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Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:19 am

Does anyone have any first hand knowledge or experience with the Grumman Goose that is on display in the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, LI, NY?

I once read somewhere that they claim that it is serial number 1085, but THAT Goose, ex-N12CS, is the JRF-3 in USCG colors hanging in the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL - I have talked to Glen Hyde of Roanoke, TX who sold it to the Navy Museum to confirm that fact.

I also heard that CoAM got their Goose from Universal Studios and that it had been the non-airworthy static film set for the Tales of the Gold Monkey television series. (Whereas N327, s/n 1051, was used for all of the actual flight sequences.)

Anyone know something more about it?

I can't figure out how they could be so confused about the identity of their Goose, but I'm guessing that Universal Studios simply got a hold of one of the many Goose airframes leftover after a crash from the many Gooses that used to operate the Long Beach to Catalina Island service up through the 1970's. (Tales of the Gold Monkey was filmed in 1982.)

And like the Goose at the Palm Springs Air Museum, what's up with those squared-off wing tips?

Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:51 am


Here's a pic of the Goose in question on the FromtheFlightDeck.com Web site. NC16913 would have been serial number 1004, which my notes say was originally purchased by Charles W. Deeds. It was rumored to have been commandeered by the Air Corps as an OA-13 and later to have ended up in Argentina as LV-AFP and later, LV-FTD.

On the other hand, there was a Pan Am connection to the "syndicate" which sponsored the original production of the Goose. C. V. Whitney (Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, aka “Sonny”) was a co-founder (along with Juan Trippe) and a former Chairman of Pan Am. He was the son of the founder of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York and he served on its Board of Directors from 1926 until 1940. I think that he bought Grumman G-21 s/n 1012 which was first registered as NC16917, but I have no further info about that Goose.

Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:12 pm

The Cradle of Aviation Goose is N644R cn B-130.
It's a former BLM/USFW airplane that was donated directly from the USFW Service.
Have to a bit dig for the rest.
Send me a PM for more info.

Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:30 pm

My records and research differ. I have N644R, s/n B-130, as a former brown & white BLM Goose that is currently at HARP (Historic Aircraft Restoration Project) at Floyd Bennett Field on the other side of Jamaica Bay from Kennedy Airport. It has since been re-painted in an old NYPD Aviation unit paint scheme.

I talked to the HARP guys a while back because their ground power unit fried the Goose's electrical system and they were having to re-wire it from scratch. We provided them with schematics based on the 24 volt conversion that was done on our ex-BLM Goose, N641, s/n B-115.

Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:22 pm

OOPS, Sorry.
I got the two L.I. museums confused.
644R is at the HARP alright.
To the best of my knowledge PAA never got a new Goose, they may have gotten one or two second hand somewhere to be used as trainers, but I have no lisiting for a NEW Goose going to PAA.
Before he flew for McDermott my Dad flew for PAA out of Dinner Key and the PAA Airport in Miami. He was a check pilot and as such flew just about everything in the inventory and I don't remember seeing a Goose listed in his logbooks during that time (1941 - 1948).
PAA was using Widgeons as multi-engine and instrument trainers during the war, I don't know what they would use a Goose for.
This is supposedly NC 16913 cn 1014 in PAA markings, could have been an affiliates or corp. airplane.
The ADF football on the nose squares with another shot of 1014 I have.
Location unknown, but it ain't N.Y. or Miami.
Argentina ???


Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:00 pm

Here's a pic of the HARP Goose taken last weekend.


Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:25 pm

Mr Widgeon wrote:To the best of my knowledge PAA never got a new Goose... but I have no listing for a NEW Goose going to PAA.
Before he flew for McDermott my Dad flew for PAA out of Dinner Key and the PAA Airport in Miami. He was a check pilot and as such flew just about everything in the inventory and I don't remember seeing a Goose listed in his logbooks during that time (1941 - 1948)

Hey Bill,
My latest Goose research project involves a photo I found in the WIX Long Island Aviation thread qutie a while back. It shows what essentially seems to be a new Goose sitting on its belly on a runway. Somebody screwed up and landed without first extending the wheels - better than putting the wheels down before landing in the water of course! The photo is labeled "G-21 Roosevelt Field" but I am trying to determine its actual registration and serial number.


