I am Clyde's son and was doing some research and saw this article. Yes- I remember Moffett Field, We lived close by and used to go there quite often. I still remember the big dirigible hangers.
Mike Witt (Fairless)
Matthew Bruns, e-mail, 08.09.2020 20:55
Peter, Did you know my dad? LTJG C. Alan Bruns. He was co-pilot, bombadier/navigator with LT George Garbark. He was in Port Lyauty and on the Coral Sea in 1955. Their crewman was Ken Savala. Dad was in VC-8/VAH-11. I hope you are well. Dad passed in 2018. Matt Bruns
S A Steve Haktanir, e-mail, 17.07.2020 18:14
Haphazardly saw your comment about your dad's AJ Savage while deployed to Turkey and you say you have some photos. This retired A&M engineer in Texas was born in Turkey in 1953. Anyway you can share some of these photos? Thnx
Anonymous, 11.05.2020 19:20
Hey Vrooman, I remember you as an ADR1, in VAP-62.
I was an AMSAN, later AMS3, and started working out of the A/F shop, with Frank Tutewohl (now deceased) filling tires, accumulators, struts, along with filling reservoirs, etc., early in the AM, utilizing the pull along air bowser !! Remember you as being a intelligent sailor, with an outstanding attitude. Never heard anything but good comments about you !! I retired as an AMS1, in 1975 and am living in P-cola. The only surviving AJ is at the National Naval Air Museum and is in need of restoration. Not too many of us old Vappers around. Since I was a newby, to the Sqdn., you probably don't remember me.
Take care and come visit.
Check out PJ Imhof, online, for a story about me.
PJ Imhof, e-mail, 11.05.2020 18:03
Larry, I flew in #5 (134052 ) and my Plane Captain was Dean ADR1. Remember our BUS Line shack ?? You and I were both 2nd Class, although I was an AM and you were an AD. Line PO was Ray Stanley ADR1. Both Dick Wells and Fred Burton have died. They were our tech Reps. Take care.
PJ Imhof, e-mail, 11.05.2020 17:58
Gary, I remember you !! I'm still around and living in P-cola. C'mon up, down or over !
Bill Paisley, e-mail, 13.04.2020 04:21
I was in VC-6 Early part of 1956 before it changed to VAH-6 I was in ordnance AO3
Bill Paisley, e-mail, 13.04.2020 04:10
I was in VAH-6 1956-57 On the Bennington I was the one who loaded the shape in the next article.
Bill Paisley, e-mail, 12.04.2020 05:32
Captain, I was the one that loaded the shape. I came to Okinawa and removed the shackle. I remember taking it apart so photos could be made of the parts. We flew off the Bennington in the S2f and landed on the Hornet to get something maybe a tool, then went on to Okinawa.
Douglas Parker, e-mail, 19.02.2018 02:29
My father was Base Operations Officer at Sanford (NAAS?) later NAS?? Lt Commander Chester A. Parker “CAP”. I believe he was there in the 1953-1956 time period. Wasn’t Sanford a Fleet Air Heavy Attack Wing base during this time with VC and/or VAH squadrons flying AJ-1 or AJ-2 “Savage”s? Please contact me (I’m trying to put a biography together for my children and grandchildren). I am unsure correct dates for Sanford duty...NAAS base reactivation or later NAS Heavy Attack period. I was born in ORL in 1954 and we moved to Chincoteague NAS (CO of VU-5) during 1956-57. Thank you for any responses! Douglas Parker
Patricia Blais, e-mail, 02.01.2018 17:43
Looking for information about Flight Surgeon LTCMDR Clyde Joseph Fairless, M.D., who was killed on March 6, 1951 when an AJ-1 he was in, piloted by LTCMDR Wickendoll "Wick" crashed during an exercise in the Mediterranean off the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (near Palermo, Italy). I'm told he was in the VC-5--and due to be assigned to the Heavy Aircraft Wing ONE by April 1951. Does anyone know if he was ever stationed at NAS Moffett Field, CA--or just NAS Norfolk, VA. Thanks! blaisp @ aol. com
Steve Erwin, e-mail, 15.11.2017 00:05
Jack you may have been in same detachment as my dad Cliff Erwin. I have pictures he took in Naples & Turkey. He was VJ-62 Det King Nelm Area 54-55. His AJ-2P was #9.
Jack Baird, 10.07.2007 I flew in the AJ2P as a Photographers mate 2nd class in VJ62. 1952-1955. We were based in Sanford Fla. Crews deployed to Naples Italy for 6 month tours, mapping areas in Europe.
Manny Sousa, e-mail, 16.05.2017 00:20
I was in VAH-6 Jan 1957 to decommissioning (VAH-16) 1959. I made the 1958 Hornet cruise in the left seat as a Ltjg, Then did the VAH-16 Atsugi shore detachment. I have eleven flights in the Museum AJ-2. Documented in my memoirs. Currently living in The Villages FL. MANNYSFL@AOL.COM
Robert Belter Captain USN Ret, e-mail, 02.10.2016 22:28
Interesting incidents in AJ-2 (Both in the same aircraft) Incident #1 - USS Bennington. Broken wire on trap, went off the angled deck barely flying. Witnesses said tailhook made a rooster tail in the water. Recovered safely. Incident #2 - Out of Hong Kong on Bennington, launched with 4,000 lb bomb shape. Cat shot dis lodged the shape which went through the aft bulkhead, tearing the jet engine off its mounts with an accom- panying fire (not sustained due to kinked main fuel hose). Opening bomb bay to release shape cause the fins to rip out a control cable cluster on the way out. Lost flight control boost. Controls loose but aircraft was flyable with brute strength. After discussion with the Air Boss, bingoed to Okinawa - good decision because jet engine was free and loose and would have come through the cockpit on a trap. NOTE: The cause of the shape being dislodged was determined to be the result of an AirPac aircraft bulletin which called for the removal of a rivet head which impinged upon the single shackle bomb suspension/release follow up system.
