Prototypes were ordered from Keystone-Loening (then a subsidiary of Curtiss-Wright), Berliner-Joyce and Vought, and designated as the XOK-1, XOJ-1 and XO4U-1 respectively.
The Berliner Joyce design, a conventional biplane of mixed metal and fabric construction with staggered wings and the pilot and observer seated in tandem in open cockpits, first flew in May 1931.
By that time the rival XOK-1 was already destroyed in a crash.
Following trials that lasted into 1932, BuAer awarded Berliner-Joyce a contract.
An order for 18 production aircraft designated OJ-2 was placed in March 1932, and two more orders followed, one in May 1933 for nine aircraft and a further 12 aircraft in December 1933 for use by reserve units.
One OJ-2 modiﬁed in early 1934 with an NACA-type cowling and enclosed cockpits was delivered for trials as the XOJ-3, but after a crash it was rebuilt and returned to service as an OJ-2.
The OJ entered service with VS-5B and VS-6B in 1933 mainly for use on Omaha class light cruisers.
Some OJs were used by reserve units with the first being VN-6R which were based near Washington to train reserve pilots and to enable staff officers to maintain their flying categories.
By 1936 all the remaining aircraft were operated by reserve units and at the outbreak of the Second World War 29 aircraft were still in service.
The Navy stopped the overhaul program for the aircraft and by the middle of 1941 all of them had been struck off charge.
Unusually for its generation, only four aircraft were lost in accidents without any loss of life.
Crew: 2 (pilot and observer)
Length: 25 ft 8 in (7.82 m)
Wingspan: 33 ft 8 in (10.26 m)
Height: 10 ft 10 in (3.30 m)
Wing area: 284.2 sq ft (26.40 m2)
Empty weight: 2,323 lb (1,054 kg)
Gross weight: 3,629 lb (1,646 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-975-88 Wasp Junior radial engine, 400 hp (300 kW)
Maximum speed: 151 mph (243 km/h, 131 kn)
Stall speed: 57 mph (92 km/h, 50 kn)
Range: 530 mi (850 km, 460 nmi)
Service ceiling: 15,300 ft (4,700 m)
Rate of climb: 826 ft/min (4.20 m/s) , climb to 10,000 ft in 12.1 min
Guns: 1× fixed, forward firing .30 in machine gun, 1× flexibly mounted .30 in machine gun in the rear cockpit