Come back when you’ve got your varsity letter:
Come back when you’ve got your varsity letter:
* Telegraph from Patrol Wing Two Headquarters warning of the attack on Pearl Harbor
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — In a decision that will save the federal government about $369 million, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded a $3.643 billion multi-year procurement contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. on June 30 for 25 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
The five-year contract covers the purchase of full-rate production (FRP) E-2D aircraft, Lots two through six, during fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2018.
“The multi-year contract award increases the affordability of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, achieving the best price with taxpayer dollars,” said Capt. John Lemmon, E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office(PMA-231) program manager. “PMA-231 is committed to providing the warfighter with this interoperable weapon system. The program office’s unified mission focus and expertise will enable the E-2D aircraft to meet initial operational capability (IOC) at the start of next fiscal year.”
Quite a review of the types present in Naval Air in 1970…although they are missing one major player…
A good friend, fellow scribe and most importantly, a shipmate of the very best kind, CAPT Kevin Miller, USN-Ret. has just published his first novel, Raven One as an ebook with Kindle Books. Hozer was an F/A-18 driver and served penance with me on the Navy Staff many passings of the Moon ago. Over time we’ve gone back and forth over whether it was worth the effort to flesh-out the stories he was putting together into a skeleton novel and go through the grinding editing and marketing process to get published. It is therefore that with a firmly penned OK that recommend this book to tailhookers and shorebound alike. A quick bit about the book itself from it’s spot on Amazon:
“Lieutenant Commander Jim Wilson, a fighter pilot aboard the carrier USS Valley Forge, is weary of combat over the skies of Iraq. He has been there many times since the late 90s, but now, as each passing minute draws him once again closer to combat, various other conflicts also complicate his life. His executive officer Commander “Saint” Patrick becomes unreasonably overbearing; his wife Mary, fed-up with their long separations, applies pressure for him to resign from the Navy; junior officers test his leadership skills as they act in unpredictable ways; and the raging sea outside serves as the only thing that separates him from events that will change forever his life and career. Imminent combat with the inhospitable and hostile countries over the horizon is the only constant he can depend on.
Raven One places you with Wilson in the cockpit of a carrier-based FA-18 Hornet…and in the ready rooms and bunkrooms of men and women who struggle with their fears and uncertainty in this new way of war. They must all survive a deployment that takes a sudden and unexpected turn when Washington orders Valley Forge to respond to a crisis no one saw coming. The world watches – and holds its breath.
Retired Navy Captain Kevin Miller fills his novel with flying action and adventure – and also examines the actions of imperfect humans as they follow their own agendas in a disciplined world of unrelenting pressure and danger.”
Here’s this link: Raven One now go and enjoy.
As a squadron of U.S. Navy dive bombers, flying at 12,000 feet, closed in on a Japanese target the sky ahead would fill up with bursting anti-aircraft shells as the Japanese defenders ranged in their guns. A high speed run in to 10,000 feet placed the squadron almost two miles high over the target in the
midst of the bursting anti-aircraft fire. The leader signaled attack and rolled over into a vertical two mile dive, followed at 3 second intervals by the 12 planes of the squadron.
As pilot of the seventh plane in the formation Chuck Downey steepened his dive until he hung suspended from his shoulder straps, hands busy of the control stick and throttle, feet working on the rudders. Chuck looked straight down at the six planes below him with their dive flaps deployed. He was aware
“All of a sudden there was a huge flash. Everything blew up in my face about 400 feet in front of me … the whole thing just blew.” The Helldiver in front of Downey had exploded, hit by anti-aircraft fire. It had been flown by Johnny Manchester, a relatively young new pilot nicknamed “School Boy.”of them but did not see them… his eyes was focused on the Japanese warship below him, his target. He was also aware of anti-aircraft shells bursting around him but he did not see them…all that mattered was the target he was lining up in his sights…
“There was nothing there, no airplane, pilot, gunner, bomb, load of gas,” Downey recalls. “It was all just gone, no smoke, no nothing. The whole thing just blew … and I just kept diving through it.” His attention remained focused on his target as he passed through the cloud of fragments clicking like hail against his fuselage. He planted his bomb on the bridge of a Japanese cruiser, his target, and pulled out of his dive low over the water.
Got your interest yet? If so, head over to a new blog about dive bombing by one of the few surviving Helldiver pilots who flew in the Pacific Theater – LCDR George Walsh, USN-Ret. http://divebombingnavy.blogspot.com/
And if not — better check your pulse
If, like your humble scribe, you spent anytime turning the pages of the Tailhook Association’s quarterly pub, The Hook, between 1991 and 2011, you undoubtedly paused for Jack Woodul’s column “The Further Adventures of Youthly Puresome” drawn from his deep reservoir of stories from his time flying the A-4 and F-8 Â – and other sundry endeavors. Â They were (are) great stories and something those of us who came along in the immediate aftermath of Vietnam and before the PC police hijacked the narrative can relate and attest to. Â In his own words:
We Naval Aviators of my ancient era occupy a shared space and time that was unique, heroic, funny, outrageous, and tragic. We circled the wagons against a society that repudiated us, picked off a bunch, and said frabb anyone that couldnâ€™t take a joke. We share a common bond that I am unwilling to let perish when I am hustled off to the Non-PC Gulag.
Those stories, regrettably, ended after 2011 and eventually disappeared from the web, leaving me to resort every once in a while to make the trip to the basement, pullout the box(es) of old Hook magazines and pull a random issue for a YP fix. Â And given the current baleful look SWMBO casts at my library of Hook magazines, I fear for their continued existence on this earth, at least in current form and not recycling in a dump someplace. Â It is therefore with no small amount of joy to note that YP is available once again at a new, dedicated site: Â http://youthlypuresome.com/Â – and we’ve added it to the roll over there on the left under “Naval Aviation.”
BTW – these stories also formed the kernel of an idea with YHS that rattled around in his brain bucket until the blogging platform arrived. Â So – while I count Lex, Sal, Xformed and Far East Cynic as my motivators for getting into blogging, it was through theÂ auspicesÂ of The Hook and “Youthly Pursesome” that kicked my tail into writing outside of work or the classroom. Â
Welcome back YP – we missed ya!
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E-2 Hawkeye’s entry into Fleet operations. Â Over the course of those fifty-years the aircraft has radically changed and grown in capabilities and mission focus, while visually remaining much the same as the first E-2A . Â From Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, Â it has been a part of every conflict and some notable special missions. Developed as a purpose-built AEW platform to guide carrier-based fighters to intercept Soviet missile carrying bombers, it counts a multitude of missions that include battle management, post-disaster relief (air traffic control), SAR, counter-narcotics, and ASUW, to name but a few. Â In its forthcoming iteration, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, it will be a centerpiece in Navy’s integrated fires plan. Â All that said, the E-2 also played a major role in my life for the better part of a 26-year career, and still influences it today.
So how do you recognize 50 years of service? Â Well – you certainly throw a celebration – and this year’s Hawkeye Ball and Hawkeye Week in October will feature the 50 year celebration (more on that to follow). Â An E-2CÂ will be inducted into the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola (finally!). Â And in the run up to Hawkeye Week this site and the Hawkeye-Greyhound Association’s site will feature articles on the historical background and lineage of the Hawkeye, along with personal memories collected from those who have flown and worked on the Hummer. Â We’ll kick it off here in the coming days with an updated re-run of the CADILLAC I & II series from a few years back. Â If any out there have stories or memories to share (and especially photos – we need photos particularly from the early days, due credit will be given and copyright enforced) please send them along.
Watch for the hashtag #HawkeyeAt50