Chuck Seeber, e-mail, 01.10.2016 13:49
I ended as AT-2 in VC-6, 51 - Dec 54. Pax. Rv; P.Lyauty; North Is; Atsugi. Flew some third crewman off Oriskany and Lake Champlain TF 77 in 53.
I have lost all contact with squadron members. Like to hear.
allen vrooman, e-mail, 28.01.2016 05:04
I was in VAP-62 1956-1957 I was AD1 flight mechanic of TP9 bureau number 134074 AJ-2P . I will never forget one flight we were carrier qualifying on the USS Forestall cv-59 we were launched off the canted deck by the LSO ,from the spot we had just landed on, and almost went into ocean tip tank hit an antenna at end of canted deck and split tip of it, was later in det. echo in Turkey I beleave. lt Gorski pilot.
Laura Millsaps Costello, e-mail, 08.01.2016 16:38
My dad, Lewis Millsaps, was a Lt. in 1955, a member of Heavy Attack Wing One Squadron VAH-7. According to an old news clipping, on 12-21-1955 "he and his crew were en route from a 5 months tour of duty in the Mediterranean to their new home base at NAAS Sanford....When the mishap occurred about 30 miles offshore from Boston, they were flying about 10,000 feet headed for Patuxent River, Md. A sudden vibration was felt in the port engine and about 7 seconds later the port engine tore off and fell into the sea." He landed it safely in Boston with no injuries,and no additional damage to the plane, though "two tires were torn to shreds as it dragged to a stop on a cleared runway." I wish our family had the official Navy photo of the actual aircraft (lost). The clipping says it was an AJ-2 Bureau Number 314039 (possibly the last two digits are 89) My dad received a commendation, never talked about this at home, but I heard the story from my mom, who had also saved the clipping....
matt hamilton, e-mail, 02.01.2016 06:42
I see from earlier posts that the following people were in Detachment Love in Turkey in the 1950's . Frank Voltoline and John Rowe. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Hamilton, e-mail, 02.01.2016 06:23
Does anyone remember CPO Dempsey (DOC) Hamilton. He was in the Detachment Love . and did training in Sanford. Have pics of a Savage AJ7 with his name listed on it.
Charles Hill, e-mail, 25.05.2015 19:20
I am looking for information on my Grandfathers plane crash on February 4, 1953 of an AJ [Savage]. His name was Lt. McFaddin Moise [some records list him as "Hoise", but his name was Moise.] Also killed in the accident was AD2 James Vaughn. Mechanical trouble just after take-off was to blame. This occurred at the Naval Air Station - Patuxent, Maryland. There is a street named in his honor [Hoise Street - I am working to get the proper name on the street and also a Vaughn Street on the Naval Air Base - Not sure why they have his name wrong]. I see several people on here, including Chuck Emmitt who might have information or would have been there. Please feel free to reach out to me if anyone does. e-mail: Charlesehill17@gmail.com or cell # 330-466-3969
Wm. Cornwell, Jr. AT-1, e-mail, 02.02.2015 15:18
VC-6 Lives again! 1950-1956 has been re-ignited and still kicking! If you were a "6" member, please contact me at email@example.com, and let us know who you are. Everything that has been exchanged between us, will be sent to you. God Bless all of you,from this site past and present. Cornwell
Dan Sullivan, e-mail, 27.01.2015 04:50
Just verifying Peter Ardans comments as we were shipmates in VF-63 aboard the Essex (CVA-9). Pete please contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHUCK EMMITT, AD3, e-mail, 14.01.2015 20:31
WE WERE TESTING THE XAJ-1 AT PATUXENT RIVER, TACTICAL TEST UNIT IN 52 AND 53, DOING IN FLIGHT REFUELING TESTING [THE J-33 ENGINE WAS REMOVED FROM THE FUSELAGE AND REPLACED BY A LARGE BLADDER FUEL TANK]. WE ALSO DID PRECISION BOMB SIGHT TESTING OVER THE NAVAL BOMB TESTING AREA IN VA. I WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN THE PLANE CAPTAIN AND CREWMAN OF THE SAVAGE--I STILL HAVE MY SQUADRON PATCH.
I witnessed the crash of an AJ-1 upon takoff of the FDR in 1950. The copilot ejected but lost the pilot and crew member.
Chuck Huber, e-mail, 30.09.2014 16:37
We now have a Face Book Group for the Heavy Attack Composite squadrons which flew the AJ Savages. I was in VC-8 1954/55. Search Face Book for "VC-5,6,7,8,9."
Jerry Gallagher, 04.01.2014 03:45
VAH 11 1956 then A3D Till about 1958 on FDR Corral Sea.
Lawrence J Riccio, e-mail, 12.12.2013 04:31
I was in Heavy Attack 7 (VAH7) in Sanford Florida from 1955 to 1960' I still miss the planes and great people that were there! God bless all the pilots, BNs and third crew men that died in peace time accidents 👼
FRank Houle, e-mail, 11.10.2013 03:42
I was in VC-6 from 53-56.Got in on the tanker package operation. Made the USS Oriskany ORI to Pearl then flew to Atsugi for deployment tour.Was aboard: Oriskany,Bennington, and the Hancock for lots of missions. Flew in the A/C that is at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola from the Bennington on the 19th and 23rd of August and also in Nov 55 .
