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John Sees PH2  
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In his memory

John Sees PH2

His service in VFP-62: July, 1962 - February, 1965
John Reviewing the Restored Crusader; VFP-62 Reunion 2008

Page Updated: January 8, 2018

    Memories and Tributes

  • Forrestal Reunion, Dulles, VA
    July 24-30, 2012
    In front of the RF-8G at Udvar Hazy Space & Air Museum, Dulles
    L-R: George Montgomery, Tom Pinkley, John Sees, Ken Jack

    (1/4/18)John became a part of "our" group when we all became Det 59 and began the short cruises getting ready for the 64/65 Med Cruise. John and I didn't see each other on base at Cecil or participate in any of the same activities on base, so it was on ship that gave us the opportunity to get to know each other. Now I have to tell you that I had a very limited exposure to those "Photo" guys - it was through a box - about 18" by 18" - between the two compartments we worked in - had double doors - and was the way to get the film to Clint or Don for their work/maps. The "Photo" guys were all into their music - Don allowed the doors to remain open for John's tunes/tales but Clint was a little less into the sounds. John, Lee and Eric were careful to match Clint to the music they played. Any body remember Lesley Gore - Brenda Lee?

    I think the John I really got to know was the one we reconnected with in Jacksonville at the VFP-62 reunion and the following Forrestal reunions - especially the one in D.C. when several VFP-62 personnel attended. By this point, I had grown a deeper appreciation of John and that memory of his. Events from our cruise that he brought back were made vivid again - I had long forgotten, but his ability to recall and express them in such a way as to make them all alive. He had a very unassuming approach in telling his history - about all things, not just himself - building the believable. He treasured his Navy history and worked to retain the association of his shipmates. RIP John

    George Montgomery VFP-62 YN3

  • Veterans Day Commemoration Newport R.I. USS Forrestal in background

    (1/4/18)John and I became friends when he found this website on the Internet and became an active contributor. To list a few: As George mentions (above), he loved to tell stories and he wrote articles for Sea Stories Page 1---Sea Stories Page 3---and Sea Stories Page 6. He was also an active member of the Forrestal Association and he recruited his brother Bob and me to attend the Forrestal Veteran's Day Commemoration at Newport where Forrestal and Saratoga were docked---both waiting their fate after de-commisioning. He also actively attended and promoted participation at VFP-62 and Forrestal reunions (see pictures below).

    I've kept a secret about John until now. While organizing the 2010 VFP-62 reunion in Jacksonville, we realized that due to the number of attendees, we wouldn't have enough money to have a Hospitality Room food table. John sent me several hundred dollars (and swore me to secrecy) to buy a meat and cheese selection. That was typical of this loyal and generous man.
    On another reunion, John found a vendor to recreate the VFP-62 ball cap. He collected the money and made the shipments to many who were eager to have this squadron memorabilia. Also, John worked with me to recreate the VFP-62 squadron patch which we managed to include as gifts for the 2008 VFP-62 reunion at Battleship Memorial Park Mobile, Alabama. John organized the honor guard and officiated the opening ceremonies for the dedication of the restored VFP-62 RF-8A Crusader. See pictures below of other contributions he made for that ceremony.

    John wasn't a demonstrative man, he was quiet and reserved. All who knew him remarked at his good humor, even making light of his serious health conditions. On one occasion, I learned he wasn't effusive with his praise; when I returned to our table after my 2012 Forrestal Reunion banquet speech, he dryly remarked, "I didn't know you had it in you, Ken!" Then he followed with a sheepish smile and gave his approval which warmed my heart.

    Knowing and working with him made my life better. His dedication and loyalty to the navy prompted me to do more. I will miss him very much.

    Ken Jack, VFP-62 PH2 and webmaster.

  • (1/8/18) [It] was of course very sad, but I guess not surprised of John's passing.

    George and yourself expressed very fine tributes to him.

    I was on the same July 64-Mar 65 Forrestal Det. as John and George. Did not know John well on the Det due to different jobs and duty locations.

    We reconnected at a Forrestal reunion in about '04. Were able to attend several ship and squadron gatherings since and became better acquainted, took a couple tours together and spent a lot of time talking in the hospitality room. The Mobile '62 reunion in '08 was a remarkable event Ken and John put together. Very impressive.

    Visited John and Kathleen in their new St. Augustine home end of Nov. '14. Last time I saw him. No more additions to the annual Christmas Card picture collection.

    A unique connection and will be missed.

    Thomas Pinkley VFP-62 ADJ2

(L-R) John and fellow navy photomate Bill Newby (2008 reunion); Dedication Ceremony 2008 reunion; John with best friend and brother, Bob--CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE)

(L-R) Tom Pinkley ADJ2, John, Ken Jack; Display Case with VFP-62 Memorabilia: John donated his dress whites and "Mickey Mouse" ears; John in front of VFP-62 barracks Cecil Field--CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE)

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