Grumman S-2 "Tracker"
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27.03.2023 15:52

North American XB-70 Valkyrie

27.03.2023 00:06

Kawasaki Ki-100

26.03.2023 20:09

26.03.2023 05:27

25.03.2023 01:37

Junkers Ju 390

24.03.2023 22:40

24.03.2023 11:07

23.03.2023 16:50

23.03.2023 08:37

Curtiss Eagle

23.03.2023 05:36

Short S.23 Empire

23.03.2023 05:27

Bloch M.B.157

22.03.2023 17:05

McDonnell F-101 Voodoo

21.03.2023 17:29

21.03.2023 16:29


21.03.2023 16:28


21.03.2023 16:28


20.03.2023 05:54

20.03.2023 00:25

19.03.2023 20:54

Mikoyan/Gurevich Ye-2

18.03.2023 22:36

Canadair CL-41 "Tutor"

18.03.2023 19:04

16.03.2023 23:55

16.03.2023 21:57

16.03.2023 20:27

15.03.2023 20:45

14.03.2023 23:45

IAI-101, 102, 201 "Arava"

14.03.2023 02:18

Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

13.03.2023 16:19

Douglas B-23 Dragon

13.03.2023 16:13

Douglas TBD Devastator

13.03.2023 15:43

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Martin Knapp, e-mail, 30.01.2023 10:29

I have an article here dated 01/30/2023

Martin K, e-mail, 30.01.2023 10:23

I was an ADR-3 and qualified as Air-crewman on the S-2 line at Pacific Missile Range Point Mugu, Ca. from 1966 to 1970. There were 3 commands there at that time . Headquarters Pacific Range is where the aircraft were assigned to; I was assigned to the Naval Missile Center; and we flew out of the Naval Air Station. I logged over six hundred hours in the right seat flying range clearance for Point Mugu and Vandenburg AFB in Ventura. I also flew in six Air Shows the base had, where they did live firing at that time. We dropped flares over the beach and an F4 and F8 would fly bye the grandstands and fire Sidewinders at them. We painted Goofys on the nose wheel doors. This was without a doubt the best time of my life. I sure wise I could connect with anyone who was there at that time. Sure loved those Goofy Stoofs.

James Hoover ADR3, e-mail, 29.08.2022 00:14

One time your father came out to go home and when he got in his VW to go, I got in front of his car to direct him out of his parking spot, he told me I did a great job, I was only 19 at the time, he was a fun guy

James Hoover ADR3, e-mail, 29.08.2022 00:10

Hey Cliff, I was a plane captain for your father at NAS Key West Florida back in 1969 till 1972, I can say that your father was an ACE and a real cool guy, I have great memories of him, and that VW he had painted up like an S2, real cool he was

Charles Michael, e-mail, 06.07.2022 23:43

Your dad was my squadron VS-23 C.O. I flew with him a couple of times. Never a dull moment. Word was he was a fighter pilot before being assigned to VS-23. I left the Yorktown in May of 1966 for discharge. I heard rumors about his passing. Sorry for your loss.
Chuck Michael
ATN-3 Air Crew
p.s Funny I have never heard of any of the mentioned crew. But then again there were 200 sailors in the squadron.

Thomas O Farrow, e-mail, 01.06.2022 00:46

I was in VS-774 at Los Alamitos as a young AN. I loved airplanes! I would beg to go on hops. I was in the reserves and my Dad was a Chief station keeper at Los Alamitos. I went active duty and got orders to VP-40 which at that time was at Sangley Point in the P.I. The squadron was flying the SP-5B Martin Marlin seaplane. I spent a lot of time on patrols out of Cam Ranh Bay and Da Nang. Also from seaplane tenders at Con Son 1965-1967.

Gerald "Jerry" Sheppard, e-mail, 15.01.2022 21:32

VS34 Jun 65-Jun-68. I finished in Corpus Christi.

james e brown jr, e-mail, 22.12.2021 00:16

Was a part of CAG-55 and a pilot in VS-25 for their 1964-65 and 1965-66 cruises aboard the USS Yorktown , CVS-10. With Capt. Osterhouht on the 1964-65 cruise we broke every record ever held by a CVS - most days at sea, most day cats and traps, most night cats and traps, you name it, we broke it. If the weather allowed, when we returned from our flights, Capt. Osterhouht would give us extra traps and cat shots - I ended up a night centurion and double day centurion as did most of VS-25 and VS-23's pilots. When I went aboard the Yorktown in Charleston a few years ago there was not a single indication that we had ever been aboard her. Sad.

Richard Harness, e-mail, 16.11.2021 18:25

My father flew S2F-1 in 1956. He recently passed away and I'm trying to find a phot of the typical aircraft he flew. He was carrier based in Europe.

Mike Combs, e-mail, 29.07.2021 09:22

Doug, tell me your story. All I have read is all hands were never found. Boy, is God on your side! My last time I was on the Yorktown with VS-25 was during the November Carrier Qualification Trials in 1967. My Squadron Commander was Frank C Gilmore. I wrote a most unusual book after I died on an operating table and was finally brought back to life again. I was suffering a broken neck 27 years prior in a really bad car accident. I am the first of his patients to come back to life after dying from that type of operation. I am his walking miracle. My book that I wrote and now have been rewriting for ten more years is titled MOTY67! or Miracle of the Yorktown 1967! It is a non-fiction, fictional, dark comedy, documentary. I wrote it so fast to still be alive when it would be published. I have learned so much and remembered so much that I'm still writing it in late 2011 to now. If you email me, I will send you a free chapter to read. Not trying to sell it for now but share it. I have a deep respect for the Black Cats! Forgive any Errors or Typos?

Mike Combs, e-mail, 29.07.2021 08:46

Forgive my type errors on the first message! Did he ever tell you about VS-25 losing one of their aircraft in around June of 1966? I was a member of VS-25 then. I was one of the very few to see it happen because of its angle of where it hung by its tail hook over the the waters of the Tonkin Gulf. I actually saw the cable break and dropped the S-2 nose first into the water. All four members exited the plane several minutes before it dropped. All four members exited the hanging aircraft several minutes before the cable broke causing the S-2 to drop nose first into the Tonkin water. No one in the plane died or was really injured as far known. I watched the aircraft sink within a minute or two. The carrier was at full stop at that time period. Let me know! I believe I knew him. Do you have any photos of him from service?

Mike Combs, e-mail, 29.07.2021 08:35

I was in VS-25 from August 1965 to December 1967. Sadly I never met any of the men in VS-23. Not until I was transferred to S-1 Supply Department on the Yorktown. I really admired their paint scheme with the Black Cat on the tail. Feel free to email me. I have learned a lot about VS-23 since then. I have written a book about my experiences on the Yorktown.

Mike Combs, e-mail, 29.07.2021 08:25

I saw the Yorktown for the first time from Camp Nimitz while crossing the River Jordan. From there I saw the aircraft of VS-25's S-2E's Golden Eagles. That was in October 22nd of 1964 I believe! In August of 1965 I was assigned to that very squadron at NAS North Island. I hope you get this! Please email me! I'm in the 1966 cruise book as Airman first class. I was waiting with the rest of the guys for an open slot to get my E-4 for being an Aviation Ordnance man. 'Boats Terwilliger' was like father figure to me.

Mike Combs, e-mail, 29.07.2021 08:10

Did he ever tell you about VS-25 losing one of their aircraft in around June of 1966? I was a member of VS-25 then. I was one of the very few see it happen because of its angle where it hung by its tail hook over the the waters of the Tonkin Gulf. I actually saw the cable break and dropped the S-2 nose first into the water. All four member exited the plane several minutes before it dropped. All four members exited the hanging aircraft several minutes before the cable broke causing the S-2 to drop nose first into the Tonkin water. No one in the plane died or was really injured as far known. I watched the aircraft sink within a minute or two. The carrier was at full stop at that time period. Let me know! I believe I knew him. Do you have any photos of him from service?

Philip Fry, e-mail, 29.07.2021 01:28

Hi Tom, I believe my dad was stationed on the USS Ticonderoga:1971 through 75. I was curious if you heard his name being thrown around or if you may have been in contact with him:Lieutenant John Fry?

Larry Glenn, e-mail, 18.07.2021 05:08

Not sure I remember you but I also was aircrew and flew the same years.
I was in VS-21 an AW-3. You are right what a kick those hydraulic Cat shots were.

Jim Warner, Cdr Ret, e-mail, 28.01.2021 16:53

I was looking for an ATU-402 patch when I ran across a not you had written in 2011.
Bernice and I live in the Pensacola area where we retired in '77.