Tony Carnicelli, e-mail, 09.09.2013 20:31
I was in VC6 and VAH6 from 1956 to 1958 at North Island and 2 trips to Atsugi Japan plus Carrier Operations . I was an AM2 in the air frames shop . Love to hear from some shipmates
Ekkis D. Rockafellow, e-mail, 04.08.2013 01:21
Just read your write ups on the North American AJ1 Savage Heavy Attack Carrier operated bomber and remember well the facts about the AJ1 and the P2V2 and P2V3c. I was assigned to Composite Squadron Five in November of 1949 then at Moffett Field CA. While there I was transferred to VC6 which then moved to Patuxent River Maryland. I was a structural Mechanic and eventually wound up as maintenance yeoman working in the Maintenance Officer's office. With this duty I was in on much of the problems with the AJ1 and reports of unsatisfactory or defective material. I didn't recall many names but I did recognize one crew member named Gonzales, a good friend at the time. My sipper was of course Capt. Chick Hayward in VC5 and Cmdr Ashcroft in VC6
I would appreciate hearing from any former members of either of these squadrons if any are still around.
Richard D'Angelo, e-mail, 29.06.2013 17:09
After reading all the comments, I cannot seem to find any VC-6 personnel who served from 1951-1955. We were out of North Island but I spent most of my time in Atsugi, Japan. I was an AD2 and serviced the AJ 1.
Peter Bennett, e-mail, 23.02.2013 04:32
I was in VC-8 from around 1954 to 1957; was a nonfunctioning AT-2 and a very gung-ho third-crew member. Flew out of Sanford, Port Lyauty, Naples, and several carriers in the med. Invented the Goodie-Package Enterprise during the Suez crisis. I recall Hurbert Hermsdorph, Larry Annicchiarico Cdr Baird and others.
Jim Rice, e-mail, 18.12.2012 06:20
Joined VC5 in Norfolk,Va. in1952. Went to Lyauty for 6months then back to Norfolk. Squardon moved to Jax. Remember the AJ1 very well. Had a lot of trouble keeping them airbourn. I was an AD3
Robert V. NEIL, e-mail, 02.11.2012 23:46
I was attached to VC-6 later became VAH-6 At NAS North Island and Atsugi Japan from 1955-1957 as an AO3 many great memories of the aircraft and deployments. I would enjoy hearing from some of my old shipmates.
george fowler, e-mail, 29.09.2012 20:51
VAH 5. 1955, 56,57. Attended HATU 3rd crew traing,USNAAS Sanford FL. Med cruise with "Savage Son's of Sanford," 1956. Split cruise;3months port Lyauty, 3 months USS Randolph, CVA15. Still have my med cruise patch. Celebrated 18th birthday on that med cruise. NAM VET. USA 66/ 67.
AMS1 Mendenhall USN RET, e-mail, 31.07.2012 18:33
I was withheavy attack squadron 6 at NAS North Island 1956. We had a detachment of 3 aircraft and 55 men on every attack carrier in the Pacific. Plua a permanent detachment stationed at Atsugi,Japan. All of our aircraft were AJ 2's. Oursquadron had over 650 men:one of the biggest in the USN.
Ed Legg, e-mail, 09.07.2012 06:09
I agree with Banky. There is a partal list of the VC squadrons enlisted men on line but not complet. I flew as 3rd crewman on the AJs but was in VC-7.
d, banky, e-mail, 08.07.2012 23:39
I would like to see a roster list for the enlisted US Navy men, in the 1st air crews of AJ-1 in VC-5, at Paxunent, MD. It's totally un-American to give all the glory to officers only, especially to these enlisted unsung elite. For SHAME!
Klaatu83, e-mail, 30.06.2012 23:38
After the two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan by B-29 bombers of the Army Air Force, the Navy high command became concerned that the post-war government would assign future defense funding to the Army Air Force at the expense of the Navy, and that the Navy's aircraft carriers would all be scrapped. The Navy believed that, in order to keep their carriers viable, they would have to have a carrier-based nuclear bomber of their own. This aircraft was the result. It may not have been the most elegant of airplanes, but N.A. were able to put it into production relatively quickly, so that soon the Navy was able to tell Congress that they, too, possessed the capability of delivering nuclear weapons.
W. Robert (Bob) Preston, e-mail, 23.06.2012 01:49
I joined VAP 61 at NAS Marimar, CA, in October 1954. I was assigned to the squadron to fly the PB4Y1P because of prior PB4Y2 experience. During my first fam flight in the PB4Y1P, we received a call from the Miramar tower to return to base immediately.
W. Robert (Bob) Preston, e-mail, 23.06.2012 01:42
I joined VAP 61 at NAS Marimar, CAL, in October 1954. I was assigned to the squadron to fly the PB4Y1P because of prior PB4Y2 experience.
W. Robert (Bob) Preston, e-mail, 23.06.2012 01:34
I joined VAP 61 at NAS Marimar, CAL, in October 1954.
patrick Land, e-mail, 19.06.2012 16:07
My Dad was in VC-6 and rembers the AJs
patrick Land, e-mail, 19.06.2012 16:04
My Dad was in VC-6 and rembers the AJs
Phillip T. Moss, e-mail, 09.04.2012 00:58
Flew AD-6s off Lake Champlain 1955-56 Med cruise. On way to Cannes for Xmas break a tug driver pushed the starboard main gear of an AJ over the side of the ship into a gun tub . Many hours were spent restoring the a/c to the flight deck. Have a picture of the ship skipper, Jimmy Flatley, and I examining the damage. Two turning and one burning.
Mitch Meyer, e-mail, 08.04.2012 05:52
Both my Dad Norman D Meyer and Uncle Charlie Meyer where photographers mates on the AJ.. they where in the Navy in the early 1950. There C.O. was Harland A Gray. They where air crew in a VJ 61 or 62.
Ed Legg, e-mail, 28.03.2012 06:23
Nice site. Located my X crewon the AJs
George D. Banky, e-mail, 28.02.2012 23:19
George is my older brother who regarded this the finest adventure of his USN career, from D Day at Omaha Beach to Port Lyauty, Morrocco. Amy one out there know him. He is 85 now & would like to touch base w/ comrads.
