VFP-62 Newsletter December 15, 1958 Page 6

VFP-62 Newsletter December 15, 1958 page 6

LT LYNN'S EJECTION IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

In order to have a well informed squadron and give Bob Lynn's vocal chords a rest after having told his story many many times we will publish his version as told to your roving NEWS-LETTER reporter. Also following this account by Bob the story as printed in the BARBADOS ADVOCATE dated Tuesday, November 18, 1958.
The story as told to me by Bob is as follows: Nov. 17, 1958, about 1438, Bob took off from the Intrepid, commenced a normal climb out in preparation for a rendezvous with LTJG Vaught and LTJG Modrak. Upon reaching approximately 5000 feet Bob experienced an electrical fire with complete electrical failure and runaway trim, nose down. At this time Bob's position was approximately 18 miles from the ship and about 65 miles west of Barbados but within sight of the islands of St. Lucia and St. Vincent.

Bob was still able to control the aircraft, with difficulty, so he returned to ship climbing to about 15,000 feet to perform slow flight to determine if the aircraft was controllable in the landing configuration. It required both of his hands on the stick to keep the aircraft from nosing over which was very tiresome for his arms. Bob discovered that when he lowered his flaps he could not control the aircraft so he immediately raised them again. He lowered his gear satisfactorily and descended to the vicinity of the Intrepid. Bob made several passes by the ship with his gear and hook down to convey to the ship that he was in difficulty with no means of communication.

At this time LTJG Jerry Vaught joined up with Bob and the pilots communicated by means of the hand signal technique. During this time the Intrepid made a ready deck. LTJG Vaught remained with Bob for the rest of the flight until the ejection.

Bob attempted a landing on the Intrepid with flaps up, full wing fuel and full drop tanks because he could neither drop them or transfer them and he did not know the quantity of fuel remaining. His landing approach was attempted with more speed than normal due to his excess weight and difficulty in controlling the aircraft. He touched the deck, picked up number three wire, his tail hook broke, and the air-craft bolted.

Bob stated that he felt a slight tug as he touched down and that was all. He did not know his hook had been broken until so advised by his wingman Jerry Vaught.

It was now obvious that he would have to divert to Barbados. He and Vaught headed for Seawell Airport which is located on the island of Barbados, about 65 miles away. About 5 miles west of the island and about 15 miles from Seawell Airport Bob experienced a flameout assumed to be due to fuel exhaustion. He was at approximately 2800 feet at this time. He picked this time to eject. He stated that all survival gear worked perfectly.

Bob entered the water and inflated his mae west with little or no difficulty. He was picked up very soon by a fruit schooner from Trinidad.
The schooner was on the way to Bridgetown. Later Bob was transferred to the Harbor Patrol Police Boat but not before he had a glass of Ovaltine and a smoke on the 'schooner. His water—proof watch was also still working fine and is still keeping perfect time, On the, Harbor Patrol Boat there were reporters and photographers. Shortly a Grumman Goose landed near the boat that had been diverted to the scene by Seawell Airport Tower. This aircraft took Bob from the Patrol Boat and delivered him to Seawell Airport. The Intrepid’s TF flew into Seamen Airport end picked Bob up and they returned to the ship the following morning.

When Bob first arrived at the airport he was met by the American Consulate and a few other dignitaries. The Governor of the Island was unable to be there but he did send a note indicating his sympathy for Bob’s accident and his gladness that he survived unscathed from the incident. The evening prior to his return to the ship Bob spent a very pleasant evening, along with the TF pilot who supplied Bob with some civilian clothe as guests of the Marine Hotel in Barbados. Bob says it was a very nice "lay out".

Bob says if you ever run into a schooner Captain in your travels that has a VFP—62 cigarette lighter with his name on it, it is perfectly all right. He was only too glad to give it to the Captain as a memento for picking him out of the water.