View Full Version : Military Aviation

08-05-2020, 12:49 PM
It’s been a very popular topic in other forums where I have started it.

My more than 40 years aviation career was almost exclusively in support of Naval Aviation. I did 31 years active duty with the Navy and another 10 Years as a Navy civilian employee at The Naval Aviation Depot, Jacksonville, FL. I also worked for Eastern Airlines as their ramp manager at Jacksonville, FL until they folded.

I’ll kick this off with aircraft I worked on and move on from there to my extensive picture files.

I graduated out of Navy boot camp at Great Lakes, IL in March of 1957 as an Airman Apprentice (AA). I did that because I started flying with my father at age 8 and knew enough about theory of flight to bypass initial Naval Aviation training.

My first duty station was at the Naval Air Station, Barbers Point, Oahu, TH. Hawaii was not yet a state.

The squadron was AIRBARSRON2 which would become one of the largest squadrons in the Navy.

The squadron operated three types of aircraft. There were two versions of the Super Constellation. Their Navy designations were WV-2 & R-7V. The other was an older two engine conventional landing gear Beech Craft, Navy designation, SNB.

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08-06-2020, 05:24 PM
My tour of duty in Hawaii was limited to two years because it was charged as overseas sea duty and I would have to transfer to a deploying squadron to complete my sea tour.

In April of 1959 I transferred to Patrol Squadron 9 at NAS Alameda. They had recently transitioned to the P2V-7 aircraft. I changed my PRM striker designation to AME and was advanced to 3rd class petty officer (E4).

In the first tattered picture I’m seated on the far left. The picture was of the personnel of the Aircraft Division. I was assigned to the oxygen shop where I tested and repaired gaseous oxygen regulators. The Navy had not yet developed liquid oxygen systems/regulators for large aircraft.

The next picture is of a P2V-7 aircraft on display at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL. The F-14 in the same picture has the VF-84 color scheme used on their aircraft for the movie; “The Final Countdown”, filmed in part, on the (USS Nimitz). I was working for the Commander of Carrier Air Wing 8 as a flight deck maintenance coordinator during the filming of that movie.

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08-08-2020, 02:37 PM
After some shore duty and than almost a year as ships’ company on the US Boxer (LPH-4), I got to my first tail-hook squadron. It was Fighter Squadron 41 out of Naval Air Station Oceana at Virginia Beach, VA.

The squadron was in the final stage of transitioning from the F3H Demon to the F4 Phantom II.

For my first year I was assigned to the aircraft check crew where I would learn all about the major systems I would work on and some others like engine and liquid oxygen servicing.

In early 1965 we were doing qualifications aboard the USS Independence (CVA-62) in Cuban waters. The word came that we would deploy with the Indy to the Pacific Fleet in support of USA actions in Vietnam. I was then assigned to the Line Division as a squadron Airframes flight deck troubleshooter. I would stay in that billet until I transferred to shore duty.

Here are some great USN photos of our squadron’s activity aboard the INDY. The first one was taken right after completion of our first combat line period. We were heading to Yokosuka, Japan for a much needed 2 week R&R pit stop.

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08-09-2020, 12:46 PM
Very cool career. I have a Niece that is a Naval aviator flying Sub hunters she is stationed in Washington. My Nephew has just started flight school and is in Pensacola. They are having the time of their lives.

08-10-2020, 12:32 PM
Soon after returning to Norfolk from a 7 month deployment I got my shore duty orders. I was going to TX for 4 months advance cadre training on the Navy’s newest attack aircraft; the A7A Corsair II. Once that was completed I reported to Attack Squadron 174 (a training squadron) at Naval Air Station, Cecil field, FL. At VA-174 I was on the maintenance team that accepted the first A7A into a fleet squadron. My off and on 12 years with that aircraft had just begun.

Here is a factory pix, a LTV pretty pix and one of the VA-174 hangar at Cecil Field.