Jack Baird, e-mail, 30.01.2012 20:04
I flew in the AJ-2P with VJ-62 from 1952-1955, as a photographers mate 2nd class. We were stationed in Sanford Fla, and deployed as detachments to Naples Italy. I was on 2 detachments. Any squadron mates still around ?
jerry kimball, e-mail, 27.01.2012 20:02
I made a mistake in my comments...I served/flew aircrew with VJ61 from late 1953 instead of 1954. Jerry Kimball
DAN HOFMAN, AT3, e-mail, 26.11.2011 15:48
STATIONED AT NAS NORFOLK, 54-56, VJ-62. SKIPPER WAS CDR. JOHNSON, EXEC. LTCDR MOTHER HINES. GREAT DUTY AFTER 18 MONTH'S AT AIR SEA RESCUE ARGENTIA NFLD. TERRIFIC SHIPMATES. COPODICHINO HOUSE 80, HMMMM. LOOKING FOR SQD PATCH AND MODEL.
John Watkins, e-mail, 11.10.2011 04:22
Interesting stories. I did fly as crewman with VAH7 from 1955 to 1957. Logged many hours in aj's. And in 1965 I would fly a cesna 172 from Santa Monica Ca over to Van Nuys airport to visit with the guys flying the aj1 fire bombers. Three aj1's where purchased from the navy at Lichfield Park and One was used for spares and two were flying.The jet engines were Removed from these planes. With VAH7 I primarily flew with lt Ken Enney. He later retired as PCapt and we were good friends. He died in 2007 and his wife one Week later.My wife and I attended both services. One event in 1957 we were in zero visibility and hit mountain top Cut 15 feet off starboard wing kept flying few hundred miles and Landed in Istanbul Turkey with aj2 134043.
Ken Kubiak, e-mail, 06.10.2011 21:40
Was attached to VP61 on Guam for 27 months and made the trip to New Zeeland. Lost a plane returning from the Phillipines and set air records for airtime while searching 121000 sq miles. All we ever found was a tip tank. Many great and happy memories of this time! 1958-1960
Bob Boyce, e-mail, 05.09.2011 21:14
Are you aware of any models of this aircraft? While stationed in VAP-62 at NAX JAX, I flew in this a/c from JAX to NAS ANACOSTIA, DC AND returned.
frederick lee, e-mail, 14.08.2011 21:42
The first carrier langing was on the Coral Sea. The Constellation was not commissioned in the 1950's.
walt downs, e-mail, 21.07.2011 23:26
I remember 2
ajs aboard CVA20 Bennington, not sure of the sqadron.This was late smmer of 55 in the Pacific. still looking for VA105 shipmates, or Bruce Bergner from VA36. AJs leaked oil, and made funny noise.
John Hannahs, AT3, e-mail, 23.06.2011 23:25
Was in VC8 and VAH11. The AJ was a nightmare to maintain. As an AT I recall freezing my but off at Pax River and roasting with the scorpions in Port Lyautey. Life on the Randolph was a bitch but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. We had lots of spare parts from "Able Jokers" that broke. I was just a kid that had fun in Rabat and have many slides & pictures. Still, it was serious business. Everyone knew their job and we did it well. My worst recollection was when an AJ from another squadron, VC5, I think? went down in the village of Sanford. It was said the pilot may have feathered the wrong prop? The plane hit the RR tracks and bounced into 3 houses. I was helping with fire/rescue and it was total carnage. After VC8 I got my pilots license and used it commercially, thanks to Uncle.
ORESTE (RUSTY) DIAZ, e-mail, 26.04.2011 22:59
I REMEMBER BEING ATTACHED TO VC-6 IN 1953 OUT OF AVIATION MACHINIST MATE SCHOOL IN NORMAN,OKLAHOMA AND MY FIRST JOB WAS TO CRAWL UP THE LANDING GEAR TO CHECK FOR CRACKS IN THE TURBO SUPERCHARGER TURBIN WHEEL,THE COMMANDER OF THE SQUADRON WAS CMD. STULTZ AT THE TIME, I REMEMBER THAT ONE OF OUR PLANES DROPPED AN ENGINE WHEN IT HIT THE DECK ON LANDING, I BELIEVE THE PILOT WAS LT. MC MAHON.I THINK OUR PLANES WERE RATHER LARGE TO BE LANDING ON A STRAIGHT DECK ESSEX TYPE CARRIERS,TOO BAD WE DIDN'T HAVE THE ANGLE DECKS THEN.I THINK THAT FOR ITS TIME IT WAS A GREAT AIRPLANE.
Stan Brauen, AMH3, e-mail, 19.04.2011 01:05
I joined VC-7 at Moffet Field in December, 1950. VC-7 was then relocated to NAS Norfolk in April/May, 1951. I did the first tour in Lyautey and was schooled on the AJ at North American in Columbus, OH in December, 1952 while based at Patuxent River. I served as an AM till discharge in October, 1953 prior to VC-7 going to Pt Lyautey for a second tour. Ed Clark and I spent a lot of hours doing mods at NAS Norfolk and correcting hydraulic leaks. Went on CV18 and CV43 quals. I have been to several VC-7 reunions. Great memories.
John Goheen, USN, Ret., e-mail, 12.04.2011 01:51
My first exposure to the Navy was at NAS North Island, San Diego, CA in early 1956. I was assigned to Heavy Attack Squadron Two, with the A3 Skywarrior. But we didn't have any yet. Douglas was still building them. So I was sent TAD to VC-6 to learn the bombing system in the AJ-2 Savage which was the same system used in the A3. When VAH-2 received the Skywarrior aircraft, I returned to VAH-2 and spent eleven years with the Skywarrior. However, I cut my teeth on the AJ-2.
