VFP-62 Reunions & Squadronmates Reconnecting
Updated February 24, 2019
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Each time we are able to spend time together, we seem to find more ways that our lives have crossed.
The Navy was the key to getting us together, but additional contacts seem to add to the experience.--George Montgomery
Squadron Members Have Mini-Reunion
(L-R)Gerald Mason, Marion Swinford, George Montgomery, Robert King
About five years ago- Marion Swinford, Robert King and I met at Cracker Barrell in Cartersville for a visit. Today, we "reunited" for another visit at the same location - none of us has aged - and we asked another Navy Vet to join us. Gerald was a member of VR-22, an "ADR" type on the larger aircraft, station in Norfolk. He was asked to join us - one for being a Navy Vet, two since he worked with Marion and Robert at Southern, Central, Republic and Northwest (this was all due to mergers of airlines) AND I had worked with Gerald at Chevron Oil when we both got out of the Navy in 1965 (and I hadn't seen Gerald in the last 50 years).
Marion, Robert and I talked about the potential of having a VFP-62 Reunion in Pensacola later this year. Hard task to get a good feel for. We three would like to get together. I am going to send out some additional email request/info challenges to see if this is a possibility at all. We will see how this goes.---George Montgomery
(L-R) Tom Pinkley and Barry Hertzog (VFP-62 USS Forrestal Det 1964-65) reconnect October 20, 2017: Indianapolis Bob Evans Restaurant. Tom says, "The manager even picked up the tab".
George Montgomery & Lyman Peckman
USS Intrepid VFP-62 Det 1959
While putting together the 62 roster, I came across the name of Lyman Peckman, Shawnee Mission, KS. When Joann and I began planning our trip to Olathe, I began making arrangements for Lyman and I to meet.
On June 11th, Lyman and I met at Cracker Barrel for lunch and a visit. It was good to meet another VFP-62 member and get to know something about his time with the squadron. Lyman is another example of the "rating war", he had completed AT "A" school, but assigned to the Photo Department upon arrival. John McKenna is one whom Lyman has kept in contact with. The cruise book in the picture is from Lyman's 1959 cruise on the USS Intrepid. The other picture is of the roster for that detachment - a total of 5 officers and 26 enlisted.
Looked at the personnel for Det 59 I was on: 5 officers / 41 enlisted - don't know what contributed to the increase for our det. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but I should not depend on the "phone" as a camera - or maybe it was the operator.
VFP-62 Officers Reconnect
Photo Officer Wes Bartlett and pilot Don McCoy [CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE]
"Don and Judy visited on Monday [May 26, 2017] in Greensboro, NC. As you can see Don is still bigger than me!!
Great reminiscing but no at-sea stories--- what happens afloat stays afloat!!!????
Back to the early 60's!!!!
VFP-62 pilots Lt. Cdr. Tom Larson, Lt. Rodney Rogers and photo officer Wes Bartlett met recently and in 2015 at Cape Canaveral to discuss, "Many memories and chat about our times in the squadron back in the early 60s." ---photo via Wes Bartlett
Just wanted to thank you for your assistance in helping me contact Rick Maioriello. I reached Rick by phone after a couple of emails and we had a nice chat on VFP 62 history and other stuff that old guys talk about. Also enjoyed the VFP 62 Memorabilia on the VFP 62 website. I don't have any additional photos from the Det 37-59 FDR cruise. It looks like you have the pics from the 1959 FDR Cruise Book--which is all I have.
I have also just finished reading your "Blue Moon Over Cuba"--really enjoyed it. You did a great job in preserving the squadron history working with Captain Ecker's memoir. Hope your writing career has continued to be rewarding.
All the best.
Ted Mendenhall VFP-62 pilot circa 1958
[Webmaster: Ted contacted me after my article Dedication appeared in the National Naval Aviation Museum's "Foundation" magazine (Spring 2015). I helped him connect with Rick Maioriello, the pilot whose story is in the article. See "Squadron History" page for a link to the article.---Ken Jack]
Lt. to Rt. : Robert King, Watson Kimbrell & Froyd Sneed, who served together Det. 59, 1965-'66.
(3/31/15) Thanks to the website another reconnection with squadron shipmates took place 3/26/15 in Braselton Ga. outside Atlanta. There had been no contact with me prior to this dinner, which by the way was paid for by strangers thanking us for our service! Who ever said there was "no free lunch" wasn't including dinner. If I would have known this, I would have ordered the steak.
Don Mullenix, who is in the Guest Log and a friend of Sneed gave him my phone number and Sneed & Kimbrell have kept in touch through the years. Sneed & his wife Sue traveled from Ak. & stayed overnight with me and my wife Katie and then the next day left for Fla. to meet up with Tom Scales who is in the Guest Log, real nice person, was with us at the Jacksonville reunion. Kimbrell and his Gail live near Braselton Ga. in the town of Jefferson Ga.
