Welcome to the VMF/VMF(aw)/VMFA-115 Reunion Association Homepage

********************

A nice intro to this year's reunion from an Original Joe's Joker...

Greetings to all the Marines and support personnel at the reunion. I regret that I cannot be with you this year at Branson. (Harry) Rawlinson has informed me that he too is unable to attend this year. I do not know if any others from the original squadron in Santa Barbara will be there but I am with you in spirit. Perhaps, Gettysburg would be possible next year if this 93-year-old can still report "present!".

 

I have included a photo taken with Joe Foss at the Santa Barbara reunion. (1993)

 

All the best all.

  

Albert W Brown (Stf Sgt – crew chief for Corsair 260 most of the time in the Pacific theater.)

 

Semper Fi

 

Albert, thanks for the note and sharing your keepsake.  Even though you, and a few others can't be with us in person, we remember your service and are proud to be part of the squadron that you laid the cornerstone for many years ago.  -vm

 

2014 Reunion, October 1 - 4

Branson, MO

VMFA-115 will partner with

 The Marine Air Groups Reunion

 

 

Click Here for Printer Friendly Version

  Grand Plaza's number: 1-800-850-6646.

 Use "MAGVMF" for $84.00 room rates.

Hotel link.

 ********************

Silver Eagles Reunion t-shirts are available through mail delivery.  Available sizes are:  XXL, XL, and L for $25.00 each, with the Silver Eagles Logo on front; on the back our different aircraft on a blue shirt and clouds with Joe’s Jokers in the middle and a banner reading VMF/VMFA Reunion Association on top; VMF/VMFA-115 1943-2013 on bottom.

We also have VMFA-115 caps and Joe’s Jokers VMF-115 caps available for $25.00. 

 

If interested in a shirt or a cap, contact Roben Smith, our Vice-Chairman.  Email:   rsmith13@centurylink.net

********************

********************

  ********************

List of Reunion Attendees, 2003 - Present

 ********************

If you have not been able to attend a reunion we would still like to have your name on our online roster.  E-mail me at vanmac@bellsouth.net and I will add your name to our New Additions Roster. Thanks for your interest in the 115 Reunion Association.

New Additions Roster

  Van McCarty, Administrator

********************

"One Fight, One Team, One Family, One Fifteen"

2013 Deployment to the Middle East

Photos courtesy of CWO2 Kenneth J. Middendorf, Squadron Ordnance Officer

Click here for a story on the homecoming in March 2012.

Click here for a story on the squadron's deployment in August 2011.

Click Here to Read About The Silver Eagles 2009-2010.

You might want to revisit the squadron's history - in short form - from its beginning through 2012.  Click on the link below to see what you missed.

VMFA-115 History 1943-2012

If you want the long version, here is the history book in its entirety covering the years 1943 through the end of 1986.  Cover-to-cover there are 97 pages.  For easier downloading the book has been divided in two parts.

  "A History of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115"

Part 1 - ends with page 40 (the beginning of 1971)

Part 2 - covers 1971 forward

********************

Check out our Challenge Coin!

                                                                                                                            

If you would like to have one, send a $10.00 donation (along with $2.50 postage) to the Association and we'll send it right out.  Please include you name, address, phone number and e-mail along with the years you served with the squadron and your MOS.  Make checks ($12.50) payable to VMFA-115 Reunion Association.  Send it to:

 VMFA-115 Reunion Association

c/o Jim Brady

1314 Somerset Road

Severn, MD 21144-1943

The Association appreciates your support and the coin is truly one-of-a-kind that you'll be proud to own.

********************

VMFA-115 Final Mission over Vietnam, January 27, 1973.

front row, l-r:  Jeep D'errico, CO Hank Ivy, Jay Bibler, Graham Kerr

back row, l-r:  Lee Marsh, Mel Johnson, Harry Lee, Mel Krone

********************

This photo is posted at a Marine Phantom site.  Is it fact or fiction?

 

In 1975 the squadron was stationed at Iwakuni.  According to the history book they were in Cubi Point for carrier-landing qualifications on the Enterprise for two days in March (12th and 13th).  According to former CO Hank Ivy, the last mission flown in Viet Nam was on 27 January 1973, a 4-plane flight around noon near the DMZ.   The following month the Silver Eagles were carrying out combat operations in support  of the Cambodian government, this action continued until mid August, 1973 from the Rose Garden.

