RVAHNAVY'S RecceNet

For those who served in the RVAH Community, their families, and friends!

   I came aboard Heavy One in December 1955, one month after the commissioning, which

I believe was the first Saturday of November 1955. We were in Hanger One, NAS JAX.  Age

has deleted too much of my memory to remember the names of the CO & XO. The Air Intell

officer was LT Nick Oakley, who just passed away, and some of the B/Ns were Ensigns

Dick Dunleavy, Bill Fleischmann, Dave Folger and John Hoffer.  I arrived as a PH2, advanced

to PH1 the following May and left the squadron as it was leaving for a North Atlantic cruise.

My four years were up and I was offered more money in the GI Bill than to re-enlist.  The

other Photomates were PHAN Les Baker from San Antonio and PH1 Daniel Webster who

made chief on that deployment or the next.  I went to college in Austin Texas, reaffiliated

with USNR, advanced to PHCA in 1961, and during my annual active duty covered the

commissioning of NTC Orlando and the return of the POWs to Balboa NH in 1973, serving

with Combat Camera Atlantic and Combat Camera Pacific.   I later spent four tours as

an instructor in photojournalism at DINFOS(Reserve Component).   As a civilian, I spent 12

years as a United Press International newsphotographer in Austin and New Orleans.  I left

UPI and for twenty years ran the photo lab at Naval Support Activity New Orleans, serving

fifty Navy, Army and Defense commands and detatchments.  I am presently the Director of

the Retired Activities Office, Naval Support Activity, New Orleans.

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Replies to This Discussion

Welcome aboard Chief Cleary! Good to have you. Have you also joined the Whales group? Question: I'm unfamiliar with "PHCA". Could you please explain. Again, welcome aboard!

Richard: Back in the 50s & 60s, chiefs were advanced in an "acting" status..  All new chiefs had "A"

after their rating for about three years, then, if they kept their noses clean, were made permanent.

It was so long ago, fifty years, I have forgotten details.  I recall, I had to request my permanent status.

Filled out a form, forwarded to District Commandant, came back OKed.  Shudda skipped that detail.

BTW, first CO of Heavy One was CDR Paul Stevens, XO is tougher.  I learned he crashed an A3D

(carrier accident) and died.  I attended the 40th anniv.of VAH 1 at NAS JAX in 1995.  Not many of the

early squadron members made it.  You heard, didn't you, that A3D stood for All Three Dead because

of the two hatches, roof & belly.   BRCleary

Thanks Chief! I'd never run into that before. Learn something new every day! Things really have changed since those days.

As for the "definition" of A3D, I learned that early on when I was in Heavy 3, and again in VAQ-34 at Pt. Mugu.

The last Heavy reunion I was able to attend was at Sanford in the early or mid '70's. Wanted to attend last year in Pensacola but economics didn't allow it.

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