Newsletter VFP62-DET 33, 22 November 1958

Cougar F9F-8P #948Cougar F9F-8P #94822 November 1958
Dear Skipper:

This newsletter may be a bit premature since November is still with us, but it's now or never as the end of the operation draws nigh.

We departed Norfolk on 3 November aboard the USS INTREPID (CVA-11) for LantFlex 2-58. Since most of us are warm weather sailors at heart, we were fortunate that the exercise was scheduled for the Caribbean area. We certainly have no complaint about the scheduling of the photo planes on this ship. Prior to the loss of Sealtest 948, we had been scheduled for an average of three-two plane launches per day (six sorties) and when we came within range of land targets, all of our flights were scheduled and flown as P/R. We were indeed gratified by our reception and the understanding of our problems that was shown by all concerned and I feel that this condition was partially brought about by the fine reputation Barney SMITH's team enjoyed while aboard. Thanks, Barney, for preparing a smooth road for us!

ComSecFlt is aboard INTREPID c. d the personal liaison thus possible has been most beneficial. Most of our contact with the Staff has been with LCDR R. D. SULLIVAN, Staff P.I. Officer. We had a fine working arrangement: LCDR SULLIVAN wanted photos, photos, and more photos. We, in turn, were only too pleased with the opportunity to get them for him. Also on ComSocFlt Staff, is LCDR Harlan WILLIAMS, who invented the SMA mount. He is with Staff Air Operations and has given us much encouragement and aid.

It has been my policy to have a manned spare for every launch, availability permitting (which it almost always did), even though the two scheduled aircraft seldom went down. "Somebody up there" apparently noticed this, and after the first three days or so, we were scheduled for eight (8) sorties a day: two three plane launches, and one two plane launch. This enabled us to cover many more targets than we would have ordinarily been able to do.

Well, there we were in a bed of roses, as it were, and then Black Monday, 17 November, rolled around. Bob LYNN, Jerry VAUGHT, and George MODRAK, were scheduled for a P/R flight shortly after the ship left Barbados. Bob was launched last, and on his climbout rendezvous, suffered what we believe to have been a voltage regulator failure, which caused a severe electrical fire, trim tab runaway to full 4o nose down, and associated problems such as no fuel transfer, no fuel quantity indication, no radio, etc. He dropped his wheels, but when the flaps were lowered, the nose of the aircraft pitched down to such an extent that full back stick would not maintain level flight. He then retracted the flaps and when the deck was clear, attempted a no flaps approach. Two hands were required to maintain level flight at all times. Jerry had joined on him by this time, and received from him a fuel signal, followed by a thumbs down, Bob, we found out later, could not jettison his drop tanks, which were full, as were the wing cells. He made a good approach, considering the situation, but the hook failed (never even slowed him down)
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and he successfully boltered. It was decided that the barricade; could not hold him so Jerry was instructed to take the lead and divert to Seawall Air Field, at Barbados. Enroute, #948 flamed out, apparently from fuel exhaustion. Bob successfully ejected and was picked up shortly by an inter-island schooner. A civilian amphibian just happened to be inbound to Barbados at this time, so Seawall tower diverted it to the scene. He landed alongside the vessel, picked up Bob and landed him, at Sewell, from where he was returned next AM in the ship's TF. The civilian population was considerably impressed, I understand, as simultaneously with 948's crash (not 5 miles from the town), the massed air group flew over Bridgetown, Barbados in a sort of fare well flyover. The populace must have considered it a spectacular climax to the Air Show.

We have discovered (or rediscovered) one interesting fact about the Cougar that we are certain will bring shrieks and sobs from '01 Cougar Drivers, in addition to cries of "Never", "Not So" from the rest. The fact is this: DROP TANKS DO HELP: We have been able to cover targets normally beyond the range of a Cougar when operating within a fixed cycle time. By proceeding to target at max continuous power, thus gaining precious minutes over the target, and booming back to the ship the same way, we can go farther, have more time over target, and have more fuel upon return than a Cougar without tanks. True, some performance is lost (.02 IMN and 300# HR at 20M) but the extra fuel available more than offsets this. Det 33 is sold on the tanks! The only time we do not plan to carry them is if scheduled for a high altitude, VMAX type of flight (and if it's dangerous, we will recommend the Crusaders for the job). Many comments such as, "Gee I didn't know a Cougar could carry tanks", have been received, along with expressions of doubt that the plane would actually fly.

