In his memory:
Capt. Edward "Hunyak" K. Andrews
VFP-62 circa 1966-68. Also, VF-32, VF-81 and CVW-9;
F-8, F-4, F-14 - Fighter Pilot, Skipper, CAG, Legend, and a hell of a good Friend
VFP-62 Vietnam Detachment 1966-67
Updated: January 19, 2017
[Webmaster's Note: Tributes from family, friends, and former Navy members will be updated as received. Contact Webmaster on the link below.]
Memories and Tributes
Obituary: Virginia Beach - Edward Keith Andrews, 72, of White Stone, Virginia passed away suddenly on September 16, 2014. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1942. He is survived by his wife, Donna M. Andrews; his daughter, Alecia Midgett (Chaytor); his son, David Andrews (Julie); two sisters, Ann Harris (Mark) and Alice Rios (Ino) of Spring, Texas; brothers, Charles Andrews of Stoneham, Mass., John Andrews (Deborah) of Pearland, Texas and Steve Andrews (Madeline) of Pearland, Texas; seven nieces and nephews and grandchildren, Chaytor, Ella, Will, Cooper, Eva, Louise and Faizel. Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Dorothy Andrews. Ed served his country in the U. S. Navy for 30 years as a fighter pilot. His numerous awards include two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Purple Heart. Ed was a joyful, exuberant person who thrived on contributing to his community by helping others. He worked with Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels and the YMCA of Lancaster County. A memorial service celebrating Ed's life will be held on Wednesday, September 24th at 11:00 a. m. at White Stone United Methodist Church with a reception for family and friends in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels, c/o Bay Aging, P. O. Box 610, Urbanna, VA 23175 or Marsh Children's Home, 1205 Houghton Road, STE 138-152, Tucson, AZ 85748-2155 or www.marshchildrenshome.org.mx. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/PilotOnline/obituary.aspx?n=Edward-Andrews&pid=172523295#sthash.nLmYH5OE.dpuf
- Sadly, on 16 September 2014 Ed "Hunyak" Andrews was on his way to have stitches taken out of his hand (cut the prior week) at Buddy Bethea's old office in Norfolk. He then planned to join several guys from VF-32/F-14 Community for lunch at a new Va. Beach restaurant - "Buoy 44". Former restaurant at that location was "Alexander's on the Bay". The accident occurred approximately two miles from his home in the mid-morning shortly after Ed, who was alone on the bike, turned onto the country (paved) road just beyond his driveway. There were no known witnesses; The VA State Trooper who investigated the accident said that it appeared Ed just drove the bike straight off the road with no apparent attempt to brake or to get back onto the road. The bike hit a ditch and flipped. Buddy Bethea's opinion was that Ed had a heart irregularity and was incapacitated at the time the bike left the paved road. His theory is backed up by the autopsy results that indicated Ed died of massive head injuries - but they didn't find a single broken bone in his body!
- The autopsy findings may be confusing to non-medical family and friends of Ed, so I would like to give you a medical point of view. Ed was reported to apparently have simply driven off of the road for no reason, then wrecking his bike. That information alone supports the probability that he suddenly and totally lost consciousness, and wrecked his bike as a consequence of his inability to respond in any way.
(That happens to be the easiest way possible to leave this life! No pain; no awareness of anything; no nothing!)
Of course, this does not in any way lessen our loss, but at least for me, the probability that we would have lost him from natural causes had he been in his favorite chair, on his sailboat or anywhere else at least makes it a little more acceptable than a motorcycle accident.
I hope it helps his family and many friends to know that he didn't suffer for even an instant.
I was the only Flight Surgeon in Ed's aviation career that he couldn't make airsick by abusing every rule in NATOPS as he horsed our F-4B through the air off of the JFK CVA-67 in the early 70's!
He became my best friend for the next 40+ years, and we talked most every day.
Twice on the day before we lost him.
I'll never get over his loss.
