Lt. Irving (Hallmark) Glick
An open letter to all Blackjacks.
The first reason is that it will be extremely difficult and time consuming to compile all relevant information concerning Lt. Glick’s illustrious naval career to date due to its sheer length and complexity. As to its length, Lt. Glick first reported to Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE on 30 June 1960 – as a lieutenant. This was recorded in Lt. Glick’s official service record by Lt. Peter W. Ferriso, USN on 27 August 1960. However, his official Officer Biography Sheet dated 3 August 1964 records his date of rank as a lieutenant as 1 March 1964. The fact that Lt. Ferriso himself did not even report to VP-21 until 24 August 1963 further compounds the confusion. In any event, depending on whether we accept the 30 June 1960 date or the 1 March 1964 date, Lt. Glick is the longest serving lieutenant in the history of the United States Navy. He has served at his current rank for as long as 45 years as of 30 June 2005, or for as short as 41 years as of 1 March 2005. In either case, he has a unique, strange, and confused record.
The difference in the two official dates of rank (perchance he was demoted and then re-promoted) also attests to the complexity of his record, as does the fact that he was assigned as the Patrol Plane Commander (PPC) of Combat Air Crew 18 by then Commander, John Orrill, Commanding Officer, VP-21 on 18 November 1965, even though he was not designated as a PPC by Captain Thomas R. McClellan, Commander, Fleet Air Wing THREE until 27 June 1966. Since neither squadron commanding officers nor wing commanders can ever be wrong, anyone attempting to compile an accurate biography of Lt. Glick is faced with a real dilemma.
It should be noted that Commander Orrill’s supporting documentation for Lt. Glick’s PPC recommendation marked him below average on all items on the check sheet – except that he received an above average mark for starting the jets. Everyone will recall, of course, that starting the jets was a “very difficult procedure requiring considerable skill and ingenuity.” Commodore McClellan’s official endorsement included the statement “Warmest personal regards,” the only such personal comment he ever included on any PPC endorsement. He did it only because of his great admiration of Lt. Glick’s unique qualities, and the fact that Irving always lost to the Commodore when they played “Horses” at the O’ Club bar.
The second reason, of course, is that Lt. Glick’s 45-year career as a naval officer, and as the oldest lieutenant in the Navy (having been born on 27 April 1938, he was 67 years old as of 27 April 2005), is not yet over. He still serves in whatever capacity assigned and his exploits continue to amaze and astound. As a result, this must be a living biography that will continue to grow as his friends and former squadron mates provide new information concerning his illustrious past career, and as his ongoing exploits continue to add to his current glorious persona. What follows is only one historian’s memory of some of the events in the illustrious career of Lieutenant Irving H. Glick, USNR. It certainly does not record everything that has transpired during the illustrious 45 years of service of one of the Navy’s most renowned and beloved members. Completing the story is up to you who know, admire, and love him.
START HERE to begin your journey through the Life and Times of Lt. Irving Hallmark Glick, USNR, or select a specific story from the list of contributions below”
The following items are provided courtesy of:
Bill Locke, 57-61, 65-67
Yes Blackjack, there is an Irving H. Glick
Curriculum Vitae (with assists from Pete Ferriso and Bill Locke)
Lt. Glick’s Official Service Record
Lt. Glick’s Flight Training Records
The Lebanon Crisis (with assists from Dan Carew and Lee Scharpen)
Acquisition of the VP-21 Captain’s Crock With an assist from Tony Marcantonio)
Dan Dwyer, 56-58
The Early Years
Jack Thornton, 65-68
Red Adams, VP-10 Pilot and VP-21 Wannabe
The Great Slalom Race
Without whom Lieutenant Irving H. Glick, USNR would not be among us today.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LIEUTENANT IRVING H. GLICK, USNR
Yes Blackjack, there is an Irving H. Glick (with apologies to Francis P. Church and the New York Sun)
I am a young naval aviator. Some of my little friends say there is no Lieutenant Irving H. Glick, USNR. I’ve heard that if you see it in the Sun, it’s so. Please tell me the truth. Is there a Lieutenant Irving H. Glick?
Some of your little friends will say that Irving H. Glick is simply a figment of Lt. (jg) (later Rear Admiral) Thomas Betterton’s imagination. They’ll say that Tom entered a drawing for a garbage can at Black’s Hardware store on Maine Street in Brunswick, Maine, and feeling that he had no chance to win, put the made-up name of Irving H. Glick on the form, but used his own real phone number. They’ll say that when he received a call from the store that Irving Glick had won the drawing, Tom had a difficult time convincing Mr. Black that he should receive the garbage can.
Blackjack, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. Yes, Blackjack, there is an Irving H. Glick. He exists as certainly as honor and tradition and custom and love of country exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest meaning. Alas, how dreary would be the world if there were no Irving H. Glick. It would be as dreary as if there were no Blackjacks.
Not believe in Irving H. Glick! You might as well not believe in Kilroy and gremlins. You might go your entire life without actually meeting Irving H. Glick, but that is no sign that he does not exist. Never mind that Irving Glick often appears to have been in multiple locations at the same time. The most real things in the world are those that neither men nor women can understand.
No Irving H. Glick! Wrong. He’s alive and well in the hearts and minds of all men and women who have served in the Navy’s Maritime Patrol squadrons, especially in Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE. And as long as young Americans continue to protect our country flying in the successors of the P2V Neptune, Irving Glick will continue to live.
As for his scholastic record, that, too, appears to be nonexistent, but suffice to say that it was sufficient to allow him to matriculate to Central Missouri State College where he received a prestigious Artium Baccalaureatus (A.B.) Degree in 1959. The A.B. Degree is awarded to students who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages, as well as an extraordinary proficiency in the liberal arts and sciences, with significant coursework in the Classics. John Paul Jones espoused that every naval officer should be a gentleman of liberal education. Irving Glick certainly agreed with that maxim. Jones also said that an officer should be punctiliously courteous. That doesn’t necessarily apply here, but I’ve always wanted to use the word ”punctilious” in a sentence.
While attending college, Lt. Glick earned his tuition, room, board, and spending money as an Almond Knocker. For the uninitiated, an Almond Knocker knocks almonds from trees for Picker Uppers to pick them up. This job, of course, was viable only during the very short almond-picking season. The rest of the time, Irving earned his daily bread, not to mention his daily six-pack of beer, by enthralling carnival sideshow audiences as a human pincushion, and by his expertise as a glass and fire-eater.
Lt. Glick attended flight training under the Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) program, which also is confusing, because the NAVCAD program required only two years of college rather than the baccalaureate degree that he had earned. It could be that the Navy didn’t place great store in Irving’s fluency in Greek and Latin, considering it less than essential for a naval aviator.
Lt. Glick earned his wings of gold and was designated a naval aviator in June 1960. He immediately reported to Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE at Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine, arriving on 30 June – as a lieutenant. This was recorded in Lt. Glick’s official service record by Lt. Peter W. Ferriso, USN on 27 August 1960. However, his official Officer Biography Sheet dated 3 August 1964 records his date of rank as a lieutenant as 1 March 1964. The fact that Lt. Ferriso himself did not even report to VP-21 until 24 August 1963 further compounds the confusion. In any event, depending on whether we accept the 30 June 1960 date or the 1 March 1964 date, Lt. Glick is the longest serving lieutenant in the history of the United States Navy. He has served at his current rank for as long as 45 years as of 30 June 2005, or for as short as 41 years as of 1 March 2005. In either case, he has a unique, strange, and confused record.
The difference in the two official dates of rank (perchance he was demoted and then re-promoted) also attests to the complexity of his record, as does the fact that he was assigned as the Patrol Plane Commander (PPC) of Combat Air Crew 18 by Commander, John Orrill, Commanding Officer, VP-21 on 18 November 1965, even though he was not designated as a PPC by Captain Thomas R. McClellan, Commander, Fleet Air Wing THREE until 27 June 1966. Since neither squadron commanding officers nor wing commanders can ever be wrong, anyone attempting to compile an accurate biography of Lt. Glick is faced with a real dilemma.
It should be noted that Commander Orrill’s supporting documentation for Lt. Glick’s PPC recommendation marked him below average on all items on the check sheet – except that he received an above average mark for starting the jets. Everyone will recall, of course, that starting the jets was a “very difficult procedure requiring considerable skill and ingenuity.” Commodore McClellan’s official endorsement included the statement “Warmest personal regards,” the only such personal comment he ever included on any PPC endorsement. He did it only because of his great admiration of Lt. Glick’s unique qualities, and the fact that Irving always lost to the Commodore when they played “Horses” at the O’ Club bar.
It is indicative of Lt. Glick’s devotion to duty that he also was married on 30 June 1960. Forsaking a honeymoon, or even a wedding night, Irving, and his new bride Daisy Bell (nee Snodgrass) Glick reported for his first operational tour and moved into a house at 244 West Circle Street, Brunswick, Maine, where he and Daisy Bell reside to this day. Such dedication on the part of a naval officer is unprecedented. However, there is no record of Daisy Bell’s reaction to this. That could explain how Lt. Glick achieved the rank of lieutenant right out of the NAVCAD program. Or, as indicated earlier, the 30 June 1960 date of rank as lieutenant could have been a mistake, in which case, Lt. Ferriso has a lot of explaining to do.
However, Irving’s previous experience as a professional fire-eater might explain why he was promoted to lieutenant immediately out of flight training. I ask you, does anyone know of any other ensign or lieutenant junior grade who can actually eat fire? (Captains and commanders have been known to breathe fire, but lieutenants can rarely eat it). Upon arriving at NASB, Lt. Glick was greeted by Lt. (jg) Tom Betterton who was assigned as his sponsor, charged with helping him to get settled in his new assignment and inculcating (another word I’ve always wanted to use) him in all the important squadron requirements – such as obligatory attendance at Happy Hour.
Upon checking into VP-21, Lt. Glick immediately fell into the normal routine of any newly assigned junior officer – gaining experience as a patrol plane navigator/pilot; assuming such collateral duties as Junior Officer Protection Association (JOPA) Trouble Shooter, Crisis Consultant, and Panic Precipitator; completing required officer development courses; and drinking beer. His diligence and hard work paid off. By the time he was designated a Patrol Plane Commander on 18 November 1965, or 27 June 1966, or whenever, Lt. Glick had accumulated a total of 17 pilot hours in the SP-2H. However, he was a little short on landings, have logged exactly none during this same period. As a result of his efforts he was awarded neither a “Standard Instrument Rating” nor a “Special Instrument Rating.” Rather, he received the only “Below Standard Instrument Rating” ever presented to anyone below the rank of commander, a truly noteworthy achievement. Also during the period, he completed a 28-day Wave Hygiene Course, a 28-day Julie Gibson at the Park in Washington, DC series of lectures, and a 28-day Followership School where he graduated with honors. There is no record as to the number of beers he consumed but it is reported to have been prodigious.
What Lt. Glick lacked in flight hours, he more than made up for in superior military bearing. As the result of his recruiting poster good looks, he was personally selected by the Chief of Naval Operations to pose for a composite picture depicting the epitome of the heroic naval aviator. There are some detractors, obviously jealous of Irving’s many accomplishments, who will state that Irving’s good looks are really the result of the genius of Dave Wilding, a Photographer’s Mate of great renown (Irving does vaguely resemble Lcdr. Phil Connell). Whatever the truth, there is no question that Irving deserved the honor. That photograph later turned out to be the cause of a major security alert. More will be said about that later.
The Lebanon Crisis (or how Lt. Glick earned the gratitude of the U.S. Air Force)
Then, Lt. Glick managed, following the consumption of several of the aforementioned bottles of beer, to fall into the barbecue pit at the Officers’ Club during a cookout being conducted by an Air Force fighter squadron. The Air Force was again suitably grateful to Lt. Glick for pointing out the weaknesses in their facilities safety program. In recognition, the Air Force banned our entire squadron from entering the O’ Club.
Lastly, Lt. Glick led a flight of five P2s in a step down mining formation on a low pass down the Incirlik duty runway, in the opposite direction of the landing traffic, to demonstrate to the Air Force that it really was possible to safely fly an aircraft below 20 thousand feet. In gratitude for this important lesson, the entire squadron was sent back to Malta early and requested (ordered) never to return).
(It is obvious that, since Lt. Glick did not report to VP-21 until 1960, and did not even commence flight training until 1959, it would have been difficult for him to accomplish all these things in 1958. However, it has to be so, for who else could possibly have done such marvelous things?)
Upon leaving the Indoctrination Battalion and being assigned to Battalion II, I first saw Lt. Glick’s photo hanging on our Battalion’s duty office wall in a place of honor where it was meant to serve as an inspiration for generations of BATT II cadets who could only hope to be as successful in their future Navy careers as had been Lt. Glick. I seem to recall seeing photographs of the then Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral David L. McDonald, and the Secretary of the Navy Paul H. Nitze, next to a photograph of our class officer Lt. Dickinson, and our two Gunnery Sergeants, Sergeants Maxwell and Howard. These photos were merely there to provide us with our first exposure to the ”chain of command” and where we were to fit into it. But I digress. Off to one side, all by itself, in a place of honor near the duty office coffee mess was the photo of Lt. Irving H. Glick, USNR where it was illuminated both day and night by a high intensity halogen light in much the same fashion that sacred icons are illuminated by votive candles. Similarly, in Battalion II we came to hold Lt. Glick with a equal amount of reverence as would be displayed by any penitent in any house of worship.
