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For those who served in the RVAH Community, their families, and friends!
Latest Activity: Aug 3
Started by William L Wilkerson. Last reply by Lawrence (Ski) Grumboski Apr 9, 2012.
I served with RVAH 13 from summer of 75 until decommissioning in 1976. I got sent to Heavy 13 straight from A school and when I got to Key West I found out the squadron was already in Norfolk on a shakedown on the Independence getting ready for a Med Cruise. Did the '75-'76 Med cruise. I see a couple of names on here that were in 13 the same time I was. I was the DK for the squadron so you all saw me at one time or another. Great time living in the barracks on the beach on Truman Annex. Lots of great friends from the squadron--Terry Plank (anyone remember Woody?), Stosh, Breck Halyard, Jim McBride, Joey Halpin,? Great guy Herb Ward made me a parachute bag while we were on the Indy—said it would last me forever—35 years later and that bag is as good as new.
Transferred to RVAH 5 after that until my tour was finished. Never did a cruise with 5 so I didn't get to know those guys very much so nothing against Heavy 5 but 13 will always be home to me.
After AQB A School I was assigned to VAH-1 in Jacksonville in 1958. We soon moved to Sanford, FL and after three Med Cruises and numerous training cruises in 1962 we started transitioning to A5A Vigilantes. I reenlisted and was sent to B School at Memphis where I was reassigned as an instructor. In 1967 as an AQC I joined RVAH-13 in Sanford, just prior to moving to Albany, GA. We deployed on the USS America in March 1968 and had a very successful WestPac deployment, coming home in Dec 1968. During the cruise, I was promoted to Warrant Officer (W-1) and was eventually transferred to VT-1 at Saufley Field, FL. Subsequent tours took me to the USS Oriskany as a ship's company AIMD Avionics Officer, VP-65 (a reserve P-2/P-3 squadron) as the active duty Maintenance Officer, VP-23 as the Maintenance Training Officer and Assistant Maintenance Officer, and finally to COMPATWINGSLANT in Brunswick, Maine, as the staff Maintenance Training Officer. Under the command of Cdr Higginbotham, Cdr Dave Fall, and Cdr R.S. Donaldson in RVAH-13, we completed our combat deployment on the America without losing a single plane or aircrewman! We were all very proud of our squadron!!! I'll always remember our committment and preparedness during that deployment! It was a highlight of my Navy career!
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