The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 1
Summer 2008 Newsletter of the Flying Midshipmen
A LOOK BACK IN TIME with THE BEST OF ”ALWAYS A JOCK”
OUR POET LAUREATE’S FAVORITES and THE STORY OF JESSE BROWN
THE EAST COAST REUNION 2009 THE WEST COAST REUNION 2008
is scheduled for May 4-8 at PENSACOLA. is scheduled for September 9-11 in
See Page 5 for more information Monterey, CA. See the Registration
form on Page 12
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 2
The Aviation Midshipmen
LOG PRESIDENT LOU’S MESSAGE
Flying Midshipmen are unique and distinguished naval aviators.
Publisher I’m honored and proud to have been elected President of this
Aviation Midshipmen Foundation splendid organization.
Editor Gene Sizemore, President Emeritus, served us well, and is an in-
Bill Busse (2-47) spiration to me as I take on new responsibilities.
Photo Contributors I’m grateful to Herb Sargent who has agreed to serve as Executive
Roy Mantz (7-48) Director. He has been meticulous picking up where Del Branden-
Walter Ohlrich (14-48) burg so diligently left off handling our administrative tasks.
Historian & Research Lots of things are happening or in the development stage.
Glenn Allen (14-46)
Dave Hardin, our webmaster, has initiated changes to our website. You now can access
Poet Laureate the FMA Directory on the web. A letter is coming your way to give you a user name and
Bob Brennan (15-48) password. Folks without a computer will receive a homemade version of the Directory
Gene Martin has accepted the challenge to make arrangements for a “really big” FMA re-
AMF Address union in Pensacola May 4th to 8th, 2009. Mark your calendars. See page 5 of this LOG for
P.O. Box 246
Compton, MD 20627 details. You are also encouraged to attend the 36th annual West Coast reunion, September
Phone: 301.475.7890 9th to11th, 2008 in Monterey, CA. Chairmen are Earl Rogers and Hank Stanley. Registra-
Website: www.flyingmidshipmen.org tion information is in this LOG. Roy Mantz is overseeing the Flying Midshipmen Youth
e-mail: email@example.com Aviation Training Program on the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. He’s enthusiastic
about the progress being made to welcome a full class of Navy League Sea Cadets this
year. The response to the program, an offshoot of what Judge Colby has been leading for
The Aviation Midshipmen LOG is us in past years, has been so positive that Midway is planning on extending the number
published biannually by the Aviation of classes offered in 2009.
Midshipmen Foundation, a non-profit,
tax exempt, educational foundation
as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Cathy Caldwell has taken the task of coordinating information for FMA widows. She’s
U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The AMF working on ideas.
LOG is the newsletter of the “Flying
Midshipmen”. Operations are on an
all-volunteer basis; there are no paid
employees and no rented office space
except for a post office box, internet AT THE HELM Lou graduated from Stanford Uni-
connection and an “800” telephone Lou Kriser’s adventures versity with a degree in Interna-
number to provide service for our
have so far included tional Relations. He also obtained
Naval Aviator, Profes- a Masters Degree in Public Policy
Articles and photos for publication sional Staff on Capital and Public Administration from
in the LOG are encouraged; submit Hill, business executive- the University of Maryland.
them to the LOG Editor at 555 By- lobbyist and his present
ron St. #308 Palo Alto CA 94301. stint as President, Kriser Lou is a fair golfer, having “won”
Enterprises. the Chrysler Cup at TPC Avenel
The PURPOSE of the Association in 1986 with Arnold Palmer. He’s
and Foundation is to preserve and
Lou was designated a Midshipman USN in been the Mayor of River City in The Music
strengthen a spirit of comradeship
among members of the Armed Forces December 1946 having spent two years at Man, and played the lead in You Can’t Take
of the United States who served in the Duke University and Pre-Flight at the Uni- It With You, among a host of other theatrical
U.S. Navy as Aviation Midshipmen; versity of North Carolina. He is recorded as adventures.
to record and preserve for historical Flying Midshipman number fifteen, graduat-
purposes a memory of the era of Avia- ing with navy wings on April 27, 1947. As a Visit dryplay.com to see a unique golf inven-
tion Midshipmen in the United States member of the FMA he is probably the senior tion that keeps the golf glove and grip dry in
Navy during war and peace; to foster
midshipman in our ranks today. the rain patented by him and his daughter Jill,
and perpetuate the role of aviation in married to a Marine Aviator.
the United States Navy; to give ap-
propriate recognition to the memory of Lou began sea duty in VA-95 flying TBMs
those who pioneered and contributed to on the USS Philippine Sea in 1947, and ac- Lou retired as Captain in 1973, to become
its development; to help preserve for quired about 100 carrier landings before be- Chief of Staff to Congressman Craig Hosmer
history for the benefit of future gen- ing designated Ensign in April 1948. Other (R-CA). That experience led to Professional
erations, appropriate representative squadron duties included VF-92, later VF-74, Staff, House Armed Services Committee, and
naval aircraft and related equipment;
flying Bearcats and Corsairs, VF-73 Cougars, senior staffer on the HASC Seapower Sub-
and to promote naval aviation and the
VAP-62 A3D, and CO, VRF –31. Shore du- commttee.
United States Navy. Additionally, the
AMF educates America’s teenagers in ties included Aide, Naval Air Forces, Pacific
Aviation to encourage them to choose Fleet, Instructor, U.S. Naval Academy, IBTU Retiring from the Hill in 1984, Lou became
careers in Aviation. Flight Instructor at Pensacola, Air Boss, USS President, Snyder, Ball, Kriser Corporation,
Independence, and Special Projects, Office of lobbyists. SBK, INC. dissolved in 1994 and
Legislative Affairs, Navy. Lou formed Kriser Enterprises.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 3
ON GOLDEN WINGS
as of 10 July 2008
Robert W. Barnard
Rodney B. Carter Wives/Widows
Donald A. Gardner
W. F. “Bill” Goodman
Kathleen Ketchmark Wife of G. J. “Jerry” Ketchmark (17-48)
William A. Gregg IV Donna Goossen Wife of Ercel D. “Ed” Goossen (1-47)
Lawrence H. Resek Esther Littell Wife of R. W. “Wally” Littell (15-48)
C. Charles Restuccia Mary Sargent Wife of Herbert A. Sargent (9-47)
Charles W. Safanda Betty Spence Wife of Benjamin E. Spence (7-47)
Allen L. Sweet Patricia Ashworth Widow of A. Ray Ashworth
Richard C. Jacobi Cordellia Brown Widow of Rodney B. Carter
Bette Kremer Widow of John L. Kremer
VIRGINIA BEACH REUNION INVOCATION
E ternal Lord God, who alone spreads out the heavens and rules the ragings
of the sea, who makes the clouds your chariot and walks on the wings of
the wind, tonight we lift our prayers for Flying Midshipmen both present and
past. Wearing Wings of Gold, we have pierced the skies in our flying machines,
have chased the clouds and tracked the endless space of the skies through stars
You placed to guide and orient your creation. We flew from wooden decks,
sometimes in weary machines. But, we did our best to stand guard over the
sacred trust of duty, honor, and country. Many of our comrades sacrificed their
lives in both war and peace that this nation might remain free. We remember them tonight in silent prayer
that what they died for will forever remain a proud heritage of freedom and honor.
Tonight, bless those of us who remain. May we continue to be faithful to the cause that first called us to
duty, that of defending freedom, preserving the peace, and keeping our nation safe. We give thanks that
intrepid airman still fly off steel decks, following in our footsteps. May our accomplishments in the past
be an inspiration to them, that the United States Navy will ever be a stronghold of valor, commitment, and
daring skill for the defenders of freedom. Bless us as tonight we remember and rededicate ourselves to the
cause of human freedom and may the United States of America remain the land of the free because it is the
home of the brave. Amen
Chaplain R. Fenton Wicker (6-48)
5136 Violet Bank Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 4
HERB SARGENT...OUR NEW EXEC
CAPT Lawrence C. Day
CAPT Glenn L. Allen, Jr.
ADM G. E. R. Kinnear, II erb Sargent was born and raised in New England. Upon graduating
RADM William A. Gureck from Lowell, MA high school, he joined the Navy V5 program an
RADM Paul H. Engel
RADM James B. Morin attended Emory and Henry College and the University of Virginia.