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08-12-2020, 12:56 PM
When my tour of duty was completed with VA-174 I was sent west to Naval Air Station Miramar. I was once again going to sea with the F4 Phantom II. The squadron was VF-151. I would be there a little over three years and make 2 long combat deployments (7 & 11 months) with them aboard the USS Midway (CVA-41).

When I reported in I was assigned to the Line Division as their supervisor. That was short lived. With just 3 years as an E6 I was relatively junior to more than two thirds of the 21 1st class Petty Officers in the squadron. The Line Division supervisor gets hazardous duty flight deck pay. Once we left port on our first deployment, a more senior 1st class asked for my job and replaced me. I was reassigned to the check crew as their supervisor. I would stay in that position until I transferred to shore duty.

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08-16-2020, 03:03 PM
In mid 1973 The USS Midway and its air wing were scheduled to forward deploy to a new home at Yokosuka, Japan. My sea tour with VF-151 would not be completed until July 1974 which would require me to go to Japan. I had a close friend with the same rating and rate as me stationed at NAS Miramar. He wanted to go to Japan for personal reasons. The Navy allowed him to swap duty with me if he would agree to a four year sea tour. He did and the Navy just detailed me to shore duty early.

In Sept, 1973 I transferred to VA-125 (A7 aircraft) at Naval Air Station, Lemoore, CA. For those that don’t know, that’s just about in the middle of the San Joaquin valley. I moved my family to NAS Lemoore and then reported to Naval Training Command, Memphis for advanced Aviation Structural Mechanic schooling. My training was completed in Jan 1974 and I reported back to VA-125. The following month they sent me to the Marine Corp Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego, to attend Navy instructor training where I earned a 9501 enlisted classification code for stand-up instructors. Upon returning to VA-125 I was assigned to the training department as an instructor supervisor. I spent my entire shore tour in that position and was advanced to E7 (chief petty officer) and became my division’s supervisor.

What VA-125 was doing with me was take advantage of my knowledge and experience with the A7 aircraft.

The picture of me was taken right after I returned home from the Chief’s initiation where I got my anchors.

VA-125 pictures.


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08-18-2020, 05:35 AM
Though not an RV topic, I enjoyed your story. When did you retire and what are you doing now? Hope to see you in a campground!

08-18-2020, 12:51 PM
Though not an RV topic, I enjoyed your story. When did you retire and what are you doing now? Hope to see you in a campground!

I'll take my stories and aircraft to 1988 when I retired from the Navy. I retired from DOD in 2002 and went on SS in 2003.

Linda and I have been married 62 years and are still active physically and mentally. We enjoy our retirement community here in the SC foot hills and still travel to visit family and friends. We have not been west of the Mississippi since 2010.

Together we have visited all of the lower 48 states. I was stationed in HI and flew to Alaska regularly on Navy Super Conny aircraft. I also visited most of the Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico, Cuba, St. Thomas and the Bahamas.

This picture was taken on our 61st wedding anniversary. Needless to say, we were just kids when we married in 1958.


08-18-2020, 03:07 PM
NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, VA


When my shore duty ended with VA-125 in 1977, guess what? It was back to the Atlantic Fleet and VF-41, once again. This time they were in the process of transitioning to the F-14 Tom Cat. For me it was back to school. This time it was familiarization with the aircraft and preparations for increased responsibilities as an aviation maintenance manager.

Once I finished schooling I was assigned to the maintenance control branch of the maintenance department. While there I got certified to sign aircraft safe for flight. Shortly after that I was assigned to flight deck duty as the squadron’s flight deck maintenance coordinator.

VF-41 (The Black Aces) was part of Air Wing 8 operating off the USS Nimitz, my first and only nuke.

Here are some flight deck operations.

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08-24-2020, 09:05 AM
During my 1977 – 1980 tour with VF-41 I had to go to the Air Wing and work the desk for them because their maintenance CPOs didn’t have any flight deck experience.

Respotting aircraft on the flight & hangar decks is a very intensive tasking during flight ops. The job requires constant communications with all squadron maintenance departments while constantly updating the ships aircraft handler of all operational aircraft status.

