Chuck Wahl’s Tailhook SNJ-5C

Chuck Wahl’s Tailhook SNJ-5C

US Specialty Insurance Company

History of North American Aviation SNJ-5C BuAer 90656

This aircraft was built at the North American Aviation Corp Dallas Texas plant in 1944 as an AT-6D, US Army Air Forces serial number 42-85873 and immediately offset to the US NAVY allocation block priority number 61-2D and became U.S. NAVY Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) number 90656.

09-Sept 1944 U.S. NAVY SNJ-5 Buno 90656 is accepted by the U.S. NAVY at the North American Aviation Corp, Dallas TX.
13-Sept 1944 U.S. NAVY takes delivery of the airplane and assigns it to N.A.A.S Whiting Field, 8ND Pensacola, FL.
28-Nov. 1944 Assigned to N.A.A.S. Ellyson, 8ND, Pensacola, FL.
1-Jan. 1945 Assigned VN3D8, N.A.A.S Whiting Field, 8ND Pensacola, FL.
1-Dec. 1945 Assigned to N.A.A.S. Ellyson, 8ND, Pensacola, FL.
05-April 1946 Assigned to N.A.S. Pensacola, FL.
17-July 1946 Reconditioned, N.A.S. Pensacola, FL.
02-Aug, 1946 Assigned to N.A.S. Houma, LA. Stored in blimp hangars
29-Oct. 1947 Assigned to N.A.S. Litchfield Park, AZ. Storage
22-July 1952 Reinstated to active duty, assigned to N.A.S. Pensacola, FL.
06-Sept. 1952 Assigned to FASRON 691 N.A.S. San Diego, 11ND, CA.
24-Sept. 1952 Assigned to carrier duty aboard the U.S.S. Shangri-la, CV 38.
12-Nov. 1952 Assigned to FASRON 895, then FASRON 113, N.A.S. Seattle 13ND, Seattle WA.
13-Oct. 1953 Assigned to VF-54 N.A.S. Miramar, 11ND, San Diego, CA.
11-March 1954 Assigned to FASRON 4, NAS San Diego, 11ND, San Diego CA
12-Oct. 1954 Assigned to N.A.S. Pensacola, FL.
27-Dec. 1954 Assigned to NABTC, N.A.A.S. Barin, 8ND, Foley, AL.
22-Jan 1958 Assigned to N.A.S. Pensacola, FL.
23-June 1958 Stricken from U.S. NAVY records at N.A.S. Pensacola, FL.

This airplane had flown a total of 2,291 hours since first being commissioned until it was stricken from U.S. NAVY records in June 1958. It was discovered in a warehouse in the New England states in February 2005 and was purchased sight unseen because of it’s rare Tailhook and US Naval history. This airplane was modified by the US NAVY for carrier operations sometime in the 1940’s by the addition of a Tailhook and reinforcement structure in the back of the fuselage. Very few of these airplanes were used in carrier operations and only a hand full of original “C” models exist today with Tailhooks. It was registered with the FAA in May 2005 as N5615C. The paint scheme is based on this airplanes actual assignment in VF-54 in 1953.



Registration Number Date of Manufacture
N5615C 09-Sept 1944
Aircraft Role Nickname
US Navy Carrier Qualifications trainer J Bird
Aircraft Type: Wingspan:
North American Aviation SNJ-5C 42′
Overall length: Empty weight:
29′ 4195
Gross weight: Fuel capacity:
5300 110 Gal
Oil capacity Engine type:
Propeller type: Max Speed
HS 12D40 240 mph
Rate of Climb Cruise Speed
1000 fpm 160 mph
Service Ceiling Number of Crew
Armament Bomb Load
Number Built Number Surviving
Aprox 400 SNJ aircraft mod by US Navy for CQ ops 3



Special Tailhook modification Front Cockpit with original WWII radios Rear Cockpit


100% complete ground up restoration completed in Sept 2009 by Chuck Wahl.
This is the most authentically restored T-6/ SNJ to date.
2009 National Aviation Heritage Invitational Grand Champion
2010 Oshkosh Grand Champion Warbird post WWII
Many other awards

Restoration Images

Tail Specially modified Tailhook structure for carrier operations N5615C_6



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