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

Not sure you all have seen this but my cable company has been running a 1980 movie called “Final Countdown” – Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katherine Ross.  It’s a story about USS Nimitz operating around Hawaii and enters a time warp taking it back to Dec. 6, 1941.  Great carrier ops video and of deployed squadron operations.  Interesting is a brief shot as the limo approaches the base in the opening scenes of an RA-5C parked on the ramp at Naval Station Pearl (but had to be NAS Key West – plane has GJ tail marks identifying it as the RAG squadron RVAH-3 – based at Key West.

I thought you all might enjoy seeing it if it’s on your cable provider.  If not, it’s a good one to add to your collection.  Likely some of our shipmates participated in this since some scenes were filmed in Key West and on Nimitz while operating off Atlantic Coast.  The scenes of the Arizona at Pearl were actually shot off the Kitty Hawk as it entered port.  Not sure what year.


The Japanese ZEROs were actually North American T-6 Texans.  When I was on the USS Constellation Pacific cruise with RVAH-6 in 1966, the movie Tora Tora Tora was being filmed in Hawaii.  In that movie, they also used North American T-6/SNJs.  Dick Wells (deceased now), our NAAC airframe rep provided some tech support to the T-6 crews in keeping the planes operational during our in-port visit to Pearl.


By the 1980 time when the movie was made, most of the Vigilante squadrons were in the process of being decommissioned. 







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Comment by Emerson S Conrad Jr on September 8, 2017 at 4:24am

The time on the Nimitz was either late 74 or early 75. I was technical advisor for a Navy training film and we shot scenes on that ship. Food in the wardroom was great, lots of steak & lobster. Our crew would discuss the next day scenes to be shot with the Final Count Down crew so we could avoid getting in each others shots. The Douglas' were a pleasure to work with and very  accommodating, even though they were paying for everything and we were not. Because of that contact, I went to see it as soon as it came out.  

Comment by Steven R. Ewing on December 3, 2016 at 8:01pm

I and couple other guys walked out on the OMD flightline and looked at the "Zeros" parked there. They were actually modified North American Texans.

Comment by Rodney D Chapman on November 30, 2016 at 12:46pm

Another movie you may recall was "Midway"  In the mid-70's  parts were filmed at NAS Pensacola using the "Lady Lex" as a backdrop. At the time, my wife was president of the Navy wives club. Some members were invited, and accepted to be used as "walk-ons" while filming. Good stuff!!

Comment by Joseph Alleman on November 16, 2016 at 4:12pm

I remember when the movie was being filmed there in using parts of the Air Station.....  Cool !!

Comment by peter c derose on November 15, 2016 at 2:03pm

Neat stuff all around !!!!!!!!!


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