VA-122, 1970-71


  1. I was a YN3 and served as captain’s yeoman when Captain was skipper of VA 122. In my experience he was the best leader and commander of men I have ever served with. For many years in my civilian career I remember and used many of the remarks he made in his “Nick Grams” that used to be posted in our squadron and were patterned after the Z grams from the CNO at the time.

    I am now old and retired after 32 years as a public transit manager with two children and three grand children and a wife of 43 years. But I still feel pride and an honor for the time I served under Captain Nicholson and Master Chief Sorenson (AVCM) in VA122.

    I also hope he made good use of the telescope the enlisted sailors gave him as a farewell gift when he left our squadron.

    1. Author

      The best way for me to have a good day is to hear from a shipmate from the past. Thanks for the kind words, Dean, and the update on your life. The telescope brought many hours of pleasure, and has been handed down to the next generation. Please stay in contact. Pressing On, Capt.Nick

  2. Author

    My desperation is such that I will tell you a story to add to your collection of your time at VA-122. I was working in the Line Troubleshooter shack when a Lt came in and proceeded to chew me a new one because the heat control switch in your A7-E got stuck on the high setting and it roasted you on your flight. He said a lot until you walked in, completely drenched, and told the Lt it was ok; “my wingman had a tougher day today!” Everyone knew you were talking about Lt. Alvarez. I have used that as an example a million times in my life to keep me from complaining about something knowing that somewhere there was a friend or even a stranger that was having a tougher day than me. Thanks Skipper for the “teachable moment”.

    Harland Huftel

  3. Author

    Skipper Nick – I’m so glad that I have found a way to reach out to you just to say hi. I can’t tell you how much your leadership, support and mentoring helped me in my career both in and out of the Navy. Jo Anna and I think of you often with very fond memories of times in Lemoore. I do hope this finds you well and happy. Would love to hear from you. AL Gorthy, Captain, USN, Retired – “Mr. Big”

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