Bob Faught, e-mail, 04.11.2020 11:17

Gary: I served in VS-37 same time period as you did. I was greeen shirt on the flight deck; avionics maintenance. I remember Hartley, Eli, Wolf, Pop, Kernicki, Black, Commander Barker, and others. I remember you as well. ---- Recently the Blue Water Disability Act was passed (finally) -- I have 11 of the 12 factors that indicate exposure to agent organge including Diabetes, Heart Disease, Prostate Cancer; Well you don't want to hear about that. Anyway, I was wondering if you or anyone you know has applied and been approved for the Blue Water Disability from VS-37 or the USS Hornet? Thanks

thomas fehseke, e-mail, 25.09.2020 04:51

Wanted to thank you for the tribute to those VS-23 crewmembers who were lost on the 1968 cruises. I am to only remaining living crewmember who was on the S2 that was involved in the midair aircraft with LCDR Stebbins. We rode out the crash on the island of Kauai that killed LCDR Stebbins. I spent the next 4 months in Tripler Army Hospital. I was discharged in May and vowed to take LCDR Stebbins position of being a commercial pilot as he had a class date with Western Airlines when the cruise was finished. I used the GI Bill for flight training and finished a satisfying career flying the B-747. Thanks again
Tom Fehseke AX1AC VS-23 quality control. 1968

Tom Hale, e-mail, 11.03.2018 16:25

I flew with VS-21 from September of 1963 to May 1967. Operated all positions. Made the rest of the 1963 cruise, the 1964 cruise and the 1966 cruise. All on the USS Kearsarge. Flew in the Gulf of Tonkin from 12 August to 19 October 1966 and flew 36 combat flights and earned an Air Medal. My next S-2 tour was with VS-38 from November 1967 to August 1971 with one cruise on the USS Ticonderoga in 71.

Patrick A Hidalgo, e-mail, 10.03.2018 04:16

Flew as aircrewman operating MAD,ECM and APS 38 radar 1961-1962 as an AMS2 with air squadron VS 32 attached to the USS Lake Champlain CVS 39. 51 carrier takeoffs/landings,300plus flight hours. On board May 5,1961 when "The Champ" recovered Cdr Alan Shepard.Very cool stuff to do as a 19 year old airdale.

Jack Waterworth AX2(AC), e-mail, 24.01.2018 05:30

I was in VS-29 embarked on the uss kearsarge on the 1967-68 Viet Nam cruise. i flew radar, #3 seat. On several surveilance flights we deployed zuni rockets and sank sampans smuglling weapons from China down along the coast of VN.. One night we flew inside 3 miles of the coast after a surface contact and were locked on by a SAM missle which went off in our exhaust trail. Miraculous no damage to the plane and we made it back to the carrier unharmed. I am interested in the VS 29 reunion. My Co pilot was Lt Young. JJ man was Rick Myotte, Pilot was from Tenn.

James Brozek, e-mail, 07.01.2018 21:01

I still have nightmares about safety wiring those CSD units

Steve Hamby, e-mail, 22.08.2017 17:49

I started my S2 experience with VS-30, NAS Key West. I made AE3 and AE2 while stationed there. Transferred to AE B School NATTC Jax and from there to USS Yorktown CVS-10 for its final cruise. Took E6 exam before transferring to VS-32 Quonset Point. Put on AE1 upon arrival at VS-32. Last command with S2D/E and one G model. Off to VT-10, ADCOP and the back to VS-30. Sadly VS-30 now at Cecil Field flew S3As. Good airplane but not a Stoof. Made E7 and Ensign while in VS-30. I would never have made LDO if not for Cdr Thompson who was acting CO of VS-30 when I applied. He was Lt Thompson when we were stationed in Key West and was my Div O when I made plane captain in 1967. I retired in 1988 as a Lieutenant and if I had stayed in Stoofs, hell I might have retired as O6. Loved them all.

ignatius marchese, e-mail, 06.05.2017 16:11

why don.t you show pic. on my acft. accident in 1964 on and pic. on internet

John Davis, e-mail, 14.02.2017 23:10

I. Flew the 3seat in the S2-E while stationed with VS-33 at NAS North Island and aboard the USS Bennington (CVS-20) from August,1964 - July, 1967.

LCDR George Yenowine was my plane commander and Lt. Ken Foote was my TACCO.

Saw duty in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1965, 1966-1967 flying radar barrier from the DMZ north Haiphong, the west coast of Hainan Island, and from the southern tip of Hainan to Tigre Island as well as doing SAR flights.

Before earning my AC wings I was a plane captain at both NAS North Island and aboard the Bennington, and I knew that plane inside and out. It was a great plane to fly in and I had over 200 cat shots and arrested landings.

I should point out that I washed out of AX school and made PO3 as an AK which was a bit of a rarity. An AK3 with aircrew wings???

I separated from active duty 25 July 1967.

Joe Freudenberg, e-mail, 19.11.2016 00:12

NAS Whidbey 1968 1972 Served with Scott Rogers @ AOM Maint.
We had two US2B aircraft 136502 was damaged beyond repair in a landing misshap. the other 136712 is still an active aircraft. It is now a Turbo Firecat with turbine engines home port France. See pictures on line search Grumman 136712

marchese plan capt. 1964, e-mail, 16.10.2016 18:01

why don't you show my accedent i tryed for 2 yr.on the internet i tryed for 2 yr.s what are you trying to hide the accedent was on march 1964 long island sound n.y.

a. buenaflor qm3, 23.09.2016 04:40

serving aboard as aquartermaster, had the good fortune to fcat off and trap in vs-26 stoof, thru good graces of lcdr toxey callif and cdr hamberg, scared the hell out of me, but it was fun, real aviators flew stoofs. uss Randolph crewman

Jim Barber, e-mail, 06.08.2016 00:10

Re Doug Snyder's comments above, I am the older brother of Tommy Barber, MIA during a night mission from the Yorktown 3/68 just a few days after his 21st birthday. Status changed to KIA a few weeks later. Parts of the record are still sealed. RIP also Hubbs, Benson, and Nightingale.

Gary Bloom, e-mail, 12.04.2016 05:53

I was a plane captain on S-2E at NAS Quonset Point, RI from 1970-1972. My squadron was VS-27. We went on the NATO cruise in 1971 to the Med, Baltic Sea, and above the Arctic Circle a few times, hunting subs. I loved flying, so I went on carrier quals and any other type of flight that I could get oked to go on. Just before being released from active duty, I was getting my turnup license. Any squadron members that see this, please e-mail me.

Jim Campbell, e-mail, 29.03.2016 14:35

I was a draftee, stationed at NAAS Kingsville in 1956-1957 in ATU-102 (T-28's) at South Field. I needed flight hours in order to draw flight skins, so I would hitch rides after my day job on S2-F's from ATU-402. Missions were for training multi-engine students to fly on instruments. Would take off with the student behind aluminum "shields" over the windscreens. I was a "scanner" and would watch the edge of the runway in and out of sight as we took off. Would then fly out over the Gulf of Mexico for about an hour east, the an hour north, The other student pilot in the L.H. Scanner seat had done the calculation for the left turn to fly the 3rd leg of the triangle. There was a light on a pole on the beach designated as our "return target." I have seen us cross the light on time and on course!! There was no GPS, just "knee-board" calculators. Great experiences! My son became a radarnav/bombardier on a B-52 for 16 years, retiring in 2007 as an Air Force Major.

William Iglesias, e-mail, 15.03.2016 23:12

I need a copy of the resolution procedure for emergency engine failure on take off for the aircraft Grumman S2E or F (Natops Flight manual). Thank you very much. William.

Ethan Wagner, e-mail, 08.02.2016 05:52

My Father in law, Ronald Lipnick flew is VS25. If anyone served with him, it would sure be great to hear any stories as he has been deceased for 15 years. just trying to get insight to what he did on the plane.

Jill Hubbs - Daughter of Cdr. , e-mail, 19.01.2016 18:52

My father was the commanding officer of VS-23 stationed aboard the USS Yorktown. (Cdr. Donald Richard Hubbs) He and his crew were flying a mission on an S-2 on March 17, 1968 when they became missing in action. (Lee Benson, Randall Nightingale, Thomas Barber were his crew mates. He was the pilot on that mission.) I am looking for anyone who knew my father or anyone in the crew. They are all still unaccounted for in Vietnam. Our family have received a live sighting report, identified my dad in a Vietnamese propoganda film and I traveled to Vietnam in 1993 where I discovered a Vietnamese grave registration document with my father's name listed on it.

I would appreciate it if anyone who knew or flew with my dad would contact me. Many thanks! Jill Hubbs, Pensacola.

Stan Ellefson, e-mail, 19.01.2016 02:03

My picture was taken doing the cowlings on the very last S-2 (US-2B) to leave NAS Norfolk AOMD in 77 I believe. I was there from 74-77 and also worked on the C-1's and T-28's.