During my time with CVW8 the Iran hostage situation was playing out and the huge H-53 helicopters were aboard the Nimitz. They were constantly being moved up and down elevators to hide them from satellite detection. Cloud cover and rain squalls would bring them to the flight deck for maintenance, engine turns, or short flights.

The helos were flown to Diego Garcia in C5 aircraft. Then the Nimitz made a night run for the island to pick them up and hide them in the hangar bays.

Here are a couple of pictures of their movement between decks.

Note: Yellow shirts are aircraft movement handlers. The reason for so many is their getting familiar with the dimensions of the helos and their turning radius. We never had H-53s stay aboard before this operation.

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08-26-2020, 06:08 PM
In early January 1980 I received orders to report to the Commander in Chief US Atlantic Fleet (CINLANTFLT) Norfolk, VA.

I was working in a high profile flight deck job for the Commander of Carrier Air Wing 8. The wing commander and my squadron commander had told me I would stay with the USS Nimitz until it returned to NS Norfolk. No one, especially me, expected to get priority 2 orders to an Admirals’ staff. Another surprising factor was I was ordered there as a manpower analyst for the entire Naval aircraft shore forces of the Atlantic Fleet. My COs on the Nimitz hands were tied. They could not justify requesting a modification of PRI 2 orders to a fleet commander. My orders also included a one month stop at the Naval Training command for Manpower Analyst training.

The long journey home began. None of the air wing or other supporting aircraft had the range to fly me to Diego Garcia from the Nimitz operating waters. An oiler/supply ship, the USS Roanoke was going to Diego Garcia after it serviced the Nimitz. I got a ride on an H-46 to the Roanoke. It took them 7 days to get to Diego Garcia. I was unwound when I got there. Getting off Diego Garcia was pretty easy with my high priority orders. I got a hop on a C-141 to Clark AFB in the Philippians. I spent one night there and got a hop on a Tigre flight to San Francesco via stops at Guam, Tokyo, Anchorage and flight destination, San Francisco. I took a two day rest at San Francisco and then got another C-141 to Fort Worth and then a DC-9 to Andrews AFB. At that time CINCLANTFLT had an H-53 milk run between the Pentagon and the CINCLNTFLT compound in Norfolk. Five days later I reported to my analyst training classes.

Here are some pictures of how I got home from the Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea). They are from USN or Wikipedia files.

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08-29-2020, 06:52 PM
In early 1983 my tour of shore duty with CINCLANTFLT at Norfolk, VA came to an end. I was getting real close to retirement and wanted to go to FL. After working closely with my detailer – whom I personally knew from our days together on the Midway – I got orders to VA-46 (A7-E aircraft) at Naval Air Station, Cecil Field, FL (Jacksonville). After a few weeks of familiarization with the squadron I got the position I had always coveted, department maintenance chief of an operating squadron. As such, I was the enlisted manager of the entire maintenance department.

I had more than 8 years experience with the A7 aircraft and had been on the team that verified and validated the A7-E maintenance manuals.

VA-46 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1, operating off the USS America (CV-66). Upon returning from a Med/Indian Ocean deployment in 1985 I got detached from VA-46 because of a medical condition. After a few months in limbo and a trip to a formal medical board at Great Lakes, IL I was ordered to a year of limited duty. It would be with Commander Light Attack Wing 1 based at NAS Cecil Field. The current commander at that time was the CO of VA-46 when I reported there in 1983. My position there would be; manpower analyst for CLAW-1. I got my own office and computer system and went to work establishing a manpower data base for the Wing.

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09-02-2020, 06:25 PM
Early in 1986 I was informed I would be released from limited duty. I would have to go somewhere I could complete my sea duty as my time at CLAW1 was neutral duty. Of course I wanted to stay in the Jacksonville, FL area because we had built a new home and were going to live there after retirement. My detailer came-up empty handed and penciled me in for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Just before my orders for Cuba were issued I got a visit by the Maintenance Officer of VFA-132, a F/A-18 aircraft squadron at NAS Cecil Field, FL. His maintenance chief was being transferred for a family hardship. The CLAW1 commander had recommended me for the position and the maintenance officer had come to offer me the position.

