the assorted works of G. H. Spaulding


Alumni bios & photos


"White Lightnin'"




(For more squadron party pics click here)


Enlarge to see the "Tattoo of the year."

Is this anyone we know?


Bios received and posted as of 5 Jul 2017

(Most recent update is from Bill & Jan Vincent below)


VP-17 bio update checklist

(Please use the link above to see what to include in your bio update)
















Davis (Jim)

Davis (Steve)



















Macdonalds (D&M)

MacDonalds (G&M)


































Photos are thumbnails. Click on each for a larger image.


VP-17 bio update form


Ed & Debbie Alford (1970-74)


Recently married in Hawaii


(L) Ed and his really big train set

 (R) Ed's shadow crossing Hurricane Bridge



Since VP-17 (AO-2, Crew 10)


1974/75 AO B School  Millington, Tenn

1975/77 VA-42  Oceana,Va (Rating-AO1)

1978/82 VC-10  GITMO (frustrated with AO rating[kept making selection board but they were rating about 5% of eligible 1st class] I decided to make a rate change

1982/84 DS-A and DS-C School  Mare Island,Ca  (Rating DS1)

1984/86  FACSFACVACAPES Oceana,Va

1986/88  OCEANOGRAPHIC Unit 2, USNS Dutton - (Pretty gravy duty- 2end highest enlisted on ship. Had my own stateroom.  We cruised entirely around the world.  Duties similar to an AGI...classified yada, yada, yada.  Highlight was last year grrr taking out frustrations on officers in my career. Bingo. I was the Commanding Officer's sponsor in crossing the equator ceremony.  He won the slimmest WOG contest. He got one whack on the ass from every human being on the ship with a saturated 18 inch piece of fire hose.  The next day I was called into his stateroom - - UH-OH.  He said "Close the door Petty Officer Alford, I want you to see something."  He turned around and dropped his trousers. He was black and blue from the middle of his back to the middle of the rear of his thighs. He became a really close friend and took the initiation like a true sport.   We shared many a brewski. 

1988 --- Retired from Navy.  Reality check - - -You can't retire on those peanuts.

1989 – present.   Wanting to stay happily married I left my wife in JAX and moved to Alaska (the last frontier). Started out working for a computer company. They paid for lodging/meals/travel/rent a car. Flew around state working on computers. Pay was not enough and they disallowed ANY overtime. Started working as a brakeman for the Alaska Railroad in May -89. Promoted to Conductor/ Engineer 1991. A couple winters working outside @ -50 below zero I decided I had enough as a conductor. I have remained an engineer ever since. I would rather be warm than be the boss. 


Railroading is pretty neat. My longest train has been 8,000 foot long. Heaviest one about 10,000 tons. I was one of the first engineers qualified to run DP power. That is where we have engines on the front and also engines on the rear of the train controlled by the front. A lot of power when you throttle up 5 locomotives with 4,000hp each. I work passenger trains/freight trains/coal trains/dirt trains/and fuel tank train. See lots of wildlife. Bears/Caribou/Wolverines/Moose/wolves etc. Divorced my Navy baggage in 1991. Remarried to a lady I met in Alaska in 2005. ( Debbie) We were married in Hawaii on the big island. Hawaii is pretty much Alaska's vacationland. We were supposed to go to Fiji in January but received an e-mail from the resort saying there was a little government uprising. That was all it took to talk me out of it. So now we are going to Florida instead. 


By the way, Moose are much better than sheep. I chase them onto the bridges and when their legs drop into the trestles  you just jump on and make them scream for you to stop!


Ed Alford, AO-2  retired.


Contact: 1601 turpin street, Anchorage,AK  99504; Phone: (907)332-0162;  Cell (907) 242-1692;

email -

(Note: At work my train is out of cell phone area much of the time, but it usually shows missed calls.)





George & Pat Andersen (1972-75)


Heather, George & Pat today


SQUADRON DUTIES: PAO, Airframes Branch, Line Division Officer, NATOPS


   Upon leaving VP-17 in June of 1975, I got orders to VT-28 in Corpus Christi, TX as a flight instructor in the S-2.  After instructing for about a year, I was invited to be a part of the new King Air (T-44) program which was to replace the S-2 as the Navy’s advanced instrument trainer.  After going through Beechcraft’s King Air school, in Witchita, I returned to Corpus Christi to help write the NATOPS manual and began instructing in the T-44.


    My next set of orders, as is common for most VP types, would have included some amount of time on a ship, and since our daughter, Heather, was born while in Corpus Christi, Pat and I decided to give civilian life a try.  I was hired by United Airlines 2 months later, and we moved to Chicago, where I was based at O’Hare airport. During that time I also joined the Naval Reserves and did my weekend drills at Glenview Naval Air Station in Illinois.  After a year in Chicago, we decided to move to Minneapolis and I continued to commute to Chicago to work and drill with VP-60.  Once settled in Minneapolis, I became a farmer on my days off, working some land in southwestern Minnesota.  We’ve now been married for 37 years, I have been flying for United for 29 years, and retired from the Reserves in 1992 with 22+ years.  I’m currently a captain on the Boeing 777, primarily flying Asia routes, and getting close to retiring!  Our daughter Heather is a Physician Assistant for Minnesota Gastroenterologists in Minneapolis and is marrying an 8th grade science teacher in August.  Pat is a health educator for Park Nicollet Medical Foundation, and sings with the ‘GraceNotes Trio’ throughout Minnesota.  Life is good!


Contact: 16837 Interlachen Court, Lakeville, MN 55044; Tel: (952) 432-8151; E-mail:





David "Doc" & Kathy Bakken (1971-74)


Dave and Kathy



We left Hawaii in April 1974 and landed in Decorah, Iowa.  Been here ever since. David went into Family Practice, worked 24-7, delivered about a thousand babies, and bought an old Victorian house, where Kathy raised the six (yeah, six!) kids.


Kathy worked as one of our local hospital pharmacists.  Besides working and rearing progeny in that time we ran marathons, and took up long distance bicycling.  Kathy did a 5000-mile trip across the US in 1995 with David & assorted kids hopping on and off route as work & school schedule permitted. 


David retired from private practice in 2000 and we both rode across the US from Anacortes to Virginia Beach. We also have logged lots of bike kilometers in Europe:  Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands,  France, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, and even rode up L’Alp D’Huez the week before Lance last year.  And, of course, RAGBRAI when we’re in Iowa late July.


David has returned from retirement in his second life as an ER Physician in the local hospital, working shifts when we are in town and not off on a trip or visiting our new 6-month old twin grand daughters. Our children are located in Alaska, California, Wisconsin and Minnesota so we have plenty of travels.  David still is hooked on aviation. He has his old 182-J (1976) but restricts flying to VFR so the long trips are limited.  Last year he got his Float Plane rating in Moose Pass, Alaska along with some mountain flying experience, and the year before did some motorized gliding over the Black Forest, Germany.  He continues to do Airmen Medical Certification Exams for the FAA part time.


We are REALLY looking forward to reunioning with VP-17ers and hearing about all the undetected crime from old squadron mates.


Contact: 301 Grove Street, Decorah, Iowa 52101; Tel: (563) 382- 2230; C-(563) 380-0199; W-(563) 387-3124; e-mail:



NOTE: Be sure to visit the VP-17 Bulletin Board for two great newspaper articles about Dave & Kathy's son Hans, an Army neurosurgeon recently back from Iraq. Hans was the first to operate on ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff. Click here to read about Hans:



AWC Charles "Ray" Barnes (1974-78)  




Served as the AW Branch/Division Chief and Training Dept. Chief.


After leaving the “White Lightnings” I had TSC training at Dam Neck, Va., then to TSC Cubi Pt., then to TSC (or was it ASWOC by then?) at NAS Bermuda, then ASWOC Agana, Guam with a 68-day deployment to that wonderful, sunny island paradise Diego Garcia!! Then to ASWOC NAF Azores, then ASWOC COMASWWINGPAC NAS North Island where I retired in Oct. 1989 to live in Santee, Ca.


I did Real Estate, worked in property management, worked for the Grossmont/Cuyamaca Community College Police Dept. while attending classes.


Retired fully in 2005 and moved to Baguio City, Philippines in June 2008 and here I am today.  I am currently single. Retired life is great!


Yes, I have many fond memories of life in VP-17. The 74-75 deployment to Naha/Kadena, and the 76 to Cubi Pt.  and all the Guam, Midway and other detachments in 77.  And I remember Chuck (AWCS Embach) very well. When we were at Barbers Pt. he and I spent many a lunch hour shooting pool at the Chief’s club!! He was good. I lost many more games than he.


I just have Indy now. Chance and Mai-Tai (see photos above) are at the rainbow bridge waiting for me.


Ray Barnes


Contact: e-mail:; Tel: Home  011-63-714-442-5424;

CP 011-63-929-816-6233



Dick & Karen Blake (1970-73)         


Antarctica, Christmas 2003    

July 73 reported to Training Squadron Two in Milton, Florida for duty as a flight instructor and maintenance test pilot in the T-28 B&C aircraft.

 In October of 1976, after teaching students from Iran, Italy, med school, and all over the US how to fly airplanes, reported to USS Lexington CVT-16 in Pensacola, Florida for duty as Maintenance Officer and COD Pilot in the C1A aircraft.

In October of 1978, reported to Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island for duty under instruction until graduation in June of 1979.

(Right. Naval War College classmates Dick Blake, Joe Sikes and Gerry Spaulding during a 1979 backyard cookout in Newport, RI. )  

Following  Naval War College and reversal of detailer’s promise of VP Jax to the only thing open is Barbers Point, returned to the Pensacola area and duty with VT-3 at Milton in the T-34C aircraft.  During this tour with VT-3 as Operations Officer, began a Masters Degree in Educational Training and Management at University of West Florida and retired on 29 Feb 1984.

 Next, NARF Pensacola as an Electronics Engineer on 20 May 1985, completed the UWF Masters degree, and fulfilled the duties of H-53 Program Manager until BRAC decisions moved the job to Cherry Point, North Carolina. Having two schools in Pensacola prevented moving, so chose to transfer to Corry Station in January of 1995 and have served as a TRASPEC (Training Specialist - a sand crab name for the old guy; nobody knows what they do) to the present time.

Shortly after we got to Pensacola the first time, Karen went to school and gained certification as a Montessori teacher.  She worked with one school for a couple of years (we bought stock in the school), then decided to strike out on her own and rented a building and started a school. This eventually evolved into building a new school and hiring teachers and teaching 6week olds to 6 yr olds for almost twenty years. I used my Florida teaching certification and helped teach the first few years, but decided on Treasurer when we went out on our own. Karen is in the process of finalizing the sale of the school now and she is very happy subbing for the county. Plenty of work when you want it and who knows, you might just be busy. Like maybe for a few weeks.


We do travel quite a bit, try to hit Maine almost every year, I go to my high school reunion every June in Iowa. I drove our 3 grandsons out to Iowa to see their grandmothers in the summer of 2001. Karen decided to stay home for that one. We had 4 radios all on different stations, all the pop you want to drink and chips till you puke, a pee bottle, and free farts. What more could you ask for?


We went to Alaska on a cruise summer of 2002, then to Antarctica last Christmas/New Years vacation. We leave tomorrow, 24 July 04, for a cruise through Canada and plan one this Christmas to Panama Canal and Caribbean. Scandinavia and Russia are in the plans for 30 June 2005. Outside of that, everything is pretty boring.


Contact:  5275 Durango Circle, Pensacola FL 32504; Tel: (850) 478-0437 (1500-0500 and weekends), (850) 452-6940 (M-F 0545-1500).





Bill & Pam Buckingham (1972-75)


Big Bucks admire wee Buckerette, granddaughter Lila



In February 1975, I separated from active duty after my VP-17 tour. I joined the VP reserves in May of 1975, while chasing my dream job of becoming an airline pilot.


When it became evident that even three moon landings would not get anyone hired during the recession that year, I stayed home and was “Mr. Mom” for a year. My wife, Judi, returned to her nursing career and our son Greg and I connected on a different level.


In 1976, I began a string of civilian full-time aviation positions as follows:


             FAA Air Traffic Controller

             FAA Airspace System Inspection Pilot

             Braniff Airways Pilot

             FAA Air Carrier Safety Inspector

             Northwest Airlines Pilot

             Netjets Aviation Pilot


In 1977, Judi and I went our separate ways. I met my wife, Pam, in 1982 and we married in 1984. We each brought a child to our marriage, Anna and Greg. Pam and I had a son, Evan, in 1985. He was the common thread for all of us and brought the family closer together.


Last year, Pam and I became grandparents for the first time. We are looking forward to many years of happiness in that capacity. Life once again changed and for the better.


We truly hope everyone will enjoy many years of health and contentment.




Contact: 1108 Overlook LN, Carver, MN 55315; Tel: (952) 368-0062; E-mail:





Armando "Moses" & Marissa Bustamante (1971-75)


Sept 1973                Aug 2006


While in VP-17, I worked in Power Plants and flew as a 2nd Mech on Crews 2 and 10. Most everyone knew me as Moses.


I left for Colorado, my home, in October 1975 and started a business with my brother. The business name is United Wood Products, Inc. Our web site will give you an idea what I've been doing for 30 years.


My wife Marissa and I have been married for 34 wonderful years and have four children -- three girls and one boy. Our girls are in real estate and my son works with me. After working for a pharmaceutical company for 16 years, Marissa quit so we could adopt two of our eleven grand-children. Our hobbies are hunting, fishing, dancing, bowling and travel. We look forward to seeing my shipmates at the reunion in Colorado Springs. God bless.


Contact: 805 Shallot Cir, Lafayette, CO 80026; Tel: 303-579-6310; E-mail: armandomoses@




Jim Carlson (1973-76) & fiancee Bridget Zolman


Jim & "Brig" over the Danube

While in VP-17:  Ground jobs included Training Dept, Maintenance Dept (QA Officer), and NTPI Coordinator (two times).  Initially on Crew 1 as 3P/2P and got to go home from 1973 Cubi deployment via Australia, New Zealand and Pago Pago (Whoopee!)  For Kadena deployment was PPC on Crew 9.  Most memorable event was working with Bill O’Brien and the rest of the crew to find and photograph the captured merchant ship Mayaguez in April 75 (plan to send in my separate write-up made on that to add to Bill’s story)


Navy Years After VP-17:   Stayed in for total 20.7 years, retiring in Dec 1991 as CDR:


·         1976-1978 Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA – got an MS in ASW Curriculum + Optics.

·         My Son, Jay was born in 1978 at Fort Ord hospital. (Later gave me 3 grandsons 3 miles away)

·         1978-1980 On staff of COMFAIRKEFLAVIK, Iceland, as ASW Analysis Officer, managing the analyst division and standing duties to direct VP ops against Soviet subs transiting       Norwegian Sea.  I also got to fly enough with the deployed squadrons to keep my flight pay up!

·         1980-1984 Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, flying experiments from scientists in the local area and on 2 to 6 week deployments around the world.  Changed flying designators to Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer, still flying some, but also being Deputy Program Manager of the Fiber Optics Sensor System program.  Helped make cool new sensors from fiber optics.

·         My Daughter, Anne was born in 1981 in Springfield, VA (She’s now ½ mile away with 2 kids)

·         1984-1987 Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Crystal City, VA (Homesteading now in the DC area! – My kids only remember living in one place!)  Worked on GPS program, working with atomic clock technology and leading integration of GPS receivers into all Naval aircraft.

·         1987-1989 Pentagon, as Development Coordinator for Navy Space Systems – a bureaucrat

·         1989-1991 Center for Naval Analysis, did a study of potential of a new Non-Acoustic ASW sensor.


Civilian Years:  Have spent 25 years working at the Institute for Defense Analyses (another think tank) doing studies on Non-Acoustic ASW sensors, Space Systems, and intelligence collection systems.  Now down to working just a couple days a week and playing the rest.  Alice and I divorced in 1998.  Have lived as a contented Bachelor for 18 years, learning to race bicycles and have other kinds of fun, plus going to Seminary at night to become a well-informed layman in my non-denominational church.  Now, plan  to marry Bridget soon (some of you met her at 2016 reunion) and do lots of travel and racing (she races too).


