TO SEA--One Last Time
"REMEMBER THE SPIRIT"
Decommissioned USS Forrestal is towed last June to a Navy site in Philadelphia for aging vessels.
Recycling, not reefs, in store for old aircraft carriers
By Miguel Llanos Reporter , msnbc.com msnbc.com, updated 4/7/2011 6:55:24 PM ET
It's a heave-ho, U.S. Navy style. After several years during which turning old warships into artificial reefs was fashionable, four decommissioned aircraft carriers will instead be dismantled, and recycled, at shipyards.An environmental group that's been championing the shift said it makes sense: creating shipyard jobs in the U.S., instead of a potential toxic mess at sea.
"The Obama administration's new plan to recycle these four aircraft carriers appears to be a signal that the administration may be correcting long-standing misguided policies that not only squander resources, but American jobs as well," stated Colby Self of the Basel Action Network, a group that monitors global toxic issues and that last December issued a report critical of the artificial reefs.
The four decommissioned carriers are:
- USS Constellation
- USS Forrestal
- USS Independence
- USS Saratoga
The Navy would not comment but Navy records show that bids are being accepted to dismantle the veteran ships.Self said the Forrestal alone has some 40,000 tons of recyclable steel, copper and aluminum.
"With a strong metal market, these recoverable metals could bring a return of up to $30 million," Self told msnbc.com. "After accounting for the ship purchase price by competitive bid, towing, environmental remediation of toxic materials and labor rates, the recycling of this vessel should be a profitable venture for the domestic ship recycling industry and should give the local economy a great boost."
Dozens of other warships have previously been dumped at sea or turned into reefs after efforts were made to remove toxic material. BAN said that the environmental work on two recent aircraft carriers to meet that fate - the America and the Oriskany - cost more than $20 million each and that not all contaminants were removed.
The Oriskany was sunk off Pensacola, Fla., in May 2006 at a depth of 210 feet with the purpose of becoming an artificial reef. The America was used for live-fire tests and scuttled in May 2005 at a depth of nearly 17,000 feet about 250 miles off the coast of North Carolina. BAN estimates that recycling the Forrestal will save millions of taxpayer dollars and sustain about 1,900 jobs for one year. BAN said it was still concerned that plans might still be in place to sink the decommissioned destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford next month in waters off Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland.
International RF-8A "Fan Club"
RF8-A 908 Bu. No. 146889 Circa 1964
Photo contributed by Jim Sullivan
[Webmaster's Note: This story is of interest because it demostrates the current interest in our RF-8 Crusader. In this case it is an international inquirey, which I've received many of in the past. It also shows the wealth of information still residing within our squadron members, trying to help answer the questions of an interested community. This starts off with an email request I received for information.]
I'm a scale modeller currently making an RF-8 [model] conversion, and a friend has
sent me a pic of an RF-8A operating from USS Shangri La circa 11/66 [this is probably an error]. It has the bird dog emblem on the fuselage side and a dragon under the cockpit as well as small dragon's teeth on the intake warning V.
I'm interested in the colours of these markings, but his pic is in BW. I'm waiting to see if he'll let me send you the pic - but I was wondering , if he does, would you post on your site with a request for details?
I would be ever so grateful as I'd love to have this unusual markings as one of the option for the decals I want to produce for the conversion.
Anyhow - lets hope your guys can come up with some info - if I can get the converison looking commercially acceptable, and the decal artwork ready I hope to have the models avaible for sale late in the year. Full credits to you guys of course for the assistance.
Many thanks - and its a great website too.
Answers from VFP-62 squadron members attached to the USS Enterprise Det 65
- Robert King: I remember the color of the dog to be black. When we crossed the international date line - you became a Knight in the Order of the Golden Dragon. Yes the dragon was yellow. I have the certificate stating that I did cross the 180' Meridian at 0216 on 10 Sept 1964.
I have another certificate stating: I command my subjects to honor and respect the bearer of this certificate as One of Our Crusty Shellbacks. It is dated 6 Aug. 1964 Latitude 00-00, Longitude 00-00.
