EIGHTH “WESTPAC” DEPLOYMENT AND

FIFTH VIETNAM COMBAT CRUISE

U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

OVERHAUL AT HUNTER’S POINT NAVAL SHIPYARD, SAN FRANCISO, CALIFORNIA & LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS

(12 September 1969 to 16 April 1971)

CHAPTER XXIV

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 (tail code NL) embarked departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 23 September 1969, with Captain Samuel G. Gorsline, Jr., as Commanding Officer, on her eighth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, on her seventh South China Sea deployment, her fifth Vietnam Combat Cruise and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East since her 1st conversion (25 January 1960); completing her 1st & 2nd Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployments during her 1st & 2nd “WestPac,” (first CVA in the Bering Sea during 12 December 1961 to 17 July 1962 deployment). Prior to her deployment she completed a two month restricted availability at Bremerton, Washington returning to NAS Alameda, Ca. June 1969 and a slate of refresher training operations out of San Diego. She will undergo her eighth foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960), decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. She will undergo her 19th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD). NHC Battle Order p 13” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34 & 35).

 

WestPac Cruise Book 1979-80 - Ref. 1275W

USS Coral Sea (CV-43) History - Ref. 1275W1

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) with CVW-15 (NL)

(23 September 1969 to 1 July 1970) 

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)

Pacific & 7th

8th WestPac

7th SCS

5th Vietnam Combat

CVW-15

NL

23 Sep 1969

1 Jul 1970

Vietnam Conflict/War

19th FWFD

282-days

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-151

Vigilantes -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NL100

F-4B

VF-161

Chargers -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NL200

F-4B

VA-82

Marauders -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NL300

A-7A

VA-86

Sidewinders -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NL400

A-7A

VA-35

Black Panthers -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber

NL

610-617
614-616

 

A-6A

VFP-63 Det. 43

Eyes of the Fleet or Gators - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

Vought- Crusader -

Jet Fighter -Reconnaissance

NL600

RF-8G

VAQ-135

Black Ravens - Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron or Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior - Jet Attack - Tanker  - Special electronic installation

NL610

EKA-3B /

A-3 (KA-3B)

VAW-116

Sun Kings - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye

NL010

E-2A

HC-1 Det. 9

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Kaman - Seasprite - Transport (Utility)

NL

004-006

 

UH-2C

 “For this cruise Coral Sea operated for the first time with the A-7A Corsair, brought on board by VA-82 and -86 from the East Coast” (Ref. 43).

VFP or VF(P) - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) or Light Photographic Squadron.

VQ-1 and VAP-61 detachments provided support from DaNang Air Base, Republic of South Vietnam, for Fleet carriers operating on Yankee Station in 1969.

“For this cruise Coral Sea operated for the first time with the A-7A Corsair, brought on board by VA-82 and -86 from the East Coast” (Ref. 43).

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 & 76

 

 

NS024378a 142k. Grumman E-2A Hawkeye, BuNo 150539, modex NL010, VAW-116 "Sun Kings."

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024378a.jpg

 

 

McDonnell F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 149450, modex NL206, VF-161 "Chargers." (The original NL206, BuNo 152286, had been lost in an operational accident on 25 February, as it ran out of fuel and the crew had to eject—both pilot and RIO were rescued.). NS024378b 103k. http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024378b.jpg

 

 

NS024359 518k. F-4B Phantom II, VF-111 "Sundowners."

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024359.jpg

 

 

NS024378c 128k. Ling-Temco-Vought A-7A Corsair II, BuNo 152685, modex NL306, VA-82 "Marauders."

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024378c.jpg

 

 

NS024378d 123k. Grumman A-6A Intruder, BuNo 152902, modex NL500, VA-35 "Black Panthers."

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024378d.jpg

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) relieved USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) at Yokosuka, Japan on 16 October 1969, and shortly thereafter received her fourth NUC for operations conducted the previous deployment” (Ref. 43).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Yokosuka, Japan from 16 to 18 October 1969” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 22 to 24 October 1969” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) pulled in for a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines on 19 November 1969” (Ref. 405).