Ed Legg, e-mail, 20.03.2011 03:56
I was attachted to VC-7 for 36 months. Flew as 3rdcrewmanon the AJ-1,AJ-2 & radioman on the P2V3c. I was on the Coral Sea in Sept 53 when we lost our skipper's crew who crashed near Italy a sad day.
BRIAN WALLACE, e-mail, 22.02.2011 21:30
My dad flew the AJ off the USS Lake Champlain. He has so many great stories and what the aircraft would do. I to this day, have a t-shirt of his squadron, the Son of Savage with the native and the bone twisted in hair. I think he was a LT at the time but retired as a CDR. 90 years old today and doing well. Pensacola, FL. His email is email@example.com. Call name was Poncho.
Diane Caralivanos, e-mail, 05.02.2011 05:12
I am writing trying to find anyone who may have known, or known-of, my father Lt. Charles B. Dickson, He flew the AJ-1 out of Sandia Base, Albuquerque, NM in 1951. I would so greatly appreciate any information anyone may have about the crash or of knowing my dad. Thank you in advance. Diane Dickson Caralivanos
Was an AM in VAP-62 and also in VAH-15, as well as a 3rd crewman. VAP-62 was at NAS NORVA untilapprox. Sept. 1957, when they moved to NAS JAX. I was xferred to VAH-15 in Feb 1958 until decomissioned in early 1959. Haven't found too many people from those squadrons online. Yell this way, if you're one of them.
Glenn Hudson, e-mail, 10.01.2011 18:43
Had flown of the Coral Sea the previus day in the same AJ that crashed at Naples. While on liberty, went up to see the crash site which was a horrible pile of molten aluminum
Glenn Hudson, e-mail, 10.01.2011 18:09
Started VC 8 in Pax river,deployed to Port Lyautey, Operated on USS Coral Sea, had one to Crash in Naples,Operated 2 weeks outside of London,moved to Sanford, Transferred to NAS Jax. to start VAH one with the first A3D Warriors. Dischaged as AM1 Sept 1956.
Ralph DeLange, e-mail, 22.12.2010 00:20
I was stationed with VR-24 Det, Fasron77, at Capodichino Airport in Naples from 53-55. We had a hangar which was off-limits which housed AJ's which were doing some photography of areas behind the Iron Curtain, coastal installations, etc., mostly at night. On a couple occasions they came back with damage which seemed to be anti-aircraft. One unfortunate incident witnessed was the crash of one which seemed to have an engine fire and had nearly made it to the final approach. It spun out of control into an oil refinery adjacent to the field. Very traumatic. I've since learned of the circumstances and the names of those who lost their lives.
HOWARD BROWNE, e-mail, 31.10.2010 14:58
I WAS AN AD3 WITGH VC-7 DURING THEIR STAY AT P-RIVER AND PORT LYAUTY. I FLEW CREW AND SAT BASE RADIO ,HAD A GREAT TIME BUT DONT REMEMBE TOO MUCH.
Jerry Kimball, e-mail, 27.10.2010 16:53
I flew photo/radar/radio/window washer with VJ-61 from late 1954-thru end of 1956 based in Miramar and flew photo DAILY on detachments Able-PB4Ys (Panama) Detachments Q5 & Q6-AJ2Ps (Atsugi, Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Guam, Taiwan, USS Hornet, Sapporo). I was the firt to reach the PB4Y we lost in the jungles of Panama and had just transfered to Anacostia NAS DC when #6 crashed on Guam (God bless Lt. Avery that had saved my life several times) and #7 that got lost going from Guam to PI and had to bail out. Would really like to find some of the freinds from that period to exchange emails. I did attend several reunions..but, not recently. I have many pics of those years to share. Jerry Kimball PH2.
Gary Larrabee, e-mail, 05.10.2010 18:39
I served in Navy Sqd. VAH-15 located at NAS Norfork, VA. We had 11 AJ-2 aircraft that were used as inflight refuelers. I flew as a Plane Capt. and Third Crewman. The Spec on the aircraft is not correct, we carried a crew of 4. One item that is not revealed is the wings and tail had to be folded with externautal "jacks" to get the aircraft wher it would fit on the hangar deck. Most of the AJ-1 lost was due to the Hyd. Fluid leakage that caused fires. The AJ-2 had a water base Hyd. Fluid that did not have a flash point.
Art Kleinhesselink MCPO Ret, e-mail, 15.09.2010 00:19
VJ-61 was my first Navy assignment. I was in the squadron at Miramar and Guam. Made a couple of deployments to Sangley Pt. PI, Atsughi and Thailand. Have many fond memories of that AJ2P. The walking struts were different and the Air Force tower didn't understand when asked permission to start the J33 jet. They couldn't see it.Tough getting to some of the electronic gear in the tunnel. Lost some good shipmates in crashes.
Jim, e-mail, 10.09.2010 07:56
During my service aboard USS Ticonderobe CVA 14 in 1955-56 I watched flight operations on many occasions. A couple of things I remember were, an AJ being catapulted and the brakes were not released. The plane sank a bit as it left the deck but maintained it's flight status. The other incident was on landing, the arresting gear connected but the fuselage separated. The plane didn't break into pieces but it was quite a mess. Anyone out there aboard the "TI" in the Med. that remeber those incidents?
Halls Fred B. ADRC RET., e-mail, 08.09.2010 03:28
I spent two tours with (VJ-61 and VAP-61) at Miramar 53 and 54 and at Agana Guam 57 and 58. I was on flying status both tours and spent more time on a check stand than in the air. I have many fond memories from that period, that was befor NATOPS was born and took the fun out of flying.