The Operation Sea Orbit certificate (Nuclear Task Force One) states we did circumnavigate the world starting at Gibraltar 31 July 1964 and returning to Norfolk Va. 3 Oct. 1964.
Update (1/10/11): On the following pictures, you can see USS Enterprise RF8 on a picture and USS Forrestal RF8 on the other. Plus we have a picture of the a plane with the dog on what I believe to be the Shangri-La (wooden deck) that was e-mailed earlier. What does all this mean? We are going to the dogs!
I do find it very interesting about the Englishman's interest and his project about part of Naval History that we were fortunate enough to be involved in when we where younger. At that time and place we were special but did not realize it, we went about our duties as trained.
Recently while Christmas shopping with my grandkids, I took the time to thank a group of Marines and Waves for their service. I shook their hands and I felt as if they had received the thanks before and "no big deal". I quickly thought about my experience and made a comment to them as we departed. "Right now you are doing your job. Someday, you will feel very proud of yourself and really appreciate what you did for your country."
- Robert Strong: The det mascot dog was black. I don't remember the dragon decal at all. I've been trying to find out what the dog represents but no luck so far. The shellback of course is what you get when you cross the equator.
I don't think that the pilot [look hard at the picture] is Tom Larson. On a guess it does look more like LCDR Gig Conaughton to me.
I do believe that the NUC [note the Navy Unit Commendation ribbon painted on the nose cone. The NUC was awarded to VFP-62 for the Cuban Missile Crisis.] was painted in true colors.
We got back from our world cruise Oct. 1964.
- LCDR Tom Larson: This has to be taken aboard the "E". LCDR Gig Conaugton was OIC for the Sea Orbit cruise. I can't tell who is doing the preflight. Maybe Datka?
Bob, 916 was the plane Rod Rogers and I shared. I got to put my name on the left side and "Roy" got the right. The rest of the info you have looks right to me.
Update (1/10/11):As far as I remember "The Dog" was the brainchild of OIC LCDR Fran Clinker. Gig Conaughton took over for the Sea Orbit cruise. I don't know how the DOG got on a Forrestal plane but perhaps as you said it just ended up with another det. If any other dets used the dog before us I wasn't aware of it.
Lots of good memories from the old days. Doesn't seem that long ago.
Hope you can read the newspaper clipping. It got a little yellow after 46+ years. Good thing my wife is organized - I know I never would have kept or been able to find some of this stuff.
Fun to look back on it.
[Webmaster:] Check out the news article Tom refers to: Det 65 arrives back at Cecil from world tour on the Big "E"--courtesy Tom Larson -- The article can be further enlarged in your browser window.
Anyone with more detailed information to help
should email the Webmaster at email link on this page.
VFP-62 Time Capsule Treasure Hunt
VFP-62 Time Capsule Hunters
L-R: Greg Engler, John DeChant (VFP-62 pilot), Jimmy Koenig,
(Historical Recovery Association of North Florida)
[Webmaster's Note: VFP-62 was disestablished in January 1968, and squadron members buried a time capsule of squadron memorabilia behind the Officer's Recreational Facility. Recently when news of this reached several squadron members, lead by Greg Engler (AT2 1964-66), a massive effort was made to find it. That story is still in progress. Greg's account of the first search: "Nothing remained of the building nor the pool except some pieces of metal and concrete mixed in with the soil and the weeds, the very many weeds, the very thick weeds, the very high weeds, the very diverse weeds, the very accursed weeds, the very noxious weeds, awwwwwww, you get the point."
Greg is looking for help in locating the exact location so that he can excavate it. He has obtained approvals from the present facility owners, recruited other experts with metal detectors, and should anything ever be recovered, it will be opened at a future VFP-62 reunion.
Anyone with more detailed information to help find the capsule
should email the Webmaster at email link on this page.
VFP-62 Vets Celebrating Being A Vet
Richard Crowe PHCM
Grand Marshall San Diego Veterans Day Parade
The other Grand marshalls were Cdr. Eddie Murphy who was the X.O. of the Pueblo when it was captured by the North Koreans, Joe Ciokin a retired Navy Journalist (once a photomate) who was at Beirut when the Marine Barracks was bombed and a retired Air Force Colonel who was instrumental in begotiating the return of Francis Gary Powers after the U-2 Powers was flying was shot down over the Soviet Union.