 

    “On 24 November 1969, the Apollo 12 astronauts — all Naval Aviators — Richard F. Gordon, Charles Conrad Jr., and Alan L. Bean were recovered by Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Four (HS 4) and returned to USS Hornet (CVA-12)” (Ref. 1-Hornet).

 

 

Aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) along with a supply ship and her escorts whilst operating in the Gulf of Tonkin during 1969. A Soviet "trawler," in fact an Okean-class AGI (intelligence collector) is in the foreground. NS024343 85k. Robert Hurst. http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024343.jpg

 

 

Near the Philippines, late 1969. Carrier in the background is USS Ranger (CVA-61). NS024319. David Guerra.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024319.jpg

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 19 Nov 1969” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Sasebo, Japan from 8 to 9 December 1969” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Sasebo, Japan from 12 to 19 December 1969” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 20 to 25 January 1970” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Sasebo, Japan from 30 January to 10 February 1970” (Ref. 405).

 

    “The Midway (CV-41), former CVB-41, the 35th aircraft carrier of the United States Navy by Hull No. and in order of commission, the 35th, commissioning on 10 September 1945, completed SCB-101 and recommissioned a second time on 31 January 1970 at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco Bay. Midway was at once one of the oldest and newest carriers in the fleet accomplishing, the most extensive modernization ever completed on a naval vessel from 11 February 1966 to 31 January 1970, decommissioning on 15 February 1966. Her increased capabilities included the enlargement of her flight deck from 2.82 acres to 4.02 acres plus the addition of three new deck-edge elevators and the new catapults on the bow and three arresting gear engines and one barricade were installed and re-arranged to accommodate a change of 12 degrees to the angle deck. The smaller waist catapult was removed since it was ineffective in launching the now heavier aircraft. Modern electronic systems were installed, central chilled water air conditioning system replaced hundreds of individual units, and Midway became the first ship to have the aviation fueling system completely converted from aviation gas to JP-5. Midway also sorted the largest, most complex avionics shop in the fleet, the computerized Naval Tactical Data System and many improvements to habitability. The year 1970 was one of transition, training and preparation for Midway and her 2500 man crew. There was much to be learned and much to improve upon to home man and machine into an effective fighting unit, capable of assuming her place as an integral part of the Pacific Fleet. The effort having encountered delays and massive cost overruns. In addition, the modifications significantly reduced the ship’s sea-keeping capabilities and ability to conduct air operations in rough seas. Additional modifications partially corrected these problems. Midway’s cost overruns and delays caused cancellation of a similar modernization for USS Coral Sea (CV-43)” (Ref. 1180A, 1180B, 1181N & 1183).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) delays caused partially by the simultaneous construction of USS Horne (DLG/CG-30), modernization of USS Chicago (CA-29), and unscheduled repairs to the fire-damaged USS Oriskany (CVA-34) drove the initial modernization estimate of 87 million dollars to 202 million dollars” (Ref. 1181N).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) gained 13,000 tons to her weight as compared to her original full load figure” (Ref. 1176A, 1176G, 1176I & 1181N).

 

    “USS Midway (CV-41) underwent her final renovation before going to her new forward deployed home, serving as a forward deployed unit of the Seventh Fleet from 11 February 1966 to 31 January 1970” (Ref. 1181O).

 

    “On 10 February 1970, a Bullpup missile aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) cracks and leaks toxic gases and liquids when its pneumatic hoist fails and drops it on the deck of the weapons magazine. A Navy spokesman says the missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead but was not believed to be armed at the time. 200 crewmembers are evacuated from the surrounding areas and the rest of the 3500-person crew stands by to take the ship to sea if necessary as a precaution. The broken rocket motor is safely lifted out of the ship and transferred to the dock.  Coincidently, minutes before the Bullpup missile drops in a starboard magazine, an electrical fire breaks out in a port side magazine aboard the Bon Homme Richard while the ship is docked at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, Calif.” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “From October 1969 to February 1970, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) operated on “Yankee Station” five times, punctuating those periods of combat operations, hurling strikes "in country" and supporting ground forces in Laos and South Vietnam, with visits to Subic, Sasebo, Yokosuka, Japan and Hong Kong” (Ref. 43).

