Special Announcement

VFA-25 hosted a celebration in their hangar at NAS Lemoore, CA on Friday Jan 19th commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the formation of Fist of the Fleet. Over 40 alumni members were in attendance and were treated to a superb display of the professionalism and dedication our current active duty shipmates exhibit as they carry on the long traditions of service as fellow Fists. Many thanks to the entire squadron and Skipper Dentzer for inviting us to share in this great patriotic event. Further details are included in the Winter edition of the FOFA newsletter below.

Logo by LT Charles “Wingnut” Wickware VFA-25

Latest Edition: July 2018

I want to expand a little bit on Chalk’s comment last issue about the Commemorative Air Force. I was a CAF member for the AZ wing in Mesa for about 5 years. When I told them I had been a Navy AE they took me to a junk pile and asked if I could put this all back together. It was the Bendix twin .50 upper turret. I asked if they had a manual and sure enough……….

Most of us know what working in a hanger in summer is like. I could put in maybe 4 or 5 hours on a Saturday morning before I was wasted. And the turret was a mess. I took some parts home to clean and repair them, and replaced every wire, terminal strip and block in it. Something like 120 man-hours later it was time to lift it in to the B-25J “Maid in the Shade.” And that’s when I got pissed. Someone Bozo mounted a shark fin antenna so it would sit in between the guns. The bubble top didn’t have the elevation slots cut out so the guns were locked in forward firing position at 0/0 degrees. Probably just as well. The gunners’ control yoke was a rotted piece of garbage and no replacement could be found so applying power could have sparked a short and then a fire. When I left the turret was still in need of a gun sight, suit heater and mechanical linkage for the foot chargers. You know the scene where gunners pull back the bolt levers and charge the guns? In a cramped turret those are pulled back by stomping on foot pedals.

Organizations like CAF, St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill and Habitats for Humanity depend on volunteers to achieve their missions. I helped to build over 50 homes in 10 years in AZ for Habitats, mostly with crews from my employers. Life isn’t about what you get, it’s about what you do, and I enjoy doing things that have real meaning, both to give to those in need and to grow as a person. Don’t wait around for inspiration, the need is there and you don’t have to have any skills, just a willingness to help. Speaking of which………….

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