The only identifiable markings on the Goose are the words "1st Air Squadron" over "Florida Defense Force" on the nose. I eventually was able to find a history of the CAP in Florida during WWII here: http://flwg.us/archive/floridawinghistory.asp It says that the 1st Air Squadron of the FDF was formed at Morrison Field, West Palm Beach in May 1941.

I also eventually found a photo of the members of that CAP squadron posing in front of what seems to be the very same Goose. A small version of it can be found as a Flash pop-up (no. 52 out of 53 at the bottom of the page) here: http://www.pbchistoryonline.org/go/photo.gallery/for/world-war-ii I need to figure out where I got a bigger and better copy of that same photo and post that link. (Note: I just found a download link for a better copy of that group photo here: http://sercap.us/page8220741.aspx) In any case, it was supposedly taken on July 4th, 1941 in West Palm Beach. Mr. Cecil Z. Cornelius was identifed as one of the people in the photo and as being the owner of one of two Gooses operating with the FDF before they were absorbed into the CAP. He was also listed as a county commissioner in West Palm Beach County at the time.

So far, I haven't been able to tie a specific Goose to Mr. Cornelius of West Palm Beach in 1941. By eliminating every Goose not built until after July 1941 as well as every one built specfically for the military up until that point (including the four for Peru and all of the G-21B flying boats for Portugal, it had to have been an actual civilian model G-21 or G-21A (not an Air Corps OA-9 or Navy JRF series) with a serial number lower than 1085. Eliminating the ones that I'm pretty sure it can't be based on known histories, I'm actually down to 9 possibilities.

Another book I found on the history of West Palm Beach up through 1950 included a copy of that same group photo in front of the Goose, except it mistakenly identified the aircraft as a Sikorsky amphibian. That made me wonder if possibly they were confused by the fact that it had once been owned by Sikorsky's chief test pilot, Boris Sergievsky - in other words, Grumman G-21 s/n 1006, registered as NC16915.

In any case, the fact that your dad was flying seaplanes out of Miami around the same time makes it just a long shot that you might have absorbed some relevant information about Gooses in south Florida at the time, but that long shot is what I'm down to at this point! Any ideas?

And from the other end, are there any other means by which additional information about the original "G-21 Roosevelt Field" photo can be obtained?

Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:47 am

Hey Rajay, long time no see.

First, my Dad didn't fly any Gooses during his time with PAA except NC 3042 (owned by Gulf Oil) one time when the pilot, an old friend, was passing through Miami and he never said anything about flying one beside NC 3042 c/n 1064, the airplane he got his MES rating in.
I know he flew a couple others over the years, but I don't have those in his logbooks, he quit keeping his own logbooks in the early 1950s instead just logging his time in the company's individual aircraft logs.

Now, back to the question at hand.
This one had me stumped from the time I first saw it, your query forced me to dig a bit deeper and I think I may have an answer.
Using my usual methods for things like this (enlarge to max clarity, convert to a negative, magnify then start matching visible clues to known registrations, I usually get it right about 75-80% of the time) I can make out what appears to be a 1 as the last digit in the registration.
Due to the location of the number, well short of the tip, I think it's a short 3 or 4 digit registration number vs a longer 5 digit number that would go all the way out to the tip, in short I think it's NC 3021 c/n 1058 (later USAAF 42-38214 & then back to NC 3021).
According to the Grumman Guidebook (Yeah, I know it has errors) it was originally sold to one J. Donohue who (surprise, surprise) was also listed as a member of CAP Base 3 in the second link you sent (Coastal Patrol - Base 3, below the personnel photos, 2nd column).
What say you Sire ?


Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:07 am

Bill, I say "you ROCK!"*

Grumman G-21A Goose NC3021, c/n 1058, was the 7th of the 9 aircraft on my list of "potentials" that I had whittled down from the original list of the first 84 Gooses built. I guess that if the Goose in the "Roosevelt Field" photo belonged to Mr. J. Donohue of West Palm Beach, my next step is to try to figure out which other Goose, supposedly belonging to Mr. Cecil Z. Cornelius, was the second Goose that was active with the 1st Air Squadron of the Florida Defense Force.

*One caveat - according to my database, NC3042 belonging to Gulf Oil was s/n 1062, not 1064. (1064 was a USCG JRF-2, identified with the code V175.) I actually have copies of some of the original maintenance records for NC3042 from the FAA archives in OK City because they were stupidly included in with the records for N77AQ, McKinnon G-21G s/n 1205. Prior to its turbine conversion, while registered as N5558 in the 1960's after returning to the US from Iceland (of all places) some of its paperwork was "contaminated" with a typo that identified it as being serial number "B-1062" (it was actually just B-62.)

Of course, "B-1062" was never a valid Grumman G-21 series serial number (according to Type Certificate No. 654, the valid ranges were 1001 to 1200 and B-1 to B-145.) Obviously, as I have noted in many other posts here and elsewhere, none of the "bureaucrats" at the FAA ever seem to review, validate, or authenticate the volumes of paperwork that they require us to submit.

According to those cross-contaminated records included with N77AQ's, NC3042 was sold by Gulf Oil to the War Department on Sept. 5, 1942 and it became OA-13A s/n 42-97055. I have no further records of it and I assume that it did not survive the war.

As for the "long time no see" I have been browsing and posting right along, but I have noticed that I have not been receiving the usual e-mails lately about follow-up posts by other WIX'ers. (What up with that, Scott?)

Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:47 pm

Now WHY did I write 1064, I KNOW it was 1062 ?
Another Major attack of cranial flatulence I guess.
Again, going by the Guidebook, 1062 was returned to Gulf Oil as surplus and re-registered as NC 3042 then N3042.
I have absolutely no doubt it to be true, the copilot/mechanic on the airplane was an old family friend that we used to visit in Houston every year.
It was eventually written off in the very early 50's after a rough water landing that tore a float loose & causing the airplane to sink.
It was raised intact, but Gulf decided that it wasn't worth fixing and bought a Widgeon to replace it.
I remember looking at pictures of it after it was raised when I was a kid and thinking "heck, that doesn't look bad, why didn't they fix it".

Good luck with your search for the other Goose.


Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:54 pm

Well, you "rock" some more. That additional info regarding N3042 is useful and I'll add it to my database.

Funny thing - even though I seem to be making progress with other Goose histories, I'm still no further along with the original purpose of this thread - identifying the Goose that was used as a static set piece at Universal Studios on the television series Tales of the Gold Monkey and which eventually was refurbished and put on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island.

Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:10 pm

FWIW, here's a LIFE photo of NC 16913 quayside in Brazil taken by Hart Preston 1941.


from series at http://images.google.com/hosted/life/d1 ... 09ff0.html

Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:49 pm

Rajay wrote:And like the Goose at the Palm Springs Air Museum, what's up with those squared-off wing tips?

The Goose that WAS at Palm Springs is now undergoing restoration by noted antique restorer Addison Pemberton in Spokane, Washington.
It did have square tips that were part of a set of non-airworthy wings put on the fuselage for static display (as has been noted, there seem to be plenty of (crash damaged? ) non-airworthy parts around. The hull had been treated by a previous owner to some structural work, not so the wings...the wing tip floats are off of a Curtiss Seagull/Seamew (and are still available for trade).

It is c/n 1161 and was FP511 in UK wartime service and became N95467 Excalibur 2 with Antilles Air Boats.