 

 

USS Constellation (CVA-64)

NS024321. 77k Circa 1969. David Guerra.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024321.jpg

 

    “Following an initial 20-day period of supporting strikes in South Vietnam as well as Laos, USS Constellation (CVA-64) sailed to Defender Station in the Sea of Japan, which had been created as a result of increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 13 to  16 February 1970” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 10 to 11 March 1970” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Hong Kong from 13 to 19 March 1970” (Ref. 405).

 

    “On 28 March 1970, Lt. Jerome E. Beaulier and Lt. (j.g.) Steven J. Barkley in an F-4 Phantom II of VF-142 off Constellation shot down a MiG-21 while escorting an unarmed Navy reconnaissance plane on a mission near Thanh Hoa, North Vietnam. This was the first North Vietnamese MiG kill since the 1st of  November 1968 bombing halt” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “Upon arrival to "Yankee Station," USS America (CVA-66) aircraft pounded at roads and waterways, trucks and waterborne logistic craft (WBLC), hammered at petroleum storage areas and truck parks in an attempt to impede the flow of men and war materials to the south” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Yokosuka, Japan from 15 to 25 April 1970” (Ref. 405).

 

    “On 26 May 1970, USS America (CVA-66) began its first day of special operations in the Gulf of Tonkin, when Comdr. Fred M. Backman, commanding officer of VA-165, and his bombardier/navigator, Lt. Comdr. Jack Hawley, in a Grumman A-6C "Intruder" flew the ship's first combat sortie of the 1970 “WestPac” Cruise. On the same day, the Navy's newest light attack aircraft, the A-7E Corsair II received its first taste of combat. At 1201, Lt. (j.g.) Dave Lichterman, of VA-146, was catapulted from the deck in the first A- 7E ever to be launched in combat. He and his flight leader, Comdr. Wayne L. Stephens, the squadron's commanding officer, subsequently delivered their ordnance with devastating accuracy using the A-7E's digital weapons computer. Shortly after 1300, Comdr R. N. Livingston, skipper of the "Argonauts" of VA-147, and Lt Comdr. Tom Gravely rolled in on an enemy supply route to deliver the first bombs in combat in an A-7E, reportedly "all on target”  (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 2 to 4 June 1970” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) sailed from Subic Bay, Philippines on 4 June 1970 for Australia” (Ref. 43).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) pulled in for a port call at Sydney, Australia on 13 June 1970” (Ref. 34).

 

 

On her way back home, after her 5th Vietnam Cruise, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port call to Sydney, Australia, 13–17 June 1970. This series of photos was taken during an open house event while in port. Kaman UH-2C Seasprite, BuNo 152202, modex NL006, HC-1 Det. 9 "Pacific Fleet Angels." NS024378 115k. Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024378.jpg

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made port call at Sydney, Australia on 13 to 19 June 1970 before proceeding to Alameda” (Ref. 34).

 

