“TEN and FOUR” 1
(Flight training group booklet)
I reported to NAS Corpus Christi, TX, on August 3, 1947, following the completion of pre-flight at NAS Ottumwa, lA, and 30 days leave. The entire Cadet Regiment (Midshipmen and a few Aviation Cadets) was flown to NAS Pensacola on December 17, 1947. During the fall of that year, 1947, one of the two, George Goode or "Turk" Wharton, came up with the idea of publishing a book about our group. After 63 years, my memory leaks like a sieve so I am not certain at this point who actually originated the idea of the book or its title, "Ten and Four." 10 and 4 was a stock punishment for infraction of the Cadet Regulations.2 It meant ten hours marching with a rifle and four demerits [the marching back-and-forth with the rifle was commonly called, “Heel-and-Toe]. A lesser offence yielded "5 and 2" and a more serious violation, "20 and 8." Anything really serious was rewarded with a government sponsored ticket home.
Demerits were a big thing in pre-flight but not so generously awarded once we actually commenced training in the SNJ. Gone but not forgotten, because they were still given for violating rules not considered grounds for dismissal. I no longer recall how many demerits we were allowed before expelled. It may have been 100 demerits in pre-flight but after that, they were of little concern.
“Ten and Four.” Once the decision was made to proceed, a staff was collected and that was where I entered the picture. I made a habit of including pencil drawn cartoons in my letters home and to friends. For the book, I had to switch to drawing in ink. This was a challenge and my work in the book reflects my inexperience. There were two other cartoonists, Bob Wilkerson and Nat Goss. Nat was a truly gifted artist. Over time, all of the Middies were photographed, usually in groups of 3-5 in front of an SNJ. The book itself was divided into six parts: Introduction, NAIFS, VT-2A, VT-2C, Ground School and "FUBAR and Fancy Free." NAIFS was the Instrument and Radio phase of SNJ training at Corpus Christi before going on to Pensacola for Formations, Gunnery, Night Flying and CQ. VT-2A and VT-2C were the two SNJ training squadrons at Cabaniss Field. The Introduction contains photos of ranking officers and Regimental Staff. Preceding the sections on the three squadrons are lists of instructors and a page of general photos.
Next are the group pictures. These are followed by several pages of photos of ground school activities. The final chapter is titled, "FUBAR and FANCY FREE." For the uninitiated, "FUBAR" means, "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition." This section contains on and off-duty photos of all sorts of cadet activities. The final page of "Ten And Four" contains portraits (hand drawn) of most of the staff. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge whether everyone successfully completed flight training (although I believe Don Wachenfeld was later killed while flying an F4U).
Ten And Four Staff:
Editor and Photographer: Charles L. "Turk" Wharton, Jr.
Editor and Photographer: George E. Goode
Assistant Photographer: W. F. Richards
Artist: Robert W. Wilkerson
Artist: Nat Goss
Artist: Roy D. Meyers
Joe Vaillancourt, Cliff Strathern, Donald W. Wachenfeld
1 The Aviation Midshipmen LOG, Winter 2011.
2 See the full list of punishment and demerits in “Cadet Regulations” elsewhere in this Project.