William "Buddy" Bethea MD
WMB MD, FACP
Flight Surgeon CVW-1
USS JFK Kennedy CVA 67 1972-75
Christmas night, 1966- after our last combat missions of the cruise, the Swine, now a (jg) is on the left
One of a kind--1966, VFP-62 aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt--We go to the Gulf of Tonkin with one of the few flying Ensigns, Edward K. Andrews. After observing his act for a very short time, we change his rank from "Ensign" to "Enswine", we drop the "En" and for the rest of the cruise he is the "Swine". Addicted to the reheat detent of the J57, he is always on fumes for recoveries.
After the untimely death of my room-mate, Lt(jg) Norm Bundy [see "In Memoriam"], I am blessed with the "Swine" as my wingman. Every brief, mission and debrief is an adventure- I figure that to keep him and me alive, I'm going to have to be really tough on him, an SOB; I can handle that. After one exciting mission, I get on his case for something he has done; a bit irritated he stammers-"W-w-well, GOD, I'm not as infallible as you are". I looked at him and said-"Ensign, what took you so long to figure out who I am?"
A short time later we are running along a karst ridge northwest of Thanh Hoa, ECM [electronic countermeasures] lights up and about 15 miles at our 9:00 o'clock an SA-2 [surface-to-air missile] lifts, climbs to 5K, tilts over and tracks us. We push the power up and turn into the SAM. Waiting for the appropriate time to make our break, he transmits-"Uh lead, check our 3 o'clock"; another SA-2 also has us boresighted. Afterburner now, hard right break, go for the deck, we successfully evade both. In the excitement, the Swine loses me and is gripping the power lever so hard that for the next 30-40 seconds the only thing that can be heard over the radio is his deep, raspy breathing; it sounds like he has been hit. But all is well and we make it back to mother Rosie.
Before I can start our debrief, he jumps on me-"I know, I know-I lost you in the break and I jammed the transmit button; go ahead and dump." I smiled and said-"No, I was going to thank you for saving our butts, it's nice to have a sharp wingman." From then on briefs and debriefs had more hugs and kisses; I was much easier on the Ensign.
Unfortunately, I saw the Swine precious few times after we left the photo squadron; but I would occasionally pick up on a "Hunyak" sea story from other aviators, it was obvious that one of the most colorful Naval Aviators that I ever flew with had not changed his act; he was still adding to the legend. Proud to have flown with him and called him a friend.-------------Norm Green, VFP-62, '64-'67.
The Ensign Ed Andrews circa 1966-67--Vietnam detachment
- When Eddie reported to VFP-62 from the Crusader RAG across Cecil Field it was soon evident that we had a nugget with the potential to be a fine fighter pilot. His having attended college on a rodeo scholarship contributed to the opinion.
Right soon that thesis was tested when Eddie peeled the leading edge droops from one of our birds as, on takeoff one morning he laid on an extreme load of Gs while the wing was not quite stowed. An immediate landing was made without difficulty, but the man-hours required to replace the droops elevated an "incident" to an "accident".
This bought me a Norfolk flight to report to VADM Booth, then COMNAVAIRLANT. The Admiral's policy was for the C.O. of any squadron having an accident to report to him at 0800 on the morning following the accident.
When asked what action I intended for the pilot, I responded that I was thinking of putting him in hack in a BOQ room for a week, with nothing but a Bible, a copy of Navy Regs and his sword---long enough for him to contemplate the future. Of course I suspended the penalty, and Eddie instantly charmed himself back into good graces.
There are many more stories, and his career exceeded all my expectations.
I must stop now, because there is some kind of warm wetness on my cheeks.