Contact Info:  Jim Carlson and Bridget Zolman, 6506 Lamese Ct, Springfield, VA 22152-2821,, 703-623-7335 Jim cell, 703-680-5674 Bridget cell





John B & Susie Carter (1971-74)


Happy, happy days


Well, it finally happened. I found the perfect person, Susie, to tie me down for the rest of my life. She's a feisty redhead, southern woman, whom you will meet Friday night. Came with the whole package, too! We were married almost four years ago and I now have a wife, two girls 21 and 19. The oldest is a senior at Davidson College and the youngest is a sophomore at Agnes Scott College. Also, have two dogs, two cats, and a fish.


Susie is the Director of Development at Agnes Scott College and got her undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar, her law degree from Wake Forest and even has me going to the Episcopal Cathedral. I guess I needed that after my three years in VP17. Billy Bob has told her all the old stories and even acted out a few, so nothing will scare her now. She
knows the truth.


As for me, after VP-17, I spent two years with Naval Recruiting Command in Bethesda, MD.  Moved to Atlanta and got into the executive search business. Started my own company in 1978 and partnered with Billy Bob in 1980. Sold the company in 1983 and started working for the Georgia Tech Alumni Association as Executive Director


I changed jobs again in 1999. The Georgia Tech Foundation now has yours truly leading the charge. Quite a different job than alumni director, but it's fun and I still have the opportunity to interact with the Tech students.


Still enjoy fishing, model trains, snow skiing, and traveling. That's about it for now. We look forward to welcoming everyone in our home Friday night.   John B.


Contact: 406 Spring House Cove, Atlanta, Georgia 30307; Tel: 404-378-4746; Professional contact: President and COO, Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc., 760 Spring Street Suite 400, Atlanta, Georgia 30308; Direct Line 404-894-0772; e-mail:





Robert & Maggie Chamberlain (1967-71)



Bob back in the day        Bob & Jane today

Assignments while in VP-17:  3rd Pilot in P-2, Education Officer, Personnel Officer, 2nd Pilot and PPC in P-3, Airframes Branch Officer. Squadron Instructor Pilot, Flew with Crew 4 while in SP-2H aircraft and then Crew 3 while in P-3's. 

I left the Navy in '75 and worked in personnel for an electric blanket manufacturer for about a year. Left that job and then worked for Goodyear for 7 years, got burned out and then talked my way into a Part 135 flying job. Moved into management and progressed to Chief Pilot and then Director of Flight Operations. Left the 135 job when a corporate job opened with BellSouth Telecommunications. Flew with BellSouth until they downsized their fleet. They offered me a "real job" in the company and I worked a variety of jobs - mostly dealing with Federal and State OSHA and EPA Regulations and Compliance issues. Both Jane and I retired in 2004 and highly recommend it.

Contact: 5226 Peppertree Ln, Trussville, AL 35173;  Tel: 205-661-9440; e-mail:



Ben & Maggie Cheng (1973-76)


The Chengs



After the Cubi Deployment in December 1976, I separated from the Navy, went home to Philadelphia for a month and then went to San Francisco where I started working for  General Electric as a sales trainee in the Medical Systems Division.  I took a full-line sales territory in 1978, got married to my wife, Maggie, and we have been in Southern California ever since.


After 15 years with GE selling X-ray, CT, and MRI equipment, I spent 6 years with Cordis J&J selling angioplasty balloons and stents, then on to Baxter Healthcare for 4 years selling tissue heart valves and finally to my present employer, Philips Medical Systems, as a Corporate Business Manager for X-ray, CT, and MRI.   Maggie is an Administrative Assistant at a local college. Our 24 year old son, Chris, graduated from UCLA and is relocating to Washington DC for a job in international business consulting and our 18 year old daughter, Allison, will be starting college in the Fall.


I attended our first reunion in 1998 and had a blast.  This time I am bringing Maggie to see the sights and sounds of Pensacola and to meet all of the fine acquaintances I worked with during my tour with VP-17.  I look forward to seeing you all in September. (2004 entry)


Sept 2008 update. I retired in June, after 31 yrs of selling X-ray, CT, and MRI systems.  I, along with Maggie and our two children, are doing fine.



Contact:  Ben Cheng





Chuck & Patty Collett (1971-74)


Master Chief Chuck and crew



From VP-17 to AIMD Barbers Point QA and airframes division Oct. 1974.Barbers Pt. had 5 P-3 Flight Engineer billets and we were available to fly with VP Squadrons as needed (Navy Davy was here).


After AIMD tour over to VP-4 Natops. Picked up Chief and Skipper made me the Schedules CPO (finally got to pick my own gedunk flights). Made another PI deployment, and we picked up the Guam det. After returning to Barbers they had a renovation of the hangar and moved us into the area by AIMD. That was a big mess for a while.


Left VP-4 and Barbers after 10 years and on to NAS Point Mugu, CA. Served as AIMD Airframes Division Officer for the next 3 years making Senior Chief along the way (Navy Davy was here also). Towards end of tour Detailer said that they needed prior qualified P-3 Flight Engineers in the fleet, so back to Barbers Point and VPU-2.(would not let me go back to Engineer school and draw all that Pre Diem). Checked in June 1984 and was told by skipper that I would be the Senior Chief of the Command and relief Flight Engineer. I was ready for West Pac! (Had money in my pocket and love in my heart.) Did talk my way into several Far East, and PI trips where I met the woman of my dreams. This Squadron was a real change from the days of VP-4/Special Projects.


After VPU-2 over to VP-6 and deployed within 30 days after checking in. Worked in the training Dept (now I know why those guys were always on the golf course). Left VP-6 and had my twilight tour to VRC-50, picked up Master Chief and served as CMC until retirement Sept 1991 after 30 years. Was there during Mt. Pinatubo eruption and was the worst nightmare you could ever dream about.


After retirement returned to Pearl, Mississippi, after only visiting 3 times within 30 years. Got “tired” of drinking beer, fishing and playing golf after a year so went to work for Birmingham Steel Corp. Jackson, MS plant in the Quality Control Division as a lab Technician. Worked the Tensile lab, and Chemical lab. Worked 12-hour shifts 14 days a month. Great job, money and plenty of time off. Called it quits in 2002 after 2 hip replacements. Moved to Pensacola in Oct, 2002. Just finished new home and have a boat, so its back to drinking beer, fishing and golf.  Stop by any time, the door is open and the beer (San Mugu) is always cold.


Contact: 5075 Terra Lake Cir, Pensacola, FL 32507; Tel: (Hm (850) 497-9891, cell (850) 712-0725; e-mail





Ken & Emily Crandall (1972-75)


 Left, Crash's official photo taken before marrying Emily. At right, relaxing with sons Ben and Jeff.

 Click here for whackier pics.


After VP-17 I reported for duty at VA-128, NAS Whidbey Island, WA, to fly the TC4C (G159) on training missions for student Bombardier/Navigators. I left active duty in 1977and reported to VP-94 at NAS New Orleans for reserve duty where I was teamed up with Ted Morrison, Bill Buckingham, and Bill Overend. Our crew became known as "Pigs in Space." 


In the Spring of 1978 I was hired by Trans International Airlines to fly right seat on the L188. I left there to accept a job with Braniff International in September of that year. After two years of bliss, I was furloughed. One year later (Sep '80) I got on with Orion Air (UPS contractor) flying B727s.  Approximately one year later the major airlines started hiring again and I managed to get on with Northwest Airlines in the Spring of '83, where I am still employed and scheduled to retire in Feb '06. I am currently based in Detroit, flying left seat on the Airbus 330 to various cities in Europe.


Emily Cheryl has been very supportive through my checkered flying career. She went back to teaching after our second son was born in 1980 and is still substitute teaching up here in Minnesota. We expect the upcoming winter to be our last up north and we hope to resettle in the Pensacola area in the next year.


Our two sons are grown and out of the nest but still close by. Jeff, who earned degrees in Audio Engineering and Audio Production, is a struggling musician. But he's happy and making progress in his career. Ben will graduate from the U of M in December with a degree in Sports Management and will intern as a coaches’ assistant with the varsity basketball team.        


See you at the reunion!


Contact:  3640 WOODLAND TRAIL, EAGAN, MN  55123; Tel: (651) 335-9860; e-mail:  




Larry & Parky Croll (1972-74)


Larry and "Croll's Cruds"

Flashback/placeholders -- awaiting current photo



After VP-17 I went to COMNAVAIRPAC at NAS North Island in Coronado, CA.  This was my 5th tour since I received my wings and my first shore duty tour.  There were several VP-17 people at North Island with the VS RAG, so several of us still got to spend time together.  From AIRPAC I went to VQ-1 in Guam.  I got married before going to Guam to a very nice lady.  It only took a Navy Junior (3rd generation), who had lived outside of the U.S. more than I had, to put up with my various bad habits.  From VQ-1 we went to CINCUSNAVEUR in London England.  If you want a shock leave Guam in Nov. to go live in the UK!  Two things: First this proves to one and all that the Navy is much better than any other service.  The Navy European headquarters is in the west end of London in Eisenhower's old headquarters building, not out in the sticks some place.  Second, while the UK was and is very expensive, a great time was had by all for almost three years.  From there it was on to NS Rota Spain for two years; where (please sit down at this point) I set up the Family Service Center to help the about 10,000 Americans in the Rota area.  After a little over eight years out of the states, we returned to PMTC at Point Mugu CA, where I was a range pilot.  We had more culture shock returning to the U.S. than any of the places we had been during the eight years. During this time, I was called back to D.C. for a short project, to help setup the Navy's goals for it's future people programs.


At this point it was time to take stock of things. I was still flying, but I was running out of ways to continue doing that and my knee was finally giving up the ghost. You may remember sporting events in VP-17 and my large knee brace. So after 23 years I retired in 1985. I had been a kid with a big red wagon and flown on all my tours except the one in London. I had also avoided Washington D. C.  After trying to get me to go there three times they quit asking. My four squadron tours, with their WESTPAC flying, are a special memory.


Still needing to make a living, we went to Seattle WA. where I worked for Boeing for the next 14 years; all on military aircraft programs. We again got to live in England for about 18 months during this time. Our long-term goal had been to retire in Coronado.  So in 1999, my wife found me a job with Ryan/Northrup in San Diego and I retired from Boeing. While she built our retirement home I spent the next three years with Ryan on the Global Hawk UAV program.  This made me a great believer in UAV's.  In the fall of 2002 I said enough is enough and called it quits. 


Contact: 507 Pomona Ave, Coronado, CA. 92118; e-mail: "






Gary & Eva Davidson (1958-60, 71-74)



See more Davidson photos here and Gary's "no shitter" here


Left VP-17 for AIMD Barbers Point airframes division. I made Chief and was very relieved to hear that my crew, the "Follow Us" Crew 1, would not be able to be at my initiation as they were on Midway Island. As it turned out, Gerry burnt some turbine blades to make it to my initiation! Who the H- - -was the MO??

Left Barbers Point in 1977 for C-130 FE school at Little Rock AFB. Onto Pt. Mugu, CA. to join VXE-6 and flew as ski equipped Herc engineer for Deep Freeze 77, 78 and 79. I see from his bio that Dick Blake and his wife had a memorable "cruise" to Antarctica. I wonder if they could see our Herc that taxied into a crevasse field from their heated state room...(I'd bet Dick's Midol can needs corrosion control by now)

Left VXE-6 for VX-4 in 1980-1983, got some fighter behind me as we did the F-18 IOT&E along with 7 F-14s doing fighter weapons eval. Now a Senior Chief, I had CARRIER written all over me as I was destined for maintenance chief of the first F-18 squadron out of NAS Lemoore. Then the Aircrew detailer called me, they had a severe shortage of P3 Flight Engineers which sent me to VP-23 as a Master Chief and deployed to Sig. almost immediately after checking in. Left VP-23 with 5000 P-3 hours in 86 for VP-8 as Command Master Chief. Was the runner up for Patrol Wing Atlantic Force Master Chief, retired in 1989 at Brunswick Maine with 31 years.

Laid off work for 6 months, Eva was working at the Navy Exchange managing a small mini-mart so I was home to do what I wanted to do, worked on small RV, house and all of that. Then one night at Sizzlers steak house in Brunswick, a fellow CPO asked if I was working yet. Nope. He said I need to talk with his boss, a GS 13 at SUPSHIP Bath. Ships!!  Well, I hired on as QA of the combat systems electronic cooling water systems on new construction Aegis ships and rode all of the builders trials on CG and DDG class ships. This went on for 5 years and now I am going on my tenth year as senior engineer with Northrop Grumman supporting NAVSEA here at Port Hueneme, CA. Eva accompanies me on nearly all of my trips and we will enjoy this for one more year.

Two daughters and 4 grand kids are still in Maine, two daughters and 3 grandkids here in California and we have our 40 foot diesel pusher. (In the above photo, Gary and Eva are in front with daughter Deb between them. In second row are daughters Patty, Vicky and Julie with son-in-law Stan sort of in the middle.)  
So sad that we cannot make the reunion this year due to business travel during that time frame.

Where is Snake? Where is Henry C. Phillips? Al Reich?

Contact: 2648 Bolker Way, Port Hueneme, CA. 93041; Tel. (805) 984-0452; e-mail: 




Jim Davis & De Medford (1974-77)


Jim, De and daughter Katie in 2012



Duties in VP-17: Comm Officer, AW Officer. From VP-17 I transferred to VT-31, NAS Corpus Christi as an instructor pilot. After one year, I left the Navy to try civilian aviation.


I worked at Braniff (first iteration) for 23 months before the peanut farmer cost me my job. For the next several years I did many different jobs before rejoining the flying world. I have been flying with Continental (now United) Airlines since 1984, and am now a captain on 737s.


I married my wife De in 1981 and we have two daughters. The oldest, Laura, is in the process of becoming an emergency room doctor. The youngest, Katie, is now at NAS Corpus Christi learning to fly. She hopes to fly the P-8 or P-3.


Contact: 7 Shorelake Dr., Kingwood, TX 77339; Tel (281) 359-5519; email  JADavis [].


Current as of 24 Jan 2013.





Steve & Pat Davis (1972-77)


[Photo to be provided]



After many years as SS-1 on crew seven, left VP-17 and my first marriage and traveled far to VP-4 for two more years of sea duty. Went home on leave and met and later married Pat, my present wife of 25 years.


Left VP-4 in 1979 and continued on sea duty but now on the east coast in VP-23. Two deployments to Iceland later, it was shore duty in FASO Brunswick for three years. Then over to Sig for three years of overseas shore duty at the ASWOC (where I picked up Chief) before returning to Brunswick for two more years with VP-23. Finally, retirement after 28 years.


Spent seven years managing CUMBERLAND FARMS followed by seven more with the Post Office. Retired again and moved to Florida. Dodged all four of the hurricanes with no damage so I guess we are doing well.   Steve “Up Doppler” & Pat Davis


Contact: 5461 Sir Churchill Dr., Leesburg, FL 34748-2311; Tel: (352) 326-5180; e-mail:





Jon & Cathy Dresel (1972-75)


Christmas 2006


As it turned out, I ended up remaining within the VP community for over 14 years.  After leaving the squadron in Jul 75, I received orders to VP-31 and became a P-3B ground and flight instructor.  During this time, I was also the Training Syllabus Director for the new P-3B Mod aircraft that, among other things, enabled the TACCO to tactically maneuver the aircraft via the autopilot and a rotary switch at the TACCO station.  Subsequently, in conjunction with the USN Personnel Exchange Program (PEP), I relieved Joe Sikes at No. 5 Squadron, RNZAF Base Whenuapai (near Auckland, New Zealand) for a 26-month tour flying with the Kiwis.  This tour proved to be a memorable experience for the entire family and I remain grateful for the opportunity.  Not much ASW action but logged numerous hours aboard all five RNZAF P-3Bs conducting surveillance and SAR missions in the South Pacific.  Eventually had to leave NZ and return to the real world at Moffett Field where I joined the COMPATWINGSPAC staff.  After about a year, I became a COMPATWING TEN plank holder when it was commissioned and was the ASWOC Director until I transferred to VP-9 across the field.  As Training Officer and Ops Officer, was lucky enough to complete six-month deployments at both Diego Garcia and Adak.  However, some people had it worse: the McWhorters were actually stationed at Adak. Had Thanksgiving dinner with them in 1985.


