The musings, rants, and dissertations of three retired military guys. Two Air Force, one Navy. The Old AF Sarge, Juvat, and Tuna.
Never was at Yankee Station, never was that far south in the South China Sea.However, got to practice on a can doing plane guard for several of those two-seven charlies, Ticonderoga, Hancock, and Oriskany doing exactly those very same type of carrier ops.When not sleeping or on watch ...we stood port and starboard underway ...we'd find a spot to watch the F-8s, A-3s, A-4s. the Willy Fudds and the daily COD flights make their approaches and "landings."When on watch we monitored the approach circuit for conversation between the aviators and controllers so we had a heads up if any were having issues.On one occasion a WF approached too low and did a back flip into the carriers wake when they attempted a last minute adjustment.We spent two days picking up small pieces of debris, but found no sign of the four man crew.As old and small as those carriers were, they could still outrun a can with little difficulty.We were seldom able to maintain station during flight ops, even at flank speed.
Good story Skip. I don't know how you guys managed those long deployments on those old cans. The Arleigh Burkes seem roomy in comparison.
I wonder if maybe it wasn't F-4s rather than A-4s?We scope dopes found it hard to tell the difference on the an/spa4 and an/spa8a.
In person those two birds look very different. I doubt they look much different on a scope.
Added to my short list of "must reads".
The guy writes well. I hope he continues!
Great sight and good writing. Still glad I decided to walk to work.
I hear ya WSF!
Excellent photo! I was on the Southerland, DD 743 and we did many hours and days of plane guard on Yankee Station. It was great looking up the tail pipes of an F-4 when they hit the throttles as they hit the deck. We could smell the JP-5 they were dumping as they flew overhead.The sea state in that photo is sure calm. Those were Halcyon days.....
I'm glad it brought back memories Lou. I've been in touch with the author of "27 Charlie" he plans on it being a narrative, i.e. once he's done, that's it. But I sense he has more stories. Let's hope a lot more!
Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)