The picture above is of me in the American Flag jeep - we led the parade after the Marine Corps Band. There are two jeeps that are going to tour the USA next year - starting from the USS Midway on Memorial Day and ending up in New York City on Sept 10th, 2011 - the day before the anniversary of 9/11....
The American Flag skins on the jeeps will be produced and sold to jeep owners across the country. The proceeds will go to disabled vets. The jeeps will be driven by celebrities, including 3 past presidents and will then be auctioned off along with a scapbook of pictures and memos by the famous people. The proceeds of that auction will also go to help disabled vets.
Perhaps a Happy Ending????
VFP-62/VMCJ-2 F9F-8P photo-Cougar
On the Road to a Hopefull Restoration
[Webmaster's Note: These photos were received by a generous, and curious, non-squadron member. Click on the links to see an enlargement of the tail and another angle. This will be moved to "Mail Call" after a few weeks on the Bulletin Board. The following information was provided with the photos:]
I recently saw the photos of my F9F-8P Cougar on your website. I just bought the plane in Ohio and transported it to Santa Rosa, CA. My intentions are to either restore the plane myself or provide it to someone who will restore it. The bu. no. is 144388 and it was in VFP-62 in 1959. I would love to hear from anyone that flew it of worked on it.
Email -Steve Penning__with any information you have on this plane.
[Webmaster's note: A year or more ago, I was contacted by Leon Cleaver from Ohio. He had a collection of F9Fs in his field and was looking for a good home for them. I posted the following photos on the Bulletin Board to help him. No response was received. It is good to see Steve Penning take the interest in salvaging these relics of the early years of VFP-62.]
Additional information on this photo Cougar was provided by Steve. Click on the underlined text:
My interest in the plane is that I love F9F's. I had a -4 and -5 Panther several years ago, pretty complete, but in many pieces. I was starting to restore the -4 when a guy came along and wanted them worse than I did !! I actually have 2 Cougars, the 8P and a 6P. The 6P is still in Ohio waiting to be trucked home. I had an aircraft restoration company (Aerocrafters, Inc.) for 15 years with a partner. We restored HU-16's, B-25, P-51, MiG-15, MiG-17, L-39, Sea Fury, PBY-5A, L-5, Yak-52, T-28, and a few others. I fly the warbirds still and just love the history about them.
Click to see more photos: enlarged tail photo .... --and Photo 2
I saw this going down I-80 in Iowa 8/11/10. I am a field service tech for a company that makes medical dispensing equipment for hospitals. I cover the state of Iowa. I have not run across too many jets strapped to the back of a tractor-trailer.
When I got home and viewed the picture full-sized I noticed the unit designator on the fuselage and did an internet search. Your site popped up and thought it might interest your members.
And pass on a heartfelt thanks to your members for their service.
VFP 62 clearly on fuselage
Recent News and Annoucements
UPDATE (5/5/10): The book, "Fightin' Photo and Blue Moon: The Squadron and Photos That Helped JFK Avert Nuclear War", has been printed and reviewed by two Navy Captains, a Commander, a Marine Colonel, a squadron member, two prominant authors, and two VFP-62 pilots. The book is based on our CO Capt. William B. Ecker's memoir and memories of squadron members, who served during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. The book, like this site, is a collaboration of squadron members.
There is still time to get your story into the book by submitting it NOW, during the final rewrite process. The input should be a story of interest describing what you or the squadron was doing while executing the low-level missions over Cuba. Entries will be chosen on their interest and detail.
The book will be proposed to a publisher by Fall 2010. It is hoped that it will be published and available by 2011 (the 100th anniversary of naval aviation) or 2012 (the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis)
Entries can be sent to the Webmaster via the email link listed on Bulletin Board page. Additional information on the book can be found on "Cuban Missile Crisis", this site.