    “On 1 July 1970, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 (tail code NL) embarked arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, with Captain Samuel G. Gorsline, Jr., as Commanding Officer, ending her eighth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, on her seventh South China Sea deployment, her fifth Vietnam Combat Cruise and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East (NHC Battle Order p 13). Coral Sea was the first aircraft carrier to deploy from the Continental United States after the negotiations of the Vietnam cease fire agreement of January 1973. For Coral Sea it marked the first peacetime cruise following nearly ten years of participation in the Vietnam conflict/war. Coral Sea relieved USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) at Yokosuka, Japan on 16 October 1969, and shortly thereafter received her fourth NUC for operations conducted the previous deployment. Coral Sea made a port of call at Yokosuka, Japan from 16 to 18 October 1969; Subic Bay, Philippines from 22 to 24 October 1969; Subic Bay, Philippines on 19 November 1969; Sasebo, Japan from 8 to 9 December 1969; Sasebo, Japan from 12 to 19 December 1969, she suffered a minor explosion in shaft alley caused by cigarette 12 December 1969. Coral Sea operated on “Yankee Station” five times, punctuating those periods of combat operations, hurling strikes "in country" and supporting ground forces in Laos and South Vietnam from October 1969 to February 1970. On 15 January 1970, she suffered damage to her No.2 elevator in heavy seas; a C-1A Trader on the elevator at the time rolled part-way off, but the quick thinking of her crew resulted in no lives being lost and the aircraft saved, while the bombing halts brought a reduction of losses for the carrier aviators in Vietnam. Coral Sea made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 20 to 25 January 1970; Sasebo, Japan from 30 January to 10 February 1970; Subic Bay, Philippines from 13 to 16 February 1970; Subic Bay, Philippines from 10 to 11 March 1970; Hong Kong from 13 to 19 March 1970; Yokosuka, Japan from 15 to 25 April 1970. Coral Sea made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 2 to 4 June 1970 and Sydney, Australia from 13 to 19 June 1970 before proceeding to Alameda. CVW-15 listed 7 Aviators & 1 Airmen KIA and 1 Aviator MIA. Ports of call include: Pearl Harbor, Hi.; Yokosuka, Japan twice; Subic Bay, Philippines twice; Sasebo, Japan twice; Subic Bay, Philippines; Sasebo, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippines twice; Hong Kong, situated on China's south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea; Yokosuka, Japan, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, covering an area of 100.7 km² and is the 11th most populous city in Greater Tokyo, 12th in the Kantō region; Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay and is a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines; and Sydney, Australia, the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. It is on the south-east coast of the Tasman Sea (Source: Coral Sea Command History Report for above ports of call and ref. 43 & 72). Squadrons: VF-151, F-4B; VF-161, F-4B; VA-82, A-7A; VA-86, A-7A; VA-35, A-6A; VFP-63 Det. 43, RF-8G; VAQ-135, EKA-3B / A-3 (KA-3B); VAW-116, E-2A and HC-1 Det. 43, UH-2C. (*1) HC-1 Det. 43 redesignated HC-1 Det. 9 on Oct. 1, 1969; completing her 1st & 2nd Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployments during her 1st & 2nd “WestPac,” (first CVA in the Bering Sea during 12 December 1961 to 17 July 1962 deployment). Her eighth foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960), decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. Her 19th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947 (23 September 1969 to 1 July 1970)” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35, 72, 405 & 1275W2).

 

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) Air Wing: Carrier Air Wing Fifteen (CVW)-15

 

DEPLOYMENT

 DATES

K

I

A

M

I

A

P

O

W

PLANES LOST

LINE DAYS

LINE PERIODS

WESTPAC

    & Combat

Mission

CVW-15 (NL)

23/09/69-01/07/70

N/A

1

N/A

 1

 125

 5

 8th / 5th

 South China Sea

Reference 34, 35 & 43 reflect Chat info.

 

 23/09/69 - 01/07/70

 AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

  “WESTPAC”

 National Defense Service Medal

 10 - 11 December 1969

 8th & 5th

 Vietnam

 Combat

 Vietnam Service Medal for Combat

 Operations

17 Feb - 9 March, 19 March to 11 April & 28 April - 1 June 1970

 8th

 Meritorious Unit Commendation

 27 October 1969 - 1 June 1970

 8th

 Excellent Deck Efficiency Admiral

 Flatley

 1970

 8th

 Navy Unit Commendation

 23 September 1969 - 1 July 1970

 8th

Reference 34 & 35 reflect Chat info.