Liberty in Barbados was not quite so gay as in, say, New Orleans, but it was different. Mellow weather, much rum, and happy hour prices everywhere eased the many tensions developed by that long eleven day cruise. Everyone arrived back alive and healthy (we hope) after exploring all cultural aspects of the Island.

We have the good fortune to have assembled a group of officers and men who are a team in spirit as well as in name. To quote a favorite phrase of George MODRAK's; "Just a bungalow of bliss". Cooperation among all hands has been outstanding - where there's a job to be done in a rush everyone turns to. A good example of the team can-do spirit is this episode :

SCENE 1; Time : 0645
Place: USS INTREPID CVA-11), flight deck port side. Plane
Captain gazing in consternation at drop tank leaking
fuel through a faulty seam. Aircraft scheduled for
0730 launch.

Problem: What to do?
SCENE II; Time 0710, Same place

"Pilots man your planes". Pilot approaches aircraft, not really expecting to go - couldn't possibly get another tank hung in this short time!! Sees one tank on deck, another being lifted into place by many hands. Hmm, might make it! Looks like the whole Detachment is helping.

SCENE III: Time 0730; Aircraft launched, soley due to team effort.

As you probably have inferred by now, we are pretty well pleased with our first operation except for that bad, bad, 17th of November. Statistically, it can be summed up as follows:

This has been accomplished in 13 flying days, as of 22 November.

We have the beginnings of a well knit air group in CVG-6 and are anticipating the long cruise with them.

For an old straight deck aviator, this angled deck is real gentleman's flying. To make things even nicer, we have ready tankers at all times when the jets are flying - During the cycle, the AD tanker orbits over - head at Angels 10. During the recovery, his station is at 1500 feet, 3-4 miles ahead of the ship. Having had to utilize the tanker once (plugged in at 700 pounds) , Norm YOUNGBLOOD can attest to the ease of mind given by its presence. It do make it nice!


Load,off load, and load again has been our theme for these short exercises prior to leaving CONUS. This is not a new headache nor has any remedy been found by us to ease the provoking situations which occur. A cargo manifest and a passenger manifest are the only gouges provided that are used.

Det 33 left Cecil via three sorties (R4Y type). Somehow between the hangar deck of 'CL #67 and the terminal loading platform an engine sling was lost. After carquals when the pilots returned to pick up our drop tanks the sling was found in a rather obvious place (the trunk of C.C. SMITH's car). On reflection, it has been confirmed that C.C. was the last person from the parent Maintenance Department to say fond adieu. His remark at the time was "I've just locked all of our spaces and posted a watch at each door". We all noticed a large grin creep over his countenance as he eyed our engine sling which we had very adroitly cunshawed……

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from VA-36. Imagine that, the sling didn't even belong to him in the first place. At the next check of our gear the sling was fitting. This
is of course all circumstantial evidence and as a matter of fact, just a joke (on us). We all realize that the sling somehow was laid aside and we forgot to take it - SURE WE DID!!!

Upon arrival at Norfolk, CVG-6 demonstrated his efficiency and planning which we have since observed many times over. We were met by an officer of his staff who had arranged for our personnel transportation and the moving of our gear to our new home away from home. Compartments, spaces, and rooms had also been previously set up. After being logged aboard, stowing our gear, and drawing mattresses, etc. all of the crew were in the sack just in time for REVEILLE.

Since than, we have off-loaded our personnel and gear to Oceana and loaded all aboard again with only one change in procedure. At pier 12, NOB, Norfolk, we found ourselves involved in heisting our aircraft aboard. The detail was handled by FASRON THREE from Norfolk, with two Jaygee's from the same outfit in charge. They seamed quite calm about the whole affair as they obeyed the flight surgeons orders and drank a glass of milk every 30 minutes. Somehow six threads of the heist sling fitting in one of the aircraft were stripped. They then turned the decision of whether to hoist or not over to us. After J. E. CLARK inspected it and supervised getting the belt bottomed he assured us that it would do the job so the loading officer gave the command "Heist away", and calmly poured himself another glass of cold poison.

