Friday, June 22, 2012

NAS Norfolk O&R Department-1950



This is a 1950 flow chart/map for the NAS Norfolk Overhaul and Repair Department (frequently referred to simply as "O&R").  It provides basic directions on where aircraft go and the responsibilities of each building at the facility.   Flow charts are part of everyday life in the 21st century.  From manufacturing to moving offices to computer programming, few things get done without somebody drawing a flow chart.  The concept started in the 1920s, but became more mainstream in American manufacturing during World War II as way to increase industrial output through increased worker productivity. 

PBM Martin flying boats stripped to the bare frame.

As the name suggests, O&R, (later called Naval Air Rework Facility (NARF) Norfolk and then Naval Aviation Depot (NADEP) Norfolk), conducted major overhauls of Naval aircraft.  O&R workers would completely disassemble an aircraft down to its bare frame; inspect the thousands of parts; clean, repair, and/or replace every one of them as needed; reassemble the aircraft; paint it; test all the parts; and then fly it out.  Much like the work done on a ship at the yards, by overhauling an aircraft, the Navy extended the service life of the aircraft. When this chart was made, O&R workers overhauled most types of Naval aircraft, including A-1 Skyraiders, F8F Bearcats, F6F Hellcats, PBM Martin flying boats, and the brand new F9F Panther jet fighters. 

O&R workers cleaning engine parts
The facility was not just a major industrial facility, but it was a major cultural institution in the same respect as Norfolk Naval Shipyard-Portsmouth has become.  It employed thousands of men and women over its eighty year history.   The Department of Defense shut down the facility in the 1990s based on a Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendation to outsource the overhaul process to the private sector. 

F8F Bearcats and A-1 Skyraiders are reassembled.

1 comment:

Larry Skaggs said...

I worked at O&R which was renamed to NARF (Naval Air Rework Facility) from 1983 to 1996 until BRAC closed it down in 1996. Then I moved to NADEP, Jacksonville where I continued my career. I miss NADEP (Naval Aviation Depot) Norfolk so much. I worked in the Avionics Department and it was a great place to work!