Morris L. Hayes [Webmaster: Capt. "Mo" Hayes was the CO of VFP-62]
- Terrible news! Hunyak was one of a kind. From the time I first met him in 1984 at the Naval Safety Center wearing ostrich-leather cowboy boots, which he proudly displayed at a morning staff meeting. A gift from CAG 6, which he led during the 1983 raid into Lebanon. Ed was always affable and endured my questions about his experiences on that December 1983 op. I met him once or twice at the Norfolk PX after we had both retired. He looked more like a SanFran hippy than a retired O-6 combat vet, but that was his style. He was happy and glad to see me. He was unique. (Three rides up the rails: RF-8, F-14 and A-7.) After all, when you said "Hunyak," who else could you be talking about?!---Peter Mersky
- I just read that Ed Andrews had a motorcycle accident and died. That makes me sad.
Ed Andrews was one of my Dad's [Capt. Mo Hayes CO VFP-62] young fighter pilots when Dad was skipper of a Crusader squadron at Cecil Field. For me it was 9th grade.
Ed and the other officers were over at the house often. I always thought Mister Andrews was the coolest of Dad's pilots.
Dad said that Ed wore his western boots around the hangar when not flying. I heard Ed's name mentioned a lot, mostly in the positive. He apparently was widely liked, but a wild man at the same time. I looked up to him.
Morris H. Hayes
- Did not know Ed until I relieved him as CTW 3 . After less than a week in transition I felt I had known him all my life! After COC & mixing with local community leaders all I heard was praise & admiration for this proven inspirational leadership. Proud to have known the man.--Bill Bertsch
- (9/24/14): "Hunyak" Andrews--Patriot and Friend
Please excuse me but this is hard as heck to do without getting my keyboard wet.
Hunyak was my RP when I was an IP in VF-174 at Cecil. We knew we had seen each other before and it took a few days but it came back to us both. Happened when I was a NAVCAD at Chase in Beeville Texas. I played cowboy at the local rodeos when I could. At one event in Goliad TX, I didn't make the horn and ended eating dirt with a Brahma trying to sniff my back ... The rodeo clown stepped in so I could roll away---it was ED ANDREWS, doing his thing while at Texas A & M.
We became good friends with our boys wrestling together at Va Beach, staying in touch,etc. Last year Ed stopped here in Florida , in a rain storm, on his motor -- to get dry and clean his glasses. Had just gotten back from Mexico and enroute Ft Pierce ... He had been to Mexico to work at an orphanage he was supporting, which he had been introduced to when he was Naval Attache at Mexico City ... Together we have been working to get more funds for the Marsh Children's Home Inc (www.marshchildrenshome.org.mx) ... Any contributions in his honor would be much appreciated. Hunyak would say "Thanks Shipmate" and GOD Bless.
My heart is sad because we, as a Band of Brothers, have lost a great patriot and friend.
Still Serving GOD and Country,
- (9/24/1):Ed Andrews, Rodeo Clown to Fighter Pilot
Ed was perhaps the only guy I knew who went to a less dangerous job when he began flying Crusaders. Did you ever watch a Rodeo Clown in action? I did, up close! At age 14, at the annual Burwell Rodeo in NE, I bucked off that stub-horned Brahma after only a couple teeth-jarring jumps. I was flat on my back looking up at a ton of mayhem with sharp hooves and a lowered head coming my way. Before he could turn me into dust, someone stepped between us and misdirected the bull's attention. Wearing makeup, shaggy overalls, and tennis shoes, that Rodeo Clown clearly saved me. Such was Ed Andrews' life before he started landing Crusaders on dark, pitching, 27C decks. He was a man amongst men, a heck of a great friend, and the kind of guy I hoped my sons would grow up to be.
Thanks Ed! You were a role model to always remember. Take him home safe, Gabriel! The Man is waiting for Ed to jump in to save other Fighter Pilots and Rodeo Cowboys.
With the greatest respect and cherished memories.---Dick Schaffert
- [Webmaster's Note: See additional information on VFP-62's Vietnam detachment on our "Vietnam Operations" page this site.]