Following my VP sojourns, I was assigned to the small cadre of navy folks at the newly commissioned joint U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs (Annette and I divorced in 1986.).  It was an interesting tour…worked beneath 1,700 feet of granite within the Cheyenne Mountain Complex (NORAD) as the navy Space Defense Operations Center Commander and also administered Space Surveillance Center personnel that were responsible for monitoring over 6,000 man-made space objects and junk (including screwdrivers dropped by the Soviet astronauts).  Met my wife, Cathy, during this period and we were married just prior to departing for U.S. Naval Forces, Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR) in London.  Serving as the Conventional Ordnance Logistics Officer during Desert Storm, this assignment proved to be the most personally rewarding tour of my career; plus, it afforded the opportunity to see some of Europe.  For my final tour, I used my space operations subspecialty code to obtain a job managing (black world) space projects for the Navy Space Systems Activity in Los Angeles.  I retired in 1994 and we returned to Colorado Springs.


Having always been interested in business and thinking I might have missed a great life with large corporations, I went back to school and earned a couple masters degrees.  I initially worked for Allied Signal Aerospace (later became Honeywell) as a Life Cycle Cost Analyst supporting the worldwide Air Force Satellite Control Network.  Then I joined Boeing in St. Louis as a Systems Engineer/Cost Analyst for the F/A-18E/F and subsequently transferred to NAS Patuxent River, MD, to become the Affordabilty Manager for the Bell-Boeing V-22 (tilt rotor, vertical takeoff aircraft) program.  After almost ten years, I realized that, although lucrative, I didn’t really enjoy working for large companies all that much.  Consequently, I answered a local advertisement in the paper submitted by Dennis Hackathorn and started working for RBC, Inc., which is a small defense contractor at Pax River that supports primarily the P-3 weapons program.  As a Senior Analyst, I supported the P-3 AIP (ASW Improvement Program) and P-3C Aircraft-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) integration projects.  The last project I supported was a sonochute-launched UAV that is capable of incorporating various sensor payloads. 


I retired in 2006 and we live on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, AR (please, no Clinton jokes).  Since I spent a total of about 11 years at Moffett Field, guess this was home to my kids, Trevor and Jennifer, and they both returned to the Bay area after finishing college.  Trevor remains single and works in Redwood City as a commercial casualty insurance broker and Jennifer is currently a homemaker living in Temecula with her husband and my two grandchildren, Nicholas and Grace. 


Contact:  116 Jennison Square, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71913; Tel:  (501) 520-0839; e-mail:




Rex & Andy Evans (1972-74)


Andy & Rex at 2007 Reunion reception dinner

 When I left VP-17 I was transferred to NAS Beeville, Texas. While in Beeville, I had trouble with an old knee injury and eventually had to have surgery at NAS Corpus Christi hospital. After surgery, my knee was never the same so they offered me a medical discharge, which I took in Sept of 1977.

When I left the Navy I ended up back in Los Angeles working as an Ice Skating Rink manager. After 4 years of that, I moved to Austin, Texas where I met my wife Andra (Andy). We just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary last June. We live in a small suburb of Austin called Pflugerville (please don’t try to pronounce it, you’ll hurt yourself). I am currently working for Child Protective Services in Austin with 6 years until retirement, and my wife works for the Texas Highway Department with 4 years until retirement.

We have two children, David, 20, is a Marine who just returned from a year in Okinawa, Japan, and is now stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Tyler is 12 years old and is very heavy into scouting, and video games. 

Contact:  17101 Northavens Cove, Pflugerville, Texas 78660;  Tel: (H) 512-990-2572 (W) 512-438-5646; e-mail:


Jim & Judy Fields (197_-7_)

Jim and youngest grand-daughter. That's Jim on the left.



(Initial contact. Bio update to follow.)


I'm attaching a recent photo of our youngest grand-daughter sitting on my lap at a church party.  As you can see, I don't need any help going white on top or face.  Friday night (10 Dec), our son Brian is getting married for the first time at age 38 in Knoxville, TN area.  I'll have a few more to send you next week.  I will dig through my archives to see what I can come up with from 30 years ago.  Will send you a bio soon.  Busy week this week with travel, etc.


Take care, Jim


Contact: 1657 Jaye Dr., Gardendale, AL 35071; Tel: (205) 608-3788; Cell: (205) 447-1237; e-mail:




Joe Gheesling (1976-79)

I was a White Lightning from 1976 to 1979.  My first job was as Cruise Book editor.  After that I worked briefly in maintenance before becoming taking over NFO NATOPS from John Japuntich.  While in VP-17, I made 2 WestPac deployments to the PI as well as various detachments to Guam, Midway, etc. I was also heavily involved in the squadron’s transition to the P-3 Super B in 1979.  After leaving VP-17, I was able to go back to flight school as a pilot.  I then did pilot tours in VP-11 and VP-10 before going to COMFAIRKEF as Admiral Hall’s OpsO.  I retired in 1994, after my tour as commanding officer of VT-6.

I will send a “younger” photo later.  Like you, I feel that my tour in VP-17 with guys like Benny Chang, Guy Leary, John Noble, Lou Rabe, Jim Witherspoon, etc. was my most memorable.  It seems like yesterday that Cdr. Schulz pulled me across his desk with his vice-like handshake.

Joe B. Gheesling

Principal, North Hall High School

Gainesville, GA

Contact: E-mail




Edward and Dian Goodman (1974-77)



Left - AWCS Ed Goodman                  

                  Right - Ed and Dian today



Duties in VP-17: Crew 11 SS1; QA; NATOPS Instructor; AW Division Chief.

Activities since departing VP-17

1977-82: NMPC Sea Duty Components Pt Mugu and Dallas

1982-85: CTF 67 Staff, homeported in NAF Naples, Italy; Retired in 1985 as Senior Chief

1985-2004: Local and Federal Law Enforcement in Washington State; Retired as Lieutenant with the Federal Reserve Bank Police Department 

Additional information:

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Protection Services Departments of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts were converted to Police Departments.  Staff then underwent required training and were commissioned Federal Law Enforcement Officers.

I was a Lieutenant in the Seattle Branch of the 12th District in San Francisco and led the Executive Protection detail and the Rapid Response Team.

 Since our marriage in 2007, Dian and I travel full-time in our RV .

Contact info:  Address - P.O. Box 190 #07073, Jefferson, OR 97352; Cell - (206) 276-0354; Email -





Kurt & Terri Grau (1973-76)


Kurt & Terri lovin' the water



After 3 years on Crew 7, I left VP-17 in the middle of the '76 Cubi deployment for duty at CPW-11 at NAS Jacksonville, Fl. In 1978, I got my obligatory "shore duty divorce" from Sherri. Shortly thereafter, through a strange twist of fate (it was my turn to date the next "wave" that checked in to the Wing), I started dating, and later married, Terri. We celebrate our 25th anniversary in October, so apparently, we made the right choice!!


In 1980, my tour at the Wing was coming to an end and Norfolk was in my immediate future. Since my wife was still on active duty stationed at Jax, and our 1st child was on the way, I got out of the active duty Navy and joined the TAR program and was assigned to NARU Jax as an instructor. Terri's enlistment ended the next year so we were, once again, free to "travel the world".


In 1984, I was transferred to NAR Pax River, Md. to teach the reserve ASWOC school, which they promptly closed down 10 months later. I was then off to FCTCLant Dam Neck in Virginia Beach to do the same thing along side my RegNav counterparts. 2 years later, it was on to NAS Willow Grove, Pa where we took our ASWOC training program on the road, alternating between NAS San Diego and NAS Jax.


In 1991, as I was nearing retirement, the detailer was kind enough to offer me orders to VP-62 back at NAS Jax, which I jumped on. After 2 years there, it was time to retire (finally!!!), so in Feb 1993, I did just that.


After retirement, I held several enjoyable jobs (read that as LOW paying), then finally gave in to fiscal concerns and accepted a job with the Postal Service as a carrier,  where I have been disgruntled ever since. I'm looking forward to retiring again in about 3 years. This working stuff really cuts into my recreational time!!


Terri has been a civil service employee for 20 years and a drilling Naval Reservist for a little over 19 years. So, between those 2 jobs I am hoping she can support me once I re-retire.


I spend most of my free time fishing or hunting....or fishing.....or hunting.....and plan to do even more of those things when my postal career comes to an end.


My oldest daughter, April,  was born in Hawaii about a week before we left for the Cubi deployment in '76. She is married now and living in GA and has given us 4 grandchildren (twin boys, plus another boy and a girl). Terri and I have 2 children from our marriage. Eric, our son, is currently in the Coast Guard stationed in Virginia Beach. He's been married for almost 2 years, and they plan to wait until his wife finishes her degree at Old Dominion University before expanding their family. Our youngest, Wendi, is married and living here in Jax and has given us 2 more grandchildren (a boy and a girl). With 6 grandkids, I've found that being a grandparent is a lot more fun than being a parent!! 


I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion, and my wife's curious to see if all the stories are really true!!


Contact: 1086 Meadows Drive, Orange Park, Fl 32065; Home Ph (904)276-5312, Cell Ph (904)476-5258;  e-mail



Denny & Stephanie Hackathorn (197_-7_)

(L) The Hackathorns at home.

  (R) "W" posing with popular cardboard cutouts of the Hackathorns in D.C.



Good to hear from you!  Hope you are doing well.  I retired in 1993 and went to work for RBC, Inc supporting the Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) Program Office (PMA-290).  MSA supports all T/M/S of the P-3, S-3s, and the replacement for the P-3, the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA).
I'm the program manager for RBC's omnibus support contract to PMA-290.

Stephanie and I live in the Lexington Park area.  I had the good fortune to make contact with Jon Dresel and hired him in Feb 03.  He is doing a super job for us and PMA-290.  I'm attaching a couple of pictures so you can see what we look like now.  The picture with President Bush was taken at the
White House.




Contact: 17587 Whitestone Dr., Tall Timbers, MD 20690; Tel: (301) 994-9673; e-mail:





Phil & Ann Hansen (1972-75)


The Hansens cooling their heels



We left VP-17 in December of 1975 and headed for Chicago because Ann's relatives lived there and the Reserves at Glenview were there. Hooked up with VP-60 in January of 1976 and stayed until May 1986. I got hired by North Central Airlines in May 1977 and was based at ORD (O'Hare). Thus started the odyssey of an airline career. We merged with Southern Airways in 1978 to form Republic and absorbed Hughes Air West in 1981 or so. I started out flying Convair 580's and after 18 months started flying DC-9s for the next 18 years.


    Everything was fine until about 1983 when the industry fell on the first of many hard times. First we took pay cuts and then had base closures and more pay cuts and then benefit cuts but somehow Republic managed to survive. By this time I was commuting to MSP (Minneapolis-St. Paul) because they had closed our base at ORD and Ann was in law school. MSP was my home before the Navy so we planned on moving there anyway. Ann graduated from school in 1985 and we did move in 1987 where we built a house in Chaska, MN on Hazeltine National Golf Course where we still live.


    In 1986 Northwest Airlines bought Republic Airlines so I was reunited with Crash, Buckingham and Hunter Morrison. Of course the 1990's brought more airline turbulence and Northwest wasn't immune with pay cuts and benefit cuts but did survive. In 1996 I started flying the Airbus 320 and then last June transitioned to the Airbus 330 flying mostly to Europe.. Have flown with Crash a few times but not Buckingham or Dave Norris. The turbulence in the industry is still with us but so far I've stayed with the same company for 28 years (kinda) and will retire in 25 months and 3 trips (but whose counting). Ann finished law school and is still practicing family law in Chaska as a sole practitioner.


    Both  our boys, Geoff and Greg, who were born in Hawaii, have become adults. That in itself is most amazing. Geoff is 32 and married with 2 boys of his own and one on the way in July. He has become an investment advisor in our town and also lives in Chaska. Greg who is 28 followed in his mothers' footsteps and became a lawyer, practices in New York city and lives on the upper east side in a 5-story walkup ( I meet him on ground level when we're in town) with his fiancé. He will marry in the fall.


    Two years ago we bought a condo in Key West, Fla. We love it down there and spend about 2 months a year there now but plan to be there for at least 6 months (for tax purposes) when we retire.  Come any time. 


Phil Hansen


Contact:  Cell (on all the time):  612-386-1711;




Marta Heffner (circa 1970-73) & Kelley Hayden


More Marta photos here


I can say only that each chapter of my life since leaving VP-17 has involved one of more of you guys--so that means you really are my surrogate family!! 

When Ted (Morrison) and I left VP-17 in 1972 or 3 (I can't remember which; maybe Ted is better with dates), we moved to Corpus Christi, TX (VT-28). We were there about two years at which time we divorced (and I have to thank Pat Higgins Phillips, who made me realize that life was precious and not to be squandered, and Katy and Pat Maley who were there then to wish me safe journey as I ventured out as a single woman into the world). I moved back to my hometown in Oregon. Ted's bio will have to give you his side of the family tree from that point on!

I started back to school to finish my degree as soon as possible so I could support myself.  Sally Dete and Sue Blase and Linda Crosser (VP-22) were nurses and I always admired them and the fact that they could always get jobs so I figured that's what I would do. Well, it took another year to get into nursing school as there was a glut of applicants in those days and my name was put into a lottery for an admission slot but I didn't get picked
from the "hat" so I went in and asked what degree could I get ASAP and with the credits I held, I could get a BS in Criminology so I did.  This was in 1976.  My mother said nursing would still be more flexible so I reapplied for nursing and ended up heading for Portland, Oregon and finishing with a BS in nursing in 1979 from OHSU.


I had been engaged to a man from my hometown during the interval but that did not work out (again, I headed to my VP-17 family for R and R; this time Nonie and Doug McWorter and Jane and Jon Rowbottom cheered me up!) and with chin up, I returned to Portland where I met my next husband, Jim (Majusiak) as he was finishing school in Portland as well. We moved to Iowa City in 1980 so he could do his residency and I began my nursing career.  We spent the next 22 years there and I must say I really did enjoy the Midwest.


The one thing I realized after leaving the Navy life, however, was that I enjoyed change. But we didn't move as Jim enjoyed his position.  I adjusted by changing jobs and roles every few years. I started a home health agency, taught nursing, did research and looking back, it allowed me to have lots of experiences and meet all kinds of great people with each new job. Whenever I would get bored with a job, I'd go back to school and it was convenient since the University of Iowa had lots of good programs. I got a Masters in Education in 1989 and then went back and finished my Masters in Nursing in 1991. By that time, I was in the Neurology Department and by 1998 I realized I wanted to become a nurse practitioner before I turned 50!  So, I commuted to the University of Missouri in Columbia and was certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 1999.


I was hired by the Neurology Department at Iowa as their first nurse practitioner and I saw clinic patients every day for two years. Then on the 4th of July 2001, Jim and I headed for his 30th High School reunion in South Dakota.  Here is where it starts to sound like a soap opera but yes, he really did walk off with his old high school girlfriend and I got on the phone to my old VP-17 family who again, came to my rescue!!  Thanks to Judy McGroarty, who answered her phone at the first ring and Katy and Pat Maley who allowed me to come visit when I needed a place to escape!  Then wonder of wonders, I got a job offer out of the blue to come to Reno, Nevada to help them start a Neurosciences Institute.  And, then, best of all, Katy and Pat Maley told me to call Pat's cousin Kelley who was living in Iowa City and was SINGLE!  Aren't they the best!!  So I accepted the job, finally got time to call Pat's cousin Kelley and the rest is history!  Kelley (Hayden) is the best thing that has ever happened to me!  We were married in November 2002!  He is coming with me to the reunion so I can "introduce" him to the "family"!  So everyone be nice!!!  I will miss those of you who won't be at the reunion and I can't wait to see those of you who can make it.  And here is to many more chapters in all of our life stories.  And come visit anytime in Reno/Tahoe.