In early 1988 my medical condition worsened and I retired at NAS Cecil Field, FL and was placed on the Permanent Disabled Retired List (PDRL).

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09-02-2020, 07:30 PM
Cal, even though I believe that photo is of you and your youngest daughter, DW and I want to thank both you and your DW for all those years service. We have many friends who are veterans and the wives/spouses suffered hard times also. When Brenda went to Camp Butler in Okinawa for a year (I had already been discharged) I was hard to be around sometimes. Those tours of duty are mighty hard on those left behind also!

09-02-2020, 08:16 PM
Cal, even though I believe that photo is of you and your youngest daughter, DW and I want to thank both you and your DW for all those years service. We have many friends who are veterans and the wives/spouses suffered hard times also. When Brenda went to Camp Butler in Okinawa for a year (I had already been discharged) I was hard to be around sometimes. Those tours of duty are mighty hard on those left behind also!

Thank You.

Due to great strides in medical sciences in our great country I’m still in the game.

Linda and I will celebrate our 62nd wedding anniversary on Oct 4th this year.

Our 5 years of full time RVing were exciting. I'll be posting aviation pictures from those years soon.


09-06-2020, 10:36 AM
While RVing America, we used many different highways and byways. We never had a schedule or agenda. Just point the rig and go. For about 50% of the time we had long time Navy friends traveling with us.

On this particular occasion we were traveling west on US-2 from the MI UP all the way to Minot ND. Whenever our travels took us close to military RV Parks/CGs we would stop for a week to 10 days and catch-up on our shopping needs.

Almost all Military bases that have something to do with aviation will have an aircraft display area. At Grand Forks, ND AFB there was a large tanker aircraft right at the main gate.

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09-11-2020, 02:11 AM
During our full time years we wintered at Yuma twice. The Marine Corps Air Station is right down town. It was very convenient to use for shopping and medical prescriptions.

These pictures were taken of aircraft on display at the main gate to the base.

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09-13-2020, 04:18 AM
Once while parked at Dickinson, ND we were riding around exploring yard sales one weekend and found this aircraft on display out in a field near a smallish rural airport at Devils Lake, ND.


09-14-2020, 04:19 AM
We spent a couple months here in a 30 AMP FHU overflow site with a ball field out back and the mess hall, bowling alley and golf driving range across the street.

It's the Blue Angle winter home and they were there while we were there.

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09-16-2020, 09:31 PM
These aircraft are on display just inside the main gate at Naval Air Station, Lemoore, CA.

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09-19-2020, 11:44 AM
Most that travel north and south on the eastern seaboard will at one time or another use interstate highway I-95.

These pictures were taken while driving north near Savannah, GA.

It’s a B-47, a very iconic aircraft and not often found on displays like this one out in the open.

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09-25-2020, 02:14 PM
My pictures of A7 aircraft combat operations from the Midway, 1971.

Load them up and launch them. We could do that every hour and forty-five minutes around the clock.

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10-07-2020, 10:59 AM
One time while passing-thru Tuscaloosa, AL we spotted this military display area at the end of a large shopping mall parking lot. We went around the block to an entrance where we could get in and park our rig so we could more closely view the display and take these pictures.

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10-13-2020, 12:18 PM
During our full time traveling years we took a lot of pictures of military aircraft at museums and display areas. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base houses a huge military aircraft “bone yard”. Many of the outdated aircraft have been restored and placed on display at various venues around the base. From time to time I’ll post pictures that were taken there. Here are a few to start with.

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10-20-2020, 07:05 AM
Naval Air Station Cecil Field, FL was closed by the BRAC commission. The base was turned-over to the city of Jacksonville, FL and is now known as Cecil Airport.

Cecil Airport has become a haven for military aircraft contractors/manufacturers and government agencies such as US Customs and Homeland Security.

Down at the flight lines and near the tower they have dedicated a small aircraft display area. This F/A-18 is currently displayed there.


11-01-2020, 06:20 PM
San Diego, CA

A number of years ago (1997) the Naval Air Station at Miramar officially became Marine Corp Air Station.