RF-8 Bureau Number 145609--VFP-62 Nose Number 906
Pre-Restoration Photos at National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola FL
December 12, 2009: Information has been received that this RF8, sitting on the NMNA Flight Line for years, has been moved to a location for restoration as a VFP-62 plane. In addition to service with VFP-62, it also served with VMCJ-4 and VFP-63. Owen Miller reports, "They are pouring the footings for the new annex to the museum this week. The goal is for it to open in 2011 with the Centennial of Naval Aviation. They have picked a group of planes to get ready now to be put inside the building. The first batch they will work on are the ones to be hung from the overhead. This is a very ambituous undertaking to have done by 2011. With the new Active Duty Volunteer program it might happen. Anyway, that is the plan at this time. It will hang from the overhead in VFP-62 markings."
EXTERNAL LINK (Adobe PDF format): Information on the 2011 Centennial
- August 21, 2009:
Retirees and Vets Allowed to Salute Flag
Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag only while wearing their organization’s official head-gear.The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 contained an amendment to allow un-uniformed service members, military retirees, and veterans to render a hand salute during the hoisting, lowering, or passing of the U.S. Flag. A later amendment further authorized hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. This was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14, 2008. -Contributed by J.J. McKenna
- August 9, 2009: The latest federal stimulus program, announced today by President Obama in Elkhart, Indiana, includes funds for a battery factory at Cecil Field.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was in St. Petersburg, FL, to announce a $95.5 million grant for Saft America, Inc. to construct a new plant in Jacksonville on the site of the former Cecil Field military base, to manufacture lithium-ion cells, modules and battery packs for military, industrial, and agricultural vehicles. --Contributed by Jim Brumm
- July 22, 2009: For a long time rumors have circulated that Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were collaborating on a World War II: Pacific Theater/Marine Corps HBO mini series in the same spirit of their highly respected "Band of Brothers". This is no longer a rumor. In 2010, "The Pacific" will air on HBO as a ten part mini series.
"The Pacific" is based on the books "With the Old Breed", by Eugene Sledge, which was hailed by historian Paul Fussell as one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war, and "Helmet for My Pillow",by Robert Leckie (recipient of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Annual Award), as well as original interviews conducted by the filmmakers.
Continuing the World War II oral history work begun by his father Stephen E. Ambrose(author of the book "Band of Brothers"), Hugh Ambrose serves as a consultant on the miniseries, as does Captain Dale Dye, USMC ("Saving Private Ryan", "Band of Brothers" and "Platoon").
The miniseries follows Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
Hit this link to watch: "The Pacific trailer --Contributed by Pete Hanner
- May 26, 2009:
Midway Museum F-8 Ready Room Now Open to the Public
Finally, and at long last, the F-8 Crusader Ready Room in the USS Midway Museum in San Diego CA is open to the public. Proposed by Bruce Boland to the Crusader Association at the "Last Annual Crusader Ball" in 2003, the proposal was adopted and has been an ongoing project since that
Charter members to the Ready Room Committee were Bruce Boland, Jack Batzler, Dick Cavicke, Bob Pearl, Bill Rennie and Cal Swanson. As the Ready Room took shape the committee was joined by Morrie Lewis, a
former VFP-63 pilot, who made an immense contribution by enlarging, printing and mounting countless pictures for the museum. Later in the development of the museum Dale Deweese and Karen Black, widow of Cole Black, joined the team and are now very active.
The USS Midway has 8 Ready Rooms and most are occupied by various aircraft types i.e. F-4, Light Attack, Helo, Heavy Attack etc. Some are configured somewhat normally, however, the Crusader Ready Room #7, dedicated to all F-8 Gunfighters, has been configured to honor all those that worked on, flew and fought in the magnificent Crusader. A museum within a museum, with show cases of F-8 memorabilia and pictures, honoring the last of a breed.
The Crusader Ready Room was paid for 100 percent by over two hundred donors from the Crusader Association. While the Crusader Association will continue to enhance the museum through the years, the USS Midway will take over the maintenance and operation. However, private early morning or late afternoon visits outside of regular Midway Museum hours may still be arranged by contacting any one on the RR Committee.Plan to come visit us soon!!
