Saturday, April 22, 2017

NAS Pensacola


It was a while ago, that day back in '08 when a young LT(JG) got her wings of gold. Your Humble Scribe and The Missus Herself were on hand for the occasion and, if you look real close out the window over our heads, we're being "photo bombed" by an F/A-18 Hornet wearing the colors of the Blue Angels. (Excuse the fuzzy scratchy-look of the photo, it's a photo of a photo. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it...)

I have often had the itch to head back down to sunny Pensacola and revisit that place. Because, and you may know this already, Naval Flight Officers receive their wings of gold in the atrium of the National Naval Aviation Museum. (Which you can take a virtual tour of here. I highly recommend you do so. We'll wait right here until you get back. Cool, neh?)

I should also note that the atrium has, hanging overhead, four full-size A-4s in Blue Angel livery in the beautiful diamond formation. It's pretty cool.

Anyhoo, a buddy of mine (let's call him "Frost," which, in truth, is his name, or part of it anyway) was down in Pensacola over the Easter weekend. As he likes to do from time to time, he sends me pictures of really cool stuff. This time was no exception. He also suggested that I might share those photos with you. So, here we go.



Did I forget to mention that the Blues were practicing when he was there?

Well, they were and lucky us, he took those two photos above for our viewing pleasure!



Hey! Who let the Air Force in? Oops, never mind, that's a Flying Tiger P-40, so technically not an Air Force bird...


Hey Murph! He even got a Corsair for you!




Somewhere, deep in the archives of The Chant, I have a picture of myself with that Phantom. I'll get the staff to dig it up. What? I gave the staff the weekend off? Okay, perhaps I need to go find it myself...


One thing that I did not know when I was down there, is that there is this, out back of the museum -

Google Maps
Those are birds waiting to be refurbished and put on display (so we all hope). I see a Tomcat, some P-3s, a Neptune, a couple of C-130s (including Fat Albert's daddy, the Hercules in Blue Angel colors top left), I see Stoofs (Grumman E-1s), I see a "Stoof with a Roof," (WF-2 Willie Fudd, an E-1 with a radome on top), a C-47, some cool helos, a few Scooters and all sorts of wonderful stuff. Including these two -



Loves me some PBY! And his little buddy, the PV-2 Harpoon -



Rockets and machine guns, oh my!

Other cool stuff which (I hope, I hope) will be restored someday.


Hey, Shaun might recognize that last one!

Whoa! Is that a pirate I see?


Why yes, yes it is. A Vought F6U Pirate that is.

And that googly-eyed guy, what is that?

Wow, 'tis a CH-37C Mojave in HMRM-461 (Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461) colors!


Last, and most certainly not least, an RF-4B of VMFP-3, Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron 3. No such thing as too many Phantoms, even if she is a recce bird. (When I was on Okinawa we had an entire squadron of RF-4Cs. I liked them because I didn't have to work on them. No weapons system. Yeah, the guys who flew those has brass ones. Clangers.)


So, nice huh? Now what do we say class?

Thank you Mister Frost!!

Yes, thanks indeed!




54 comments:

  1. The first picture proves that it is actually possible to bust from pride!

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  2. That sure is a good looking trio in that first pic. Well, 2/3 is good looking.

    I had a 1/2 hour tour of the Museum back about 10 years ago (got there that late in the day). I need to go back.

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    Replies
    1. I never look good out of uniform. (Nor in, for that matter.)

      It's an awesome museum!

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  3. That first picture puts a big smile on my face. :)

    Thank You Mr. Frost!

    You know, a lot of folks get all flushed and sweaty over the blowtorch designers, guys like Kelly Johnson, Larry Mead, Ed Heinemann, etc., but they were standing on the shoulders of giants like Igor Sikorsky and Roy Grumman and Donald Douglas (who also gave the young fellers a place to work). Those ratty old clunkers awaiting restoration are priceless.

    I gotta get back to Pensacola.

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    Replies
    1. I kinda thought you'd get a kick out of this.

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  4. Two beautiful ladies and some guy with padded shoulders. Oh well, the shining parental pride overcomes all.

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  5. I'm not going to pile on, Sarge. However, you sure do have lovely ladies in your family.

    Now off to Google Maps to plan a Road Trip to Mobile and Pensacola.

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  6. Very nice first pic! With very shiny gold wings :)

    I have a question (showing my total ignorance of all things aero plane) What is the silver thingy with black stripes on the left upper side in the pic under Murphy's Cosair picture? It looks like it has it's wings up? It's cool looking...

    Thank you Mr. Frost for the pictures and Mr. OAFS for the posting...and another museum for the bucket list.

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    1. I think you're talking about the Tailhook, unless I'm looking in the wrong place. The Corsair was designed as a carrier airplane although it had some issues in carrier operations.

