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Christopher Dworjan (chrisD)

J2F-2 Duck Midway
Bu no. 1209


Project inventory

Full kits
Grumman J2F-1, 2, 2A, 3, 4 Duck
Classic Airframes 1:48
443 2000 New tool
Grumman J2F Duck
Caracal Models 1:48
CD48109 2025* New tool

Part of my Collection

Battle of Midway
Ideas 2×Completed 5×On hold 1×Queued 1×


15 December 2014, 02:04
Lionel Marco
A build I'll be happy to follow!
15 December 2014, 11:48
Johan Hammar
Did you get any further on this project? I'm hunting for information on how the Midway Duck looked like. Do you have any information?
9 June 2018, 20:14
Christopher Dworjan
Johan, the J2F-2 Duck at Midway was almost certainly Bureau Number 1209, and it was assigned directly to the station. I haven't yet found a specific photo of it, but it would be pretty generic, and if it carried any markings, it would be the name of the air station on the fuselage (where squadron aircraft carry their aircraft code, like 1-J-7).
10 June 2018, 13:58
Johan Hammar
Thanks Christopher! I suppose it would have been in standard Navy blue/gray scheme then.
7 July 2018, 22:52
Christopher Dworjan
Yeah, by June 42 it would almost certainly have been repainted into the wartime colors. No telling how well they kept up with the current painting regulations though. On one hand, it would probably have been one of the last aircraft to get the rudder stripes painted out, but on the other hand, being in the combat zone it is likely that they painted over those high visibility markings pretty quickly.

I would think plain blue/gray, still with the station name, no rudder stripes, Bu No 1209.
7 July 2018, 23:39
Johan Hammar
Thanks again. Now I only have to get the kit too. 😉 When you say the station name I assume you refer to a number? You don't happen to know which number that was for Midway? For a second I thought that you could see the Duck as a burnt out shell in a frame of John Fords documentary The Battle Of Midway but on a closer look you can clearly see that its not a Duck. I wonder what biplane it could have been? If the frame is from Midway at all?
8 July 2018, 09:33
Christopher Dworjan
The Duck was assigned directly to the station, rather than to a squadron. So while Navy aircraft of that time had the numbers on the side of the fuselage identifying the squadron number-type-position in the squadron (like 3-F-7 or 8-T-1), station aircraft had the name of the station in that same position (so it would say NAS Midway Island).

I'll have to check out that documentary and see if I can ID it. As far as I know the one J2F Duck was the only biplane on the island at the time unless there was an older aircraft that had been stricken but was still on the island.
8 July 2018, 10:37
Johan Hammar
The scene continues with the remnants of what looks like an old, all metallic, B-17 behind some fire. It looks like it's partly dismantled and more like a B-17B or B-17C than the B-17E present at Midway. The entire clip looks suspicious (about 7:20 into the film) if they didn't have some old decoys present (as I saw mentioned in an internet group somewhere). But as the Japanese was dismayed by the lack of aircraft at Midway they can not have been many.
8 July 2018, 17:50
Thanks to you I have gone and watched the film. No Duck that is clear. But what biplane I have no clue.
8 July 2018, 19:50
Johan Hammar
Haven't figured it out either. But I'm wondering if Ford cut in some clip from Pearl Harbour into the film?

9 July 2018, 19:21
Dave Flitton
Watching to see what you come up with
9 July 2018, 19:48
Clifford Keesler
Watching also.
9 July 2018, 21:54
Johan Hammar
Hi everyone, I picked up the post below in another forum, it's very detailed. It again leads me to suspect that John Ford included a clip from the attack on Pearl Harbour (or somewhere else) into the Midway film. The burning double decker is not a "mock up blown apart" even if it looks hollow and the burning B-17(C or D?) in silver finish and partly dismantled is definitely not a slightly damaged B-17E flown in from Hawaii the same day. In another scene you can glimpse two E8N2 'Dave' flying in formation. This did certainly not happen during the Battle Of Midway (well, not if you can trust the very thorough book "Shattered Sword" anyway). So my belief is that Ford fleshed out his (undoubtedly genuine scenes) with some older material.

This is the post I found on forum.12oclockhigh.n..dex.php?t-24522.html


The J2F, the NAS hack, was destroyed on 4 June, burned out after strafing. There was also the "JFU", a mock up built of various pieces of metal and aircraft parts. That was hit by a bomb and blown apart.

There was one USAAF B-17E on the ground during the attack with a burned out engine. It was a 42nd BS (H) plane that had arrived the day before with that engine feathered and the crew was trying to fix it up and thus unable to depart prior to the attack. It was strafed, and suffered several holes and, amongst other damage, a flat tire. That was replaced and the aircraft was eventually flown back to Hawaii on three engines, but I don't recall exactly when.

There were also ten SB2U-3s on the ground during the attack, eight spares since the arrival of the SBD-2s, without crews to fly them (2046, 2048, 2052, 2054, 2055, 2056, 2058 & 2065), one that had its prop damaged during the pre dawn warm ups when a taxiing PBY hit it with its wing float (2059; both a/c became unserviceable, a spare was used during the attack) and one that returned after takeoff (2062). None of those were were destroyed either, though two (2048, 2058) were damaged enough to be unfit for further combat operations until overhauled.

FYI, that aviation database noted above contains numerous errors. Assuredly no VF-6 aircraft were lost on 1 June, and several other aircraft listed have incorrect dates. I assume the individual aircraft cards were used - but they are often inaccurate, as they were filled out retroactively and the most significant reason they were was to strike aircraft off charge - exact dates for that hardly mattered as long as it was listed stricken. A much more accurate record can be found in the ComAirBatFor weekly summary reports, although even they have errors (which can be found by pulling the Aircraft Trouble Reports, if extant - the investigation done after an accident.) or combat unit reports.

Mark E. Horan"
2 August 2018, 10:35
Johan Hammar
And just now I've seen the exact same shot (with the mysterious burning double decker and the dismantled B-17) in a documentary scene about Pearl Harbour. It's on Youtube here (1:11 into the clip): Youtube Video

So I think we can safely say that these frames are not from Midway.
17 August 2018, 18:23
Johan Hammar
OK, I've done the Midway Duck. Well tried anyway. Here's my take on the event and kit. plasticfantastique.c..tting-duck-the-duck/
9 October 2018, 18:20

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