Ken R., e-mail, 25.12.2015 03:53

My uncle was on the old Essex, flew as a backseater in an S-2 squadron. Which squadron I am not sure of. He passed away about 10 years ago and always talked about the "Stoof" as if it was a best friend. After he passed my mom told me he survived a crash in the Med, but not everyone got out. Does anyone know of a squadron on the Essex that lost a plane in the Med? mY uncle eventually went on to a P-3 squadron, but he said it wasn't the same as the Stoof!

Riley Beebe, e-mail, 09.11.2015 21:02

I flew both #3and #4 from 1961 to 62 in VS25 from the USS Yorktown, NAS Los Alamitos, and NAS North Island, did the 1961/62 West PAC cruise. Pilot Hutton Co Pilot Shultz, Ak3 Manning and my self. Like to say hi to AT2 Howard Seals, we work together normally aboard ship night shift. We also did the Johnson Island Nuclear test ride together. At Itasuki AFB Japan I remember that we were told to call the end of the runway and THEN 10k feet. And Mr Hutton called 10K and when he was reprimanded for not calling the end of the runway, he replied that we would do that when we got there. silence

Gofer (Raf), e-mail, 05.08.2015 20:56

As an ADR-3/Plain/Captain made the 1964 and the 1966 cruise on the Yorktown. We were home based out of North Island San Diego. Got separated from active duty April 1967 and did two years of inactive reserves and got my honorable discharge in July 1969. Best wishes to all my former shipmates. RAF

AVCM (ret) Billy Yarborough, e-mail, 20.07.2015 01:14

I was an AT in VT-31 from '68-'70 working on TS-2A's and US-2B's. I was then in VR-24 Naples and Sigonella from '73-'78 supporting C-1A's, C-2A's and CT-39G's. The S-2/C-1 was and outstanding aircraft.

Gary Gordon, e-mail, 29.06.2015 17:57

Flew on a C-1 one time. Off the deck of the USS Ticonderoga in 1969. We were in Northern Gulf of Tonkin when I left the ship. Need someone who flew this type of plane to say that more likely than not the plane would have landed in Da Nang, South Vietnam before going on the Subic Bay as we had to fly around Hainan Island and Da Nang was very close at that point. This would have been a routine flight not a special one. Looking to prove "boots on the ground" for an agent orange case. contact me @

John McCorquodale, e-mail, 03.05.2015 22:00

I made two WestPac cruises in VS-29. I got out in July, 1968. I was an AX3(AC) and flew in the back of the S2. We flew surveillance flights along the North Vietnam coast. I have many Cat shots and arrested landings on the "Mighty Kay" USS Kearsarge CVS-33. We have an All Hands VS-29 Reunion every two years, have about 42 show up each year. Just had one in April 2015.

Jack Chandler, e-mail, 18.04.2015 16:22

VS-28 (72-74) and VS-24 (74-75). Yes, I've crawled through the hatch and out on the wing to bang home my share of wing locks (while on the cat prepping for North Atlantic in ice/rain). Also chase endless hydraulic leaks in engine bays during frigid early morning launches at Quonset...loved it! Would not trade those experiences for a million bucks...

Jack Chandler, e-mail, 18.04.2015 16:22

VS-28 (72-74) and VS-24 (74-75). Yes, I've crawled through the hatch and out on the wing to bang home my share of wing locks (while on the cat prepping for North Atlantic in ice/rain). Also chase endless hydraulic leaks in engine bays during frigid early morning launches at Quonset...loved it! Would not trade those experiences for a million bucks...

Jim McGuinness, e-mail, 16.04.2015 18:31

I was assigned as ships company to the USS Saratoga from 1958 - 1960. I was a crew chief on one of the two TF Traders which were the only A/C which belonged to the ship as COD ( carrier onboard delivery ) A/C. The remainder of the A/C belonged to squadrons. The TF's were classified as utility A/C and used for many different missions. They were very good A/C with low non-routine maintenance requirements for a lot of flight hours.

LT Hank Miller USN, e-mail, 16.04.2015 03:34

Attention Doug Snyder AK3 ! My roommate in Pensacola during flight training was LT Billy W Ray. When I called the squadron in March 1968 to speak with him i got the full court interrogation by the CO as to why I called. He said there had been an incident and the crew was missing. I would appreciate any and all info you may have regarding this. Thanks!

Doug Snyder AK3, e-mail, 21.03.2015 22:53

I was in VS23 (Black Cats) from Sept 1965 to June 1968. Flew as #3 operator. Before terminating flying in Feb 68 due to back problems I was part of the crew that perished off of Vietnam on March 17,1968.

Howard Seals, e-mail, 22.02.2015 03:23

I had the pleasure of joining VS-25 in 1959 after finishing electronics school in Memphis, Tn.. My tour of duty was from 8/1958 to 8/1962. VS-25 was located in Los Al.,southern Ca.. I did 2 'west pac' cruises and won my AC golden wings in 1960.
I was fortunate to operate both back seats and had time in the right hand seat on cross country flights. Enjoyed the tour of duty, because of the training I went to work for IBM and I had a 35 yr career. Thank you Navy, S2F, and all the great people I met during my tour of duty. I still remember the 3 bolders before catching the wire. Peace!

Dr Richard Dexter Olson, e-mail, 04.02.2015 22:15

I flew this beauty from Feb `55-Aug57, from Quonset Point RI; we were deployed abourd the USS Leyte, USS Tarawa, & USS Antietam; great airplane & enjoyed every minute of it; would love to hear from anyone who was there at that time

Leonard Cook, e-mail, 10.12.2014 04:15

In Dec 1964, at age 18, I enlisted in the Naval Air Reserve in VS-771 a NAS Los Alamitos, Long Beach, CA. Spent 4.5 months in ADR school in Memphis from 3/64 to 8/64 and then started college. By the time my 6 years were up I had made E-5(in 3.5 years) and was aircrew/flying seats 3&4 on at least one flight per monthly drill weekend. I also qual'd as a plane captain. Once I had my college degree I was "hounded" monthly by my CO to go OCS and pilot training, but chose to start law school in 9/69. Great memories of napping on a wing near a warm engine at 2300 hrs while waiting for the refueling truck. Still get a kick out hearing/seeing an S-2 refitted with turboprops flying for CDF.

Gary Nagorka, e-mail, 30.11.2014 09:48

I was in Uncle Sams Navy between 1965 & 1969, VS-35 out of North Island San Diego/ U.S.S. Hornet CVS - 12. Aw-3 Air Anti-Submarine operator 3 & 4. Enjoyied the whole experiance, saw over two hundred traps off the Hornet and during a couple carrior quals on the York Town. Flew with three different Commanding Officers of VS-35, went West Pac
on two separate occasions. Enjoyied the whole experience, and never will understand why I chose to leave when it came time to ship over.

Jim Biggers, e-mail, 11.10.2014 07:17

Does the S2 have an angle-of-attack indicator?

Doug Cox (Ierien) ADR2, e-mail, 09.10.2014 20:07

I was a Aircrewman / Plane Capt on our two S-2's and one C-1 that were ships company aircraft at NAS Fallon Nv. from 1977 to 1980. One of our old S-2's is now deactivated with the CDF in northern cali.. BuNo 136546, I understand that 136760 and 144704 were scrapped and are in Tucson AZ.
I concur with everyone that there's nothing like those Wright / Pratt Whitney R-1820-82B's! I miss flying those things.. got 480 hrs in them back in the late 70's.

Jim burns, e-mail, 27.08.2014 02:05

I was at VS-30 NAS boca chica from May 64 thru March 66. I worked in operations and took care of all pilot flight logs and entry's . I also prepared the daly flight schedule . Had a great time and many happy memories of.the old key west.

ED HALETT, e-mail, 10.08.2014 02:58

I would like some info on e S-2F so i could build a scale R/C plane please contact me.

Doug Campbell, e-mail, 18.07.2014 20:02

I was air crew AX-2, #3&4 with VS-27. In service from 2/63 to 2/67. Many fond memories. It seems vs-27 is being lost in history! No mention of our two week 24/7 engagement of multiple soviet submarines in the Med during a Med deployment.

gary lee, e-mail, 22.06.2014 02:23

plane capt on s2 and s2e 63 to 65

Lawrence E. Budreau, e-mail, 14.06.2014 02:29

i worked on the s2f at boca chica from 62 to 65.if any body was there, let me know.

Riley Beebe, e-mail, 04.06.2014 22:58

I was able to qualify as an S-2 radar operator in VS776 at NAS Los Alamedos (reserve squadron) in 1959. I believe that it was about that time that one of VS 776's Stoofs smacked into San Clemente Island. I went active duty did A school and was assigned to VS-21 which got split into VS-23 and VS-25. I was an AT3 and made aircrew in VS-25. My pilot was Lt-jg Huton, Copilot was Lt-jg J.J. Shultz and the Radar operator was TL Manning. Went to WESTPac in 61/62 on the USS Yorktown (CVS-10). Launched and trapped in every conceivable kind of weather. I have a photo of the flight deck covered with snow. We launched with both pilots and me as the radar operator to look for a freighter up in the north pacific. Found him and flew back, trapped on deck with only the cables clear. My last deployment on the Yorktown was to go down to the Johnson Island to watch the Navy blow up some very big bombs. I qualified for my AC gold wings made E-5 before stopped counting launches at 100.

