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Patrol Squadron Four Aerial Survey of Southeastern Alaska 1948 Cruise Book

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VPNAVY BookTitle: "Patrol Squadron Four Aerial Survey of Southeastern Alaska 1948 Cruise Book"..." CruiseBook mentions FASRON-112, VP-61, and VP-4. [10JAN2000]

Photo's Removed

                                PART I                 INTRODUCTION
                                PART II                PLANS
                                PART III               BASES AND LOGISTICS
                                                                A.     Bases, Annette
                                                                B.     Bases, Yakutat
                                                                C.     Tender Support
                                                                D.     Supply

                                PART IV                PERSONNEL

                                PART V                 SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                A.     General
                                                                B.     Vertical Photography
                                                                C.     Split Vertical Photography
                                                                D.     Glacier Photography
                                                                E.     Radar Scope Photography

                                PART VI             AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS
                                                                A.     Flight Operations
                                                                B.     Weather
                                                                C.     Ground Handling of Aircraft
                                                                D.     Maintenance

                                PART VII             PHOTOGRAPHIC LABORATORY OPERATIONS
                                                                A.     Photo Processing
                                                                B.     Photo Marking and Indexing
                                                                C.     Laboratory Equipment

                                PART VIII             PHOTOGRAPHIC RESULTS
                                                                A.     Vertical Photography
                                                                B.     Split Vertical Photography
                                                                C.     Glacier Photography
                                                                D.     Radar Photography
                                                                E.     Extra Work Accomplished

                                PART IX                 SUMMARY
                                                                A.     Conclusions
                                                                B.     Recommendations



1.     During the period 15 May 1948 to 13 September 1948, Patrol Squadron FOUR (Medium Patrol Squadron FOUR until I September 1948) conducted an aerial photographic survey of Southeast Alaska in accordance with specifications provided by the Chief of Naval Operations. Originally scheduled to obtain vertical photography for map compilation, the survey in its final formcomprised four separate projects and a small additional mapping project was undertaken at the request of the U. S. Geological Survey.

2.     The survey detachment operated in a unique fashion in that it received primary support airfields for operations, these airfields being about four hundred and fifty (450) miles apart.

3.     This is believed to be the largest survey of this type ever completed by the Navy in a similar period of time or under similar adverse weather conditions. All four projects were completed plus a small amount of additional unscheduled work. The squadron is proud of this accomplishment, particularly in that, with no previous photographic experience, it has completed an undertaking which was slated to be a two or three year job by officers familiar with such surveys. The following report has been prepared in the belief that it will be of interest to the Navy in general, and may prove useful to anyone undertaking a similar survey in the future.


1.     This survey was originally assigned to Patrol Squadron SIXTY-ONE (then Photographic Squadron ONE) in the fall of 1947. The Chief of Naval Operations directive, issued in September 1947, called for the accomplishment of the survey during routine photographic squadron training, and established the original specifications for the survey. Early in 1948, it became apparent that accomplishment of this project during the summer of 1948 could not be effected by Patrol Squadron SIXTY-ONE due to other high priority commitments, and the Chief of Naval Operations approved the employment of Patrol Squadron FOUR on this survey.

2.     In March, 1948, Patrol Squadron FOUR became the center of a large scale program of preparations. The squadron was engaged in intensive training following reactivation on I November 1947 and receipt of its final aircraft on 13 January 1948. During March all aircraft were ferried to NAS, St. Louis where they spent about seven days undergoing an armament modification.

On their return, three were sent north to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington to be used in instrument flight training, and the remaining six were returned to the Lockheed plant at Burbank for modification, to make them suitable temporary photo planes. Pilots were shuttled between NAS Whidbey Island, Washington NAS Miramar , for instrument training at the former and in the hope that at the latter, they might acquire some training in photographic operations.

3.     During this critical period, it was necessary for the Commanding Officer to visit Commander FAW-4, at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, twice prior to final squadron deployment to that base. On the first of these trips, an inspection trip to Annette Island, Alaska, was made to accomplish the following:

    (a)     Determine the most suitable base for photographic operations. Annette and Yakutat were considered the most likely prospects.

    (b)     Estimate the extent of facilities already available and determine the procedures necessary to obtain the use of these facilities from the controlling organizations. These organizations included the U. S. Army, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and the War Assets Administration.

    (c)     Determine the requirements for modifications to existing facilities, and for addition of new facilities, in order to provide an adequate base for operation of a six-plane photographic unit. This study was to provide two plans, one, for operation without tender support and the other, on the assumption that an AVP class tender would support the operation.

As a result of conferences conducted by Commander Fleet Aid Wing FOUR., Annette Island was selected as the main base for the following reasons:

    (a)     There was at that time no assurance that a tender would be available to support the operation.

    (b)     It was the closest base to Seattle-Whidbey Island area, from which logistic support was to be provided. Major aircraft periodic checking and repair was done at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.

    (c)     Expected weather conditions were equal to or better than those for Yakutat.

    (d)     Priority photographic areas were understood to be predominately in the Southern sectors.

Tentative operational plans were prepared to cover both the tender present and no tender present conditions. Subsequently the availability of a tender was confirmed, and on 5 April, 1948, Commander Fleet Air Wing FOUR issued his operation Plan, the final detailed directive for the conduct and support of the survey.

To meet the requirements of this directive, Patrol Squadron FOUR prepared a schedule of movement of all personnel and equipment to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington prior to I May and of the Aerial Survey detachment to Annette on 15 May 1948.

