In the summer of '50, I was a brand new Ensign in a VP squadron at NAS JAX. A 'surprise' Operations Readiness Inspection was expected soon and as the Assistant·assistant Ordnance Officer was not flying much, so I was responsible along with the Ordnance CPO to 'ready-up' for the inspection. Having seen the time consuming effort it took to install the loading bands on 5 inch rockets I planned to do this ahead of time but was dissuaded by the CPO. His reasoning was that since it was a surprise inspection, ordnance should be left as it was stored, i.e., without bands installed. We did however make sure that there was sufficient ordnance and transportation to haul it from storage to the aircraft.

The night before the inspection I had a date with wife-to-be and arrived back at the BOQ well after midnight. And … Yep … I overslept. Hightailing it to the squadron, I found everyone--including "Big Ed,” the X.O., installing bands on 5 inch rockets … falling more and more behind in getting the aircraft out. Immediately after the inspection, three very nervous officers were called to the X.O:s office for the proverbial "chewing. 

Lessons learned: 1) Never, Never oversleep before an inspection; 2) CPOs maybe can "walk on water" but they don't know ALL the answers.

Later that same year, our squadron deployed to Argentia, Nfl. where I was scheduled as Duty Officer for Thanksgiving Day. I was asked by the Duty PO if it would be okay to muster the duty crew at 0900 vice 0800 in order for them to have brunch before assuming duty. Seemed reasonable under the circumstances so I approved.

And … Yep … here comes Big Ed with some other senior officers at 0830 Thanksgiving Day. "Where is the Duty Crew?" My answer did not please him … it was pointed out that the Plan of the Day was signed by the C.O. Another lesson: Lowly Duty Officers carry out orders--do not change them.


Pensacola Preflight Class 11-48