My guess the squared off wing tips were a postwar mod...they did something similar to a lot of Twin Beech cargo aircraft or the wings had damaged tips and since it was going to be a static...why fix them?
Last edited by JohnB on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:00 pm

The squared off wingtips indicate that the airplane (or those wings) had retractable floats at one time.

Re: Grumman Goose in Cradle of Aviation Museum

Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:03 pm

I had a discussion with Chris Bell of CatalinaGoose.com a while back - after he took over hosting Eddy Haynes old GooseCentral.com site after Eddy died. Chris grew up in the Long Beach, CA area and was a regular wharf rat around the various Catalina Island airline shuttles and most of the photos on his regular Web site (Catalina Gooses as opposed to Eddy's Goose Central) were actually taken by him.

In regard to the mystery Goose at the Cradle of Aviation Museum (once again just to refresh everyone on the subject - it is NOT actually N16913, c/n 1004 and it also is not N327 c/n 1051 either, as was once claimed by CAM itself, because that Goose (N327), while it was also used for TOTGM - for all of the actual flying sequences in Hawaii, is currently in Sam Damico's backyard in Pittsford, NY, a suburb of Rochester. Sam bought it from the insurance company after it crashe dand burned in Penn Yan, NY in 2005. The Goose airframe that CAM got from Universal Studios was used as a mostly dererlict static set piece on the studio's backlot for filming TOTGM - and nobody is really sure which one it really was when it was still "alive" - i.e. before it was scrapped and turned into a static set piece at Universal. My theory all along is that it was a wreck salvaged from one of the various Catalina airline operations that probably crashed at some point not too long before 1982 when the TV show started.

Chris Bell's theory that he shared with me is that it was N13CS, c/n 1007, which he says disappeared from the Long Beach Airport storage yard (where he photographed it sans wings in the early 1980's) not long before the start of filming on TOTGM. That's as good and solid a lead as I have ever seen or heard.

- Except that I haven't ever found any evidence that N13CS ever had retractable float (or otherwise squared-off) wingtips, BUT two other Gooses in the Catalina Island market did - N12CS (c/n 1085) had the Pan Air (PBY-type) retactable wingtip floats and N333F (c/n 1166, later re-registered as N11CS) had the same mod - BUT N12CS is now in the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL re-painted in its original colors as a USCG JRF-3 V190 and N11CS/N333F on the other hand also had the somewhat unusual "Widgeon" windshield mod that eliminated the arched tops - that was not found on the Universal Studios or CAM Goose. Also N11CS crashed in the water off Pebbly Beach on Catalina Island in 1979. i haven't seen any record yet of whether or not it was salvaged and raised from the water where it "came to rest" according to the NTSB report.

Maybe the fuselage was that from N13CS and just the wings came off of one of the other Gooses that had the retractable floats. In Chris' photos, all of those Gooses already had their outer wing panels removed - who is to say that the wings that Universal got with it (assuming that they actually got any right there or then to go with it) weren't originally from a different Goose all together. It seeems that we may never really know....

It also bugs me though that Josh Stoff, the curator at CAM, hasn't been more thorough about it himself. I found a book on the display aircraft at CAM a while back - "Historic Aircraft and Spacecraft in the Cradle of Aviation Museum" written by Josh Stoff - in which he said two things that were grossly in error regarding the Goose at CAM.

1) He said that the televison show Tales of the Gold Monkey aired in the "mid-1970's" - it actually aired during the 1982-1983 season (too easily checked on IMDB.com!)

2) He also said that an old work order or parts tag found in the airplane indicated that it had been operated by Antilles Air Boats in the Caribbean "probably in the 1950's" - except that AAB was not founded by Charlie Blair until 1963 or 1964! (Different sources quote one or the other of those years.)

P.S. JohnB - please tell Addison and Ryan to update their Goose restoration page on Facebook (or even on their own Web site) more often! It sure is slow going....
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