RADM William G. Sizemore
After two years of college, he went to Selective Flight Training at
CAPT. Louis Kriser Los Alamitos, CA and soloed the N2S before reporting to Ottumwa,
IA for preflight in the class of 9-47. Preflight school in Ottumwa was
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT moved to NAS Pensacola in July 1947 and all his flight training was
Joseph A. Reyes
conducted at Pensacola and Jacksonville, FL.
CDR Herbert A. Sargent
In December, 1948, on completion of advanced flight training in F6F
SECRETARY and F4U’s, he received his wings and was assigned to VA75 at Quonset Point, RI. When VA75
CAPT Roy T. Mantz
was decommissioned in November 1949, he was reassigned to VF32. He was on a Mediterrain-
TREASURER ean Cruise aboard the USS Leyte when the Korean War started. The ship returned to Norfolk,
CDR James J. Sullivan VA, went through the Panama Canal and was one of the first carriers involved in the Korean War.
HISTORIAN He flew 30 combat missions and was awarded the Air Medal with two gold stars.
CAPT Glenn L. Allen, Jr.
VP-EASTERN AFFAIRS The following tours of duty included flight instructor at Pensacola, FL, helicopter training and
CDR Herbert A. Sargent assignment to HS1 in Key West, FL. After duty assignments in Jacksonville, FL; El Centro, CA;
VP-WESTERN AFFAIRS Oxnard, CA; Kaneohe, Hawaii and he attended the Naval Postgraduate School. His final assign-
CDR Elmer M. Tollgaard ments were Air Boss on the USS Iwo Jima and Tactical Air Control Squadrons 11 and 21.
VP-MEMBERSHIP/RECORDS He retired from the US Navy on July 1, 1975.
CAPT Roy T. Mantz
VP-CORPORATE AFFAIRS His post-Navy career was owner and personnel consultant of a personnel placement agency.
CAPT Gerald R. Bell Herb is a widower. He was married for over 56 years to Mary and they had six children, five girls
and one boy and eleven grandchildren.
CAPT Walter "R" Thomas
CAPTDavid B. Seeman DEL BRANDENBURG...RETIRED AGAIN!
Iturned the job over“Exec Dir” for the27 Maypart. IHowever a
CAPT Louis Kriser
VP-EDUCATION to Herb Sargent 2008. I enjoyed
Hon. Robert T. S. Colby the role of FMA most
VP-WIDOW AFFAIRS couple of personal circumstances might explain why “retired.”
DIRECTORS Some of you know Fran and I like to RV travel when possible. The
Glenn L. Allen, Jr. fact is I don’t think I could do a good job for FMA while on the
Gerald R. Bell
D. E. “Del” Brandenburg road for periods of weeks or months loomed big in the decision.
Catherine Caldwell We remained home the past winter while Fran was undergoing
Paul H. Engel chemotherapy treatments. It now looks as if we will be free to
Robert D. Kaiser
G. E. R. Kinnear, II travel again soon. These factors really didn’t hit home (or exist) while “Silver-tongued”
Louis Kriser Paul Engle hired (sold?) me on the “ExDir” position. I did enjoy it most of the time.
Roy T. Mantz
James B. Morin
Joseph A. Reyes One other factor also crossed my mind while thinking about giving up the “ExDir”
Herbert A. Sargent position. I have studiously avoided any position requiring extensive paperwork/re-
David B. Seeman
William G. Sizemore cord keeping. I doubt the term “extensive paperwork” translates
Norman E. St. Louis the same for me as for most of you. I have passed these duties to others much of my
Walter “R” Thomas life--Mother, wife, yeoman, assistant, secretary.
Elmer M. Tollgaard
AMF OFFICERS I did enjoy my time as “ExDir” and hope I gave a reasonable package to Herb Sargent
to take over. My thanks to Gene Sizemore, Paul Engle, Roy Mantz, Bob Kaiser, Glenn
RADM Paul H. Engel Allen, Jerry Bell, Walt Thomas, Dave Seeman, Joe Reyes and our new President, Lou
Kriser for help and advice along the way. I apologize to those I’ve forgotten. Perhaps
SECRETARY/TREASURER a memory not as sharp as it should be is another factor in my decision to retire again.
CAPT Louis Kriser
DIRECTORS One of my past bosses said, “never take over from a star performer.” I forgot this
Paul H. Engel good advice. And now a word of warning to all the FMA members scattered around
Joseph A. Reyes the country--if I can still travel with gas being $4.00 plus a gallon--I may give you a
William G. Sizemore call and bum a beer and sandwich when in your area.
Walter R. Thomas
See you at the next FMA Reunion. Sincerely, Del
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 5
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW FOR PENSACOLA IN 2009!
THE 2009thru 8th,Pensacolaconjunction with heldan-
Reunion will be
nual Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Symposium.
We have rooms at the Ashton Inn & Suites on Pensacola
Boulevard. The Ashton Inn is close to Corry Field, and has
both indoor and outdoor pools, and a workout room.
You might ask why the change in our “normal reunion”
week-days. The main reason is that...hopefully...we will
have an opportunity to see a Blue Angel Practice Show
on either Tuesday or Wednesday morning of our Reunion
Also, We are planning very interesting tours for you folks to enjoy during your visit.
So, mark your calendars now! Your Registration Forms will appear in the Winter issue of the FMA LOG. We
look forward to seeing each and every one of you. It won’t be too long before you will receive your SIGNAL
“CHARLIE” and be able to begin your approach to the FMA Ready Room. See You There!
Reunion Chairmen...Gene Martin & Ben Pascal
BOOK REVIEW: Aircraft Carriers at War by James L. Holloway III
[Holloway is the son of Adm. James L. ("Lord Jim") Holloway Jr., one of the
best known and most respected naval officers of the post-WWII era, former Naval
Academy superintendent, former chief of naval personnel, and originator of the
"Throughout military history, certain weapons predominated on the field of bat-
tle. Such was the American aircraft carrier from World War II to the present. One
of the Navy's great sailors, Admiral James Holloway III, skillfully weaves his
own naval career with that of naval aviation, U.S. policy, and diplomacy during
that turbulent era in his excellent book Aircraft Carriers at War."
Capt. James A. Lovell (7-48) USN (Ret.), Commander, Apollo 13
James L. Holloway III graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1942 and
served in destroyers during World War II, shooting down three Zeros at the Bat-
tle of Leyte Gulf as gunnery officer of the Bennion. He became a naval aviator
in 1945 and flew combat missions in Korea, where he was promoted to the com-
mand of a jet fighter squadron. After nuclear reactor training under Vice Adm.
Hyman Rickover, Holloway became captain of the first nuclear carrier, Enter-
prise, for two combat deployments to Vietnam. In 1968 he returned to the Pen-
tagon and established the nuclear-powered carrier program. Four years later he
took command of the Seventh Fleet in Southeast Asia. In 1974 he was selected
as Chief of Naval Operations and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among
Admiral Holloway's more than forty medals and decorations are the French Le-
gion of Honor, Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cross of Germany,
Knight of the Italian Order of Merit, U.S. Distinguished Service Medal, and the
Distinguished Flying Cross.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 6
THE BEST OF BRENNAN
OUR OUTSTANDING POET LAUREATE
A Navy pilot - he chose to fly.
A drafted civilian - dumped here to die.
Over Korea - in skies we control.
Frozen Chosin - in a stinking fox hole.
Napalm, bombs, rockets - air support flight.
Bugles, screams, whistles - heart-thumping fright.
Chilly up here - be good to get back.
Twenty below - with not even a sack.
Back Home Again!
Another hour - and it’ll be back home.
Another night - and chilled to the bone.
The dinner menu is - potatoes and steak.
Frozen C-rations - without even a break.
Then Wiley Coyote - on the ship’s movie tonite.
The Gooks might sneak up - in the dead of the night.
The pilot looks down - sees nothing but snow.
The soldier looks up - and watches him go.
Back to the ship - first pass and a cut.
Alone on his watch - a knot in his gut.
The Korean War Memorial, Washington D C
Uneventful flight - with no opposition.
