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“Man Over Board”

Petty Officer Kerry Truax remembers: Captain, I do remember. This was a happy story, one for the good guys. I was stationed on the bridge when word of the MOB came to the bridge and I was there when Chief George Sumner came up to talk to you. He was very thankful to be alive. I remember you two ended your …

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Transiting the Malacca Strait – 1976

While I was directed not to divulge our exact destination, I was able to announce a general area.  For morale reasons, it was my policy to keep the crew informed about future operations of the ship unless security reasons dictated otherwise.  While transiting the Strait that night, we had to make an emergency maneuver to avoid a collision with a …

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Water Hours at Sea

(audio:  Discussing water hours on the 1mc.  1:47) After leaving Singapore in July, 1976, USS Ranger was returning to Subic Bay in the Philippines when the ship was directed to reverse course and head to the Indian Ocean on a mission that would keep the ship at sea for an extended period of time.  A ship creates its own fresh water …

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Proud to be Shipmates

  A picture sent to me by two crew members who served aboard the USS Kawishiwi.  The picture was taken on the pier at Coronado after the Change of Command in September, 1974.  I received the picture while serving aboard the USS Ranger CV-61.    It was my custom to call those I served with “Tigers!”

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Navy Wife’s Concerns

This USS Kawishiwi Navy wife, with a great sense of humor, is writing about our many deployments, trips to American Samoa and San Diego, a tour in the ship yard, and the USS Ashtabula dependents cruise to Maui.     

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In Harms Way – North Pacific, 1974

Shortly after clearing Tokyo Bay at sunset in January 1974 enroute to our home port of Pearl Harbor, we received orders to proceed at best speed to a point off the Aleutian Islands.  As we headed North the weather turned bad requiring us to ballast accordingly.  Thirty plus waves pounded the ship all night and we were extremely fortunate to …

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Typhoon Evasion

After this operation with the five destroyers caught in a typhoon, Admiral Johnson directed me to use ‘UNIDIR’ (unless otherwise directed, we intend…..) which gave me great latitude in operating at sea. I had the greatest respect for Admiral Johnson and it was a pleasure serving under him.   His letter was written on 13 November, 1973.  The typhoon underway replenishment occurred on 6 October, 1973. …

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The Ultimate Leader

I had the honor and privilege to serve many outstanding Naval leaders, but the one that I admired above all others was Admiral Gene Tissot when he was Commanding Officer of USS Enterprise (CVN-65), and I was serving as his Operations Officer in 1971-72. “In addition to the Silver Star Medal with Gold Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with four …

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Heroes of the Vietnam War

Crossed paths several times during my Naval career with these heroes. First met Admiral James Stockdale aboard USS Constellation (CVA-64) in 1964, when as Skipper of VF-51, he brought a detachment of his squadron aboard from the USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14). He shared our VA-144 ready room. We also covered the destroyers, Maddox and Turner Joy, the night of ‘The Gulf of Tonkin Incident,’ August 4th, 1964.

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Chief of Naval Operations Letter 1971

The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral E. R. Zumwalt. Jr., USN, had requested inputs from Commanding Officers regarding morale and discipline in the Fleet.  This was the letter in reply to my inputs to the Admiral while Commanding Attack Squadron 122 at NAS Lemoore, California.

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Four Star Admirals

A special honor and privilege to serve with two future Four Star Admirals . Promoting Stan Arthur to Commander while serving together in VA-122, Lemoore, 1972.    Air Wing Commander, Bud Edney, on the bridge of USS Ranger (CV-61), 1975.

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Lt. Ron Boch Mig engagement 1965

Ron Boch, Everett Alvarez, Nick Nicholson heading to Gulf of Tonkin Incident, night of August 4th, 1964   “Yes my MiG engagement is in the book, ‘MiG Killers of Yankee Station’, page 35 to be exact. I gave the author, Michael O’Connor a detailed account. The EA-3 recorded the radio transmissions and it was well over five minutes from Ed’s …

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Aviation Safety School – USC

I had the honor to attend Aviation Safety School at USC with the future astronaut, Roger Chaffee who would later die in a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission in 1967.

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East To West Coast 1959-62

The normal rotation from Sea Duty to Shore Duty. In this case, I switched from East Coast to West Coast where I remained for the rest of my Navy career. The further from Washington, DC the better!

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FJ-3M Ejection, 1958

I had flown this particular aircraft from the USS Essex in the Mediterranean to the Air Force Base in Bitburg, Germany, flew demonstration flights at the Liege, Belgium World Air Show and then returned to the carrier. This was the first flight after returning to the carrier.

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VF-62 and the FJ-3 Fury

This was the first FJ-3 to arrive at NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida in October 1955. It was the ‘state of the art’ for carrier fighter aircraft but took it’s toll. Of the pilots in this picture, one will be killed on takeoff, Dan Potter, one will be injured on a low altitude ejection, Ron Gordon, one will be seriously burned in a crash landing at Leeward Point, Cuba, Jerry O’Dell, and two will eject over the Mediterranean, Carl Sommers & Nick Nicholson.

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Carrier Qualified, 1954

How well you did carrier qualifying, determined the track you would take in advanced training. Fortunately, I qualified for carrier aviation and jets.

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Enlisting 1950

Lcdr. W.D. Holdeman, USN was the Commanding Officer of the Reserve Unit where I enlisted and was also the Dean of Men at my college – Oberlin. He was responsible in guiding me in the right direction as I entered military service.