“Brief Bio” *
After Korean duty, flying F9F-2s aboard PHILLIPINE SEA and VALLEY FORGE, spent a shore tour in FASRON-7. Applied for Navy Test Pilot School--didn't get it--got out. Peck to UC Berkeley for 4 years of Mech. Engineering; joined Naval Air Reserves at NAS Oakland flying F4Us and others. After graduation, went to work as an Aero Engineer at NASA-Ames; NASA sent me to Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB where ‘battery salesrnan' COL Chuck Yaeger was CO at the time. COL Yaeger gave me permission to fly one of the specially instrumented T-33s up to Alameda one weekend a month. Quite often, I would take one of the foreign students with me to "check-out" the Bay area. The transient Alert Crew at Alameda had a hard time figuring out this strange U.S. Air Force T-Bird with a Navy Reserve pilot and an Italian Air Force pilot in back!--Retired from NASA in March ’88; flew my last hop the AV-8C Harrier: got hit by 3 buckets of water as I climbed down the ladder--plane captain's revenge! Things never change!
* FMA Newsletter September 1990; © 1990.
One of the neat things about being a NASA engineering test pilot were the opportunities to perform evaluation flights in "other peoples" aircraft … legalized boondoggles!
I left the Navy as a Reserve in May '53 to return to college for and engineering degree. When I went to work for NASA in '57, I figured I had made my last landing on a carrier which had been back during "Korea" in June '52. Not so.
In 1975, NASA received NAVAIRPAC's approval for me to fly with HSL-35 in SH-2Fs to evaluate LAMPS Helo operations in support of the NASA/Navy Lift-Fan Aircraft Program (later called Joint Strike Fighter program).
We were given deck time aboard USS Stein (FF-1065), a 4,100 ton fast frigate with a 72' x 40' flight deck. The SH-2F familiarization and subsequent (11) evaluation landings with the squadron XO in the right seat went well. Prior to our return to NAS North Island, we were requested to deliver some paperwork to USS Ranger (CVA-xx) steaming nearby in the local operating area.
By now, landing the Seasprite on Ranger's huge clear deck was no challenge at all--we delivered the envelope and returned to North Island … now "the rest of the story."
After landing at the air station, I was informed that the CO of the Ranger was none other than fellow class (11-48) member Captain A.E. "Boot" Hill. We not only struggled through pre-flight together but flew F9Fs in Air Group Eleven together. Never did get a chance to say to Boot, "Thanks for the landing." So, via the LOG, "Thanks, Boot!"