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



Members: 67
Latest Activity: Oct 29, 2017

Discussion Forum

Med cruise in 69-70 on Saratoga and West package on Ranger with RVAH-1 5 Replies

Started by Rod Hildreth aka Rod Dubinsky. Last reply by John Silvio May 4, 2017.

Friends from 65 to 69 10 Replies

Started by danny conatser. Last reply by Edward Trubenbach Jun 30, 2016.


Started by Bernie Klunke. Last reply by Bernie Klunke Dec 7, 2015.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Steve Ewing on March 13, 2014 at 2:48pm

If anyone is trying to find a "long lost buddy" send me an email to rvahroster@gmail.com and I'll look and see if we have anything on them. I can't release their info, but I will email them (if they have a current email address on record) and let them know you're looking for them. Tell me in the email what you're willing for me to give your old shipmate for contact info (email. phone, snailmail address). Then it's up to them to try and contact you back (If they don't respond or hide even better there's nothing I can do).

Comment by Richard Weston on October 16, 2012 at 6:32pm

Just joined the group.  My name is Richard Weston and I served with RVAH-1 from January 1963 until July 1966 in the Power Plants group under Chief Clark.  I worked the flight line in Sanford and the flight deck on both the 1963 Med crusie and the 1965 WesPac cruise.  I made the June 1966 deployment due to the involuntary extension and was subsequently sent to Philadelphia for separation in August 1966.  I also was TDY to RVAH-3 in spring of 1963 wihile attending A-5A Fuel Systems & Power Plants school.  A life long friend of Jack Leoanrd since October 15, 1962 when we met while attending ADJ "A: school in Memphis, TN.

Comment by Stick on October 10, 2012 at 4:39pm

James Chargis is looking fo......

Skip Hodder--VAH-1--1962 through the Pacific Cruise --now in Indianapolis Indiana
Clay White --VAH-1--1962 through 1965 --now in Huber Heights Ohio
Nelson Court -- From Jax through Key West---now in Gainesville Fl.
Delano (Del) Gorski - Vah-11---1962 through 1965---now in Mobile, Alabama
Richar (Dick)Bertrand--VAH-1-and several other places--did 26 years--made Warrant Officer--now in Panama City, Fl.
Pat Brady--1962 thriugh Key West--last known address Big Pine Key, Fl.

Comment by James J. Montalbano on October 4, 2012 at 7:56pm

Dear Jack,

It's a funny thing that the Navy seems to have lost or can't locate your records for being in county. The same BS has happened with me I was on two beach detachments during our WestPac cruise 70-71. I was a AMH 2 plane capt & line division training P.O.. There is no info entered in my records to that effect & only Artie Fricchione remembered my detachments because I replaced him on my 2nd assignment which I also ended up in DaNang. When my Congressman inquired for me he came up empty. My exposure got my diabeties & neuropathy. Why can't we find our squardons own records?, or did the Navy can them when they  decommisioned the squadron and airwing. I've call the Navy & National Archives and they can't find or just don't want to look. The V.A.told me the same thing and when I asked the VFW for help which I'm a member they told me find it yourself. I feel your pain Jack good luck bud. Let know how you make out.......

                                   Jimmy aka "Banjo"                               

Comment by Jack R. Leonard on September 20, 2012 at 4:32pm

Source: Independence Command History Report

WestPac Deployment aboard USS Independence 10 May 1965 to

13 December 1965

Anchorage, St. Thomas           15-16 May 1965

Anchorage, Singapore             10 June to 14 June 1965

In-Port, Subic Bay                    17 June to 28 June 1965

Subic Bay                                10 Aug to17 Aug 1965

Anchorage, Hong Kong           19-24 Aug 1965

In-Port Yokosuka                     28 Sept to 10 Oct 1965

In Port, Subic Bay                    13 Nov to 15 Nov 1965

Comment by edward r. harig on August 27, 2012 at 6:18pm

to gus villarini on the 70-71 west pac. the ame shop was in the same space as the mech. shop i was amech.there and ran the day shift,while tom tipton ran the nite crew.remenber the space that the a/c elevator cables ran through and how we fixed it up. and a couple of guys ,slatter and cembrook.  welcome aboard

Comment by Jack R. Leonard on August 27, 2012 at 2:14pm

Thanks for your input, guys, about the Vigilante that diverted to Da Nang in August 1965.  I was ordered to take a COD to Da Nang to preserve the engines prior to transhipment of the plane to the US.  I was exposed to Agent Orange while there and, after a long latency period, developed multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer).  The VA says that was caused by Agent Orange.  I needed proof that I had "boots on the ground" at Da Nang.  Thanks for responding.


Comment by Gus Villarini on August 26, 2012 at 3:29pm

RAVH-1  was my 1st command at Albany, Ga 1971 I was in the AME shop, made the USS Ranger Cruise also the WESPAC aboard the USS Saratoga. My 2nd tour with the "SMOKEING TIGERS" was in Key West 76 -79 when we decommisoned.

Comment by Jack R. Leonard on July 13, 2012 at 4:40pm

Does anyone remember an RA5C in RVAH-1 aboard the USS Independence diverting to Da Nang Air Force Base in July/August 1965 due to hydralic failure?  The pilot also lost pneumatic power and couldn't open the cockp it and had to blow the canopy off while stranded on the end of the runway.  I need someone with personal knowledge of this incident to support a claim with VA.

Comment by Paul Kantner on April 4, 2012 at 10:45pm

The time was good, heavy 1 ams 2, worked the flight deck, saratoga, america,an theJFK.. always wondered what happen to those crazy brothers I worked along side of.... You don't realize the thrill till after its over.... enjOY!!


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