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    2. Suz - They use tail hooks to hold up the aircraft data placards. Kinda cool I thought.

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    3. Juvat - good call, see my comment as well.

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    4. From where I'm sitting and following the directions you gave Suz, I believe that's a McDonnell F2H-4 Banshee. Think "Bridges at Toko-Ri. The book, not the movie. The Banshee was Harry Brubaker's steed.

      http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/attractions/aircraft-exhibits/item/?item=f2h-4_banshee

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    5. Winner! Now I see the Banshee's tail hook.

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    6. Thank you Mr. PrairieAdventure. After looking at it some more, I figured out the picture is of the rear of that plane. The things that look like eyes in the pic must be the jet exhausts. I really liked the "Bridges at Toko-Ri". The book more so than the movie.

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    7. You have excellent taste in books and films, Suz.

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    8. That's a really neat observation Suz. I'm "programmed" so all I can see is a ratty old airplane. I'm envious!

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  7. Is the back lot open to the public? I mean, I know it's open to Murph, but to us mere mortals?

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    Replies
    1. Well, looks like there were folks back there in the pics. Send Murph in, if they don't chase him out, you're good.

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    2. Pro tip: Always walk deliberately and with purpose. Look like you belong and most people will assume that you do.
      When that fails, plead mistake, apologize, smile and leave.
      When that fails...run!

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    3. Spoken like the pro you are Murph!

      Sound wisdom that.

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  8. When VP-1 had a reunion at NAS Pensacola back in '80 (IIRC) we were able to tour the back lot. I was delighted to find one of VR-21's C-118's there. I had logged quite a few hours in 424 as a radio operator. We were stuck at Cubi Pt for a month when number 4 swallowed a valve on takeoff and we had to change it ourselves. The mechs were impressed that this Tweet could do a generator change.

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    Replies
    1. Great story Flugelman! I wonder if your bird is still there.

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  9. I spent a lot of time at P-Cola when I was stationed just down the road a tad at Tyndall AFB but I
    never knew there was a museum there!! Wish I had known!

    You made my day with my favorite 2 planes, Corsair and Phantom!!

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    1. While I'm familiar with most of the aircraft in these pic's, this is the first time I've ever seen
      a CH-37C Mojave. Interesting looking chopper!

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    2. My first Mojave as well. It's an odd looking bird.

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  10. Thanks for the post with the pictures. Your ladies are most lovely and aircraft, oh my. I need to get my eyes checked; I read P-38 ( instead of P-3s ) and spent some time looking for it.

    Paul L. Quandt

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    Replies
    1. Sorry Paul.

      (Are you all moved yet?)

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    2. Yes, however we are still dealing with boxes. Boxes here, boxes there, boxes everywhere. Ah well, this too shall pass.

      Paul

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    3. Moving is done when the last box is unpacked.

      Or put in storage...

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  11. That was great! Thanks for posting all those great images!

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    Replies
    1. Thank Frost, he sent me the good stuff!

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  12. Ehrmigawd....planes....planes....PLANES! Sorry, got carried away there. Very nice, yes very nice. Great first photo there. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha! First time anyone has ever commented with "Ehrmigawd." Got a huge chuckle from that. (Also that image immediately popped into my head.)

      Thanks.

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  13. Lovely family despite being photobombed by OAFS; well, OK, the pride shown of family makes up for a lot. And, yes, the "Scooters" in Blue in the entrance set the tone for the entire place. As for the P-40, it was Air Force. Chinese Air Force! Given, sold, loaned to them by THE ARMY. And, FWIW, if making the trip to P'cola, Ft. Rucker and The Army Aviation Museum is not far up the road. regards, Alemaster

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  14. OK, Roadtrip is growing to include Galveston, Mobile, Rucker and Pensacola. Could be a long onw. Might need a piddle pack or two.

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    Replies
    1. Or some of those NASA space diapers!

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    2. And VERY comfortable shoes!!

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    3. I second that motion. Bad shoes = bad day.

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    4. If you bypass New Orleans and the WW2 museum, I'll have to hunt ya down. And USS Kidd is right off the I-10 in Baton Rouge.

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    5. He's not kidding. He'd probably sic Belle and Murphy on you as well Juvat.

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  15. You are truly a fortunate man.

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  16. Thanks for this post, lots of memories especially the VAL-4 OV-10 "Black Pony 107".

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  17. Excellent family pic...you dun good! And the Corsair AND P-40 would look good parked at a local airport near me.

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    Replies
    1. I thought you'd like the Corsair, but the P-40 too? A man of refined tastes you are.

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  18. What exact date was the photo taken? Our condo is 4 miles away and I go to the museum all the time. I have seen and photographed a few ceremonies. If your date matches one of my visits, I'll send you the pics.

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    Replies
    1. I want to say it was the 31st of July 2008, but I need to check.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)