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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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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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USS Essex (CVA-9) 1958

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“ATLANTIC, MEDITERRANEAN, INDIAN OCEAN, SOUTH CHINA SEA”

CO Captain Thomas A. Christopher, USN
XO Commander Charles S. Walline, USN

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The Admiral James L. Holloways’ Connection

Admiral James L. Holloway, Jr signed my orders to active duty and also to flight training in 1953.  His hiring philosophy was “We should get the best people we can for these jobs and make them play over their heads.”  The Admiral’s son, Admiral James L. Holloway III, made the …

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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 …