For those who served in the RVAH Community, their families, and friends!
OK, I'll be the test subject:
Born in Ohio in the 1950s
Moved to Florida (against my will) in the 60s.
Joined the Navy in the early 70s
Bootcamp: RTC Orlando Tech School: NATTC Memphis Framp RA-5C Vigilante: RVAH-3 @ NAS Key West First Fleet outfit: RVAH-12 "Speartips" Shore Duty: AIMD NAS Key West Framp A-7E Coarsair II: VA-174 @ NAS Cecil Field 2nd Fleet outfit: VA-15 "Valions"
4 buildups/cruises: 1976 USS Forrestal (Bicentennial Cruise), 1977 USS Independence (Med Cruise), 1978 USS Saratoga (Med Cruise), 1982 USS Independence (Med Cruise, mostly spent on Bagel Station)
Left active Duty with the Navy Nov 82, left Reserves Nov 85.
Worked in the Low Voltage Contracting industry in SW Florida from 1983 until 2009, when the economy and my bad back and 2 bad knees sidelined me, first as one of the masses of the unemployed and now according to my doctors and the Social Security Administration, permanently and totally disabled ( I had probably been disabled for a couple years prior to 2009 but hardheaded ol' me thought I was supposed to work despite the pain).
High School Graduate: Leesburg Sr. High School, Leesburg Fl
Associates of Arts in General Studies, Saint Leo University, St. Leo, Fl (attend extension courses given at NAS Key West)
Bachelor of Science in History (Modern European and American History), University of the State of New York Regents External Degree Program (now called Excelsior University, degree obtained via the Navy's DANTES program)
Multiple Navy and Corporate electronics and systems training.
James L. (Jim) Lanham
Born Memphis Tenn,
Navy brat, raised Memphis Tenn, Washington D.C., San Diego / Long Beach CA, Beeville TX, and finally Blackdog Township Oklahoma. Volunteered for Naval Aviation 1972 (figured only place you could bug out at over 200 MPH). Boot: Orlando Florida, Jet Mech 'A' school, Memphis, Tenn., RVAH-6 Boca Chica, Florida, Cruises 1974, USS Forestall, 1975, USS Kitty Hawk. QA Eniginer/Manager 20 years (Category 'C' instructor examiner for Army missile and Naval weapons soldering). Designer last 15 years (all DOD). Figure I'll die at my desk.
Philip Tucker a.k.a. Stick
Born n raised in Southeastern Illinois..
Around March 1st 62' at the ripe old age of 17 I decided to join the Navy..and no I hadn't been drinking
Did basic at Gt Lakes...and in March there was still plenty of snow...ice..and just plain miserable weather..
After basic was re stationed at The Lakes in ADCOM SECURITY DEPT...a.k.a.Base Security..gate watches..and volunteer fire dept..
In 63' got orders to VAH 6 NAS WHIDBEY...90days messcooking...the assigned to MAINTENANCE CONTROL....did 1 CARQUAL with the USSRANGER..64' VAH 6 was transferred to NAS VIRGINIA BEACH...and after some CARQUALS and shakedown...took off for the Med with the USS FORRESTAL...
Unfortunately I opted out due to my enlistment being up before the cruise was over..they wouldn't let me extend..but wanted me to re up for 4 more..so I screwed up and opted out..Something I've regretted ever since.....
Born in Atlanta, GA. Graduated from Fayette County HS in 1966 and joined the Navy in February 1967. Boot Camp in Great Lakes (not smart in Feb). AE "A" School Jacksonville, FL.
First fleet squadron: VS-27 Norfolk, VA (1967-1970)
First Shore duty: RVAH-3, Albany, GA/NAS Key West (1970-1974)
VA-37, NAS Cecil Field (1974-1977)
AVIC7 School Memphis, TN
NAMTRADET 1034 NAS Cecil Field (Made Chief in 1978)
VA-37 (can't get enough of the BULLS!) 1981-1984
Made Senior Chief 1981 and made Master Chief in 1984
Back to AIMD NAS Key West (1984-1987)
AIMD, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Japan, and subsequently the Command Master Chief (1987-1990)
Command Master Chief, USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) (1990-1993)
Command Master Chief, Naval Base Norfolk (1994)
Force Master Chief, COMNAVAIRLANT (1994-1997)
Director, Senior Enlisted Academy, Newport, RI
Retired in 1999
Went to work in the Military department for GEICO Insurance Company and have been the Military Department Director for six years now.
Born and raised in Lynn Massachusetts, but moved to Worcester MA when I was ten.
Graduated High School, by a whisker, from Classical High School in Worcester Mass; joined the Navy immediately afterward. Found myself marching/shoveling around “the grinder”, at Great Lakes, in early December of 1966. Plenty of snow there!