Bye, Marta

Contact: Marta Heffner, 1681 Foster Drive Reno, NV 89509; Tel: ( 775) 323-0161; e-mail: 





John & Doris Hemmer (1973-76)


Placeholder photo of John back in the day


After leaving VP-17, I went to Moffett, screened for a miscellaneous command (VC-8), but decided I did not want to go to Puerto Rico, so I retired and went to law school instead. It's been a great career, capped off with a black robe and gavel. I turned 72 last year (2006) and am trying to retire, but old clients keep calling so I keep my hand in the local court system.


Note from Webmaster: John and Doris had planned to attend the 2007 reunion in Colorado Springs, but have had to cancel on advice of Doris's doctor for health reasons. Best wishes to John and Doris and hope to see them at the next reunion.


Contact: P.O. Box 766, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270; Tel: (760) 333-2752.  Email:




Harold & Patsy Hyman (1973-76)

The happy Hymans

While Patsy and I were in Hawaii with VP-17, we were assigned housing at the Camp Stover base housing at the south end of Wheeler AFB. Our son Coby was born at the Tripler Army Medical Center In June 1974. Following our tour with VP-17, I spent one more year in the Navy as a T-28 instructor at Corpus Christi.

In June 1977, we moved back to the Texas panhandle to be nearer to our families. I initially went to work as a power-plant engineer for Southwestern Public Service Company in Lubbock, Texas.  However the desire to fly and the opportunity to do so allowed me to transfer into the company's aviation department in 1980 and to resume an aviation career. Twenty-four years and two corporate mergers later, I am now the Director of Aviation for Xcel Energy. Patsy and I live in Woodbury, Minnesota and I fly a Learjet 45 out of the downtown St. Paul airport. During those 24 years, we spent 14 years in Amarillo, 3 in Denver, and now we are into our 4th year in Minnesota.  Did I mention that the winters are a little tough in Minnesota!

Patsy successfully ran her own CPA practice in Amarillo, Texas for many years. She now works primarily during tax season and feels that her time is otherwise better spent improving her golf and tennis games. She has even recruited me into trying to become a golfer, but I think it is hopeless.

Our son Coby is a tax attorney working for a bond investment firm in Dallas, Texas. At age 30, he is single and sort of looking.

Our experiences and memories of our years in the Navy and particularly the three years in VP-17 are some of our fondest. We eagerly look forward to seeing old friends in Pensacola this fall.


Update from Harold and Patsy on 11 December 2012:

Patsy and I retired in July of this year after 32 years flying Learjets for Xcel Energy.  We left cold Minnesota for Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri.  The trade off for this new life at the lake is the end of flying for me.  Life changes and life goes on.   Anyway, I am including my latest contact information.


As for former VP-17 people that I hear from include:  Mike & Barbara Banger, who visited us at the lake in November,  Jim Carlson (divorced and living in Springfield, VA), Sue Blase, and Ginger Gastall (Bob Gastall's ex).


I still remember fondly the fantastic reunion that you organized in 2007.  It was a great time.


I hope you are well.


Harold & Patsy Hyman

577 Summer Road

Kimberling City, MO 65686-8313

(417) 739-1155






Ron & Teresa Johnson (1975-78) 

"Newlyweds" Ron & Teresa



While in VP-17 I served as Assistant Personnel, Assistant Tactics and Maintenance Material Control. After I finished my tour with VP-17, I left the navy and went to work for Congoleum Corp. in San Francisco and Portland for three years. I then took a position in sales for a trucking company in Kansas for one year.  During part of this time I was in VP-67, a reserve squadron in Memphis, TN. I went back to active duty in 1982, and remained in the Navy until I retired in 1994.  During those years I was stationed in Keflavik, Iceland (twice), Norfolk, VA, USS Coral Sea (CV-43), and Dahlgren, VA (twice). 


After I retired in 1994, I returned to Denver, CO where my parents still lived. I went to work for a non-profit organization for the developmentally disabled for two years. I became a broker’s assistant, working for two brokers for three years.  I now take care of family business and do some tax work on the side.


In 2003, I had the good luck to marry Teresa whom I had met when I was stationed in Dahlgren, VA.  We have been married for over three years.


Contact: 8753 Fairview Oaks Lane, Lone Tree, CO  80124; Tel: (303) 790-7081; E-Mail:


Bill & Janice Ketchum (1971-74)


Photos of the boss under a rug???

We left Hawaii and went to Columbia, SC. I was assigned as C.O. of Navy Recruiting District, Columbia, which covered all of S.C., eastern Georgia and western North Carolina. It was a fine area to live and work. Recruiting was in a new phase with the "all volunteer force" so it was a great place to be, especially at that time and in that area. We had a wonderful three years living in Columbia, SC. I became an over-achiever while I was there being selected for Capt. We left Columbia in 1977 and reported to Millington, TN (near Memphis) where I was assigned as Chief of Staff for indoctrination training. This was a great job with a lot of headaches. The three Boot Camps provided the biggest challenge as we were training more than 100,000 recruits a year. I probably spent 60 to 70% of my time on the road during this time. It was very rewarding to see a group of young folks come in for training and then observe the difference in these same people just 8 weeks later. Amazing!!!

Again, I became an over-achiever and was selected for a major command. I had a list of about 5 commands to choose from and after many conversations we chose and were assigned to Lajes in the Azores. As it turned out this was an outstanding choice and we LOVED it there. I was back in the VP world again. It was a very challenging time and personally rewarding. Like Columbia, as well as other places, it was a great place to live and work. Due to a strange quirk my two year assignment became a three year tour and we could not have been happier. I guess it took me three years to do two years work and they recognized it.

When our tour ended at Lajes we had 28 years service and we thought we would go out of the Navy on a real "high". I was offered several good jobs that I did not want to do so stuck with the retirement plan. Finally, I got a call and was offered a choice of one of nine ROTC positions as Professor of Naval Science. We choose Ole Miss. This turned out to be a great choice. We came to Oxford, MS in 1983 and retired from the Navy just 6 weeks short of 31 years in July of 1986. I was ready to go back to my beloved Arkansas and build our final home on our beautiful lot on Greers Ferry Lake. Janice loved Oxford, as did I, and she wanted to stay here. After much discussion we decided to "compromise" so we STAYED HERE and we both still love it.

Upon retirement from the Navy we purchased an old timey Ice House. We made, packaged, and delivered ice to about 30 counties in northern MS. It was a fun job and I worked too hard but loved it. However, an opportunity arose that was just too good to not accept so we sold the Company in about a year. I sat for several months discovering that I was not quite ready to just sit. We bought a Sanitation and Recycling business in Heber Springs, AR. This is where the lake lot I mentioned earlier is located so I had a "PLAN". This business just took off and our oldest son, Kendrick, came and joined me in the business. I would go back and forth from AR to MS each weekend and I must report that my "PLAN" didn't work out. After about 6 years or so I left the business and returned full time to Oxford. I was now ready for retirement.

We still live in Oxford and are very happy and healthy.


Contact: 100 Glen Eagle Rd Oxford, MS 38655;  Tel: 662-234-0784; e-mail:


For more on Ketch, recommend checking out the feature "What he say?" -- Webmaster



Ed & Saundra Lambert (1969-71)


(1) Ed to Jack Quin in '71: "I swear I didn't do it."

               (2) Ed and Saundra in 1996.

                                                      (3) Ed the golf hustler in 2006.


I arrived at Barber's Point in 1969 just before the Squadron returned from deployment (Dave Sheffield had just been there a few days and my wife Mary and I stayed with Sue and Dave before we eventually got housing at 5807 Fulmar Ave). I was the Squadron's first 'real' AIO. Before that a junior Tacco had it as a collateral duty. My immediate superior was Phil ('uptight') Harvey and my OPs boss was Andy 'I can't believe I got passed over' Dulik.

During my two-year tour I served under three CO's: Bob May, Jack Quin and Harley Stuntz (...). What a great time that was! We had all the usual dets at Guam, Midway (goonies - Filipino stewards telling us that frozen TV dinners were really sirloin steaks with mashed potatoes! - hooking the big one with Dan Dudah off one of the WWII piers), Adak (looong nights), Kodiak (great King Crab and salmon fishing) while chasing transiting Yankees or trying to Alpha-3 an errant AGI. Only got one deployment with the Squadron (lucky me) to the Philippines. Most of the time, however, Gary 'Nitnoy' Strawn and I spent it in U-tapao. Crews would routinely come in to fly Market Time, buy Princess Rings and - drink. I was the duty Nitnoy Lounge OIC and would catch grief from each PPC/crew if I hadn't stocked the Nitnoy with their favorite adult beverage. Before long I knew what to have when they arrived: Kent Link - scotch; Jungle Jim Thompson - any f***ing thing; Bill Tuck - coke in the AM/beer after noon; Lump (Al) Lawson - anything the CO was drinking; Joe Sikes - Bud; Joe 'shit the ragman' Rasfeld - didn't matter; Dan Baldwin - G&T; Jack Quin - scotch; Harley Stuntz - too nervous to drink; Jim McGroarty – he didn't give a shit either; Phil Eely - red wine; Dr. Steve Parvin - Black Label; Al 'straight arrow' Kramer - just water, thanks; etc., etc.

We were also the first P-3 Squadron to go down to the Cocos Islands. My first trip was with Bob Rohr's crew. Next time was with Chuck Brune -what a great place....Brits, Aussies, beerball and broads. Paradise.


I could've easily stayed with the squadron for another two years but was transferred to PACFLT as a FOSIC Watch Officer and became the command briefer for the CINC. Left Hawaii in July '73 to come back East, deciding not to stay on active duty. Affiliated with the Intelligence Reserve group at NAS South Weymouth and spent time under different commands such as FICEURLANT, CNO and NSA. Also spent a couple of years as the AI for VP-92 (Bermuda, Azores). Had three commands, ending my 29 year career as CO of the NCIS in Newport, R.I. I retired in 1997 as a Captain and am still waiting to get old enough to begin collecting my retirement!

Real World - Started out in banking as a commercial lending officer for real estate. After a couple of years, I joined a real estate development company and spent successive years in commercial development for regional companies in the Boston area. In the mid 1980s, my wife Mary and I were divorced and a few years later I started my own real estate development and consulting company. In 1990 I remarried. Saundra and I have a great time together and have a 'Brady Bunch'(3kids mine/2 kids hers) family. They're all grown now. Two are married, three single and we have three grand kids.

In 1994 a friend who was GM of a radio group for Cape Cod, the Islands and Southeastern New England asked me if I could fill in as a guest host for the talk radio program. Well, 12 years later (while still in the real estate development business) I continue to do morning drive talk radio. Call me Ed "Limbaugh" or "G. Gordon" Lambert! So, when you're in the area, tune in to WXTK 95.1FM from 7-10AM and call and give me some shit!

I look forward to coming to the reunion in '07 in Colorado. Our daughter, Meg and her husband live in Boulder so we can kill two with one. It would be terrific to catch up with all of you - even if we've never met!

And, by the way. I'll eat my piss-cutter if Bill Tuck is really the course champ at his home course. Maybe if its pitch and putt. Banana Ball Tuck?! No friggin' way.

Contact: 14 Shirley Point Road, Centerville, MA 02632; H: 508-362-9373 W: 508-778-9464; On-air tel: 1-888-WXTK-951, email




Greg and Tami Lane (1970-72)



Left, Greg and a water buffalo (Greg is on top);

Right, Greg and Tami in the back yard.


 Hi to all my VP-17 Brothers and Sisters,

It is exciting and an honor to still be in touch with many fellow Veterans who have served in VP-17 and other VP Squadrons.  My little video "Navy Days in VP-17"   which is listed under the "Features" section of this VP-17 web site, has had over 2750 views and 34 comments from all over the country.  My short time with VP-17 (1970-1972) is a great source of pride for me and I appreciate all the positive input I have had about the video over the last few years.  The attached photo of me sitting on a buffalo was taken just outside Sangley Point in the Philippines, seems like a long time ago, I think I gave the farmer 20 Peso's to let me sit on it for a picture, I'm sure he thought I was crazy.

Since leaving the Squadron in 1972 where I worked in Admin Under CDR. Harley L. Stuntz, I enrolled in College and then eventually ended up working various positions
in Quality Assurance Departments for the remaining work years.

Currently my wife Tami and I just moved last year to the Crooked River Ranch area of Central Oregon where we are now semi retired.   I continue to do my wood carvings
of birds, fish and other animals and we also keep very busy hiking, fishing and exploring our beautiful State, I also love riding my Harley Davidson and have met many other
Veterans in the area who also ride.  We have found that Central Oregon is extremely Veteran friendly and love living here.

Contact info is Home address 6269 SW Ermine Rd, Crooked River Ranch, Oregon 97760.  email, Home phone is 541-504-4212

My very best to everyone and hope that I continue to hear from other VP-17 personnel in the coming years.

YN3 Greg Lane

December 2012




Mike & Patricia Lauermann (1972-75, 1981-84)


1973 placeholder photo. See Mike in a more lucid

moment in the group photo at the top of this page.

Question: Does Mike still have a brass plaque from

Taiwan that reads, "If you ain't a pilot, you ain't shit"?



·           Left 17 in Jan 75.

·           VT-27 - Feb 75 to Jul 77 – T-28 Instructor, TPA, Form, Night Flying, Admin Officer.

·           Schools and Ship - Aug 77 to Feb 80 – USS Midway, Homeport Yokosuka, Japan, CIC/NTDS Officer, Asst Ops Officer, TAO, C-1 Pilot (83 traps), Instructor Pilot.

·           VT-31 - Feb 80 to Sep 81 – Training Officer, P3 Instructor.

·           Married Patricia Murphy, Lt Navy Nurse Corp.

·           VP-17 - Sep 81 to Mar 84 – Maintenance Office, Instructor Pilot (You can’t go back, ask Bullet and Squirt).

·           CINCPACFLT - Mar 84 to Aug 85 – Nuc Weps Officer.

·           FAA - Sep 85 to Sep 89 – Navy Reimbursable.

·           NAVAIR - Sep 89 to Jan 94 – T-45 APMTS.

·           Kyle born Feb 92.

·           Jan 94 to Present -- Program Manager, Titan Corp (Formerly SRC)

·           Keri born Feb 94


Tha thea, tha thea, tha that’s all Folks!




Contact: E-mail:




Guy & Vicki Leary (1974-77)




After leaving VP-17, I transferred to VP-31 and separated from the Navy after my commitment to the Navy was completed. (I tried to keep a watchful eye on John Dresel, but he was always on the move.)  I remained in the P3 Navy Reserve and spent some time with VP-91 at Moffett.


After selling the house I owned with George Gandre in San Jose, I moved to Leesburg, FL and went into the real estate appraisal business with my cousin. I continued to drill with the P-3 reserve unit in Jacksonville, FL during the three years I was in the appraisal business.


In 1980 I decided to get back into the Navy’s TAR program and was lucky enough to have my first tour at VP-62 in Jacksonville, FL. My luckiest move was to marry Vicki in 1982. She was a high school teacher in Jacksonville, originally from Charlotte, NC, who swept me off my feet. I then proceeded to drag her around the country a little.


My next stop was another department head tour at VP-67 (Memphis TN), then to the Naval Post Graduate School (tuff duty for a golfer in Monterey), then a financial management tour on the reserve Admiral’s staff in New Orleans, then back to Jacksonville for and a tour with the active duty guys at Patrol Wing Eleven and a couple of tours at Naval Air Reserve Jacksonville. I retired from the Navy in 1996.


Presently, I work for Shaw Industries as a Field Trainer for their Home Depot Division in the Southeast. Vicki was lucky enough to retire in 2004 from teaching. After work, I spend most of my time on the golf course and praying for my Clemson Tigers to have a winning season in some sport. Vicki spends her time taking care of our one dog and enjoying her first year of retirement. She still can’t believe she does not have to get up at 5 am every morning and greet those high school sweethearts!


Contact (new as of 21 July 2014):

140 Bent Tree Drive #1, Laurel Park, NC 28739

L/L phone: TBD; Vicki’s cell: 904/635-8088; Guy’s cell:  904/504-4089

Email: Vicky -; Guy -




Dan & Martine Macdonald (1970-72)


 Dan on what might be "old Macdonald's farm"



I checked out your web page and noticed a few pictures of my old crew mates and guys I was stationed with at Barber's Point and on our deployment to Naha, Okinawa.  It was a lot of fun to see those pictures of the men these many years later.