Terry Brown, e-mail, 24.03.2014 18:09

John, you and I were shipmates on the 67-68 WestPac cruise in VS-21. I was an ATN3(AC) and flew in the back of the S2. We flew surveillance flights along the North Vietnam coast. I took about 88 Cat shots and about the same number of arrested landings about the "Mighty Kay" USS Kearsarge CVS-33.

We lost my original co-pilot, Dan Sullivan, when an S2 he was test flying, after repair, went down in the mountains of the Philippines during that cruise. My pilot, John Ouderkirk, passed away in 2012, I'm told.

I'd give just about about anything for one more Cat Shot in an S2 off a carrier. WHAT A KICK!! And you guys thought there was nothing better than sex!!! ;-) Those were definitely the days. Love seeing the California CDF guys flying over in summer even if they put the wrong engines in their S2s. - Best to all

Mac, e-mail, 22.03.2014 09:40

I remember these heading out to sea in the late 1960's from NAS Lakehurst, NJ. Nothing like the sound of those big Wright Cyclone radials.

John S. Shackelford, e-mail, 26.02.2014 20:28

Served VS-21 as an AZ3. Years of service 1967 t0 1970 at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado CA. Two WESTPAC's. Took care of aircraft maintenance logbooks and coordinated the aircraft maintenance program. San Diego was nice....great weather. Hong Kong liberty.

Wendell D Seal, e-mail, 17.01.2014 05:57

I was an AT and worked on and flew as an air crewman on the S2F1/2 and S2F-3's. I was in VS-37 from mid 1959 until late 1961. We were land based at either Los Alimitos and NAS North Island, CA. We also went on a West Pac tour on the USS Hornet.

Dean Marchione, e-mail, 22.12.2013 06:12

Did my training tour for a VS squadron in the RAG squadron VS-41 at NAS North Island, then reported to VS-38 as a engine mechanic on the S2F-E Tracker aircraft. Flew many missions as a third seat man flying from the decks of the U.S.S.BENNINGTON CVS-20. Made one WEST-PAC cruise aboard CVS20, then got orders to FLIGHT ENGINEER school and returned to the AEW community with AEWBARRO-PAC, then on to VW-1 TYPHOON TRACKERS on Guam. Was only in the VS community for two years, but loved the work and the flight time in a Grumman S2F. I was/am "CAR CRAZY" and love classics and cab over engine COE trucks. I always liked the looks of the fuselage on the S2F because I thought it looked like a 1940 FORD COE.

Mike Dew, e-mail, 26.11.2013 17:42

Assigned to VS-37 from 1975 - 1978. Made one cruise with S2 before the transistion to S-3s. Worked I-Level on the USM-403 HATS System.

Lee VB, e-mail, 21.11.2013 06:56

VS-24, 1974-76, last S-2G deployment on board Saratoga. Started in Line Shack and ended up flight crew. Good times.

James A. Blake, e-mail, 23.10.2013 07:38

I'm writing this in 2013 so my memory is not so precise now. I was aboard the Intrepid; 1965. Was trained in air anti sub warfare in Norfolk and Key West. Flew and worked on the Grumman S2 Tracker. The day after I was separated I reported for work at Grumman Aerospace. Then on to Cape Kennedy for the Apollo space program. What a trip!!!

Donald Emrick, e-mail, 15.04.2013 04:21

Was an ADR in VT-28 NAS Corpus Christi Tx From feb. 67 to july 69. Flew many X country flights. Loved working on those 1820 engines. those were some of the most memorable years. Really enjoyed it.

Michael W. Wewers, e-mail, 10.02.2013 21:42

I fail to ever see the fact that 4 S2-D's were also employed by (Legacy) US Customs Air Support Branches in the mid to late 1970's for A/C Interdiction purposes. They had their APS 88 radars modified along with R&D for the original FLIRs ultimately to utilized by later generation Navy Fighters etc. Unfortunately I only have a couple of old photographs, but you would be welcome to have copies. At the time I was the Chief of the Air Support Branch at Homestead AFB, Fl. Too bad this great old birds do not get some glory for their participation in the "Was on Drugs". Good stories also available. Thanks you.

Gayheart, e-mail, 03.02.2013 04:15

This is a E-Mail correction posted on 01.02.2013

Garry Iversen, e-mail, 02.02.2013 21:23

I served in the Navy from Jan.64 to Dec.67 and was in VS-37 out of North Island NAS. We deployed onboard the USS Hornet. I have about 850 hours in the back seat of the S2D/E model as a radar and MAD equipment operator. My last carrier landing was my 100th addrested landing. I was an enlisted man but the pilots would let we sneak up front and fly the plane for short periods of time. They didn't tell me about the trim controls and I remember it felt like I was flying a truck. I later got my private/comm Inst. tickets and retired in 2007 as an air traffic controller at Los Angeles Center and High Desert Approach Control at Edwards Air Force Base. S2's are still being used locally as fire fighters. Great airplane.

Gayheart, e-mail, 01.02.2013 03:52

Was in VT31 at NAS Corpus from 67to70 rate was ADR love the sound of the engines Had a lot of fun working on the S2
made A lot of friends.

LCDR Gordon A Bonnel USN(ret), e-mail, 28.11.2012 20:55

If you are interested in the S-2 check out the RAFS website and drop me an email

Frenchy Dampier, e-mail, 05.11.2012 21:25

I flew off both the Bennington and the Ticonderoga in 1968 &1970 with VS38 My crew was the only crew to never fail to fly in 1970.

Dave McLean, e-mail, 16.08.2012 04:40

As an Ensign and nugget naval aviator, I flew the US-2B with VC-2 Det Jax '74-'75. Called ourselves "skeet for the fleet" our primary mission being towing targets for ships to practice gunnery. Thankfully, the Det was decommissioned and I headed for VP-24 and P-3C's.

Mikey, e-mail, 21.06.2012 04:58

The S-2 Tracker Is 1 Of my best planes where i grew up i remember seeing S-2s working the pattern at the airbase they were at all day u can c S-2s doing Tand Gs it was great i wood never guss i wood Reloading them with fire retardent 4 the CDF its still help fighting fires in CA. Thanks

Joe Sitz, e-mail, 19.06.2012 00:29

I flew stoof (C-1/S-2) at NAF Naples (1972-1975, appx 1000 hrs). Mostly towing targets for fleet to shoot at and land logistics around Mediterannean. Good bird but agree w/ the comments on having rudder boost.

Robert Costello, e-mail, 06.06.2012 01:43

Flew 500 hours as a plane captain ADR2 in Rosevelt Roads from 75 to 78. Had the C1A version and it was a great plane. Flew SAR and had a couple cat launches and landings on the uss Nimitz. Great plane, lots of fun, and great for a 20 year old cutting his teeth on radials before going to jets. Was fortunate to be in the last ADR class at NTTC in Memphis. Still working jets for P&W. Most of you know who that is.

Ralph Spaulding, e-mail, 15.05.2012 22:05

I was a Lt in 1959-61 and flew as a pilot from North Island and the Kearsarge. I got to North Island in 59, and stayed in the RAG until VS-21 returned from its Westpac Cruise, then joined the squadron until the split was made to form VS-29 where I served the rest of my tour. I made one Westpac deployment and got my 100 traps before going off to PG school in 61. Most fun flying was working with the destroyers to confirm sonar contacts with MAD. I would put the top of the destroyer's mast on the horizon to lock in about 90 feet off the water and then fly to the contact to look for MAD confirmation. The least fun was trying to fly a decent Julie pattern while listening for the "clicks." Landing at night on a pitching deck also had to qualify as a "least fun" activity. But I rescued a couple of tail hooks before they got tossed overboard after X traps, had them chrome plated and still show them proudly on my nick nack shelf. I have about 20 minutes worth of movies taken with my 8 mm camera of the S2 landing and taking off from the Kearsarge. It has been made into a DVD so if you would like a copy, drop me an e-mail. You will go into my junk folder so be sure to put in an attention geting subject and send it more than once so I will eventually find it. Also, I just had a model built by Russ Busy, a museum-quality model builder, and took a few pictures of it. The model has been modified to make it look exactly like the planes we flew. As soon as I figure out how, I'll post the photos to You Tube. The movie is too long for You Tube.

Larry Lynch, e-mail, 15.05.2012 06:41

Correction to my last comments: it should read ECM/MAD, the SONO system controls were part of the radar station. In addition, the mission was started from the Princeton about 450 miles east of northern Honshu...and after 4 1/2 hours in the air, was out of range of any air station.

