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

FIST OF THE FLEET NEWSLETTERS

Latest Edition: Spring 2022

When I was about 10 I was flipping through my Dad’s collection of National Geographic magazines from the mid-30’s to the mid-40’s. Suddenly an ad caught my eye. I went back through all of them, about 40 issues looking for similar items and stories. Being 10 I was quite unaware that Nat Geo was not a political mag, or would ever carry war reports. However, I did find several ads for the Ventura and Hudson bombers, and learned a great deal about the Pacific islands. So I turned to his books on the Military History of WWII. These were not in-depth studies but a very high-level overview of events. In the third volume I read some things about the Afrika Korps. In a later edition I learned about aircraft carriers. Again, being 10 the phrases romance of the desert and romance of the sea never occurred to me. But I was hooked. After going through these volumes I hit the library and read everything I could find on WWII. Two years later I gave a history report to my 7th grade class on “Midway: The Sacrifice of Torpedo Squadron Eight.” I took 20 minutes to explain what I knew about the battle: Japanese consideration for the attack, the US code-breakers, fleet dispositions and the set of circumstances which led to the scattering of the US squadrons, and the loss of the Devastators which allowed the SBD’s to commence their attack. It was only much, much later that I came to the realization that the Japanese, in searching for the “decisive battle” could never bring themselves to admit they had fought and lost it in June of 1942.

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