I was the Jez operator (AW-3) for Crew Two.  Mr. Whatley was our pilot, Mr. Rasfeld was our Tacco.  I think Mr. O'Brien was on our crew as well.  I still have our "Cruise Book" from that deployment. I took several of the pictures in that book.  If you have it, check out Crew Two.  I'm the bearded Jez operator peering into the machine.  I haven't had that beard since the Navy!

I kept in touch with a few guys after I left active duty, but not for too long.  Glen Wiley, Paul Mangolia, Ken Ehlers and few others.  But I've lost track now.

Anyway, since leaving VP-17 in late 1972, I went back to college.  In 1979 I earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1982, I earned my architectural license in California. In 1991 I started my own architectural firm and we are now located in Novato, California and do work all over the US.

I have two children from a previous marriage.  Karrie my daughter is 20 years old and my son Ian is 18.  In 2002, I married a wonderful Belgian woman, Martine, and now have a "new" 12 year old son.

I have many memories of those times in Hawaii, Okinawa, the Philippines, Taiwan, and our R&R in Hong Kong.  It truly is amazing how many memories I have from that brief period.  It certainly changed my life. If one of you guys remembers me, send me an e-mail.  I would love to hear from you.


Contact: 178 Pacheco Ave, Novato, CA 94947: Tel/Fax: 415-898-1331; Cell – 415-279-2845; e-mail:



Glenn & Madonna MacDonald (19__-__)



Pat & Kate Maley (1971-74)

Ireland, 2004 -- at the ancestral home.

For more Maley photos click here.

The Maleys "retired" from the Navy in October 1974 after leaving VP-17. We moved to Colorado on a "lark" and have been there ever since. The first two years Pat was in grad school at CU (yes, the former #1 party school and home of some interesting recruiting techniques). The P-3 squadron at NAS Glenview during grad school was the end of my flying days, in fact last landing was on three engines.

The highlight of our first  two years in Colorado was the "dramatic" birth of our second son, Andrew Merlin in the midst of "mid-terms".

Pat's career has been in sales, sales management and general management in the semiconductor business (Intel), computer business (Sequent and Client Systems) and the software business (Collaboratek and Dante). After selling Dante to webMethods last October, he met some individual investors who wanted operational help with their private equity deals. The first one involved buying an environmental services company owned by a USNA grad. Who knows where this will go.

Kate went back to school soon after Andrew was born and stayed at it until she got her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Denver University. She has been in private practice for the past 20 years, working with military families at Fitzsimmons and now as a Tricare provider. Her passion is water color painting which is just "fun".

Chris (who was with us in VP-17) is a copy writer for the agency that does most of Coors sales promotions. We are happy that he moved back to Denver after spending the first four years after CU in New York City getting started in the ad business.

Andrew Merlin is an architect working in Denver. He just finished three years of grad school and is glad to be working for a living.

See a note from Pat regarding hand-carved wooden P-3 models by clicking here.

Contact: 2200 Albion St., Denver, CO 80207 Tel: (303) 399-2457; Pat's cell/ voice mail is (303) 909-9037; e-mail;


Paul & Jane McGonigle (1969-1972)


Paul and Jane: Married 26 years in 2008

Fresh out of flight school, I began flying with Crew 7 led by LCDR Dave Gastony and had my first deployment to Iwakuni with detachments to Cam Rahn Bay.  The following year I was with LT George Ricabaugh’s crew when we deployed to Sangley Point and Utapao, followed with being the back up PPC on Crew 1 for H.S. Stuntz… Ground duties included a stint in the Comm Office, Nuclear Weapons Safety and a maintenance division officer.  Leaving the squadron and beautiful Hawaii, Connie and I went to Florida for a tour with VT-3 and moved to Texas when VT-27 transitioned to T-28s and I was the Standardization Officer.  Then a  tour in Keflavik, Iceland, along with Jim and Meg Lifgren.  Connie and I divorced and I left the service for what I hoped were greener pastures.  Once again the airline industry collapsed and I found myself back in the Navy, with VC-3 in San Diego flying C-130s. There I met my  present wife, Jane, and her two teen age daughters. Then a tour at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, where I ran into (now) Captain George Ricabaugh and his new wife, where he was the CO of the Communications Station.  On one of the flights from the base, I ran into Dan Duda who was XO at Memphis.  My last tour in the desert at El Centro California, where I ended up as XO of that base.  It was another fun tour , but it didn’t match the good times  with VP-17.

After the Navy, I once more tied the airlines and was with Eastern when it shut down, had a class date with America West when it filed bankruptcy (class canceled) and was with another small outfit in Chicago when it went under.  I finally lucked out and found an aviation related job with one of the three-letter agencies  and for the last ten years have been in the Tampa area with a one man office at MacDill AFB where I get to travel regularly to Central and South America working with civil and military aviation organizations. I occasionally think of retiring, but still am having fun at this job.  The daughter from the marriage to Connie and the two from this marriage all live nearby and each has provided us with a granddaughter.  It is difficult to accept that the oldest granddaughter is already 17. Connie passed away a few years ago at age 59.

Contact information: 1014 Spindle Palm Way, Apollo Beach, Florida   33572; Phone:  (813) 641-8312; E-Mail:


Jim & Judy McGroarty  (1971-74)

All right, who farted?     Nice try, Jim.



Squadron duties: Assistant AIO, Schedules, Navigation, Electric Instrument Branch Officer, ASW Tactics, TACCO NATOPS Evaluator.


After departing VP-17, reported to COMPATWINGSPAC staff at NAS Moffett Field in June of 1974 as the staff Assistant Communications Officer working for a terrific LDO Communicator.  Obtained a second tour on the staff as the Fleet Exercise Coordinator and part time ASW Watch Officer working for Captain Guy Rettig.  Resigned from the Regular Navy and joined the Naval Reserve in January 1979.  Spent two years in a Reserve ASWOC support unit at Moffett before transferring to NAS Glenview, IL in 1981.  Several VP-17 alums were in the Glenview area like Phil Hanson, Carl Schultz, Lou Rabe and even Pat Maley in the early years. At Glenview I was in various units and eventually ended up in the Air Systems Program that supported the Naval Air System Command.  This was a great thing since the ASP had about 70% of the Naval Air Reserve pay billets for Commanders and Captains and I avoided the scramble for pay billets that the guys in the squadrons faced. Also the active duty periods were spent in Crystal City where I was able to meet up with VP-17 alums like Bill Vincent, Bill Boyd, Bob Barclay, Gary Straun, Mike Lauerman, Denny Hackathorn and others. I ended up having command of two reserve units and retired from the Naval Reserve as a Captain in December 1994.


I started my civilian career with a small tactics development company in the Moffett Field area doing analyses on various P-3C weapon systems.  Not too exciting but I was able to keep involved in the air ASW business. I left that company in the Bay Area and the personal services business after two years and went to Magnavox in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  After living in the Bay Area for 6 years we were convinced that Fort Wayne, Indiana was and is the hub of global boredom and ignorance.  Magnavox was the one bright spot in the town and at that time built the AQA-7's for the P-3's and also the majority of the sonobuoys for the USN.  Also Magnavox made a significant number of sensors, signal processing systems and communication systems for DOD.  I ended up on the Executive Team at Magnavox that sold the company to Hughes Aircraft in 1995.  I then got an opportunity with Hughes in 1996 to transfer to Indianapolis to be on the management team that was to privatize the Naval Air Warfare Center there.  (Judy and I jumped at the chance to get out of Fort Wayne!)  We just got that project started and the Raytheon acquisition of Hughes was announced!  Our work force of 2000 people walked out of the facility on a Friday in January of 1997 fired by the U.S. Government,  walked back in on the next Monday morning as Hughes employees and 10 days later the Raytheon acquisition of Hughes was announced!  They got a major dose of the Defense Electronics business consolidation real fast!  My last position with Raytheon was the Director of International Business for one of the Raytheon Businesses.  I got lots of travel opportunities including many trips to the Farnborough and Paris Air Shows.  Also my duties took me to Australia, Canada, UK, France, Belgium and a few countries in the middle east like Jordan, Egypt and UAE.  I retired from Raytheon in October of 2006 and have been supported by Judy ever since!


Judy's career has been very diverse.  She was trained as a Nurse and worked Intensive Care at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose while we were at Moffett.  In Fort Wayne she worked in the computer retail business with ComputerLand.  She was with that operation for 12 years but when we moved to Indianapolis she shifted gears and went to work for the American Funds Company.  American Funds is a huge mutual fund company with hundreds of billions of dollars under management and they have a service center here in Indianapolis.  After six years of working in the mutual fund arena  she decided that working with kids in the inner city schools was more important to her. She now works as a first grade teacher's assistant in the Indianapolis Public Schools system.  On top of all this, she did a terrific job of raising Candace and Michael. 


Contact: 9362 Castle Knoll Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46250; Tel: home 317-596-1016; Jim's cell  317-501-7062; E-mail





Robert A. (Bob) & Diana McLaughlin (1967-70)


               Bob as VP-17 PPC      VT-3 instructor   '96 San Diego reunion    Diana's 2007 retirement party

                           with Bob Webb, Brian

                                     McGuiness & Clyde Beagle



    I joined VP-17 in October of '67 at Whidbey Island and made the last P-2 deployment to Sangley Point.  After returning we transitioned to the P-3A, VP-17 changed home port to Barber's Point, and we and made the first P-3 deployment to Iwakuni, Japan.  During that time I was Logs and Records Officer, Ground Training Officer, Airframes Officer and QA Officer as well as Maintenance Test Pilot (Murphy's Law is alive and well). After VP-17 I went to VT-3 at Whiting Field, FL as a BI/RI Flight Instructor. 

    I was released from active duty in Feb. '72 and went to work in the Mechanical Engineering Department for a corporation in the mid-west. A couple of years later I was transferred to my hometown where we still live today. I was offered a position with a national steel company where I spent the next 15 years ending as the District Manager for their construction subsidiary. During the corporate raiding/leveraged buyout/hostile takeover '80s, I worked in the Engineering Department for a contractor at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (read:  Nuclear energy research). After Clinton's budget cuts I ended up as a Project Engineer with the local county. Financial shortages resulted in my position being eliminated and I got an early retirement! During that time Diana was the Associate Director of the Nursing School at Idaho State University. Besides normal vacations and travel I could go along on her visiting professor/guest lecturer trips. Australia was nice! She retired in '07 and we spent a month in Scotland and London.

    We have two kids (1 boy/1 girl) and two grandchildren all of whom live within a few miles from us. What an advantage it is to have you grandkids grow up near you. Currently we are raising a new Border Collie pup and I think he is winning!   

Cheers,  Bob

P.S. I forgot to mention that I was involved with a bunch of VP-17 alums in establishing the ZE-6 memorial monument in Searchlight, NV.

Contact information:   Robert A. (Bob)  McLaughlin, Diana McLaughlin (Dr./Ed.D., RN)  5886 Hilo Drive, Pocatello, ID 83204; Tel: 208-234-1860;  E-mail:






Doug & Nonie McWhorter (1972-75; 79-81)


The McWhorter family in front of

a sign reading "Ketchum, Idaho"



After leaving VP-17: Horizon Airlines for two years, Alaska Airlines for 14 years, and ConocoPhillips Contract Pilot till May 2003. Retired to Boise, ID.


Contact: 1225 East Kimberley Lane; Boise, ID 83712; Tel: (208) 345-5241; E-mail:







Danny & Carol Meyer (1965-67)



              VP-17, early 1966      VP-94 Reunion circa 2007      


My name is Danny Meyer. I am a former member of VP-17 from the time the squadron returned from their WESTPAC deployment in1965 until my enlistment ended in July 1967.  I eventually flew as an ADJ-3 plane captain on ZE-9 (BUNO 147967) with LCDR Fred Heimbeucher, AT-1 David  Lowas, AE-2 Gerry Johnson, AT-3  Fred York, and AO-3 Dean Carlson - a great group of guys. I did receive the Ho Chi  Mein advancement to ADJ-2 while on deployment at Ton San Nhut (66-67), but I decided not to extend my enlistment to receive the advancement.


I eventually joined Reserve Unit VP-94 in New Orleans, only to transition to the much faster P-3A s a Flight Engineer.  V P-94 sent me TDY to VP-30 for flight engineer training. I remained at NAS New Orleans until my retirement.

My experience with VP-17 and VP-94 opened at least one big door for me to apply with the U. S Customs Service( USCS) for a Flight  Engineer position and eventually become a Supervisory Aviation Maintenance Officer with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service.


Approaching the age of 64, I am now retired from aviation except for maintaining an FAA Inspection Authorization License. I will miss my flying experience and bonding with true aviation professionals.


I would like to thank VP-1 7 for giving me an opportunity to be an aviator in a business I will never regret being a part of. It was my calling, I guess.


God Bless my ole Shipmates I knew at NAS Whidbey lsland.



Danny Meyer


Contact: 546 Choctaw Dr, Abita Springs, LA 70420; Tel (H) 985-898-6348, (C) 985-966-4630; email -




Jerry & Pat Mooney  (1973-76)


From left to right: Jerry Mooney in 1973; Jerry today; Jerry and Pat with petrified friend.


SQUADRON DUTIES:  Maintenance/Material Control, Maintenance Dept Head, Asst. Maintenance Officer.


I left VP17 in  mid deployment to Cubi Point in1976 with orders to Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM. There I became a member of the Rio Grande Navy. I was assigned as the Maintenance /Material Control Officer and Project Assistance Officer.  When I got there NWEF had nine aircraft and no two were alike. They had 2 F-4s, 2 A-7s an A-4M, a TA-4, an OV-10, C-54 , an A-6 and 1 each Genuine Hot Air Balloon.  All had been modified to one degree or another for certain projects and we were constantly making additional changes.  We also called on the RAGs from time to time for additional birds, like the F-14 and F-18. Parts were always a problem and the LDO/WO Maintenance Officers backdoor parts swap was in constant operation.  Many trips to the bone yard at DM and the Drone line at Norris  to get parts (Including an entire F-4 that had just been painted DRONE TARGET RED for a project in Porto Rico.


The unit was a mixed bag of Sailors, Scientist, Engineers, Techs (Civilian and Navy) Attack Pilots Fighter Jocks, a couple of Reserve Transport Pilots one Marine Pilot and a Submariner.  As the MMC Officer, I had to keep the Planes Flying, Schedule overtime for the civilian techs and work with the project officers.  One of my best experiences was working with CDR. Everett Alverez ( the Navy’s first and longest held POW)  We worked on an A-4M HUD problem for several months.  I got to ride in the TA-4 and TA-7C Chase planes and run the cameras during low level gun runs, Rocket firing and Loft and Over the shoulder bomb releases.  More fun than you should be allowed to have with your clothes on!!


Anyway, I pulled the pin and Retired from the Navy on 30 May 1979.  I had 25 years in and my detailer and I could not come to an agreement for the upcoming Sea Duty Assignment. So for the first time in 25 years I faced UNEMPLOYMENT.  I decided that I wanted to work for someone who understood my needs for purpose and fulfillment in a career. So I decided to be my own boss.  I got into Financial Planning (in other words, I sold Mutual Funds and Insurance) I did that for 14 years until I decided to retire in 1993. That retirement lasted one year. I re-evaluated my finances and said at the rate I’m spending I'll have to die in 5 years, (not a viable option.) So I entered my 3rd career. REAL ESTATE. I've been doing that ever since and have been very active as a Broker, Instructor, Trainer and Sales Agent.


I've slowed down the Real Estate sales work in the last couple of years. Pat and I like to take off and go traveling, so in 2005 we took the Travel Trailer and Drove the AlCan Hiway to Fairbanks, AK. Three months on the road 16,000 miles, and one broken back later we came home.  My back wasn’t really broken, just some disc’s ruptured.  Back Surgery in Oct, a week in the hospital and a couple of months of physical therapy and by June of 06 we were ready to go again. Only this time we just went to Susanville Ca. Where Eagle Lake is located. I wanted to visit my boat and do some fishing.