Who can forget the many duties relegated to the Battalion’s 24-hour watch stander? Certainly there were the numerous public address system calls for the commencement of evening study hours in which the cadets were to study Power Plants, Hydraulics, Airframes, Basic Navigation, Naval History, and Naval Traditions, which was my particular favorite in that it essentially dealt with only one topic, and that was my having to salute anything that moved. Then there were the calls for ”Lights Out” at which everyone in the Battalion would climb into their racks for a well-deserved night’s sleep, except for the watch stander. Immediately after lights out and the first fire watch rounds being made, it was the watch standers duty to open the lower right desk drawer and remove the always full bottle of Windex and the well worn white Turkish Toweling and clean Lt. Glick’s photo of the numerous finger prints that had accumulated on it during the day, for who amongst us could not help but touch his smiling countenance and utter a hope that our future careers could emulate that of the legendary Lt. Irving H. Glick, USNR, and Battalion II alumnus.
The stories of Lt. Glick’s tenure in Battalion II where he was to spend almost fifty two weeks on his way to receiving his commission as an Lieutenant USNR are legend. Certainly, no one can forget the exploits of Lt. Glick and his classmate, Ens. Delbert Dilbert USN, (Ret).
Prior to arriving in Pensacola, Irving Glick thought it to be in his best interest to read as much about the Navy and Naval Service as could be found in the library back in Humansville, MO., which was not much. In any event, Irving was quickly able to learn the various differences in the officer and enlisted rank structure of the Navy vs. that used in the Army, and Air Force, etc. However, it was Irving’s learning of such trivia that was to expose him to the severe discipline meted out at Pensacola for anyone who was thought to be mocking the system. Thus, on his first day in the Indoctrination Battalion, the future Lt. Glick upon seeing his first senior enlisted member of the OCS cadre quickly greeted Gunnery Sergeant Bulldog Jones with a snappy salute, a big smile and a ”How yah doing, Chief?”. Irving’s first day at OCS was to ensure his continuing presence on the “Grinder” with his M1 rifle for the next 52 weeks where he was to become a master at close order drill and the manual of arms. In week 26 on the Grinder Irving was able to discern the difference between Present Arms and Parade Rest and from there on his proficiency and knowledge of the manual of arms became legendary, not only throughout Battalion II, but the entire OCS community. Matter of fact, Irving was ultimately recommended for a position on the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team but was ultimately rejected by the Commandant of the Marines due to his not having yet left boot camp and thus his needing to remain in Pensacola. However, ultimately it was thought it would be rather odd to have a naval officer as a member of Marine Corps’ most prestigious Marine Corps marching unit, regardless of his accomplishments.
When it came to Battalion sports on Saturday, when every Battalion would field teams in a whole host of sports, Irving found his true calling. Although he had never played Water Polo previously, Irving could be counted upon to show up at the pool with a Polo mallet even though he would never use it in a game. Similarly, when asked to play on the Battalion’s tennis team, Irving responded that he had never played singles, but was an expert at mixed doubles. For the next four weeks the DI would send Irving off to play mixed doubles only to finally recall that at this period of time there were no female members of the Corps of Cadets in Pensacola. It was later learned that upon his arrival at the base’s tennis court and not seeing any female players with whom he could engage in a game of mixed doubles, Irving would kill the morning by hitting a tennis ball against a green sheet of plywood with a white line painted upon it to simulate a net. When reporting back to the Battalion where he was asked by the DI how the team had done in mixed doubles, Irving would respond, ”we aced them.” Later, when it was learned that Irving had been playing with himself, there was hell to pay and additional time in close order drill on the grinder.
The highlight of Irving’s tenure at Pensacola came as a result of his hanging around with Delbert Dilbert. It was while Irving and Delbert were siphoning gas from one of the station’s tow tractors down on the sea plane ramp into Delbert’s Datsun that they noted that Delbert had failed to set the brakes and the Datsun was ever so slowly preceding down an old seaplane launch ramp into Escambia Bay. Delbert, at great risk to himself quickly dove through the car’s open window in an effort to apply the brakes and avert the car proceeding into the bay. Unfortunately for Delbert the car continued to gain momentum as it preceded down the launch ramp and ultimately flipped over when it came to the end, which resulted in Delbert becoming trapped underwater in his Datsun. Through the timely intervention of Irving, Delbert was rescued from his now dunked Datsun. Irving would subsequently be awarded a life saving award to commemorate his efforts in rescuing Delbert, but more importantly, would be forgiven for trying to siphon gas from the tow tractor. Later on, both Delbert and Irving would be immortalized when this whole tragic affair resulted in the Training Device Men (TD’s) capitalizing on what was thought to be Irving’s and Delbert’s ”idea”, i.e. the invention of the Delbert Dilbert Datsun Dunker which would go on to become one of the most successful training aids ever employed to teach aspiring Aviators about water survival after a cold cat shot. Since that time, the device has become more familiarly known as just ”The Dilbert Dunker” and makes no recognition of Irving’s involvement in its design.
The stories of Irving and his fifty-two week tenure in Battalion II at NAS Pensacola are legend and I defer to other members of the Battalion to add their memories to these pages. Too, those truly interested in additional information are invited to visit the Irving Glick Memorial Duty Office at Battalion II, hard against the seawall at NAS Pensacola, Florida where there is a file cabinet full of Irving memorabilia most notable of which are the files containing his demerit and on report slips filed away by numerous Marine Gunnery Sergeants, many of which are annotated ”Can you believe this?,” or my favorite, “I’ve been in the Corps for going on twenty years, been around the world at least twice, taken liberty in numerous ports many of which I cannot recall. When ashore, and at home I make sure to attend the county and state fairs. One time I even watched two goats going at it in a farmer’s field. But I ain’t never seen nothing like Officer Candidate Irving H. Glick.”
Much later in my own career when I learned that I was to be assigned to Patrol Squadron 21, the Blackjacks, at NAS Brunswick, I felt honored that I would be serving in the same outfit as Lt. Irving H. Glick, USNR.
Take Charge and move out (and fib a little)
The aircraft on station was understandably concerned, asking for an additional aircraft to lend support. This, of course, was impossible because the only remaining aircraft was scheduled to relieve the one on station. Operational Immediate messages were flying back and forth among the on-station aircraft, the squadron, and Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean. COMFAIRMED wanted direct telephone contact with the Commanding Officer, but the Commanding Officer was not available. He had departed on liberty just before the first submarine was contacted and, because of the primitive communications available in Sicily in 1960, was not able to be located. This is where Lt. Glick really showed his mettle. Over a several hour period, Lt. Glick was able to hold off the demands of COMFAIRMED to personally address the CO through a series of artistic prevarications. When the CO finally returned, he took charge of the situation, and Lt. Glick was able to get some well-earned rest (and several beers).
During the 1960 Sigonella deployment, VP-21’s Med detachment primary orders from COMFAIRMED were to patrol the Mediterranean, Ionian, and Adriatic seas for Soviet submarines and their attendant tenders. Of particular interest was the new (commissioned in 1958) Soviet K-3 nuclear submarine. From SOSUS contacts it was believed that the new Soviet K-3, while thought to be home-ported at the Kola peninsula in the northern Pacific, may have transited into the Mediterranean. This was based on a new and unusual SOSUS detection at the Iceland array. While Naval Intelligence and NATO apparently knew of the K-3’s existence, no one within ONI and NATO had ever seen one.
Lt.(jg) Bob Nelson’s crew 12 of VP-21’s Keflavik detachment had previously detected, via their MAD/ JEZEBEL/ JULIE equipment complement, what may have been the K-3 just southwest of Ireland at about 52 deg N lat., 15 deg. W long., transiting south. It was logged as simply a very loud, here-to-fore unknown contact, which was subsequently lost due to weather encumbrance, requiring LH-12 to break off and return to base.
A week later, LH-6 of VP-21’s Mediterranean detachment had been on-station for almost eight hours doing their night patrol search pattern on an assigned area off the coast of Albania, just south of the Strait of Otranto. LH-6 was due to be relieved by LH-10 in about two hours. There had been several MAD hits during their eight hour patrol, but all these contacts appeared to be long-ago sunken cargo ships and freighters since none could be confirmed with JEZEBEL by Dave Webster, AT1, who was monitoring the dropped sonobuoys at the JEZEBEL position. While Dave was receiving a continuous and strong signal from all of the sonobuoys of an apparent submarine contact, it could not be attributed to any of the MAD hits since the signal indicated the contact must be moving at a speed in excess of 22 knots, and all of the MAD hits so far were stationary (Remember…we didn’t have the DIFAR sonobuoys in 1960, we had only the omni-directional types). Each of these MAD contacts were duly logged with their latitude and longitude positions by the navigator, Lt.(jg) William O’Connell, who would pass them, and the new JEZEBEL signature info onto their relief crew, and the squadron Intel Officer.
LH-10 managed to depart Sigonella almost on schedule to relieve LH-6. The short delay was caused by the previous evening’s liberty where Lt. Glick had led crew 10 through downtown Catania on a `wine and cheese tasting’ tour. This was to be part of crew 10’s Sicilian cultural education as Lt. Glick was a firm believer in a well-rounded, liberal education for all . Lt. Horst `Al’ Petrich, normally the PPC of crew 10, had started this tradition in Malta back in 1958, and it became quite popular with all the flight crews. Lt. Petrich’s personal preference, however, was for beer and bratwurst in lieu of wine and cheese. Lt. Petrich also had a gift and passion for song. Those in attendance will always remember his late night performance of “Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles” while standing on a table top in a downtown Valetta bar where he received much kudos and the admiration of his crew. He did several encores that night to the delight of his crew, but to the disdain of most of the locals who still remembered the Nazis. However, Lt. Petrich was called back to the U.S. on emergency leave, and Lt. Glick was mistakenly assigned his duties as PPC of LH-10 (Mistakenly because no record of Lt. Glick’s qualification as PPC was on file, nor was such indicated in his logbook).
In spite of having been given proper instruction by Lt. Glick, the `wine and cheese’ event had seriously decimated crew 10 that night, primarily because the crew refused to expel the wine after tasting it. This was un-natural and anathema to all members of VP-21 and violated all that they held dear (inherent repulsion to waste and sacrilege and good economic sense). Consequently, only Lt.s Glick, and Locke, Lt.(jg) Willey, Angie Spera, PC; `Mac’ McHenry, AE2; Mathis, ATC, Eldon `Ed’ Edens, AM2; and `Big Andy’ Anderson, AO3 of crew 10 managed to make muster that morning (although Big Andy couldn’t seem to remember his name or where he was). Lt. Glick thought that putting him on pure oxygen for awhile would solve the problem). Actually, all of the crew 10 members went to the oxygen bottles immediately upon pre-flight prep. Fortunately, Angie Spera had the foresight to commandeer extra oxygen for the flight and kept a container for his personal use.
The crew 10 radar operator, M. Bonay, AT2, and Neil Kirkwood, AO3 (crew 7) were thought to be incarcerated in the Catania jail as a result of urinating on the shoes of some of the local Caribinerri. While the urination charge was never admitted to, Lt. Glick exercised his great diplomacy skills next day and Bonay and Kirkwood were released into his charge, but magically disappeared once free outside the jail . The remainder of the absent crew 10 members simply could not be roused or found, and off-duty crewmembers from crew 7 were `pressed’ (Shangaied) into service by Lt. Glick and PC Spera, following well-established Navy tradition. After Navy retirement, Angie Spera would make his home in Brunswick and join its police force.
Lt. Locke would fly as copilot, and would later remark on Lt. Glick’s unorthodox flight procedures and aircraft handling technique. Occasionally, during the outbound flight to relieve LH-6, Lt. Locke could be heard yelling a “what the f— are you doing?” The PC was heard to utter only a simple “shit“. After the flight Lt. Locke apologized to Lt. Glick and the crew, stating that Lt. Glick’s unorthodoxy was actually unique and extremely innovative and that no doubt the Navy would have to revise it’s flight training curriculum to model Lt. Glick’s techniques and procedures. Lt. Locke went on to praise Lt. Glick further as a fine Naval Aviator, and gentleman of the highest order. Lt. (jg) Bruce Willey, who would man the Navigator/ TACCO positions echoed Lt. Locke’s praise with a “what he said”, while pointing his finger at Lt. Locke. PC Angie Spera only repeated his previous expletive.
Sam `Pappy’ Glick, AT1 (no relation to Lt. Glick) normally the Radioman on crew 7, manned the JEZEBEL position (which was fortunate for Sam since he had done a little `wine tasting’ of his own the previous night), and seated directly behind the PC, shared Angie’s oxygen bottle). Larry `Mac’ McHenry manned the MAD position. This would be Mac’s last flight as he was mustering out of the service that week. He would go back home to Indianapolis, marry Carol, and become a deputy sheriff for Marion county and retire there as the Marion County sheriff. (None of the allegations of malfeasance-in-office against Mac while sheriff were ever proven). Frank Balogh Jr., AT2P2, also from crew 7, manned the RADAR and JULIE positions. Frank would be `pressed into service again many years later primarily through the instigations of (then) Lt. (jg) Nelson, to be webmaster for the VP-21/ VPB-111 Veterans Association. Chief Mathis manned the Radio position, and `Big Andy’ and Ed Edens would man the after-station Ordnance positions (when Andy was able to remember the difference between a PDC and a sonobuoy). Ike Wooten manned the ECM position.
