Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Close Call

(Source)
I heard about this from The WSO who has, you might well imagine, connections in the naval aviation world. An F-5N has crashed off Key West. Pilot is okay, he was rescued by the Coast Guard. I chased a link from The Tailhook Association's koobecaF page to this U.S. Naval Institute article (which will show up in my work email tomorrow no doubt).

I'm not saying there have been a lot of aviation mishaps lately, well yes, actually I am saying that. Eight years of neglect withers a fighting force. Not saying this crash has anything to do with that, but a lot of mishaps lately are due to that.

Freedom is neither free, nor cheap.

Thank God the pilot got out okay.

Selah

Happy Birthday to senior granddaughter, Little Bit, Big Time and The WSO's oldest. She turns 7, going on 18, today.

Selah

In other news, I'm looking for information on any surviving family members of Captain Joseph N. "Pete" Peterson, a Thunderbird pilot (right wing) who was killed during a practice session along with the left wing, the slot, and the lead pilot in 1982, the infamous "Diamond Crash" at Indian Springs, AZ.

I ask because a friend of mine, who was an Air Force brat whose dad died when he was just 13, is looking to get in touch with Captain Peterson's family. The captain was his dad's best man at his wedding and they were best friends. He's hoping the family remembers his dad. (Who was medically retired after 17 years active, died three years later.)

I know there are many in the audience who "know things" and "know people." An Internet search yielded some details but not enough. Understandably Captain Peterson's survivors need to have their privacy, so if you do know something, shoot me an email at oldafsarge AT gmail DOT com.

Thanks.

Selah

It's a small world. Lex flew with VFC-111 and now I know someone indirectly connected to the Diamond Crash back in '82 (and don't think that that didn't shock everyone wearing Air Force blue, which I was at the time).

(Source)
In memoriam (L to R)-

Major Norm Lowry, 37, of Radford, VA - commander/leader
Captain Willie Mays, 32, of Ripley, TN - left wing
Captain Joseph Peterson, 32, of Tuskegee, AL - right wing
Captain Mark E. Melancon, 31, of Dallas, TX - slot




24 comments:

  1. Our military preparedness is becoming a joke. I don't know about the Navy but the Air Force is in bad shape. Only 67% of the Air Force F-22's were flyable last year, along with 52% of the B-1's and 51% of the B2's.

    I don't know what it is with Democratic presidents and their NEED to cripple our military but I'm sure you remember how bad it got under Carter. Two of my electronics students were stationed at Ft Riley during Bill Clintons regime and things were so bad, they said when they would go out on maneuvers there were no funds for fuel or ammo so they would spend their time playing cards and watching movies.

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    1. The Navy has issues with their ships and their aircraft, a lot of that is due to the follies of the Obummer era. But the Marine Corps has serious, life-threatening maintenance issues with a lot of their aircraft. It's already killed Marines.

      When I left for Germany in January of 1992, Slick Willie hadn't taken over yet. When I returned from Germany, after 7+ years away, the difference in the country was noticeable, to me at any rate.

      While most politicians are corrupt idiots, Democrat politicians are far worse.

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  2. The military always suffers. In 1965 I was driving a five ton bridge truck manufactured in 1944, and with welded over shrapnel holes.

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    1. Not surprised. We were issued C-Rats on Okinawa in '77 (I think), the old ones with the little pack of cigarettes inside. Some of the stuff had stamps indicating it was produced in 1944 and 1945. Beans and MFers aren't good when freshly made, imagine what they taste like 30 years later!

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  3. "7, going on 18". Do tell. Our daughter grew up between two brothers. During those tender years, all I had to do was draw breath to speak to get "I know, Dad". She is now a street cop here in the DFW area (not Dallas PD thank God). On the first range day in the academy, an instructor walked over and asked her "Who taught you how to shoot?". Hooah.

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  4. My nephew was in an Air Force construction unit during his full time with the military, during Obama's tenure. His unit sat around, doing nothing, with no money for maintenance for equipment or fuel. It was so bad the unit commander quietly allowed them to play airsoft in the vehicle park, under the steely eyes of a combat vet, so they could at least get some practice in. Airsoft. On an Airbase. Troops had to furnish their own equipment. No money for ammo for real guns, etc.