On 15 May 1948, the six Neptune photographic aircraft landed at Annette Island and the planning stage of the operation was ended.


A. Bases, Annette

Following the decision to utilize Annette Island as the major base for the Survey detachment, work was started to prepare suitable facilities ashore to support operations with a Seaplane Tender available at Annette to furnish most of the services required by the squadron. The work was accomplished by FASRon Augmenting Unit No. 0124, a unit of FASRON-112, in a period of two weeks from 1 May to 14 May 1948.

The below listed facilities were provided ashore at Annette Island:

    (a)     Buildings in the hangar area.

            (1)     Quonset hut containing squadron duty office, maintenance office, small washroom, and a bunkroom for security watch slanders.

            (2)     Quonset hut, containing work benches, for use as engineering shop space and tool crib. This hut was parallel and adjacent to the squadron duty office.

            (3)     Small "elephant" hut, adjacent to the above two and used for an electronics shop.

            (4)     Half-quonset hut used for Ordnance work in connection with small arms and also maintenance of gunnery equipment installed in the aircraft. This hut was rebuilt from scrap by the squadron after arrival at Annette.

            (5)     One room in the hangar was used as a briefing room and operations office. It was normally used as a schoolroom for the dependents of personnel of the various agencies involved in operations at Annette Island airfield. The Civil Aeronautics Authority Station Manager offered its use, and it was a valuable contribution to the survey until I September, when it was vacated to permit cleaning prior to school opening on 7 September.

            (6)     The Civil Aeronautics Administration shops in the hangar were made available for the use of the squadron detachment. An oxygen shop was established in their lighting shop. This space was equipped for recharging 002 bottles as well as the major task of recharging the 295 cubic inch oxygen bottles used in the aircraft.

    (b)     Buildings in the base camp area.

            (1)     The photographic laboratory was established in a prefabricated building, No. K55, originally a part of the Army base camp area. In general, the layout was in accordance with the attached sketch, however, several modifications were made. The north wing was used as a bunkroom for the Photographers Mates, a small bunkroom was built in the west wing for the two Chief Photographers Mates attached, and another small bunkroom was provided in the south wing for the Chief Warrant Photographer. Partitions in the remainder of the building were moved about during the summer to meet the needs of the survey as they changed. The darkroom and drying room arrangements were not changed except to add a light trap entrance to the large dark] oom in place of the door originally installed.

            (2)     The material office and storeroom were established in a building, No. K37, similar in floor plan outline and in construction to the photo lab building. The only interior construction in this building was a locker for stowage of Title B equipment and a small bunkroom for a duty storekeeper.

            (3)     Civil Aeronautics Administration garage facilities in this area were utilized to aid in rolling stock maintenance.

            (4)     The old base camp theater, No. K56, was renovated sufficiently to permit showing movies there. This work was accomplished by the U. S. S. FLOYD'S BAY (AVP 40). The building was in fair shape except for a leaky roof, and, until the end, it was advisable to choose your seat carefully if there were showers in the vicinity.

    (c)    The following stations were connected to the Navy circuit:

            (1)     VP-4 Detachment Duty Officer

            (2)     VP-4 Detachment Operations Office

            (3)     CAA Control Tower

            (4)     Weather Office

            (5)     CAA Operations

            (6)     VP-4 Detachment Material Office

            (7)     VP-4 Photographic Laboratory

            (8)     CAA Dock, Tamgas Harbor

            (9)     The Tender Quarterdeck (when moored to the dock)

This telephone circuit proved fairly reliable though occasionally, heavy rain and high winds made communication difficult or impossible.

In general, the facilities provided this squadron at Annette Island was entirely adequate and satisfactory. Its outstanding feature was its excellent photographic laboratory. Its poorest phase was its rough roads which made many transportation problems.

B. Bases, Yakutat

    1.  In June, operations had progressed to the point where a considerable amount of flying in the norhern part of the area was anticipated. Commander Fleet Air Wing FOUR directed that afurther study be made of the feasibility and estimated cost of establishing a secondary base atYakutat Airfield. The Commanding Officer, Patrol Squadron FOUR, acting as liaison officer for the Wing Commander, inspected the facilities at Yakutat and visited Commander Alaskan Sea Frontier in Kodiak and the Civil Aeronautics Administration Regional Office in Anchorage to discuss plans for establishing this base.

    2.  As a result of preliminary discussions and communications, the establishment of a base at Yakutat was approved by Commander Alaskan Sea Frontier, and the Naval Operating Base, Kodiak was directed to proceed with construction. Building 318 was transferred to Navy custody and the Civil Aeronautics Administration granted the Navy temporary custody of three buildings, 301, 308 and 312, and the use of a cold storage locker. All buildings at Yakutat are within easy walking distance of the ramp and hangar area.

Building 318 was not used but the other three were repaired, painted inside, and equipped as follows:

    (a)     301 barracks with space for 40 men and, in addition, bunkrooms at one end for about 15 officers.

    (b)     308 head, washroom and shower facilities.

    (c)     312 galley and mess hall with a small bunkroom on one end.

Transportation available at Yakutat consisted of one half ton pick-up truck which was left by the Kodiak construction detail for the use of the squadron. This was entirely adequate to meet all transportation needs at Yakutat, although, as at Annette, a cover would have greatly enhanced its usefulness.

The only line equipment at Yakutat was one twenty - four volt auxiliary power unit which was loaned by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. It was inoperative when received, but was repaired by the squadron and placed in operation.