We have more off-Wading to look forward to prier to returning for Christmas leave and none of us care to think 'f how many of these drills in the future. But one thing stands out clearly during these trying times and that is, each man of Det 33 turning t' with our ever developing attitude of "Get the jab done". Excellent seamanship has been displayed by all, and we have particularly noticed the leadership of Chief POWERS and our Petty Officers in supervising all matters which arise.


Although ours may not be considered one of the glamour jobs, in a sea going organization, it does hove it's moments which try the patience of those persons involved. To be more specific, have you ever tried to type a smooth letter with a strip of Sonne film or a strip of negatives wrapped around your head and draped over your shoulders? Actually PORTER, PN3, has done excellently in cultivating a nature degree of patience and perseverance under the circumstances. However, it was considered a climax had been reached the ether day when TYLER exclaimed, "What has happened to my negative of NAS Roosevelt Reads?" A few seconds later, PORTER discovered the missing film, but; alas, the following day’s flight schedule had been typed on it. A slight exaggeration I must admit. Our working space, Admin Office, Dint. Office, and supply Office had been the "Ship's Camera Repair Office". This was necessary due to the Staff's movement onboard ship and their occupation of spaces for their work. With this migration of the Staff our regularly assigned P.I. space went to these with more high level work and problems.
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USS Intrepid overhead view during LantFlex 2-58: This photo was the front page of the Newletter . Click on the photo to go to the image page. Once there click on the work "original" to see the full image size.USS Intrepid overhead view during LantFlex 2-58: This photo was the front page of the Newletter . Click on the photo to go to the image page. Once there click on the work "original" to see the full image size.

In spite of the cramped working space assigned to Detachment 33, every-one cooperated in the highest manner.

We were pleased to be able to berth all of our men in the same berthing compartment. This, of course, is the ideal arrangement and eliminates several little problems that could have existed if our men had been scattered about the ship. MAC DONALD, recently made AN (Nov 16th), and I am told, is already burning the midnight oil in preparation for the February Exam.

Our admin and personnel problems were at the bare minimum. This can largely be attributed to PORTER's knowledge of his work and his ability to find the answers if they were not immediately known to him.


Much work, good food, and short nights seem to best define the schedule of our Maintenance Department. Thanks to the excellent co-operation Chief POWERS has received from all detachment hands, we have been able to maintain a 95% availability. Even our 3 plane launches proved to be a challenge that the "Tiger" Detachment 33 could handle.

Naturally, luck alone isn't the answer; many nights Chief POWERS, CLARK, WELCH, MC KINNEY, CAMERON, FLOWERS, ANDERSON, RAYMOND, PROSISE, MC KENNA, NAFZIGER, BRUNELIE, and DORY, have been working until the work was done. Sometimes the sun was coming up at last but the work was finished and a feeling of pride was felt by all concerned.

I think the most thankless job, but certainly one of the most import-ant, is the plane captain. DE SYLVIA, FERER, OLSON, MILE, SHEPARD, and THOMPSON, are certainly deserving of the highest praise. Their ability to work rapidly together and maintain the highest possible standard of safety was noticed by everyone on the ship. We received numerous compliments from other Squadrons about our clean aircraft.

Hangar deck accidents are a normal thing aboard the USS INTREPID, but after we stabbed an AD into ACCP for about a week with cur probe. (with only a small paint scratch to the mighty F9F probe), we have had no problems.

Our work load was reduced by one-third when Bob LYNN left #948 just off Barbados. It was a thrilling climax to the 40 plane fly-over for the thousands of people watching as Bob did three summersaults and came floating down in his parachute. As one native said, "These Americans will do anything for a good show".

The rest of the week was successful. With the extra effort; everyone put out, we only lost one launch.

