Sam Arthur was landing signal officer (LSO) of the old Langley (CV-1), and I recall a time . . . But, wait, let’s talk a minute about LSOs and their signals. In my early flying days, the LSO used the regular signalman’s hand flags. Paddles were adopted sometime before World War II, because they provided more visible signals from greater distances.
The British claimed our signals were inconsistent—some signals told the pilot what he was doing; others told him what he should do. The system almost exclusively used in my earliest carrier flying included five semaphore letters—N—“You are low,” R—“You are right on,” U—“You are high,” F—“You are fast,” and S—“You are slow,”—all of which told the pilot what he was doing.