    3.     On 16 July 1948, a squadron detachment of one Chief Petty Officer and five other enlisted personnel was established. An attempt was made to provide as well rounded a selection of men as practicable. The detachment included:

Yakutat was used occasionally as a refueling point and quite often as an overnight stop for one aircraft, usually scheduled to make an early morning weather flight. On one occasion, three planes were forced to remain over night here due to weather having closed in at Annette.

    4.     Only hand tools were provided for emergency maintenance and no need for more co equipment arose. A limited supply of film and oxygen, enough for two flights by one crew, were kept in reserve at Yakutat and replaced from Annette when any usage occurred.

C. Tender Support

    1.     For the first half of this summer, the U.S.S. FLOYD'S BAY (AVP-40) supported the tender detachment. This ship was relieved by the U.S.S. GARDINER'S BAY (AVP-39), which furnished support for the remaining half of the period.

The tender furnished the following services:

        (a)     Supply.

        (b)     Berthing for an average of 110 enlisted personnel and 25 officers.

        (c)     Messing facilities for an average of 128 enlisted personnel and 27 officers.

        (d)     Laundry for men and officers.

        (e)     Ships store, and clothing and small stores.

        (f)     Base radio station and air plot facilities.

        (g)     Squadron administrative office space.

        (h)     Medical facilities.

        (i)     Aerological personnel.

    3.     The support furnished by the tenders was in general, very satisfactory. One ship for the entire period would have been preferable in order to avoid the shifting and unsettling caused by a change of tenders.

    4.     The radio facilities of the tender were inadequate in that the air/ground transmitter ould not be operated during Fox schedule broadcasts or when the CW circuit to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, was in operation. Reception on either of these circuits was blocked by traffic on the air/ground circuit and consequently aircraft often waited for as much as half an hour for receipts on their traffic.

E.    Supply

Prior to proceeding to Annette Island, the U.S.S. Floyd's Bay loaded a nearly complete P2V-2 Section "B" allowance of spares. Certain bulky items were omitted, as was the entire armament section of this allowance. In addition, certain section "G" items were loaded. The availability of this section "B" allowance at Annette Island contributed in a large measure to the maintenance of a high aircraft availability and was thus one of the major contributing factors in the successful completion of the survey.

Shortly before the U.S.S. Floyd's Bay was relieved by the U.S.S. Gardiner's Bay, the entire section "B" allowance was moved ashore and stored in the squadron Material building. It was transferred to the relieving tender on paper, but remained stored ashore until the end of the summer. This location proved far superior, because it greatly facilitated the job of drawing necessary spares. Issues were made direct from this storeroom by the squadron, and a requisition was submitted to the ship immediately to cover all such issues. Such a system, while it worked well in this case, would not be suitable for supporting more than one squadron.

Items not available at Annette were ordered by the supporting tender from N.A.S. Seattle, except for photographic supplies which were requisitioned from A.S.D. Oakland.

On completion of the survey, all section "B" items were placed aboard the tender for delivery to Seattle or were delivered to Seattle by air lift.

All supplies received during the summer, with the exception of a few minor items were delivered by air lift. This lift was furnished by Air Transport Squadron FIVE and Utility Transport Squadron THREE. Both of these organizations did an excellent job of supporting the survey detachment.

Both the U.S.S. Floyd's Bay and the U.S.S. Gardiner's Bay went all out in their endeavors to supply the needs of the survey. In general, they received excellent backing from the entire Navy supply system.

The only difficulty encountered in aviation supply was encountered in connection with those items which were critical throughout the entire P2V-2 program. These included inverters, inverter brushes, shimmy dampeners, propeller governors, manifold pressure regulators, carburetors and oil cooler door control theromstats. Fortunately, the original Section "B" allowance filled the needs for most of these items until late in the project.

Vehicle spares were, on the other hand, very hard to obtain. This was particularly true of tires and tubes, and particularly truck size 7.00x20. A delay in delivery in excess of two months was encountered on some of these items despite repeated dispatch requests. In providing equipment for a survey of this nature, an allowance of spares adequate to meet anticipated needs should be shipped with the equipment. In this case, no spares were on hand at the start of the operation.

The following amounts of major consumable items were used during this operation:

            Aviation Gasoline
            Aviation Oil
            Aviation Breathing Oxygen
            Photographic Developer
            Photographic Developer
            Photographic Fixing Powder
            Photographic Aero Safety Film
            Photographic Film (35mm)
            Photographic Printing Paper, Contact
            Photographic Air Map Special Contact Paper


About one hundred and twenty-four (124) of the squadron personnel, plus the complement aboard the tender, were involved in this operation. The squadron personnel consisted of six flight crews, maintenance and line crews, and men attached to the ship for duty aboard, such as stewards mates, cooks, and compartment cleaners. The photographic personnel consisted of one photographic officer (LCDR), for the laboratory, and 18 photographers mates. The photographic personnel were ordered from Patrol Squadron SIXTY-ONE and are considered to be a representative proportion of the talent available to the Navy. The following table will indicate that the U. S. Navy is short on experience of this nature:

Officer Personnel - Neither project mentioned above approached the magnitude of this survey.

Enlisted Personnel - From the above it should be noted that only three photographers mates had acted as first photographers on a survey prior to this one. Of these, two had considerable difficulty maintaining proper overlap and were not used as such after the middle of the summer.

No squadron personnel, other than those listed above, had any previous photographic squadron experience.


A.     General

        Specifications for this project were made in September 1947. They were made up originally as a result of a conference in Washington with cognizant civilian agencies. The resulting specifications were essentially identical to those used in the United States. There was little or no consideration given to the operating area involved and the primitive conditions under which operations would have to be conducted. It would have been impossible to have completed this project in one summer by adhering to original specifications. Several modifications were required before final satisfactory specifications were authorized.

