the assorted works of G. H. Spaulding




In Memoriam

In memory of our departed friends:



                    Guy Rettig            Greg Bushnell    Foggy Bob Brooks Jim Patterson     Janice Ketchum



        Sid Hanisee        Jim Carter        Ev Spaulding       Betsy Traub       Jean Schrager



            Bill Blase         "Hoot" Gibson       Leroy Wood         Leo Dete      Chuck Embach 



Dave & Betty Jo Heath               Kent Link          Lynne Byars




I just read the obituary of "Oak" Osborn and thought that you would want to read it as well.


V/R    ATC John W. Hood, VP-17 Plank Owner for transitioning to P3A "Deltics" from NAS Moffett to Barbers Point, HI.



Oakley E. Osborn

Rear Admiral,  USN (Ret.)


Rear Admiral "Oak" Osborn passed away on 24 June 2015 in Denver, CO. He was born on 25 October 1933 on his family's farm near Dalton, NE to Ernest Easter Osborn and Lily Jorgenson Osborn. Following graduation from Colorado State University in 1955 with a degree in General Agriculture, he volunteered for Aviation Officer Candidate School and earned his wings as a Naval Aviator in 1957. Returning briefly to Nebraska to marry Catherine Heaton, Oak embarked on a 32-year naval career that led him and Cathy on adventures around the world. Beginning his career flying the Navy's P-2V Neptune, Oak was one of the first pilots to transition to the new P-3 Orion in 1963. In the mid-1960s he served on the staffs of Commander Anti-Submarine Warfare Group Five and Commander Patrol Force Seventh Fleet. He earned a Masters Degree in Personnel Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, and was a student at the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. In the 1970's he served in numerous capacities on the Chief of Naval Operations staff in the Pentagon including as Anti-Submarine Warfare readiness and training officer, and executive assistant to the Director of Anti-Submarine Warfare and Ocean Surveillance. He served in three patrol and anti-submarine squadrons before commanding Patrol Squadron Forty (VP-40) at Moffett Field, CA and Patrol Wing Five (CPW-5) at Brunswick, ME. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1981, the first graduate of Aviation Officer Candidate School to achieve flag rank in the Navy. Flag tours included Deputy Director for Operations in the National Military Command Center; Commander Patrol Wings Pacific Fleet; and Deputy Director, Defense Mapping Agency. After retirement from the Navy in 1988, Oak worked for Blue Marble Geographics, DeLorme Mapping, and Martin Marietta Corporation; and volunteered for numerous non-profit and charity organizations. He and Cathy traveled extensively and enjoyed the company of their children and grandchildren while seasonally commuting between Winthrop, ME and Dade City, FL. Oak was a dedicated fitness nut, kayaking or bicycling daily. It was only after multiple hip surgeries that he reluctantly gave up his two-wheeled razor scooter. As the consummate do-it-yourself guy, conditioned from early years on the farm, Oak maintained a meticulously organized collection of tools and spare parts that he could somehow cobble together to fix anything. Following Cathy's death in 2010, Oak relocated his winter quarters to Stevensville, MD where he resided with son Brian and daughter-in-law Carrie who had renovated an apartment attached to their home just for Grandpa. At his beloved summer home in Winthrop, Oak enjoyed hosting visits by his children and grandchildren, maintaining the cottage, volunteering, and socializing with his many friends and neighbors. Oak is survived by sons Bradley, Brian and Thomas; daughter Sarah; six granddaughters; and five grandsons. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Catherine Heaton Osborn of Sidney, NE. He will be interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery alongside Cathy in 2016.




No photo available

Neil Crabtree (FE, 1969-1972; died Sept 2000)

Cornell Lunzman (AW, Crew 5, 1969-72 ??; died March 2004)




Iím Not There


Robert Hepburn



Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.


When you awake

in the morningís hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circling flight,

I am the soft stars

that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die.





A poem by

Bishop Brent
1862 - 1926
I am standing on the sea shore,
A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says:
"She is gone."
Gone! Where?
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone",
There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes"
- and that is dying.  A horizon and just the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, Oh Lord, that we may see further.






Return to VP-17


Welcome Aboard


And now available in Kindle format...


Short Stories



"The Doolittle Raid: How America Responded to the Sneak Attack on Pearl Harbor"

The Mission That Saved Guadalcanal

"Enigmatic Man"

 "Ticket to Stalag Luft III"

DECREE Chapter 1


"Inaugural Ball"
"Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges"
"Coffee at the White House"

"Toss Up" "Waddlethromp" "Zero-g"

About the Author

Photo Scrapbook
















For What It's Worth