First duty station was NAS Adak Alaska, then I went to Photo “A” school at NAS Pensacola, Fla.
Next stop was Naval Photographic Center at NAS Anacostia, DC.
Then I found myself in Albany GA, at NAS Albany; this is where I became part of RVAH-12, and became familiar with the RA5C-Vigi! Still one of the nicest planes I have ever seen! Then we were deployed aboard the USS America. Picked her up at Norfolk, then went to beautiful GITMO!! :(
We shipped out on a WestPac Cruise via Rio, then to Olongapo (seemed like heaven) :) ;becoming a shell back along the way. Did what we had to do off Nam; visited Hong Kong and Japan, then went back home after visiting Sydney Australia! I kick my butt, to this day, for getting out, but I had a wife and child by then.
Went back to school, and had much better grades this time! Graduate Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Boston University. Was also accepted into the Alpha Nu Omega Honor Society at that time. Where was this learning ability in High School???
Was going to continue with school, but landed a great job with a private school, and stayed there until I moved to Dayton Ohio about twenty-two years ago. I worked for Click Camera of Dayton, as their Main Lab Manager, for over twenty years; then came downsizing, and this Old Italian found himself expendable.
Lost my job, lost my home, became disabled and here I am! I'm not complaining though; I still am with my beautiful wife Penny, we have raised seven children, have several grand children, and a handful of great grand children! That's when you know you're getting up there.
So, that is that my friends! I truly have had a great run, and it's not over yet!
At least not as of this letter :)
I am really enjoying reading about all of you, and Penny also enjoyed the histories.
I'm not sure what the game is but it looks like fun so I'll play a couple of hands.
Navy brat (born in to it). Moved up and down the east coast while growing up with special emphasis on Anacostia and Pensacola. Dad retired PHC in '64. He did one trip to Alaska (we didn't go) and one to Guam (we did go).
Entered Navy Reserve during my last year in HS (Dad had some crazy notion that I could snag one of their Annapolis appointments). Did weekends and a summer on the USS Tweedy out of Pensacola and caught the two week version of Boot at Great Lakes Christmas of my senior year in High School. Graduated from Escambia High, Pensacola, Fla. June '63. Dropped out of college after 1 semister and went "regular" for a promise of PH A school at Pensacola. Reported to Sanford Aug. 64 to join RVAH 7 as soon as they got back from the 'around the world cruise'. First deployment with RVAH 7 abd Enterprise out of Norfolk, went around S. Africa and came up on West Pac from the back side. End of that cruise cross decked to RVAH 6 coming out of San Diego. Came back to Sanford with 6 and was sent (volunteer) back to RVAH 7 to finish the cruise that was in progress ( message said they were short camera repair photomates but it sure didn't look like it when I got there). Came back to Sanford just in time to make next deployment with RVAH 6 for my final cruise. Saw plenty of Olongapo.
Back to school and finally grad. in '73. Taught Jr. High school and coached for about 3 years. Got on with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs and finally stayed with something long enough to retire. Finished up as Mil. Svc Coorid. on base at Camp Lejeune and about every other mil. base East of I-95 in NC. Taught part time at a local Community College for about 5 years and did a 2 year stint with Lowe's selling Lawn Mowers and stacking heavy stuff on shelves. Now my main enterprise is taking the garbage to the road once a week and making sure the dog gets to go out when she wants to.
Born in '56 and entered the Navy's delayed enlistment program in 74...bootcamp in Great Lakes, Avionics A School at NATTC Memphis, first squadron RVAH-3 for FRAMP in Key West, was selected for the BOOST program (officer candidate school, left after 5 months because my vision was just shy of Naval Academy requirements....before LASIK!) sent back to Key West and there were no AT billets so became a plane captain with RVAH-6 (Med cruise on Nimitz) and RVAH-12 (Med deployment Saratoga/NAS Rota). Reenlisted for IFT in P-3s as an AT2 and was stationed at Moffett Field for FRAMP and aircrew training, Coronado for SERE/SAR school then sent to VP-4 (NAS Barbers Point, Hi, NAS Cubi Pt, Philippines, Diego Garcia and a few other exotic places. Got out frocked to E-6 (AT1). Loved my time more now that I look back on it!
Dave Weber. Born 1950 in Waterville, Maine. Was put up for adoption and ended up in Lansdale, Pa. (actual home town in Maine was North Vasalboro....PoP= 350!) Found my "Maine" family at age 33. Mother had already passed away, father in California somewhere, (he'll be bock!). "inherited 5 brothers, met all. One retired from Army and lives next to me....I make him tell everyone it was the Navy he retired from!!
