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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 Andy Shupe on May 29, 2015 at 11:42pm

Thank you, William.

You can't stump the ol' Internet. Here's the life of this plane:

RA-5C 156608 

*5/1969: Delivered to the US Navy. 
*1969: RVAH-3. 
*1971: RVAH-9. 
*1972: RVAH-13 as "NK-601". 
*1972: RVAH-13 as "NK-124". 
*1973: RVAH-6. 
*1974: RVAH-1. 
*1975: RVAH-5. 
*1977: RVAH-3 as "xx-304". 
*1978-79: RVAH-7 as “NE-610”. 
*11/20/1979: Made the last Vigilante flight ever. 
*Currently preserved as a gate guard at Naval Support Center Memphis, TN.

Comment by William L Wilkerson on May 29, 2015 at 11:21pm

RA-5C%20Vigilante_North%20American%20-%20RVAH-7.jpgThere's an RA-5C on display at the National Naval Aie Museum in Pensecola, FL.  If interested.

Comment by Andy Shupe on May 28, 2015 at 10:06pm


I guess it's called Millington now, not Memphis anymore. Thanks Rick. I'd love to take Dad to see it since he's in Kentucky. He came for a visit and we went to the Arkansas Air and Military Museum here in Fayetteville, Ark., where I live and he got to see an A-4 and an A-7 that are on static display here, both of which he worked around. He enjoyed them, but I'd love to give him a chance to see an RA-5C again.

Comment by Rick Adams on May 28, 2015 at 7:53pm

On display in Memphis or at NAS Millington?  I would have thought that they would have closed that place long ago.  Nice shot tho-.  I was on that cruise.

Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Andy Shupe on May 28, 2015 at 3:58pm

Thought I'd post this here for your enjoyment. I bought this from a collector in Australia and plan to give a print of it to my father, Edward Shupe, for Father's Day. From what I can tell, this is either before or after Dad's cruise from Sept. 1972 to June 1973 on the Enterprise. If I'm not mistaken, NK601 was Chumley's plane and from the serial number, this was one of the last Vigilantes to fly. It's on display now in Memphis. Anyone have any better information than that? I'd love to learn more about it. Dad took a lot of black and white photos, but no color so this was neat to see.

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. 


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