So, did anyone witness or hear about the '75 action??  Drop me an e-mail...I'll post your replies here.  Thanks.

vanmac@bellsouth.net

 

Your responses:

Tim Asher writes, "Fiction.  We were in the Philippines."

 

Josh Smith's reply,

"I saw your post on the Silver Eagle website about the action in '75.  My dad Sgt. Mark Smith was there in '75, but unfortunately he passed away in '03.  So I can't ask him.  But, in his Silver Eagles book from '74 - '75 it doesn't mention any combat action from aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.  There are a few pages of photos from the boat det and the jets do not have any ordnance loaded.  They would if they were on combat missions of course.  Too bad I can't just ask him about this stuff anymore.  Here is a photo attached.  Take care."

 

And from Mike Schofield,

We were in fact in the Philippines (Cubi Point) at that time, staying at the wonderful 500 man camp up on Monkey Mountain with out hosts the 3rd MAU. Yeah right, they hated us “Chugga boot rats”.  Little did they know we were working 18 hr shifts due to a structural problem in the tail involving the horizontal stabilizer.  We did in fact have a Detachment aboard the Enterprise, as I believe that is Sgt Poe, 2nd row, 1st on the left. During that time, WE had several Detachments out; as it was the norm, “For the need of the Corps”  Also in port was the Hancock, and Kitty Hawk. The Hawk left first, Leaving the two remaining. It was during this time that an A-6 from the Enterprise; while in port was conducting night mission landings on the field during the night shift. We were manned on the flight line at the very end of the Point. I believe it was called Dungaree Beach.  During those night hops, the A-6 lost power (P-1/P-2 Hyd), both pilots ejected on approach, and crashed into the ordinance/flight support shack killing four Silver Eagles. Two were asleep in their dress greens, waiting for the Freedom bird the next morning. The Enterprise left very shortly following that incident, leaving the Hancock. It was during this time that a Detachment of 115 joined the Enterprise, and I do not think it was for carrier quals, as all were shooting for the Centurion award which is in excess of 100 traps. You could not have done that in a couple of days; unless you were already qualified but just short of that milestone. It was my understanding that we were involved in several operations, to include Koh-Tang Island. It was also my understanding that we were submitted for a PUC. I never saw that one. My purpose of writing this is to help jog someone else’s memory, and endeavor to put this to rest. There was also a SSGT Vern present from the sheet metal shop at the time of the A-6 crash. He was in the head between the two buildings, Sheet metal shop and OP’s, when a piece of the aircraft came to rest in front of the stall he was occupying. Maybe that will help somebody’s memory. SSGT Hooper was in charge of the Metal Shop, and Capt Pickering was fabrication branch OIC.  As I clear my head more, I will update this. The History books contain opinions sometimes, and not facts. I also understand that there was an actual “Cruise book” for the Enterprise detachment. I’ll work on that, I have very few mementos left from those days. The picture depicts an F-4B, and that would be accurate.

Respectively, and yes 38 years later, still in the business, Thank God.

Michael Schofield

NDI Lab / Level III

Fleet Readiness Center S.E. Solomons

Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD.

410-326-2000  x2128 

 

Anthony E. Millard seconds that emotion...

I just want to confirm what Mike Schofield stated,  I was there in 1975 and it happen just as he said.  I was L/Cpl Millard part of S-1 ( Admin.) I was with VMFA 115 from Sept. 1974 – Oct 1975.  Email  address is  amillard001@yahoo.com

 

Carl Bailey's observation...  

I can’t speak of sorties in Saigon in April of 1975 but I was at DaNang on a turnaround crew comprised of Technical representatives and otherwise of all squadrons stationed at Nam Phong – AKA The Rose Garden. Some of the birds returning from sorties up north would swoop in for armament reload, fuel or maintenance. Armament and fuel was performed on hotpad and Charlie’s incoming rockets at these times would raise hair in places I would never have thought of. I was there of the date Col Ivy spoke of and it was get your gear and get on the plane now, we’re out of here! No one slept well the night before. Me and a guy named Freddy Futrell, a Cajun from LA. drew fire watch, it was so quiet that night, we kept expecting zappers to come out of the wood work and or a big rocket attack, after all there was no reason to save them. As the sun finally came up the shit hit the fan! “Rockets Rockets Rockets, Da Nang is under attack”!!! Puff the Magic Dragon really put on a show too, its was still just dark enough to see the tracers. To my knowledge no one on the base was injured. And so it was home to the Rose Garden we went. While our sorties were indeed concentrated in Cambodia there was always talk from reliable sources that some of the sorties were going elsewhere, I can only assume it was Viet Nam. With that said, I don’t doubt one bit the old wooden nickel was lending a hand in support of the pull out in Saigon.