Larry Lynch, e-mail, 15.05.2012 06:06

From Princeton to Shangrila...

I was an AT aircrewman in S2F1/2 while attached to VS23 in 1958-59. We deployed to WestPac in 1958 aboard the Princeton, CVS37. I'll never forget one dark night while out on a single aircraft special communications mission, we returned to the ship, and no ship in sight. With about an hour of fuel left, and no idea where our ship was, and under strict radio silence, things got a little intense in the cabin. We climbed out to about 10 thousand and fired up the radar for one or two sweeps every few minutes. I was on the APS-38 and found a small cluster of targets about 100 miles from us. We flew to within visual range and saw the USS Shangrila, secured from flight quarters with aircraft cabled down all over the flight deck. We had about 30 minutes of fuel left and tried to contact the ship by flashing code with the handheld Aldus lamp in the cockpit. They came up on UHF Guard frequency and we told them our plight. It took the better part of our 30 minutes to get the deck cleared and the ship made continuous circles to smooth out the 10 to 15 foot swells in case we had to ditch. Finally, we got the Charlie and came down with one engine sputtering, caught the third wire and were aboard. When we stepped out of the plane I heard the ship's bullhorn announce: "You have just saved four souls!" The others on the plane were Lt Phillips, pilot, AT3 James Budd, ECM/Sono, and myself on radar. I don't remember the co-pilots name. My deepest gratitude to all involved that night, the flight crew and the ships crew that made landing possible, and of course, the great Stoof that brought us thru.

wayne robinson, e-mail, 06.05.2012 05:05

Maintained and flew as aircrew in S2-F-1s -2s and -3s.from
1959 to 1962 in VS-36 at Norfolk and from the USS Randolph. I knew Ace Eastman but i dont think i ever had a flight with him. Mostly i flew with a D.I. Worrell. Great pilot. Sadly we lost both one of our best pilots and my shop Chief on a night flight during an (ORI) Operational readiness inspection. I think the pilots name was Cook.
During a search the next couple of days a few pieces of wreckage and a couple of helmets were found, but no personnel. Still i loved flying in the S2-F and will never forget the experience.

Craig, e-mail, 25.04.2012 20:30

The S-2 is the primary airtanker / Firefighting aircraft for CALFIRE (California State Wildland Fire Control Agency)
They have upgraded their entire fleet to turbo props.

Robert W Overton, e-mail, 12.04.2012 18:33

Robert W Overton
VS-37 1969-1970
Rate AN
Plane Captain on S2D/E

Enlisted 12/10/1968 and was aboard USS Hornet (CVS-12). I was assigned to VS-37 02/10/1969 on WestPac (Yankee Station). I was discharged on 09/10/1970. I was a civilian employee for the Department of the Navy. I have retired from DON after 41 years 11 months of service as 11/01/11. 23 years of service was with PMA-264 Production Sonobuoy Program. I was a Plane Captain and worked on flight deck doing preflight inspections on S2D/E aircraft and enjoyed my time on the flight deck very much..."

Dennis Slocumb, e-mail, 28.03.2012 23:03

I flew #4 seat off of Kearsarge, CVS33 during the 66 WestPac. I was in VA-29. Great memories and even better liberty.

George Campbell, e-mail, 25.03.2012 22:51

I was an aircrewman in VS-31 flying from the Wasp from 1966-1967. We had fun with Russian trawlers, including a time with my friend Glenn Gibson that involved opening the bombay doors and dropping a lunch box, the contents of which will remain unidentified.

Daniel DiMarco, e-mail, 30.01.2012 03:25

I served as a yn with vs31 anti-submarine squadron stationed at quonset pt R.I. we were attached to the wasp cvs 18 out of southboston navy yard. served in the squadron from, nov 1961 to nov 1963. would like to here from anyone that was in the unit during this time.

Gerard J Gagne, e-mail, 21.01.2012 04:03

VT-28 NAS Corpus Christi 1966-1968 AMH-2. Loved working on these birds. Los of great memories. Thinking back I wonder if one could still climb into the hatch and out onto the wing to drive those wing fold pins down with a hammer and punch to get the wings to fold up. And oh yes, the props never stopped turning.Made many friends that I still think about often. Love to here from some of them

scott rogers sr., e-mail, 06.12.2011 13:08

was stationed at NAS WHIDBEY 68-72. wE had two s-2s anyone from there at that time give a shout. nas ships company

Terry Morriss, e-mail, 21.10.2011 01:11

Was a AO with VS38 from 1954 -1958 made 2 Westpacs 1955 on the Bing Ding USS Badoeng Strait CVE116 and 1957 on the Princeton CVS37.great times, great memories, great plane.

Ronn Witcraft ADR2, e-mail, 10.10.2011 17:52

I was a plane captain on the S2 in VT-31 NAS Corpus Christi for about 3.5 years, flew around 900 hrs in the back seat. Made over 20 traps on the Lexinton CVA-16 while pilots were training. An awesome experience for a young man. Went on from there to become a profesional pilot flying Corporate Jets. Loved the Navy, VT-31 and the S2, if anyone out there was int VT-31 from 1963 through 66, please e-mail me. Need good pictures also. Thanks.

Bill Scott, e-mail, 21.09.2011 16:43

Opps ! I forgot to mention that I was in VS-31 Squadren.

Bill Scott, e-mail, 21.09.2011 06:57

I was at Quonset Point in 1960 & 1961, did duty with the Wasp and made a few trips to Gitmo. The stoof was a great aircraft, I was a plane captain and was lucky enough to catapult off the Wasp and spend a time doing dives on a rocket and bomb run. It was my last cruse before getting out so the pilot granted my request to go up. It was a blast. Had some real good time with my shipmates Bob Smarch and Joe Lewis Mitchell, great guys. God Bless the Navy and God Bless America

John Beirne, e-mail, 07.08.2011 06:45

I was in VS-30 at NAS Boca Chica Key West from 1962-65. I am looking for information/history of the squadron from 1954-60 while they were deploying....Thank You

Tom Fisher, e-mail, 20.07.2011 03:05

I was an AT and Aircrewman with VS-36 from the fall of 1959 to summer 1961 and flew with the best of the best in the S2F-1, -2 and -3. Tough birds and like a Timex watch "took a beating and kept on ticking". Flew with most of the pilots in the squadron but really enjoyed Lt Tom Eades and LTCDR Norm Donahue.

Robyn W, e-mail, 29.06.2011 16:04

I was an avionics tech for the USN from the early 70's to the mid 80's. The S-2G was the first of several aircraft which I worked on. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to fly in one. VS-24 was my first operational squadron, and I made my first (and only) deployment with them in 74-75, the last USN operational cruise of the S-2G. I have3 fond memories of both the S-2 and the AN/ASN-30A system which for most of my time was spent doing intermediate repairs of this ANALOG TAC/NAV computer.

Tom Jantz, e-mail, 19.06.2011 02:55

Hello! My brother, Lt. John C. Jantz, was a pilot of an S-2 Tracker. He was on the 1967 cruise on the USS Hornet off the coast of Vietnam. He did not talk too much about it but He said he assisted in finding downed pilots and keeping track of boat traffic to help control sampans with weapons on them being smuggled south. If anyone knows of him and/or some of the missions flown by the trackers off Vietnam please let me know. He had over 100 missions off the Hornet. He shot down at least 3 Mig-17s and a Mig 21. He died about 10 years ago unfortunitly. Thanks for your time everyone! Tom Jantz in Michigan. PS. Just kidding about the Mig shoot downs of course.

John Meyers LT USN, e-mail, 02.06.2011 21:58

After advanced training on the S2 at NAS New Iberia, I went to VS-34 onboard Essex out of Quonset Point, RI. Flying in wintry New England taught me to respect the all-weather S2 capability, and carrier work in the North/South Atlantic made me love the Grumman iron workers who built the sturdy aircraft that accepted the heavy blows we new pilots delivered while we learned our craft. Surely the least glamorous of aircraft while performing the similarly unattractive and grueling tasks of ASW, the Stoof brought us home in heavy weather, day and night,at sea and on land. Any problems were invariably crew caused. All hail to Grumman!

Pete Dore, e-mail, 20.03.2011 02:57

I worked as an ordnanceman (Armourer in our terms) on VS816 Squadron through the 1970's on S2-E and S2G in the Australian Fleet Air Arm. We travelled with teh Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne to San Diego in 1977 to collect some used S2G aircraft. We had a damn good time and these aircraft left us with a lot of great memories and friends.

J.E. Worley, e-mail, 08.03.2011 05:12

ADR3 in VS 32 ,nas quonset. cruised on tarawa,lake champlain and wasp.Some good memories,some n ot so good.LearnedA lot about engines and props.Later in vs 38.noris was seat 3 operator. Did 2 aileron rolls on A test hop, not too bad for A natops limit of 60 degree bank angle,great pilot.cruised on bennington.

