By lex, on January 24th, 2006
From a new reader, and man I served with, back in the day. Back on the worst day ever:
Lex, if you will allow the late addition to this thread *. I remember Terry, he was my first boss. I remember him barefoot in the ready room, and I remember him coming to my aid when another aviator was stashing material I signed for. Sadly, I never got a hop with him.
I remember that day very well. I remember that CNATRA was in town, the sky was full of pilots under instruction. That was also the day the Cubans reclaimed their “borrowed” MiG-23BN, which is why all the national news crews were in town to cover it, and why your A-4 was on the news the next day, since it was all they could get a picture of.
I remember the Petty Officer of the Watch staring at the red crash phone, and my reaching over the duty desk to get it from him. I remember that two of our pilots saw it from a catamaran nearby, and after hauling it in, never sailed in the catamaran again. Four more of our pilots were in Homestead, and unable to return while the field was inop.
I doubt you remember telling me on the radio that you couldn’t raise anyone on Tower, and were down to 300 pounds and were going to Key West International. And when you came back, you found me trying to piece together the OPREP in the Ready Room, and took over, professional through and through.
As CDO that weekend, I watched W.K. (ed: our squadron CO) break down in tears, thinking no one saw him, when removing Terry’s picture from the display in the hallway. Days later, at the Memorial Service, I remember Bugs (ed: a twenty-year lieutenant commander, and wonderful guy) telling me, “I thought I was going to make it. I thought I was going to make twenty years and not lose a single squadron mate.”
Thank you for letting me add a few words for Terry.
Ah, you’re welcome. Thanks for filling in the holes in my memory.
It was a bad day. I think that I may have mentioned it before: It’s not all beer and skittles, in the fleet.
* 07-12-2016 Links Gone; no replacements found – Ed.