- (10/14/14) He was a great guy and my VF-84 CO aboard the USS Nimitz. May god bless him and his family. As a young recruit you don't realize who you cross paths with until later in life. An American hero for sure. Rest in peace sir. Mike Hughes
- (4/5/15)What can you say about ED"Hunyak"Andrews.......
I've never met anyone like him. I first met Hunyak as a Lcdr in VF-32 & was hooked. When Ed was around he would just draw people in .....could talk about anything & always made you the center of his attention. ED was a GREAT fighter pilot, human being, friend, always helping people & wanting to do more. We restarted our friendship back in 2005 at our sqdn. reunion in Va. Beach. We called each other every week & had lunch or dinner several times when he passed thru Daleville, VA. going home from Mex. or any motor rally in the area.
I have a little story about Hunyak while in the NAVY:
I was a Plane Captain for Ed's aircraft #202 after buckling him in & closing all the steps/ladders/canopy to the aircraft the flight deck really getting busy. Just before I started my signal sequence the canopy came up & Ed signed for me to come up to the C/P [cockpit]. Well I thought something was wrong; when I got there, he looked at me square in the eyes & said I have a joke for you (which I can't remember) then we laughed & he said ... by the way, did you get all the ejection pins? What a guy! [Webmaster: The ejection seat had safety pins that would prevent an accidental ejection while on the deck. It was the plane captain's responsibility to pull each out before launch of the aircraft. There have been fatal accidents when a forgotten pin prevented the pilot from ejecting.]
I will always miss our calls, time together & his laughter.
Rest in peace Hunyak you will always have GOLD WINGS.
- (9/8/15)CAG Andrews was the definition of a Fighter Pilot:
He was the first Fighter Pilot I ever met. The day I reported to VF-32 he was the first officer from the squadron I met. I was a young maintenance control officer LTJG in my very first squadron and he was my first Fighter Pilot. Little did I know he would be my CAG and I would be his CAGMO in 7 short years. When we got him back from being shot down in of all things an A-7E it was a very happy day. If there was ever a man I would follow blindly into hell it is Ed. What an outstanding leader. I hope you are bagging day traps in all the Air Wing aircraft, I miss you and I am so proud to have been your shipmate.
Kevin Milton Myette, Commander USN Retired
- (1/26/16) I was searching online for some old shipmates when found this article about Captain Ed Andrews. I am saddened to hear about his passing. Back in the early 70's, I served with LT. "Animal" Ed in VF-32. He was my division officer during my temporary assignment as a Second Mech in the line crew. Later, I was transferred to the AT/AQ shop, where at times I would debrief Ed about his radar after a flight.
He was a great pilot! I remember several of us from the squadron were detached to an air base in Rota, Spain during a Med cruise (JFK - around '73). During that short period, Ed took part in an air show held at the base. He made several passes just over the landing strip...one at an extremely slow rate and the other at super sonic speed where he ended up pointing his F4B straight up to Heaven, twirling as he cut through the clouds! Yes, he had total control of that plane!
Ed was one of the guys and got along well with his crew. He was well respected and well liked. I am proud to have served with him.
Ted Hillary AQ3
USS John F. Kennedy (1971 - 1973)
- (3/28/16) I was reminiscing with my father of some of the pilots and characters I had known while I was in the Navy. I told him about the new Wing 3 Commodore that arrived at NAS Chase Field, Beeville Tx. around '86-87 named Capt Ed Andrews. At the change of command he quickly pointed out that our mission, "we're here to kill Commies". Most everyone at quarters turned to the person next to them trying to figure out if they heard that correctly. But within a short time he made it clear we train pilots to protect America and at that time it was against the "Commies". Talk about a pretty simple mission statement.
He told us once he had done stunt flying for the movie The Final Countdown when he was with the Jolly Rogers. After I finished my call with my father I searched for his name and found this page and learned of his passing a few years ago.