Vastly outnumbered - they’ll storm our position.
That hop makes thirty - another citation.
PERSONAL NOTE The Chi-Coms attack - charge at his station.
The 50th Anniversary of the Korean War The pilot goes home - to the home of the brave.
evoked many memories - some good, some The soldier stays there - an unmarked cold grave.
bad, some proud, some sad. On Christmas
Eve, 1950, I overflew the final evacuation of REFLECTION
soldiers and marines from Hungnam, Korea.
Reflecting on and reading about that war has As one of the fortunate - like all FMA,
brought a new realization of how tough and I count all my blessings - give thanks every day,
miserable the fighting was for those on the
ground. Their agony, suffering, terror, cour- For the free schooling and a great chance to fly.
age and bravery make my ‘sacrifice’ seem Sure, I had a few scares, and some buddies did die,
trite and inadequate.
But compared to the ground troops who get shot at and
God, I was lucky ! freeze,
Flying off bird-boats is sort of a breeze.
Bob Brennan 15-48
October 1, 2000 With greatest respect, I offer a toast -
“Here’s to the foot soldiers - you guys are the most !”
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 7
MORE OF THE BEST OF BRENNAN
(Dedicated to the Colorful Sailors Who “Keep ‘Em Flying”)
Alone, alone - all, all alone, alone in a lonely sky.
Such is the fate of Navy men - Navy men who must fly.
Streaking and skimming through gossamer clouds,
Bursting into a mind-boggling scene -
A rainbow - an endless pallette of colors
Of RED, YELLOW, ORANGE and GREEN
At the end of this rainbow, far far below
So small, it seems only a speck,
No pot of gold, but the carrier bold
Alive with sailors on deck.
The first to the dance is RED ordnance
They gave this “hornet” its sting.
In sweet PURPLE hue, the jet fuel crew
Who juiced up this honey to zing.
The plane handling crew in pretty pale BLUE
Who spotted planes all through the night,
Plane captains in BROWN who climbed all around
As they tucked their pilots in tight.
Be sure to follow the guys in bright YELLOW
Watch LSO and safety in WHITE.
And the last to be seen is the big guy in GREEN
Who shoots planes off into flight.
In trousers and skirts, and all color of shirts
Are these sailors of radiant scheen
RED, BLACK and WHITE - YELLOW and BROWN
And all other shades - in-between
Now as planes fly in the colorful sky
They are part of a Navy rainbow
A profusion of colors - all part of a team
Sailors that make Navy go !
No, no - Not all alone - not alone in the lovely sky
Just part of a team of Navy men - Navy men who must fly.
Bob Brennan 3/1/01
Thanks to Porter Clemens for suggesting the theme.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 8
VIRGINIA BEACH MA 2008
Anthony, John & Susie 12-48 St. Augustine, FL
Bailes, Charley 12-48 Orange Park, FL
Bell, Jerry & Ruth 5-49 Hollywood, FL
Born, Peggy, 13-47 Charleston, IL
(Mrs. Waldo L. Born) &
daughters Meg and Beth
Brandenburg, Del 20-47 Mt. Vernon, VA
& Fran Garman
Brennan, Bob 15-48 Pittsford, NY
At The Navy Aviation Memorial
Campbell, Bill 9-47 Anderson, SC
Carter, Curt 9-47 Clearwater, FL
Christiansen, Bob 20-47 Windham, NH
& Beryl Carlson
Colling, Ed 18-48 Steeple Ashton, Wilts, U. K.
Culbertson, Dick 18-48 Blacksburg, VA
& Betty Ruth
Day, Larry & Polly 16-48 Hixson, TN
DeMois, Vernon 3-48 Houston, TX REUNION REPORT
Dryfoose, Ed & Sam 13-48 Nashville, IN
The food and hospitality were outstand-
Eide, Roald 8-48 Beaufort, NC ing, as usual. We enjoyed a visit to the
Funk, Frank & Dottie 5-48 West Redding, CT Naval Aviation Memorial and some of
Gamble, Trig 15-48 Granville, OH our nautical types took a Harbor Cruise.
Golding, Bill 19-47 Manchester, NH Following the cruise we visited the Na-
Goossen, Ed 1-47 Jacksonville, FL val Museum.
Hamilton, Bob & Pauline 3-47 Andover, MA
Huber, Jim & Joyce 12-48 Baltimore, MD Unfortunately, the flying demonstra-
Jones, JP & Mildred 9-48 Gulf Breeze, FL tion by N2S and SNJ aircraft was can-
King, Bill & LaVerne 7-48 Chester, VA celled due to threatening weather.
Kriser. Lou & Jane 5-45 Potomac Falls, VA
Littell, Wally 15-48 Titusville, FL Our farewell dinner and dance was a
huge success. All in all, a good time
Luallin, Don & Ione 9-46 Highlands Ranch, CO was had by everyone.
Mantz, Roy & Kathleen 7-48 Coronado, CA
Morin, Jim & Rita Johnson 9-47 Tallahassee, FL We’re all looking forward to getting
Norris, Wayne & Carrie 15-48 Verona, VA together in Pensacola next May.
Ohlrich, Walt & Jeanne 14-48 Virginia Beach, VA
Reyes, Joe & Frances 4-48 Potomac, MD Walt Ohlrich
Sargent, Herb 9-47 Naples, FL
Sherin, Joe & Billie 15-48 Atlantic Beach, FL
Sinkez, George 21-47 Virginia Beach, VA
Sizemore, Gene & Hellen 2-47 Arlington, VA
Smith, Tom & Betty 3-48 Virginia Beach, VA
Sullivan, Jim & Merrill 3-47 Rockville, MD
Thomson, Jack & Jeanne 18-48 Kill Devil Hills, NC
Toy, Frank & Marcella 5-48 Virginia Beach, VA
Tufo, Pete & Georgene 17-47 Vienna, VA
Wicker, Fenton & Louise 6-48 Virginia Beach, VA
Wilkinson, Bill & Mary 15-48 Punta Gorda, FL
Wochinger, Bob & Mary Jane 2-47 Huntington Station, NY
Zimmerly, Art 13-48 Virginia Beach, VA Reunion Chairman
Zink, Stew & Louise 5-48 Williamsburg, VA Walt Ohlrich
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 9
IT WAS A GREAT REUNION!!!
Sam and Buz Dryfoose Frank and Dottie Funk Mary and Bill Wilkinson Joe and Billie Sherin
Curt Carter Roald Eide Wally Littell Del Brandenburg
Jim and Merrill Sullivan Jane and Lou Kriser Mildred and JP Jones Walt and Jeanne Ohlrich
Bob and Pauline Hamilton Jack and Jeanne Thomson Rita Johnson and Jim Morin Ed Goossen
Herb Sargent Ed Colling Larry and Polly Day Ione and Don Luallin
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 10
IT WAS A GREAT REUNION!!!
LaVerne and Bill King Jim and Joyce Huber Louise and Stew Zink Dick and Betty Ruth Culbertson
Georgene and Pete Tufo Roy and Kathleen Mantz Bob Christiansen and Beryl Carlson John and Susie Anthony
Bill Golding Bill Campbell Wayne and Carrie Norris Trig Gamble
Fenton and Louise Wicker Ruth and Jerry Bell Hellen and Gene Sizemore Marcella and Frank Toy
Charley Bailes Bob Brennan Tom and Betty Smith Peggy Born (center) and
Daughters Meg and Beth
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 11
FLYING MIDSHIPMEN REUNION
Thirty Sixth Annual West Coast Reunion
Monterey Bay Lodge
55 Camino Aguajito Road
September 9...10...11 2008
[Note: The Tailhook Convention will be in Reno Nevada September 4 thru 7]
SCHEDULE of EVENTS
Tuesday, Sept 9 Afternoon: 1500 Check-in Monterey Bay Lodge.
Gather under the magnolia tree for social hour.
Evening: Dinner at Monterey Elks Lodge
1800—No host drinks
1900––Western Barbecue Buffet
Dress western style, levis, hats, boots, bandanas.
Wednesday, Sept 10 Daytime: Golf, tennis, shopping, swimming, and sightseeing.
Aquarium tickets available*.