 

Eighth “Westpac” deployment and Fifth Vietnam Combat Cruise

(23 September 1969 to 1 July 1970)

(7 Aviators & 1 Airmen KIA & 1 Aviator MIA)

NAME

RANK

SQUADRON

DATE of LOSS

LOSS-COUNTRY
HOW

COMMENT

Dustin C. Trowbridge

LT JG
U. S. Navy

VA 35

26 Dec.1969

South Vietnam/ Over Water

Status in 1973: Killed/ Body not Recovered

M. G. Hoff

LT CDR

VA-86
A-7A

7 Jan. 1970

Laos
AAA

Missing in Action

John J. Parker

LT
U. S. Navy

VA 86

4 March 1970

South Vietnam/ Over Water

Status in 1973: Killed/ Body not Recovered

Curtis H. Cropper

LT
U. S. Navy Reserve

VF 151

5 April 1970

North Vietnam
Over Water

 

Brian Bushnell

E-3
U.S. Navy

VAW 116
E-2A

9 April 1970

North Vietnam
Over Water

Status in 1973: 
Killed Body not Recovered

Larry C. Knight

U. S. Navy

VAW 116
E-2A

9 April 1970

North Vietnam
Over Water

Status in 1973:

Charles B. Pfaffmann

U. S. Navy

VAW 116
E-2A

9 April 1970

North Vietnam
Over Water

Status in 1973:

Andrew A. Horchar Jr.

U. S. Navy

VAW 116
E-2A

9 April 1970

North Vietnam
Over Water

Status in 1973:

Norman P. Westwood, Jr.

LT
U. S. Navy Reserve

VF 161

17 May
1970

North Vietnam

Status in 1973: Killed/ Body not Recovered

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) Association http://www.usscoralsea.org/ (Ref. 34)

Reference 43 reflects the bombing halts brought a reduction of losses for the carrier aviators in Vietnam, as CVW-15 listed one aircraft lost in combat with its pilot MIA.

 

    “With over 215,000 (as of 1970) arrested landings to the Coral Sea’s credit, more than any other operational carrier in the fleet, she was awarded the 1970 Admiral Flatley Award for aviation safety.  This was the third such award and the second consecutive for the ship.  In addition to this honor, Coral Sea was awarded her fifth consecutive Navy Unit Citation and two Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals for her performances during the cruise” (Ref. 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34 & 43).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked (tail code NL) was greeted by her adopted city with the biggest welcome ever accorded a returning ship to that city.”  (Ref. 34).

 

    “There were a number of other “first” for USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), but of a slightly different nature. Her crewmembers contributed $57,000.00 to the United Fund—a new carrier record at that time. Also, donations from Coral Seaman to a Japanese “Stamps for Children” campaign surpassed all other contributions. The program was designed to give hospitalized children a gift, which would be both educational and entertaining:  a stamp collection” (Ref. 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure).

 

    “Following a brief stop at NAS Alameda, Ca. on 2 July 1970, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) headed for Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, Ca., where the ship underwent a $44-million extensive overall. Among the work performed: improved habitability, the installation of a Navy Tactical Data System, elevator improvements, and other repairs” (Ref. 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure & 43).

 

    “USS Shangri-la (CVS-38) spent 12 days in drydock at Yokosuka, Japan, in July 1970” (Ref. 1-Shangri-la & 72).

