“Checkout in the ‘Beast’”
January 9, 1948, NAS JAX, I was getting my 1st flight in the SB2C during Attack Advanced Training (wings in Nov. '47). Following usual 'Fam' flight procedures-steep turns, slow flight, stalls, etc. at about 8,000 feet, I did a 'clean' stall … everything went fine-nose down, add power, recover to level flight. Then I tried the stall with every· thing 'dirty'; after the stall, I suddenly found myself in a left turn spin. No sweat … I applied full opposite rudder then full forward stick. NOTHING! I neutralized the controls and did it again. NOTHING! I cranked open the canopy and prepared for a 'nylon approach'; when I glanced down and saw that my "full forward stick" was in the middle of the cockpit. I put both hands on the stick and LUNGED that sucker to the firewall … the plane stopped spinning on a dime. I leveled off, raised my flaps and wheels and spent the rest of the Fam flight at 6,000 feet with no maneuver more violent than a 15 degree turn. My landing was the smoothest I ever made in the SB2C … I knew exactly the air speed where it stalled. They didn't call it the "Beast" for nothing!