Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Colors of the Flight Deck – The White Shirt

In a continuing series on my humble electronic home, I want to introduce you to the many and varied colors of shirts worn on the Flight Deck of your typical Aircraft Carrier. The color is significant in what the people are doing and even within the color there are differences.

Explained herein Today's lesson: The White Shirts.

The very first time I went onto a flight deck to work, I wore a white shirt. I was a Checker. Others wore the White jersey as well.

The Safety personnel and the Corpsman that came out to patch us up wore white. There is an actual Battle Dressing Station (or BDS) in the Island superstructure. It has a small surgical suite and enough rooms for maybe 4 patients. Usually they stabilize you here and then you are taken by elevator to the main BDS down on the second deck. The elevators were the same ones used by either the aircraft or you could ride on the many smaller elevators used to move bombs up and down from the magazines on the ship.

A Safety Observer watches the recovery of a C-2 Greyhound. The Corpsman wore the exact same markings except the cross is Red not green. (USN Photo)

LSO's also wear the White shirt. These are the Landing Signal Officers who help direct aircraft out of the sky. They usually hang out in a little perch near the bitter end of the ship. Each Squadron has at least one LSO, usually there are several.
The easiest LSO job in the Navy, talking down a Hoover. (USN Photo)

An S-3B Viking makes it home under the watchful eye of a pair of LSO's from the embarked Viking Squadron. (USN Photo)

And then the Checkers. The final check on each aircraft prior to flight is conducted by the Checkers. We pat down the aircraft checking to make sure everything is closed, sealed and that there are no leaks or anything broken that should be taken care of before flight. It was a great job. In my Squadron you had to be Plane Captain Qualified to wear the Checker boards no matter what your rating was.

Below. Two Checkers deploy onto the flanks of an F-18. (USN Photo)

Into the steam they go. An F-14 gets their attention.

(USN Photo)
With their Thumbs held high, these Checkers brace for the Launch that is coming. The crowd in the back are from other squadrons waiting their turn. (USN Photo)

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

Once again... the pics really add to the narrative!

JimmyT said...

Buck, Thanks. Hard to tell what they do without a picture!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.