The best Information we have concerning the trouble of #948, is voltage regulator failure. Grumman has an over voltage protection which they are putting into all F9F-8T and was a proposed retrofit for the F9F-6, 6P, 8, and 8P. This was net adopted because of money reasons according to Grumman representatives. Could this be??? The number is ECP-250,

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Mr. Dooley, it looks as though we are bringing you two aircraft that will be ready for major checks. We are looking forward to our four nice new F9F-8P's for the cruise. One spare, of course.

After departing from the air terminal at Norfolk, Virginia, things were going full gun, and pretty smooth until we started loading on the ship. The airlift arrived in Norfolk about midnight and by the time the detachment transferred the gear from the aircraft to trucks, stowed it on the hangar dock of the ship, which was in dry dock, started hauling their personal gear to the compartments, it was pretty early in the A.M. PORTER was musceling his seabag through dark unfamiliar passage ways, and at one point tossed his seabag through a hatch ahead of him. When he stepped through, NO SEA BAG!! Turns out he had tossed it right through the guardrail of a catwalk and to the bottom of the dry dock. Talk about an 101 Salt

During the first few days of no flight operations, here was the Plan of the day for our Ace Mech, CAMERON:

0600: ( or anytime thereafter) Revielle
0800: Ready Room rest period
1130: Chow (If awake)
1230: Relaxation period (Not to be confused with sleep) 1630: Wake for chow
1700: Chow
1800: Cat nap time
1900: Shower (If in an upright position)
2000: Actual sack out time (Legal type)

NELSON, our Storekeeper, has been notified, by some crude source, that his orders have come through for February about the same time we depart for the Med. He's been whistling "Dixie" ever since. Wonder where he's from?

Overheard up on the flight deck the other day: "If I earn $3000 a year and my wife earns nothing, she's a dependent. But if it's vice versa, I'm a bum. WAR IS HELL !

NOVEMBER 13th, Port of Call - BARBADOS

From the day the USS INTREPID left Norfolk, Virginia, the crew of '62 Det 33-59, waited with all expectancy to reach the Caribbean, and the Island of Barbados. When the day finally came, all Blue Bravo was packed away, and the starched White Alpha was brought out for LIBERTY CALL. Of course, there was the usual grumble from the duty section, but they didn't grumble long. Although they had to stay aboard, a taste of the Island came aboard the ship, featuring a dance group that did the native dance, the Limbo. There is no description for it. One just has to see it to believe it.

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What a mad scramble (of course '62 was calm): The first two days of liberty are not to be printed for fear of censorship: For any information concerning those days, contact LANE and PORTER. THEY SHOULD KNOW:!! The other two days were concentrated on less important things such as tours, buying gifts, etc: The natives of Barbados were very friendly and courteous: sort of reminds the old hands of World War II with all the natives calling you ',Joe and Yankee''. The only difficulty most of the crew had was ex-changing money: The English money system is quite an elaborate thing, and is nowhere more complicated than in the British West Indies: The result is something bordering on utter confusion for the visiting Sailor:

We all thought NAFZIGER was turning native climbing all those trees collecting cocoanuts: You should hear IC KENNA'S English, by jove, blooming good, you know: About two days after departing from Barbados, ANDERSON discovered two pink handkerchiefs in his whites: Wonder where or from whom he got them?

The expectancy of reaching Barbados is not half as bad as that of reaching Jacksonville. If we can keep J. J. CLARK from jumping over the side and swimming to Jax., we've got it made:


AVERDISROP-1 - These figures briefly sum up this department's story for LantFlex 2-58. The maintenance crew has not come up with many complaints over parts availability. This is due to many long hours of stumbling and scrounging around in the storage bins by our Storekeeper, J.H. NELSON. Our AK, having made a previous cruise on the USS INTREPID under the leadership of LCDR DEPAUL, has had it rather knocked since many of his old aviation supply department buddies are till serving with the ship: NELSON has earned a fine reputation because of his smooth manner and his ready DD-1150: We were sorry to learn that he received his orders and will not make the Med: Deployment with us:

It is only right that mention be made at this point of the parent squadron's supply gang, 0onerats - - - it appears the high usage data end support equipment list compiled over the past two years has put us in excellent shape: It's a fact that submitting this information to the ship early enough can prevent many headaches and ACCP's later.