A hospitality room with snacks and drinks will be open.
Evening: Dinner at Rancho Canada Country Club
* 1800––No host bar.
Hors D’Oeuvres, fruit and cheese with crackers and baguettes
1900---Buffet Dinner. See menu on Registration Form
1900 to 2200 40’s 50’s & 60’s music...
by Steve Ezzo Entertainment...Dancing.
Thursday, Sept 11 No host breakfast at Marlyn’s American Grill. Farewells.
The Monterey Bay Lodge offers the following room rates for the Flying Midshipman Reunion.
One Queen...$115 + Tax per night Two Queens...$135 + Tax per night
One King.....$135 + Tax per night King Fireplace (deluxe)...$143 + Tax per night
All rooms have a mini refrigerator, coffee maker, iron & board, hair dryer, and color TV
Call 1-800-558-1900 for reservations. Be sure to state you are a Flying Midshipman. A block of 25
rooms has been reserved at those rates. Make reservations early, but no later than August 15.
If you wish to stay elsewhere contact Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce on-line at
http://www.mpcc.com/visitor/index.asp for a complete listing of lodgings.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 12
REUNION REGISTRATION FORM
Flying Midshipman Association
Thirty Sixth Annual West Coast Reunion
Names on Name Tags_____________________________________________________________
Address_____________________________ Phone _____________________________________
Pre-flight Class________________________e-mail Address______________________________
Are you staying at the Monterey Bay Lodge? Yes________ No________
Registration Fee No. of Persons________ @$12.00 per person $________
Buffet Western Barbecue at Monterey Elks Lodge Tuesday, Sept. 9
Number of Dinners____@$42 per person $_______
Buffet dinner, music, dancing at Rancho Canada Country Club Wednesday, Sept 10
Signature” Napa Cabbage Salad Carving Station: Prime Rib of Beef
Greek Salad Chicken Strudel
Toasted Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad Whole Sides of Fresh Salmon Baked
Salad Caprice”...Fresh Mozzarella, Saffron Rice, Wok-Seared Vegetable Medley
Basil, and Vine Ripe Tomatoes Roasted New Potatoes Rosemary
Assorted Bread and Rolls with Sweet Butter
Number of Dinners______@ $52.50 per person $_______
Grand Total $_______
Golf, number of players_______Tennis, number of players________
Please mail this Registration Form and your check by 30 August, 2008 to:
Earl Rogers...869 Royal Green Ave....Sacramento, CA 95831
(916)422-5244 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Make checks payable to FMA Reunion 2008.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 13
THE BEST OF
“. . . . . always a JOCK!!!” [Ed: These are but a few of the best of
“...always a JOCK!!!” Send in your favorites and they will be published in future editions of the LOG]
S INCE WE ARE GOING BACKIN TIME, it only seems right that we start with a few
fond memories of our early days at Pensacola. Here are some excerpts from remarks
made by Walt Thomas (18-48) at various FMA Reunions.
...after arrival we were shoved into an Officer Candidate Training Unit...supervised by chief
petty offices who flunked ‘couth’ and poked by doctors who taught us to cough on demand.
We spent a lot of time in the swimming pool learning how to swallow water...and escaping from
the DILBERT DUNKER. This was supposed to build up our confidence for crashing into 6 feet
of water at five miles per hour.
After pre-flight, we went to Whiting Field to display our stupidity to instructors who expected us to make an equal number
of landings as take-offs. We were also sent off to solo...a test of faith over talent...not unlike a honeymoon. After soloing,
we had to buy our instructors a fifth of booze...which was probably the reason they turned us loose...since we were not logi-
cally ready...but then if life was logical, men would ride sidesaddle.
After Whiting, we went to Corry Field for instrument work where we learned to peek out of curtains and we started night
flying to enjoy vertigo. From Coory, we pressed on to Saufley Field where we tried to collide with each other and under-
stand instructors trained in shrieking. We usually met over the Lillian Bridge in a aerial ballet for the genetically clumsy.
We also flew gunnery runs over the gulf...shooting mostly fish and holes in our propellers.
Finally at Barin Field, we practiced carrier landings to prepare for the final fiasco...our first carrier catches at sea where we watched
frantic LSOs wave flags around as if somebody cared.
After this, we were ranked as 1st class Midshipmen...and walked around with a sickening amount of self-admiration...also as if
somebody cared! In truth, we were still as thick as 2 planks. We didn’t know it then, but we were entering into the golden years of
Naval Aviation where every good prop, turbo-prop and jet airplane of any ilk came on-line between the 40’s and the 70’s...and it all
started with us...in Pensacola. Which may not have been thee best days of our lives, but they were DAMN close!
LOWLY MIDSHIPMAN or LIFE AS A”FLYING” MIDSHIPMAN
From Charlie Luff (S/M #99 Midn):
In the spring of 1948, I was still an Aviation Midshipman assigned to Fighter Squadron
1L at NAS Atlantic City, NJ; “L” was for light carrier air group. Besides flying, I was the
Education Officer for our enlisted personnel. In the process, I came up with some ideas for
training and testing with some of our enlisted ratings. My boss, the Personnel Officer, liked
my ideas and the Squadron Skipper flipped over them.
The CO. made an appointment for me to visit the staff of Commander, Atlantic Fleet in
Norfolk and explain my ideas. I was a little surprised at all this, but when it came time I packed my gear and flew my little
F8F Bearcat to NAS Norfolk. After I landed, parked and checked in with the duty officer I changed into my midshipman
uniform and was met by two WAVE officers from the staff. We left flight operations and stopped for some lunch. They
then drove to the staff headquarters where I gave my presentation. It went over well (I had rehearsed it) and they loved my
The WAVES drove me back to flight operations and dropped me off. It was after 1600 when I arrived and there was a dif-
ferent officer on duty. I filled out my flight plan and turned it in before I changed into my flight gear. The duty officer looked
at the flight plan...looked out the window toward my airplane...looked at me and looked back at my flight plan. Then he said,
"No way am I letting you, a lowly midshipman, get in that fighter and fly anywhere. I will have the Line Crew prevent you
from touching that aircraft. Now get out of here." I tried to explain things but to no avail. I called up the WAVES again
and told them what was going on. They told me to change into my flight gear and they would send a senior officer over to
flight operations. They all showed up….giggling a little….and shocked the duty officer when they ordered him to let me go.
I flew back to NAS Atlantic City and told the Personnel Officer and the Skipper what had happened. They were pleased that
my ideas went over well. Then they just roared!
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 14
NAVAL AVIATOR RULES
Sent in by Mac Smith (15-48):
1. The only three things a 15. It is absolutely imperative that the pilot be unpredictable.
wingman should ever say are: Rebelliousness is very predictable. In the end, conforming
a. Two's up. almost all the time is the best way to be unpredictable.
b. Lead, you're on fire
c. I'll take the fat chick. 16. He who demands everything that his aircraft can give him is a
pilot; he that demands one iota more is a fool.
2. And in a multi-place aircraft,
there are only three things the 17. If you're gonna fly low, do not fly slow.
copilot should ever say:
a. Nice landing, Sir. 18. It is solely the pilot's responsibility to never let any other
b. I'll buy the first round. thing touch his aircraft.
c. I'll take the fat chick.
19. If you can learn how to fly as an Ensign and not forget
3. As an aviator in flight you can do anything you want... As how to fly by the time you're a Commander, you will have
long as it's right... And they'll let you know if it's right after lived a happy life.
you get down.
20. About night flying:
4. You can't fly forever without getting killed. a. Remember that the airplane doesn't know that it's dark.
b. On a clear, moonless night, never fly between the tanker's
5. As a pilot only two bad things can happen to you and one of lights.
them will. c. There are certain aircraft sounds that can only be heard at
a. One day you will walk out to the aircraft knowing that it is night.
your last flight. d. If you're going to fly at night, it might as well be in the weath-
b. One day you will walk out to the airplane not knowing er so you can double count your exposure to both hazards.
that it is your last flight. e. Night formation is really an endless series of near misses in
equilibrium with each other.