After more than a year, a series of unforseen stumbling blocks,
and a whole lot of lessons learned, a video of [Capt.] Jim Curry's interview
and a portion of the Man Moment Machine episode [History Channel documentary on Cuban Missile Crisis] on the RF-8
is playing on a 52" TV beside our Crusader. I can't believe it's
taken this long but I am proud of the final result!
VFP-62 RF8 BuNo 145645
Battleship Park Exhibit and Information Center
UPDATE July 8: Hope you had a good 4th. The RF-8 got a lot of attention from the big crowd we had. At one point there were at least a dozen people watching the video and reading the story boards. I chose this shot because you can also see the displays.
Owen Miller, Battleship Park, Mobile AL.
[Webmaster's Note: Battleship Park has the restored VFP-62 RF8 Bu No. 145645 on exhibit. See "We Love Crusaders" The Restoration of RF8 Bu No 145645.]
Dear VFP-62 Webmaster:
I am a model builder and plan to build a kit of the RF-8 Crusader in VFP-62 markings. I am wondering if you know where I can obtain VFP-62 decals in 1/72 scale.
Career Photo Interpretation (PT's)Need some info about a couple of people and perhaps you might know. We are trying to set up a get-together of career type PTs. Do you happen to know what ever become of Vince Bailey (or Gailey)? He made chief while with VFP-62 in the early 60's. Also during that time the LCPO was PTCM James N. Spahn. Can you shed any light on either one?
Thanks, Bill Hile (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- We have a photograph taken from Norman Youngblood’s plane from 1958 as he was landing on the Intrepid, and we plan to feature it in our museum’s reopening this November. Does anyone have contact information for him or his family? We’d like to find out more about his time on the Intrepid, as well as the experiences of others from the squadron who served aboard our ship during the late 1950s and early 60s.
Many thanks in advance for any assistance that you might offer. By the way, you have a great squadron website!
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
One Intrepid Square
12th Avenue & 46th Street
New York, NY 10036-4103
Email replys to: email@example.com
While the Intrepid is on leave our staff will continue our mission to Honor, Educate and Inspire through Intrepid Sails, our traveling, educational outreach program. For information log onto: Intrepid Museum and watch for our return in 2008.
- Anybody out there from Det 37-57 FDR? Also Pilots Joe Pline John Kramer Warren Dukes or Ens Mike? Please Contact Dave (Swede) Olson firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.
- INFORMATION REQUEST:Im trying to find the other fellows who flew with my dad [Charlie Counter] in Det 43-58. Those are; Henry North, R J (or G?) "Bucky" Walters, Charlie Ray, and Jack Hennessey. Do you know if it is R or G Walters ?, and do you know of the status of Jack Hennessey? Did he die in a plane crash?
Todd Counter, son of Charlie Counter
My email address is: Click to email Todd: email@example.com
- INFORMATION REQUEST: Could anyone tell me the where abouts of Frank Fiorini, Stan and Red Davidson as well as Tom DeWolf?
My email address is: Click to email Greg: firstname.lastname@example.org
- INFORMATION REQUEST: Does anyone have any contacts for the detachment pilots in the VFP-61/62 detachment aboard "runway 9" - the USS Essex circa 1956-57. One was Bob Ochterloney(?). Another possibly was Ralph Sykes. I'd appreciate a fill in for the other two. The VFP-61/62 guys used our ready- room. Good people.
Bill Connor VF-112, CAG-11
Email: Bill Connor wconnor8@gmailcom
- INFORMATION REQUEST: During the Cuban Missile Crisis when VFP-62 made the flights over Cuba, did any of the RF-8A Crusader get hit with any Anti-Aircraft or small arms fire during these missions? Also would anyone remember VF-32 flying support of the Photo Recon missions? I’m gathering information to record what the Swordsmen of Fighting-32 have done during this time. VF-32 sent a Det. to Key West and at that time the squadron was home based out of NAS Cecil Field. VF-32 is assigned with CAG-3, Tail code "AC" and deployed with the USS Saratoga CV-60, and flying the F8U-2N. Any information you may have will be greatly appreciated.
Ken Walling, webmaster www.vf32.info
- Response #1:To the best of my knowledge, there was no battle damage to any VFP-62 aircraft during the CMC. Now bird strikes, that is another question.
