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November 27, 2005

Chapter 1: PABLO's A4C Buno 148543 Arrives!
Another good, NO "GREAT DAY" to be around airplanes and people who like
As you remember the Virginia Aviation Museum and Virginia Aeronautical
Historical Society promised that a A4C like Paul was flying on June 17,
1966 on his 97 1/2 mission, would arrive here at the Museum. Well today
Worldwide Aircraft Recovery LTD. with Marty at the helm of his
tractor trailer arrived from NAS Pensacola and the National Museum of
Naval Aviation at the VaAvMuseum here in Richmond.

Mike Boehme-Director and his staff and docents on duty plus, David
Hahn-Asst Director and Curator, Paul Galanti and umwha were in attendance
to observe this one man ballet (Marty) assemble "The Scooter" or
"Heineman's Hot Rod" as it was known in the Navy!

It was a chilly, but sunny day till later when some clouds rolled in. The wing section and nose with cockpit were unloaded from the trailer and
mated. Tomorrow Marty will unload the tail section and attach it to the rest of
the airframe, then it can be temporarily moved into the Museum for
further assembly. Shortly after Thanksgiving the plane will be moved and be repainted in
the colors and markings of Paul's squadron VA-216 and then placed in the
Virginia Aviation Museum permanently.

Soon I hope to take a picture of this bird like the last one attached!
That should 'almost' complete the pictorial set.

Oh yeah, we really need a boarding ladder, tail hook, a couple of 300
gallon drop tanks and really an engine!
Anybody got any of these they aren't using??
JR aka Dick

Chapter 2: PABLO's A4C 'IS' Taking Shape!
On a sunny Virginia Day with the temperatures MUCH warmer than yesterday
it just seemed like a good day-'Thanksgiving Day' that is-to junket back
out to the VaAvMus to participate in getting some more of PABLO's A4C put
I have a good wife that doesn't give me grief-too much-about this stuff!
As I arrived Marty of Worldwide Aircraft Recovery LTD was installing the upper wing
panels that the flaps retract into.
How about piano wire hinges?? Nice touch and "Original Equipment"!
A product that I have used to lube or loosen stuck parts and that Marty
was using during reinstallation and is better than WD-40 or penetrating
oil is "Q.B. Blaster"!
After a short time PABLO joined us then David Hahn arrived and in the PM
for the tail section installation party Mike and Kim Boehme and Elaine
Sutton of the "Fabulous Museum Crew" came by!
Remember this was their holiday!!

It really interesting to see how these airplanes are assembled. You can seen how various sections were contracted out to different
aeronautical companies and then went to final assembly -AND they all
How about 4 BIG bolts to attach the nose and cockpit section to the wing
and 4 more to attach the tail section.
Now think about taking a catapult shot and/or trap (arrested landing) let
alone pulling a bunch of Gs and the thing holds together!!
Its one thing to just look at the outside of one of these combat machines
then look deep inside and think of all the engineering solutions that had
to occur let alone the many work hours put in by the maintainers both
ashore and at sea to keep them working so they could fly on a sortie!!

As I mentioned before in a short time the plane will get a new coat of
paint and then reside inside the VaAvMus here in RIC-"IF" it will fit.
Thats the reason for extending the nose strut to its max, to lower the
tail so that it will slip under the door opening.14 feet 2 inches appears
to be the vertical opening needed. It will be a little snug, but we think
it will go. The hinged door to the rear of the A4 is the one that will open to accept

A few more access panels to install or be refabricated and it should be
about ready for the paint crew. The last paint job was at NARF Jax in
1971 when it went thru overhaul. I found on Google last night that this particular Buno was flown by VA-15
the "Lions" and VA-152 "Fighting Aces" off USS Forrestal. (148543 in background?)

This has been fun stuff and I plan to follow it as time permits!
JR aka Dick

A4C Arrives (37kb) Dick with A4C  (37kb) Marty Pablo and Dick (30kb) A4C Cockpit and Storage Compartment (33kb)
Now if We Just Had an Engine? (25kb) Wing Being Positioned (30kb) Gear Down and Locked (32kb) Nose Section ALMOST in Place (25kb)
Almost Ready to FLY? (29kb) Installing the Vertical Stabilizer (39kb) Hoisting the Tail Section into Position (27kb) Tail Section Installed (35kb)
Extending The Nose Strut (33kb) Slats Out and Ready for A Cat Shot (38kb) Paul Galanti A4NP-694 on Hancock in Pearl Harbor 11-1965 (26kb)  

In searching thru a closet looking for something else this evening I came
across a non de script shoe box filled full of slides.
Having no idea what they were I started scanning them, the sports cars
from Sebring and Daytona first, 1961 thru 1965.
Then VOLA, my first USN Detachment to Pt. Lyautey, Morocco during the
summer of 1961.
The first pic is "I think" Pt. Lyautey, but it could be somewhere else in
the Med also.
2nd pic is our C-118 fuel stop in Lajes, Azores.
Since we had A3D-2Ps (RA3Bs) the crew of course wanted to checkout Brand
X's look alike RB-66 similar mission bird.
3rd pic is actual umwha and a squadron chief (CRS his name) in our Hanger
114 in Jax prior to leaving.
4th pic is our Det 19 Asst OINC Lt Don "BEARCAT" Jarvis and my pilot for
the summer.
The tall guy in the front rank is PO1 Tex Herry our 3rd crewman. A good
5th pic is getting ready to load aboard the C-118 for the trip home.
Lots a memories here.
And for you sports car guys a couple of shots for nostalgia time.
JR aka Dick

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RATMAN here in the Bar should remember some of these.
The French had F4U and Multi engine Lancaster training going on when we
were there.
The French influence was mostly seen on the beaches.
When you walked barefooted you got a tarry residue on your feet.
Not fun!
Sam Perisho was in our squadron and was lost with Jack Pearce in a A6A
run 31Dec 67 in NVN VA-75 off Kitty Hawk.
One of the good guys!
The guy and gal in the red convertible Pontiac Lemans behind Sam at
Daytona is J.P. Helmick, also in VAP-62, who married the Cadillac dealers
daughter, thats her, in Jax, went to law school and became CEO of Claude
Nolan Cadillac/Pontiac/Sterling etc.
More memories!
JR aka Dick

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September 23, 2004
Today was another good day to be at the Chesterfield airport. 6 privately owned T28s all met here to fly down to NAS Oceana to participate in the annual air show that gets underway tomorrow thru Sunday.
4 of them fly as "The Trojan Horseman".

There were 3 T28B models and 3 T28Cs which have the tail hook and were used for Basic Carrier Qualification training by USN, Marine and Coast Guard Aviators in training.
This involved 8 arrested landings on either the USS Antietum. USS Lexington or what ever other carrier was assigned as the training deck in Pensacola.
It was a thrill as I remember it!!

For those of you who check Bunos in their log books, the planes here today were:
T28Bs  - T28Cs
138194  - 140501
138339  - 146246
138245** 140570 **=in my USN logbook-based at FCI

I will embed a couple of shots then put some as attachments.
They were very well maintained and pretty airplanes and one (me) would drool profusely to get back in to one or all of them.
I'm going to do the departure fly over pics because they did such a good job.
Only one of the pilots was former military and he was a F-14 guy formerly from NTU.
I am for one old USN pilot impressed with the time, dedication and training that they go thru to maintain OUR heritage!

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