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Early 60's Navy Fighter Tailhooks - matching set.

son of ace

New Member
For Sale: Matching set of two, unused Navy fighter tailhooks; vintage early 1960's; owned by WWII Navy Fighter Ace; presented to him as a gift; were to be used as decoration in his restaurant, but never pressed into service; these hooks are unpainted, and silver in color; I suspect they are made of an alloy containing some level of titanium; weight approximately 35# each; located in San Diego, Ca. Price: $1,000 - the pair, plus shipping.
 

A4sForever

BTDT OLD GUY
pilot
Contributor
Early '60's "titanium" tailhooks (??) .... very nice. Very nice, indeed ....

Wish we'd had "titanium tailhooks" in the late '60's-early '70's instead of the steel crap they made us use ... :)
 

Mumbles

Registered User
pilot
Contributor
I call B.S. on this shyster....my old man had an F-4 tailhook that he kept in the garage when I was little....and I'm sure it must have weighed 70-80lbs. BTW....he told me my Mom made him get rid of it at a garage sale in P-cola 25 years ago.....Gawd I'm pissed!
 

HuggyU2

Well-Known Member
None
35 lbs?? I'm no carrier aviator, but I'm thinking those wouldn't last long, even if you were trapping a Cessna 140 at min fuel.
 

son of ace

New Member
I call B.S. on this shyster....my old man had an F-4 tailhook that he kept in the garage when I was little....and I'm sure it must have weighed 70-80lbs. BTW....he told me my Mom made him get rid of it at a garage sale in P-cola 25 years ago.....Gawd I'm pissed!
Mumbles: Thank you for your observation. Within the next two days, I will weigh the tail hooks and post a more accurate weight. My initial quote was simply an estimate.You are not the only reader who called into question my weight estimate. As I told another reader, within the next two days, I will visit my Mother's garage and weigh one of the tail hooks. I will be surprised if it registers more than 50#. Who knows? However, I will be shocked if mine weighs as much as those you recall in the garage or your youth. Perhaps, as a lad, they seemed heavier years ago.

A number of readers have called my tail hook weight estimate into question. Within the next two days I will visit my Mother's garage and weigh one of the units. While conducting that inquiry, I will also examine the tail hooks for identifying markings that may assist you in determining the type of aircraft to which they belong.

35 lbs?? I'm no carrier aviator, but I'm thinking those wouldn't last long, even if you were trapping a Cessna 140 at min fuel.
Dear Huggyu2: I too am not a carrier aviator; and I admit the weight cited in my ad was merely an estimate. At least three other reader called my estimate into question. Within the next two days, I will visit my Mother's garage and weigh one of the tail hooks. However, I harbor a strong suspicion that the decreased weight is explained by the presence of a rather sophisticated 1960s' alloy.

Redux said:
Gotta be a PN there somewhere.
Dear Redux: I will be happy to deliver a response to your inquiry / message. However, I do not understand the term "PN."

Schnugg said:
Who was the Ace?
The ACE was Carl Eugene Smith - WWII Hellcat pilot; 7 confirmed kills; a number of probables; 21 air medals; 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses; led the first fighter squadron into Korea - His proudest accomplishment was returning from Korea without losing a single member of his team. He passed away in April 2007. Beyond his Naval accomplishments, and many others later in life, he was a unique and wonderful man....but he loved Naval Aviation most.

Bruce Smith
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
Son of Ace - much respect to your father and my condolences on his passing. I also appreciate that you are trying to pass on pieces of your father's Naval heritage to those that will most appreciate it.

The skeptics are because we have had problems with posers and scammers on this site. Many members have become weary of first posts making big claims or offering deals. Not an apology for any of them, just an explanation.
 

Hozer

Jobu needs a refill!
None
Contributor
From article link......Mr. Smith and six siblings lost their parents at age 3 and went to live with relatives for two years. He was then sent to a Masonic home for orphans with two of his six siblings. He grew up there until reaching the age of 18 in 1938. He was then given a new suit, some pocket money and a fond farewell from the orphanage to make it on his own. He obtained work as a salesman until joining the Navy in 1942.

Where do we get such men?
Today, that upbringing would be grounds to excuse the failed adult life of a convicted felon...
Instead, a WWII ace, successful family man and entrepreneur.
Condolences indeed.
 

son of ace

New Member
Hozer: You are an Internet wizard!! I wrote the obituary you quote in your posting. My father was a most amazing man! Only very late in life did he recount tales of his WWII cruises; and only very rarely mentioned the air combat. I know he respected all combat aviators, and deeply regretted killing the Japanese pilots he defeated. Strange - but true. He loved and respected those with whom he flew. For him, the most difficult part of being a combat fighter pilot were those points in time when those who returned to the ship realized that their dear comrade was not simply delayed...he was not returning. Thanks for taking the time to research my Dad.

Phrogpilot73: Thank you for the offer of assistance. This evening I took another look at the two tail hooks. They bear no Navy emblem or symbol. Curious. However, when my Father was transferred in 1960 to North Island (San Diego, Ca.) his on-base job was that of Comfair San Diego Safety Officer. He investigated Navy aircraft accidents. In that position, he had regular and frequent contact with defense contractors, and manufacturers in the aviation industry. The absence of any identifying Navy markings could be because the tail hooks came from a source in aviation manufacturing. I was around 12 years of age when the tail hooks arrived. The person who gave him the tail hooks suggested they be mounted and displayed in our restaurant - The Red Hawk Steak House, Imperial Beach, Ca. The trouble was the tail hooks were so heavy, Dad did not know how to secure them to the wall. As I reflect on the topic - the tail hooks may even be prototypes or preliminary models of a version eventually produced for the Navy. Their best value may be - depending on the nature of the alloy - as scrap. Meanwhile, I think I will just let them continue to rest in the garage. Thanks.
 

jvanlangen

New Member
For Sale: Matching set of two, unused Navy fighter tailhooks; vintage early 1960's; owned by WWII Navy Fighter Ace; presented to him as a gift; were to be used as decoration in his restaurant, but never pressed into service; these hooks are unpainted, and silver in color; I suspect they are made of an alloy containing some level of titanium; weight approximately 35# each; located in San Diego, Ca. Price: $1,000 - the pair, plus shipping.
I'm looking for a F-4Tailhook. Any chance you still have them?
 
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