Finished high school in "68 and enlisted in the Navy in '69. Boot at Great Lakes in January, not a smart move. Turned down Orlando boot......another "not smart move"!. Went to AE school after that in JAX. Was then assigned to Albany, Ga. Messed cooked for 90 days in base hospital. Actually learned some stuff. Then went to AIMD where I was assigned to a retiring E-10....that's right.....E-10! Nicest person I think I ever met. Well respected by all on base. I was was his Gopher till he retired (about 2 months). Then on to AE shop (spent 3 months in battery locker.....fun!). Then on to Heavy 14. Left right away for Med cruise on JFK. No AE's needed, so on to line shack. Became Plane Captain (best "job" I ever had....nothing has ever come close).Got back to states and was offered 10K to re-up. Said no (another BIG mistake). Married a WAVE from Albany base....lasted 9 months.....details.....not worth it.....Still will never say anything bad about her though.
After getting out...went back to work for Ma Bell. Got left on the sidelines 11 years after that due to breakup. Worked for Interconnect industry after that(private phone co.'s). Had heart attack at age 42, open heat at 45, diabetes thrown in for good measure! Doc made me get out of phone business....was doing the 7 day a week stuff. We also had a very part time office cleaning business...decided to do full time....took it all towards the cleaning of medical facilities. Now only have two customers, but multi locations. Both customers do Colonoscopies....yum! Each has an out patient center which pays pretty good. I guess you could say I fell into some "poop"!
All in all....I'm a pretty lucky guy. Some have seen my pic of my daughter the future bride. Have an older daughter who teaches high school and a middle son who works for Lockheed-Martin.
I'm married (again) for 35 years.
Have 3 cats. 1 fish.
Would love to move to Florida...but the bride says "NO!".....due to GrandKids....5 of em! Guess she's right.
I really do hope there is another reunion, that I can attend, and meet most of you. This site has brought back a lot of good memories and created some new friends.....doesn't get any better!!
Born 1944 in Southern California. Family moved to Texas when I was 3 months old.
I joined (1961) the Naval Air Reserve while in H/S. In 1962, I requested active duty status and I received orders to NATC San Diego California as an E-3. I was assigned to Battalion HQ. in a status of awaiting orders. During the next 2 weeks I did an accelerated mandatory training program (shipboard fire-fighting, swim quals, etc.) I was billeted with the Recruit Honor Guard and when I wasn’t in Class’s, I practiced with them. Two weeks later, I received orders to VA-94 at NAS Lemoore California.
WEST-PAC 1964 on board USS Ranger.
1967 reported for duty RVAH-1 NAS Sanford, Florida and NAS Albany GA.
Duties included Plane Captain (Land based)
Flight Deck Trouble-Shooter (at sea)
1969 -Med. Cruise
1970 -F14 Factory School Bethpage N.Y.
1971- Naval Air Test Center Pax River MD.
Assigned to Transit Line OPS for F-14 and RA-5C support, TAD awaiting VF-2’s transition to F-14.
1972 TX to VF-2
1974- West-Pac USS Enterprise
1974- Medical Discharge- Flight Deck Injury
!975- TECH-REP Grumman A/C Corp. F-14, left 2 months later. Could not get clearance for Sea Duty due to Medical Discharge.
Moved back to Texas. Went to work for Police Department and retired after 31 years of service.
Can I join the fun?
Born in Newark New Jersey in 1946..first year baby boomer! Lived in Elizabeth, NJ until second grade then we moved to Livingston, NJ..where I graduated HS in 1964. Was in marching band, concert band and orchestra for flute and piccolo. Studied music for years and wanted to be in New York Phil...never made it. Went to secretarial school and then X-Ray school...then worked in big hospital as x-ray tech...then office job. (all the time raising my son from first marriage). Always wanted to join Navy.........did after the approval for women to join with dependents. Boot camp at Orlando, schools at Millington, NAS, then Key West. While in TN..I had my second child..I was first to get approval to remain in Navy after having a baby. (I had married a stupid sailor..who ended up abusing my children..got rid of him.)
Wanted to make Navy my career, but had trouble with husband in KeyWest and it was made clear by admit. that my career was at an end!! Left Navy in late 1976.
Moved to IL....had my youngest son at Great Lakes;.earned my AA in Social Science, then my BA at Carthage College and finally my graduate degree (MHRM) at Keller Graduate School of Management in Milwaukee. My last place of employment was the UW-Milwaukee directing the Equity and Diversity Department as Equal Opportunity Specialist.
Now retired and enjoying life with my children all grown. Just me and Ziggi...AND I want to thank you all for making me feel welcome and part of the Navy group again.