 

    “On 20 August 1970, at Manila, Vice Admiral Frederic A. Bardshar, Commander, Attack Carrier Striking Force, 7th Fleet, hosted the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos, on board USS America (CVA-66). President Marcos was given a 21-gun salute as he and Mrs. Marcos arrived on board from their Presidential yacht to visit the ship. Accompanied by American Ambassador and Mrs. Henry A. Byiade, they were greeted by Vice Admiral Bardshar and America's commanding officer, Capt. Thomas B. Hayward and were subsequently escorted to the ship's hangar deck where the carrier division band and the ship's marine detachment rendered honors. Following their arrival, the visiting party dined with Vice Admiral Bardshar and Capt. Hayward, and were later given a brief tour of the ship” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto presented token helm at Alameda, Ca. on board USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in August 1970” (Ref. 34)

 

    “On 17 September 1970, USS America (CVA-66) completed her fourth line period and headed for special operations off the coast of Korea and subsequently, the Sea of Japan” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “On 23 September 1970, USS America (CVA-66) entered the Tsushima Straits, remained in the Sea of Japan for approximately five days” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “On 25 September 1970, word was received that Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of the United Arab Republic had died; an event that might plunge the entire Middle East into a crisis. USS Independence (CVA-62), along with USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67), USS Saratoga (CVA-60), and seven other U.S. Navy ships, were put on standby in case U.S. military protection was needed for the evacuation of U.S. citizens and as a counterbalance to the Soviet Union's Mediterranean fleet” (Ref. 1-Independence).

 

    “USS America (CVA-66) departed the Sea of Japan and exited through the Tsugaru Strait on 27 September 1970” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “During this period, USS America (CVA-66) and CVW-9 engaged in three exercises: "Blue Sky," with elements of the Republic of China Air Force; "Commando Tiger," conducted in the Sea of Japan, involving air units of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force (ROKAF); and, after exiting the Tsugara Straits, "Autumn Flower," air defense exercises with the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) and the United States Fifth Air Force” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “On 28 September 1970, President Richard M. Nixon and his party arrived on board USS Saratoga (CVA-60). That night, word was received that Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of the United Arab Republic had died; an event that might plunge the entire Middle East into a crisis.

 

    The intelligence and communications personnel of Saratoga were required to supply the President, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretaries of State and Defense with the essential intelligence information to keep them abreast of the deteriorating situation. The Presidential party departed the ship the next evening, and Saratoga continued on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean” (Ref. 1-Saratoga)

 

     “Captain Wesley L. McDonald assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 16 October 1970, relieving Captain Samuel G. Gorsline, Jr., 23rd Commanding Officer, serving from 16 May 1969 to 16 October 1970 at Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard” (Ref. 34 & 35A).

 

    “USS Shangri-la (CVS-38) visited to Manila and Hong Kong, in October 1970” (Ref. 1-Shangri-la & 72).

 

    “USS Towers (DDG-9) and USS Turner Joy (DD- 951) were part of USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) battle group” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “On 7 November 1970, USS America (CVA-66) completed her fifth line period and departed for her last visit to Subic Bay, Philippines” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “USS Shangri-la (CVS-38) returned to the United States and her home port on 9 November 1967, when she stood out of Subic Bay, Philippines to return home, visiting Sydney, Australia; Wellington, New Zealand; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil en route to Mayport, Florida” (Ref. 1-Shangri-la & 72).

 

    “On the long trip home, USS America (CVA-66) welcomed approximately 500 more "pollywogs" into the realm of "Neptunis Rex." The day before the carrier arrived at Sydney, Australia, for a three day rest and recreation visit, United States ambassador to Australia and his wife, the Honorable and Mrs. Walter L. Rice, flew on board to accompany the ship into Sydney” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “Aircraft from USS Hancock (CVA-19) joined with other planes from USS Ranger (CVA-61) and USS Oriskany (CVA-34), for air strikes against North Vietnamese missile and antiaircraft sites south of the 19th parallel in response to attacks on unarmed U.S. reconnaissance aircraft on 21-22 November 1970” (Ref. 1-Hancock).

 

    “With so much to be thankful for, USS America (CVA-66) celebrated two Thanksgivings. At exactly 2329, 26 November 1970, America crossed the International Date Line. Moments later it became Thanksgiving Day again. On both days, crew-members feasted on turkey, beef, lobster tails, Virginia ham and roast duckling” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “After rounding Cape Horn on 5 December 1970, USS America (CVA-66) headed north, stopped briefly at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for fuel” (Ref. 1- America & 72).