Scurrying around they found some old aircraft to put on display. Here are a couple of them.

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11-05-2020, 11:55 PM
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, USN aviation squadrons would move detachments to places like NAS Fallon, NV - NPTR (now NAF) Yuma, AZ - NAS Key West, FL and NAS Roosevelt Roads, PR for gunnery and bombing practice. The C-130 was almost exclusively used to transport maintenance personnel and their equipment to those areas.

Here is a picture of that work horse aircraft on display at DMAFB, Tucson, AZ


11-10-2020, 06:52 AM
Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL was, at one time, the home base for the Blue Angle Navy aviation flight demonstration team.

This is a picture of a Blue Angle aircraft currently on display at NAS JAX main gate.


11-19-2020, 01:15 AM
Once we spent a week at the Barksdale AFB FAMCAMP near Bossier City, LA. It rained almost constantly all the time we were there. All of the grassy aircraft display areas were so saturated you just didn't want to get out and walk around. This picture was taken from our truck. The display area was on the road to the RV Park.


11-23-2020, 10:43 AM
While spending a week at the Laughlin AFB FAMCAMP at Del Rio, TX I got these pictures of a couple of display aircraft from different places around the base. The first one was near the entrance to base housing and the 2nd was at the golf course.

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11-27-2020, 10:22 AM
There is a very nice aircraft display area aboard NAS, JAX.

This little attack aircraft (A4) had a distinguished naval career. It was the smallest jet attack aircraft to serve on aircraft carriers. It was used by the Naval Flight Demonstration Team (Blue Angles). It was affectionately nick named "the Scooter".


12-03-2020, 12:02 AM
We parked at the Ellsworth AFB for ten days while visiting most of the area attractions. The AFB is actually at Box Elder, SD. At the main entrance area there is a very large outside/inside aircraft museum. They also provide van tours of the base , including the B1 flight line.

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12-09-2020, 10:52 AM
At the Ellsworth AFB aviation museum, most of the aircraft on display inside the buildings are older restored aircraft. This one, the BT-13, was a WWII trainer called "Valiant".


12-13-2020, 06:47 PM
The first one has a little historical information about Ellsworth AFB at Rapid City, SD.

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The second one is a WWII Air Corps Comics postcard. I got a small box full of them one time. I sold most of them on eBay. This one has a little damage so I still have it.

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12-19-2020, 07:05 PM
Airplanes can become popular for outstanding design and achievements. This one broke the rules and became popular for getting shot down over Russia.

I took both of these pictures. The 1st picture was taken of a display aircraft at DMAFB, Tucson, AZ. The 2nd picture was taken of a display aircraft at Laughlin, AFB, Del Rio, TX.

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12-27-2020, 05:18 AM
I took these pictures at the Veteran's museum on the waterfront, downtown Buffalo, NY.

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terry and jo
01-03-2021, 10:48 AM

I enjoy your photos. If you are ever in Oklahoma City, there is the 45th Infantry Division Museum near NE 36th and Martin Luther King Blvd. While most of their displays are of Army artifacts, they do have some aircraft in their outside displays. Inside are lots of firearms dating back to flintlocks and cap and ball weapons.

Here is a link to my Smugmug website where I've posted a bunch of photos taken at the 45th Infantry Museum.

Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Division Museum (https://terrymiller.smugmug.com/Museums-and-Historical/45th-Infantry-Museum)


01-03-2021, 02:05 PM
Army Aviation:

When we went to visit the Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker, AL we parked at a KOA in Ozark, AL.

Their Aviation Museum has large inside and outside display areas. Below are pictures taken at each display area.

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01-14-2021, 01:45 AM
My only tour of duty with the F-14 aircraft was with the Black Aces of VF-41 operating off the USS Nimitz, 1977-1980. My duties there were being the Line Division Chief, Maintenance Control Chief and Flight Deck Maintenance Coordinator.