6. Any flight over water in a single engine airplane will absolute- f. You would have to pay a lot of money, at a lot of amusement
ly guarantee abnormal engine noises and vibrations. parks, and perhaps add a few non-prescription drugs, to get the
same blend of psychedelic sensations as a single engine night
7. There are Rules and there are Laws. The Rules are made weather formation flight.
by men who think that they know how to fly your airplane
better than you. The Laws (of Physics) were made by the 21. One of the most important skills that a pilot must develop
Great One. You can, and sometimes should, suspend the is the skill to ignore those things that were designed by non-
Rules but you can never suspend the Laws. pilots to get the pilot's attention.
8. More about Rules: 22. At the end of the day, the controllers, ops supervisors, mainte-
a. The rules are a good place to hide if you don't have a better nance guys, weather guessers, and birds are all trying to kill you
idea and the talent to execute it. and your job is to not let them.
b. If you deviate from a rule, it must be a flawless performance
(e.g., if you fly under a bridge, don't hit the bridge). 23. The concept of "controlling" airspace with radar is just a
form of FAA sarcasm directed at pilots to see if they're gull-
9. The pilot is the highest form of life on earth. ible enough to swallow it. Or to put it another way, when's
the last time the FAA ever shot anyone down?
10. The ideal pilot is the perfect blend of discipline and aggres-
siveness. 24. Remember that the radio is only an electronic suggestion box
for the pilot. Sometimes the only way to clear up a problem is to
11. About check rides: turn it off.
a. The only real objective of a check ride is to complete it and
get the bastard out of your airplane. 25. It is a tacit, yet profound, admission of the preeminence
b. It has never occurred to any flight examiner that the ex- of flying in the hierarchy of the human spirit that those who
aminee couldn't care less what the examiner's opinion of his seek to control aviators via threats always threaten to take
flying ability really is. one's wings and not one's life.
12. The medical profession is the natural enemy of the aviation 26. Remember when flying low and inverted that the rudder still
profession. works the same old way but hopefully your Instructor never
taught you "pull stick back, plane go up".
13. The job of the Wing Commander is to worry incessantly
that his career depends solely on the abilities of his aviators to 27. Mastering the prohibited maneuvers in the Aircraft's
fly their airplanes without mishap and that their only minus- Operations Manual is one of the best forms of aviation life
cule contribution to the effort is to bet their lives on it. insurance you can get.
14. Ever notice that the only experts who decree that the age of 28. A tactic done twice is a procedure. (Refer to unpredictability
the pilot is over are people who have never flown anything? Also, discussion above)
in spite of the intensity of their feelings that the pilot's day is
over, I know of no such expert who has volunteered to be a pas- 29. The aircraft G-limits are only there in case there is an-
senger in a non-piloted aircraft. other flight by that particular airplane. If subsequent flights
by that aircraft do not appear likely, there are no G-limits.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 15
NAVAL AVIATOR RULES Cont.
30. “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute.”
George Bernard Shaw
31. If helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage/classic helicopter fly-ins?
32. Death is just nature’s way of telling you to watch your airspeed.
33. “When it comes to testing new aircraft or determining maximum performance, pilots like to talk about “pushing the
envelope.” They’re talking about a two dimensional model: the bottom is zero altitude, the ground; the left is zero speed; the
top is max altitude; and the right, maximum velocity, of course. So, the pilots are pushing that upper-right-hand corner of the
envelope. What everybody tries not to dwell on is that that’s where the postage gets canceled, too.”
Admiral Rick Hunte
34. “Real planes use only a single stick to fly. This is why bulldozers & helicopters need two.” Paul Slattery
35. “I’ve flown every seat on this airplane, can someone tell me why the other two are always occupied by idiots?” Don
36. If God meant man to fly, he’d have given him more money.
37. Its better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here.
HE WAS STANDING THERE SCRATCHING HIS HEAD
John Jenista (4-48)
In 1952 I was assigned to a support group on the island of Kwajalein for Operation Ivy, the first thermonuclear explosion. Our
group had two PBM-5As which were used to transport people and equipment to prepare for the test explosion. The NAS on Kwaja-
lein had a TBM-5 that was used mainly to spray the island with DDT. (to keep the pesky ‘skeeters’ in check.) Shortly after arriving
on the island I learned that none of the Kwajalein staff pilots wanted to fly the TBM...because it did not have enough engines. When I
asked to fly it they said, “ By all means, fly it as much as you want.”)
... As the time for the test drew near, a large number of Air force planes were sent to Kwajalein. We had two B-36’s, some B-47’s,
F-84’s, B-29’s, B-50’s and others. I was waiting for a certain thing to happen while I was flying the Turkey and after a long wait it
finally happened, just as I wanted it to. I had just landed and was taxiing back along the taxi way. A line of Air Force planes were
parked to my right, and to my left a B-29 had been parked so that the tail nearly blocked the taxiway. There was only about 30 feet
between the B-29 and the rest of the airplanes. I came chugging along at about 25 knots. An Air force Sergeant came running out,
signaling for me to stop. He was waving his arms and frantically giving me the STOP signal. I just kept on chugging. At the last
moment, I pulled the wing fold lever and the wings promptly folded neatly along side the Turkey’s fuselage. Without slowing a bit, I
slipped through the narrow gap, and spread the wings again on the far side. With great satisfaction, I looked back to see the sergeant
standing there…scratching his head. He had never seen an airplane do THAT before!
NAVAL AVIATION HEAVEN Author Unknown
Where you'd see all the shipmates you'd served with before,
I hope there's a place, way up in the sky, And they'd call out your name, as you came thru the door.
Where Naval Aviators can go, when they have to die.
Who would buy you a drink, if your thirst should be bad
A place where a guy could buy a cold beer And relate to the others, "He was quite a good lad!"
For a friend and comrade whose memory is dear.
And then thru the mist you'd spot an old guy
A place where no blackshoe or porkchop could tread, You had not seen in years, though he'd taught you to fly.
Nor a Pentagon type would e're be caught dead!
He'd nod his old head and grin ear to ear,
Just a quaint little O'club; kind of dark, full of smoke, And say, "Welcome shipmate, I'm pleased that you're here!
Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke.
For this is the place where Naval Aviators come
The kind of place, where a lady could go When the battles are over, and the wars have been won.
And feel safe and protected by the men she would know.
They've come here at last to be safe and afar
There must be a place where old Navy pilots go From the government clerk and the management czar,
When their wings get too weary, and their airspeed gets
low. Politicians and lawyers, the feds and the noise,
Where all hours are happy, and these good old boys
Where the whiskey is old and the women are young,
And songs about flying and dying are sung. Can relax with a cool one, and a well-deserved rest!
This is Heaven, my son, you've passed your last test!"
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 16
IN MEMORY OF A PREFLIGHT FRIEND
Midshipmen Harley Wilbur and Allen Sweet
at graduation from Navy Preflight School
(A memory sent to Ellen Love Sweet class thought that was a good choice. Al
by Harley Wilbur in May 2008) was known to be a “straight arrow”, and
everyone liked him. (By contrast, I was
Iarrived later.April 1948.oneventually
chosen to be a “Midshipman Lieutenant
Junior Grade”, a much less prestigious
both assigned to Preflight Class 11-48,
but were in different platoons. I don’t With this appointment, however, Al
recall that we had many classes to- Sweet had a problem. He was as vocifer-
gether. PreFlight School was a drag ous as the rest of us in denouncing the
with lots of marching, lots of physical “telling on your buddies” system. But
activity, little free time, and many restrictions on what we now he was in charge of that system and received much
were allowed to do when we did have free time. pressure from our Marine Officer superiors to ensure that
all offenders were placed “on report” whenever they com-
During that period, as I look back on it, Al and I had fun- mitted the smallest infraction of the many petty rules we
damentally different ideas about what to do with the little all lived by. Al’s own performance was going to be judged
free time we had. This was a difference that did not, I’m by how many “reports” were issued during his time as Bat-
sorry to say, redound to my credit. I hung out mostly with talion Commander! He was regularly “chewed out” by the
George Beckman and other friends with whom I did a lot Marines for not producing more “reports”.
of drinking and chasing women (mostly unsuccessfully). I
believe that Al had more wholesome ideas of how to relax. I remember talking with him while he was dealing with
Drinking alcoholic beverages was forbidden for midship- the problem. He poured over the list of rules and regula-
men while in the lower echelons of PreFlight School, but tions and came up with a clever way to handle it. Among
we found ways to get around that. I tried to get Al involved reportable offenses for midshipmen was a catch-all rule
in my form of fun, but he obviously didn’t want to go that titled “Word, Failure to Get.” It was associated with the
route. I can say now, “Good for him!” old humorous Navy saying, “There are always two percent
who don’t get the Word.” It was also one of the midship-
After about 16 weeks class 11-48 became the senior class men offenses with the lightest punishment, just 5 demerits
in Preflight School. That meant some of us were chosen to and 2 hours extra duty. So Al subtly let it be known among
be “Midshipmen Officers”. One of the main responsibilities us midshipmen officers of Class 11-48 that if we saw an of-
of these student officers was to enforce discipline by putting fense that had to be reported we should call it “Word, Fail-
other midshipmen “on report” when they violated a rule. ure to Get”, rather than something more serious.
