Message: It has been a long while since I ventured here, and reading through the names and comments, I remember the faces of everyone of you great guys. I heard about Mouse Miko's death, and that put a damper on my memories of one of the most effective, hard working and yet family-like squadron in the Atlantic Fleet.
As time takes its toll on each of us, I feel like we have one more launch to make ... but before a mission to see how many of us our left (including AEC Noel and the bunch down in Florida), Bennie (is he still at UNC?), Gator (GA last I heard), Rip Von Scheible (still in the Tidewater area), Bennie (living the good life), Drobac, Perry (should have been the CAG Gunner on more than one occasion), the Mech shop (how they kept those engines alive is still beyond me), air frames (the Intruder was an aged warrior, but these guys fed it the equivalent of Viagra on a daily basis), the Avionics gang (ever try to align that radar bore-sight - they made it look easy - ah yes, the gyros were there to give us all something to bitch about), the Ordnance crew (never have seen a group of brutes that could download and rearm an aircraft as Perry's gang could on a routine basis, and last but not least, the Plane Captains (somehow their hand stroking across that old skin made the Intruder purr all the way to the cat, before roaring into the sky once again).
I found a gent who is willing to make us new Warhorse ball caps, so if someone has a few pictures of an original one (enlisted and officer), please send them to my email address.
In my current job here at Wright-Patterson AFB, I have won a few gallons of hydraulic lunches when I bet the Zoomies that the A-6E actually coudl carry that load while jittering about terrain following in some of the worst weather God could have ever conceived. The only ones that are not stupid enough to bet are the Eagle Drivers - quite a few remember VA-55 and VA-65 at Nellis AFB (57th FWW) and one even remarked about one of our enlisted Gerry-rigging an USAF engine stand for a engine change - no, we did not get caught by the MOC patrols. But my fondest memory was the air start engine drive shaft (my old memory cannot recall its proper name) shearing at least twice, before we received two new ones to get that A-6E back to homeplate (well, it did not quite make it, but it was worth the troubleshooting by a remarkable bunch of mechanics).
Take care all - this makes my 48th year among the US Navy, USMC, USAF, and even USA along with the Saudis and Japanese as a weapon system engineer. And in all of that time and different weapon systems, the A-6E still awes me. They just don't build war machines and sailors and aviators line the Warhorses anymore.