Name: KENNETH GARVIN
Entry Date: 60
Exit Date: 66
“I joined the Navy Reserves fresh out of High School in Garland, TX in Aug. 1955 and went to Boot Camp in Great Lakes in Jan. 1956. Following Airman Prep in Norman, OK I made a feeble attempt at AT-A school in Memphis and as they say “”the rest is history””
I soon found myself “”Haze Gray and Underway”” involved in the Navy’s foray into the concept of Jet Seaplanes with the P6-M marrried to the idea of using a converted LSD, the USS Ashland LSD-1. After the concept failed I found myself aboard an AVP, USS Valcour with nary a seaplane in sight on the way to the Persian Gulf. Rudely ensconced in the world of chip and paint and then do it again!
Returning to Conus I was rewarded with Shore Duty orders to FASRON-108, Brunswick,ME. So much for Global Warming. I worked the system for an assignment to the AO shop because they were just about the only division that did not stand ramp security watches in undress blues, low cuts and white hats. Finally got smart enough to take the AO3 exam in Aug of 1959.
The following year I crossed the ramp to the P2V world with VP-21 where I spent the following 6+years acquiring two more stripes and logging about 3200 hours in various seats, flight engineer, radio, MAD, ECM and In-flight chef. After a brief tour ashore at Quonset Point, I thought for sure the Navy needed me back in Maine in the P3 world. But Alas, some one invented the A7-A and the Viet Nam War and if your credentials included the title AO-1, guess what? I joined the squadron in training at VA-174 as a Plank Owner in 1967.
One week to the day before we departed for Westpac, Master Chief Sredonja called me at home and let me know I had been selected for AOC first increment (7 days away). His parting words were “”You better be ready”” Instead of a leisurely last day home with the bride, I spent my time between uniform shops, thrift stores and the “”lucky bag””; I managed to put together the new wardrobe befitting the title, AOC(AC) Garvin.
The night before my initiation, enroute to Rio De Janeiro, the rest of the squadron’s E-6’s evicted me from my berthing space at midnight!
Following the cruise, I moved across town to the banks of the St. Johns to AO (B) school.
During my next shore duty at Weapons Dept. Cecil Field I held the post of Guided Missile Division LCPO and was fortunate enough to be selected for WO-1. My initial tour was to VA-83 where I racked up 3 cruises to the med totalling 22 months in chopped along with the accompanying carquals, mini cruises, etc. Along the way, I picked up my very own Airman’s Certificate with ASMEL(Inst) rating.
The heart attack that went along with 3 back to back Med Cruises put an end to my budding flying career. Following forced retirement in Sept 1976, I pursued various and sundry careers including Resales, Mortgage banking, Auto Sales, Bail Bondsman and Bounty Hunter. When my pace-maker came within a nano second or 2 from firing while I wrestled a bond jumper, I decided to hang it up at age 62 and moved to the Mountains of Ashe County NC. About 70 miles from Hickory.
After busting my medical I picked up a couple of new hobbies, sailing and eventually at age 52 sky diving.