B.    Vertical Photography

        Original flight line maps were unsatisfactory as furnished and required redrawing.

Modified maps were designed for efficiency of operations (long flight lines, prevailing wind, etc.), but caused excessive side overlap, which required modification of specifications.

Side overlap specifications should receive considerable special consideration during the formulating of specifications. It appears that the policy of an established minimum overlap is required, but more leeway on maximum side overlap is required in rough terrain to permit efficient operations.

Priority areas were never clearly defined to this command and never officially cancelled.

    1.     Original film marking requirements were beyond the capacity of limited personnel available.

No detailed reference could be found for specifications for marking ink. India ink was used in accordance with dispatch instructions.

There was no indication of policy regarding whether maximutn ^one time coverage" was more important than photographing smaller areas to required specifications.

No authority was definitely stated granting Geological Survey representatives authority to change specifications in the field, as required.

The printing requirement of some 120,000 prints is not necessarily an appropriate assignment for a non-photographic squadron without permanent laboratory and photogrammetric facilities.

    2.     Public information intentions would serve a very useful purpose to the operating forces. In this project no information was put out by this unit because none was authorized. Although, the specifications were unclassified, certain phases of planning were confidential.

C.     Split Vertical Photography

        This project, which was for the U.S. Forest Service, was incomplete in that it did not indicate the actual requirements. By modification of original specifications, several thousands dollars .were saved, the forestry service obtained what they wanted and critical material was saved. Specifications did not indicate that the U.S. Forest Service requirements were limited to the requirements of the Regional Office in Juneau.

There was no indication that only timber and watershed areas were required.

There were no provisions for direct liaison with the Juneau office.

There was no indication that camera angle data would be required showing the assessed camera angle for each pair of film strips. A rough table and curve was desired by this squadron to permit measuring this angle by a linear measure of side overlap.

D.    Glacier Photography

The original specifications appeared reasonable until we arrived at the area. One flight over the area showed that the specifications were not at all suitable. The areas were in general too broad because there are so many fields of ice and glaciers of obviously little importance.

The type picture coverage was not understood because we know nothing of glaciers. The significance of moraines, moraine deposits, ablation, snow lines, etc., was not known.

The importance of the area a few miles ahead of a glacier was not understood.

The American Geographic Society indicated that they were not interested in every small glacier until they had adequate coverage of the more important ones.

For future projects, an accurate map of the glacial areas is a primary requirement for most reliable results.

E.     Radar Scope Photography

Comments regarding this project have been classified and forwarded as separate correspondence.


A.     Flight Operations

        1.     Six P2V-2, Neptunes, were used to conduct this survey. They had been specially modified for the job and complete information on their suitability has been previously furnished to the Bureau of Aeronautics. In general, they were well equipped for their assigned tasks and appeared to be superior to the PB4YIP, at least for the altitude required for this survey.

Prior to deployment to Annette Island, inspection trips had revealed that the gravel runways were usable, but rough. For this reason, this squadron adopted a policy of restricting take-off weight to 54,000 pounds except in case of unusual circumstances. This allowed all wing fuel tanks to be full when the aircraft was loaded for a photographic flight, insuring a safe ten to eleven hours of flight, including climb to 20,000 feet, and no occasion to exceed this weight arose.

        2.     The runways proved rough as predicted. The main runway (12-30), in use when the detachment arrived, suffered mainly from a rapidly increasing number of chuck holes. A rash of nose wheel trouble due to severe jolting and pounding was anticipated, but did not materialize. About a month after our arrival, work on surfacing the runway commenced and the second runway (2-20) became the main runway. This had previously been used only when necessary and was in fair shape. However, the gravel surface quickly shifted into small ridges and became as rough as the chuck holes in the other runway. Toward the end of the summer, first half, and then all of the partially paved main runway was opened to use again.

At Yakutat, field conditions presented no problem since both runways and the ramp areas were of concrete. From this viewpoint, the airfield at Yakutat was far superior to the field at Annette Island.

The P2V-2 demonstrated its ability to operate from these runways without requiring excessive maintenance, and also demonstrated its ability to operate safely at 54,000 pounds from 3700 feet of runway. However, neither practice is considered desirable.

A standard photographic crew consisted of:

        (a)     Pilot
        (b)     Co-pilot
        (c)     Flight line navigator
        (d)     Plane Captain
        (e)     Radioman
        (f)     Radarman
        (g)     1st Photographer (viewfinder and 6" cameras)
        (h)     2nd Photographer (12" cameras)

The plane captain normally served as the radar altimeter operator.

Prior to each days flying, and usually even on non-flying days, a briefing session was held at which the following were covered:

        (a)     Weather, current and future.
        (b)     Current status of flight lines. A record board was maintained in the briefing room to show the situation at a glance.
        (c)     Assignment of areas and lines to individual crews.
        (d)     Any special operational instructions.

The sessions were also used to disseminate information to all officers on days when no flights were feasible.

With the exception of glacier photography flights, all photographic flights were conducted at 20,000 feet above sea level as measured by a SCR-718 radar altimeter. To climb to this altitude from sea level required approximately 35 to 45 minutes at about 71" normal rated power. Initial climb was at 130 knots indicated, blowers were shifted to high at about 11,000 feet, and climbing airspeed was gradually reduced to about 120 knots for the final portion of the climb. Indicated airspeed on flight line varied between 130 and 150 knots indicated, depending on the practice of the particular pilot. At 1900 rpm, the average aircraft would start at 130 knots and pick up to 150 knots after about four (4) hours flight at altitude. The outside air temperature at 20,000 feet varied.