The resulting punishments usually involved demerits and
extra duty, although more serious offenses could even cause ***********************************************
the offender to be “washed out” of the entire program and For a look at Al Sweet in his own words, including com-
sent home in disgrace. bat in Korea, I refer you to an interesting17-page memoir
Al wrote which appears in the book “The Brown Shoes”,
Most of us, including Al and I, hated this system of “tell- published in 2003 by the Turner Publishing Company, 412
ing on your buddies”. The Marine officers (real officers) in Broadway, PO Box 3101, Paducah, KY 42002-3101. Tele-
charge of the military training of the midshipmen chose the phone 270-443-0121. The book was assembled and edited
members of the senior class who would become Midship- by Patricia B. Francis, Naval Historian, and Burdett L. Ives
man Officers. Great care was exercised in this. In our class of PreFlight Class 9-46, a fighter pilot who fought in Korea
the person who had the honor to be chosen as the Midship- 1951-1953. (I have something published in that book too.)
man Battalion Commander, that is the senior midshipman
in the whole Preflight School, was none other than Mid- “The Brown Shoes” bears the subtitle “Personal Histories
shipman Allen L. Sweet! He now became “Midshipman of Flying Midshipmen and Other Naval Aviators of the Ko-
Lieutenant Commander Sweet.” I believe all of us in the rean War Era”.
Your LOG Editorial Team has proposed that articles written by our members about their buddies be printed in
the LOG, as space permits. In any event, such articles will be included in our web site as a permanent record.
In addition, you are requested to submit your own bio, also to be included in the web site. Ideally every Flying
Midshipman’s story would be on the web for all to see, especially our children, grandchildren, great grandchil-
dren and on into infinity, so to speak.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 17
“They didn’t think of
the color of his skin”
Pres. Reagan...May 1978
The following is from an article that appeared in the 2004 West Coast Reunion
Booklet under the title “There But By the Grace of God” by Bill Busse 2-47
essie Le Roy Brown November 27th, 1950
8-47 was a striking “The Marines were com-
figure when he ar- pletely surrounded, fight-
rived at Ottumwa Pre- ing fiercely as they re-
Flight in the early spring treated; wounded riding
of 1947. It occurred trucks, walking wounded
to all of us that we had slogging and stumbling
seen no other negroes along. More killed, more
in the V-5 Program. wounded. The Chosin re-
(The terms, black and treat would go down as one of the most agonizing yet most
African-American, successful in military history. Bravery and heroism went
were not in use at the with each painful step. Those who survived became known
time.) I recall being a as “The Chosin Few.”
bit surprised that the
Navy was broadening “Never in the long history of the Corps had there been
the ranks. I think most such a brutal winter ordeal as was happening now to the
all of us were pleased to have him at Ottumwa, but at the foot soldiers on the twisting mountain road, the long col-
time didn’t realize that he was the very first black to aspire umns of trucks and walking wounded slowly making their
to wear Navy wings. way south, dying under enemy fire, freezing to death down
there. Fingers and toes turned purple and black from
We also didn’t realize Jesse’s family were share croppers frostbite, soon to be amputated. . . . Their only help and
in Mississippi. Being six classes after ours, I had no more salvation was from the air.
than a speaking acquaintance with him, but sensed he was a
gentleman and natural for the Program. December 4th, 1950
“The planes dropped to about to about 500 feet to search
As we all moved through the flight training phases, I for targets after they’d crossed the desolate coastline well
remember hearing that Jesse had some difficulty in Basic north of Hungnam, the point of salvation for all the Ameri-
Training. There had been talk of unfair treatment on the part cans grinding south through the Communist escape route gaunt-
of his check pilots. In any event, he had gone before a Flight let. They were fleeing along the west side of the Chosin . . .
Review Board and was given additional flight time rather
than being dismissed from the Program. Jesse subsequently “Lacking heavy antiaircraft guns the Chinese infantrymen
completed Advanced Training in single engine aircraft at had their own technique of trying to deal with low-flying
N.A.S. Jacksonville. enemy aircraft. They’d lie in the snow in their white uni-
forms and point their rifles straight up, then fire simultane-
It wasn’t until reading Theodore Taylor’s book, “The ously.
Flight of Jesse Le Roy Brown”, that I realized how mentally
and emotionally difficult the Program had been for Jesse. “Jesse replied calmly, ‘This is Iroquois 1-3, I’m losing fuel
Being black in a sea of white, all the while being subjected pressure. I have to put it down.’ One of those unlucky rifle
to the discrimination prevalent in those times, was an un- bullets had hit a gas or oil line. He was 10 to 15 miles be-
common burden. According to Taylors’ account, Jesse more hind enemy lines . . .
than once agonized over the situation and considered giving
it all up. But, to his credit, he stuck it our and became an “Jesse spotted a snowy clearing about a quarter mile in
outstanding Naval Aviator. diameter almost on the side of the mountain in an upgrade
of about 20 degrees . . .
The details of Jesse’s death while flying in Korea were
sketchy to me. Then Theodore Taylor’s book provided a “It took a few minutes for the shock of the crash landing,
clear account of his life. The situation, as the Chinese en- the fright, the slamming physical and mental punishment,
tered the war, was a particularly vivid reminder. I highly the screech of metal shearing to wear off. He tried to move
recommend his book, but in the meantime would like to his legs but realized the knee was jammed by the buckled
share a few excerpts: fuselage against the control panel, straddled by his feet.
He was trapped, deep in enemy territory . . .
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 18
“They didn’t think of
the color of his skin” cont.
Pres. Reagan...May 1978
(Continued from previous page)
“Without hesitation (LTJG. Tom) Hudner made the de-
cision to crash land beside Jesse.
Hudner felt he was indestructible and with the Corsair
and its big engine and nose up there acting as a plow, he
could put it down and walk away to save Jesse’s life.
“Jesse, bareheaded, was sitting in the cockpit, obviously
in great pain, but spoke clearly and calmly. ‘I’m pinned OTHER THOUGHTS ABOUT JESSE
in here, Tom!’ . . .
Hank Frazer…”When we lost Jesse, he wasn’t just
“Another few minutes passed and Jesse opened his eyes another comrade-in-arms, but a man who went thru
again to say, ‘Tell Daisy how much I love her.’ Soon he hell and high water to achieve what he did. There is
took a shallow breath and then his head slumped down no question in my mind that he would have made flag
on his chest. Battle hardened Tom Hudner and (heli- rank, in spite of all the hurdles thrown in his path,
copter pilot) Charlie Ward wept. and he would have stood tall in doing so.”
“They wondered whether Hudner* would get a medal President Reagan on May 10th, 1987 in a speech at
or a court-martial for demolishing an aircraft, endan- Tuskegee Institute said:
gering a combat operation. A bugler played taps and
Marines fired volleys over the stern in tribute to their “I’d like to speak with you about a man whose name
shipmate.” is not so well known. Ensign Jesse Brown, the first
black Naval Aviator.
“ On December 4th, 1950, Ensign Brown’s aircraft
was hit while making a strafing run against the ene-
my. With tremendous skill, he managed to crash land
on a rough boulder strewn slope. He survived the
crash, waving to his friends as they circled overhead.