LH-10 arrived on-station, and all tracking and contact intel was passed from LH-6. Sam Glick had already started monitoring the sonobuoys dropped by LH-6 and confirmed the omnipresent submarine contact signal on JEZEBEL. LH-10’s assigned search area was north of LH-6’s and they transited to that area, all the while continuing to monitor the continuous contact signal and confirming LH-6’s previous MAD hits. The JEZEBEL signal had a very good signal-to-noise ratio so that the signature was clear. The signature showed two propellers at high revolutions, strong cavitation, and what appeared to be very strong engine noise, although not having the character of any known diesel. No diesel boat ever made this much noise. Cavitation also indicated a hull much larger than any known diesel. Sam said he would bet his flight pay that it was a `nuc’. At that time, JEZEBEL training didn’t include any sample nuclear signatures, say from our own Nautilus class, which would have helped a JEZEBEL operator to recognize a nuclear powered boat. That data was considered just too sensitive to distribute among the VP and VS squadrons in 1960.
With such a strong signal, it was thought that the `nuc’ must be very close, and that she must have been aware of our presence since LH-6 had dropped in excess of 50 PDCs in their JULIE search area. But as we transited north, the signal actually increased in strength, and about 60 miles into our search area, the Inter-Com came alive as Mac announced “MAD MAN, MAD MAN” and a smoke marker was dropped. The P2V-7 then immediately started pitching a bit. This was because Lt. Glick had started to doze off and, startled by the “MAD MAN” announcement, had violently jerked the yoke momentarily. The PC muttered his previous invective again and offered his oxygen container to Lt. Glick who promptly took a few breaths. While Lt. Glick was recovering from what he termed a `myoclonic pulse’, Lt. Locke quickly re-trimmed and stabilized the Neptune and started a 360 turn to fly back over the smoke marker. The JEZEBEL signal was now stronger than ever. We were now about 50 miles southwest of Sazan Island. As we came back over the marker, Mac again announced: MAD MAN”, but said that the MAD signal was not as strong as before. The contact was moving. It was a submarine. Lt. Glick decided a JULIE exercise was called for and we dropped a standard search pattern around the smoke marker with a new set of sonobuoys.
The guess was that the sub was heading for Sazan Island which was protected by the Albanian 10 mile territorial sea limit. Lt. Glick said that the latest Intel was that the Albanians were about to kick the Soviets and their submarine flotilla off of Sazan Island. Albania provided the Soviet Union with a strategically located base for a submarine flotilla at Sazan Island, west of Vlorë, which gave it access to the Mediterranean Sea. However, The Chinese apparently were now in the Albanians’ favor, so the Soviets were going to have to leave.
PDCs were dropped on the reference smoke marker and the JULIE operator, Frank Balogh, called out the contact’s echo distances from each sonobuoy in the pattern for triangulation to the TACCO, Lt. (jg) Bruce Willey. Bruce calculated the echo distances reported by JULIE and determined that the contact was moving northeast at 22 knots, straight for Sazan. Flying over this projected course gave us another MAD confirmation. He wasn’t trying to evade us, though he surely must have known he had been detected and was being tracked. We continued to track him with one more JULIE pattern, then with only the MAD gear, since she did not deviate from her northeasterly course toward Sazan. Sam Glick continued to record the contact’s JEZEBEL signature and reported that indeed, she had not changed ballast, course or speed. she was destined for Sazan and “once she enters within the 10 mile territorial limit, we cannot follow without violating Albanian sovereignty, and standing orders from COMFAIRMED not to pursue into territorial limits”, quoted Lt. Locke.
Lt. Glick seemed reluctant to acknowledge, apparently deep in thought. Of course, both lieutenants were probably thinking the same thing: that if the contact was really the newly commissioned K-3, and that it might surface once it was within the safety and isolation of the flotilla, it would be a great, lost opportunity to sit ten miles out with a really good JEZEBEL signature, but nothing else to identify and confirm the contact – like a really good set of high resolution photos of the boat on the surface. But rules are rules, and orders are orders, and certainly these two young career naval aviators (officers and gentlemen too) were not about to screw up those careers by disobeying a direct order. Besides, it was apparent to all that such a violation could be interpreted as an act of aggression by the Albanians, and this would give our State Department a bad case of heartburn (which we would eventually suffer as well) let alone having a MIG-17 or a SAM possibly take us out of the sky. It appeared we would have to soon break off our pursuit and let the contact escape into Albanian waters.
But Lt. Glick was recalling the previous evening’s wine & cheese trek through Catania. Hadn’t he met the Albanian Commerce Minister at the British Officers Club? And wasn’t that Albanian there on an official visit to Malta representing Albanian exports? And hadn’t Lt. Glick charmed and impressed the Albanian with his knowledge of eastern European wines and cheeses, not to mention his recitations of romantic poets like Ovid, Lord Byron and Elizabeth Browning? And hadn’t the Albanians invited Lt. Glick and crew to their own wine, cheese, and cultural exhibition being held this very week at Vlore’? (Angie Spera referred to these events as a `goat soiree’ since most of the cheeses were produced from goat’s milk).
Note: It must be said here that Lt. Glick’s charm and extensive liberal education in the arts and languages (he purportedly spoke and read Latin, Aramaic, and Greek, as well as a number of forgotten African dialects) were a source of much jealousy and consternation within the officer corps of VP-21. Most would say that such an education as that of Lt. Glick’s was a waste of time for a Naval Aviator, that studies in engineering, physics, and mathematics were more appropriate. Later on ,however, after his numerous aviation and political exploits, Lt. Glick would become the defacto model for the consummate Naval Aviator, which remains to this day. This is also the major reason that the Naval Aviator will always remain superior to Army and Air Force aviators.
Lt. Glick then announced, “Bill, we’re going to make this mission one of a “cultural exchange”. I believe we should accept the invitation tendered last night to attend the wine, cheese, and goat soiree at Vlore’ which is in progress this week.” Bill Locke looked like he had just bitten into his survival kit cheese bar.“WTF are you talking about Irv!!! Lt. Glick then summarized the previous night’s adventure and his meeting with the Albanian Commerce Minister and subsequent invitation. “If we’re invited”, said Lt. Glick, “we’re not in violation of orders”. “But we don’t have permission from COMFAIRMED or even the skipper to land at Vlore’,” said Lt. Locke. “I’ll take that responsibility as PPC”, said Lt. Glick. “It’ll be OK. You’ll see”. “I just have dig out his calling card and send him a message letting him know we’re accepting his invitation”. “Irv, I think that some of that goat cheese you’ve been ingesting is fermenting in your brain”. There’s no way the Albanians are going to let a U.S. Navy military aircraft land at Vlore’ without arresting the crew and confiscating our aircraft too,” said Lt. Locke. “This is not a good idea Irv. We would be court martialled”. “Sure it is”, replied Lt. Glick. “That sub will be within the ten mile limit in about an hour. When that happens, we’ll go by the book and stand down and continue to monitor and record the JEZEBEL parameters from a legal position. By then we may have an answer”, said Lt. Glick. “What answer?” demanded Lt. Locke. “Why, the answer giving us permission to land at the Vlore’ commercial airport, of course”, replied Lt. Glick. “You worry too much Bill. Lets just continue tracking our little friend down there while I give chief Mathis some special radio instructions”. And with that he removed his headset, unbuckled his harness, and was over the wing-beam to huddle with chief Mathis, A few minutes later Lt. Glick came back over the wing-beam. “That should take care of it”, said Lt. Glick as he settled back into his seat.
Lt. Locke really didn’t want to ask `what’ would take care of `it’. He had a fleeting thought he might be able to get off easier at their courts martial if he didn’t know anything. But he knew better. Ignorance was never a very good defense. OK he thought, in for a penny, in for a pound. “That should take care of what”, asked Lt. Locke. “What have you gotten us into?” “Take it easy Bill”, said Lt. Glick. “All I did was ask the chief to find a ham radio operator in the area to call the Apollonia Hotel in Vlore’ and pass on our invitation acceptance to the Commerce Minister. I also requested his kindness in filing a flight plan and permission to land at Vlore’ International for us. By the way, I gave him an ETA of three hours from now.
Mr. Locke seemed stunned a bit. He was silent for several minutes, still focused on driving the Neptune and tracking the contact. Then he started laughing, slowly and quietly at first, then with more frequency and volume. The crew became a bit nervous and worried over Lt. Locke. “This is a joke. Right? Those two SOBs Bob Nelson and Tom Betterton put you up to this didn’t they”, Lt. Locke asked, although it sounded more like a statement, wanting confirmation. “You’re putting me on. Aren’t you?” Recognizing Mr. Locke was a bit upset, Mr. Glick suggested Mr. Locke go to the after-station to take a short nap as his crew rest period was due. Mr. Locke happily slid over the wing-beam, chuckling to himself. Ed Edens later reported that he had heard Mr. Locke mumbling some invectives toward Lt.(jg)s Nelson and Betterton, but gave it no special credence since it was not uncommon to hear this type of expression toward pilots, and especially toward Mr. Nelson.
About an hour later the navigator, Mr. Willey, reported to Mr. Glick that he believed the contact was now within the ten mile territorial limit. This was confirmed by RADAR and LORAN. Lt. Glick then dutifully broke off pursuit and established a position just west of the territorial limit off the island of Sazan. Almost immediately following this was a report from Radio that a message had been received for Lt. Glick. Lt. Glick asked Radio to send the message over the wing-beam. As Mr. Glick read the message his face brightened with a large ear-ear grin (those familiar with Lt. Glick’ grin might describe it as sardonic, or even grotesque. Such is the fate of a composite aviator). He stuffed the message into an upper pocket in his flight suit and turned the Neptune due east toward Vlore’. Lt. Locke, realizing they were now traveling toward the ten mile limit and would violate it if they continued on this course, immediately scampered back over the wing-beam and resumed his objections and concerns to Lt. Glick.
We were going to Vlore’ at the official invitation of the Albanian government. The Albanian Ministry of Commerce invitation came via a radio/ telephone relay by a HAM radio operator in Nova Scotia who coincidentally was an admirer of Lt. Irving H. Glick. Apparently Lt. Glick was the subject of much excitement all over Eastern Canada when he had caught the largest herring (Clupea Harengus) ever recorded in Nova Scotia, using only his standard Navy issued survival kit hook-and-line to do it. What he refused to tell the Canadians (when asked what bait was used), was that he had baited the hook with a piece of the survival kit cheese. Confirmation of the landing permission came over the VHF radio with landing instructions.
The Ministry had filed a flight plan on our behalf, issued permission to land at Vlore’ International airport, and reserved rooms at the hotel for the entire crew. Angie Spera was overjoyed with the prospect of more wine and cheese. Mr. Locke was still trying to digest the day’s events as he read Lt. Glick’s radio message. Mr. Glick tuned up Vlore’s Omni frequency and Vlore’s VHF approach frequency, briefed the crew on our landing at Vlore’ over the intercom and ordered all landing preparations. Mr. Locke encrypted our position report and landing plans for an HF Morse transmission back to the squadron and COMFAIRMED. Big Andy was taking a nap.
After “gear down and locked” was announced Lt. Locke noticed that Lt. Glick seemed quite nervous now that we were on our final approach. His knuckles were white too. Lt. Locke looked at Lt. Glick and asked him (without using the intercom) if there was a problem? Lt. Glick sheepishly replied that “yes, I’ve never actually landed a P2”. Angie repeated his favorite invective. “Looks like this will be your first then”, said Lt. Locke. “Irv, we’ve got a nice a long runway, daylight, clear weather, and no crosswinds. Do it! And after a series of verbal prompts from Lt. Locke, Lt. Glick made a picture-perfect landing at Vlore’. Lt. Locke was impressed. This was an historic day. We would be the first U.S. military aircraft to ever legally land on Albanian soil during the `cold war’, and it would also be Lt. Glick’s `check ride’ in a Neptune P2. Afterwards, Lt. Glick duly made the entry the into his logbook.
We were met at the airport by two Fiat vans, the Minister of Commerce and his entourage, and six armed guards. Sam (Pappy) Glick would stay with the Neptune to guard it and it’s classified JEZEBEL equipment and documentation. He would do this with nothing more than a single clip 45 automatic. Frank Balogh would relieve Sam at midnight, and chief Mathis would relieve Frank at 0400. Planned takeoff next morning was at 0900. The six armed guards escorted us into the vans with what little gear we had. As we departed the airport we noted three photographers with large format cameras photographing our Neptune. This was going to be a propaganda dream for the Communist Albanians.
We were not expecting to act as U.S. Navy ambassadors on this day, so no one brought a change of clothing – with the lone exception of Lt. Glick, who had packed his pristine summer mess dress whites. Lt. Glick believed the Naval Aviator should always be prepared for any circumstance (Neptune landings notwithstanding). The rest of us were wearing our uniforms-of-the-day under our flight suits which were khakis and dungarees, and which were mostly sweaty and smelled a bit. We arrived at the hotel, were assigned two to a room, had a shower, had lunch in the hotel restaurant, and were informed that we would be restricted to the hotel. No liberty! The armed guards were now deployed at all hotel exits. We would, however, get a guided tour of the city from the perspective of a bus, by the local commissar of tourism. Later on that evening we would once again partake of the promised wine and cheese. Big Andy expressed his desire for some beer and Bratwurst, as only he could, in his own, unique manner and language (a form of mumbling familiar to all, but understood by few).
