Logo by LT Charles “Wingnut” Wickware

Gulf of Tonkin Incident Reunion

Fist of the Fleet Association was proud to sponsor the reunion of three former VA-144 naval aviators who last flew together on August 4 & 5, 1964 from USS Constellation, CV-64 in the Gulf of Tonkin. The event took place at NAS Lemoore, CA on September 16 & 17, 2019 and was hosted by the Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific and NAS Lemoore. The reunion was very memorable for all who attended and especially for the three honorees Capt John “Nick” Nicholson, CDR Everett Alvarez, Jr. and CDR Ron Boch.

LT Ron Boch, LTJG Everett Alvarez, Jr. and LCDR John “Nick” Nicholson 8/4/1964

Everett, “Nick” and Ron 9/16/2019 NASL

Latest Edition: Winter 2020

Way back on Fri, Jan 30 1976 USS Ranger CV-61, with VA-25 aboard as part of CAG TWO,departed Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego Bay for the first post-Vietnam War cruise. We would return on Sept 7, after a cruise of 226 days. USS Lincoln CVN-72 and its embarked Carrier Air Wing 7 deployed on Apr 1 2019 from Norfolk, Va., for a planned seven-month deployment. However, shortly after leaving the East Coast, Lincoln was sent to the Middle East as tensions with Iran rose. While operating in a tight box in the North Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, Lincoln served to deter Iran at the same time the strike group was also supporting ongoing combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. All told, Lincoln spent more than 222 days operating in the U.S. Central Command region. The ship and her crew arrived at their new San Diego, California homeport this Jan 20 having spent more time deployed than any carrier since the mid-1970s – 295 days.

There were good days for us way back when, as well as bad ones, including the inevitable working parties. Because I was TAD to AIMD I was put to work painting the heads, hand-stacking supplies in the reefers during UNREPs, and hanger deck and flight deck watches. Even to this day I think I pulled more than my fair share of these duties. To relieve the kind of mind-numbing boredom that can drive you absolutely bat-shit there were movie nights in Hanger Bay One (My Name is Trinity, Phase IV and other low-budget junk) a boxing contest, an amateur band contest, or rack-time with cheesy novels.


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