The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor was the first aircraft flown in the primary stage of flight training at NAAS Saufley Field. The Navy bought 423 of these. It was powered by a 225-hp Continental O-470-4 flat-six piston engine.
The North American T-28 Trojan was the aircraft flown by the Cadets who were in the single-engine pipeline. The T-28B and T-28C were acquired by the Navy. The C model included a tailhook for carrier landing training. The T-28B and T-28C models also included a more powerful engine. During the Vietnam war era the South Vietnamese Air Force converted the T-28's into a version known as the T-28D . The T-28D added armor and gunpods and took on a ground support role that was later assumed by the AD4 Skyraider. It was powered by a 1425 HP Wright R-1820-86 engine.
The North American SNJ Texan was the aircraft flown from Corry Field by the Cadets who were in the multiengine pipeline. in 1940 the Navy placed its first orders for the SNJ-3, similar to the Army Air Corps' AT-6A and featuring the triangular fin and rudder and blunt wingtips already introduced on the Army BC-IA. Orders totalled 270, with 120 built at Inglewood as NA-77, and 150 built at the North American plant in Dallas, Texas, with R-1340-AN-1 engine. Minor improvements were incorporated in 2,400 SNJ-4s built in Texas, and a further 1,357 SNJ-5s differed only in having a 24-volt electrical system replacing the 12-volt system. Corry Field was closed in the spring of 1958 and the SNJ retired as a trainer.
The Beechcraft SNB Kansan, affectionately known as the "bug smasher", was the aircraft flown from NAS Pensacola and NAS Corpus Christi by the Cadets who were in the multiengine pipeline. It was powered by two 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-3 engines. It was the most modified US-certified aircraft design, with over 200 FAA approved Supplemental Type Certificates on record for the aircraft.
The Lockheed T2V Seastar was flown by Cadets in the jet pipeline on their way to NAAS Kingsville or NAAS Beeville via NAS Memphis. This aircraft was used exclusively for instrument training and we never flew the airplane from the front cockpit. It's main strength was its navigation and communications suite. It had an ARN-6 low freq radio, an ARC-27 UHF radio, plus TACAN and OMNI navigation receivers. All our time, 20 flights for approximately 30 hours, was spent under the bag in the back seat. It's main weakness was its short legs - it was tough to get more than 1.5 hours out of it.
The Grumman S2F Tracker was flown by Cadets in advanced multiengine training at NAAS Kingsville South Field. It was powered by two 1525 hp Wright R-1820-82 engines and it was really fun to fly. The TF-1/C1A Trader was a passenger/cargo variant assigned to aircraft carriers and VR squadrons for shore-to-ship logistic missions. I qualified as C-1 plane commander on Enterprise and accumulated 100 hours and 30 carrier landings in it during my tour.
The Douglas AD-4/A-1 Skyraider was flown by advanced Cadet students at NAS Corpus Christi. This aircraft saw heavy duty in the Korean and Viet Nam wars. It was powered by a 2700 hp Wright R-3350-26WA engine and could carry Up to 8,000 pounds of ordnance on 15 external hardpoints including bombs, torpedoes, mine dispensers, unguided rockets, or gun pod. On two separate occasions the A-1 actually shot down a MIG-17 in the Viet Nam war. Capt. Ralph Whitby, USN (Ret.) flew the AD-4.
We actually had a member of our class receive airship training at NAS Glynco at Brunswick, GA. George Conger, our salty Cadet Regimental Commander suffered a broken neck while in flight training and after a three month recovery and rehab period he was diverted into the airship pipeline. He got his wings at Glynco and then went to NAS Lakehurst, NJ where he finished his service decommissioning airship squadron ZP-3.
The Piasecki HUP-1 was flown at Ellyson Field by class 32-57 cadets in advanced helicopter training. Randall Sproles was one of those cadets.
Class 32-57 Cadet Regimental Commander George Conger flew The Bell HTL-4 at Ellyson field.
George Conger flew one flight in the Sikorsky HO4S.
Cadets reporting to advanced training at Kingsville or Beeville, Texas flew the Grumman F9F-8 Cougar. The top variant is the single seat F9F-8B. The bottom variant is the dual seat F9F-8T. Advanced training included gunnery, bombing, and day carrier qualification aboard U.S.S. Antietam - 2 touch-and-go and 3 arrested landings. I qualified in the 8T.