A couple of trips around the lake then the motor broke and I spent the rest of the summer tracking down parts for an '87 outboard.  I brought the boat home with me and got the parts I needed right here.  Please, someone, explain this to me. Alamogordo, NM is in the desert. The closest body of water is 150 miles away.  I can’t get parts in an area where there are boats and water everywhere you look, but I can get the parts here. Must be one of life’s greater mysteries.


Anyway, that’s my life, I never learned to play golf, but I know where the 19th hole is. I shot a lot of skeet, trap and sporting clays (won 2 Skeet Class Championships in 28Ga and 410 Ga. In 1984) until my back got messed up so badly I couldn’t  twist  around.  Pat (my wife of 51 years) and I still love to fish and we are looking forward to another trip to Valdez, AK for the salmon runs and fishing for cutthroats in the Yukon.  I’m looking forward to seeing all the VPers from -17 in June. Til then remember, “Every day that you wake up and you can get vertical and there is no dirt in your face is a great day”  Ding hao.  -- Jerry Mooney


Contact: 758 Candlewood, Alamogordo, NM.88310; Tels: (575) 437-9927 (Off); (575) 439-0673 (H); (575) 430-8713 (Cell); E-Mail:






Rick &  Munro (1979-81)






 Rick in Cubi with

XO Frank Ferry



 Welcome Home

to Carol & kids










Following VP-17, reported to OPNAV OP-80 (POM Shop) as Financial Analyst for Manpower, Personnel and Training Accounts. Worked for then RADM’s Metcalf and C. O. Prindle. Following promotion to Captain “enjoyed” tours on CNO Staff (Admiral Watkins), OP-01 and others. Major Command Ashore NAS Adak 1987-89 during the major building phase then back to the Pentagon as OP-05C (Program and Budget Officer for Naval Aviation) and Naval Aviation Representative to the US-USSR Incidents at Sea Negotiations. Retired from OPNAV December 1991 and went to work for SAIC until 1998. Then invested with two partners in a small business in Arlington VA now named EM Business Holdings and EM Solutions - our companies are successful and the work intensely interesting. One of our customers is Navy Advanced Sensor Technologies (AST) Program Office. Carol and I hope to retire again soon and enjoy travels!


Contact Info: Richard and Carol Munro, 140 Eastbury, Williamsburg VA 23188


Tel: 757-345-3785; email:




 Rick & Carol in the

Smokies, 2014







Nick & Stephanie Nicholson (1971-72)



Arrived Hawaii V-17 after a short trip to Moffett Jan 71 (my second squadron at Barbers; I was in VR-21 1968-69 and VW-1 69-70 Guam) and was locally discharged in Hawaii Nov 72. I lived in Ewa Beach with three other guys I knew from other VP squadrons. Ed Alford was our Ordinance Guy and Bob Murphy was our AW with Dean Vermackus our TACCO. But as I said earlier I flew with every damn crew in Naha as so many guys were down. I also remember the nasty flyaway for a storm. I think you and I flew with the early GPS device that was placed in the space where the right forward observer had a chair. The damn thing was as big as a washing machine. I used to have some of those great Market Time black and whites hidden away but I think they are long gone.


I was recently at Barbers Point as my career in Computers got me into Banking Equipment and I have bought ,sold ,installed and now scraped Check Processing Equipment all over the world and we were out in Hawaii last fall removing two systems from Bank of Hawaii. The dump is located in Campbell Industrial Park which is right by the old entrance to the Base. It was a sad trip to see the Base in such a nasty state as I had been there on travels in the 80’s and 90’s. I did have a recent trip to Hong Kong making it a reunion of sorts as I have made every decade since the 60’s. We stayed in a Hotel on the Kowloon side that overlooked the old runway. That is one place that will be hard to ruin and it was great fun.


Not as much aviation as the past but my current office is right off the Runway at McCollum Field (RYY) in Cobb County, GA. I did have a really unique contract flying high dollar spares for Mainframe Computers when I moved to GA in 1994. But that business died a fast death with all the current fast and efficient server based world. We had two Beech Dukes and a Seneca and we delivered parts within about 1000NM of Kennesaw, GA.


My career has been interesting and I have traded equipment all over the world and still travel the four corners. I enclosed a shot from the deck of ‘Big MO” from my last trip to Hawaii. Currently I fly my Harley and waiting for my two girls to get married. My 30-year-old is finally getting married in October and my 28-year-old is still at home with no plans to leave. I have been married to my wife Stephanie since 1974. I also enclosed a pic from a recent UK trip. My very best customers are in the UK so I spend a bunch of time over there each year.


Contact: 324 Horseshoe Bend , Woodstock , GA 30189; Cell 678-777-3033; E-Mail;.



Bill & Robin O'Brien (1972-75)


(L&C) Bill's change of command day in 1991 (That's Bill Vincent saluting).

(R) Current photo of Beave performing in Manhatten as a member of a Celtic rock band. See update below.



After leaving the squadron in June of '75 we were stationed in Centerville Beach CA.  I was the Ops officer of the SOSUS station there until Feb. '78 when we departed active duty.   We loved that tour.  We lived in a little town called Fortuna which was nestled in the redwoods among several wonderful rivers full of salmon and steelhead.  Billy was about 2 then, so the 3 of us (plus Labradors) explored the beaches and redwood forests of northern California.  Crash and Emily were stationed at Whidbey Island WA at that same time, so we made many visits back and forth.


In 1978, I got a civilian job as a project manager for the New York State Teachers' Retirement System in Albany NY.  The main project (for the first 6 years) was the construction of a new headquarters building.  I also joined a Reserve squadron (VP-66) in Willow Grove PA. that same year.   Danny was born in 1979 and he started producing the gray hairs on my head right around that same time!   When Danny started school, Rob went back to teaching (she had done some teaching in Hawaii).  She now teaches elementary age students in a resource room setting and in the summers teaches kindergarten age, emotionally handicapped students.


My Reserve career turned out to be longer and more interesting than I could have imagined.  After completing my CO tour with VP-66, I had tours on the surface side as CO of  a Bethesda Hospital unit, a destroyer tender (AD-38, USS Puget Sound), a SIMA (ship repair) unit and XO of Second Fleet's NATO staff (RADM Bud Flanagan) in Norfolk.  His flagship was the MT Whitney, which, when we were underway in the North Atlantic in December made me appreciate the lack of a tailhook on P-3s!  Following my sojurn with the surface Reserve, I returned to the air side as CO of the Keflavik, Iceland; Rota, Spain and Souda Bay, Crete Reserve units.  I retired from the Navy at Brunswick, Maine in 1999 with just shy of 30 years total service.


Our boys are now off on their own careers.  Danny is staff manager for Ajilon, a consulting arm of Hewlitt Packard.  He manages computer network installations all over New York State (including NYC).   He is single and loving life.   Following his undergraduate degree, Billy worked for a law firm in Wash. D.C. for a while, contemplating law school.  He concluded that the law was not the career path he wanted to pursue.  He completed his Masters in Education at Union College in Schenectady, NY and teaches 11th and 12th grade American History, Government and Economics at Shaker High School in Latham NY.  He is married (1 year this summer) to our wonderful daughter-in-law, Jessie.   We spend our summers together kayaking and hiking the ponds, streams and mountains of the Adirondack Park.


I am currently Director of Administration for the Retirement System, but I am actively pursuing my 3rd career as a fly fishing guide in the Adirondack Mountains of northern NY.  I have had my license and been guiding professionally for 5 years and can't wait to be doing it full time in retirement.  It is a wonderful sport, done in beautiful locations - and hopefully will provide beer money when I'm retired (which will mean a lot of guide trips!).


Dec 2006 update. For about 3 years now, my brother and I have been playing in a Celtic rock band. I play bass and acoustic guitar and sing about 1/3 of our songs. We do contemporary Irish rock songs--mostly a lot of original tunes that my brother writes--but we also do Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, etc. The name of the band is St. James Gate (which is the address of the brewery in Dublin where Guinness is brewed). It's a blast! This picture was taken during our recent gig at Connelly's Pub in Manhattan. We recently came out with our first CD, but the first printing sold out quickly. More on the way.


Contact: 10 Hillock Ct, Scotia, NY 12302-3735; Tel: (518) 399-2709;

 e-mail -





Lauren Pananen (1968-71)


Lauren as a JG in '68, CDR in 2001


Squadron duties: Power Plants, Education Officer, Crew 4 PPC.


From VP-17 I returned to Seattle City Light as a Professional Electrical Engineer and stayed until March 1976 when I joined Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue, from which I retired in August 1996. I then joined Pacific Power in Portland, retiring from there in November 2006.


During this time, I drilled as a PPC with VP-69 on Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, WA until 1982, then went to VTU-8989 in a non-pay status until my March 1987 retirement. In 1972, VP-69 still had P-2VH models until we transitioned to the P-3A (real modern) a couple of years later. Had many good two-week ACDUTRAs in Okinawa, Guam, Adak and Hawaii.


Contact: 2504 NW 116 Street, Vancouver, WA 98685; Tel: (360) 546-1021; Cell: (360) 601-3361; E-mail:     






John D & Dr. Irene Pendleton (1968-72)


ADJC JD Pendleton, 2008 & 1972


Squadron duties: Power Plant CPO, Flight Crew, Career Counselor

Departed VP-17 in 1972 going to VC-1 as power plant CPO and flight crew. Retired Nov 1975, then worked as NAS Barbers Point Police until 1978. I then went into US Civil Service as a machinist, got a certification as 1st class power plant engineer and moved to Washington D.C. and worked as plant supervisor until 1999. Retired from Civil Service in Jan1999.

In January 1999 we moved to Texas. I spend my time as an officer in the Alzafar Shrine Temple, working with crippled children. I also shoot on a state wide pistol team. Just enjoying life.

Contact: 26019 Lookout Oaks, San Antonio, TX. 78260; Tel: 1-830-438-6517 (H); Cell: 1-210-287-6223. E-Mail


Joe & Arlene Rasfeld (1969-72)

The Rasfeld brood in Florida



Went to Wing two after VP17. Stayed as Maint-Dp and Director till I retired in late 79.


Moved to Sarasota, Florida. Worked as engineer for electronics firm till summer 86. Gave them 52 patent use products .Then retired (#2).


 All five kids were all out of school so we sold out and we toured the country for two years in RV. Did 40 states,114 national parks, northern Mexico and across Canada covering about 43000 miles. Arlene drove only  3 miles, but was a good Nav and lookout. We returned to FL and bought a place in Nokomis , where we stayed for 3 years. Odd jobs and beach combing was normal ops  then we moved to present site in Sarasota where we raise tropical plants that we buy or steal from visit sites.


Worked as electronics design engineer for an audio company for a bit and then as production manager for a Bio-Medical Tech firm, where I picked up 4 patents on AIDS diagnostic devices and materials. I retired again (#3) in 1995 .


We do a lot of traveling. Tahiti, Hawaii almost every year for 3-9 weeks), cruises, St Lucia (where we did Hospital missionary work for 4 months), and visiting the kids and relatives around the country. Presently leaving for Hawaii in Mid July and later the Carolinas .Wont make the reunion but will see Ger in Colorado Springs in early September as we putz on an archeo dig site east of there.  I could only recognize McGroaty and Barclay in the 98 shots so the rest of you must have gotten old.


You are all cordially invited to swing by WHENEVER for a beer and RON . We do take in a lot of strays (once an ALOHA Pilot) and enjoy having people around. Stop by. The 04-05 winter is not full up yet, and we are only 1-2 hours from fun Parks.


Contact: 5322 Ruby Ln, Sarasota, FL 34231; (941) 925-3849.





Daryl & Susi Ray (1970-73)


Left - '73 farewell dinner cruise; Right - 2004 reunion.

Click here for more pics of the '73 multi-Mai Tai cruise



After leaving VP-17, Daryl did a tour in Corpus Christi as an instructor, and from there, he went to Norfolk to join the Nimitz on her maiden voyage.


When Daryl left the Navy in November 1978, he and Susi moved back to Texas.  He was employed by Texan Eastern, a Texas gas company in Houston, as a corporate pilot flying Lear Jets and Gulf Streams. This job took him to many interesting and not so interesting places.  After the company survived several attempts at hostile takeovers, it was finally acquired and decimated by “friendly” factions. Daryl then became chief pilot for the new management but after awhile traded that set of irritations for another when he went to American Airlines. Daryl will retire from American In March of 2005.


While at American Daryl has flown the 727, DC10, MD80, DC11, F100, went to 757/767 school and is currently flying the 757 internationally. As we all know, life in the aviation industry is never dull—aggravating, frustrating, irritating, and exhilarating but again never dull. After a life of intermittent separations, Susi has often wondered how she will cope with a full time husband.


When not flying, Daryl is a “gentleman” rancher on the family ranch riding herd on two horses (otherwise know as “ pasture ornaments”), three to six head of cattle, and two Labrador retrievers. Of course, he does help his father-in-law with the other 100-plus head of Beefmasters and performs various  ranching duties as needed. Daryl has given up trying to corral Susi and her out-of-control spending habits. Now that she is retired from 25 years of teaching, he is hoping she will expend the energy maintaining her vast yard and gardens surrounding the cabin and stay out of the malls and mail order catalogues. For those of you who have been in contact with the Rays over the years, please know the 20-year wood shop project is now complete and open to guests. Yes, they still have the bar, and it is the focal point of the sun room.


Does anyone remember little Rip? Well, he is now 34, married, and works for DiaAgio, an international beverage conglomerate. He spent 5½ years getting a construction science degree at Texas A & M but ventured into the beer industry after college. Miller beer took him off our payroll and launched him into a very lucrative profession. He and his lovely wife Kristin live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and will present the Rays with their first grandchild in February.


Daughter Ashley was born in Corpus during Daryl’s tour in the training command as an instructor. She also is an A & M graduate and actually is employed in the industry in which  she majored  She is 28, married to a native of Santa Barbara, California, and until recently worked as a landscape architect there.  She and husband Mike are in the process of moving to Los Angeles.


Contact: 2914 Blue Lakes Lane, Missouri City, TX 77459-3008; (281) 499-1935 (Daryl cell: 713-557-4832/Susi cell: 713-304-3755); e-mails



Raymond D. & Helen Reed (1971-74)

In 1973, Ray gazes 33 years into the future, where he

sees himself gazing at his great-granddaughter in 2006.



I left VP-17 in September 74 after three fun-filled years. Went to NAS PAX RIVER--/ASW/WST/TPS and almost into Vigilantes. Got tired of that and went back to sea duty in early 76 with VP-48 at NAS Moffett Field. Had three good years there, made chief and got married.


Transferred to CNAP as Flight Engineer Evaluator. Spent two years there. Transferred to the Fleet Reserve where I spent six months.


Went back to VP-48 (in the words of Virginia Wolff you can't go home again).  Got a California do-it-yourself divorce kit. Six months later went to Sears and got a new wife, Helen. Have been married ever since and raised two grandchildren. (Don't believe all that stuff about sears’ liberal return policy -- Helen is the woman I'm bringing to Atlanta!) ("HA, HA")


In 84 went back to the Fleet Reserve. Worked a while for VSE Corporation in Alameda, then moved to OHIO in 85 and stayed one year. Bought some land and had a house built in “Podunk,” GA and have been here ever since.




PS - Anybody out there in the Midwest who’s overrun with Whitetails let me know.


Contact: 1195 Holloway Rd, Lincolnton, GA 30817; Tel: (706) 359- 7730. e-mail:





Jon & Jane Rowbottom (1971-74)



Rowbottom clan



I had orders to VT-3 and was the Quality Assurance Officer until I got out in July, 1975. We moved back to the Bay Area and I went to work for Dean Witter as a retail Stock Broker.


In 1978, I was fortunate enough to get on with United Airlines at the front of their bow wave of hiring.  By 1981, they decided they had too many pilots and I was furloughed for 2 years, returning in 1983. I have been with them since, living through the good, the bad and the ugly. I have been a 747-400 Captain and FAA Line Check Airman since 2000 flying to Europe and the Far East. I retire in October, 2006 and I cannot wait. The company has changed, the job has changed, the perks have changed and I am ready to sleep in my own bed for more than a few nights. Throughout my 28+ years at United I have tried to give it my best. I have volunteered my time to my union and tried to make things better along the way. Unfortunately, the junior pilots of my union gave away not only my contract, but, my pension, for a lack of testicles. Their life style will be changed forever and I will just fade away. The good news is that Jane and I saw the writing on the wall when I was recalled in 1983, and have saved for a retirement assuming the pension plan would not be there. How fortunate.