Ben Young, e-mail, 08.03.2011 01:05

Forgot to tell you people, at NAS Kingsville, the S2F outfit was ATU-402. I've never ran into anyone else who was in that command. I remember a slacker getting caught, he climbed in the bottom aft hatch for a nap and woke up in New Orleans. Also remember the 3 point landing with the nose up because of an indication of the nose gear not locked.

Ben Young, e-mail, 08.03.2011 00:49

After boot camp in mid 1957 was sent to NAS Kingsville, Tx and was assigned to work in the line crew as a "Plane Captain".(cleaner)lol.Fell in love with the bird.Now retired near NAS Jax,Fl, they have one on display on the base. Lot's of good memories.

Doug (Tex) Burkham, e-mail, 06.03.2011 01:17

Typo....that's EMCON....fingers have dyslexia.

Doug (Tex) Burkham, e-mail, 05.03.2011 19:29

I was in VS-24 from late 1970 to mid-1973. I sat in the 3-seat, and Ed Shostack sat in the 4-seat. LCDR Verney was the pilot, and LTJG Moriarity was the co-pilot. My "cherry" flight was on a short ORI (Intrepid CVS-11) up to Nova Scotia. Scariest flight was over the Baltic when we got a bad steer back to the ship after completing a mission and got lost. EMCOM conditions precluded us from firing up the radar or using the radios. 'Intrepid finally located us and gave us our steer back to the ship (EMCOM broken!). 'Got back with very little fuel remaining. Great times and great memories. Lots of great friends whom I'll never forget!

Wayne Miller, e-mail, 26.02.2011 22:34

In 1960, I was in the radar seat ready to go and I was told I wasn't flying that hop. I got out, another sailor got in, the plane took off and never came back. No May Day, no debris, no oil slick, flat gone. That was VS776, NAS Los Alamitos, California. That was the last time I got into a Navy Aircraft. When the pilots wanted something to laugh at, they would have me go forward and fly the S2F. I was the only AT in the squadron, and a darn good radar operator. I had flight crew wings (HS771) on the HSS anti-submarine helicopter (Sonar operator) and I had crew wings (VS776)on the S2F (Radar/Sonabouy). I had many, many near misses. Too many to talk about. The only one that counted was the one that took off and never came back. Two pilots and a crewman are in the ocean somewhere around San Clemente Isand, California. That was 50 years ago, and it is just like it was yesterday.

Leroy McVay, e-mail, 12.01.2011 06:05

1957, Active reserve (full time job) at Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle. Second class machinist mate working on S2F-1, -2. Sent one out from the line for test flight after engine change. Crashed on take off. Problem with that damn 3 section rudder / vertical stabilizer! Lost a buddy that was along for flight time even though passengers were not suposted to go on test flights

Leroy McVay, e-mail, 12.01.2011 06:05

1957, Active reserve (full time job) at Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle. Second class machinist mate working on S2F-1, -2. Sent one out from the line for test flight after engine change. Crashed on take off. Problem with that damn 3 section rudder / vertical stabilizer! Lost a buddy that was along for flight time even though passengers were not suposted to go on test flights

Wayne Payne, e-mail, 23.12.2010 01:46

I served as an AT with VS36 - SF2 Anti-submarine squadron stationed at Norfolk, Va. 1955-1956. Would like to hear from anyone who was in the unit.

Mike Hewlett, e-mail, 17.12.2010 07:13

A little further research in my log book shows that BUNO 153580 was an S-2E that was converted to an S-2G, still assigned to VS-24. I last flew her on 4 June '72, tho I was in VS-24 for 15 more months.

Mike Hewlett, e-mail, 17.12.2010 07:05

BUNO 153580 in the photo on this page was at one time assigned to VS-24. I first flew that particular bird on 14 Aug '71 from Intrepid while operating in the Norwegian Sea. On 29 Dec '71, I flew co-pilot with CDR Mel Byington in what I think was the first operational flight of an S-2G. The G had a new sonobouy dispenser for DIFAR bouys, and it also had upgraded AQA-7 acoustic processors as flying test beds for the S-3A equipment.

Mike Hewlett, e-mail, 17.12.2010 06:38

Correction to the above-- that was VT-31 at NAS CC

Mike Hewlett, e-mail, 17.12.2010 06:36

I took advanced training in the TS-2A with VT-32 at NAS Corpus Christi -- and fell in love with this bird. Went thru RAG with VS-30 at NAS Quonset Pt, then enjoyed 3 extended deployments aboard USS Intrepid CVS 11 flying with VS-24. I remember the STOOF as a great bird to bring aboard, and easy to adapt to changing conditions. I remember once being in a foul-deck bravo pattern at the 90 when told "Charlie now -- A/C at the 90, make it if you can." I was 28 knots fast, 125 feet high, gear up and flaps 1/3 -- but I took the cut and trapped. Not many a/c would let you do that.

Tanner Cole, e-mail, 13.12.2010 21:29

Wow, 100 gallons of 100LL for an hour! Must have drove you crazy when you found out the S-2 can run on 87 octane mogas!

Skip Patnode ADRC Ret, e-mail, 03.12.2010 07:27

Spring of '61 thru Fall of '64, VS-25 aboard USS Yorktown. I have 50 Cat shots and arrested landings in these aircraft including some single engine bolters. Plenty of power to make the bird really safe. Until they put the CSD and related flex shaft on the "new models", this was a great bird to maintain. After that it became a pain.
Skip Patnode, Norfolk, Va. 757 672 8495

Roger Heiler (Boot), e-mail, 01.12.2010 05:22

I was in VS31 from 59 to 63 stationed at Quonset Pt. R.I. We were attached to the Wasp out of South Boston Navy Yard. Our sister squadron was VS28 and the Helo Squadron was HS11. I was a BB stacker AO3 and was also on the special weapons loading team. Had a lot of fun times and good memories.

Dave Biddlecome USNRET, e-mail, 30.11.2010 03:07

A fellow was complaining about the STOOF being a bad AC. BS, 15166 brought us back with 21, 12.7mm holes in it. 1966 VS33 CVS20.

Jack Bennett, e-mail, 11.11.2010 23:24

Was an airframes/hydraulic (AMH2) in VT27 from 1/59 till 6/62 at both Kingsville and New Iberia. I really enjoyed working on the "stoofs". Had a check crew, and was made an Airframes master inspector on the A/C. There's not much I did'nt learn about that bird's airframe during my 4.5 yrs. of service. Training squadrons are tough on A/C...

Don Emrick, e-mail, 04.11.2010 23:37

Was in VT-28 from feb. 67 to july 69, @ NAS Corpus Christi Tx Line crewman, and mechanic on the stoof. Had a good time. Yea 20 min from Padre Island, could the time in Nav-Air have been any better? Would love to hear from any one else who was there in those years.

Jim Anderson, e-mail, 31.10.2010 23:03

I was a plane captain on S-2s stationed at NAS Patuxent (PAX) River 1969 - 1972 (ADJ-2). Weapons Systems Test (changed name to STRIKE) and the US NTPS (US Naval Test Pilots School). We took an S-2 to Key West to drop nuclear shapes. Our tests went ok but the P-3 had the explosive tailfin go off in the bomb bay. Doors wouldn't line up/close after that. I of course thought that if this was for real the S-2 couldn't get out of the blast zone fast enough. IMHO a one way trip. Also was the plane captain for US Customs (planes assigned to WST), 5 S-2s on project grasscatcher, name changed after about a week. High tech for the time FLIR/Video

Gene Stevens, e-mail, 29.10.2010 04:03

I flew in the S2-E as a crewman with VS-33 NAS, North Island, San Diego, CA (1962-64), and from CVS-20 USS
Bennington. Had 50 cat launches/landings from the carrier.
Our "big" weapon was a small nuclear depth charge carried
in the bomb bay (if we needed one). Great memories with
VS-33. The S2-F had the big "bulb" right up above the
pilot/co-pilot. The S2-E is pictured for this sight.

Robert Massmann AW2, e-mail, 28.10.2010 05:31

Was attached to VS-31 72-75 trained in VS-30. Had 55 launches and landings in the S2-G and some 600 hours of logged flight time as an antisub warefare operator. S3 where just around the corner. Station in Quanset Point and Ceicel Field Fla. until getting out in 1975. Many fond memories.

Warren Barker, e-mail, 06.10.2010 17:51

The C1A or COD aircraft was this plane without the anti sub gear. It could carry eight passengers or could be used for cargo. Each carrier had one assigned to her. It was the only plane maintained by ship's company. I served on the COD crew on USS Yorktown 68-69 and TAD to the USS Hornet in 69 for Apollo 11 recovery.