01-24-2021, 10:40 AM
For many years the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi has been a naval pilot training base. Many naval aviators that have went on to become major leaders in Naval Aviation and beyond, received their basic aviation skills and wings at NAS Corpus Christi.

There is a very popular RV park at the base and is now open to civilian visitors.

I took this picture at the main entrance to the officers club.


terry and jo
01-25-2021, 10:54 AM
I forgot a museum the other day when I wrote about the 45th Infantry Division Museum and its planes. If you are ever in Nampa, Idaho, there is a warbirds museum located there.

Warhawks Museum - Nampa, ID (https://terrymiller.smugmug.com/Museums-and-Historical/Warhawks-Museum-Nampa-Idaho/)


02-02-2021, 04:20 PM
Camp Blanding Joint Training Center: Even though it’s basically a Florida National Guard training center its land mass is quite large and many other military units use it for training. It’s quite isolated with the nearest town (Stark) being about 12 miles west of the main gate. There is no air field there, yet there is a display of Navy/Air Force aircraft at the main gate.

There is a medium size RV Park on the base, mostly located on the banks of a large clear water lake. “Snow Birds” will nearly fill it up in the winter months.

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02-09-2021, 12:57 PM
Aboard aircraft carriers during the 60s & 70s this aircraft was the sailor’s friend. It delivered mail to the carriers and was commonly called the COD (Carrier on board delivery).

I took these pictures while serving with VF-151 aboard the USS Midway, 1971.

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02-20-2021, 01:52 PM
Here are a couple of old twin prop aircraft found on display at Ellsworth AFB. They might bring back fond memories for some and wonderment for others.

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03-27-2021, 12:41 PM
For me this is a very memorable picture.

In 1965 I was serving with Navy Fighter Squadron 41 (F4-B aircraft) aboard the USS Independence (CVA-62) at Norfolk, VA and made a deployment to the waters off the coast of Vietnam.

From 1970 - 1973 I was serving with Navy Fighter Squadron 151 (F4-B/N aircraft) aboard the USS Midway (CVA-41) at Alameda, CA and made two extended deployments to those same waters.

In late 1973 the Midway was reassigned to forward deployment duty at Yokosuka, Japan.

In this picture the Midway is being relieved from forward deployment by the Indy. The reason for the Pearl Harbor location is munitions. Some munitions carried aboard US aircraft carriers cannot be stored ashore in foreign ports. Pearl harbor is a location for those munitions.


04-03-2021, 02:03 PM
I served in Naval Aviation for a little over 31 years. Then I did 10 more years as a DOD employee. During those active duty years I served with VF-41 twice. First with F4-B aircraft off the USS Independence (CVA-62) 1964 – 1966. Second with F14-A aircraft of the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) 1977 - 1980.

During my second tour I befriended a flight crew member, LCDR Lindner. I don’t think he ever left the deck without a camera. I have some very good airborne photos taken by him and this is one of them

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04-09-2021, 03:44 PM
US Virgin Islands

St. Thomas. It’s a memorable port call with its beaches and night spots like Bluebeards Castle.

Another LCDR Lindner picture of the Tomcats from VF-41 black aces.


04-30-2021, 05:46 AM
These Blues are on display at the FL I-10 east welcome center.

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06-12-2021, 11:06 PM
On a recent trip to Jacksonville, FL to visit grand children, we drove out to Cecil Airport - it used to be Naval Air Station Cecil Field.

They have a POW Vietnam Memorial and are adding to it as money becomes available. The newest addition is a restored A7 corsair II aircraft. VA-174 was the first squadron to receive an A7. That was Aug, 1966.

Great decals and paint job on this display aircraft.

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07-16-2021, 11:32 AM
Once while on a two week stay at the Circus Circus RV Park on the Las Vegas strip, my brother Richard flew out to spend a few days with us. He loved golf.

Nellis, AFB out on the edge of town, has a very nice full sized golf course. At or near it there are numerous aircraft on display. Here are three of them with my brother in the pictures.

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08-11-2021, 08:10 AM
Marines will like this one. A F-4 burner shot off the Coral Sea.


08-11-2021, 11:15 AM
Thanks, Cal!! Semper fi, brothers and sisters!