I miss the days of bitching about the Flight Schedule and the Duty Roster. At least we were all on the same team and just differed in rank. Also, in 1981, as I was being furloughed, I got involved with the ASWOC Reserves at Moffett Field. I made it to 18 good years, and then after Desert Storm, lost my over grade waiver and went to the IRR for my last two years. I retired in 1994 as a CDR and will start drawing the check in October...not to mention Tri Care. Overall, the Navy has worked out well for us. 


We now live on the Monterey Peninsular and shop regularly at the Fort Ord Exchange. Our daughter Emily, was married at the Naval Post Graduate School some 8 years ago. She is now 33 and has a daughter, Sydney and a son, Reilly with her husband Scott. They live in Tualatin, OR outside of Portland. Our son Andy is 27, married to Evan and lives in Carpenteria just south of Santa Barbara. They all came home for Jane's 60th Birthday Party last month.


Enough about me. While I was flying all around Jane was the backbone at home. When the kids got older, she went to work for the City of Campbell, CA (between San Jose and Los Gatos) and founded their Community Services Preschool Program. It started with one class in one room and when "Miss Jane" retired in 2002 she had high school students coming back to say good bye. There were waiting lists for her classes and she gave the kids the very best a teacher could provide. Jane used to "complain" to me that she could not go to the store without seeing one of her students or parents, but, I know she appreciated their attention. 


We plan to retire where we live in the foothills above Monterey and spend some time at our cabin at Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort in Truckee, CA. We are playing a lot of golf, travel to see the family and plan on a few European trips once I get off the rat race. 


Contact:  (Home) 25444 John Steinbeck Trail, Salinas, CA 93908. Tel: 831-484-8007 (home); 831-595-5275 (cell).  (Cabin)  1301 Indian Hills, Truckee, CA 96161. Tel: 530-562-1577.

E-Mail: rowbottom0@aol,com  (the 0 after rowbottom is the number zero)



Bob & Anita Rohr (1970-72)


(L) Bob and Nita visit Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede in Orlando with their grand kids Michael and Jennifer. Bob secretly hopes to catch a glimpse of Dolly's two biggest and most famous attractions. (R) Bob in 2008.  



From VP-17, it was all the way to Ford Island (COMASWFORPAC/COM3rdFleet) for duty as ASW Officer. After a total of six years in Hawaii (it was wonderful to be stuck in paradise), it was back to flying P-3s with VXN-8 Oceanographic Development Squadron, Patuxent River, taking birds around the world and well off the normal military bases.  After VXN-8, it was another flying tour with the folks at the Naval Research Laboratory. There, among other things, I was project officer of the synthetic aperature radar program.  Retirement followed and then I entered the Defense Contracting business.


I was first with Ketron in Brunswick, Maine where I developed P-3 tactics for the Harpoon Missile. I was offered the opportunity to get back to Pax River working for Sperry-Univac (now Unisys) as a Sr. Flight Test Engineer.  After ten years with Sperry, took a job with Tracor Aerospace in support of Naval Air Systems Command and then after three years went to work for Applied Ordnance Technology as Marketing Director for their Pax River operations. A short stint with JWK (another Beltway Bandit) followed. Having had enough of the Defense Contracting scene...retired to sunny Florida where my lovely bride Nita and I traded snow shovels for sand shovels.  Here in Florida, I keep busy as a Real Estate Broker in the Palm Coast area (Atlantic coast between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach).  Our home is located just a short stroll to the ocean beach. We love it here. 

Nita and I enjoy traveling and will be leaving May 25 thru June 10 on an Eastern Europe trip to the Black Sea with some of my USNA classmates and brides.  Our doors are open over the Palm Coast way and should anyone be driving by we're just minutes off I-95.



Contact: 21 Cottonwood Trail, Palm Coast, FL 32137; Tel: (386) 445-5299; e-mail:





Daylon Royal (1970-72)



Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Don't pay the ransom! I escaped!


Since leaving the squadron (Crew 7 AO) in June of 75 from Kadena not a lot has changed. Still in my terrible two's, (lol, but true)! Arrived home, got in an airplane and still at it. Crop dusters, fire bombers, warbirds, hell, if it won't get upside down I don't want to fly it! Still auto racing and running and playing. Never did grow up. Well, that's what my ex's say! LOL. Still live in Texas but find myself all over the US each year. Spend as much time as possible at Cabo Wabo in Cabo during the winter. Have three grand kids who have as much trouble staying out of trouble as I do!


Damn, seeing all these photos here are a shock! Guy's, we might really be getting older!


Contact: 5502 71st. St, Lubbock, Tx 79424; Tel: 806-759-3066





Paul & Karen Sanger  (1970-73)



The Sangers today



SQUADRON DUTIES: Survival Officer, Tactics Officer


ACTIVITIES SINCE DEPARTING VP-17:  FASOTRAGRUPAC NAS North Island, CA  S-3 TACCO Instructor;  UNC/USFK/EUSA Seoul Korea  Military Exercise Officer (TEAM Spirit, Focus Dragon);  FLTCOMBATRACENPAC San Diego, CA  Multi-threat training officer;  VITRO Honolulu, HI  Created Error Trees for ASW exercises at Barking Sands;  Lockheed S-3A trainers, S-3B Integrator; Harris Corp Melbourne, FL  Indonesia Maritime Patrol AC, A-12, AFT F-26; Gulfstream Aerospace Corp; Project Engineer/ Avionics Program Manger for GV development; ARINC Chief Engineer for KC-10 Extender Modifications; Northrop Grumman Corp  Global Hawk Payloads, Euro Hawk Systems Engineer.


Contact: 31229 Sweetgum Pl, Temecula, CA 92592; Tel: 951-308-4452; E-Mail: 




S. M. "Jack" & Barbara Schrager (1972-75)

Jack and Barb - never a dull moment


In September 1975 I left VP17 for shore duty at Pacific Missile Test Center, Pt Mugu. I was assigned as the C-121 and P-3 Flight Operations Chief and re-qualified as a 121 F/E.


In December of that year I was advanced to ADCS and two days later learned via phone call from Jim Carter, my detailer in the Bureau, that I was being reassigned by BuPers to NPPSA under the command of CNO. No amount of begging or crying could change Jims’ mind. So in March 1976 we were on the road again.


This turned out to be really an interesting tour, even though it turned out to be so short. We were working at the Lockheed Skunk Works establishing the design & build of a very special aircraft. We had just gotten finished with the entire test flight portion and had accepted the aircraft from Lockheed when I got the word that I was selected for Chief Warrant and transferred to “Knife & Fork” followed by Aircraft Maintenance Officer School & ultimately VP-40, Moffett, in November 1976.


I was assigned as the AMO and MMCO and deployed to Misawa and Adak. Completed that tour as a CWO4 in December 1979 when I was transferred to Recruit Training Command Orlando.


 I held the positions of Special Training Division Officer, when I got tapped on the back only to turn around and find “Willie Honker” standing there. He was up from CNET at the time and found me. It was at this period that I was selected for LDO & was moved to the Recruit Affairs Officer billet. After a year and a half of answering congressional inquiries and narrating the weekly Pass-In-Review, I became the Director of Military Training. During this period we found out that Jean was suffering from cancer and I opted to retire in May 1984.


Jean passed away in October 1984 after a long fight with liver and breast cancer. I was somewhat disorientated and couldn’t find my way so I moved to South Florida and got into the car business. 


I met a gal by selling her a car and started dating her. Her name is BARBARA and we married in December 1994. Our blended family now consisted of two girls and son + Jean, Marlin and Bill, who is doing great and living in Jacksonville. Her girls were married and Scott was planning his. We now have six grandsons living locally, six granddaughters and three grandsons spread out across the U.S. 


I finally pulled the pin and retired as General Manager for Ed Morse Cadillac in July 2003. 


Contact: 9856 NW 2nd Street, Plantation, FL 33324; Tel: (Home) 954-424-6494 (Cel) 954-818-1061; e-mail: 


Harley & Mrs. Schreck (197?-7?)

Dr. Harley Schreck

Bio from Bethel U's web site.

Harley Schreck brings his passions for understanding urban life, an enhanced quality of life for the elderly, and social and cultural justice to Bethel University. He comes to Bethel after working with World Vision as a Senior Researcher, where he helped support World Vision’s work around the world through applied research and training of World Vision staff. He has carried out ethnographic fieldwork in Micronesia, Ecuador, and the cities of Seattle and Minneapolis. In this work Dr. Schreck has focused on understanding the formation of community in urban areas, advocating for the elderly, and helping the church be a more powerful force in its quest for positive change in today’s world.

Harley teaches a broad array of courses, including courses focused on urban life, modern American culture, the cultures of the Pacific, missions, methods, and gerontology. Dr. Schreck has developed and led a January course to Amsterdam over 8 times since 1990. He has taken a central role in the development of the Frogtown Neighborhood Urban, an intentional Christian learning community in an urban neighborhood in St. Paul. He also is the Program Director for the Masters of Arts in Gerontology Program at Bethel University. In 2000, Harley received the Bethel College Faculty Excellence in Service Award. His current research and writing interests include ethnographic research on community change and the needs of the elderly in Northeast Minneapolis.

  Harley is married with two adult children and one aging dog.

  Contact: email:



Russ & Marilyn Schulz (1959-62, 74-76)


 (Photo on request)


Russ Schulz, Captain USN, retired after serving for thirty years on active duty. His duties included a first tour in Patron SEVENTEEN and a return to PATRON SEVENTEEN as the CO. Of note is the fact that his oldest son, now Captain Dennis Schulz, USN served his first tour of duty in Patron SEVENTEEN.  Russ, as a Captain, served as the CO of NAS Willow Grove, CO of Naval Station Philadelphia and CO of the NROTC Unit at the University of Pennsylvania. Once leaving the Navy Russ became the Vice President of the Delaware Valley College, then the Vice President of Spring Garden College, in Philadelphia. Today, he is the Executive Vice President of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pa where he is in the business of teaching Americans About America!--both the young & old!


Russ and his lovely wife Marilyn reside in Doylestown, PA, and are approaching their 47th year of marriage. They have three children, Captain Dennis Schulz who resides in San Diego, son Eric who lives in CoatsvillePA, and Sally Ann who resides in Mount Laurel, NJ.


Contact: Home Phone  (215) 340-9158; Home Fax: (215) 340-6066 Cell (640) 842-4021: Wk  Phone  (610) 933-8825, ext 240; Wk  Fax  (610) 935-0522:  e-mail Wk e-mail Home


Nick & Kim Slobodnyak (1973-76)


The Slobodnyaks



I celebrated the 200th birthday of the United States, July 4, 1976, with VP17 in the Philippines. Shortly after that my enlistment ended, Kim and I headed back to Pittsburgh, where we have been for the past 28 years.


I reentered civilian life as a crane man in a steel mill, a typical beginning for Pittsburgh native.  However, the- mid 70’s was the beginning of the end of those steel mills, so I moved on.  The next 10 years found me at a masonry restoration company followed by a real estate agent, mortgage broker, paid firefighter and a safety officer.  I entered the health field in 1987 as a hospital patient accounts manager, became a revenue analyst and now Director of Managed Care Operations for a hospital revenue recovery firm.


It hasn’t been all work and no play though.  Kim and I have had 3 children; Bonnie born in 1977, Nicole born in 1980, and Scott born in 1981.  They have made us very proud through the years and kept us very busy between church activities, sports, dance, and music functions.  We not only attended these functions, but, many of them we were in charge of. 


As the children were growing, I also went to school full time in the evening while working full time during the day.  In 1991 I received my BS from the University Of Pittsburgh.


Today, things aren’t quite as hectic as they used to be.  I keep myself busy as a volunteer firefighter and have been for the past 25 years.  Kim and I are very active in our church not only in attendance but do much of the cooking there for many functions.  Our children continue making us proud and bringing joy into our lives.  Bonnie has been married for 6 years.  She and her husband Joe have blessed us with two wonderful grandchildren, Nicholas (4 years old) and Madelyn (2 years old).  We are fortunate that they live a short distance from us and we get to see them and regularly.  Nicole is our creative, free spirit.  She and Kim work together in a local dentist office.  She is gifted with a beautiful singing voice and we are able to enjoy her talent as a choir member at our church.  Nicole is active with the young adults at church and has many other things going on that keep her very busy.  Scott now lives in New York and is working on Wall Street at the Bank of New York.  He works in the Global Liquidity Assets Department.  He graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a degree in International Business with a minor in French and in finance.  He still has a strong sense of family and comes home when possible, but for now he is enjoying New York.


Kim and I have been married for 30 years and lived in the same house for 25 years.  Life has been good.  I feel I’ve lived the American dream that isn’t often lived in today’s hectic world.


There have been many times in my life I look back and say.  “What in the Hell was I thinking”.  The same line I have spoken a thousand times during my short four year term in VP-17.  (Mainly at Crew 1 functions).  At the turn of the century, January 1, 2000, as a change of pace for the new millennium, our whole family donned our swimming suits, joined the Polar Bear Club and started the new year by jumping into the Monongahela River at 9:00 am, 21 degrees air temp.  (Wish I had my poopy-suit).  As my son-in-law got ready to jump, he turned to me and said, “Tell my again why I joined this family?”  Our answer to him was “Too late now, JUMP”.  So now when we find ourselves in an awkward situation, guess what we say……..NOPE….wrong answer…..FOLLOW-US!


For over 28 years now I have told many old sea stories and now I can’t wait to relive them with old friends who were there with me.  See you in Pensacola!!


Contact:  102 Wallace Ave, East Pittsburgh, PA 15112;  Tel: (412) 271-5383;




Ger & Kar Spaulding (1972-75)


The Spauldings in Egypt


After VP-17, it was off to the CNO staff for a 6-month stash. Worked on introduction of the F-18 while waiting to attend Defense Intelligence PG School. Upon graduation, became the first pilot ever to be assigned to CTF-157/Pierce-Morgan Associates, the Navy’s worldwide human intelligence organization. When the government decided to cut back on HUMINT activities after the Church Committee hearings, CTF-157 was shut down. Went back to the CNO staff at Intelligence Plot in the Navy Command Center. Worked current intel, USN submarine spec ops and gave daily intel briefs to the CNO and SECNAV.


Caught up with Dick Blake and Joe Sikes at the Naval War College in Newport for the 1978-79 school year. Then it was a taste of East Coast VP in VP-23 in Brunswick, ME, with two deployments to Keflavik. Stayed on in Brunswick as Asst PATWING FIVE ops officer and ASWOC Director. Tour as XO/CO VT-28, Corpus Christi, followed, before returning to Washington to attend ICAF in 1985-6. While there, picked up a masters in public administration from GWU.


Assignment to the Joint Staff was next. Spent three years working the START Treaty in Washington and Geneva and briefing the Joint Chiefs in the “tank.” Selected for attaché duty and began 20 months of training for the ALUSNA Egypt job, which involved flying the C-12C for the Air Force. Retired after two years in Cairo and eventually resettled in Colorado.


On the personal side, Ev and I decided to split up in 1985, as I was heading to Washington and she wanted to live in her little home town of Ramah, CO. She bought an old house there and I took 60 days leave to modernize it for her before going to ICAF. A trial separation became an amicable divorce in 1989 and a year later, Kar and I were married in Washington before heading off to Egypt in ‘91. Sadly, Ev passed away in 1999. The frustrating thing for her—and for all of us—was that she had long since fully recovered from an earlier bout with Hodgin’s Disease and doctors never could pinpoint the cause of her deteriorating health over the last few years of her life. During that period, she took great comfort in raising and showing Shitzus and maintaining regular contact with a number of good friends, including Karen Blake.