Halls Fred B. ADRC RET., e-mail, 08.09.2010 03:27
I spent two tours with (VJ-61 and VAP-61) at Miramar 53 and 54 and at Agana Guam 57 and 58. I was on flying status both tours and spent more time on a check stand than in the air. I have many fond memories from that period, that was befor NATOPS was born and took the fun out of flying.
tom grant, e-mail, 05.09.2010 22:12
I WAS AN AD SERVED IN VJ62 FROM 1955 TO 57 WENT ON DET CHARLEY IN 56 TO TURKEY TRYING TO LOCATE ANY ONE WHO SERVED WITH ME.
Richard Greenwood LCDR, e-mail, 02.09.2010 18:55
I flew the AJ-2P while with VAP61, Guam station. My first squadron as an aviator. We phptografted a lot of SE Asia in the two years I was with that unit. A proud time and many fond memories. Great aircraft, in my opinion.
William Powell, e-mail, 18.08.2010 03:32
My cousin, Howard E. Gulledge was on the carrier U.S.S. Essex during the Korean War. He also flew with VJ-61 as a photographer on the AJ-2P. He told me alot of stories about it. But he has passed on and everytime I see the AJ at Pensacola, I always think of him.
Harry Seifert, Jr, e-mail, 22.05.2010 21:36
My dad was attached to VAP 61 at NAS Miramar in 1954. He was an ATCS in charge of the three man camera repair section of the squadron. The squadron had two very large, gray and belligerent geese as mascots and there was one holding an aviation camera depicted on the squadrons patch. We went to Guam with the squadron from 1956 - 1958. I have memories of catching the "cattle-car" down to his squadron area and being allowed to play around the parked aircraft with a couple of buddies whose dad's were also in the squadron. The planes had a smell that was particular to the type. I later found out that the hydraulic system for the aircraft was using a new and somewhat hazardous hydraulic fluid. And "two turnin', one burnin' ", I remember being painted in a wall in Fiddler's Green, the base CPO club. That's where our Cub Scout den met. I can also remember watching an AJ run off the end of the runway and catch fire. My dad was real quiet that night at home. In '57, a detachment of two planes was sent to Thailand for a 3 month mission. Shortly before my dad passed, he told us that they were flying from Phuket in Thailand as well as Pnom Pehn (?) in Laos and somewhere in Cambodia. I guess we were involved in SE Asia way before Kennedy sent in the first wave of advisors.
To Tom S.:Re tankers. We had one AJ configured as an IFR (inflight refueling) tanker at NATC Patuxent River. The J33 engine was removed and replaced with air refueling hose etc. My friend, AD2 Jim Vaughn was killed in the damn thing when it nosed over on takeoff in 1953. Oh, BTW, all you AJ sailors are wrong about your a/c being the first nuke capable bombers to deploy on carriers. I was an AD2 plane captain in VC-4 aboard USS Midway in 1952/1953 with F2H-2B's when your AJ's came aboard for a short visit. The "B" stood for nuclear bomber.
Oleg, e-mail, 22.04.2010 16:59
Dear Sirs, maybe somebody can help with info about list of stencils servicing instructions on AJ's aircraft? Thanks!
Chuck Huber, e-mail, 08.04.2010 22:08
I was in VC-8 in 1954/1955, and maintain the only website devoted to the first Navy nuclear attack squadrons at http://community.webtv.net/charles379/USNComposite
Richard Martyniak, e-mail, 28.01.2010 07:14
My dad, Marty Martyniak,(deceased Sept '03) was a BN on AJ's. I can't remember what squadron he was in right now, but can look that up, along with some of his logbooks that show BN's. Interested in hearing any info.
My father, Lt. Charles B. Dickson, flew the AJ-1 in 1951. He was allocated to Project Sandia (nuclear weapons development at Albuqurque) and was attached to the Naval Aviation Detachment at Kirtland AFB, NM. The AJ-1 crashed and killed my father on June 8,1951,8 miles south of Albuquerque, at the Valley Gold Farm (from what I've been told).
His plane was North American AJ-1, Bureau Number 124169. I am wondering if there are files on my father, personally, probably on microfiche, that could be printed off, perhaps including his service history and so forth.
My sister was 17 months old and I was 4 at the time of the crash. We are seeking information from anyone who knew our dad or has any information on the crash, the crash site or circumstances. From what I've been able to learn, there was a fire in the engine area and one survivor.
My sister and I will be visiting Albuquerque in late February 2010, we are hopeful to have more information to help give our visit some closure. Thank you in advance.
Norm Silver, e-mail, 06.01.2010 08:43
When I was a firefighter with the Los Angeles County Fire Department we contracted to use two (2) AJ-1's owned by AJ Tankers and they operated out of the Van Nuys airport. Both ships did eventually go down but when they were running well they sure did a fine forest fire suppression support job for us. Now LACoFD uses heavy copters.
peter Ardans, e-mail, 26.10.2009 00:58
I was an AD3 in VF-63 in CAG 2 on the Essex in Nov. 1954 when they launched 3 AJ-2 Tankers from the catapults. The deck was too crowded to free fly them. The Essex had brought them from North Island. They went to Barbers Point NAS to perform aerial refueling exercises with Banshees. The Essex was just beginning its ORI for our WestPac cruise.
Paul Kluga, e-mail, 25.10.2009 03:20
My Dad, Lt. JG N. R. Kluga, was a pilot in VAP62 during 1953. He was based at Sanford and deployed to Naples Italy as well. He did carrier qualification landings with the AJ-s in August 1955 on the USS Champlain.
Shirley Wood, e-mail, 26.07.2009 21:40
My late husband Alfred R. Wood flew the AJ2 out of Patuxent River and was deplooyed in VC7 to Port Lyautey in Oct. 1953. Would like to hear from any former squadron members.