The soiree went on as planned and we had our fill of the local grape and dairy products. The Minister of Commerce then introduced us as honored guests from the United States Navy to the soiree participants. We listened to many speeches in the Albanian language by the local city government, the local Communist Party, and the Minister of Commerce. We learned through our interpreter that the city of Vlore’ was looking for a U.S. sister-city, that Communism was a paradise for the working man, and that Albanian industry and agriculture had no equal on the planet. Angie repeated his favorite one syllable invective. Big Andy slept through the speeches. Big Andy had earlier managed to procure some local sausages and beer from the hotel kitchen staff, but had somehow frightened them severely in the process. We understood their fright. As a result, Big Andy was assigned his own armed guard – who always stayed at least five yards behind Andy.
Lt. Glick was then asked to speak. Lt. Glick, in his pristine summer dress white uniform, with copious military decorations adorning his chest, most of which none of us could identify. Lt. Glick then gallantly made his way to the podium and began speaking – in Albanian! (that liberal education again). We were amazed, and the Albanians were shocked. Lt. Glick was definitely an impressive figure. Through our interpreter we learned that he spoke on the subjects of US Naval Airpower, Naval Science, Agriculture, Commerce, Philosophy, Social Reform, Aviation Research, Space Travel, Papal History, and conceptualized the Personal Computer and Ebay, and predicted that Al Gore would invent the Internet. We could see that the audience was very impressed. So were we. Who was Al Gore? His parting gesture was to propose Brunswick, Maine, as a candidate sister city for Vlore’. He departed the podium to a thundering round of applause. But just above the applause could be heard a lone female voice, pining, “We love you Irving H”.
While the soiree participants had previously treated us with respect and courtesy, they now looked at us in a new light. They were wondering, of course, if all Americans (excepting maybe Big Andy) were so profoundly educated. Or was it just American sailors? Could it be that American democracy offered more than Marx and Lenin? This night could have been the beginning of the end for European Communism. The seeds of doubt were obviously sewn here in Vlore’. However, contemporary history makes no mention of Lt. Glick or VP-21’s role in the demise of Communism. Even our own State Department today refuses to acknowledge that this event ever took place. Ah! Jealousy rears it’s ugly head again. We had obviously “sent our very best”.
Next morning we were escorted back to the airport, but now we rode in new Mercedes Benz limousines, and had a brass band playing us through our refueling, pre-flight checks, and engines start-ups. They played Anchors Aweigh over and over. Lt. Glick saluted the bandmaster from the cockpit as we started taxiing out to the end of the runway. Albanian Air Ops had pointed out the restricted areas on our maps and warned us to stay clear, which was obvious from our flight instructions as well. We would also have a two-MIG-17s escort out of Albanian territorial limits. While underway we could see the MIG pilots, flying at each wingtip, grinning ear-to-ear for the honor of escorting the great Lt. Irving H. Glick.
Lt. Glick had requested and received permission to fly around the city of Vlore’ and its surrounding areas to take in it’s beauty and take photographs before out-bounding southwest. After twenty minutes the lead MIG-17 called us on VHF and announced that we should now depart Vlore’ on a southwest vector. Lt. Glick replied with a request for another five minutes and immediately descended to 500 feet. Despite the numerous Albanian orders to increase altitude and depart, Lt. Glick continued to crisscross the center of the city at 500 feet (and lower) for the next 90 minutes. “What are they going to do, remarked Lt. Glick. Shoot us down with a full load of fuel right over the center of the city”? Of course the MIGs would not fly at our low altitude and stayed at about 2500 feet. Finally, Lt. Glick headed southwest with the MIGs directly above us., apologizing profusely for our extended stay and explaining that it was extremely difficult. to depart such a lovely city and eclectic culture.
The MIGs stayed with us across the Vlore’ bay and the southwestern peninsula to just beyond the ten mile limit, waggled their wings and reversed course. The MIG pilots said their farewells to Lt. Glick individually over the VHF radio, once again expressing their collective admiration and hopes that he would visit their country again in the near future. “Long live the Blackjacks” was their parting gesture of respect. Lt. Glick acknowledged their kudos with a tremendous ear-toear smile and a humble hand-salute.
We were now about 50 miles almost due south of Sazan. Lt. Glick now asked Lt. (jg) Willey to confirm our position, and asked Lt. Locke how long the MIGs had been airborne.
“Two hours ten minutes” came the reply.
“Radar: Where are the MIGs now?”.
“Six miles at 032 degrees sir, heading 045 degrees“, reported Radar.
“Let me know if they deviate from that course RADAR”.
“Aye aye sir.
“ECM: Are there surveillance radars active in this area?”
“Aye sir. There’s a strong signal from a Soviet BARLOCK up the coast at Durres”.
“How about SAM radars?”
“No sir. Not at this time.”
Lt. Glick now spoke to Lt. Locke and the crew over the intercom. “Bill, I think the intel reports of the Soviets being kicked out of Sazan are true. He then detailed his reasoning:
1. The MIGs were flown by young, in-experienced Albanians.
2. There were no Soviets at last night’s soiree.
3. The SAM site at Sazan isn’t up.
4. The Soviets were supposed to be moving out of Sazan this week.
5. The Soviet air squadron at Sazan has apparently gone back to Mother Russia.
“Those escort MIGs are about out of fuel having had to escort us around town for two plus hours”, Lt. Glick said. “We can fly low and slow back over the Albanian mainland south of Vlore’ over Memaliaj and come out on a northwest vector to fly right over Sazan and photograph the entire base. That BARLOCK won’t be able to pick us out of the ground clutter while we’re over the Albanian mainland at 50 feet or less if we use those nice little valleys to our advantage. When we get to the bay we can drop down to 25 feet. By the time that radar picks us up again and alerts their Air Defense, we can complete our mission and be out to sea toward Italian waters. If we’re really lucky, we’ll catch that submarine contact on the surface. Why else would she have headed for Sazan if she could stay submerged? “Why not?”, exclaimed Lt. Locke with sarcastic resignation. “If we’re lucky maybe the MIGs will catch us and shoot us down. That way we may not have to attend our courts martial, because if by some miracle we should survive this mission, that is exactly what’s waiting for us”.
But despite Lt. Locke’s apparent protestations, the entire crew felt that Lt. Locke was just as eager to take advantage of the opportunity now being presented as was Lt. Glick. In fact, the crew, now fully conscious, with their adrenal glands in proper operating order, were grinning ear-to-ear with the prospect of imminent adventure. “No guts, no glory” came the anonymous exclamation over the intercom. It was obviously Big Andy, and Lt. Locke immediately rejoined with “pipe down Anderson! You and Edens get your aft cameras ready to take some pictures. Mac, get your camera ready too. If we get back to Sigonella without some damn good photos I will personally keel-haul all three of you. Lt. Locke then barked his orders to the rest of the crew:
“ECM, I want continuous monitoring and reporting of all the SAM frequencies and any surveillance radars sectoring on us.
RADAR, Report all aircraft targets within 50 miles and let us know if any aircraft attempt to intersect our course.
Bruce, Give us a best course heading to keep us over and through the mainland’s valleys then a vector to Sazan’s submarine base. Keep Radio updated on our position every five minutes.
RADIO, Prepare an encrypted message for Sigonella and COMFAIRMED of our projected course to be transmitted only upon my command. If we have to ditch, transmit an SOS in-the-clear with our updated position.
Angie, Set engines for low and slow flight”.
“This is going to be a great day, Bill. You’ll see,” said Lt. Glick while lowering the flaps and landing gear. “We’ll have a great tale to tell at the O club. Those Red Lancer (VP-10) clowns will be hard-pressed to match this one. By the way Bill, how do we turn off our IFF Responder?”
ECM confirmed that no radars were visible on his APR-9 and APR-13 Intercept receivers. RADAR confirmed no other aircraft within 50 miles, and only a few small watercraft which were probably fishing boats. Mr. Willey then came on the IC with his recommendation for a course change to 330 deg. Lt. Locke calibrated LH-10’s APN-22 Radar Altimeter against the barometric altimeter and slowly decreased altitude to 25 feet.
“Bruce: What is our ETA to Sazan” commanded Lt. Glick.
“Six minutes at present airspeed, sir”
“PPC to camera operators: When we arrive on-station I want you to focus your attention on anything that looks like a submarine.
Mac: Is your bow camera ready?”
“Bow camera is loaded and ready, sir”.
“Andy: How about your after-station cameras?”
“Port and starboard cameras loaded and ready, sir”, came Big Andy’s surprisingly alert and crisp reply.
“RADAR operator, Do you have your 35mm camera handy?” “Aye sir. Loaded with a brand new roll of Kodachrome.”
“OK. When we get on-station I want you to shoot over Angie’s shoulder until you’re out of film. Then get back to your position and strap in”.
“Aye-aye, sir” came Frank’s reply.
Frank immediately pulled his newly-purchased German Iloca 35mm out of the lower right-leg pocket of his flight suit which he had purchased in Pisa the week before. He set the focus ring to `infinity’ to assure no out-of-focus photos. He then set the aperture to f8, and the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second. It was a bright day, but Kodachrome was a very slow film. “That ought to be safe, he thought”.
The adrenaline was now pumping throughout the Neptune – almost as if the Neptune had it’s own adrenal glands. “Steady on course” came the recommendation from RADAR. At about a mile out from the island, Mac,using the Navy-issue binoculars, reported what he thought was the K-3, “at your eleven o’clock!” Frank hurried up to cockpit with his camera. Sure enough, a few seconds later, there was a surfaced submarine, larger than any they had seen before. “This must be it”, Lt. Glick exclaimed excitedly. Start those cameras”.
Frank used Angie’s shoulders to aim and help steady the 35mm camera, while the bow and after-station cameras were taking pictures as fast as the electrically operated film-advance mechanisms would allow. Lt. Glick was also photographing the submarine with his little 8mm Minox, while Lt. Locke drove the Neptune. “Godammit Irv, stow that camera and get your attention back to keeping this aircraft out of the brine”. Then, remembering that Lt. Glick was the PPC, added a “sir”, being a stickler for, and self-confessed advocate of military protocol.
Lt. Locke maneuvered the P2V-7 into a tight 360 around the target while the cameras did their jobs. We may not have been detected by any radars, but after two complete 360s, it was a sure bet that the Albanian Air Defense MIGs were, or would be, on their way soon.
“Pilot/ RADAR: Two fast approaching airborne targets at our three o’clock”“Time to get the hell out of here” Lt. Locke announced and immediately headed the Neptune due west increasing altitude to a safer 2500 feet. Lt. Glick dutifully raised the flaps and landing gear, and Angie, not waiting for any orders, set the prop pitch and engine rpms for a fast getaway. The Neptune was now shuddering a bit, but humming along nicely at 180 knots heading due west. A short moment later, there were the MIGs, above us at our three o’clock.
“US Navy Neptune you are in violation of Albanian sovereign territory. You will follow us to the military airfield at Sazan and land your aircraft”.
“No f-ing way!” exclaimed Mr. Locke to himself and Lt. Glick. “Bill, as PPC this is my responsibility. Let me handle this situation.” “I have the con”!
“Dammit Irv this is an airplane, not a f-ing submarine. You’re supposed to say `I have the aircraft’”. OK, then, `I have the aircraft’, he reluctantly corrected himself, his feelings a little hurt at the rebuke. Lt. Glick then pushed the yoke forward descending LH-10 at an alarmingly fast rate. Everyone felt their guts rise to their throats as gravity seemed to disappear. “Shhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit” was the unified response of the entire crew. In no time at all we were at 50 feet with gravity now reappearing in spades. “Dammit Irv, this is not a f-ing Mustang, it is a P2V-7 Neptune. And you’re not a fighter jock. You can’t do this shit!”. “Don’t get so upset, Bill. We’re going to be OK”. Lt. Glick then proceeded to level off at about 50 feet.
The lead MIG then gave the following warning:
“US Navy Neptune If you do not follow our instructions and reverse your course NOW, we will be forced to shoot you down. Acknowledge please”.
Almost over international waters, Lt. Glick gave no reply to the warning. “Can’t we go any faster” Lt. Glick asked Mr. Locke and Angie collectively? “Yeah”, replied Mr. Locke. “but we can’t outrun a damn MIG”.
The MIGs now peeled off of our wingtips and disappeared, and a moment later a very loud BANG was heard aft, and there was a strong draft of air felt throughout the fuselage. “WTF!!! What happened back there Andy, demanded Lt. Locke?” No reply from Andy.
Chief Mathis then came on the IC and reported that the MAD gear stinger cone had disappeared, and that Andy had come up to his ditching station in the RADIO compartment. “It looks (and smells) like Andy shit his pants”, Chief Mathis said. “Looks also like our ass end has been shot off”.
Ed Edens would admit later that he and Andy had `mooned’ the MIG pilots from the after-station hatches. This, of which insult they apparently took offense at, and the lack of a requested acknowledgement to their last warning, they used as their justification for firing on us. When confronted with this admission by the skipper sometime later, Andy admitted that, yes, they had done it, that it was terribly offensive and ungentlemanly. He then grinned broadly, looking the skipper in the eye, and said, “but I am very proud of it”. So were we.