 

    “Captain Eugene James Carroll, Jr., NAVCAD, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) on 31 January 1970, 25th Commanding Officer” (Ref. 1178-G). 

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) departed San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard for Naval Air Station Alameda, California, making preparations once introduced to Commander, Carrier Air Wing Sixteen (CVW-16) (tail code (AH)) for operations at sea conducting carrier qualifications the remainder of 1970” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

USS Midway (CVA-41) with CVW-6 (AH)

(16 April to 6 November 1971)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVA-41) – Pacific Fleet

 

CVW-16

AH

1970

1970

 

Pre-Deployment – Ref. 1180C

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-161

Chargers -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

AH100

F-4B

VF-151

Vigilantes -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

AH200

F-4B

VA-93

Blue Blazers -                     Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

AH300

A-7B

VA-56

Champions -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

AH400

A-7B

VA-115

Arabs -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber -Tanker

AH500

A-6A / KA-6D

VFP-63 Det. 3

Eyes of the Fleet - Light Photographic

Reconnaissance Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

600

RF-8G

VAW-

Carrier Airborne Early

Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye Electronics

010

E-2B

HC-1 Det. 8

Pacific Fleet Angels -           Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

004-006

SH-3G

Squadrons: VF-161, F-4B; VF-151, F-4B; VA-93, A-7B; VA-56, A-7B; VA-115, A-6A / KA-6D; VFP-63 Det. 3,      RF-8G; VAW-, E-2B and HC-1 Det. 8, SH-3G.

 

    “On 31 January 1971, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), USS Hancock (CVA-19), and USS Ranger (CVA-61), alternating on “Yankee Station”, flew a total of 3,214 sorties during the month, of which 3,128 deliverect ordnance in Laos. A-6 and A-7 aircraft were particularly effective in attacking truck traffic, the enemy having put a seasonally high number of trucks on the road, averaging close to 1,000 per day” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

Iran History & Air Arm

 

    “Of the second order of 32 F-4D Phantoms’s in October 1968, the IIAF took delivery of 32 F-4Ds in March of 1971.

 

    “IIAF took delivery of 20 Elicotteri Meridionali built CH-47Cs in 1971” (Ref. 25).

 

    “Iranian F-4Ds were used in several unsuccessful attempts to intercept Soviet MiG-25 that were spying on Iran” (Ref. 20).

 

    “Iran Air Defense relied heavily on western hardware” (Ref. 19).

 

    “The willingness of the US to supply it's top of the range military hardware, such as the F-14A Tomcat and AIM-54 Phoenix showed the close relationship between the two countries” (Ref. 27).

 

    “While on “Yankee Station” on 6 March 1971, a member of the USS Ranger (CVA-61) flight deck force was blown over the side during launching operations. USS Towers  (DDG-9), providing plane-guard service for Ranger, quickly sped to the scene, rescued the sailor, and returned him to his ship” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “Because of USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14) change in mission, her tour of duty did not include combat operations off Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga).

 

    “In 1971, USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14) conducted training exercises in the Sea of Japan with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and operations in the Indian Ocean with units of the Thai Navy and a transit of Sunda Strait during which a ceremony was held to commemorate the loss of USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth in 1942” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga).

 

    “In addition to the training exercises in the Sea of Japan, USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14) also joined ASW training operations in the South China Sea” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga).

 

    “On 10 March 1971, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and USS Ranger (CVA-61) set a record of 233 strike sorties for one day and went on during the ensuing six-day period to mark up a strike effectiveness record that exceeded record performances by TF-77 during the previous three-year period while on “Yankee Station”” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “In early April 1971, North Vietnamese regular forces launched massive invasions across the DMZ and into the northern province of South Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea).