    3.     The flight lines in this survey were as long as 150 miles, averaging in excess of 80 miles. The use of long flight lines proved to have many excellent features; among these are:

            (a)     Reduce the time lost getting on flight lines. On short lines, this wasted time represents a high percentage of the total flight time.

            (b)     Make it easier for the navigator to keep on "flight line.^ The navigator can pick out check points much more readily when he is already "on flight line" than he can when starting on a line. In poorly charted terrain, with poor check points, it occasionally proves impossible to initiate a line in an area without extensive prior familiarization flying over the area.

            (c)     Greatly improve the practicability of maintaining the aircraft level since once "on flight line" a good navigator will require only minor corrections to heading to compensate for drift changes.

When using a viewfinder to obtain forward overlap, as was done in this operation, a limit, probably between 120 miles and 150 miles, must be set to allow the first photographer time to relax from his taxiing assignment. Even in a zero wind condition a 150 mile flight line at 200 knots true air speed, requires 45 minutes.

The major operational difficulty encountered was the failure of the first photographer to obtain forward overlap. This was largely due to the very rugged terrain encountered and to the poor viewfinder used. This difficulty has been covered in detail in a previous report and a possible alternate system was tested and reported by this command, but was not actually used on this operation.

The P2V-2 oxygen installation uses individual 295 cubic inch bottles. Original estimates of oxygen requirements were based on 360 hours of flight on oxygen to complete the project and allow 100 reflights. The individual bottles were recharged from 22 cubic foot bottles. Actual usage data is covered in the Supply Section (Part III-C) of this report. In general, the oxygen needs were considerably underestimated during planning due to underestimation on both the flight hours required (even though 100 reflights were not required) and the amount of oxygen per man per hour required. Although no definite figures were kept, the following general observations are of interest:

        (a)     There was apparently quite a bit of variation in the calibration of the demand type regulators in use.

        (b)     The more movement required of a man, the higher his oxygen consumption rate.

        (c)     The colder a mail's flight station, the higher his oxygen consumption rate.

        (d)     The average consumption compared reasonably close to the data distributed by BuAer.

Navy special winter flight clothing was used and has been reported on previously. The standard fleece-lined boots proved inadequate for the photographers and electrically heated boots were procured. These proved adequate, though they do have some disadvantages.

An air plot watch, one squadron pilot, was maintained in .the CIC aboard the tender whenever aircraft were airborne. This officer tracked all aircraft, insured receipt of all their hourly position reports, originated any necessary despatches to the planes, and kept the Squadron Duty Officer and the ship informed as to the estimated time of arrival of each aircraft. During the day, he was the squadron's representative aboard the ship, often being the only squadron officer aboard.

Flights were conducted seven days a week if the weather permitted. Normal working routine was scheduled for weekends and then changed to holiday routine if weather permitted. If weekend flights were conducted, holiday routine was put in effect in mid-week, when possible.

Flight time recapitulation accomplished at Annette:

B.     Weather

Detailed weather data is being reported through normal channels by the aerologist who served this squadron throughout the summer, being on temporary duty first with the U. S. S. FLOYD'S BAY (AVP-40) and then with the U.S.S. GARDINERS BAY (AVP-39). His services were an essential element of the summer's successful operations. A weather unit should be included in the planning of any operation of this size.

The attached photostat shows the weather reporting stations available in the Southeast Alaska Area. The sequence reports from these stations furnished the detailed information as to the current weather and were used in conjunction with synoptic charts and upper air data to forecast future weather. In addition to the four (4) weather maps made each day and the hourly sequence reports from the stations noted, it was found necessary to conduct additional aerial weather reconnaissance in order not to miss any opportunities to fly photo.

C.     Ground Handling of Aircraft

All aircraft were parked on gravel hardstands, on the opposite side of the main runways from the hangar and line maintenance buildings. Tie downs were available in the form of crisscrossed inch steel cables, the ends of which were anchored under the gravel. These parking places proved adequate although they were apparently designed for aircraft smaller than the P2V-2. A tricycle gear aircraft of this size, without a full swivel nose wheel, could not have been turned on one of those hardstands without being unduly hazarded. As can be seen from the picture, the hardstands used were in two (2) groups of three (3) each. 'The tie-downs proved adequate for the maximum wind encountered, 65 miles per hour, in gusts.

Engines were normally restricted to 1000 rpm when aircraft were in their normal parking areas. At higher rpm small rocks were picked up by the propellers, causing damage to propeller blades, propeller anti-icer feed shoes, and in the case of starboard engines, damage to the fuselage. All aircraft returned from the survey with propeller nicks and extensive point chipping on the fuselage, due to the gravel. The P2V is probably particularly suseptible to this type of damage, because it does not have a large propeller ground clearance. Wooden hardstands in the vicinity of the hangar were used for ground checking engines, including turn-up to full power.

For a considerable period of time during runway paving operations, it was impossible to taxi aircraft out of their parking areas. They were lowed down roads, which were in the runway shoulders, and to the warm up blocks via the South taxiway. In case photographic weather prevailed, take-offs during the period were spread over a considerable period of time, unless enough advance warning was given to permit moving all aircraft out of their parking areas to the ramp area prior to flight departure time.