“Bill, you have the `con’”. Lt. Locke happily accepted control of the aircraft and ignored Lt. Glick’s erroneous terminology . Without hesitation, Lt. Glick then switched the VHF radio to the 121.5 MHZ Guard channel frequency, cupped the microphone in both hands, and transmitted the following message in his lowest baritone voice:
“Navy Neptune this is Diamond 1 of VF-102 off the Forrestal. I am 50 miles at your 12 o’clock with five other venomous snakes Do you require assistance? “
VF-102 “Diamonbacks” were flying the F4D-1 Skyray during that period which had internal 20mm canon and the AIM-9 Sidewinder missle. Lt. Glick was sure that the MIG pilots kept up on this intelligence. Lt. Glick now held the microphone at the recommended position at the side of his mouth and in his normal speaking voice replied:
“Diamond 1 this is Airmail Ten. We are under attack over international waters by two MIG-17s of unknown nationality – no doubt a mistake on their part. Maybe you can `reason’ with them?
Cupping the microphone in both hands and resuming his baritone again:
“Roger Airmail Ten. I have them on my radar. My ETA is four minutes. Keep your Angels under 2000 feet and maintain your present course. We will `reason’ with your little friends”.
Lo and behold, the MIGs turned tail and fled. They had apparently bought Lt. Glick’s deception and were not willing to take any chances with the likes of the Diamondbacks. “Unbelievable” exclaimed Lt. Locke whose white knuckles remained rigid on the yoke for a full five minutes after the incident. “We actually got away with that cheap trick, said Lt. Locke incredulously?” “Never underestimate the power of a little fear, Bill”, replied Lt. Glick. “All I did was take advantage of their inexperience and ignorance. They had to make a quick decision, and it was the right one. It gave us the time we needed to get out of Harm’s way”. “Still’, pressed Lt. Locke, “that was one hell of a gamble”. Never one to second guess or dwell on his past actions, Lt. Glick told Lt. Locke to relax. “ I’ll take the `con’ Bill. Let’s get what’s left of this bird back to Sigonella with our photos. Damn! Those Red Lancer clowns are going to be green with envy when we see them again back at NHZ. We’ll have a nice photo to hang behind the O club bar too. Bruce, get our ETA to Chief Mathis for an HF transmission back to the skipper”.
If Lt. Glick had not been held in high esteem before this incident by the Navy, he certainly was now. And he would go on throughout his long and illustrious naval career gaining the love, respect and admiration of all who served with him. His exploits were (and remain) legendary and legion, his lack of promotion from Lieutenant notwithstanding.
LH-10’s return to Sigonella was met by an entourage led by Chief Tom Watt, who also brought a couple of cases of cold beer. He gave Lts. Glick and Locke his personal `BZ’ as he handed each of them a cold beer. Regardless of what may have awaited them from the skipper or COMFAIRMED, a personal BRAVO ZULU from this leading chief was quite an honor. He also warned the lieutenants to expect a good reaming from the skipper.
Everyone marveled at the missing MAD cone and MAD detector mechanism. The tip of the tail was missing too and we counted 27 cannon holes in the remainder of the tail section. “27 has always been my lucky number” announced Lt. Glick as he hoisted another cold beer. Andy was smelling quite bad sitting there in the hot sun, but no one dared make any mention of it. After the Navy, Andy would go on to become a Wall Street broker, making his fortune in ‘junk bonds’.
The Intel officer collected all of the film shot of the K-3 – except Lt. Glick’s 8mm Minox cassette, which was not offered or reported. The crew was dutifully debriefed after a few beers and reminded of their liability and punitive status under the official Secrets Act should they disclose any information relating to the K-3 incident. But the whole squadron knew what had happened. No doubt Lts. Locke and Glick were effectively keel-hauled by the skipper, though this author was not privy to those proceedings. Possibly someone in-the-know may still come forward and share this information with us and the world (Bill Locke doesn’t talk about any of this to this day). Regardless, we know that the skipper, Cdr. Ainsworth, was also one of Lt. Glick’s most ardent admirers, and the `keel-hauling was probably perfunctory at worst.
The photographed submarine was indeed the first Soviet K-3. There were no court martials! Not even a `captain’s mast’. Since the State Department officially denied that the K-3 incident ever took place, even when confronted with photographs of LH-10 flying over Sazan, the Navy could not prosecute – nor did it want to. “Photographs can be `doctored’” said the State Dept. officials, we do it all the time. “Yes, Lt. Glick and LH-10 were in Vlore’ at the invitation of the Albanian government on a `cultural exchange’. But there is no evidence of an over-flight of Sazan Island”.
No doubt the Albanians had recordings of the VHF radio communications, but those could be denied as well as the photos of LH-10. Too, they were no doubt quite embarrassed when they found that they had been spoofed into breaking off their attack because of their belief that a Navy Fighter squadron was coming to rescue LH-10. The Soviets were not commenting.
The K-3 photos were the greatest intelligence coup of 1960 as far as ONI and DoD were concerned, and honored Lt. Glick at a private, and very secret award ceremony in an old one-time girls school on Nebraska Ave. in Washington. It was rumored thereafter that Lt. Glick performed other intelligence work for ONI, who also farmed him out to the NSA and CIA for special missions (his famous photo still hangs in private offices at all three of these agencies). If true, these missions would have probably remained classified for some time. But events such as these have a way of surfacing eventually, and we may yet learn something of them in our lifetime.
Lt. Glick’s name as PPC of LH-1 can still be read on the hull of the old P2V-5F Neptune Memorial adorning the NASB grounds, just past the main gate entrance. How the Neptune Memorial came to be is another story, and you can read it here. However, plans to erect a 20 foot bronze statue of Lt. Glick next to the aircraft have been put on hold due to the announced base closure. It is hoped that possibly the NAS Pensacola museum will take up this project in the near future to honor one of the most deserved naval aviators and hero of our time.
On a Sunday afternoon during Operation Springboard at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in 1961, the Commanding Officer inquired if Irving had yet managed to get his name (and VP-21) in the Five Aces board. Upon learning the Irving had been very busy and had not yet completed the task, the CO, Commander Herb Ainsworth, directed immediate action. Lt. Glick selected three other officers to accompany him, and proceeded to the club. Upon arrival, it was noted that the bar was nearly empty, so the group immediately put the plan into action. After several futile attempts by Lt. Glick to actually roll Five Aces, it was pointed out that wasn’t really necessary. The dice were set, the announcement was loudly made, the bartender rang the bell, and—–100 people came into the bar from a party they were holding on the patio. One of Irving’s darkest hours was when he had to announce to the CO and the Wardroom that not only was the kitty broke, but that refilling it was going to cost a bundle. Irving’s greatest fear was that the CO might tell him to swallow the cost himself, but being the officer and gentleman that he was, he directed the assessment of the entire Wardroom. But he also directed that, henceforth, Lt. (jg) Mike Williams would be responsible for ensuring that Lt. Glick never again overstressed the Five Aces kitty.
house, a very costly proposition, Irving hit upon a plan to achieve his goal. He, and selected assistants, would descend upon the bar at hours when you could rightfully expect a dearth of customers – such as 0900 on a Sunday. With the bartender distracted, the dice would be set, Five Aces loudly announced, the bartender would ring the bell, drinks would be bought for the VP-21 group and, if necessary, for the very few others that might be in the bar at that time of day. The Wardroom agreed that the members of the group would buy their own drinks but in case it was required to purchase drinks for the “few others,” a small kitty was provided.
On a Sunday afternoon during Operation Springboard at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in 1961, the Commanding Officer inquired if Irving had yet managed to get his name (and VP-21) in the Five Aces board. Upon learning the Irving had been very busy and had not yet completed the task, the CO, Commander Herb Ainsworth, directed immediate action. Lt. Glick selected three other officers to accompany him, and proceeded to the club. Upon arrival, it was noted that the bar was nearly empty, so the group immediately put the plan into action. After several futile attempts by Lt. Glick to actually roll Five Aces, it was pointed out that wasn’t really necessary. The dice were set, the announcement was loudly made, the bartender rang the bell, and—–100 people came into the bar from a party they were holding on the patio. One of Irving’s darkest hours was when he had to announce to the CO and the Wardroom that not only was the kitty broke, but that refilling it was going to cost a bundle. Irving’s greatest fear was that the CO might tell him to swallow the cost himself, but being the officer and gentleman that he was, he directed the assessment of the entire Wardroom.
At that time, Kindley was an Air Force Base. The Air Force was not informed as to the nature of the mission, only that it had the highest priority and that the squadron was to receive full support. A full colonel provided daily weather briefings. Approval was granted for any VP-21 aircraft calling for taxi, without the necessity of a flight plan, to receive immediate clearance as number one for take off.
Before a single mission flight could be conducted, the recovery vessels moved away from Bermuda and into an area more efficiently covered by the squadron deployed to NAF Lajes in the Azores. So the squadron sat and waited. Each day we received our weather briefing from the Air Force colonel. Each day we played cards, read Playboy magazine, told sea stories, and napped. Each evening we went to the O’ Club and drank beer.
After several days of this total lack of activity, Lt. Glick decided to make a local flight and shoot some landings. He conducted the pre-flight, started the engines, called for taxi, and received instantaneous approval. He departed the ramp and was given immediate clearance for takeoff. After performing all checks (Lt. Glick is a safety conscious pilot), he applied take-off power and rolled down the runway. When airborne, he lifted the gear and flaps and, while climbing, called the tower for clearance to land. Clearance was granted and as Lt. Glick touched down, he was surprised to note that all the station’s crash equipment was chasing him down the runway. The tower, knowing only that a VP-21 aircraft calling for departure would be granted immediate priority clearance to depart on a highly important, classified mission, naturally assumed that if that same aircraft immediately turned around and requested a landing, there had to be an emergency. After everything was cleared up, it was decided that no more training flights would be conducted by VP-21 during its stay in Bermuda.
As it happens, the CO of the 57th was in the air at the time, and decided to expose the vulnerability of the P2 by flying under it while it was on the low pass and then doing a victory roll as he climbed out. There were just two problems. The first was that he thought the P2 was capable of only 180 knots airspeed (the normal cruising speed), and second was the Air Force syndrome mentioned earlier – their discomfort below 20 thousand feet. Commencing his run from 10 thousand feet, with full power on both the 3350s and the jets, Irving descended as he approached the field, gaining airspeed along the way. When he passed over the ramp (he miscalculated and missed the runway) he was red lined at 360 knots and at less than 50 feet. The 102 was unable to catch up, and couldn’t have made it under the P2, even if it had.
That evening, the officers of the 57th, gentlemen that they are (although not as proficient at flying as Navy pilots) invited Lt. Glick into their lounge in the BOQ and made him an honorary AF officer (for one night). Based on the successful effect on squadron morale resulting from his low pass at Keflavik, Lt. Glick decided to further enhance morale with a second attempt. This one was made on the AF radar site on the southeast corner of Iceland while returning from a patrol. When Irving arrived at Keflavik about a half hour later, the AF had already relayed the news of his latest morale-building activity to Commander Mike Johnson, the Squadron XO. Commander Johnson decided that the Squadron had all the morale it could handle and directed Lt. Glick to refrain from making any additional low passes during the deployment.
As an added note, it should be stated that in order for Lt. Glick to avoid striking the radar site during his low pass, it was necessary that he rapidly gain altitude to pass over the dome, and then rapidly level off (which would result in causing negative G forces). Normally, this would not be a problem. However, it was lunchtime, AO3 Leo Picone had prepared spaghetti as per Lt. Glick’s orders, and at the moment that the negative G forces were generated, eleven plates of spaghetti had just been distributed throughout the entire length of the aircraft. The result was that the contents of eleven plates of spaghetti became airborne. And because of the continued forward motion of the aircraft, the spaghetti did not land back in its respective plates. Because of the hands-on flying required to make the low pass, Lt. Glick was the lone person on the aircraft not actually holding a plate of spaghetti and the only one who ended up with a clean flight suit. The crew was not happy.
When Commander Mike Johnson, the VP-21 XO and Iceland Detachment OIC was notified, he immediately decreed that ALL squadron officers would attend this formal function. As it happened, Lt. Glick and his crew were scheduled to depart Iceland at midnight for an extended trip to Norway. Ever obedient to the direction of his superior officers, Irving, and all the officers of his crew were at the dinner in their mess dress uniforms.
During the cocktail period preceding dinner, while others were enjoying their highballs, Irving and his crew drank water. During the meal, while others were enjoying their glasses of wine, Irving and his crew drank water. During coffee, while others were enjoying an after dinner cordial, Irving and his crew drank water. When vanilla ice cream topped with crème de menthe was served for desert, Irving and his crew drank water. At 2100, Lt. Glick and his crew prepared to depart. Commander Johnson asked Irving where he was going. He reminded the XO that he they had a flight and had to get ready. Commander Johnson advised Lt. Glick that his copilot, Lt. Leopold Hirshfield, his navigator, Lt. (jg) Wyandotte Plunker, and his TACCO, Lt. (jg) Angelo Sangiavani were perfectly capable of preparing for the flight without the supervision of Lt. Glick.
Since this was a clear indication of Commander Johnson’s desire that Irving remain at the party (as well as a statement of fact), Irving stayed behind. At 2200, Lt. Glick again attempted to depart. Again Commander Johnson asked him where he was going. Irving explained that getting ready for the flight would take time, especially donning the required Poopy suit. It was then that Commander Johnson uttered one of his more famous statements. He said “You don’t have a hair on your ass if you don’t go flying in your monkey suit.”