I am almost certain that I talked to Bill Ecker (CO during the CMC) and he confirmed that the battle damage suggested in Thirteen Days was a bunch of Hollywood BS.
The only thing that I can add is that I remember that the CO of (I think it was) VF-32 was CDR Gordo Gray. Great guy.
They were the guys who would probably take off via a green light from the tower (radio silence) shortly after the RF-8s took off under the same conditions. Prior to take off, they would have briefed with the photo guys and knew our coast-in and coast-out points.
What a wonderful thought it was to know that they were waiting for us at our exit from the beach. And when we did, they would radio to say that our tails were clear.
I do not recall whether the ROE (rules of engagement) permitted them to fly over Cuba if we were shot down. I seem to think (wishfully?) that they could.
In short, we photo-beanies were most appreciative of the fighter guys who were there to cover us in spades.
Capt. Ed Feeks, Jacksonville, FL
[Webmaster's Note: Gordon L. Gray Jr. (USN retired) died on December 2, 2007 from complications relating to pneumonia.]
- INFORMATION REQUEST Who was the VFP-62 Photo Officer before CDR Koch? --Submitted by Jim Brumm
- Response: CDR Griffin comes to mind. When he left us, I believe he went up to Armed Forces Radio in NYC. True? - Adam Miklovis
- Jim Brumm's Response: Yes! Thank you Adam.
He's the reason I ended up at Armed Forces Radio and got the news experience that carried me through a career as a reporter.
CDR Griffin was OIC of Armed Forces Radio New York, which was part of the Armed Forces Press Radio and TV Service, New York office. I never figured out how a LDO (Photo Officer) got that assignment, but I'm glad he did. As memory serves, he sought it to be as near as possible to his retirement home in New York's Hudson Valley.
When I got shore duty orders in the Spring of 62, I was waiting to sew on my Second Class Crow -- which I did in May, before departing in June. My shore duty orders were to the Pentagon -- which did not sound like a fun place for a newly minted JO2. I also got orders to NESEP prep school which I had earned by passing the test the previous fall.
Just before I took that test, I learned that NESEP -- Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Program -- had dropped the major I wanted: Metrology. But at LCDR Gunther's (SP? the admin officer) urging, I took the test anyway. The next spring I was glad I had an option. I went to prep school at Bainbridge, MD, hoping I could convince the folks there to let me study something besides engineering. I had tried that on my own a few years earlier and did not appreciate trying again. When I was told no, I said send me to shore duty.
As I understand it -- probably from the conversation I had with CDR Griffin the day I arrived at AFRS NY -- he had gone to the Journalist desk in BuPers looking for a couple journalists for the newsroom. He went through the pile of orders awaiting shore duty assignment and pulled out two he knew. I was one of them, which got me the experience I needed to go to work for Dow Jones when I got out of the Navy.
- INFORMATION REQUEST: Does anyone remember Lt. Lynn's ejection from a VFP-62 F9F-8P off Barbados, or the two F8U-1Ps that crashed near Cecil Field?---John McKenna
Response: It was a F9F-8P Cougar. Just one plane involved. It was November 17, 1958. A cockpit fire during the climb after takeoff caused a spinout and loses of all electrical equipment and communications and hydraulics. The Cougar was flown from there on by backup cables.
Lt. Robert E. Lynn brought the Cougar out of a spin and returned to the Intrepid and used hand signals to another aircraft which had the deck cleared for landing. When landing the Cougar, the arresting wires were set for a Cougar with the extra fuel tanks empty, but with the F9F's electrical system out, the tanks could not be dumped so the plane landed at almost twice the normal weight. Dad caught the center cable which hydraulics was set for a lighter plane. After a hard jerk the arrestor broke, the F9F continued off the deck and dropped but had just enough speed to skim away and then slowly gain altitude.
Another aircraft signaled for Dad to follow and land at Barbados. When he was close enough to see the island the engine died and he ejected. He landed in the sea and a banana boat picked him up until an island ship brought him ashore. The next day he returned to the carrier and within 24 hours he was made to take a short flight, take off and landing on the Intrepid.