All lowing operations were conducted using a nose wheel tow bar. A Cletrac, and later a small Clarkson tractor were available for lowing. Only one tow bar being available, only one (1) tractor could be used at a time. A small tractor could not be used in two (2) of the parking areas in wet weather and was not satisfactory, in general, due to the uneven, loose gravel surface over which lowing was necessary.

Two (2) auxiliary power units were used for maintenance work in the maintenance hut area. Nearly all operational starts were made using the one type B line maintenance jeep furnished the squadron.

Once FFNI fog and foam crash fire truck was furnished the squadron and it was manned during all landings and take-offs of Naval aircraft.

D.    Maintenance

The success of the survey can be attributed in a large measure to the excellent maintenance record of this squadron's Annette detachment. A fair proportion of this credit must in turn be accorded the squadron's base detachment at Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, which spared no effort to expedite necessary work and get aircraft back to Annette as quickly as practicable.

Commencing in late June, all engines were changed when the aircraft were returned to Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island for 240 checks. In all, 13 engines were changed at Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island and one at Annette Island. This program resulted in having one aircraft away from Annette almost continually, reducing the detachment to five (5) planes strength. Average availability was about 90, being slightly higher actually at Annette on flying days, only four plane days during the entire summer.

The success of the maintenance program can be attributed to three factors:

        (a)     Unusually good supply of spares (covered in Part III C of this report).
        (b)     Interest, enthusiasm, long hours, and untiring effort on the part of the maintenance department personnel.
        (c) The interest, initiative and drive of the maintenance department officers.

Maintenance was carried out on a very irregular schedule. On photographic days, all but necessary crash and line crew personnel were secured immediately after the aircraft departed.

They were sent to supper at 1630 or 1700 and reported for work immediately thereafter. As checks and repair work were completed, personnel no longer required were secured. All personnel were not secured until all aircraft were ready for photographic flight. This often resulted in allnight work.

On days other than photographic flying days, a normal 0800 to l30 routine was followed except for week-end days and those week days so ordered on which holiday routine was observed.

All 120 and 240 hour checks were conducted at Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island as was all major repair work. All other routine checks were completed at Annette Island.


A.     Photo Processing

All film magazines were originally loaded in the laboratory. On return from a photographic flight, the photographers would return all exposed film to the laboratory, where the magazines would be unloaded, reloaded, and made ready in all respects for the next day's flight. The exposed film was stored in film cans with the data sheets attached.

Processing commenced immediately. All film from the 6 cartographic cameras was processed, then Sonny printed. After all Sonny printing was up to date, the K-17 12 camera film was processed, then stored. The volume of work was such that from the first day of picture taking a backlog of film developing work existed until late July and not until this time could marking and printing on a considerable scale be commenced. It is essential to keep in mind the fact that the same eighteen photographers mates were both the laboratory crew and the flight crews. When all aircraft were flying, only six men and two officers remained on the ground in the laboratory.

Glacier photography film was processed immediately after flight unless other film was awaiting processing. Since the other projects were well along before the glacier work was started this seldom caused any interference. Radar scope photography generally remained in the camera magazine until a considerable amount of film had accumulated. The magazines were unloaded and the film processed about once each month. This avoided the difficulty attendant upon processing short lengths of 35 mm film.

Initially, work was conducted on an 0800 to 1630 schedule with work in the evenings when necessary to expedite processing of film and Sonny prints from the cartographic cameras.

After I August 1948, a two shift 0800 to 2400 schedule was adopted. This program permitted a considerable increase in print production, but due to personnel shortage, had to be abandoned each day on which .photographic flights could be flown.

Listed below is a tabulation of the work accomplished in the laboratory starting on 27 July 1948. This tabulation is intended to show only the effect of flight* operations on laboratory operations and does not represent total work accomplished during the summer. This particular period has been chosen because most of the printing done at Annette was accomplished during this time.

B.     Photo Marking and Indexing

        1.     Upon completion, all Sonny prints were cut, sorted, and stapled together in developer laydown. They were then checked with particular attention to snow cover and overlap, and labeled and further checked against adjacent lines for side overlap, if those lines were available. These were quick checks and v/ere used to determine whether or not a reflight would definitely be required. Later, these laydowns were checked very carefully and were then inspected by the U.S. Geological Survey representative, Mr. W. T. REAGAN. Lines were classified as accepted, marginal (giving the reason) and definite reflight, thus establishing a priority for future flights. All Sonny prints were retained and forwarded with the film for this project to Patrol Squadron SIXTY ONE.

        2.     Prior to being forwarded, each roll of film obtained with the cartographic cameras was provided with a complete data sheet.

        3.     Upon completion of processing, all film from the K-17 12" cameras was checked to insure good negative quality and proper coverage and was then marked free hand, using a lettering pen.

The two adjacent rolls were marked simultaneously and the markers cross checked every few exposures to insure' that correspondingly numbered right and left pictures actually matched. Upon completion of marking, the film was returned to the processing section of the lab for printing.

Complete logs were kept on all photo lab operations including processing, marking, indexing, and printing of each roll.

        5.     Upon completion of printing, the negatives together with two prints of each negative, were returned for checking and indexing. All prints were trimmed of excess paper, leaving only a small border around the image area. They were then sorted, checked for quality and for completeness of the set. Any missing prints were noted and the negative was returned to the processing section for reprinting of that particular negative.

When all prints from a roll were on hand and checked, the prints were given to the officer in charge of indexing. A tissue paper overlay, having flight lines drawn on it was used. On this overlay, a small rectangle was drawn, in pencil, to represent the area covered by a particular print.

