Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Hard Way to Make a Living

I commend to you a post by the late Neptunus Rex about life as a Landing Signal Officer.

In the early `80s, the Navy had a shortage of people who wanted to fly their airplanes. They asked people in other naval warfare communities to switch over to Naval Air. Their promise was something along the lines of "you can give us a try and, iffn you don't like it, you can go back to your old job with no career penalty".

So there was this young LT or 'JG, just off his first sea tour. He took them up on it.

Four years later, he's spotted on the D&S piers[1] in Norfolk by one of his classmates from Baby SWOS. The conversation went something like this:

"Hey, good to see you! Where're you stationed?"
"I'm Ops on USS Sumdood." (It was a FFG.)
"No kidding! I thought you became a Brown Shoe. What happened?"
"Too many night traps in an A-7."

Of all of the ways to get killed in the Cold War Navy, probably the best way was to fly airplanes on and off carriers.
[1] "Destroyers and Submarines"-- where ships that weren't oilers or carriers were berthed.


virgil xenophon said...

I'm an ex-zoomie refugee from Lex's place and will relate a story I told at Neptunus Lex about getting killed landing on carriers. A friend of mine in New Orleans invited me to a Superbowl watching party where I met his Father, an ex F6F Hellcat AND F4U driver in WW II. He said he enjoyed the flying and combat but nevertheless decided to resign his commission after the war was over. I queried: "But if you enjoyed it so much why didn't you stay in an make it a career?" To which he replied:"Well, you see, I made seven night carrier landings in the Pacific during the war and I decided that if I was going to keep living and live a long life, I'd better get out of that racket." LOL!

Comrade Misfit said...

Flying off carriers sounded like skydiving: Do it until you quit or get killed.

I was on a 24-hour exercise in the Med. One single-seater was lost. All they found was his helmet. And then there was Ranger-12. That was a bad night.