2004-05-07 / Community

Never-Before-Published Pictures Of NC-4

Never-Before-Published Pictures Of NC-4


The NC-4 landing safely at Ponta Delgada, Azores. An unidentified Navy Destroyer stands by to assist the NC boats.The NC-4 landing safely at Ponta Delgada, Azores. An unidentified Navy Destroyer stands by to assist the NC boats.

Irving Sheeley enlisted in the Navy in March, 1917 as a Landsman (candidate) for Machinist’s Mate, Second Class. Since he had lots of experience as a mechanic, he was quickly promoted to the higher rank and by late 1917, he was designated as Chief Mechanic’s Mate (Air), one of the few aviation mechanics in the Navy.

He went overseas in World War I, attached to the First Aeronautic Detachment, one of the first units to see combat in that war. His unit initiated antisubmarine patrols (ASW) and combat over the English Channel. Based in France, Sheeley was trained by the British as an Aerial Observer.

He was involved in combat and ASW patrols nearby NAS Dunkerque, France.

After the war, Sheeley was stationed at NAS Anacostia in Washington, D.C., when he was detailed to Rockaway to assist in the transatlantic effort of the NC flying boats.


The radio operator in each of the NC flying boats sat at a station such as this on on the NC-4.The radio operator in each of the NC flying boats sat at a station such as this on on the NC-4.

Later in his service, Sheeley was involved in developing the first arresting gear on the "USS Langley," the first American aircraft carrier. The arresting gear is used to land fast-moving aircraft on the flight deck.

He was discharged from the Navy after his second tour on August 22, 1922.

In 1993, a book about Sheeley’s life, called "Sailor of the Air," was written by his nephew and his nephew’s wife. The book, published by the University of Alabama Press, is a compilation of his letters and diaries.

This story and the photos on this page were provided to The Wave by Larry Sheeley, a nephew of Irving. They were collected by John Beyer, who has become something of an expert on NC-4 lore.


The NC-4 departs Newfoundland on its way to Europe.The NC-4 departs Newfoundland on its way to Europe.

The photos were all taken by unknown U.S. Navy photograpehers. They were originally found in Irving Sheeley’s large photographic collection after his death.


Taxiing for takeoff, the NC-4 leaves Ponta Delgada.Taxiing for takeoff, the NC-4 leaves Ponta Delgada.NC-4 on its takeoff run from Trepassey on its way to the Azores.NC-4 on its takeoff run from Trepassey on its way to the Azores.

The NC-4 heads for the shore at the Azores.The NC-4 heads for the shore at the Azores.NC-3 moored to the USS Aroostock in Trepassey Harbor.NC-3 moored to the USS Aroostock in Trepassey Harbor.

Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History

 

 

Check Out News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Riding the Wave with Mark Healey on BlogTalkRadio