They knew he was in trouble when he remained in
the cockpit, even as smoke began to billow from the
“Final a fellow member of his squadron could stand
it no more. As others attack and held off the enemy
troops, LTJG Thomas Hudner ignored the dangers of
the mountains and enemy troops and made a wheels
n a cold day over Quonset in November 1949, with up landing. He ran to Ensign Brown’s plane, now
the canopy rolled back and his flight goggles way erupting in flames, and found his friend, alive, badly
up, Ensign Jesse Brown holds close formation on injured, trapped in his cockpit...
a camera plane with his VF-32 F8F-2 Grumman Bearcat,
assuring the Harry S. Truman administration that integra-
tion was truly underway in the Navy. “Now, I would like to tell you that they both made
it, and that over the years they have been the best of
From “Images of America...Quonset Point Naval Air Station” friends, caring about one another. But that was not to
forwarded to the LOG by Jesse’s good friend, Sam Fall (6-48) be. Ensign Jesse Brown died on that slope in Korea.
When he risked his life for those besieged Marines,
Jesse did not think of the race of those he sought to
protect. And when his fellow pilots saw him in dan-
*In lieu of a court-marshall, Tom Hudner was awarded ger, they didn’t think of the color of his skin. They
The Congressional Medal of Honor only knew that an American was in trouble.”
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 19
“LUCKILY I WASN’T COURTS-MARSHALLED!”
THE BAY OF PIGS FILM
Don Hubbard #51 MIDN
In earlyJacksonville, hadthe AJ-2P heavy photo squadron
been flying almost routine high
altitude mapping flights over the many south coast Cuban
beaches. It wasn’t a surprise then to receive a top secret mes-
sage ordering maximum photo coverage of a specific beach
area on the south Cuban coast on 17 April 1961. Begin at
first light - no further specifics. The mission looked routine
and was to be flown at 20,000 feet to obtain photos with a
scale of 1:10,000. Ideal for identifying most routine items on
the ground below. Three cans of top secret film had broken through the locked
ammo door in the nose, hit the wing and disappeared. The
The flight went off without a hitch and the film- about door to the ammo compartment was left slamming up and
eight or nine cans of it, each a little larger than a large roll of down in the slipstream. Damn! Nothing I could do about it.
paper towels, was run through the huge automatic process- Landing that bucking bird was the priority so I fought my
ing machine in the photo lab, dried and then turned over to way around the pattern, crossed the end of the runway, set
the photo interpreters for read-out. her down and taxied into the ramp in pouring rain. A Wash-
ington spook, an Army colonel from DIA was there to greet
Almost immediately they discovered that this was no or- me.
dinary photography. These were pictures of a military ac-
tion - a burning ship, small landing craft, some ashore, some “Where’s the film?”
hung up on hidden reefs. a crashed B-26, a column of tanks
sending up plumes of dust as it headed for the beach. It was I smiled weakly. “There are five or six cans in those ammo
the CIA’s ill-planned and unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion. bins.” Then I pointed at the black void in the pouring rain.
The pictures were important. “and three somewhere out THERE. They fell out.”
The film read-out went on for the rest of the day and a pre- “What? They fell out?” He was practically shouting. “Ex-
lim report written. It was now time to get the film to Wash- actly where?”
ington which was sending almost constant urgent messages
regarding the results. The squadron had a Grumman F-9 air- “I have no idea, I was trying to survive.”
craft assigned to it and I was selected to fly the film cans
and the written report to Andrews AFB that night. The cans “We gotta find them. They’re top secret and Washington is
were bundled into the various ammo bays of the plane and waiting for them.” I guess they were. President Kennedy
I was off. was sitting on pins and needles waiting for information about
the failing invasion.
The plane was winging its way north on this moonless
night when I received a report that Andrews was closed be- The colonel was on the hot seat.
cause of a thunderstorm there and they suggested that I go To the duty officer at the desk. “Call out the marine guard.
to Patuxent River instead. No problem, with one exception. Start searching the field.”
Someone failed to realize that thunderstorms are not static
and migrate eastward as they develop. This one migrated to Long and short of it. Couple of hours of night search out
Patuxent River. It was there to greet me. on the runways and aprons with jeeps and trucks and futil-
ity! The film was never found. Probably in the Chesapeake.
I was being bounced around and tossed in every direction Somehow I wasn’t courts-martialed. The preliminary writ-
while lightning was flashing continuously, but I contacted ten readout was undoubtedly sufficient to describe the disas-
the tower and received landing instructions. Landing or no trous conditions on the beach. And I was thanking God for
I was practically doing all the flying on the gauges since I the intense instrument refresher course I had just completed
didn’t want to be blinded by the lightning. I kept myself ori in the Jacksonville fighter RAG
ented by occasionally glancing out the side to insure that I
was lining up with the landing runway. Suddenly the aircraft
was slammed by a hard down and side draft which caused
a particularly severe lurch. Then I felt and heard it - bang -
-bang, bang - followed by a wild ratatatatatat.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 20
USS Midway Aviation Training 2008
FMA Board of Directors Meeting
1100, 8 April 2008
Army-Navy Country Club
Paul Engle & Lou Kriser reported on the Flying Midshipmen Youth Aviation Training
Program aboard the Midway Museum.
The program is proceeding in an excellent fashion and meets the goals expected of it. The
FMA Legacy developed through this program is in good hands. The Midway, the instructors
and leadership they provide has attracted wide attention. The Sea Cadets, Navy League, Boy
Scouts and others are sending students and providing funding for them or are planning to. The
2008 class is expected to have 20-22 students. FMA originally was not responsible for any
funding but provided funds to purchase supplies needed by the students of the first class. No
funding from FMA will be needed in the future. Students pay only $150 for the two weeks
training. Training can include visits to ATC facilities and some actual flight time. Future
plans are for three classes per year.
Legacy proposals. Three proposals were discussed at length during the meeting. One in-
volved creating a statue or bust of a Naval Aviator to be placed in an appropiate museum; one
involved creating a scholarship through MOAA; the third involved the transfer of all AMF
funds to a USS Midway Foundation to insure the Flying Midshipmen Youth Aviation Train-
ing program continues when FMA ceases to exist. The third option was chosen. The details
of this program are yet to be developed.
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 21
DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL?
[Ed: Bill Campbell (9-47) is interested in spicing up his research study of Aviation Midshipmen who
flew combat missions prior to being commissioned. (See recent editions of the LOG for details.)
The following article and “spice example” should inspire all of us to reach back and come up with sto-
ries that might not qualify for “ALWAYS A JOCK,” but nevertheless add a human touch to those early
T he Combat Aviation Midshipmen (AvMidn) Study is
resulting in a document of historical data that proves
the identified Candidates did fly in combat opera-
tions while Midshipmen. However, the Study document is
resulting in a pretty sterile collection of official records and
For your information,
here is an example story
in many ways misses the interesting humanity of who we
The Toilet Paper
Therefore, the Committee has decided to expand the Study Saga
goals to include stories and tales that were experienced by
any FMA Member while a Midshipman. What is desired are
stories of the joyous, frightening, interesting, near unbeliev- n 1947 during aerobatics flight training in the SNJ air-
able, and humorous events we caused or experienced, while craft, one of the Midshipmen students came up with a
in Flight Training and our initial Squadron duty. We all have terrific idea. He took a roll of toilet paper along on a solo
many personal stories that would be most interesting to a fu- flight and when at altitude threw the roll out of the cockpit,
ture reader (maybe your great great grandchild), and we ask- and as it unrolled it made a wonderful safe target to hone
ing you to write them down for inclusion in the Study. There one’s aerobatic skills.
is no limit to the number of submissions. Each story should
be personal (first person), typed smooth (if possible), with a Well, as you might expect the idea caught on like wildfire.
reasonable #12-size Font type, and try to limit the length to Every solo aerobatic student took-off with a roll of toilet pa-
one page. Add your name and Pre Flight Class at the end of per in his flight suite. The idea was to throw out the toilet pa-
the article. Please submit by Email (as an Attachment), or by per, turn around and try to cut the streamer with the propel-
US Mail to Bill Campbell. ler, or at least with the wing, as many times possible before
the roll was completely unwound. When that happened the
The AvMidn Program has an important legacy, which streamer became limp and lost the stability from the weight
should be preserved. The identification of those AvMidn of the remaining paper on the role.
who flew in combat is part of it. However, the inclusion of
personal stories from each of us will put a human face on In the beginning hitting the streamer was more difficult than
the AvMidn, and provide future generations, with not only one would expect. But after a few flights and several passes
a smile, but also a much better understanding of who these it was easy, and I tried to cut the streamer in many different
19-21 year-old “Tigers” were. Please participate; it is your flight attitudes, including inverted. Even tried to fly verti-
story we are trying to preserve cally up the paper streamer. In this case, I was only able to
hit the streamer, but was not a good enough pilot to chop the
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact streamer many times on one vertical pass. Great sport for a
a Committee member at the address below. 19 year old, and it actually improved one’s skills to control
the aircraft in unusual attitudes.
