Seagulls and Crackerjacks
USS Idaho (BB-42). Ship’s company posed on the after deck and after 14″/50 cal gun turrets, circa 1938.
Note two Curtiss SOC-3 Seagull floatplanes, of Battleship Division Three’s Observation Squadron Three (VO-3), atop the Turret # 3 catapult and on deck to the port of the turrets. The squadron provided four-aircraft dets to not only Idaho but also sisters USS Mississippi (BB-41) and New Mexico (BB-40).
The humble Seagull, although out of production by the time this image was taken and was planned to be replaced by the Vought OS2U Kingfisher and SO3C Seamew, still flew observation and scouting missions (equipped with up to 650-pounds of ordnance) in WWII, one of the few U.S. Navy biplanes to see combat during the conflict.
During WWII, VO-3 wore an insignia using Disney cartoon character “Oswald the Rabbit” riding a shell, a pretty accurate depiction of their role in calling NGFS.