 

Best Regards!

Carl Bailey

bailey2u2@gmail.com

 

A former Missile Tech and Bomb Humper with VMA-214, VMFA-115, VMA-311, VMA-324

 

 

 

Doyle Nicholson's confirmation...

 

Sorry for the delayed response, but, I was the Ops Officer of VMFA 115 when we were in Cubi Point, and we did qual most of the squadron, but not all, and did not participate in combat operations. The F-14's were on there first cruise and were parked on both sides of the deck as we qualified. I spent some time up with the air boss and took some movies of the operation. Also we had two pilots who had gone through Air Force training and this was there first carrier experience.

During the deployment, we lost combat readiness when an A-6 crashed into and destroyed our flight equipment area. Lt. Col Bradshaw was CO, and Maj. Pete Field was the XO.

Doyle Nicholson


 

********************

 

 

 

Speaking of Ordnance, Jerry Hillyer sent this patch.  He thinks it may originated in Iwakuni before the squadron rotated back to Chu Lai in 1967.

 


 

Here now is the exclusive story of how the patch came into being courtesy of Lester Kushner who was in Avionics/Fire Control in 1966-67.

I saw the comment about the origin of this patch, and some thought it was first created in Iwakuni. To my recollection we did this in June 1967 at Chu Lai. I believe Lance Corporal Steven Staas was the primary designer with my assistance. The printing was mine, and some of the design is a collaboration. We had drawings, but to my recollection it was not a patch while I was there. The patch must have come later. None the less here is a copy of the original rendering as we designed it. I can bring it to the next reunion.

Les Kushner
aka "Captain Israel" able to leap tall synagogues in a single bound, faster than a speeding matzo ball, harder than a stale bagel, who is it? Superman? No it's Captain Israel. Our hooch was the Bar Mitzvah.

We clearly had too much tome on our hands. Staas did a comic book based on Captain Israel. We clearly needed distractions. If you could blow up the names on the picture, every one was given a Jewish sounding name. I think Hymie Hollstein and I were the only Jews in that hooch as far I remember. This picture is from Da Nang, but it was replicated in Chu Lai. Please feel free to share this with every one.

Les
 

 

********************

Santa Barbara, 1944.  Joe Foss is standing in front of the down prop.

********************

<<<<< VMF(AW)-115 >>>>>

Click here for the 1959 - 1961 website.

 

 

Here's an interesting fact about the above insignia from Conrad A. "Al" Jorgenson, Colonel, USMC, Retired:

"Thanks for the coin.  I thought you might be interested in the origin of the Silver Eagle design.  I was the S-2 of VMF (aw)115 during the first three years of the F4D period (1957-1959).  Hap Langstaff was skipper (after Flickinger crashed the first Ford to be delivered and Smoke Spanjer was sent to HQMC.  Hap decided we needed a new logo and asked that squadron members submit ideas.  My NCOIC , TSGT N. O. Hall submitted the winning design.  Only he had the diagonal lines going from top right to bottom left.  Someone pointed out that in old heraldry that meant the owner was a bastard.  TSGT Hall changed the stripes and came up with essentially what you have now."

More on the Skyray era is provided in these photos courtesy of Sheila McCallum, the daughter of the late Marine pilot Joseph O. Lynch.

Here are the Able Eagles in 1956 at Mojave, California.

Susan's info on this picture:  “Lt. Col. John S Flickinger and Maj Joseph O. Lynch talking over check out list before Maj Lynch’s 1st hop in R4D-1 #134756 with FIP program aboard NAS Pax River MD” and the date was 2/27/56. Col Flickinger was killed flying this airplane at MCAS El Toro while on approach 5/8/56, he had a flame out.

Here is the newspaper account of Major Lynch's "dead stick" landing which is mentioned on page 26 of the squadron history book.  The date of the incident was July 18, 1956.

