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The Duck was the first “flying boat” built by the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation. It evolved from the OL amphibian aircraft designs of Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation. Designed as a carrier-based utility transport, its duties included observation/scouting and what later was known as C.O.D. (Carrier Onboard Delivery). Other military uses included transport, photoreconnaissance, rescue, bombing and depth-charging. Ducks served with the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard both before and during WW II.

Foreign air forces that have used the Grumman amphibian include Argentina, Columbia and Mexico. In civilian service, Ducks have been used in movies, as firefighters, and as air taxis. New York’s Dawn Patrol Seaplane Base used this aircraft to ferry businessmen between Long Island and Manhattan. Today, most surviving Ducks are in museums.

On April 25, 1933, Grumman test pilot Paul Hovgard flew the XJF-1 (Duck prototype) on its first flight, taking off from a grass strip in front of the Grumman factory at Farmingdale, NY. The Grumman Corporation and the Columbia Aircraft Corporation built a total of 632 Ducks, in several versions, by the end of WW II. After WW II, the USAF utilized six Ducks for air-sea rescue missions with the 10th Air Rescue Squadron and redesignated these aircraft as OA-12. The EAA Grumman Duck, with its distinctive large centerline float, was manufactured in 1944 by Columbia Aircraft Company of Valley Stream, Long Island, NY.

Although the aircraft was designed for a crew of two, pilot and rear gunner under the canopy, some variants added a third crew position for an observer or radio operator. There was room for two passengers in a compartment in the main float just aft of the lower wing. When the aircraft was used for medical evacuation, a stretcher replaced the passenger seating.

As one of the final Ducks ordered by the US Navy, and built under license by the Columbia Aircraft Corporation, the EAA’s J2F, Bu 36976, saw military duty during WW II with US Naval Utility Squadrons 4 and 16 and also served aboard the USS Franklin (CV13).

This aircraft first appeared on the US civil register in 1963 as owned by C. E. Crosby of Bellingham, WA. It then passed through several owners before being purchased by Tallmantz Aviation, the famous aviation film company owned by Hollywood stunt pilots Frank Tallman and Paul Mantz.

Carl Mies Filter Products of Louisville, KY, acquired the aircraft in 1972. In 1974, Mr. Mies donated the Duck to the EAA Aviation Foundation. Some years later, EAA volunteers led by EAA member John Pereira spent 14 months restoring the aircraft with the cooperation of the Grumman Corporation at their facility on Long Island. The work was completed in 1982 and placed in the new AirVenture Museum at Oshkosh when it opened in 1983.

This aircraft was researched by EAA volunteer John C. Gates.


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