John Rowe, e-mail, 07.06.2009 22:40
I was based at NAAS Sanford, Fla. from 1953 to 1956 with VJ-62. I served overseas with Detachments Charlie, Fox and Love from 1954, 1955 & 1956. In 1957 the Squadron moved to NAS Norfolk, VA. when it was VAP-62 and I was discharge as a PN2 in 1957. I really had a wonderful time during the entire 4 years. Let me hear from you if you can.
Frank Voltoline, e-mail, 07.06.2009 21:07
I was based in Sanford,Fl. with VJ-62 1952 1955< We deployed to many areas in Europe. I made Detachment Fox and Love, both in Turkey.I have quite a bit of History on the Sqdrn. I still live in the Sanford area.
Capt. Jack, e-mail, 28.05.2009 22:34
Any of them left, static or flying?
JERRY G. KELLEY, AE-2, e-mail, 28.05.2009 03:52
I joined VC-5 from AE A school at NAS Jax in 1952, and ended my 4 year tour with the squadron in 1955 which included 2 deployments to Port Lyautey [now Kenitra]. & the Med. for NATO operations. Great group, completely dedicated to keeping an unreliable plane in the air. [cont'd]
William Mihay, e-mail, 04.05.2009 21:05
CRASHED IN THESE AJ 2S THREE TIMES. THE FIRST TIME WAS BAD. WE CAME IN TOO HIGH AND FAST. WHEN THE PLANE HIT THE DECK, IT BROKE UP INTO THREE PARTS--THANK GOD THE TAILHOOK HELD AND THE PARTS STAYED TOGETHER. THAT WAS ON THE INTREPID IN NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER OF 1954 DURING CARRIER QUALIFICATIONS. AFTER RETURNING FROM A MISSION IN EARLY 1955 OUR AJ2 PLANE BECAME TANGLED IN THE BARRIERS DURING A LANDING ON THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN. THAT WAS IN THE MED IN EARLY 1955. LATER THAT SPRING IN 1955 WHILE LANDING ON THE CORAL SEA, WE LANDED SO HARD THAT THE WINGS BETWEEN THE ENGINES AND THE FUSILAGE CRACKED. SOME OF MY FELLOW CREWMATES WERE KILLED IN THE AJ AFTER I LEFT THE SQUADRON FOR MY DISCHARGE IN JULY 1955. MY SQUADRON WAS VC 8, STATIONED AT PATUXET RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, PORT LEAUTE NORTH AFRICA, AND ABOARD THE CARRIERS--INTREPID, THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN, AND THE CORAL SEA. VC 8 WAS TRANSFERRED TO SANFORD, FLORIDA IN AUGUST OF 1955.WE FLEW MOCK BOMBING MISSIONS IN THE US, EUROPE, AND TURKEY. WE DID PHOTO RECONNASANCE IN NORTHERN GREECE, AND REFUELED JETS IN MID-AIR IOVER THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA. I WAS AN AVIATION ELECTICIAN, SECOND CLASS PETTY OFFICER
Buz Sawyer, e-mail, 21.04.2009 04:55
Well, I have finally found a picture of the first plane I ever flew in. I was a yeoman attached to the Service Test Division at Patuxent River, Md. When one of the pilots learned that I had never flown he took me up on a test hop up the East Coast. I stayed in the Navy, converted to Photo Intelligenceman and then was selected for Limited Duty Officer (Intelligence) finally retiring in 1982 as a Commander. Still remember that first flight!
Floyd Williamson, e-mail, 26.03.2009 21:27
I flew as 3rd crewman on the AJ in VAH 7, in Sanford, FL from Aug 1954 thru March 1958 and loved the plane. We flew off "Straight Deck" Carriers and spent a considerable time just circling above the carrier with a full tanker load in case someone was running low on fuel. We only had 3 AJ's aboard each carrier due to their size and was usually the first to launch and the last to land. I have "Dumped" many hundred gallons of AV gas, to get down to landing weight.
Mike Zimmerman, e-mail, 18.01.2009 03:17
Hi - I'm building a model of the never completed USS United States, CVA-58. The Savage must have been the nuclear bomber contemplated for the carrier and I will need to build 12 Savages (1/700 scale). Can you help me with plans? Thanks
Carl Bachle, e-mail, 24.12.2008 16:18
The AJ was the Navy's response to the USAF B-36: a plane that could deliver nuclear weapons of that era, from the three CVB carriers, anywhere in the world. In turn, this justified building a fleet of larger carriers, a major USN goal as the Cold War continued indefinitely. For us pilots, the AJ was a cranky beast to fly: sluggish, complex, lots of bugs. Its A3D replacement was better.
Oleg, e-mail, 30.11.2008 10:31
Dear Sirs, Now I build 1/72 Savage kit from MACH 2. Maybe somebody know about size of wheel and tyres, used on AJ?
Neil F. MacDonald, e-mail, 30.10.2008 22:42
My oldest brother was a crew chief/flight engineer on AJ's. He is a retired ADJC. Murdoch A. MacDonald. He can be reached at:Murdokay@yahoo.com Lives near NAS Whidbey Island.
Tom S., e-mail, 17.08.2008 09:18
I am currently writing a technical reference for the history of airtankers in the US. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone with images or documentation on the AJ's used in this role.
J U'Ren, e-mail, 23.07.2008 02:47
On Sept 17, 1966, an AJ-1 crashed just down the street from our house in North Hollywood, CA. This AJ-1 operated by AJ Airtankers out of Burbank, CA, was configured as a chemical bomber to fight forest fires in the western US. Unfortunately, this AJ-1 lost an engine shortly after departure from Burbank and went down 3.3 miles from Burbank Airport. Sadly, the pilot was lost in the crash but his last minute decision to bank the plane away from several homes saved numerous lives in our neighborhood on that day. Hats off to all pilots who face difficult decisions at difficult times and manage to minimize collateral damage.
