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

I was an AE2 when I checked into H-3 in 1970...I checked out in 1974 after the wing moved to Key West.  I remember some outstanding folks in that squadron like our MO when we got to KW, LCDR Barrell McCrea, LCDR Oatway and a Tech Rep named George Freese.  I left H-3 and went to the A7 community at Cecil Field.  I retired in 1999 after serving just under 33 years.


If there is anyone that was in H-3 during that time frame, I'd like to catch up.



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Replies to This Discussion

Mike, This is Ben Coleman. I was in the Line Division from 1969 to 1971. Transferred to H-11 in Oct. 1971. Oatway sounds familiar but don't remember the rest. Thanks for your time in service. We need more to come forward.

Oatway was an assistant MO in Albany and kept that job when we moved to KW. One of our MOs in Albany was a Gordon Wileen and I think he is here in the DC area. Later in my career I served as the CMC on THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1990-1993) and the CAG then was a guy named Fox Fallon. I mentioned vigis once and he wanted to know how I knew them and that's when I found out he started in Heavies before he moved to A6s...small world. I saw some photos of him at the 2009 reunion. I will make one of those one day, but this year the wife and I are headed to Perth, WA for a couple of weeks so it will be at least another year before I get to a reunion.

I don't remember too many guys from the line. I vaguely remember an A4 PC named Null, but that's about it.

I worked with some good Air Frames guys then, Jack Gordon and some others. Those were very good days...some of the best in my career.

Thanks for the reply and take care.
I was an AME-1 in H-3 from 74 thru76 I was discharged Dec.31 1976,AFCM Carver was leading chief.
Hi Mike,
I read you posting and it brought back some fond memories of my time in Heavy 3. I report to Heavy 3 in Oct '70 and was with the squadron until my release in Feb '74. I worked in Maintenance Control as an AZ and LCDR Oatway was my Division Officer. If I remember correctly the AE hope was right next to Maint Control upstairs. I remember Chief Anderson and a couple of other AE's. Some of the Chief's that served as Maint Control chiefs were Chief Clifton, Woodcock, Roth, and Pereonie (sp). I worked the 1500 to 2300 shift and prefered that to days. I remember George Freese as he use to come up to Maint Control on occasion. I did make the Pensacola reunion last June and saw a couple of pilots who still looked pretty much the same as they did back then.
AZ2 Bill Swoyer
You are right, in Albany the AE shop was right next to Maint. Control. Chief Andy was our shop chief on the swing shift...you and I worked the same shift it seems. I contacted Chief Andy a few years ago...he retired when the squadron moved to KW and went back home to TN. It was good to talk to him, but I have since lost touch (again). I remember a Maintenance Chief named Bow (sp) and while he was tough as nails, I thought he was a pretty good maint. Chief. I always liked Oatway too.
When we got to KW, Chief Woodcock was the night shift maintenance chief and I thought he was another good one as well.
Thanks for the memories.

Happen to be surfing the net.  (Rainy day).   Read your post.  I was in H-3  from 69-72.  I saw Chief Bow's

name mentioned.  I've been trying to get hold of a Chief Bow & Cheif Bish.  If you have any info you wish to

share or fwd, I'm at  badgeman4@hotmail.com.  Thanks

I was an AE-3 at NAS Albany. I got there around late 1970 or early 1971 out of "A" school. Worked 1st LT for a short, then night time galley and finally got to go to the shop for 1 month. Then had to go to Line Division and became a Plane Captain for the A5. Also became a PC for the A4 and got to get some flight time in with the A4. Enjoyed what I was doing and never really tried to go back to the shop; which was dumb. I extended my enlistment for 3 months and I got to earn my 4 year stripe; even though not told or given to me. A few of us got what planes left at base ready to go to Key West. I cranked them up and sent them on their way. Then I got out in February of 1974. For the person mentioning Chief Bish I remember him well. He actually went to work at the Sears store in the Albany mall. Saw him for many years. Not sure if he is alive now. I cannot remember the head Chief's name on day shift; which I worked on. Maybe someone else might know it. Have a friend that we used to go to church with before we moved. He was in the Line Division too. If any of you have seen the movie "Facing the Giants"; then you have seen him and may not know it. That is of course if you knew him back then. His name is Dennis. I want give last name as he may not want me to do that. Great times and bad times back then! Just a part of life to learn and adjust for the future! I get excited when I go to Pensacola and see the A5/A4's on display!  Really miss aviation even though the years have passed!

