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RVAH-13 Good and Bad 1 Reply

Started by William L Wilkerson. Last reply by Lawrence (Ski) Grumboski Apr 9, 2012.

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Comment by William L Wilkerson on May 7, 2015 at 12:07am

Mr Bertrand!  Thanks for the back slap BOSS!

Comment by Richard E. Bertrand (Dick) on May 6, 2015 at 9:40pm

I was privileged to be the SATE shop division officer on the USS America in 1968.  We had a remarkable tour and I credited it entirely to Petty Officer First Class Wilkerson for his truly professional performance as the Leading Petty Officer and Shop Supervisor and the truly talented staff of technicians working with him!  It was my first assignment as a newly selected Warrant Officer, and I'll always remember how important each man in the division was and how important Petty Officer Wilkerson was during the challenging times we faced and for the overall success we enjoyed while supporting RVAH-13 aircrews during that deployment. 

Comment by William L Wilkerson on May 6, 2015 at 5:35pm

I fully agree with Richard Barker about the vigi in the picture.   The first thing that caught my attention is the BAT on the right engine inlet.  I was also on the America on the '68 cruise.  I ran the Sate Shop TAD from the Squadron.

Comment by richard barker on May 6, 2015 at 10:18am

on the last monthly news letter it showed a vigi taking off from the uss america i was on a west pac cruise april - december 1968 i think this was cruise the picture came from

Comment by William L Wilkerson on May 3, 2015 at 1:57am

Neglected to say that the Museum where BUNO 156615 final resting place is (AFB) Atwater, CA.  I was told that there are No MORE RA-5C's in existence!!  Those that are on exhibit are IT!!!!!   I was an Instructor on the AN/ASB-12 Weapon System from Jul 1970 thru Mar 1972.  My two cohorts and I rewrote the training manual for the AN/ASB-12 weapon system.  I was told in 1976, that the Manual was and had been a an extreme help in maintaining the weapon system!

For that I am extremely greatly gratified.  During my carrier up until 1980 I was able to fly in each aircraft that I maintained!  A3, A5, F4, and others. 

Comment by William L Wilkerson on October 9, 2014 at 11:59pm

Sorry, his name is Robert R. "Boom" Powell.  He was he last Skipper of RVAH-7.  The Aircraft (156615) that I attached to my previous comment, was the last landing on a Carrier (USS Ranger) on 17 August 1979!   I don't know its travels between Aug 1979 Until the Museum received it in 2012. 

Comment by William L Wilkerson on October 9, 2014 at 11:36pm

North%20American%20RA-5C%20Vigilante%20-%208.jpgIf anyone is interested in a Vigilante History written by a Pilot, Robert R. "BOOM" called "RA-5C Vigilante Units In Combat".  It is NOT a concise history, but it does cover major points.  You can get from Amazon.com.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I visited Castle Air Museum at Atwater, CA.  I took a picture a Vigilante Buno 156615 with RVAH-7 insignia on it. Attached!!

Comment by Steve Ewing on October 9, 2014 at 10:43pm

Does anyone have hidden away  a copy of the Heavy 13 disestablishment program handout from the decommissioning ceremony? We could use a copy for inclusion with the package Al Plunkett is going to provide to the Naval Air Museum.

email us at :rvahroster@gmail.com if you can provide one.

Comment by Dennis Thomas (RADAR) Rader on July 30, 2014 at 11:36pm

I wanted to add that in 2004 I went to Hanoibut never saw the plaque, but I did visit the hanoi Hilton and saw Senator McCain's flightsuit on display.  There is now a luxury highrise hotel right next to the prison, and inside the prisdon there is three guillotines on display.

Comment by Dennis Thomas (RADAR) Rader on July 30, 2014 at 11:31pm

For Don Rudd: Yes, you are correct about LCdr Griffin and Lt. Walters, both excellent officers and fine gentlemen, especially Griffin.  I live in Knoxville and Griffin and his wife both attended the Univ. of TN here, but he left for the naval Academy where he got his degree.  I was in the cockpit of the a/c next to theirs when they did their preflight before that fateful flight, and the look  on their faces told a fearful story.  The day they got shotdown was Ho Chi Minh's birthday and today there is a plaque commemorating the shootdown in Hanoi.  Walters died the following day and Griffin the next day, as we learned after the war. Griffin is buried at Arlington, but nt know where Walters is buried.  The main thing I want to point out is that a few years after the war Griffin's widow met and married another Vigi pilot who was a POW for quite a few years and when released discovered his wife had divorced him.  She later wrote a good book titled 'A Heroes Wife' which has many letters between them during that 66-67 cruise, and some events I can recall. Her name is Dora Griffin Bell and the book is available in paperback from Amazon for little cost.  I have it and it is a good read, so perhaps you may check it out!



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