Joe, e-mail, 21.07.2008 19:31
Specifications list the third engine as an Allison J33 'Turboprop'. Firstly, I believe the J33 was a 'Turbojet'--no propellor, and secondly, being mounted in the aft belly of the aircraft would not allow room for a propellor.
AT 2 Bill Joyner, e-mail, 02.06.2008 00:08
I was in SQUADRON VC6 AT NORTH ISLAND NAS, SAN DIEGO,IN 1953-1955. I DID MAINTENANCE ON COMMUNICATION AND NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT. I WENT ABOARD THE ORISKANY FOR FLIGHT QUALIFICATIONS, THE FIRST PLANE LANDED AND THE PROPS HIT THE DECK. IT WAS SENT TO THE HANGER DECK. THE NEXT PLANE PULLED THE ARESTING CABLE OUT AND WAS COUGHT BY THE BARRIER.IT WENT TO THE RIGHT AND HIT THE ISLAND AND KILLED ONE OF THE DECK PERSONELL. THE AJ 2 WAS A BEAUTIFUL PLANE BUT HAD MANY ACCIDENTS.
Speedy, e-mail, 22.05.2008 03:29
I'm a military hobbist and I have a little question. Maybe someone know something about a conventional bombload of the Savage? I found on Joe Baugher's website http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/newa2_2.html only one option, 6 x 1600 lb bombs but I think there must be more combinations? Of course I know that all (or almost all) Savage bomber were configured only for one nuclear store.
I was a Weapooneer/Pilot in VC-5.The Navy's First Atomic Weapons Delivery Squadron. We transitioned from special modified P3Vs to the AJ-1. Later as a test pilot at PAX River I conducted the service test evaluation of The AJ=2. A very difficult aircraft to maintain due primarily to hydraulic problems,but in retrospect The AJ series was the Navy's first carrier based nuclear weapons delivery aircraft.
John Sickel, e-mail, 30.04.2008 02:38
The Carrier was in fact CV-43. My father was with VC-5 at the time. He later served as Air Ops on CV-64 more than a decade later.
Bob, e-mail, 25.03.2008 13:18
I was in VJ-61 from 1952-56 at N.I. and Miramar and I am searching for anyone who may have served with me at that time, and I am searching for any pins/patches specifically for VJ-61 to add to my Jacket. Now living in MN.
(email to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
David Duckett, e-mail, 04.03.2008 04:12
My nearly completed model of an AJ 1 Savage is at www.virtualaerodrome.com.
Richard A. Clark, e-mail, 18.02.2008 08:22
During a summer Midshipman cruise in 1953 I was LSO spotter (ship's company) aboard the USS BENNINGTON. An AJ1 crashed; one life was lost. An experience I'll never, never forget, of course...
Bert Canepa, e-mail, 09.02.2008 00:06
I too served in VJ-61, based Miramar Naval Station, 1952-54. I was not involved with the AJ's we had, but I did hear that they had a tendency to "blow out the after hatch!" And, I did hear that they, "were kind of difficult!" I don't know how true that was, but it was a "different" aircraft! I was mainly involved with maintenance of the auto-pilot/photo systems on the PB4Y's.
Gerald Ward, e-mail, 04.11.2007 16:59
Although I served four years as PHA from 1957-61, and a lifelong student of various military aircraft, I never knew of the AJ Savage. I wish to thank my friend CWO Tom Yarbrough, ret...for bring this, innovative aircraft,? to my attention.
John Haskell Tidman, e-mail, 22.08.2007 18:25
I was in Squadron VC-6 based at North Island NAS, San Diego, in 1954-55. Detachment at Atsugi, Japan. I flew off of the Oriskany, Essex and the Midway, during operations aboard these ships. These were not cantered deck carriers at this time and some of the landings were pretty stressful, as these large, heavy bombers had a hard time coming out of these experiences without injury. We practiced bomb runs during these exercises. I remember one time when flying at the upper limits of this plane, 31,000 feet, that the turbos on these engines tended to surge. One time this resulted in a throttle that would not close down all the way. We had to land on a carrier with one quarter throttle. When the LSO gave us the "cut" sign, the bombardier had to reach out and close the mixture control quickly to shut off the engine. But, no harm done.
David E. Tyre, e-mail, 13.08.2007 01:13
I served aboard the USS Intrepid CVA-11 with the Marine detachment from '55 to'57. Off duty, we used to watch plane launchings from th 07 level while in the Mediterranean. We called these planes "AJ Squaredaways". I think they were all launched using the steam catapults.
Jack Baird, e-mail, 10.07.2007 23:08
I flew in the AJ2P as a Photographers mate 2nd class in VJ62. 1952-1955. We were based in Sanford Fla. Crews deployed to Naples Italy for 6 month tours, mapping areas in Europe.
My dad, AD1 Earl C (Bill) Bishop, died 20Jul1955 in the crash of his AJ Savage at Naples Italy. I was only 9 when he died, but over the years I've contacted many of his shipmates; I came to realize how dangerous the Savage was to all who flew in it. But it was very necessary given the Cold War tensions existing at that time.
Carl Wayn King,ADJC, Ret, e-mail, 27.03.2007 18:44
I was an AD attached to VJ-61 and can truhfully say I never worked so hard to keep an aircraft in the up status as I did during my tenure with the AJ. I hold some fond memories of the AJ as well as the sorrow of losing a couple of friends in in a crash.
CWO-2 John E. Printy, USN Reti, e-mail, 20.11.2006 04:46
Dear Sirs: Am questioning the statement about the first carrier landings being made aboard the USS Constellation in August 1950. There was no aircraft carrier named Constellation in commission in August 1950. Constellation, CV-64, came along many years later. I believe that the carrier that you were referring to was the USS Coral Sea, CVB-43.