This rectangle was then labeled to correspond to the pictures it represents. This was done for about every tenth negative.

        7.     Upon completion of indexing, the prints were packed, a smooth data sheet added, and the package labeled to correspond to the roll of negatives from which the prints were made. The packwere then prepared for shipment.

All glacier picture negatives were marked immediately after processing and then returned for printing. The prints were then indexed by plotting their numbers on a chart along an arrow showing their location and the direction of view. Prints, negatives, plot charts and data sheets were then prepared for shipment.

Radar scope picture negatives were cut and spliced after processing and the start of each flight line was marked. The pictures were then indexed in a manner similar to that outlined for the K-17 12" pictures. Negatives, data sheets and plot charts were then packed for shipment.

C.     Laboratory Equipment

The laboratory was equipped as follows prior to the arrival of the tender or of squadron personnel:

        (a)     2 large lead-lined sinks in the large darkroom.
        (b)     1 lead-lined sink in the drying and washing room.
        (c)     1 lead-lined sink in each of the small darkrooms.

All sinks were equipped with mixing faucets and were of good construction. They proved very serviceable.

The following equipment was installed by the squadron after arrival:

        (a)    6 Morse Aerial Film Developing Outfits
        (b)    4  Smith Aerial Film Dryers
        (c)    1 Sonny Strip Printer
        (d)    3 Contact Printers
        (e)    2 Pako Print Washers
        (f)    1 26 Pako Matte Dryer
        (g)   1 Water Filter

        1.     The Morse aerial film developing outfits proved far superior to either the Smith or PATCO film developing outfits. After almost four months of constant use, no mechanical difficulties had been encountered. With long rolls of one hundred fifty (150) foot or over film, considerable developing streaks were acquired, unless a ten to fifteen foot long leader was left on both ends of the roll.

        2.     The Smith Model J aerial film dryers were must too slow for a survey of this size, taking from two and a half to three hours for a two hundred foot roll of film. Although heating jackets v/ere first used to speed up the drying process, several rolls of film had to be discarded and the flight lines reflown because of excessive water spotting. Even with the use of the Eastman spot preventive, the spotting continued and the heating jackets were removed. It was found that the only way to keep from getting water spots with these dryers was to remove all excess water from the film before it entered the dryer.

        3.     When the contact printing was started for the Forestry Department, a 26 matte dryer was borrowed from the Photo Laboratory at N.A.S., Whidbey Island. This dryer could more than keep up with the prints washed by the two washers and the capacity of the washers was the deciding factor in the number of prints made by each shift.


A.     Vertical Photography

Certical photography of the entire area was accomplished for the Department of Interior, Geological Survey. This work consisted of covering about twenty-three thousand (23,000) linear miles or thirty-nine thousand (39,000) square miles (nautical). This area is larger than the state of Pennsylvania and slightly smaller than Washington. The film was developed, rough sonne" prints made, and checked for compliance with specifications. Line index maps were made using the acceptable runs. Film, indices and data have been forwarded to VP-61 for printing and final indexing. This project is considered 100% complete, except for final printing and indexing. One area of 2,123 linear miles was reflown in entirety due to excessive snow on original coverage. Approximately 10% of the final results has excessive snow in glacier areas but will not improve, hence, must be considered acceptable.

B. Split Vertical Photography

Split vertical photography was accomplished with split mount K-17 12" cameras simultaneously with the vertical photography. The film was developed and checked. By local agreement with Mr. B. Frank HEINTZLEMAN, Regional Director, U.S. Forest Service, Juneau, Alaska, only timber areas were printed. Mr. HEINTZELMAN designated the areas desired and two sets of prints were made at Annette and delivered to Mr. C. M. ARCHBOLD, Division Supervisor, United States Forest Service, Ketchikan, Alaska. This amounted to 45,026 prints. An index chart was made showing the location of the prints. One copy was furnished to the Juneau Forestry Office and one was shipped with the film to Naval Photographic Center for delivery to U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D. C. This project is considered 100% completed.

C. Glacier Photography

Glacier photographs were made of the glaciers mentioned in the original specifications and of many others. These were made in August in order to assure minimum snow coverage. Two hundred and eleven (211) photographs have been forwarded to the American Geographic Society in New York, along with plot charts and data sheets. The negatives have been forwarded, along with the photostat negatives of the plot charts, to the Naval Photographic Center, NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C.. This project is 100% completed.

D. Radar Photography

The radar photography was conducted in accordance with specifications and was completed 100%. The results have been forwarded by separate correspondence.

E. Extra Work Accomplished

Extra work accomplished which was not included in original specifications, the accomplishment of which was considered to be to the best interests of the U.S. Naval Service, is as follows:

        (a)     Vertical 6 coverage of 900 square miles in the Icy Bay-Yakataga area. This additional coverage was requested by Mr. W. T. REAGAN, as a result of the visit by Dr. W. C. REED, Staff Geologist Director's Office, U.S. Geological Survey. This, in general, is a coastline strip some fifteen (15) miles wide and includes possible oil seepage areas. It was originally inadvertently left off original specifications and is an extension of assigned area.

This area was photographed on the day prior to departure from Annette and the maps were entirely inadequate. The results are not in keeping with the normal high standard of work, but, in view of the importance of this area, the five sets of prints were made for forwarding. All film, data sheets, flight line charts, and prints were shipped to VP-61 for final indexing. Some 2,000 prints were made.

        (b)     6 vertical prints of existing film were printed at Annette for the U.S. Geological Survey (1,700 prints) covering triangulation control points which were being established by field parties, during the summer months. These were delivered in the field and proved to be of considerable assistance to the ground parties.

