During 1954 Grumman began work on a dedicated cargo/passenger variant of the S2F under the company designation, Model G-96.  The aircraft was intended to replace the TBM-3R as the Navy's Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft.

The G-96 was given the Navy designation TF-1 Trader and made its first flight on 19 January 1955.  It was powered by the 1,525 hp Wright R-1820-82 engines, the same powerplants installed in the standard S2F-1.  The TF-1 differed from the S2F-1 in having a deepened fuselage, giving the TF-1 a whale-like belly profile.  The rear of the engine nacelles were faired over and windows were installed in the fuselage sides.  The passenger compartment had a capacity for nine rearward-facing seats, which could easily be removed to convert the aircraft over for hauling cargo.

The auto-pilot equipped TF-1 (C-1A) was considered an all-weather aircraft and was also used as both a multi-engine trainer and/or instrument trainer.  The Trader also performed carrier qualification flights for multi-engine pilots.  A total of eighty-seven TF-1 (C-1A) Traders were built by Grumman exclusively for the U.S. Navy.

Four C-1A airframes were modified by Grumman to become TF-1Q (EC-1A) aircraft (BuNos 136783, 785, 787, and 788).  This variant functioned as a Electronics Counter Measures (ECM) aircraft and its mission was to disrupt communications and confuse enemy ECM and Radar systems.  It was used exclusively to train aircraft, ship and land based crews in determining the capabilities and/or limitations of their active and passive ECM gear.  The modification consisted of removal of the passenger seats and the installation of an ECM suite consisting of jamming transmitters, noise modulators, chaff dispensers, extra antennas and underwing ECM pods.  This equipment was used to jam simulated 'enemy' receiving facilities.

The C-1A was known in WESTPAC as the "Mailman of the Fleet" and many Traders saw service during the Vietnam War flying mail, personnel and cargo on and off the carriers.  After serving the U.S. Navy for some thirty-five years, the last operational C-1A Trader (BuNo 146048) was retired from service on 30 September 1988.

                                                   - Squadron Signal Publications


Assignments, duty stations, and carriers  that #146044 has been associated with during her Naval career:

  • Fasron 3 Norfolk, Virginia


  • VRC-40   Norfolk, Virginia (numerous assignments)


  • Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


  • USS Essex CVS-9 Quonset Point, Rhode Island


  • USS Enterprise, "Operation Sea Orbit" (around the world cruise with Nuclear Task Force One)


  • USS Randolph CVS-15 Norfolk, Virginia 


  • CV-62, USS Independence


  • VRC-50 Yankee Station, Danang, S. Vietnam; TDY from USS Independence


  • Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico


  • CV-66, USS America


  • VR-24 Sigonella, Italy


  • USS Nimitz CVN-68 Norfolk, Virginia


  • USS Independence


  • Stricken from service, stored at Pensacola, FL


   * As of May, 1987

Trader Air, Inc.

phone. 785.608.4271

phone. 785.256.6366

email. GRUMMANC1A@gmail.com


All Portions Copyright © 2008, Trader Air, Inc.

Updated Jan. 9, 2008