I have pictures, a copy of the newspaper and article at Bridgetown, Barbados about the rescue and maybe a recording I made interviewing dad. Click to see an image of the newspaper article:U S Navy Jet Crashes in Sea
Daniel Lynn, son
- INFORMATION REQUEST: Good Morning Sir,
As an avid aircraft modeler and a veteran of the U.S Army and USAF I send my highest regards and deepest sympathies to all that have served and died while honoring themselves and our country while serving Thank You All. I'm writing this morning in hopes of trying to gather some information regarding an incident on August 27.1972 over North Vietnam.
I'm trying to find the BuNo of an RF-8 from VFP-63 Det 3, CVA-41 ( call sign "BABY GIANT" ) that was on a recee BDA mission when the F-4B NF-210 BuNo 151013, that was escorting MIGCAP was lost to a SA-2 . Of the six SAMS fired at them one struck home and sent the crew to "The Hilton" for the remainder of the war. I want to build a model of THAT RF-8 but have very little info to go on. Any information or stories,pictures etc.. regarding incident would be greatly appreciated.
e-mail:Click to email me:
- Response #1: That must have been Clark's escort. The VF 151 crew. I would have to look at the cruise book to remember his name. Big tall guy was the pilot. I have no idea which airplane he was flying at the time and Clark was killed a long time ago so would not know how to check his logbook. Except for Vic who was lost at the end of the war that was the only other escort we lost. - Skip Leonard
- Response #2: The crew of the VF-151 loss on 27 AUG 1972 was LCDR Theodore W. Triebel and LTJG David A Everett according to the 1972 USS MIDWAY cruise book. Clark Bruce was the photo pilot who lost an escort over the beach. I have no details of the event. I do not know the BUNO of the RF-8G Clark was flying that day. Clark died at sea many years ago in an EA-6B and I have lost contact with his wife and family; I do not know where his logbook might be. I do not know where the unit master flight logs from those years are kept or if they were kept. Clark returned to the ship, very low state, could not get his inflight refueling probe out and landed with about 600 lbs of fuel, did not tell anyone, just did it. The CO of VF-161 was very angry with Clark for not staying over the crash sight until relieved by a SAR CAP: Clark said he was run out of the area by AAA so he stayed just off the coast and attempted to guide the SAR CAP to the sight but it is likely they were never able to locate the F-4. You might find something by looking for SAR efforts, must have been messages sent about the SAR. Sorry I cannot help you more; it was a long time ago. If there is an F-4 organization around or a VF-151 unit on the internet, they might know. Baby Giant was the call sign given to our detachment because our squadron call of Corktip was being used by another detachment in the area.
OinC VFP-63 Det 3
- Response #3: The four pilots on that det were Gordie Page (shot down/POW) Paul Ringwood(shot up, but got out of it), Skip Leonard, Clarke Bruce. As I said before, Gordie took over the det after me. After he got shot down, Will went out to take the det. Will also went on to be a CO of an EA6 squadron. Clarke went on to an EA6 squadron. Unfortunately, he flew into the water one night off the cat - took three people with him. --Scott Ruby
- INFORMATION REQUEST: Do any of you remember the "lemon" Don Jusko painted on - I think it was 911 (or 913) - during a shake down cruise in early '64? The fly-off was just off the coast of Jacksonville - as we were going back to port in Norfolk. Before the planes could land at Cecil - Chance-Vaunght had contacted the CO @ Cecil and told to "GET THAT PLANE PAINTED". Wonder if any of the photos of this event survived? Not too sure but that LTJG Staub was the pilot.--George Montgomery former PN3
(Don Jusko says, "He caught a lot of hell for that!" - webmaster)
- INFORMATION REQUEST: During our time in Istanbul - Det 59 - we got up one morning to have the Russian fleet anchored "within our Carrier Group"!! There were photos taken, I can remember them as clear as day - thought I had some, but can't find. I had thought that I would find them on the VFP-62 web sight - maybe I need to check the Forrestal photos. Do any of you recall this? -- George Montgomery former PN3
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Created on ... December 12, 2009