I was lucky to have two opportunities on the flight line waiting for Troubleshooters to fix his aircraft to listen to him discuss a few of the things he had done. He described ejecting from a disabled fighter like stepping off a porch. He just seemed to be able to look at fear with a huge smile and walk away laughing. He was always polite to the plane captains and seemed to be nothing but genuine when he thanked you for getting his aircraft ready.
My favorite and most interesting memory of Capt Andrews was one evening just about sunset, standing on the flight line final check spot waiting for the next 4 birds, the temperature was about 105F and the humidity was about 95%, glancing to my right to see him riding what appeared to be his daughters bike toward me. He was in shorts and flip flops. He rode by, big smile, waved and said something like howdy and thank you (birds turning all around I could not hear him) and kept going making sure to say hi to everyone out in the Texas heat making it happen. It was an unorthodox way of showing support and appreciation to the guys and girls getting pilots ready to "kill Commies" but 30 years later I am not reminiscing about a Letter of Appreciation or an Attaboy note.
A true warrior with a kind soul. My condolences to his family and friends.
- (4/25/16)I have read of the passing of a great hero and the memory everyone has during military assignments. Well I can remember when Eddie was the catcher and I was the pitcher for a Corpus Christi little league team for 3 years. He was gutsy and had More chatter than a bird in heat. We were only ten, eleven, and twelve year olds, but it was quite evident he was in control of the ball game. And hopefully that was the start of his education to be a great aviator and hero.
Here I am the same age, an ex-marine and grandfather still remembering my childhood friends. May God bless Ed's family and I am sorry I did not know of his passing but I will never forget our youth together.
- (6/19/16)I first ran into Hunyak in 1977 as I was going through pilot training in VF-101. Within minutes of him walking into the ready room, I knew this guy was somebody special. He had a real presence. A few weeks later, I and a few other pilots and RIOs were required to attend a safety lecture given by Hunyak. I'll never forget the way he started out that lecture: "Safety Sucks!". We knew he didn't really mean it, but it was a great ice breaker to a dry subject, at least for a new, wannabe fighter pilot.
During the Winter, when the ocean water temperature/air temperature in the VaCapes operating area reached a certain value, we were required to wear anti-exposure suits (poopy suits) under our flight suits. Everyone hated them as they were extremely uncomfortable and restricted movement in the cockpit. However if one had to eject, it increased the chances of survival in the cold water. During that Winter, Hunyak was on a flight with a student RIO named Craig Tribbey who was a very good friend of mine. Craig and I hit it off right away because we were both from SoCal. They experienced an "in the cockpit" fire event and ejection was initiated. Sadly, Craig's seat did not fire and he rode the jet into the ocean. Don't know if it's true, but the rumor went around after Hunyak was fished out of the water that all he was wearing under his flight suit was a T-shirt and a jock strap! Definitely an "old school" fighter pilot.
I hardly knew him, but was saddened to hear of his passing.
Walt "Kraut" Siegmund
- (1/19/17) I was very privileged to come to VF-84 as a young Ensign in Naval Intelligence circa 1980. The squadron had been awarded "Best Fighter Squadron in the Navy" for two years in a row and was under the command of Ed Andrews, truly a larger than life hero, take the fight to the enemy, kind of guy. I had seen the war movies growing up, but here was the guy John Wayne wanted to be. As a matter of fact The movie "The Final Countdown" starring our squadron had just been released.
One day the Skipper and I were standing outside his office above the hangar bay looking through the windows at our F-14 Tomcats. "I have always wanted to take a fighter jet and fly it through the hanger bay doors of a carrier at sea," he said as he looked longingly out at our planes...."would you fly it with me?" (Then Intel officers could fly in the RO's seat.) I said, "Yes Sir! I'd be glad to." He looked away from the jets, shook his head a little, "Department of the Navy won't let me do it. Something about ground resonance. When we went from the ocean to the hangar deck the plane might lurch up unpredictably and crash. I'd still take the chance if they'd let me." I said, "If you were flying, I would too Sir!" His men would have followed him anywhere. We had complete confidence in his leadership.
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