    And the worse thing is, the Air Force needed his AF construction unit in order to maintain bases here, stateside. But there was... no money. So they played, went to school (quite a few in his unit went to community college during work hours) or just sat around, doing absolutely nothing.

    He gets out, joins a FLNatGuard construction battalion, and goes into heavy training, and is immediately shipped out to repair bases in Iraq that the administration had let fall apart, like, oh, say infrastructure at the main base servicing Bagdad. He spent more time overseas and doing stuff during the O administration as a NatGuardsman than as an active duty airman.

    Democrats... It's all about 'Te Feelz.'

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  5. When I was a J.O. in the USAF in the mid 60s we were flying approx 50hrs/mo. When we were cut to 30 circa approx 70-71 we ALL said es muy IMPOSSIBLE! How can anyone stay current in even the basics let alone advanced combat tactics! Little did we know.. Now jocks would seize upon 30/mo like men dying of thirst in the desert sands..

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    1. True. I believe Juvat lived through those times during the reign of the SWPE. (Second Worst President Ever)

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    2. I got just over a hundred hours in the Year I was at the Kun. 3 years later in the Reagan years I was approaching 1500.

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    3. A little over 8 hours a month?!?!

      SWPE, but that's a close second!

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    4. I lost landing currency a couple of times. No landings within 30 days. Then the schedulers had to figure out how to get an IP free to fly in the pit, so I could do a crash and dash. Flying in Korea was fun....when you got to do it.

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    5. Not that Korea was critical or anything.

      Idiots.

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  6. When I joined the navy, I had a perception that Naval Special Warfare would have good gear. About 80% of it dated to WW2. I got a really nice mask that ScubaPro made (and I still have) and the dry suits were new. Everything else was ancient. The Team Five facility dated to WW2 and the Korean War depending on what part of it you were standing in. All storage was in CONEX boxes. Half of them had rusted through here or there. Then the movie with Charlie Sheen came out and some new stuff incrementally arrived. Then JSOC was established with the Army running things and OSCAR-MIKE-GOLF, all the gear your beating heart could desire. Up until then we had Korean War vintage Jeeps. The teams stayed famous enough during the Obama Years that they did fine in terms of equipment. Today they're in good shape. But that is not reflective of the services in general and the navy in particular.

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    1. Sounds like the late '40s all over again. MacArthur actually sent teams back to the old Pacific battlefields to recover abandoned equipment to be refurbished in Japanese factories.

      Truman and his SECDEF Johnson have many sins to answer for. Many.

      Sounds like you experienced something very similar LL.

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  7. Happy Birthdays to your grandkids, Sarge!

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  8. The Thunderbirds would always/mostly make Air Fiesta at RAFB as that was a BIG deal during Military Week in San Antonio. Following the tragic '82 training crash, The Blues, to their credit, tried to pick up the important Thunderbird schedule for the remainder of the year. Our Ft. Sam Houston Flt Det hanger was the center of activity as it's location was central on the south ramp between the two runways (Randolph and Hangover). The Blues were flying A-4s then and put on a great show in memorial to The Thunderbirds. Even had a RAF Vulcan on display that left after the show, bombed up somewhere and headed to the Falklands. regards, Alemaster

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  9. I don't think that thanks for the post is quite the correct thing to say to today's post, but it's always good to read what you post. I know that I'm LTTB today, but I actually did something today besides sit on my fundament and read.

    Happy, happy to your granddaughter.

    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. Thanks Paul. I'll pass your greetings along to the senior granddaughter.

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  10. Captain Mark E. Melancon. The San Francisco Giants have a relief pitcher named Mark Melancon. He was born in 1985, so would not be his son, yet wonder if they are related. See that Captain Melancon father also died in a B-26 crash in 1957.
    Sports Illustrated has a three decade old article regarding this crash and related here:
    https://www.si.com/vault/1987/08/03/115847/america-the-beautifuls-team-when-the-thunderbirds-take-to-the-air-in-the-classic-diamond-formation-with-two-solo-planes-to-spice-things-up-the-spirits-of-those-who-view-them-soar-too

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    1. Nice article. I did see that Captain Melancon's dad had been killed on active duty. Sad.

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