Robert Tevault, e-mail, 24.09.2010 15:54

I searved on the Wasp CVS-18 from 57-61 as EM and saw many Stoofs. I was flight deck electrician.Loved to hear the engine and have fon memories of on e single bird. Tail number 136427. Later it was called The Iron Lady. If I am not mistaken VS-30 squadron. Got to land on the ship in her. The last tine I saw her was at a air show in Marion Indiana. I found her now at Arlington Washington at a airport but not licensed to fly.The still taxi around and do a wing fold but thats it. Would loveto get pictures of the bird to keep and show the grandkids. Ted

LT Kevin Parr, USN, e-mail, 20.09.2010 04:36

I am looking for pictures of the trainer version of this aircraft. My father, ADR1 Bobby Joe Par was assigned to VT-27 (1969-1972) and VT-28 (1972-1975) at CC-NAS. He died this past August 2010 and I am interested in understanding the paint/markings scheme so I can modify an S-2E model so I can have a lasting reminder of his service at retirements. Any help is appreciated!

LT Kevin Parr, 1615-Information Warfare, USN

P.S. Dad was laid to rest in his dress blues with gold chevrons and full ribbons at the Missouri Veterans State Cemetery, Jacksonville, Missouri on 17 August 2010. KRP

Jim Swift, e-mail, 03.09.2010 21:10

In the specifications under ARMAMENT it lists one nuclear DIVE BOMB! Yikes! Dive bombing in a STOOF is a crazy idea but NUCLEAR divebombing??? I think that should have read "one nuclear DEPTH bomb".

And Hi to John "Tags" Tenaglia Class 38-60.

Allen MacDiarmid, e-mail, 22.08.2010 15:30

John Tenaglia - You are right about the ECM antenna. It was on at least the S2F-1 and S2F-2.

Allen MacDiarmid, e-mail, 22.08.2010 15:27

VS-29 when we received the new S2F-3. The designations from -1,-2,-3 were changed to A,B,C after that. The writeup is wrong. I am not enamored of this aircraft that had so many design things wrong with it from the rudder boost, to dead man's loop, to spin characteristics, to the J-hook release for the main gear. I did get most of my 150 traps in this aircraft however, without busting any on the carrier. Two cruises aboard the USS Kearsarge (CVS-33).

Marty Lineen, e-mail, 24.07.2010 01:24

Marty Lineen Hollywood Florida. I was in VT-27 in New Iberia La. and VT-31 in Corpus Christi Texas. Lots of fun.

Fred W. Liese III, e-mail, 13.07.2010 23:30

I spent 3 1/2 years at NAS North Island Ca. from June 66 to December 69. I flew as aircrew member towing targets for the fleet to shoot at. VC-3 What Fun.

James Fort, e-mail, 29.06.2010 22:24

I was a plane captain on the S 2F in VT-31 NAS Corpus Christy, we had 50 aircraft. Trained a lot of pilots from 1964-1966, flew as crewman, worked in line crew and mech shop.really liked this Airplane.

Leroy McVay, e-mail, 19.06.2010 17:36

Worked on S2F-1 & -2 at Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle in 1956 - 57. Only plane I ever worked on that I perferred not to fly in. Sent one out from line after engine change; crashed on take off. Engines were okay, suspect that 3 section vertical stabilizer / rudders arangement.

frits, e-mail, 17.05.2010 17:37

this is a beutifull site dedicated to the grumman tracker.

Phillip M. Paski, e-mail, 13.05.2010 21:36

I was an S2 plane captain for CDR Joe Kuhn in VS-33 NASNORIS. I have many fond memories under his highly capable command. I also served with LTCDR Manny Farren in VS-33. Mr. Farren admonished me as I checked out of the squadron that veterans were either the very best or very worst college students. I graduated college in the top 10 percent of my class. Thanks for the wise words that encouraged me to succeed academically and professionally.

Sting McBride, e-mail, 29.04.2010 02:59

If you haven't read the book "The Lieutenant Who never Was" do yourself a favor. I just finished it last night. Terrific from an old late sixties driver (me). (4/27/10). The author is Lcdr Tom Smith-one helluva story!!!!He sez it's fiction. I don't think so!!!!

Doug Snyder, e-mail, 27.04.2010 08:41

Great memories of this aircraft while in VS23 attached to the USS Yorktown and flying as #3 Aircrew. Also some sad times as we lost 5 crew members in two accidents in 1968. I would like to pay tribute to those lost but not forgotten.
LCDR. Stebbins: CDR. Hubbs, LTGJ Benson, AX2 Randall Nightingale,and ADRAN Thomas Barber who replaced me as a crewmember due to a medical circumstances just 6 weeks prior to their accident off Vietnam.

Doug Snyder, e-mail, 27.04.2010 08:30

Great memories of this aircraft while in VS23 attached to the USS Yorktown and flying as #3 Aircrew. Also some sad times as we lost 5 crew members in two accidents in 1968. I would like to pay tribute to those lost but not forgotten.
LCDR. Stebbins: CDR. Hubbs, LTGJ Benson, AX2 Randall Nightingale,and ADRAN Thomas Barber who replaced me as a crewmember due to a medical circumstances just 6 weeks prior to their accident off Vietnam.

John Tenaglia, e-mail, 13.04.2010 23:15

VS-31 '62-'65....enjoyed EVER day I was there. In all the S-2 pix I see, there seems to be a piece of equipment missing. As I recall, there was a large ECM antenna just aft of the cockpit. Am I mistaken?
Thanks for the memories.

William Young, e-mail, 13.04.2010 04:53

2 WestPac cruises aboard USS Bennington (CVS-20)with VS-33 S2-Es. Aircrew, #3 operator. I was one of the lucky guys that got to leave the ship almost every day. Ray Callhan and I flew several missions together off Vietnam coast and Tonkin Gulf. We got to see Hiphong Harbor less than 40 miles out and listen to "firecan" RADAR one night.

BARRISTER AKPALU YARTEY, e-mail, 17.03.2010 13:50

TEL: +233542672070
Fax no+23321406357


Good day and how are you? My wish is that you receive this letter in good faith and by his grace we are going to work good things out of in this great deal.

My name is Barrister Akpalu Yartey a Solicitor/Advocate of the supreme high court of GHANA; I am the Personal Attorney to Mr. Alan B.William an expatriate, who was a consultant with MINING GOAL COMPANY IN GHANA.

On the 21st of April 2006, my client and his wife were involved in a car accident along KUMASI/ACCRA Express Road.
Unfortunately they lost their lives in the event of the accident, since then I have made several enquiries as to locate any of his extended relatives, but all proved abortive. After several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over the Internet, to locate any member of his family but to no avail, hence I decided to contact you.

I am contacting you to assist in retrieving the money valued at about (US$12.5m) that was left behind by my client (Mr. Alan B. William) with the Barclays bank Ghana (BARCLAYS BANK) before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank. Consequently, the bank issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next ten official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2years now, I hereby seek your consent to act as the next of kin to the deceased, the proceeds of this account valued at (US$12.5 million dollars) can be paid to you and then you and I can share the money.55% to me and 40% to you, while 5% should be for expenses or tax as your government may require. I have all the necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this project.

All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us succeed without any hitch. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of the law.

Anticipated maximum cooperation.
Barrister Akpalu Yartey (Esq.)

Bob Lucas, e-mail, 17.03.2010 05:08

I was with VS-24 NAS, Quonset Pt.,from '53 until it was decomissioned as an Avation Electrican's Mate Third Class and worked on the first S2F-1, 2, &3's. Interested in finding anyone who I served with at that time. After VS-24 was de-comissioned I was with VS-39 through '55.

Bruce Dutcher, e-mail, 14.03.2010 23:52

Flew S-2s w/ VT-28 1974-5 and C-1As w/ VRC-50 stationed NAS Cubi PT Philippines w/shipboard and land based deployments. Great birds if you stay well within their performance envelope. Rudder assist is a killer.

awc d p gracey usnret, e-mail, 13.03.2010 21:14

flew with VS-37 aboard USS Hornet 68-69 as seat 3. later flew in P-2 and P-3 aircraft. nothing beats an S2.

LCDR GORDON A BONNEL, e-mail, 11.03.2010 18:42

Since my last post RAFS is now over 5500 S2 pilots worldwide. If you attempt to email me from the above address, don't forget to delete the () around @

Check our website

Chuck Evans, e-mail, 02.03.2010 01:43

I flew my first flight in the S-2G in Dec 1974 with Mannie Farren (noted above) with VS-33 and may have been the first "real" Naval Flight Officer (NFO) to qualify to flight in the co-pilot right seat as we were heading to the S-3A transition. I logged 150 hours total and had a lot of fun in that vintage aircraft. Last flight was in August 1975 on a flight to the bone yard at Davis-Monthan AFB.

