The US Navy's Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher is now part of the Smithsonian Institute's Collection at the Udvar-Hazy Center, National Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia.
The Kingfisher was the U.S. Navy's primary ship-based, scout and observation aircraft during World War II. Revolutionary spot welding techniques gave it a smooth, non-buckling fuselage structure. Deflector plate flaps that hung from the wing's trailing edge and spoiler-augmented ailerons functioned like extra flaps to allow slower landing speeds. Most OS2Us operated in the Pacific, where they rescued many downed airmen, including World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker and the crew of his B-17 Flying Fortress.
In March 1942, this airplane was assigned to the battleship USS Indiana. It later underwent a six-month overhaul in California, returned to Pearl Harbor, and rejoined the Indiana in March 1944. Lt. j.g. Rollin M. Batten Jr. was awarded the Navy Cross for making a daring rescue in this airplane under heavy enemy fire on July 4, 1944. (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collections, Inventory Number: A19610106000)
This page updated or reviewed in March 2011