Monthly Archives: April 2014

Infographic: U.S. Navy Fighters 1917 – 2010



by | April 30, 2014 · 1:50 pm

Tne Incredibly Stupid One At The Hanoi Hilton


I had never heard of this fellow – but what a story.

As told by Dick ‘Beak” Stratton, Captain, USN (ret)

H/T to a fellow Lexican who posted this to the F/B page.

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Beer Blogging-Crabbies

Ladies and Gentlemen, you may begin with the snide comments…………..Trying new things ya know! 🙂

Among The Joshua Trees


Picked up at BevMo out of curiosity.
Definitely Different.
That is all.

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A Pilot’s View: Queenstown, New Zealand

“Sometimes what a pilot sees in a day, people won’t see in their lifetimes. New Zealand has some truly amazing scenery.”

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by | April 26, 2014 · 1:31 pm

Pentagon Follies


As I have gotten older, I’m afraid to say I have gotten a lot more cynical about many things.

Or perhaps reality has made more inroads.

Regardless, I was surprised at the decision by the Air Force to mothball both the A10 and the U2 programs. The A10, designed during the Cold War, was designed to blunt the Soviet Union’s huge numerical superiority in tanks.

While that mission never (fortunately) materialized, it did prove its worth repeatedly on the battlefield in ground support. And I think, it was never really wanted by the Air Force.

Wasn’t sexy and fast and – if I remember the story right – it wasn’t until the Army – seeing a need to protect its soldiers – offered to take them that the Air Force stepped in.

Regardless, it seems the Boneyard at Tuscon will see a few 100 A10s shortly.

The U2?

Well, I certainly don’t know first hand the full capabilities of UAVs but there does seem to have a benefit of manned flight. Certainly there is no computer on, say, the Global Hawk as sophisticated as the mind of a U2 pilot.

It seems to me that some of the most successful weapons we have had have had a long and difficult gestation time – often created through the force of one man.

The F/A-18? All thanks to the efforts of one man.

P51? I guess it was the efforts of a few people at North American Aviation to produce this for the British.

Sidewinder Missile? All the efforts of one man at China Lake.    

It’s been in use for 50 years, and the Air Force thinks it will be in inventory until “late in the 21st century”.

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CT Scan Update

Got the news in the mail a little while ago.

Among The Joshua Trees

The letter from my doc was in today’s mail.

All Clear.

No new problems or any suspicious areas.

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Granddaughter Easter Pics

Among The Joshua Trees

Got these from the Daughter in Kansas today.

Bailee, our eldest granddaughter. Bailee, our eldest granddaughter.

Bailee Easter 14-1Piper Easter 14-2Piper Easter 14-1

Piper Easter 14-3 Piper, our youngest granddaughter

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A Story or 2 About Speed

For some number of years,  I had a neighbor whom I’d consider a character. And through my life,  I have come to believe that those are the best kind of people to know.

He wasn’t always a favorite of our homeowner’s association, as he would be working on some junky car or truck in his driveway.  He’d be covered in dirt and grease – filthy but happy. After I’d offer him a beer he’d talk about some of his past.

I enjoyed his company.

When I first met him, I thought he was full of – well, in loftier terms, hyperbole.  But his stories involved a lot of self-deprecation which makes me think they were true.

Braggarts are not known for self-deprecation.

And Speed could laugh at himself.

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Filed under History, Marines

A Guy You Need To Read

So I’ve been following this (relatively) new blog “I don’t know; ask the skipper.” Started up in February of this year.

The guy has a way with words. Lots of good material over there.

So I’ve added him to the Blogroll. When you get a chance, check it out. Tell him “the Sarge sent me,” or not.

I think Lex would have liked this guy. Definitely an “OK-3.”


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If Lex loved the F/A-18, he has this man to thank…


Sent to me by my Air Force friend.

I remember reading a post by Lex on the history of the F/A-18, and how it was the “loser” in the competition between the YF-16 and YF-17.

Both of these planes, at least to me, have been proven as one of the Pentagon’s better programs.

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