Curtiss SO3C-1 Seamew 

Fleet Air Arm Seamew I - FN475


The Curtiss SO3C-1 Seamew was a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft developed by the US Navy and were sold to Great Britain under Lend-Lease. It was originally called the Seagull in the States but following the naming of the "Seamew" by the FAA it was later also adopted by the USN. The original SO3C-2 Lend-Lease version delivered to the FAA had additional bomb rack under fuselage and arrester gear as well as other refinements over USN versions. The next version was the Seamew 1, the FAA equivalent of SO3-2C. 250 lend-lease aircraft were ordered for the FAA.
    Fleet Air Arm history
        Seamew SO3C-2C
        Total FAA 1939-1945               250
        First delivered to RN:                3.1943
        First squadron 1939-1945:          8.1943 755 sqdn
        Operational squadron:                None
        Last served with RN                 1945

Total 250 Ordered from USA under contract No. LL76800 and requisition No. 2850

First RN:     TOC 1 NAGS Yarmouth 3. 43 (FN480). 5.43 to C sqdn A&AEE for performance evaluation (FN475).
Sqdn:           8.43 755 sqdn at Worthy Down (FN459)
Main sqdn    755 sqdn at Worthy Down
Op sqdn:      were to equip 850 sqdn at Quonset Point but none were received - sqdn disbanded.

Aircraft Type:
Curtiss SO3C-1 Seamew
Primary Role:
reconnaissance aircraft/Scout/patrol floatplane 
First Flight: 
6 October 1939
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
Entered Service: July 1942
520 hp Ranger SGV-770-6 engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan  11.58m 
Length 10.59m 
Height 4.32m
Wing Area 27.22 sq m 
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Empty Weight 2266kg 
Maximum Take Off Weight 3175kg
Maximum speed 190 mph (Seaplane). 241 km/hr at sea level
Cruise 188km/hr 
Service Ceiling 5029m 
Range 1512km endurance 8 hours
One fixed forward 0.3in machine gun (in cowl), one one swivel mounted .30 cal in rear cockpit 
2 100 lb or 325lb depth-bombs underwing or 500lb bomb under fuselage
744 and 745 Squadrons based at Nova Scotia, Canada, and 755 Squadron based at Worthy-Down, Hampshire, UK.
Battle honours:
Additional references and notes:
Battle Honours and Operational History
None with the Fleet Air Arm

Surviving aircraft and relics
No information - believed extinct

Associations and reunions
No Information
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 085130 232 7 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000


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