Finally, at 2300, Lt. Glick proceeded to the hangar, wearing his mess dress blue uniform with gold cummerbund and miniature medals, and a black leather and fur “state police” officer’s hat with a naval officer’s crest on the front. During the plane captain briefing, Ron Novay seemed to be doing more inhaling than exhaling as he attempted to determine Lt. Glick’s level of sobriety (it’s a good thing Irving doesn’t like crème de menthe). Finally, the crew boarded the aircraft, the engines were started, the checks performed, clearance received, and the plane departed on schedule.
The next morning, Commander Johnson received a call from the COMFAIRKEF operations officer. That worthy gentleman asked Commander Johnson if he was aware that one of his officers had gone flying the night before in his mess dress uniform. Commander Johnson replied with another of his famous statements, “Don’t they all?”
Since this flight was out of Iceland, the difficulty of accomplishing this was compounded by the fact that the crewmembers were wearing survival suits (otherwise known as Poopy suits). So, in addition to the problem of locating the relief tube, one also had the problem of locating oneself. As Irving entered the after station, Leo Capone, the crew Ordnanceman, had just completed cooking a pot of tomato soup. Considerate gentleman that he is, Leo immediately offered a cup of this boiling hot soup to Lt. Glick. Irving accepted with considerable pleasure (Leo was noted throughout the squadron for the quality of his tomato soup). Irving then proceeded to the rear of the after station, folded down the seat (it was vacant since Leo was slaving away at the stove), located the relief tube – and realized that he had a conundrum.
With one hand holding the relief tube, and one hand holding the boiling hot soup, there was no way that Irving could locate himself in the Poopy suit. Always thinking, Irving looked around for a place to rest the soup during this crucial time. He immediately noticed the spare ECM antenna that was stored in a rack approximately above the starboard observer’s seat and placed the cup of boiling hot soup on top of the antenna. He then located himself and proceeded to accomplish his mission. Suddenly, he was surprised to find the vibration of the aircraft had caused the cup of boiling hot soup to fall off the antenna and strike Irving on the Glick family jewels. Although he was in great pain, no one on the crew would volunteer to give him first aid, and the flight had to be aborted. It has been rumored that Andy Warhol painted his famous Campbell Tomato Soup Can painting in honor of Irving’s travail.
The exercise had gone very well with Irving flying his full share of patrols. His first seven flights were arduous, but uneventful. However, things changed on his eighth scheduled flight. After arriving on station and establishing contact with the submarine, the exercise commenced. Almost immediately, an encrypted non-exercise message was received. Upon its decryption, Lt. Glick learned that the exercise had been cancelled and that he and his crew were ordered to a stated latitude and longitude where they were to establish a search pattern designed to locate the Soviet ELINT vessel “Alidade” and, when that had been accomplished, to remain on station until relieved or until Prudent Limit of Endurance (PLE). Lt. (jg) Wyandotte Plunker, Lt. Glick’s intrepid navigator, immediately provided a heading and ETA.
When they arrived at the location, there was nothing in sight, or even in radar range (not an unusual occurrence with Mr. Plunker navigating). An expanding square search was initiated and eventually, several miles from the reported location, the vessel was sighted. Lt. Glick made a low pass to positively identify the Alidade and, hopefully, to impress the vessel’s crew. Whether the Soviet crew was impressed is unknown. After making a positive identification, Lt. Glick climbed to 2000 feet, established a circle over the vessel using the auto pilot, directed that a sighting report be sent, placed his feet on the instrument panel, and proceeded to peruse the latest issue of Playboy magazine (Lt. Glick was especially interested in an article about Ohio agricultural techniques).
After two hours of this, and completion of Playboy, Lt. Glick decided that the crew was getting bored and decided to generate a series of photo qualifications during which the crewmembers would have the opportunity to qualify in multiple positions. Several uneventful runs were made with crewmembers changing stations. Then something occurred that totally changed the paradigm. Lt. Glick was in the left seat, Lt. (jg) Plunker, the navigator, in the right seat, Lt. Leopold Hirshfield, the copilot, at the navigation station, Lt. (jg) Angelo Sangiavani, the TACCO, in his normal position (asleep), and AW3 Michael Weathering (name changed to protect the guilty), the JEZEBEL operator, in the bow. As a pass was made down the port side of the vessel, Lt. (jg) Plunker was absolutely shocked to see a Soviet sailor making an internationally recognized indecent digital gesture to him.
A discussion then ensued regarding what would be a suitable response to such an insult from a Soviet vessel to an American vessel (in our case, an aircraft) on the high seas. Several possibilities, including bombing the vessel with our used box lunches, were considered and rejected. The final consensus (Lt. Glick believes strongly in consensus) was that the Alidade should be mooned. A volunteer was required, but not immediately forthcoming. Finally, Petty Officer Weathering spoke up from the bow. He said that he would volunteer but that he wanted to set two conditions. The first was that nobody would come down to the bow during the event. Lt. Glick immediately agreed and directed that Petty Officer Novay (his real name can be used because he was not directly involved), the plane Captain, was to sit on the hatch to the bow and not let anyone pass.
The second condition was that nobody would ever tell anyone about this situation. The crew immediately agreed (hence the use of a fictitious name for Petty Officer Weatherington). Lt. Glick decided that in order for him to have the best view possible as he made the pass, the vessel would be placed on the port side of the aircraft. He also decided to fly as slow as possible in order to increase the chances that the Soviets would actually be able to observe the event. Petty Officer Weathering reported that he was ready and Lt. Glick lowered the flaps to reduce speed, descended to deck level, and made the pass. He then climbed to 200 feet, did a ninety-two seventy and headed back to the Soviet vessel.
When he arrived, he found that his moon had been successful. The entire Soviet crew was on deck, waving their fists at the aircraft. Lt. Glick, believed that he and his crew had just made a giant leap in Soviet/American relations, and directed Petty Officer Preston, the radio operator, to send a message to the Commander John Orrill, Commanding Officer, Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE, informing him that the Alidade had just received the world’s first airborne redeye. Petty Officer Preston believed that such a message conflicted with his moral imperative, and declined. Lt. Glick then directed Lt. (jg) Sangiavani (who had a much more relaxed moral imperative) to encrypt the message. Petty Officer Preston then transmitted the message to CO, VP-21 – in theory.
What Lt. Glick did not realize was that all messages to CO, VP-21 were forwarded to him VIA Commodore Black who, as officer in charge of the exercise, had become operational commander of the search. Upon reading the decrypted message, Commodore Black decided that there were two possible conclusions to be drawn. The first was that the Soviet vessel had shot out Lt. Glick’s rotating beacon (redeye in brevity code). The second possibility was that Lt. Glick (since he was unarmed and couldn’t shoot anything) had knocked out the Soviet’s rotating beacon (redeye) with his tip tank. Neither possibility was desirable in the cold war atmosphere that existed in 1966, and Commodore Black understandably became rather agitated.
He immediately directed that a message (encrypted) be sent to Lt. Glick, which paraphrased said “¿Que pasa Redeye?” Lt. Glick immediately decided that his career was over (something that occurred to him about once every two months), and sent a message (encrypted) back to the Commodore stating, “CO, VP-21 will explain.” Calm was restored in the OPCON Center when Lcdr. Steve Loftus explained to the Commodore that Lt. Glick was simply sending an administrative message to his CO. However, at a cocktail party held that evening to celebrate the end of a successful exercise (Lt. Glick was not an invited guest), Lcdr. Loftus suggested that Commodore Black ask Commander Orrill what the message really had meant, which, since he is a dutiful and obedient officer and gentleman, he did.
Lt. Glick’s worries came to naught. There were no repercussions. This was partly due to the fact that Commander Orrill is a kind man, and partly because he has a highly refined sense of humor. He decided that rather than chastising Lt. Glick, he would simply praise his audacity and then turn the event into his favorite cocktail party story. As a footnote: Following his tour in VP-21, Mike matriculated to Purdue University under the NESEP program, and upon graduation and commissioning, proceeded to Pensacola, eventually earning the coveted gold wings of a naval aviator. Lt. Glick provided Mike with a letter of recommendation when he applied for flight training. It is rumored that his recounting of the Redeye incident in the letter is what swayed the selection board and ensured Mike’s acceptance.
Bermuda was a relatively short trip for the Squadron but operating out of a Air Force base made things a little tricky including finding maintenance parts. In addition, high crosswinds during the spring were challenging to even the most experienced squadron pilots. Tourists flocked to Bermuda during this time of year, including college students crowding the beach, and the crews looked forward to some time on the beach. The Captain gave Lt. Glick a briefing on what he expected from the Detachment, including on time take offs, an emphasis on flight safety, and, proper military decorum. Glick took this opportunity to demonstrate his leadership ability seriously and packed the Detachment deployment box to include his copy of the UCMJ just in case things got out of hand.
The BOQ was ready for the officers; Lt. Glick even had his own room. The men had a real treat in that their quarters were significantly better than what they had experienced in Iceland. But, there was little time to kick back and relax for the Sub was due on station in just twelve hours. Crew 11 would be first up with a midnight take off. The crew was preparing, for Julie and Mad Quals (two of the toughest in the manual.) Lt. Glick did a good job of coordinating mid rats, box lunches, and ordinance; and, the crew took off on time. Crew 7 was next so Lt. Glick would get little sleep this night. Actually the entire first round of flights went very well with Crew 11 and 10 getting Julie Quals. Everyone was very pleased and tired
Lt. Glick and the co pilot from Crew 11 decided that a good meal and a couple of drinks on the beach would be just what the doctor ordered before the second round of flights. A cab ride away brought the two to a typical English pub featuring rum toddies and beefsteaks. Lt. Glick later reported that the drinks were very strong and it wasn’t long before he forgot what time it was. He did remember, however, that the second round of Qualification flights was scheduled to take off just after noon. After unsuccessfully calling the base for a ride, the dynamic duo could not find a cab, so began the long walk back to the Main Gate.
Their route took them by the Bermuda Parliament Building, all lit up in the night chill. Flying high above the Square, the Bermuda Flag waved proudly attracting the two drunken sightseers. Glick suggested to his squadron mate that the colorful flag would make a great decoration for the Squadron Wardroom, to say nothing to of keeping them warm during the walk back to the Base. So, without even thinking about it, Glick lowered the flag while his Ltjg. buddy saluted. That’s all there was to it – the beginning of an international incident and no one was even aware of it.
When the Navy pair approached the Gate wrapped in the Bermuda flag, the guards laughed, not realizing that the flag was the flag for the Parliament Building, but did check for IDs. Laughing and joking and still sporting their new cloak, they made their way to the BOQ. Everything went well, until Lt. Glick, was awoken by the Front Desk with an important phone call from the States. The Captain was calling from NAS Brunswick. It seems the United States Ambassador had telephoned the Commodore concerning the Flag incident and he called the Captain. No one was laughing. No one was happy. As a matter of fact, the CO ordered Lt. Glick to pack up his gear and return immediately to Brunswick on the third airplane in the Detachment, and, to bring his copilot buddy with him, which is what happened. Even to this day, no one knows what happened to the Flag (it never appeared in the Wardroom), or if Lt. Glick was ever reprimanded. But, one thing is for certain; a national incident was averted by Lt. Glick’s early departure from Bermuda. Lt. Glick never again returned to Bermuda, even on vacation (which has always been a disappointment to his wife Daisy Bell.
Prior to the event, he prepared a sign in the shape of a black spade (the abbreviated insignia of his squadron) with letters in white that said, “The officers of NASB and our brother squadrons are cordially invited to VP-21’s new O’ Club bar.” A few minutes before the scheduled ceremony, Lt. Glick used his miraculous powers of persuasion (and a five dollar bill) to gain entry to the bar through the back door. He then placed the sign on top of the piano to the left of the front door and then departed the bar to rejoin his VP-21 companions in the lobby. The CO and Commodore cut the ribbon on schedule, the door of the bar was opened, and the waiting officers, except for those in VP-21, rushed to the bar to begin what was expected to be an hour of free drinks.
The VP-21 officers went to the piano. The first to arrive at the bar got their drinks and moved out of the way so others could be served. It wasn’t long before the early arrivals began to notice the sign. In a spirit of good fellowship, several of them decided that they wanted a closer look. The VP-21 officers, led by Lt. Glick, greeted them in a friendly manner. Probably due to the large crowd in the bar at the time, with many people moving around, it may have appeared to the NASB CO that the gentlemanly discussion that the officers of VP-21 were having with the officers of the other squadrons had become too friendly. The fact that many had their arms around each other (in a mutual display of camaraderie, no doubt), and that several had fallen to the floor in fits of exuberance, may have convinced him that everyone had already had too much fun. He immediately ordered the bar closed for the night. This resulted in none of the VP-21 officers (and very few others) actually receiving a free drink. In addition, the sign was destroyed in the midst of all the mutual good fellowship.
One Friday evening in the summer if 1966, some of the desperate officers of VP-26 laid hands on the Crock while it was momentarily left unattended on the piano, threw it out the window to others who were waiting, and whisked it off in a vehicle. What particularly incensed Lt. Glick the most was that insult had been added to injury – the vehicle was a VW bug. For three weeks after the nefarious act, VP-21, all of our sister squadrons, the Wing staff, and NASB, received almost daily reports describing how the Crock was being mistreated. Finally, a message was received inviting the officers of all the units to be at the Club at 1600 on the next Friday for Happy Hour. When everyone arrived, and I mean everyone, they were confronted with the Crock, sitting on the bar, planted with mufti-hued petunias.
