“BEST WISHES !” *
“Here I am in my garden in California reading the LOG, and raising palm trees, red flowers and tail hooks.
“It’s nice to be alive and well at age 83 !
“I was in Pre-flight at Chapel Hill and St. Mary’s some many years ago !
* Flying Midshipman LOG winter 2010; © 2010.
“SUCCESS AS MIDSHIPMEN !”
The Scene: On board an Escort Carrier, USS Mindoro (CVE 120), in Fighter Squadron 3E, cruising in warm Caribbean waters, half way between Havana, Cuba and Key West, Florida. It's a beautiful day.
The Actors: Midshipman Charley Melville and Midshipman Hank Molloy aloft in two F6F-5N's.
The Mission: Fighter Director practice to intercept an inbound bogey. Hank and I are now on two different radio frequencies. He will be the Bogey, and I will intercept. I'm "SMILE 107".
The Action: “SMILE 107, this is SMILE BASE, Vector 180, take Angels one five, Buster for the Bogey.”
“SMILE BASE this is 107, steady on 180, Buster, passing through angels one two.”
“SMILE 107, vector port 090, report level at Angels one five.”
“SMILE BASE this is 107, level Angels one five, steady on 090.”
“SMILE 107, Come further port to 315, Bogey should be at your 3 O'clock, low.”
“SMILE BASE this is 107, Tallyho, one F6F-5N."
The Date of this Exercise: Winter 1948
It was my buddy Hank Malloy down there today, but tomorrow, or even next year it could be a real bad guy inbound to my Aircraft Carrier. The enjoyable feeling was the confidence this Naval Aviator now had in his Aircraft, and in himself, that he could fly with the big boys now.
.Another joy was to look out through the canopy of your fighter at the incredibly blue sky ... and if you look up at the sun you see the "silver ship upon the silver sea." And they paid us to be there!
Hank Malloy was my roommate and was killed in the crash of an F6F Hellcat just before we were to be commissioned. I hope he's up in heaven reading this story and smiling ... on the next intercept Hank was the successful Fighter and I was the Bogey.