We have found our requisitions generally conforming to all past records, with the possible exception of the harness assembly averdisrop. We nearly had to go ACCP for this but in tune with that old Navy know how Chief (Sea Daddy) POWERS' boys were able to make the old one useable until the averdisrop brought us another, The original harness assembly is still holding up fine: Also we are again proving from useage data, as have detachments in the past, that the old axiom concerning useage of tires is still a fact, i.e:, it seems beyond reasonable doubt that the ratio of tires

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blown or cut is inversely proportional to the bolters taken: This usage, of course, might work its way to struts (we hope not) as the betting goes higher and each pilot becomes-more desperate.


After departing the Jacksonville area with "The Word" (generously supplied by various and sundry "Weathered" PI types) in mind as to the wonderful vacation we would enjoy, we settled down to make the most of what we were sure would be strictly a "Pleasure Cruise" to the lush, tropical isles of the Caribbean: We can hear the words still ringing in our ears
"No sweat, Man!" If I knew then what I know now

The first of many wide-eyed, crestfallen looks appeared on our faces as soon as we got all squared away in the regular PI spaces aboard ship: Seems as though ComSecFlt Staff was looking for a natural habitat in which to roost, happened to come across our PI SPACES, AND PROMPTLY DECLARED
later, we found ourselves "sandwiched" into a corner of the "vast" camera repair shop: Our designated 4X4 space became the supply Depot, the Admin Office, the hangout for the photo and maintenance crews, and the Intelligence "Nerve Center' of VFP-62. Looking back, we realize that this
situation was instrumental in establishing our basic teamwork pattern of "all pulling together" at the outset of the cruise: It became a matter of necessity when anyone chose to enter or leave the room:

A few days later, as Bermuda was passing abeam, the Ensign and 1st Class PI types, eager to show their stuff, managed to "bobble" through a couple hundred feet of practice sorties. Still "no sweat". But then came the fateful day of 10 November, and the first strike phase of Lent Flex 2-58 began. Film poured into the Photo Lab day after day, and blood, sweat, and tears poured out of the PI spaces night after night: For the record: 93 hours - 9 hours sleep. A cool 48 straight at one point: But through the concerted efforts of one and all in 33's pack of tigers, the Detachment received a message of commendation from ComSecFlt describing our work as "Excellent - An extremely encouraging improvement in Fleet readiness".

By the morning of the 13th, we had all the odds and ends cleaned up, and all hands set to falling into a liberty-minded mood (which wasn't too tough to do): No use trying to describe what a good time we all had in port, no doubt you will hear 34 1st-hand accounts upon our return to Mother '62:

On the morning of 17 November, we steamed away from our "Island in the Sun", everyone R & R'ed to the hilt and looking forward to the third phase of LantFlex 2=58 enroute home. As you all know by now, on our first and last three-plane launch that day, LT it: E: LYNN went swimming: We heard that LTJG G.C.VAUGHT and the AD pilot had much trouble keeping LT LYNN in insight after he hit the water because he kept diving down trying to recover the camera gear out of 'OLD 948, Needless to say, all hands were very much concerned and were happy to got the "BALD IGGLE" back aboard safely and in

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good shape. In a more serious vein, this cruise certainly has been a wonderful training period for all of us. The pilots almost have their techniques down to a science, working under tighter tolerances as the cruise progresses: We did have some trouble with runaway cameras and malfunctioning mags, but luckily, most of it seemed to come after we had flown and completed our assigned missions: The photo crew is working smoother and faster in loading and handling of the cameras and mags, and in trouble-shooting the systems. The Photo lab has been plagued with a personnel shortage and equipment breakdowns, but it seems to have most of its problems rectified and is now turning out some 4,0 work. I, for one, feel that I've learned more in the last three weeks than lever did in 32 weeks of school.
The crew as a whole, is really a going team. Each individual in the Detachment is in there pitching, doing an excellent job by putting out his best: A great group to work with; with five officers and twenty-nine men; liberty minded, and work conscious.

Well, so much for this one. The nice thing about this newsletter is that we will be arriving at the parent squadron when it does - would that we could utilize this same method of delivery for future newsletters,

Very Respectfully,

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