 

    “During April, the three carriers assigned to Task Force 77 – USS Ranger (CVA-61), USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and USS Hancock (CVA-19), provided a constant two-carrier posture on “Yankee Station.” Hours of employment remained unchanged with one carrier on daylight hours and one on the noon to midnight schedule. Strike emphasis was placed on the interdiction of major Laotian entry corridors to South Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Ranger & 72).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) with Rear Admiral J. L. Butts, Jr., Commander and Captain F. T. Hemer as Chief of Staff Carrier Division One, Rear Admiral J. L. Butts, Jr. and Commander  Captain R. B. Rutherford, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) embarked departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 16 April 1971, with Captain E. J. Carroll, Jr., as Commanding Officer and Captain G. E. Jacobssen Jr., as Executive Officer, on her seventh “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet, her second South China Sea deployment, on her second Vietnam Combat Cruise on “Yankee Station” in the Far East. She will under go her first deployment since her second recommission on 31 January 1970, following completion of a four-year conversion-modernization at the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, arriving on 11 February 1966, ending the year of 1965 upon arrival from her sixth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet, on her her first Vietnam Combat Cruise in the Far East and first South China Sea deployment. She will under go her seventh deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon completion of her World Cruise for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. She will under go her 20th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72, 1180, 1180AA, 1180C, 1180D, 1180D1, 1180D2, 1180E, 1180F, 1180G, 1180I, 1180J, 1180J2, 1180J3, 1180K & 1181N).

 

USS Midway (CVA 41) WestPac Cruise Book 19711180

Chain of Command – Ref. 1180D2

COMCARDIV 1 Staff – Ref. 1180K

The Cruise and Ports of Call – Ref. 1180L

 

USS Midway (CVA-41) with CVW-5 (NF)

(16 April to 6 November 1971)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVA-41) – 3rd & 7th

7th WestPac

2nd SCS

CVW-5

NF

16 Apr 1971

6 Nov 1971

Vietnam War

20th FWFD

205-days

2nd Vietnam Combat Cruise

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-161

Chargers -                   Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NF100

F-4B

VF-151

Vigilantes -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NF200

F-4B

VA-93

Blue Blazers -                     Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NF300

A-7B

VA-56

Champions -                     Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NF400

A-7B

VA-115

Arabs -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber - Tanker

NF500

A-6A / KA-6D

VFP-63 Det. 3

Eyes of the Fleet -      Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

600

RF-8G

VAW-115

 

Liberty Bells -

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye Electronics

010

E-2B

VAQ-130 Det. 2

Zappers -                 Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior -

Jet Attack - Special electronic installation

610

EKA-3B

HC-1 Det. 8

Fleet Angels -        Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King - Anti-submarine

003-006

SH-3G

*HC-7 Det. 110

Pacific Fleet Angels -        Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Search and Rescue

 

HH-3A

**C1A Det.

 

 

 

 

*These squadron detachments were not aboard the carrier for the entire deployment.

**During Midway’s conversion, all aviation fuel tanks were converted for jet fuel only and it was planned that only the turbojet powered C2A COD aircraft would be utilized. While en route to the Western Pacific word was received that all CVA’s would be required to carry one C1A aircraft for logistics, mail and cargo flights. Midway accepted her own C1A on 12 May 1971. The original “Cod Squad” crews conducted field quals at NAS Cubi Point on 14 to 15 May 1970. Initial carrier quals on 16 to 17 May 1970. Midway flew the first scheduled logistics flight on 18 May 1970. Midway’s first day on the line, Triple zero (000) met every scheduled commitment throughout the deployment.

 

    “In April 1971, USS Midway (CVA-41) began her sixteenth deployment 13,000 tons heavier than her original full pay load figure. When she arrived off the coast of Vietnam, her Airwing commenced strikes and flew over 6,000 sorties in support of allied operations” (Ref. 1181N).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XXIV

 USS CORAL SEA (CV 43)

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy - Operation Evening Light And Eagle Claw -

 

Book - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0454-5

EBook - ISBN NO.

978-1-329-15473-5

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-19945-3

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA  Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54596-0

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54790-2

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-55111-4