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: Summer 2020

My first “real” bike was a Schwinn Stingray, exactly like the pic below. On any given summer day we would mount up and let our imaginations loose on the world. Our rides became horses, jet fighters, race cars, spaceships and anything else we desired. All we needed was a squirt gun and a water balloon, plus the appropriate military or western accoutrements, or sometimes just swim trunks. Eventually boys grow up and leave “play” behind for better adventures. I got my first Schwinn 10-speed when I was 14 and every summer we would ride from South Gate to Seal Beach, a distance of some 20 miles, at least once a week. Although there are many routes we almost invariably found ourselves on Cherry Ave going over Signal Hill. I rode everywhere for the next four years, primarily to school and to the various parks where we played softball with my cleats, glove, mask and uniform shoved in a backpack. After the Navy, and in the fall of ‘79, I was in college in Sterling, CO and bought a nondescript 10-speed from a friend for $50. I replaced the brake pads and adjusted the calipers, tightened the cables, reset the front derailer and then used it to get from campus to my night job at the Great Western Sugar mill. If the weather was bad I had a few friends who could drive me to work. I gave the bike away at the end of the school year. Back in South Gate I usually walked everywhere I needed to go but I did take the bus to work or school. Flash forward to June of ‘93 when AT&T relo’d me from LA to Phoenix. I bought a road/trail bike from a local shop and for the next ten years rode to work every day in all weather conditions. Just over 11 miles door-to-door and on the weekends I would head out to the trails where I could really crash the gears and catch some air. By the time Michelle and I were leaving for Wisconsin I had cracked the weld where the lower frame tube joins the crank casing.

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