(10/27/12): USS Forrestal Assn. Reunion--Sept. 2013
(L-R): George Montgomery, Tom Pinkley
Tom and I did all we could to represent VFP-62 at this reunion. I have only been to the three most recent reunions and this was the smallest group I have been with. I don't think the number was much over 200 - VF74 only had one table with one over, who sat with our group.
Tom did the Great Lakes Tour and I did the Chicago Science Museum - and we both took the tour of Chicago w/a harbor cruise and lunch. My high light of the total "tours" was being able to see the U-505 - it brought more interest in that a friend (from here in Jasper) gave me prior input along with letting me know his father was on one of the DE's in the task force that captured the U-505. This sub was not built for anyone of my height but I did manage the tour okay.
It was good to be with Tom and Patricia Pinkley for the reunion.
Prior to leaving our daughters in Michigan, I was able to visit with her neighbor - Barry Hertzog - but without camera and recorder. Barry and I can always find something to talk about when we get together. I might be on the edge of forgetting some of what Barry has told me in the past, but that is okay - he has many experiences to relate and they are of interest. We have to get him to one of the upcoming reunions to share some stories with the group. He is also kind in that he drives for us since I still don't have a good handle on how to take a Michigan left turn.
The next reunion is in Virginia Beach next September and then in 2015 it will be in Hershey/Harrisonburg, PA. I am looking forward to being at both of these and hope that other VFP-62 members will also be there.
(10/27/12): George Mason University/Cold War Museum
50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis panel discussion.
(L-R): Capt. Adam Miklovis, Ken Jack, Lt. Cdr. Tad Riley (panel speaker), Phyllis Riley
Ga. VFP-62 Ga. Breakfast Meeting 8/18/2012.
(L to R - Marion Swinford, George Montgomery, Robert King)
Location: Cartersville Ga. Outside The Cracker Barrel Restaurant (note U.S. Military rocking chairs).
Thanks for the Squadron Website, making this and much more all possible.---Robert King
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
This is the first of the photos from the 25th Annual "Last Annual Crusader Ball". This picture was taken at the "formal" ball on Friday , May 7,2011. A total of 336 Crusader pilots and brides attended this event.
Left to right: Norm Green; Mo Hayes; Chuck Neuchterlein; Joe Hood; Bob Deputy. We were all in the squadron in 1963-1967. I guess Mo was there until the end.
(L-R; Robert King, Charles Lancaster, Rod Martin. Notice VFP hangar in the back ground between King and Lancaster. Taken by Robert Strong 6-21-10
(L-R) Tom Satterlee (Guest Log Page 3, Sea Stories Page 5) George Gaughran (Faces of VFP-62 Pgs. 4,5)
(L-R) John Sees (Faces of VFP-62 Pgs 1,5) Ken Jack (Faces of VFP-62 Pgs. 1,3,11)
Veterans Day Commemoration Newport R.I. USS Forrestal in background
(L-R) John Sees (Faces of VFP-62 Pgs 1,5) Lee Perrin (Faces of VFP-62 Page 2)
reunion Mar. '07 Florida
Barry Hertzog (left) George Montgomery (right)
A warm VFP-62 Christmas reunion - What it's all about
When John Sees and Tom Pinkley got me interested in finding "ole" members of Det 59, the first "find" was Barry Hertzog. While searching for members I came accross a "Hertzog" in Hudsonville, MI - kept on and found his address - and thought this can't be - it is "two doors down" from where my daughther lives. (What's the probability of this happening? - Webmaster) I made the phone call - did not tell him of my daughter's location - we visited a bit and then I told Barry I would be back in touch. Then I called my daughter - asked that she take some cookies to her neighbor and waited.
Our daughter and her family have lived there for about three years, I have been there to visit on two occasions prior to this Christmas visit.
This year Barry and Brenda hosted Joann and I for dinner and a very enjoyable evening. Barry and I spent time together in the afternoon, going over the photo's, booklets, cruise notes and memories.
The following photo shows that Barry has retained his looks over the years, and there I am.
WOW, this was a great visit.
[1/5/11]:Update on the George Montgomery visit . ----- As you know, George's daughter only lives two houses down from ours. So after Christmas, George gave me a call and said that we needed to get together. Which we did.
Both of our wives were a little under the weather so it was only George and myself for lunch. That was good. It gave us a chance to talk more freely about stuff --- and I mean the
really good old stuff --- that happened forty years ago --- and we didn't have to worry about boring any one else to death. We talked a lot about most of YOU, that is the ones that we could
remember --- some good --- some bad. And of course, I only said good things.
George will have to speak for himself, but I really enjoyed the meeting. George looked great, told funny stories, and we laughed a lot. It was great to see him.
(L-R)Jacob "Willie" Wilson, Chief Van Nostrand, Ken Jack
Forrestal Reunion - August 2006
Created on ... April 28, 2007