Entry Date: 4/14/1961

Exit Date:


Status: K

“Originally from eastern Iowa. I lived in several cities in that area until entry into the military, my first association was USNR in 1957 and went as follows:

Feb 1957 – Jan 1958
NR Surface Division 953, Cedar Rapids, IA – with a trip to RTC Great Lakes IL in Dec 1957.

Jan 1958 – Sep 1958
Enlisted in the USN and went to RTC San Diego, then to NATTC Norman, OK (basic aviation training) and on to NATTC Memphis to AMH’A’ school.

Oct 1958 – Sep 1959
NATTC Norman, OK, first real duty. Assigned to Operations Maintenance. (NATTC Norman closed in Nov 1959)

Sep 1959 – Dec 1960
ATU-501/VT-29 NAS Corpus Christi, TX. Corrosion control on P2V-3/4/6, P5M-1, and R4D-5/C-117D. Advanced to AMH2 just before departing.

Jan 1961 – Mar 1964
VP-30 NAS Jacksonville (Jan-Mar 1961) for P2V FRAMP.

On to VP-21 at NAS Brunswick and the P2V-7(SP-2H) assigned. Shortly after arrival I was assigned to CAC-3 as #2 Ord and crew metalsmith/ 3rd. wiper. CAC-3 had Buno 141242 for most of my tour with the following folks (as I recall) on the crew :

VP-21 Crew-3(LH-3) 1961-1964

PPC LTjg Thomas Betterton LT ‘Charlie’ Brown
CP LTjg Dalton LTjg M H Lewis
CP/Nav LTjg Robert C. Rohr LCdr J J Rollins
TACO LTjg William C. Ellis [NFO]

PC ADR2 Norman Stafford (Norm) ADR2 O.E. McErwin (Gene)
2nd Mech ADR2 Larry S. Jackson ADR3 Donald Fogle (Don)
Ord AO1 Lionel C. Banda (LC) AO3 Lynn Wall
2nd Ord AMH2 John E. Steyne (Gene)
1st Tech AT1 Clifford D. Morningstar (Cliff) AX2 Frank Fredella(Fred)
2nd Tech AT2 Lester Stotler (Les)
3nd Tech AT3 Andrew Przenkop (Andy)
Elec AE1 Warren C. Massey

LTjg’s Betterton, Dalton, Rhor all made LT in late 1962/early 1963. When LT Betterton departed VP-21 in 1963 the PPC slot was passed to LT (soon to be LCdr) ‘Charlie’ Brown. On LT Dalton departing the squadron LT Rohr got sole custody of the ‘right seat’ leaving now LT Ellis in the back as TACO/ Nav, then LTjg Mike Lewis arrived.
AO1 Banda finally made AOC and was re-assigned to the ‘AO’ shop with crew duties on ‘Crew-14’, AO3 Wall assumed Banda’s aft-station seat. AE1 Massey was promoted to AEC but remained on the crew. ADR2 Stafford PCS’ed and ADR2 McErwin became the head wiper. ADR2 Jackson was later moved to another crew and young ADR3 Fogle got the 2nd Mech spot. AT2 Stotler opted for civilian life and AX2 Fredella got his seat on the flight deck.

The first deployment for me was to Argentia (1961) with side trips to Keflavik. We also went north with a ‘weather guesser’ aboard to plot the ice flow into the North Atlantic. Then came the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), we were scattered all over!! CAC-3 spent time in Key West, the Azores, Keflavik, and all points between. Next came Sigonella (Jan-Jun 1963) where we did some down range coverage for the Project Mercury Space program, spent a few nights aboard the USS Tallahatchee County (AVB-2) in Suda Bay, Crete and Dechi, Sardenia and made a couple of ‘wash rack’ trips to Tunis. All this caused an accumulation of about 1700 flight hours for the tour.

Apr 1964 – Apr 1967
VT-4 NAS Pensacola, FL – Spent all my time in the airframes branch keeping the T-2A, T-2B, and T-2C’s in the air.

May 1967 – Jun 1970
NAS Guantanamo Bay – Worked in Operations Maintenance on C-54, C-117, UH-34, and HU-16’s. Did Maintenance Control, Quality Assurance and HU-16 SAR. Added a few hundred flight hours to my total and finally made AMH1.

Jul 1970 – Apr 1972
HT-8 Ellyson Field, Pensacola, FL – TH-1L and UH-1D airframes branch for the tour. Selected as Navy League Squadron enlisted man of the year for 1971.

May 1972 – Dec 1973
ADCOP Program participant, Associate Degree received from Pensacola Junior College.

Dec 1973 – Feb 1976
NAS Pensacola, FL – Operations Maintenance supporting T-39D, C-117, C-131, and T-28’s in Quality Assurance. Finally made it to AMHC !!

Mar 1976 – Apr 1977
VS-41 S-3A FRAMP at NAS North Island, CA., then on to VS-28 at Cecil Field. Was Aircraft Division CPO and was deployed onboard the USS America (Jun-Nov 1976). Promoted to AMCS and later selected for CWO-2 April 1977.

Apr 1977 – Jul 1979
NASC Pensacola LDO/CWO indoctrination then PCS’ed to be O-I-C of the NAESU Det Sigonella, Italy.

Aug 1979 – Oct 1980
HS-15 NAS Jacksonville, FL – SH-3H aircraft, assigned as Maintenance/Material Control officer. Deployment onboard the USS Independence (Aug/Dec 1979) to the Med. Retired 30 October 1980.

After retirement from Uncle Sams finest, I worked for several gov’t contractors on Supply projects, and as a technical coordinator for NAVAIR in the reopening of production for the SH-2F by Kaman Aerospace.

In 1983 I was called for a civil service position at NARDAC Pensacola (data processing) and eventually went into DOD after the 1993 BRAC reorganized that area. After being re-assigned to the Defense Mega-Center at Robins AFB, Ga I worked until July 2001 when I retired from civil service and relocated to Pensacola.”