 

 

2013 Reunion, November 7-10

Beaufort, SC

Lt. Col. Patrick and the Silver Eagles extended an invitation for us to join them in their celebration of 70 years of continuous active service to the Corps.  VMFA-115 held 3 Main Events surrounding this year’s reunion. On Friday, November 8,  the squadron hosted an Open House at the 115 hangar followed by a Social at the O-Club celebrating our Anniversary.  Saturday the squadron sponsored a Golf Tournament at The Legends Course on Parris Island.  And the reunion weekend wrapped up in style Sunday, Nov. 10, as many of the Alumni joined the Silver Eagles at The VMFA-115 Marine Corps Birthday Ball at The Westin Hilton Head Resort and Spa.  What a great time!  A special thanks to CWO2 Kenneth Middendorf for his diligence and attention to detail as the Point Man for the squadron.  Thanks for tending to all our requests.  And thanks also, to all the Silver Eagle Family for making us feel so welcome.  We admire your service to the Corps and our country and  we really like your squadron a lot!

Here is a collection of photos courtesy of the Public Affairs Office.

click here to see the Open House photos

The Jet Stream published articles about the anniversary and the reunion.

click here to read the Nov. 8 Anniversary story

click here to read the Nov. 15 Reunion story

 

********************

2012 Reunion at Santa Barbara, California.
 

********************

2011 Reunion at Cherry Point

Touring the VMAT-203 Hangar, up-close with the Harriers

 

Our group by the F-4 at Miller's Landing, MCAS, Cherry Point

And at the banquet the following night

And for those who picked up a copy of the air station newspaper, The Windsock, how appropriate to see this item highlighting the VMF-115 Panther jets of yesteryear.

 

And a little keepsake to mark the occasion (thanks to Jim Brady).

At the reunion Smokey Colwell told us that he was in the process of having a customized bike built with a VMFA-115 theme.  Pictured below is the finished product.  Thanks Smokey for such a great display of your Silver Eagle memories.

********************

2010 Reunion, Memphis, Tennessee

 Special thanks to our planners Jim Brady and Lisa Hazeltine for such a fun filled three days.

We debuted the new reunion banner...

We ate Bar-B-Q...

We saw Elvis...

We ate some more Bar-B-Q...

We got to hang with old friends from K-3...

We met new friends from Da Nang and The Rose Garden and a Silver Eagle from the 80's who helped take the Hornets on their first West Pac tour...

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were entertained...

And laughed with one another...

And were proud to carry on the Association's mission...

Sorry you missed us. We'll be doing it again in 2011 at Cherry Point.

Keep in touch and let us know how the Association can better serve you.  

********************

2008 Reunion, Arlington, Virginia

Reunion was held October 9 - 11, 2008 at the DoubleTree Hotel    
Alton, Dorothy Longport, NJ WWII
  (son) Ralph Alton, III    
  (daughter) Donna Sereci    
Beye, Al Clinton, MD Vietnam
  (wife) Loreta    
Brady, Jim Severn, MD Vietnam
Gibson, John Cleveland, NC 75-76
  (wife) Jane    
  (granddaughter)  Kirston Leatherman    
Gill, Jim Robertsdale, AL Korea
  (guest) Joyce Bankester    
Horne, Dave Alexandria, VA Vietnam
  (guest) Barbara Hoar    
McCarty, Van Meridian, MS Vietnam
  (wife) Robin    
  (daughter) Rebecca    
Monihan, Andy Laconia, NH WWII
  (daughter)  Lisa & husband Nate Hazeltine    
Reader, John Mantua, NJ Korea
  (guest) Joyce Gandy    
Sheffe, Chris Milford, DE Vietnam
Sypkens, Don Turney, MO WWII
  (son) Steven Sypkens and wife Cynthia    
Wallestad, Jon Westcliffe, CO Vietnam
Yahner, Ray Eastlake, OH Vietnam
  (wife)  Sue    

Trip to National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico.

Front l-r:  McCarty, Sypkens, Monihan, Yahner.  Back l-r:  Wallestad, Beye, Sheffe, Brady.  Not pictured Gill and Reader.

Our visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum included a private Luncheon and a Guest Speaker for our group.

Here's the crew in the Ready Room, that's John Gibson up front in the green shirt.

Following dinner at the DoubleTree, here the Baker's Dozen for 2008.

