The Vought Kingfisher is one of the most recognizable planes from WWII, sporting its large, long canopy and prominent center pontoon. First flying in 1938, the Kingfisher was floatplane capable of being launched off of battleships and cruisers via catapult and retrieved via a crane. The Kingfisher was especially important for the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, but also served with the British and Australian air forces. In one of its more memorable missions, a Kingfisher managed to rescue WWI ace Eddie Rickenbacker when he was adrift at sea for 24 days after the B-17 carrying him was forced to ditch near Japanese held islands.

The example pictured above is from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center. It served as the floatplane for the battleship the U.S.S. Indiana and its pilot, Lt. Rollin M. Batten, Jr., was awarded the Navy Cross for bravery in rescuing downed airmen near Guam in 1944.

Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher

Speed: 164 mph
Ceiling: 13,000 ft
Armament: 2 .30 in machine guns. 650 lb of bombs
Crew: 2