08-27-2021, 07:33 AM
Nice F4 demo aircraft pix.


03-15-2022, 05:40 AM
During WWII USA MAJ Dick Bong got the medal of honor and became the all-time areal Ace of Aces with 40 confirmed victories and 10 probables.


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04-23-2022, 05:48 AM
USS Midway (CVA-41)

During my three years with Fighter Squadron 151 aboard the USS Midway, this was the only full dress blues personnel inspection held at sea and underway. The year was 1971 and we were heading to Pearl Harbor before going to the South China Sea for more than seven months of combat operations. It was the first cruise for the Midway after extensive yard time for modernization.


05-01-2022, 04:46 PM
Mobile Bay, AL

USS Alabama Battleship Park.


05-11-2022, 12:37 AM
USS Nimitz

Early in 1980 the Nimitz was assigned duty in the Indian Ocean. At that time it was chosen as the carrier to provide services to the helicopters to be used in the attempted Iranian hostage situation. The helicopters were flown from the states in USAF C-5A aircraft to Diego Garcia; a small atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Once put back into a flight status the Nimitz was directed to leave their station in the Arabian Sea and proceed to waters close enough to Diego Garcia where they could recover the Helicopters – at night.

Having the helicopters aboard the Nimitz was a hush-hush operation. Because of satellites tracking, every move the Nimitz made the Helicopters were hidden in the ship’s hangar bays during the daylight hours. The only time they were allowed on the flight deck was at night and during daytime heavy overcast weather.

I always wondered why the powers to be didn’t take a more serious look at desert dust conditions. More than a hundred miles from land the Nimitz had to periodically wash he dusty sand off the flight deck. They did that by finding a rain storm to do the work or use a fresh water wash down.

During that operation I was working for the Air Wing Commander as a flight deck maintenance control coordinator. I worked closely with the flight deck handler in scheduling the wing’s aircraft spotting. Having those huge Helicopters aboard and periodically moving them from the hanger decks to the flight deck was a number one PITA.

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06-18-2022, 09:19 AM
North Berwick, ME (June 2022)

Sometime in 1979 Pratt & Whitney – a military aircraft engine builder – purchased enough land in North Berwick, Maine – my home town – to build a factory. My grandmother on my father’s side had a home on that land and there was also an ancestral family farm including house and barn on the property. Everything was demolished except the ancestral home. It was moved to a historical location in the town and opened to visitors.

I recently returned from a visited at my home town where I took these pictures.

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08-14-2022, 04:00 PM
BRAC, NAS, Cecil Field, FL

For many years, Naval Air Station Cecil Field, FL was the home for USNs light attack aircraft. I served there from 1966 – 1970 with Attack Squadron 174. I served there again from 1983 – 1988 with Attack Squadron 46, Light Attack Wing 1 then on to Fighter/Attack Squadron 132 where I retired in 1988.

Living only 7 miles from Cecil in my early retirement years, we used base facilities such as the commissary, Navy Exchange and played many rounds of golf at the par 72 golf course.

Because earlier in my career I had a position at the Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet headquarters At Norfolk, VA (3 years), as an aviation manpower management analyst, I was sought after to work on the BRAC that was going to close NAS, Cecil Field. The year was 2000 and I was a journeyman aircraft mechanic (WG-10) at the Naval Aviation Depot, Jacksonville, FL. For me, it was not going to be an enjoyable task. I went from “blue collar” to “white collar” for that assignment. They did give me a nice clothing allowance.

One day on my way to Cecil to play a round of golf - I took my new digital camera Linda had got me for my birthday - I took pictures of all aircraft on display on the main base road to the golf course. Of course, the camera was analog with a very small storage area. But I got all of them and here 5 of them.

BRAC = Base Realignment and Closure

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10-23-2022, 06:52 PM
USN Blue Angels

Here are some Blue Angel pictures you don’t often see.

The USN designation for the Super Connie was R7-V

The C-130 often did JATO assisted takeoffs at air shows to show its short field take-off capabilities.

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