Commander Orrill, CO, VP-21, gentleman that he is, totally ignored this travesty, and graciously greeted the CO, VP-26 with warmth and good fellowship. The CO of VP-26 then delivered a poorly prepared speech that seemed to imply that VP-26 had, in a spirit of friendship, enhanced the beauty of the VP-21 Captain’s Crock. Commander Orrill turned to Lt. Glick and said, “That isn’t our Crock, is it Irving?” Lt. Glick answered with an emphatic “NO SIR, and requested that the bartender pass him the object that had been secretly placed behind the bar. Out came an exact duplicate of the original VP-21 Captain’s Crock, complete with the Blackjack insignia, and international orange lettering. When the officers of VP-26 realized that their ace had been trumped, there was no joy in Mudville (the VP-26 Wardroom).
What the officers of VP-26 did not know was that, when the original Crock was procured in Sigonella by that greatest of all Leading Chiefs, Tom Watt, a second one had been purchased for his own use (washing his vintage Cadillac). Chief Watt graciously loaned his bucket to Lt. Glick, an officer he greatly admired. Lt. Glick then had the replacement bucket decorated and stashed it behind the bar until the right moment presented itself. That moment occurred when the VP-26 CO had just the right amount of egg on his face. Lt. Glick’s ingenuity had again saved the day, and further enhanced the already glorious image of the Blackjack squadron.
At the subsequent ORI critique, Commander Orrill was given an opportunity to speak. He mentioned that it was our understanding that the Wing staff had developed a particular interest in acquiring a picture of Irving – and then presented the Commodore with a framed and autographed copy. It should be noted that the squadron received an extremely high grade on the ORI. The fact that Lt. Glick had applied the seventeen-degree west variation off of Brunswick in the wrong direction when navigating to the operating area, resulting in his aircraft never making contact with the exercise submarine, did not seem to unduly hurt our overall score.
With assistance from Lt. (jg) John J. Lynch, Lt. Glick removed the painting from behind the bar, transported it to the office of Commander Mike Johnson, Commanding Officer, Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE in Hangar 2, and carefully placed it on the CO’s couch. They then removed the painting of a P5M belonging to Lcdr. Steve Kaiser, the squadron Administrative Officer, from his office, transported it to the O’ Club, and carefully hung it behind the bar. All appeared to be well with the world. Not so. A club employee had seen Lt. Glick and Lt. (jg) Lynch leaving the Club with the P3 painting and had reported it to the NASB duty officer. The NASB OOD had then notified the NASB CO who arrived at the Club in a greatly agitated state. He accused Lt. Glick and Lt. (jg) Lynch of theft and ordered them to immediately return the painting of the P3 to its rightful place behind the bar.
Lt. Glick agreed to do so, and attempted to explain that it was not theft but simply a case of friendly squadron competition. The CO was not mollified. The situation was not made easier by the fact that each time the CO made a statement, Lt. (jg) Lynch would come to a full brace, loudly click his heals together, and scream at the top of his lungs, “Yes, Sir” (it could be that the CO did not recognize this as the show of respect that Lt. (jg) Lynch intended it to be). Lt. Glick proceeded to remove the painting of the P5M from behind the bar. The CO thought the picture of the P5M also belonged to the O’ Club and was reluctant to let it go. It was only Lt. Glick’s eloquence that defused the situation. Lt. Glick and his trusty assistant returned the P3 painting to Hangar 2 and returned the P3 painting to the O’ Club Fireside Room bar. The NASB CO then advised Lt. Glick and Lt. (jg) Lynch that there was no need for them, or their wives, to ever come to the O’ Club again.
At the Ball the following night, Lt. Glick waited until Commander Johnson was relaxed and then advised him of the situation. Which was a good thing, because the first thing Monday morning, Commander Johnson received a call from Commodore Rapp with a request (?) that Lt. Glick immediately come to his office to discuss the matter. Lt. Glick explained the prank. Commodore Rapp, as a former CO of VP-10 who, having worked closely with VP-21 during numerous exercises, was very familiar with and had great respect for Lt. Glick’s spirit of adventure and capacity for high jinx. He also knew that Lt. Glick was pure of heart and would never have “stolen” the P3 painting. He used his good offices to bring calm back to the relationship between Lt. Glick and the NASB CO.
However, three months later, when the P3 painting was again taken from the Club (this time, never to be returned), the NASB CO was determined that Lt. Glick should be keel hauled if not drawn, quartered and boiled in oil. The fact that Lt. Glick had been out of town on the night the painting was taken, and that a Canadian crew had been visiting Brunswick and had, in fact, closed the O’ Club, did not dissuade the CO. It was only for lack of evidence that Lt. Glick’s career was not over.
The man looked at Irving – the only person still upright – then ran down the stairs to a waiting jeepney. Irving had calmly remained in his seat because, being familiar with the sound made by a 45, he was certain that the mild “pop” made by the weapon when it fired meant that it was just a toy gun and that a joke was being played on him. Even as the other bar patrons crawled out from under the tables and lauded Irving for his bravery, he was still certain that it was all a practical joke. It was only when he looked toward the ceiling and sighted the hole made by the bullet that he came to realize it had been for real and that the “45” was bored as a 22 target pistol. Now for the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say. It seems that the Filipino man had taken a dislike to the sailor because of the mutual admiration for a Filipino woman. The sailor was only slightly injured. When the Filipino brought the gun down toward the sailor’s head, he actually hit him with it and knocked him out before the gun fired.
The gun did nothing more than give him On a trip to NAS Sangley Point in the Philippines for a major aircraft check, Lt. Glick had occasion to visit a local bar in Cavite City. The bar, located on the second floor of a building on the main street of the town, was a favorite of Irving’s crew. While Irving and his copilot were sitting at a table near the top of the stairway enjoying an adult beverage, a sailor who knew the copilot stopped at the table to say “hello.” As the two were talking, a Filipino man approached the sailor, drew what was obviously a 45 caliber 1911 Colt Automatic, aimed it at the sailor’s head, and pulled the trigger. The weapon fired, the sailor immediately dropped to the floor, and all the occupants of the bar dove behind the bar or under tables – everyone except Irving, that is. The man looked at Irving – the only person still upright – then ran down the stairs to a waiting Jeepney.
Irving had calmly remained in his seat because, being familiar with the sound made by a 45, he was certain that the mild “pop” made by the weapon when it fired meant that it was just a toy gun and that a joke was being played on him. Even as the other bar patrons crawled out from under the tables and lauded Irving for his bravery, he was still certain that it was all a practical joke. It was only when he looked toward the ceiling and sighted the hole made by the bullet that he came to realize it had been for real and that the “45” was bored as a 22 target pistol.
Now for the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say. It seems that the Filipino man had taken a dislike to the sailor because of the mutual admiration for a Filipino woman. The sailor was only slightly injured. When the Filipino brought the gun down toward the sailor’s head, he actually hit him with it and knocked him out before the gun fired. The gun did nothing more than give him a small lump and some singed hair. As for the Filipino man, he jumped into the Jeepney driven by one of his friends (this was a premeditated job) and attempted to escape the scene, but the Jeepney refused to start. The police, who had been called by the bartender, arrived and arrested the gunman and his accomplice.
That evening, the mayor of Cavite City, who just happened to be the father of the gunman, arrived at the police station and asked to see the evidence. He then departed with the weapon, which was never seen again. Without any evidence, there was no case. The gunman and his driver (?) were released, and the sailor got an early transfer back to the States. Irving, being an honorable man, attempted to explain that his actions had not been the result of courage under fire, but rather his inability to tell the difference between a cap pistol and a 22. It’s not certain that everyone believed him.
The gun did nothing more than give him a small lump and some singed hair. As for the Filipino man, he jumped into the Jeepney driven by one of his friends (this was a premeditated job) and attempted to escape the scene, but the Jeepney refused to start. The police, who had been called by the bartender, arrived and arrested the gunman and his accomplice. That evening, the mayor of Cavite City, who just happened to be the father of the gunman, arrived at the police station and asked to see the evidence. He then departed with the weapon, which was never seen again. Without any evidence, there was no case. The gunman and his driver (?) were released, and the sailor got an early transfer back to the States. Irving, being an honorable man, attempted to explain that his actions had not been the result of courage under fire, but rather his inability to tell the difference between a cap pistol and a 22. It’s not certain that everyone believed him.
When the flight leader saw the Gooney flying with his A-1s, he sent his two wingmen off to provide high cover and dove for the deck. Since there was no way the Gooney could keep up with the two A-1s while climbing, he opted to stay with the leader, and also dove for the deck. It was immediately apparent that his previous experience making low passes in Iceland and Turkey was paying dividends as the two planes continued toward Danang. Upon reaching Danang, the other two A-1s rejoined their leader and landed first. When Irving landed, the three A-1s were stopped on a cross taxiway. As the Gooney rolled by, the three Vietnamese pilots stood up in their cockpits and saluted Irving. Lt. Glick then taxied to his parking ramp on the Southwest corner of the field. As the YN1 was being driven to Operations, he was heard to ask if it would be possible for him to return to the States by surface transportation.
After take-off from Saigon to Cam Ran Bay, the first intermediate stop on the way north to Danang, a crew member came to the cockpit to advise Lt. Glick that one of the Donut Dollies was requesting to come to the cockpit. Permission was granted and the plane captain gave up his jump seat (stool) so she could be comfortable. Lt. Glick was in the right seat while his copilot was flying the aircraft.
As they approached Cam Ran Bay, Lt. Glick got one of those ideas for which he is famous. Lt. Glick made out a card that read: 1. Cam Ran tower, Navy 39081 ten miles out for landing, over; 2. Tower, 39081, roger, out; 3. Cam Ran tower, Navy 39081 entering down wind; etc.; all the way to touchdown. He presented this card to the Donut Dolly, gave her a headset and mike, and told her that when he held up one finger, she should read the first message. The same with two fingers and the second message, etc.
It should be noted that in 1967 neither the Air Force nor the Navy had female pilots. It should also be noted that Cam Ran Bay, an Air Force base, was one of the busiest fields in the world, just behind Chicago’s O’Hare and Danang. There was ALWAYS a high level of radio traffic. However, from the moment the Donut Dolly made her very first transmission, the airways became deathly silent. It was not until she reported turning final that some (obviously Air Force) pilot finally overcame his state of shock and stated “Leave it to the god damned Navy.”
When the copilot completed the landing on Cam Ran’s very long runway, Lt. Glick took over control of the aircraft, and had the copilot vacate the pilot’s seat so the Donut Dolly could sit there. Lt. Glick taxied to the cargo ramp from the right seat. When he arrived, he found that his little prank was a huge success. There were over five hundred service members waiting to see this aircraft being flown by the Navy’s FIRST female pilot.
As stated above, there was no runway. In fact, there was about two feet of soft snow on top of the ice, an unusual situation in Antarctica where it’s usually too cold to snow. The aircraft started its take-off roll, and at the proper time, the JATO bottles were ignited. The aircraft failed to become airborne. The aircraft was taxied back, the backup set of JATO bottles were loaded, and the take-off run was commenced and, at the proper time, the JATO bottles were ignited. The aircraft again failed to become airborne. Since, even with the help of JATO, the aircraft was unable to become airborne, it was assumed that the scientists and the flight crew would have to wait to be rescued. If the Aircraft Commander were anyone other than the intrepid Lt. Irving Glick, that probably would have been the case.
But Lt. Glick is a step above the average Naval Aviator (and miles above the average Air Force aviator). He immediately inquired of the scientists if there were any hills in the area. Upon being informed that there was an 800-foot hill about four miles away; Lt. Glick taxied (through the snow) the four miles to the hill, then up to the top. He turned the C-130 around and, using the hill to give him additional speed, successfully became airborne. Taxiing the four miles to the hill, and especially up the 800 feet to the top, had used a tremendous amount of fuel. Lt. Glick found himself with insufficient fuel to make it to McMurdo and had to divert to the South Pole where fuel was available.
In 1969 Lt. Glick was temporarily assigned to NAS Brunswick for a special project. Captain Charles Wyman, Commanding Officer of NASB wanted to procure a P2 as a static display aircraft near the main gate, and he felt that Lt. Glick was the perfect man for the job. Lt. Glick soon learned that the process of procuring a perfectly good aircraft, in order to have it permanently planted in cement, is not an easy task.
First off, permission for this has to go all the way up through the chain of command to the Chief of Naval Operations. And the paperwork necessary to get his permission is voluminous. In his usual meticulous manner, Lt. Glick set about his task. Not only did he have to meet all regulations regarding aircraft procurement, he had to develop a plan for the actual placement of the aircraft after its procurement.
This included site identification and preparation, removal of all the hydraulic, electronic, and electrical components of the aircraft for salvage purposes, removal of the wings in order to move the aircraft to the site, reinstallation of the wings once it was permanently mounted on site, and finally, titivation of the aircraft.
