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

Donald Lee Frederking
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  • Manito, IL
  • United States
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Hit By A Sail Boat:
5 Replies

LOCATION:Highway Outside Daytona Beach Florida heading for NAS Sanford Florida with passenger"SONNY LOVINS" and you are hit by a SAIL BOAT.That's right a sail boat.Who are you?Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by michael e mercer Jan 17, 2016.

VA vs Blue Water Sailors Agent Orange Benefits
10 Replies

For over four years I have been waiting for a decision regarding Agent Orange issue.Since joining RVAHNAVY's association last week I have found three RVAH-5 members thatare affected by medical issues…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by David H Small Jun 13, 2016.

1 Reply

Assigned to RVAH-5 Squadron Aug. 1963 Sanford Fl.Great duty station, location and squadron.Ist time I had ever seen a plane like the vigilante. Certainly wasn'tup to speed on the caliber of…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Frederick P Myers Jan 19, 2016.

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Profile IconDonald Lee Frederking gave a gift to John DeFiore
Apr 22
George B. Fleet left a comment for Donald Lee Frederking
"Sorry for the late reply.  I vaguely remember LT Mergo but that is about all I can tell you.  Wish I could be more helpful.  "
Dec 3, 2019
Donald Lee Frederking added a discussion to the group RVAH-5

Lt. Nick J. Mergo passed away and family needs assistance

Lt. N.J,. Mergo's family is trying to find anyone that flew with him on the 1964-1965 on the                  Wes-Pak cruise aboard the USS Ranger Squadron RVAH-5the family (son) Nick contacted me and is looking for help in filing (for his Mother) a claim forAgent Orange diseases.Lt. Nick Mergo flew on several missions in the second seat and helped search for missing pilots from our squadron.Any knowledge, assistance, information, remembering the incident they would great appreciate the help.I…See More
Aug 21, 2019

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Date of Birth
December 28, 1943
What Commands/Squadrons were you with? *Notes* only choose RVAH-3 if you were squadron personnel, all others there for training select the RAG/FRAMP option, IF YOU SELECTED "OTHER" THEN YOU MUST ANSWER ONE OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW. BE SPECIFIC

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Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 2:49pm on December 3, 2019, George B. Fleet said…

Sorry for the late reply.  I vaguely remember LT Mergo but that is about all I can tell you.  Wish I could be more helpful.  

At 2:40pm on March 4, 2019, Bob Zadareky (Zad) said…

Hi Don - I was in RVAH-5  from Feb. 1965 to Aug. 1967.  I made the Med. cruse on the USS America.  I was a DK3.  Hope all is well with you.

At 10:08am on December 23, 2017, Stuart F. Carlin said…

Thanks Donald, here's to the good ol' days.

Stu Carlin

At 5:56pm on February 13, 2017, William (Bill) Kelehar said…


I was in Heavy Five from around April 1963 until May 1965. I was a PR3 and worked night check while in Sanford and worked some nights and days while deployed on WESPAC 1964-1965. I left the unit on our return from deployment and went to shore duty in Key West.


At 11:25am on April 20, 2016, Danny Conatser said…

Thanks for the welcome. I've been a member for several years just been away for a spell, I heard from an old friend recently and thought I would check back with the Tigers, guess I had to start over but will visit a bit more often. I was with heavy 1 from 65 to separation in 69 in the Med. Made a lot of friends back then but lost touch will most of them over the years. Again Thanks-------Danny

At 12:06pm on March 28, 2016, Al Shimkus said…

Hey Don, you may or not remember me but I was a PT the worked in the IOIC on ship and intell office when in Sanford from 64to 66, I'm sure our paths crossed when we where in Heavy 5 as I was all over the place,bullsXXXing with the guys.

At 3:24pm on January 21, 2016, Russell S. Decatur said…

Hello Don

Yep made a partial cruise on the 64/65 years. I was an AE 3 with the squadron

I nearly got my self killed during night combat operations just before we lost the first Viglante and crew in Dec. of 64. My accident occurred on a dark as hell night where the flight deck crew parked one of our birds to close to the rear right A/C elevator. The port gear was over the safety fence and they could not raise the fence I was assigned to that A/C that night. Went up to flight deck made it to the plane to board the cockpit. As i reached for the ladder I steped off that big black hole because the elevator was down on the hanger deck level. Needless to say I had very critical injuries from that almost 40 foot fall, but at least I am one of a few people survivng that type of fall. Was flown off the next day to hospital in Phillipines. Spent about a year as a in patient and finally as a out patient at Bethesda Naval Hospital Maryland. Finish my navy career at the now closed Anacostia Naval Air Station, Washington DC. After five years I was medically retired from the Navy. Even though I still experience pain every day from those injuries I am very humbled that my awesome God has allowed me to live 72 years so I can't really complain. Good hearing from you and God Bless you.


At 5:53pm on January 15, 2016, Albert Murray said…

Thanks for the friend request I made the Indy cruise in 68/69. left the ship as a new daddy and AD 1. took me 9 months to get my kid and 4.5 months to be a ADJ 1. what shop were you in Don?

At 5:41pm on January 13, 2016, Philip L. O'Brien said…

Hi Don;

I was with heavy 7 Aug 66 to Aug 68. Made west pac on the Enterprise and Med on the Independence got released in Greece and flew back to states to be separated.

At 12:59pm on January 13, 2016, Bill Egbert said…

Hi Don,

I got laid off in 69.  I think the last tail id I remember seeing in the hanger was 126 which I thought was the last one out.  I was in avionics doing checks and trouble shooting on all those coax and wave guide installations.  Hope I never see another piece of safety wire.

Donald Lee Frederking's Blog

Follow_Up on Dec. 7 2018 Hearing Washington D.C.

Court was convened and it was outstanding knowledge being presented by the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association. If you aren't a member you need to join today.

Mr. Percopia was represented by an outstanding lady that was completely in control of the knowledge regarding the case.

She presented our case starting with Case Law pertaining to the case, International Territorial  Water rights of Nations and delivered the final blow when Veterans Affairs out-right…


Posted on December 12, 2018 at 3:06pm


Dec. 7 2018 the U.S. Court of Appeals will be hearing a case that stems around the V.A.'s decision to cover

"Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans".

In 1991 Congress passed the coverage to those Vietnam Veterans "Presumption of Exposure" to Agent Orange.

The V.A.…


Posted on November 30, 2018 at 12:49pm — 1 Comment



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