        (c)     vertical coverage of Hecate Island was printed while at Annette for the U.S. Geological Survey for use by the Geological Field Parties. A plot chart showing location of each picture was furnished.

        (d)     6 vertical coverage of Ward Creek area near Ketchikan was furnished the U.S. Forest Service. This amounted to some 18 prints covering an area where a survey for a three million dollar pulp installation is being made.

        (e)     6 vertical coverage of Haines Area was furnished Mr. Harold T. JORGENSON, Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage, Alaska. This coverage consisted of six photographs.

        (f)     By verbal request from Mr. Maynard MILLER, Research Associate, American Geographic Society, 12^ photographic coverage of Juneau ice fields was furnished.


A.     Conclusions

        1.     Certain general conclusions applicable to future planning, drawn from this operation, are enumerated below:

                (a)     Good equipment is more important than thorough training of personnel. This contentention rests on the assumption that the personnel concerned have a reasonable amount of common sense, an interest in the project and that at least part of the group has some basic knowledge of the procedures to be used and the problems involved. This is exemplified in this survey by the photographic flying accomplished, even early in the summer, despite the general low level of squadron training for this mission.

                (b)     Thorough training of personel is a highly desirable, though not necessarily essential, element in the conduct of such operations. This fact was clearly shown in both flight and laboratory work on this survey. While satisfactory work was produced early in the season, the efficiency of operations in both categories showed marked improvement as the summer progressed.

                (c)     Assuming personnel assigned to this squadron are representative of Naval Photographic personnel in general, the Navy has a definite scarcity of personnel experienced in the conduct of such surveys.

This project has furnished valuable training in aerial survey work for all personnel involved. In addition, the advance base nature of the operations will prove to be valuable experience for all personnel, even on non-photographic assignments.

Fundamental training of a survey detachment can be carried out after deployment, but in an area of poor weather for photographic flying, a short period of shakedown will be desirable before deployment.

        2.     Accomplishment of this survey by a civilian contractor would require several years and would not be economically feasible.

Initiative, interest and drive are essential personnel characteristics for the successful accomplishment of such a mission. These qualities are particularly essential when they must substitute to a certain extent for experience. Due to exacting requirements of cartographic photography, it is easy for disinterested personnel to find excuses for not attempting photographic flights.

The cost of the survey to the government has been a good investment, in training alone. In addition, the development in Alaska which will be assisted by the forestry project alone will make the expense of the project well worthwhile.

B.     Recommendations

        1.     Specifications delivered to a survey unit should be complete, clear, and accurate in all details. All information available on the proposed survey area and any background information on the specifications themselves should be furnished with the specifications.

        2.     Specifications should be reviewed with operational commanders prior to deployment, if practicable. This should be accomplished with a liaison officer from the Chief of Naval Operations present. This officer would, of necessity, be thoroughly familiar with all details of the specifications.

        3.     A short shakedown period should be scheduled prior to deployment of a survey detachment. This period should be devoted entirely to training and testing equipment and should not be interrupted by any other activities.

        4.     Photographic personnel of the large surveys conducted this year should be utilized to train additional personnel and their aerial survey experience should be noted for future reference.

        5.     Sufficient personnel should be assigned such surveys to allow continuation of all ground photographic operations while all flight crews are airborne. This would include both personnel for processing film and prints, and officer and enlisted personnel for assessing, marking, indexing and ò similar functions.

        6.     Navy photographic publications should include complete and detailed instructions for all phases of aerial survey operations. They should be as non-technical as possible so that they could be understood by inexperienced personnel.

        7.     All agencies, other than the Navy Department, for whom photography is being obtained, should furnish a field representative. One man might well represent all agencies concerned, but he should be thoroughly familiar with all projects being undertaken.

        8.     Photographic training for officers should cover the administrative and logistic work involved in planning and executing large aerial surveys.

Whenever practicable, large aerial surveys should be assigned to photographic squadrons in order to take advantage of the previous experience available, and in order that the training involved could be used to the maximum advantage in furthering Naval photography.


    1.     The references listed below are the directives governing the Aerial Survey of Southeastern Alaska conducted by Patrol Squadron FOUR.

            (a)     Specifications, basic, and modifications and additions thereto:
                        (1)     CNO letter OP33VI/meh Hl"l Serial 2781P33 of 17 September 1947.
                        (2)     CNO letter OP55PR.I/mga F44-2 Serial 56P55P of 6 March 1948.
                        (3)     CNO letter OP55PRI/mga F44-3 Serial 136P55P of 29 April 1948.
                        (4)     CNO letter OP55PRI/mga F44-3 Serial 137P55P of 29 April 1948.
                        (5)     CNO OP55P dispatch 191603Z of May 1948.
                        (6)     CNO letter OP55PRI/mga EG3/HI-18 Serial 208P55P of 23 June 1948.
                        (7)     CNO OP55P dispatch 282021Z of July 1948.

            (b)   Operations Plan - CornFairWingFour OP Plan No. 2-48 dated 5 April 1948.

    2.     The photo configuration of the P2V-2 was commented on, as to both material and operational aspects, in: VPML-4 letter A9-8/TFP/mef Serial of 328, dated I August 1948.

    3.     Letters requesting and acknowledging additional photographic work, not covered by the specifications, are attached as succeeding sheets of this appendix.

"VP-4 Page"

"VP-61 Page"

"FASRON-112 Page"

"FAW-4 Page"

Selection Page

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