Mannie Farren, e-mail, 01.03.2010 23:44

I had almost 5,000 hrs in the various versions of the S-2. Student at VT-27, VS-26, Instructor at VT-28, CAG-59 LSO, VS-41, VS-33, Safety on Kitty Hawk, and X.O. at Barking Sands, HI. LSO for 16 years. Great to hear from Joe Kuhn. Would love to fly one more time in the S-2.

Joe Kuhn, e-mail, 01.03.2010 04:26

To Cliff Eastman above: Your Dad qualified me for night landings aboard the USS Randolph back in 61. He was a great guy and a great pilot!

H. Allan Jemison, e-mail, 01.03.2010 00:48

I was a plane captain, electronics technician and #3 operator on the S2D's and S2E's in VS 35 from 1966 to 1968. We flew off of the USS Hornet (CVS12) and I did three WestPAC's on her.
I loved that plane and everything about her. She was slow, perhaps, but a reliable workhorse.

Wayne Corley, e-mail, 19.02.2010 06:50

I worked as an AT (Aviation Electronics Technician),a Tweetie Bird as the Blackshoe Navy called us, on the S2E. I was in VS-33 at NAS North Island from late 1968 to 1971.I was aboard the USS Bennington and USS Hornet briefly,and then on the Ticonderoga for 6 months.I have a lot of memories of working on those old planes.I wonder what I did with those safety wire pliers.

Cliff Eastman, e-mail, 15.02.2010 02:57

Proud to say that my Dad, Capt A.C. "Ace" Eastman , spent many an hour in the left seat of the Stoof. I remember many of the stories of hops, cat shots and traps from the decks of carriers like the Wasp, Essex and Randolph. Dad was attached to VS-30, VS-36, VS-31 (CO) and VX-1 while flying the S2. Other than some early hops in the F6F in the early 50's, the S2 was his favorite airframe.

Leonard J.Clayton, e-mail, 05.02.2010 02:03

I was a plane captain in VS-28 and served with LT.Joseph H.Peek on the Med cruise in 1964 i thought the S2-Subtracker was a great plane,I was in the squadron from Sept.1963 until July of 1965 and i had a great time.Our sister squadron was VS-31.LT.Peek is in the first row of our first squadron picture in the book.

Jerry L Becker, e-mail, 03.02.2010 04:50

I was in VT27 at New Iberia La from early 1962 until I got my wings in Aug 1962. Assigned to the RAG (VS41)at North Island near San Diego and then VS37 aboard the USS Hornet (now a museum at Alameda Ca)until I left the squadron in July 1966. Lots of Stoof stories, a fair amount of single engine time in the S2 and a minute or so of glider time in that wonderful airplane.

Ray Callahan, e-mail, 02.02.2010 07:34

I was a 3 and 4 crewman in VS-33 from 1966 to 1969. I have 1100 hours in D's and E's and really liked the airplane. I had about 30 hours stick time, due to some uneventful flights which just sparked my interest in becoming a pilot. After VS-33, I got my commercial, multi-engine and instrument ratings and eventually my CFI, CFII and ATP ratings. Flew Lear 24's and 25's, Hawker 700 and 800's and Citations for 7 years. In 2005, I had the opportunity to fly an S-2F1 in San Antonio. One hour cost me 100 gallons of 100LL, but it was worth every penny. It really made my day to get behind the controls again. The S-2 was our generation aircraft and it was a fine airplane indeed. The jets were great, but the the sound of a radial warms the heart.

Marty Hall, e-mail, 21.01.2010 06:15

See for the life story of one TF-1Z/C-1Z, Wheel Chair Seven that was the personal ride of COMSEVENFLT when he'd visit the fleet under way. She made a wheels up landing on a Japanese river bed and flew again.

BTW... web site under repair so things are not quite working as they should. Comments are welcome...

Marty Hall, e-mail, 21.01.2010 06:14

See for the life story of one TF-1Z/C-1Z, Wheel Chair Seven that was the personal ride of COMSEVENFLT when he'd visit the fleet under way. She made a wheels up landing on a Japanese river bed and flew again.

BTW... web site under repair so things are not quite working as they should. Comments are welcome...

Don Nix, e-mail, 14.01.2010 19:48

Flew from Atsugi Naval Base, Japan and landed on board USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) in 1957 in a S-2F. What a blast.

Bob Alstrin, e-mail, 13.01.2010 20:21

A Great Carrier aircraft. I came aboard CVS 18 (WASP) with one engine down, had a bolter, but was able to recover, go around, get on the ball and make an arrested landing (NIGHT)...this was October 1957. A real Brandy Hop !!!

DCS, e-mail, 02.01.2010 11:17

A number of Trackers are in use by the French emergency services for fire fighting. They have been re-engined (to answer Andrej) with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6s, and are often to be seen flying in pairs in the summer skies of the Languedoc. They are equipped to deliver fire retardant chemicals, rather than water, which is the preserve of the Canadairs.

Tom Smith, e-mail, 14.09.2009 22:48

Gordy, for some reason I am having a problem joining your RAFS organization. The email address keeps coming back as invalid. If possible will you add me to the rolls of organization?

LCDR Thomas G. Smith USN (Retired)
2221 W. Muirfield Drive
Anthem, AZ 85086
VS23, VT-27, USS HORNET, NAAS Fallon

Also the date of the magazine in my previous comments is 2001 not 2201!

Tom Smith, e-mail, 14.09.2009 22:13

I have more than 2000 hours in the STOOF. VS-23, VT-27 (instructor), USS HORNET, NAAS Fallon. I have written one magazine article about the STOOF and one novel which involves the STOOF - both published.The article titled "Stoof" was published in the LOGBOOK (Aviation History) Volume 2, Number 3 Summer 2201. The novel is The Lieutenant Who never Was which is available online at or through the author (cheaper!)at
I loved this airplane.

Nick Onaitis, e-mail, 12.04.2009 00:53

I'm a modeler...I build USN aircraft in 1/48 scale by preference and 1/72 when there's no y around it. I'm going to be starting a Tracker, a Tracer, a Trader, as well as three variants of the Hawkeye, all in 1/72 scale. Does any one know of a web site that has an image of the wing fold mechanisms of any of these aircraft? I can purchase a resin wing fold for the Hawkeye in 1/72.
Nick Onaitis (ex active duty USAF and USA)

Dennis Crilly, e-mail, 18.12.2008 07:46

I have about 5000 hours in this bird, I remember one dark and stormy night I was catapulted off the big (0) THATS THE USS ORISKANY for you non Navy types. The cat dude set the cat pressure for an A3 instead of the proper setting for an old cod,thats the S2f for you non Navy types. I thought the wings were going to come as we accelerated from zero to about 185 knots. There I was over the bow flying with only needle ball and alcohol. once I got the blood back in my eyes I got control of the bird. It was a night I will never forget.

Jim Sweat, e-mail, 30.07.2008 05:40

VAW-33 based out of NAS Quonset Point, RI had two of a varient called EC-1A's which I flew from time to time. I understand an elint squadron on the west coast also had two. They were essentially C1's configured with loads of elint gear. Nice airplane to fly but had an aft CG problem as I recall.

LCDR GORDON A BONNEL, USN(ret), e-mail, 17.05.2008 07:53

I run an outfit called RAFS (Real Aviators Flew Stoofs)

If you flew a stoof, join us by emailing me at

We have over 2500 members in roster from several countries.

thawkins, e-mail, 23.09.2007 03:08

You did not mention the C-1A Trader cargo version of this aircraft.

Andrej Sýkora, e-mail, 15.08.2007 20:40

Deseo saber cuanto puede costar un S-2 Tracker en funcionamiento adecuado.

Addicionalmente, deseo saber si es posible cambiarles los motores originales, por moteres turbo-helices.


Andrej Sýkora

Andrej Sýkora, e-mail, 15.08.2007 20:40

Deseo saber cuanto puede costar un S-2 Tracker en funcionamiento adecuado.

Addicionalmente, deseo saber si es posible cambiarles los motores originales, por moteres turbo-helices.


Andrej Sýkora

Joseph H. Peek, e-mail, 30.04.2007 08:15

I flew this TS2-A aircraft in VT-27 as a student in New Iberia, LA and my wife Mary Joan pinned my Navy wings on me on Friday, 13 October 1961. I then went to FAETULANT in Norfolk, VA for electronics training, down to Key West, FL for replacement air group training and then to VS-22 in Quonset Point NAS, RI where VS-22 was decommissioned and we transferred into VS-28 (Aces & Eights poker hand logo) aboard the USS WASP, CVS-18. After four years, I was reassigned as a flight instructor in VT-27 in Corpus Christi, TX for two years. Over 2500 hours in the bird gave me a very good feeling for its capabilities and I would like to be able to have just one more go at the stick. Memories eh? Call me 404-325-4866 in GA.

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