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USS Theodore Roosevelt crew unload mail from a C-2A Greyhound in 2003

A Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) is a military term used to describe type of aircraft which are able to ferry personnel, mail, and high-priority cargo (like replacement parts) on and off a naval ship (typically an aircraft carrier).


Early United States Navy recognition of need for a cargo plane capable of carrier landings resulted in airframe conversion of Grumman TBM-3 Avenger torpedo bombers to unarmed seven-passenger COD aircraft designated TBM-3R. Replacement of TBM-3Rs began in the late 1950s. Grumman built a cargo variant of its twin-piston-engined S-2 Tracker anti-submarine warfare bomber known as the C-1A Trader. The Navy in 1963 briefly experimented with the C-130 Hercules for COD. In the late 1960s Grumman began production of a cargo variant of its twin-turboprop E-2 Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning aircraft known as the C-2A Greyhound. Five Lockheed US-3A Viking aircraft were also used from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. Today the C-2 remains the U.S. Navy's primary COD vehicle. The entire fleet of 36 C-2As are currently undergoing a Critical Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) to extend their operational lifespans.

Several U.S. Navy "Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons" provided COD services aboard carriers since the Second World War:

squadron nickname tail code established deestablished
VR-5 Providers RS 24 June 1943 15 July 1957
VR-21 Pineapple Airlines RZ 15 July 1957 1 October 1966
VR-22 Nedriders RB 1 April 1967
VR-23 Codfish Airline RK 1951 15 July 1957
VR-24 Lifting Eagles JM 3 December 1946 31 March 1993
VRC-30 Providers RW 1 October 1966
VRC-40 Rawhides JK 1 July 1960
VRC-50 Foo Dogs RG 1 October 1966 7 October 1994




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