Hey Ron,  nice post.  Thanks for what you knew about old Cheif Bish.  He really saved my can when I was in trouble with the local PD's in Albany.  I owe this guy a lot.   I to was a p/c under Chief B. 69- 11/72.  Although it was for only a year, then I tx to the P/P shop, then Maint Control, then Check Crew.  By moving around the squadron, I had opportunity to learn a lot.  Sorry to say, at that time, I didn't have very much love for the USN, and couldn't wait to return home.  This was probably my immature teenage years, and my raging hormones for "Jersey Girls".  As the years quckly went by, I realized and appreciated the important lessons learned and was thankful that some of those in authority steered me in the right direction.   Now, 4 kids & 5 grandkids later, when talking/explaining things to them, I sometimes feel like I'm  talking to a brick wall...Now I know how others felt when talking to me when I was young.  Well Ron, I didn't make the re-union down in NASKWest.  I was always in NAS Albany.  I've kept in contact with several guys from there and you may or may not know them.  

Yes, I still get excited when I attend airshows. Beleve it or not, my 14 yr old grandson has found a junk yard nearby that has dozens of dismantled F-4 stored. along with a few J 79's  dash 8 & 10's stacked up.  I talked with the owner's son.  Apparently his father obtained them and never did anything with them.  The son didn't know too much about them and when I told him what treasures he had, he was suprised.  Never the less, grandson & I sure had fun climbing all around those pieces of history. 

Well, hopefully I'll locate the old chief and give him my thanks.  Have a great Christmas.

ADJ3  Badger 

Ron M., thanks for heads-up on 'Ol Chief Bish.  I haven't had any luck.  Hope he retired healthy, wealthy & wise.  Just wondering if there are any A5's, A4's or TA3D's on static display @ NAS Key West?  I'm headed down that way soon.  I haven't seen an A5 after I left NAS Albany in 72.   Found an old Military surplus junk yard in So Jersey that has dozens of       

J-79's stacked up.  Also many F4's dismantled and stacked up.  Supprising thing is that after all these years the airframes still do not have any corrosion.  Interesting thing is that the yard's original owner handed it down to the son.  I enjoyed giving him a brief history lesson.  If anyone is interested, the location is in Atco, NJ (South NJ).  There is also a "Dragway" a few miles from the yard.  A few racing enthusiast build "Jet Dragsters".  I saw one powered by an old J79.  No afterburner.  Funny thing was the engine was in bad cond't, ex: cracks in the compressor section.  I mentioned it to the owner but he still raced it down the 1/4 mi track.  He had to be a "bubble short of plumb".  Well, sorry if I get on a long tangent.  Seems the older I get, the more I can go on & on & on.....  Like all the rest of the RVAH 'ers, it sure was fun and a great learning experience doing what we did so well.  Everyone have a great Easter.


I know there is an A5 and A4 at the NAS Pensacola museum. Years ago when I saw them I got excited. A4 was in H-3's colors but not sure if it or the A5 had a squadron insignia. Sure wished I had gotten a picture of me flying in the A4 with the A5 taking pictures of us over South Carolina. Just not thinking too smart back then. My computer uses several wall paper pictures of our A4 and A5. Got one of a friend as he (PC) taxes pilot of 305 out for flight. Just kept searching internet and found it. I fly radio controlled planes and helicopters; so that is as close to flying I could get these days! 



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