The United States Navy contracted three companies to produce prototypes to meet a requirement for a catapult launched biplane, with a central float and folding wings. Douglas produced the XO2D-1, Curtiss the XO3C-1 and Vought the XO5U-1.
The contract was awarded to Curtiss and only one XO5U-1 was built. The Status of Naval Aircraft, dated June 1937, listed the XO5U-1 as assigned at Mustin Field at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It crashed in May 1938.
^Larkins, William T., "U.S. Navy Aircraft 1921-1941 / U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft 1914-1959", Orion Books, a division of Crown Books, New York, 1988, Library of Congress card number 88-17753, ISBN 0-517-56920-5, page 202.
^Eckland, K.O. "Vought". USA: Aerofiles.com. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
Andrade, John (1979). U.S.Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Midland Counties Publications. ISBN0-904597-22-9.