Front l-r:  Wallestad, Brady, Alton, Gill

Back l-r:  Sypkens, Gibson, Yahner, McCarty, Sheffe, Monihan, Reader, Horne, Beye

********************

2007 Reunion, San Diego, California

WWII

 l-r:  Brummell, Hodson, Alton, Sypkens

Korea

l-r:  Rogozinski, Uhl, Reader, Gilbert, (Brummell, WWII), Zaccagnino, Gill, Blais

 

Vietnam and Beyond

 l-r, front row:  Wallestad, Street, Gollihur, Horne

back row:Chouinard, Redmon, Takahashi, Ruud, Cannon, Kittrell, ______, Correia, Hagen, Teague

(above photos are courtesy of Emily Teague)

In attendance, but no photo.

George Flores, John Gibson, David Ortiz, Hank Salvatore

 

********************

2006 Reunion, Laconia, New Hampshire

2006 Reunion Attendees

 

Alton, Dottie & Roy (son)

Longport, NJ

WWII

(WM), wife of 115 pilot

Blasko, Bernard & Linda

Whitehall, PA

68-69

Avionics

Brady, James & Elaine

Severn,  MD

71-72-73

Electrician

Carpenter, Jerry & Elaine

Port Allen, LA

67-68 Vietnam

Hydraulics

Chouinard, John & Lisa

Templeton, MA

 71

 p/p mechanic

Egy, Carol Ann

Gulf Breeze, FL, 

friend of the late “Swede” Larson (WWII pilot)

Gibson, John & Jane

Cleveland, NC

2-75 / 3-76

p/p Mechanic Fuel Systems

Gill, Jim & Joyce Bankester

Robertsdale, AL

Korea

Mechanic

Goode, Ken & Vi

Exeter, NH

43-45

 

Hagen, Lynn & Cindy

Watson, MN

66-67 Vietnam

Metal

Hodson, William & Dorothy

w/daughter Patty McDaniels

Brawley, CA

 

WWII

 

Pilot

 

Kennedy, John & Darlene

Warwick, Ri

85, 91

Armorer

Martina, George

Blackhawk, SD

66-67

Metal Shop

Moynihan, Andrew

w/John (son), Lisa & Nate Hazeltine (Daughter & Son in-law), Bonnie & Ed Malin (friends)

Laconia, NH

 

 

WWII

 

 

Mechanic

 

 

Reader, John & Mary Schloss

Mantua, NJ  

Korea 53-54

Plane Captain

Shinkle, Ray & Ann

Grand Island, FL

52-53

Pilot

Sypkens, Don

Turney, MO 

WWII

Mechanic

Teague, Ray & Emily

Oak Leaf, TX

1971

Com/Nav

Tucker, Tom & Helen

Crystal City, MO

51

Ordnance

Uhl, Kenneth

Langhorne, PA

52

Mechanic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Click here for Proclamation from Governor

The Pride and Joy of the Reunion Association.  Our WWII vets in attendance.  They are from left-to-right:  Don Sypkens, Dottie Alton, Andrew Moynihan, Ed Davis (also a WWII Marine, friend of Moynihan) Bill Hodson and Ken Goode.  (photo:  Jim Brady)

 

Part of the group on tour–from left to right:

John Moynihan, Nate Hazeltine, John Kennedy, Jim Gill, Lisa Chouinard, John Chouinard, Jim Brady (on plane), Joyce Bankester, Patty McDaniels, Carol Ann Egy (climbing on plane) Ken Uhl, Dorothy Hodson, John Reader, Bill Hodson, George Martina, Lisa Hazeltine, Andy Moynihan, Dottie Alton, Don Sypkens, Roy Alton and Ed Malin.  (photo:  Jim Brady)

A Special Thanks to John Gibson:

Lisa sends out a special "thank you" to John for bringing his wonderful, large display of airplanes that he has assembled.  Everyone agreed the display was a fantastic addition to the hospitality room.  We appreciate you!

 

********************

 

The 2005 Reunion is now in the history books.  We all had a wonderful time renewing old acquaintances, sampling that famous gulf coast cuisine, and spending time at the National Museum Of Naval Aviation located on board N.A.S. Pensacola.  Look for a recap of activities in the Fall 2005 Newsletter.  Click here for a list of the faithful Attendees. A special thanks to all the family members and friends who accompanied their Marines to our reunion.

 

********************

 

Here is a list of Attendees of the 2004 Reunion which was held in Quantico, VA (Dumfries) in August.  In addition to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, our itinerary included visits to all the war memorials in Washington, D.C., a trip to the new air and space museum (The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center) and a spectacular Sunset Parade at the famous 8th & I Marine Barracks.  We especially enjoyed the company of the 59-61 Group which chose to be a part of this year's reunion.  Details of all the reunion activities are contained in the Fall 2004 Newsletter.  Thanks to our Chairman, Lynn Hagen, for the time and effort in putting the newsletter together for us to enjoy.

