased importance of the specialized carrier-based anti-submarine aircraft over those of carrier-based dive-bomber or torpedo-strike aircraft. That was because, compared with the Germans, Italians or Japanese, the Soviet Navy had much larger preponderance of submarines than surface warships. As a result, shortly after WW-II the development of dedicated carrier-based ASW aircraft began in earnest in both countries. The first purpose-built aircraft of that type to enter U.S. Navy service, the Grumman S2F, was not ready until 1952. In the meantime, the Grumman provided an interim solution in the form of an adaptation of a failed WW-II torpedo-bomber design. The somewhat awkward solution was a two-plane "hunter-killer" aircraft team, one aircraft equipped to locate the submarines and the other equipped to destroy them. It was far from the ideal solution to the problem, but it did the job until the S2F finally became available.

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John Voorvaart, e-mail, 06.11.2017 01:15

I was a plank holder in VS-27, AE-2 1950-1953. I flew as a radar operator (seat behind the pilot). I flew with LT Stockdale several times, and became very close to him and his family after his release from Hanoi. I helped restore the AF-2s at Phoenix CAF which was a VS-27 plane.

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D.C. Lee AT2, e-mail, 09.12.2016 19:14

Just ran across this site and Harvey Bues" post. I was in same Sqdn at the same time. Also was in SD 6 with "Smokie Stover" when ENS Boyes put it over the side and in the drink during the Med cruise.

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Lt. J. K. Penniman USNR-R, e-mail, 20.08.2016 23:35

I as a pilot with VS-873, NAS Oakland, CA using converted TBFs then AF-2S's then S2Fs. It wasn't until we had the latter that we used tactics that made sense. I helped the squadron get rid of the Guardian when I had an engine failure and I ditched one off Pidgen Point CA.

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Rich Neumann, e-mail, 05.06.2016 00:46

I served as radio operator on board the USS Siboney, CVE-112 (1952-1954). We carried the AF2S and the AF2W as Anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic, the Med, and the Carribbean. Spent much time on the bridge observing air ops.

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Everett Worrell, e-mail, 06.12.2015 07:55

I was stationed Norfolk in VS30 in 1953-1954. Flew Air crew in both 2S and 2W mostly on Sonobouy operation. Went to the Med in 1954 and the Carribean both on the Mindoro. Also several short training. I fired off a retro launched bouy one day when the pilot failed to tell me we were over a surface ship. Fortunately it must have missed. Have pictures of a plane that went over the side on landing and hung up on the catwalk upside down. When they got around to help the crewman with an open hatch under him, he said I was just wondering how I was going to get out of here without getting wet.

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Barrett H, e-mail, 21.11.2015 06:17

To ANYONE WHO SERVED ON AN AF-2S OR AF-2W: I am in the planning stages for a large 84-inch wingspan AF-2 Guardian radio controlled model to be built next spring /summer.

I would love a chance to talk to crew members of the aircraft about the airplane and about their experiences aboard it! If you feel like talking more about your experiences, I can be reached at diamondback78@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Write something short about "Grumman AF-2" in the subject so I won't dismiss it as spam. Thanks again!

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Oliver Evans, e-mail, 20.08.2015 20:54

Did about 600 Hrs in the 2w as radar operator from 1952 - 1955 with VS-39 (Quonset Point. Started on the CVE's and finished on the CV's. Made 99 flights (and successful) landings and would not trade that "fun" for anything, but wouldn't try it again.Hello to any VS-39ers still around

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charliepilger, e-mail, 07.03.2014 00:12

was in vs27 1950to 1954 flew for a couple 0f years in the old tbms and the afs was on the barracks master arms force the lst year

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sammy, e-mail, 05.12.2013 17:25

I worked for Aero Union Corp. in California during the 70s and 80s. The company had 5 AF-2S aircraft, two were used as fire bombers and were flyable the other three were for parts. One of the parts planes carried Mfg. S /N 2 you could see where the jet engine had originally been installed, the fuselage structure in that area had been modified to the single engine version. One of the two flyable airplanes was painted in Navy colors and ended up in the Navy Museum at NAS Pensacola, the other supposedly went to the EAA. I don't know what happened with the remaining three airframes.

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Duncan Porter, e-mail, 02.05.2013 22:27

I reported to VS-24 in 1993 and served until Sep 1956. I was AT-3 Aircombat crewman on the Valley Forge, Antietam,Leyte, and Cabot Lodge. I Spent 1954 in Guantanamo Bay Base detached from the Leyte for three months. Tail hook landing on the AF was exciting.

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Leroy McVay, e-mail, 06.03.2013 04:11

Disreguard my comment re -1 & -2! Thought I was on S2F page.

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Leroy McVay, e-mail, 06.03.2013 04:09

Worked on -1 & -2 at Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle in 1956 & 57. Active duty USNR. Sent one out from line, crashed on t.o. Ruled single engine assist rudderS messed up.

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Duncan Porter, e-mail, 25.08.2012 03:16

I flew in the AF-2 in VS-24 Anti-submarine Squadron at Quonset Pt Naval Air Station from 1953 to 1956 as an aircrewman. . We switched over to the S2F in 1954. Capt Koval and Lt Cook were some of the pilots I flew with.

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shea, e-mail, 19.06.2012 22:36

i have a mk.41-3 periscope that i believe came off an af-2s guardian looking for some info on it....?

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M. Halsey, e-mail, 28.05.2012 23:33

I flew as Radar /ECM & Sonobouy crewman in VS-27, AT3 in 1952 to early '54 and flew a few flights with Lt. Stockdale. I was involved in a crash off of the USS Kula Gulf 11 /13 /53, Pilot Ens. Don Miesbauer, Ordinance man AD Bob Riensburg.

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crgrantham, e-mail, 16.01.2012 10:50

Would like to hear from any AF-2S crewmembers or mechanics who can give us information about pilot Admiral Stockdale, VS27 or the Torpedo the aircraft carried. We are restoring the one at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona

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Tom Mersich, e-mail, 29.11.2011 05:51

I was with VS24 at Quonset Pt. from 1952-1955. Went from airman recruit to AO2. Hello Rangerunner: from the dates and the ships we must have known each other. Also two Gitmo cruises. Wasn't aware of it at the time, but the Gilbert Islands and the AF2S were just about the smallest and biggest. Sixty feet eight inches is some wingspan. Filled in for a while as plane captain. Remember starting up and checking out the plane.

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Loveday, e-mail, 16.10.2011 02:31

I was in VS-21 1952 to1954

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LeRoy Bidgood, e-mail, 20.09.2011 21:04

I was aircrew in AF-2S, radar and sonobouy operator. My Sqdn was VS-931 /VS-20. Joined the Sqdn in 1952, left 1955. Airman when I arrived, AT2 when I left. Flew off the Sicily, Rendova and Badoeng Strait, all CVEs. Our -2S aircraft were modded with the the ASQ-8 MAD gear. Constant problems with the retractable boom. Recieved the much better S2F in late 54.

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