Bill Campbell (9-47) This is only the happy part of the story. Since almost every
1109 Springdale Road aerobatic solo student took a roll or two of toilet paper, you
22449 Sylvan Street can imagine that the use of toilet paper exploded at Corry
Anderson, SC 29621-4039 Field. After one week there was no toilet paper anywhere on
the Base. There are many items naval personnel can do with-
Ed Phillips (#83) out, BUT TOILET PAPER ISN’T ONE OF THEM !
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-1743 The Corry Field Commanding Officer was alerted to the
Phone: 864-225-6362 “emergency” and the S_ _ _ hit the fan! An order came down
Phone: 818-999-1398 from on high, that any Midshipman caught with a roll of
toilet paper outside of the Head area, would be put on report
Email: email@example.com and subject to dismissal.
This was the end of the Toilet Paper Saga!
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 22
“TELL THE PILOT TO GREASE IT ON!”
TAKING THE CNO “I know how to put on a para-
TO VIENNA chute harness.”
August 1949 Gulp! “Yes, sir.”
Don Hubbard #51 MIDN That said I found him a comfort-
able place to sit, facing aft behind
his was not your or- the co-pilot . Right after take-off he
dinary flight. We had dozed off.
been scheduled to run
an ELINT flight in the Adri- In about an hour and a half we
atic so we flew over from are approaching the Brenner Pass.
Port Lyautey, Morocco, our The bird-dog was wavering slightly
home base, to Rome where but pointing in the general direction
we would overnight before of Innsbruck, in Austria. There was
going out on the mission. On an overcast above us but happily we
our arrival in Rome we were were still VFR. We entered the Pass.
met by the Assistant Naval It became a little bouncy, but not too
Attache who informed us that we would not go on our bad. Then I noticed that there were
ELINT next day because we had to fly Admiral Forrest slab-sided mountains on each side of us. Cripes! What if
Sherman, the newly selected Chief of Naval Operations, we have to go on instruments and the beam is bent? Better
to an important meeting in Vienna. He would be arriving double check the heading.
in the morning about 0800 and wanted to be underway as
quickly as possible. Luckily the weather cooperated and stayed VFR. We fi-
nally left the Pass, turned right and had been flying east
I was flying as navigator on this particular flight, so I was over Austria for a little over an hour when the Admiral
told that I was to “take care of the Admiral.” I had never woke up. We were about thirty minutes out and he wanted
even seen an Admiral before, much less CNO. My first to know where the “head” was. I pointed to the relief tube
thought was MAYDAY! on the port side, but no, he wanted the can. That crude
affair was just a circular tank with a bag in it and a small
Then another MAYDAY. We didn’t have the altitude seat. It was back aft and required a transit along the foot
ability to fly over the Alps, so we had to make the journey wide catwalk through the bomb bay.
through the Brenner Pass. This would mean following a
radio beam if we had to go on instruments. The rumor was “That way, sir. Back aft.” He left. I called the after station
that the Soviets had “bent” the beam to send aircraft off and told them to get the “can” ready for occupancy and to
course and into the mountains. To make matters worse, we let us know when he was settled in. In few minutes he was,
were in Italy on an Italian airfield (Ciampino) and there but by now we were in contact with the tower and receiv-
was no way to get a better chart or a decent weather brief- ing landing instructions.
ing for the flight.
CONFLICT: Getting ready to land and an admiral on
The Admiral showed up promptly at eight next morning. the john. Better move fast and alert the plane commander.
He had just flown in from London and was anxious to get Have him grease it on if at all possible. Jack Fette*, was
going. The PB4Y-2, Privateer, was no luxury aircraft and the pilot and to his credit that is exactly what happened.
entry was up through the bomb bay to the navigation deck Squeak, squeak, the main mounts are on the runway and a
and then forward to the pilot’s seats. The admiral was nice- smooth rollout followed. The admiral was not disturbed.
ly dressed in his aviation greens and didn’t have a flight
suit. Oh boy! “Take care of the admiral” they said. Not only was he not disturbed, he was a good guy.
“Sir, here is the way you get in.” Two cars came to pick us up and he gave us one to use
Steely look, “I know how to get into an airplane, next day so that we would have transportation to explore
son.” Vienna. Thank you sir!
“Yes, sir.” He followed me in.
*Jack Fette was the plane commander of the aircraft shot down by
“Here is the parachute harness sir, you put it on
the Russians over Latvia on 8 April, 1950 with the loss of all hands.
like this.” Another steely look.
They were on a Baltic area ELINT mission. This was the first plane
“I’ve been flying Navy aircraft for over 25 years.”
shot down in the Cold War.
I believed him. His Naval Academy ring was worn smooth
on both sides. (I later found that he had been designated a
naval aviator in 1922)
The Aviation Midshipmen Log Summer 2008 Page 23
FMA BULLETIN BOARD
Note: See below for NEW Executive Director Herb Sargent’s phone numbers and e-mail address.
Also, The Flying Midshipmen Association official web site, under the direction of Dave Hardin (13-48) is the place to
go for all manner of FMA information. Dave’s goal is to keep members informed and to provide an avenue for contacting
FMA with changes to the Directory, bios, etc. The website address is www.flyingmidshipmen.org.
WEB SITES...E-MAIL...MAIL & PHONE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
May 9, 2008 FLYING MIDSHIPMEN WEB SITE:
FMA Election of Officers:
Senior Vice President Reyes stated that, for pressing FMA Headquarters – Herb Sargent
business matters, he must respectfully decline the nomi- firstname.lastname@example.org
nation to become the next President of the association, Webmaster – Dave Hardin:
but expressed a willingness to continue in office as Se- email@example.com
nior Vice President. LOG Editor – Bill Busse:
Motion (Bell/Mantz) to approve the nomination of Lou
Kriser to become the new President of the association, MAIL ADDRESSES:
passed unanimously. FMA Headquarters:
2513 Inlynnveiw Rd, Virginia Beach, VA
President-Elect Kriser graciously accepted the Board’s 23454-1846
decision, expressed his honor at being considered Tel: 1-800-964-5955 Local: 757-481-6264
for the position, and indicated that this was a LOG Editor: Bill Busse, 555 Byron St. #308
unique way to celebrate his 81st birthday! Palo Alto, CA 94301 Tel: 650-321-6228
Motion (Sizemore/Sargent) to approve the con-
tinuance of Joe Reyes as Senior Vice President of
the association, passed unanimously.
Executive Director Brandenburg stated his
reasons for having to submit his resignation as Execu- Membership (as of 20 June 2008)
tive Director of the association. Active members 697
Motion (Reyes/Brandenburg) to approve the nomina- Widows 166
tion of Herb Sargent to become the new Executive Di- ......................................
rector of the association, passed unanimously. AMF Treasury (as of 9 May 2008)
Investment Fund $45,920.80
Motion (Kriser/Sargent) to approve the advancement of NFCU (savings) 13,098.81
Gene Sizemore to the position of President Emeritus, NFCU (checking) 688.29
passed unanimously. Total $ 59,707.90........................
President Sizemore thanked the Board for their con- FMA Treasury (as of 1 May 2008)
sideration in this matter and expressed his gratitude to Investment fund $ 10,892.00
the Board and all others in the association for their help NFCU MMSA 9,591.28
and support to him over the past three years of his out- NFCU Savings 51.75
standing presidency. NFCU Checking 630.59
Total $ 21,165.62