On a happier note, in 2011 Kar and I will celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary (click here to see our photo scrapbook).  During that time, she's worked for a defense contractor in Washington, as XO of the VOA in Cairo, for 3Com in Denver and currently for a ritzy outfit called the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs. Son Scott and his daughter Brianna live here; son Brian, his wife Lisa and their daughters Jessica and Julia live in Edmond, OK.


Contact: 2925 Valencia Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80917; tel: (719) 638-5786; e-mail:




Dan & Laura Straus (1972-76)

"Ever seen a grown man naked, Joey?"


After VP-17 I went to Saudi Arabia for seven years to fly for Saudia as no one was hiring in the States.  The best part of that was meeting my current wife Laura, a wonderful lady from Scotland.


From there, I went to Honolulu to work for South Pacific Island Airways. They promptly went out of business.  I moved back to Cal to work for Transamerica. Took them almost a year to go belly up.


My travel agent sent me to Washington DC to work for Presidential Airways.  That actually lasted seven years & I ended up as Director of Training.  From there, I went to work for American Trans Air; 15 years & still going.


Hurricane report:  I'm still above water but it doesn't look too good for Pensacola now.  Actually, I lucked out & had very little damage from the first two storms and it seems that Ivan will only give us a glancing blow.  I'll hope for the best for the reunion.


Contact:  4905 SW 11th Court, Cape Coral, FL 33914; Tel: (239) 540-1882;



In case you haven't seen the "Memory Lane" prose for old P-3 pilots that Dan contributed several months ago, it begins this way:


"For all you old VP pilots out there, how long has it been since we were all young together? Strangers becoming more like brothers than friends. Sharing things that most will never know, building bonds that are stronger than blood.


Rolling down the runway into a formless black night, when land and sky are one. Only the gages point to altitude and life. Or into a hot, still day, dangerously over safe single-engine weight, and lift seems but a theory. ..........."


You can read the rest of it on the VP-17 Bulletin Board, by clicking here.





Ron & Mary Thaut (1973-76)


Ron Thaut in 1973; Ron & Mary in 2005


I retired as a senior chief while attached to VP-31 in December of 78, got divorced, moved to Denver and went to work for the State in their vehicle emissions program. I stayed there five years, remarried and transferred to Arizona. I did another eighteen years here and retired again as an environmental engineer. We now live in Mesa, AZ, and other than the summers being hot as hell we really like it. I keep busy restoring old cars, playing golf, taking my Yorkie for a bike ride every day, and of course doing the old honey dew things around the house. My wife Mary is a paralegal and being that she's some 11 years younger than me, I still have her working. (I need her to support me in the manner I've come accustomed to.) We're into the cruise thing, just got back from Alaska and will be doing another one this Sept up the Eastern seaboard. I still try to fly once in a blue moon, and as a matter of fact my wife got me an hour in a biplane for my birthday. What a blast that was.


I ended up with two kids, Candy 46 and Chris who would have been 42 this year if a 16-year-old hadn't taken his life in an auto accident thirteen years ago. Both had two children so I'm a grandfather but not a great grandfather yet. My wife Mary had a boy Eric from a previous marriage. He's a great kid, 34 single, owns his own house and loves to help me restore old cars.


We will be attending the reunion (can't wait). It will be Mary and myself coming in a day early and leaving at the conclusion.


I don't know about you, but if I had to do it all over again I would have stayed in the Navy for 30 years. I really miss the P-3. ( Can't believe Boeing got the contract for the next generation of ASW aircraft.)


Contact: 1763 South 96th St., Mesa AZ 85209; Tel - (480) 984-8593; e-mail




Lee & May Trotter  (1970-73)


Snuggling by the sea       Stealing Christmas       Holding on at Christmas  


Bio Update (2013)

Since it has been nearly 10 years since my last bio I thought it might be time to do an update.  Still retired and living in central Washington State. However, I continue to stay active. Thankfully I’m still able to get out and go skiing which helps me get through the long cold winter months!  I also returned to flying, which I hadn’t done for about 20 years. Once again current with my private single engine land rating and I have just recently acquired my glider rating.  Turns out I would much rather be soaring than flying powered aircraft any day! Soaring has opened up a whole new world for me!


As of this last year we FINALLY have all of our children out of the house and we now have two guest rooms for any visitors coming our way! May and I are grandparents and loving it.  Currently we have a grandson in the Seattle area and also have a granddaughter on the way here in town. We consider ourselves very fortunate that all of our children and their families reside in Washington State as we get to see them often.


I still have such fond memories of my time with VP-17 and feel very fortunate to have been able to keep in touch with so many of you over the years.  We recently spent Christmas and New Year’s in the Philippines and had a chance to visit Cubi Pt. So many things have changed over the last 40 years, but the old control tower at Cubi is exactly the same. Unfortunately, about the only use the airfield gets anymore is the occasional traffic from flight training in small aircraft.


If any of you are ever out our way, please look us up. The welcome mat is always out for our VP-17 shipmates and we would love to see you!


Contact info remains unchanged.


Original bio update, retained for continuity


After VP-17, I returned home to Washington State and eventually went to work for the local public power company.  I was the Information Technology Support Supervisor at the time of my retirement this last March.  Retired life has been wonderful other than my wife is still teaching school and is a bit jealous.  We are now enjoying the first summer that we both have had off together!


It was 1975 when I met my wife at a wedding in Portland, Oregon.  Little did I know that she had a five year plan as we ended up married in 1980. We have raised three wonderful children together.  Our eldest is soon to graduate from the University or Washington and our youngest is a senior in high school.


I have often commented that the best groups of people that I ever worked with were my shipmates from VP-17.  I do hope to be able to attend one of the future reunions and always look forward to hearing from old friends.


Contact: 1050 Pitcher Canyon Rd., Wenatchee, WA 98801 Tel:  (509) 662-2422 Email:

Web site homepage:





Bill and Grace Tuck (1970-73)



1972 placeholder photo. Current pic to follow.



After leaving VP-17, went to instructor duty at VT-1 in Pensacola flying T-34s. Had a great time. Went from there to Cubi Point where I helped install the first TSC. Spent two long years in Cubi (accompanied).


From there went to the P-3 RAG (VP-31), serving as an IP for a year. Then got the CNAP NATOPS Pilot Evaluator job. What an experience! Spent a year and a half evaluating all the Pacific squadrons. This job convinced me to get out of the Navy. Every single CO called me into his office to lament about what a tough and miserable time he was having as CO due to lack of parts, manpower, support, etc. So I decided why stay in and try for a VP CO job that everyone hated. Left the Navy in Sep 1980 and began a career as a program manager for various defense contractors in the Silicon Valley area. Last job was designing the first all glass (AMLCD) cockpit for the F-22 (the new Air Force stealth fighter). 


Left the Bay area for the sunny skies of Palm Springs in 1997 and absolutely love it. Am presently the Finance Manager at Palm Springs Volvo and reigning Club Champion at my golf club.


On a personal note, Sue and I divorced in 1983. We have two kids, a boy and a girl, both married and doing well.  My daughter has two kids (grandkids are fun ‘cause you get to give them back to their parents when you get tired of them!) I was a confirmed bachelor forever until I met Grace on the golf course in 1999. Got married in 2000 and we’re having a wonderful time.  Bill.


Contact: 19 Avenida Las Palmas, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270; Tel: 760-346-2926; e-mail: (W)  (H)





Bill & Jan Vincent (1971-74)

Placeholder pics - Bill & Jan at 98 reunion



Bill retired after 31 years in the Navy in 1993. Jan was teaching elementary school in Herndon, VA at that time and reluctantly retired when it came time to move to New York where Bill had taken a job as a Program Manager with Lockheed Martin in Owego, NY. Bill worked for LM for ten years and retired in 2003, for the second and presumably last time.


During the last eleven years we have become well entrenched New Yorkers spending the summer on Owasco Lake (one of the Finger Lakes), and "Snow Birding" it to Vestal, New York in the winter, which we use as our base for skiing.  Jan is an active volunteer and Bill is trying to get through a 41 year old Honey Do list. We have five grandchildren, the product of two married sons (Bill and Patrick) and two wonderful daughters in law (Tami and Kari). Unfortunately, the parents have chosen to live in Orlando and St Louis. We therefore travel a lot. Our unmarried son (Larry) is tying the knot this November and is following a Navy career flying helicopters (SH-60Fs). He is currently stationed in Washington, DC and leaves for his command tour in San Diego next June. Samantha, our sole daughter, is in her final year of seminary leading towards ordination as an Episcopal Priest. We are very sorry about missing the 2004 VP-17 Reunion but a shower associated with our son's wedding has created a conflict.  Bill 

This was the only weekend Bill's sister and sister-in-law could host it. We hate to miss the reunion, but this wedding has been a long time in coming and we aren't about to quibble about anything!

Bill has been super about chasing back and forth to Florida with me to help out my parents since his retirement.  They've had a really good run, but are having a very hard time now.  so we've been there a lot as well.

Hope that you all have a wonderful time.  We'll really miss being there.

Love to all,  Jan (2004)




Hi Gerry,

I am embarrassed about not having gotten our info out ! BB shamed me into letting you know! Our daughter adopted a baby last April and after shlepping back and forth to Norfolk several times we decided it would be just easier to move there. We'd lived in our house in Vestal for 24 years so we'd forgotten...... 

We started getting the house ready for the move and getting rid of our "stuff" after Christmas, put it on the market in late February and expected to wait a year or two to sell it. Binghamton is not exactly a booming market! It sold in 20 minutes. We spent about 45 seconds wondering if we had underpriced it and then started looking for a place in Norfolk. We found a cute little rental at Fort Monroe so we had simplified, downsized and made the move by May 4. We love the place ( back to living on a base!), love being near our daughter and family and are avoiding the heat by spending the summer in the finger lakes at our summer house.

People kept telling us that we were used to moves. Well, it had been awhile but it all came back. On the other hand, we were younger and stronger in our moving days and I hated it then. And we had put down deep roots and made good friends so this was hard.

Thanks for bearing with us. We don't want to lose all of you, so please pass this on if you see fit.

Happy summer!

Jan and Bill

Contact:  (temp until mid-Sept 2017) P.O. Box 149, Moravia, NY 13118; (thereafter) 33 Tidball Rd., Fort Monroe, VA 23651;  Tel: (607)-760-2553, (607) 760-4284; e-mail: William L Vincent []




John & Cindy Wise (1972-75)


Ageless pair at the '04 reunion in Atlanta



SQUADRON DUTIES: ASW Attack, Personnel Services, Crew 1 TACCO, Crew 10 Nav, Others I can’t remember.


Cindy, the kids, and I left VP-17 and the Islands in June 1975 and with orders in hand reported to Penn State University for a tour as the Freshman ROTC Instructor. What a change from Hawaii.  Cindy had a hard time adjusting to the cold weather and the abundance of snow and visited the Islands almost every year for a few years.  The ROTC Tour was interesting, I taught shipboard engineering and damage control due to the “Needs of the Navy”.  I also helped with the celestial navigation course, which was very enjoyable. The college atmosphere was fun and the kids, little John and Cindi, loved all of the snow. Cindy went to work at Penn State after the kids settled into school and we both took occasional classes.


After 3 years at Penn State I did my payback tour as an ASWOC debrief officer aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68). The ship was all spit and polish and was underway a lot. I earned my OOD Underway certification while on board. Our last cruise to the Med lead us to the Indian Ocean during the Iranian crisis.  We spend 144 days at sea without a port visit. The failed rescue attempt was launched from Nimitz. Morale was quite high during the prep for the rescue but hit bottom after it failed. We stayed in the tidewater area with a follow-on tour at the Dam Neck training center as the director of the ASWOC Training Center. With 20 years service at the end of the Dam Neck tour, I contemplated retirement, but I really wanted to do another VP tour.


After some discussion with Cindy and an offer of a squadron tour with VP-5, it was off to NAS JAX.  We loved the Jacksonville area and I enjoyed the squadron life. I made Commander shortly after reporting to the squadron. The social life was no match to the great time we had at VP-17 and we didn’t develop a squadron family like we did in Hawaii. I enjoyed flying again though. We made two deployments, one to Rota, Spain and one to Sigonella, Sicily. The kids were just starting high school and so I took a follow-on tour aboard USS Forrestal at Mayport. That tour was much better than I could have imagined. A great group of officers and not so much spit and polish. About this time Cindy started working as an orthodontic assistant and found something she really enjoyed. She soon developed into a first-rate assistant, and continues to work in that area today.


My last tour was a joint service billet at Patrick AFB as the Director of Support for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute. I commuted between Jacksonville and the base at Melbourne FL so the kids could graduate and stay with their friends in Jacksonville. 


I retired from the Navy in 1990. After about six weeks at home under Cindy’s feet, she made me go back to work. I took a position with a company in Atlanta and after much discussion about moving away from the kids, we moved there. Luckily, Cindi and Bryan moved to Atlanta shortly after we did so we have one of our children close by. I worked for Crane Nuclear until I turned 60 in 2004 and retired. I still do contract work a couple times a year for Crane.


John and Cindi started college after H.S. graduation. Cindi received her Associate’s degree before getting married. John moved through several jobs in sales and management before getting on with Anheuser Bush. He finished his degree and is presently the Quality Control Manager at the Jacksonville canning division.


John and his wife, Michelle, have two children, Corey-14 and Summer-11. We visit every 4-6 weeks but John is now being considered for a position in Denver so our visits will be have to be stretched out a little. We are happy for him but secretly hope he decides not to take it.


Cindi followed in her mom’s footsteps and worked in the orthodontics field until she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband, Bryan, have three children, Megan-11, Sarah-8, and Hunter-4. Bryan is out of town a lot with his work and Cindi is very busy running the kids to their activities. They love softball, swimming, camping, and boating.


Our greatest joy at this time in our lives is our five wonderful grandchildren. They take up most of our time and all of our money, and we love it. It’s a good thing grandkids come to us later in life because there is certainly very little time for anything else.


I’m still very active and enjoy walking, working around the house, and playing racketball. Cindy still works in orthodontics and enjoys her patients, adores the grandkids, and redecorates the house every week to keep me off guard.


Contact: 1503 Haven Crest Drive, Powder Springs, GA. 30127; Tel:  (770) 439-7990 Home; (678) 372-9078 Cell; E-Mail:





Jim & Leigh Witherspoon (1974-77)


The Witherspoons



Squadron duties: AW Division, 1st Lt, Pilot Training, Pilot NATOPS.


After leaving VP-17, I instructed in T-28s in Corpus Christi until separating from the Navy at the end of 1978. Flew for Eastern Air Lines (B-727 & DC-9) from 1979 to 1989 when Eastern went under. Rather than starting at the bottom of another seniority list, I changed careers and became a golf professional. Elected to membership of the PGA of America in 1993. Director of Rules & Competitions for the Florida State Golf Association 1994-97. Hired by PGA Tour, Inc in 1997 as rules official on what is now the Champions Tour. In 2008 began a four-year term as the Champions Tour Representative on the USGA Rules of Golf Committee. Officiate at the Masters, US Open, US Senior Open as well as regular Champions Tour schedule. Hobbies are cooking, golf, skeet shooting and pistol shooting.


Live in Memphis with my lovely wife Leigh. Stepdaughters Katie (Furman, class of ’07) and Gardner (Samford, class of 2010) are wonderful Christian girls like their mother. Life is good!


(Leigh and I were married 6 years ago. I was a bachelor while a White Lightning, then was married for 16 years to my first wife. I guess it took me awhile to find the right woman, but, boy, do I have a great wife now!)

P.S. John Noble’s sister Beth is a neighbor and friend. John visits her every year or so. John was one of the best TACCOs in the PACFLT.     


Contact: 75 Pinehurst St, Memphis, TN 38117; Tel: (H) 901-683-0760/(Cell) 904-910-8722; E-Mail:





What to include in your bio update

- Spouse's name

- Years you were in VP-17 (i.e., 1971-74)

- Your assigned duties in VP-17

- What you have done since VP-17

- Your contact info (mailing address, e-mail, phone)

- Current photo of you (and spouse, if applicable)


Click here to e-mail your bio (and photos if able).

If unable to e-mail photos, please snail mail them to:


Ger Spaulding

 2925 Valencia Road

Colorado Springs, CO 80917


 Photos will be scanned, then returned to you.


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