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R4Q incident at CPNC in the 50's

April 25 2003 at 11:23 AM
Score 5.0 (1 person)
Al Kerst  (no login)
from IP address 209.128.135.180

 
Gunny Gaines,
Looking for some info on an incident that reportedly happened in about 1954 or so at MCAS CPNC when some enlisted Marines flew an R4Q from Cherry Point to New Orleans. Not NAP's but perhaps a Crew Chief and a Radio Operator. Did it on a dare or something.
Any info.

Thanks,
Big Al

 
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Dick G
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
24.99.13.138

Howdy, Al...

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April 26 2003, 1:36 PM 

I was at 2dMAW, CPNC from 1958-59.

I do recall--vaguely--the story, but little of the deatils.

I was reminded of that story lately when I picked up some used books by WEB Griffin (novels) where he has a T/Sgt (NAP, I think) flying a plane from either San Diego or Hawaii, against orders, to a carrier at sea.

At CP, I recall also an R4Q going down short of the runway, one stormy nite.

Regret I recall very little of the story you ask about.

Best,
DickG


R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-72
Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern
Sites & Forums!


R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-72
Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern
Sites & Forums!


    
This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 24.99.13.138 on Apr 26, 2003 1:38 PM


 
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Dick G
(Login Dick Gaines)
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24.99.13.138

Milinet--A Sea Story (Repost)

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April 29 2003, 8:52 AM 

29 April 2003

MILINET: A Sea Story--Repost

The below Sea Story was first posted to MILINET on 12 July 1999. All readers are encouraged to share their Sea Story experiences with the MILINET community. I do have, however, one unalterable requirement: ALL Sea Story submissions MUST be at least 63% accurate and/or truthful.

Semper Fidelis,

Anthony F. Milavic
Major USMC (Ret.)

==============================================

12 July 1999

MILINET: A Sea Story

Contributed By: Maj. Richard Hardin, USMCR

======================================

I was an enlisted air traffic controller at EL Toro back in the early/mid 1980's. Due to my artistic skills (and the lack of PowerPoint) in those days, I was selected to help put together a "noise abatement" presentation for the Orange County Commissioners. I know all too well how we were weaseled out of the hole. I suppose that's "progress".

I think the most interesting story was one of the night of 04 July, 1986*. It was about midnight when I heard an A-4 depart the field. I was wondering who had the "huevos" to do a "closed field departure". Must have been someone really important I surmised from my base-housing quarters located off the departure end of "7 duals".

About two hours later, I was awakened by an A-4 circling the field (what turned out to be four times). All I could think of was that someone must have been called in to turn on the field lighting.

Well, this turned out to be the famous/infamous LCpl Foote, an A-4 mech, part-time Mercury refueling employee, and honest-to-God-world-class glider pilot.

As he was a part of the same parent squadron, Station Operations and Maintenance Squadron. I got some of the "good gouge" on his story.

Apparently, he had befriended some "important" folks on station who were also glider enthusiast. Being a celebrity of sorts in the glider community he managed to wrangle unlimited time on the A-4 simulator. Rumor had it that he had more time on the simulator than any "school-trained" active duty aviator.

He had been trying to acquire a high altitude suit for another altitude record. Before this happened, he got a form of high altitude (hypoxia) sickness similar to the bends. The flight surgeon informed him that he would never fly for the military. His dreams shattered.

So after some deliberation, he decided that he would have his flight with the military even if it was "just one". So on the night of 04 July, LCpl Foote reestablished the enlisted flying program by taking an A-4 out for a taxi test and took off from El Toro - closed field. No one had raised an eyebrow.

He flew out over one of the restricted areas for about an hour and a half then returned to make four passes over NZJ then landed on 36 left without the benefit of any airfield lighting or control.

The M.P.'s apparently did not have there attention drawn until a second or third pass in the pattern had been completed. If he could have made a straight-in, full stop no one would ever have known . . . but then no one would ever believe his story . . . He had already taxied to the flight-line and was in the process of securing the aircraft before the "officials" figured out exactly where they needed to go to greet and question the arriving "aviator".

While in the brig, LCpl Foote was somewhat of a cult hero among officers and enlisted alike. Many officers made comments in jest that, " . . . they should just let him out and pin some gold bars and wings on him . . . he just save the Corps million of dollars in flight training . . ." There were book contracts and movie rights signed while he was incarcerated there at El Toro.

(There is more to this story - but I don't feel that I am at liberty to divulge anymore particulars.)

Where is he today? . . . I would REALLY like to know. There was a rumor that I heard while I was in TBS (1987) that he was flying for the Israeli Air Force.



R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-72
Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern
Sites & Forums!

 
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