While preparation of all the official documents was going apace, Lt. Glick was also taking care of the other requirements. First, he located a suitable sight on Fitch Avenue (named after Admiral Aubrey Fitch of WWII fame). Since no funds were authorized for the project, Lt. Glick’s cumshaw abilities were to be tested. He convinced the NAS Public Works Officer to authorize the services of one of his engineers in designing the cement mounts for the aircraft. Then he convinced him to authorize the loan of the Sea Bees assigned to his department to do the actual mount construction. Then he convinced Commander Bob Latta, Commanding Officer of VP-21, to provide the manpower needed to salvage the components, remove the wings, relocate the aircraft, reinstall the wings, and paint the aircraft. Lt. Glick was able to win Commander Latta’s cooperation by convincing the NASB CO that once completed, the aircraft should wear the insignia of Patron Squadron TWENTY-ONE.
Lt. Glick was at a loss. How to get past such a bottleneck? Just before 1600 on the next Friday, as Lt. Glick was preparing to leave his office for Happy Hour where he hoped to forget his problem, at least for a little while, he received a phone call from a commander in OPNAV. The commander informed him that he’d heard that NAS Brunswick was trying to acquire a P2 and that he just happened to have one. When Lt. Glick heard that it was a P2V-5F (SP2E), he said he’d like to hold out for a P2V-7, but the commander said that wasn’t going to happen. All the 7s were going to the Reserves. Lt. Glick then informed him that he’d call him back on Monday after he’d had a chance to discuss it with the staff puke in Quonset. The commander informed him that at 0700 on Monday, the aircraft was scheduled to be flown to Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona and that once there, it would cost 10K to get it back. Lt. Glick had to make a decision right then and there and he chose to request the aircraft.
By then it was about 1630 so Lt. Glick was certain that the staff weenie would have left for the weekend. He composed a routine message to COMFAIR Quonset stating that an aircraft had been requested from OPNAV. When Lt. Glick arrived at work on Monday morning, there was a message from COMFAIR Quonset ordering him to report there immediately. Lt. Glick checked out the Station C-117 and headed south. When he arrived he was directed into the Admiral’s office where, for the next twenty minutes he was subjected to a flag level butt chewing. Among other things, he was informed that an order from one of the Admiral’s staff was to be considered a direct order from the Admiral himself. Once again, Lt. Glick contemplated the end of his illustrious career. However, the Admiral was made of better stuff than the weenie. After he’d had his say, he graciously asked Lt. Glick if he’d like to add anything. Lt. Glick then explained the situation and, while accepting full responsibility for his actions, told the Admiral that a decision had been required and that if the occasion arose again, he’d do the same thing.
For thirty seconds the Admiral didn’t say a word. He simply stared at Lt. Glick. Now Irving was certain his career was over. Then the Admiral called his secretary and asked that she bring coffee for him and Lt. Glick. When the coffee arrived, the Admiral asked Lt. Glick to be seated. Over coffee, he asked Lt. Glick to explain how he intended to prepare the site and the aircraft, which Lt. Glick was more than happy to do. Finally, the Admiral stated that he was happy to see that at least some of his officers were still capable of exhibiting initiative when necessary and that when the paperwork was resubmitted and that he would see that it was approved. He then shook Lt. Glick’s hand and escorted him out of his office.
The flight back to Brunswick was much smoother than the flight to Quonset but from then on, everything started to go down hill.
The P2 was ferried to Brunswick via Norfolk, home of the ferry pilots. They stopped overnight. The next morning they took off for NASB. Over Cape Charles they got a chip light, feathered the engine and returned to NAS Norfolk. Over the next several days it was determined that an engine change was required. The readers can well imagine the high priority that the Navy placed on providing a new engine for an aircraft that was going to make a three hour flight to Brunswick and then be mounted in cement. The aircraft sat in Norfolk. August passed. September passed. October passed. On 21 November, VP-21 was disestablished and there went Lt. Glicks working party. Instead of an entire squadron of highly skilled P2 specialists at his beck and call, Lt. Glick was required to rely on the five people assigned to the NASB Line Shack to salvage over 360 components (including the jets) from the aircraft and remove the wings. Instead of the expected week long job, this task now extended into months.
While the aircraft was being readied, the site preparation was being completed. Four large holes were dug for the cement foundations in accordance with the Public Works engineer’s measurements. During this phase, a Sea Bee backed a 6X truck into the hole. This embarrassed the Public Works Officer and delayed the project by another week. The cement was poured and the steel braces were manufactured.
November passed. December passed. January passed. February passed. The aircraft was finally ready but now the snow was too deep to move from Hangar 2 to the site. The snow melted but now Maine’s mud season had arrived. March passed. It wasn’t until April that the ground was considered dry enough to support the P2 over those unpaved areas that had to be crossed.
Finally, the big day arrived. Lt. Glick had arranged with the phone company to have one of their bucket trucks precede the aircraft and disconnect the lines, as necessary. However, even with the 2 ½ foot high tail cap removed, the nose mount fully extended, the main mounts fully compressed, and most of the air removed from the main mount tires, there was no way that the tail could pass under the myriad of electrical cables (which, since they provided the main power for the base, could not be disconnected) over the intersection of Fitch Avenue and 2nd Street. The plan was to depart Hangar 2, proceed down the ramp past Hangar 3, make a right turn on to 2nd Street, pass the fuel farm, cross the railroad tracks and make a 45 degree left turn to cross the grass area across Fitch Avenue from the BOQ, turn 45 degrees to the left onto Fitch Avenue and proceed to the O’ Club parking lot where the aircraft would remain until after the noon hour traffic rush. At 1300 the aircraft would be towed down Fitch Avenue to the site and positioned over the mounts. That was the way it was supposed to work. It didn’t. Paraphrasing Bobbie Byrnes, when you plan something, it can still get screwed up.
Everything went well until the 45 degree left turn off of 2nd Street on to the grass area. As a precaution, Marston matting had been procured to place under the P2’s main mounts and the aircraft was towed across the grass. The problem was that only 12 pieces of matting could be located. Six were placed in front of each main mount. As the aircraft moved forward, the pieces of matting had to be moved from in back of the wheels to in front, an extremely slow and labor intensive process. After the aircraft had progressed only about 20 feet, the tractor driver, Jim Pope, a former member of VP-21, declared that the ground was solid, that the matting was not required, and that by eliminating it, the job could be accomplished much more expeditiously. This was done and the aircraft was towed about ten more feet when, suddenly, the port main mount sank into the dirt. It sank so far that the radome was in contact with the ground and in danger of being crushed. In addition, as the aircraft sank, it just so happened that the tail skag settled between the two rails of the railroad track (you’ll remember that the tail had been lowered as much as possible in order to clear most of the wires along the route), effectively locking the aircraft in place. Until that moment, Lt. Glick had been one of the more junior officers on the Station, and certainly among the numerous senior officers observing the movement of the aircraft. Suddenly, he came to the realization that he had become the most senior officer within sight. Even the Chaplain had bailed out.
In the absence of any senior guidance, a wing jack was acquired and used, not only to ensure the aircraft wouldn’t sink any further, but to actually assist in lifting the aircraft above the hole. The Sea Bees provided a truck load of gravel that was fed into the hole, allowing for a solid foundation for a wheel jack. As the wheel was raised, the radome lifted, and so did the tail skag. Marston matting was used to build a ramp at the front of the hole and tractors were attached to all three mounts. Overcoming his fear that one or more of the struts might be pulled right off of the aircraft, Lt. Glick directed the tractor drivers to start pulling. At first it looked hopeless but, finally, the aircraft started up the make shift ramp, clearing the hole to cheers of the crowd (a very junior crowd) and the relief of Lt. Glick. Reverting to the process of using matting under the main mounts, the aircraft was pulled slowly across the field.
When the P2 reached Fitch Avenue, everyone was so elated that it was decided to omit the lunch hour wait in the O’ Club and immediately proceed to the site. This was not a rapid trip because, even with the wings removed, there was less than one foot of clearance on each side between the trees and telephone poles. However, another problem developed. The operator of the telephone bucket truck had been briefed that the trip down Fitch Avenue would not occur until 1300, so he had gone to lunch. The good news is that there is only one telephone line across Fitch Avenue between the O’ Club and the main gate. The bad news is that it serviced the homes of the Admiral and the Station CO. The really bad news is that the tail of the P2 cut the line.
After cutting the line, the aircraft continued down Fitch Avenue to the site. Jim Pope lined the aircraft up and backed it on to the cement foundations. It didn’t fit. Jim pulled ahead and tried again. It didn’t fit. He tried again. It still didn’t fit. A 100 foot tape measure was called for and the wheel base of the aircraft was matched against the foundations. Surprise. They didn’t match. It seems that when the engineer was designing the foundation he used a P2 for the wheel base size. The only problem was that he used a P2V-7, which is a different size. A quick reengineering of the steel braces was required. Following that, things went pretty well. The aircraft was mounted and braced. Over the next few days the wings were reinstalled and the aircraft was painted – with VP-21’s insignia.
Everyone was pleased with a difficult job well done. The NASB CO (now Captain John Collins) decided that there would be a dedication ceremony in mid-May. But two weeks before the ceremony, Lt. Glick received a call from Captain John Orrill, former CO of VP-21, but now Chief Staff Officer of Wing THREE. The good captain congratulated Lt. Glick for his excellent work but said that there was one thing wrong with the aircraft – Lt. Glick’s name wasn’t under the pilot’s window. Lt. Glick explained that the Commodore, Captain C.E. Mackey, a former Blackjack CO, might like to see Lt. Glick’s name on the aircraft, and Captain Orrill might like to see Lt. Glick’s name on the aircraft, and Commander John Goodfellow, the Wing Operations Officer and a former Blackjack CO, might like to see Lt. Glick’s name on the aircraft, and Commander Bill Locke, the NASB Operations Officer and a former Blackjack, might like to see Lt. Glick’s name on the aircraft, but Captain John Collins (as NASB CO the real owner of the aircraft) who had never been in VP-21 and couldn’t tell Irving Glick from a hole in the wall, might object.
But Captain Orrill was insistent. Lt. Glick finally offered a compromise. He recommended that the painting of his name on the aircraft be delayed until after the dedication ceremony in two weeks. Captain Orrill agreed. So it was with some surprise that Lt. Glick, while driving onto the Station the very next morning, noticed that his name was freshly painted under the pilot’s window. Well, almost. The name was Lt. Irvin (instead of Irving) H. Glick. When this was pointed out to Captain Orrill, his comment was “Now isn’t that just like the infamous Lt. Irving H. Glick. He can’t even get his own name right.”
WHO THE HELL IS “IRVIN H. GLICK”?
The only problem encountered over the next year was that, about once a month, some scallywags returning from liberty would undress the props. When the CO would notice this in the light of day, he would direct that the props be redressed. After several such occurrences, it was decided that the top cylinders should be filled with oil, effectively causing a hydraulic lock and preventing the props from being moved.
This might have been the end of the story except for an event that occurred in August 1978 when Captain Ben Hacker, a former Blackjack, assumed command of NASB. One of Captain Hacker’s first acts as the new commanding officer was to direct that Lt. Glick’s name be removed from the P2 and replaced with his own. By then, of course, Lt. Glick was a much respected member of Patrol Squadron TEN (although his loyalty would always be to VP-21). His squadron mates considered the removal of his name from his P2 as a unforgivable insult to everyone on the Maritime Patrol community, especially since it was replaced with the name of an NFO. During the night, some members of VP-10 repainted Lt. Glick’s name on the aircraft (after painting out Captain Hacker’s). The next day Captain Hacker saw what had been done and was not amused. He ordered the aircraft to again be painted with his name.
This confrontation between Captain Hacker and Lt. Glick’s friends and admirers continued for several weeks. So much paint was applied that the aircraft that it started to sag to port. The situation was resolved (at least temporarily) when Captain Hacker informed VP-10 that if they continued to remove his name from the P2, he would assign NASB sailors to guard the aircraft on a continuing basis. Not wanting to inflict this extra duty on their shipmates, VP-10 agreed to cease their attempts to provide Lt. Glick with the recognition he so richly deserved. The truce remained (along with Captain Hacker’s name) for the rest of Captain Hacker’s tour as NASB CO. In August 1980, Captain Chips Koehler relieved Captain Hacker as commanding officer. Captain Koehler did not consider it suitable for his name to be on an aircraft dedicated to the Navy’s most renowned Aviator. Eventually, Lt. Glick was again recognized as the quintessential Maritime Patrol Naval Aviator that he is, and his name was painted one final time on his Memorial Neptune.
Rear Admiral Harry Rich, Commander Iceland Defense Force was concerned that his Chief of Staff, Colonel Glendon K. Dunnaway, an Air Force fighter pilot of great renown, was spending too much time in the command center making decisions that had best be left to the junior officers. To solve this problem, Lt. Glick and Maj. Lusey developed a scenario where a local “house of ill-repute” was blown up by a band of Soviet sappers. Injured in the blast were Col. Dunnaway and, unfortunately, Lt. Glick, who had to share a hospital room for the next three days.
The exercise continued with the junior officers on the staff receiving very valuable experience and permitting them to demonstrate their decision- making abilities. Upon completion of the exercise, Lt. Glick arranged to have one AF briefing officer, noted for his fruitless attempts to cover up his less than enlightened decisions by providing extremely complex excuses, with the Linda Lovelace Award. This award reflected the fact that if you could swallow his excuses, you could swallow anything.
For their outstanding performance during the exercise in ruthlessly rooting-out and highlighting the sometimes less that adequate performance of their fellow officers, RAdm. Rich presented Lt. Glick and Maj. Lusey with the Order of the Purple Scimitar. Other than the Gedunk ribbon, it’s the only award that Lt. Glick has ever officially received.