 

********************

Here is a list of Attendees of the 2003 Reunion which was held at Beaufort, SC in July. The reunion was held in conjunction with the squadron's 60th anniversary.  The squadron personnel simply overwhelmed us with their open arms and hospitality.  Marines spanning the entire 60 year history were in attendance--from the F4F's of Guadalcanal to the F18A's of Operation Iraqi Freedom and all those other fantastic flying machines in between.

 

******************************


Here's the scoop on recent reunion locations:
 

2013

Beaufort, SC

2012

Santa Barbara, CA

2011

Cherry Point, NC

2010

Memphis, TN

2009

(none)

2008

Washington, DC

2007

San Diego, CA

2006

Laconia, NH

2005

Pensacola, FL

2004

Quantico, VA

2003

Beaufort, SC

2002

Dearborn, MI

2001

Portland, OR

2000

Cherry Point, NC

1999

Biloxi, MS

1998

Seattle, WA

1997

Minneapolis, MN

1996

St. Louis, MO

1995

Philadelphia, PA

1994

Galveston, TX
1993 Santa Barbara, CA
1992 Indianapolis, IN
1991 New Orleans, LA

1990

Memphis, TN w/USS Pocomoke

Click here for Fall 2006 Newsletter

Click here for Spring 2006 Newsletter

Click here for Fall 2005 Newsletter

Click here for Spring 2005 Newsletter

Click here for Fall 2004 Newsletter

Click here for July 2004 Newsletter

Click here for May-June 2004 Newsletter

 Click here for Spring 2004 Newsletter

********************

 

The military.com web site has a VMFA-115 unit page which I also recommend.  It only takes a few minutes to register, and it contains a lot of names and useful information.  Give it a click and see for yourself.

********************************************

PAGES FROM THE PAST

The above photo was taken on December 18, 2000.  Caption:  "Six generations of Silver Eagles commanding officers were present for the VMFA-115 change of command."  (This would have been Lt. Col. Lewis relieving Lt. Col. Walsh).  Names I have so far (left-to-right):  Lewis, Levesque, ????, Holt, Chisum, Walsh.  Any help with the unidentified CO would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks. vanmac@bellsouth.net

Footnote to above picture:

Lt. Col. Tim Holt died on May 29, 2008 after a long battle with cancer.  He was CO of VMFA-115 from 1 June 90 - 14 August 92.  He lived in Beaufort, SC.

 ********************

Ordnance men standing immediately behind sign:

 (l) ?????  (r) Richard M. "Charlie" Brown

personnel in line behind them: (left to right)

Andy Riggle; Major C. W. Heinzerling, Jr., Maint. Officer; Capt. John French, Pilot;  Sgt. Maj. W. F. Sears; J. L. "Jimmye" Jones; Robert C. Greenlee; Lt. Les Amick, RIO; Lt. John Fogg, Pilot & O.I.C. Ordnance Shop; Walley Gordon

on top of Phantom:  J. E. Labor

photo taken ????, ??, 1970

photo and names compliments of Dick Brown who has a journal of his return visit to Chu Lai, along with pictures, posted at www.1stMAW.com under "Chu Lai, Now & Then."

********************

(Dave Horne provided this account of VMFA-115 being redeployed to Da Nang in 1972.  It has more details than you'll find in the squadron's history book.)

VMFA-115 Deployment 1972

26 March

1972 --- In the latter part of March 1972 the North Vietnamese commenced an overt invasion of South Vietnam. On 5 April 1972, the 1st MAW received a warning order from FMFPAC to be prepared to deploy two squadrons to RVN. The decision was made to use the F-4 squadrons of VMFA-115 and VMFA-232 from MAG-15. On the morning of 6 April the 1st MAW received word that JCS had issued an execute order for the deployment of the two tactical squadrons to RVN. Immediate action was taken to stage the two squadrons to NAS Cubi Point to await the execute order from COMSEVENTHFLT. At noon, the first elements of the two squadrons were airborne on their way to NAS Cubi Point.  At 1744 on 6 April the execute order was received from COMSEVENTHFLT and was immediately passed to NAS Cubi Point. The lead element of VMFA-115 arriving just minutes later. This operation to rapidly deploy the two squadrons into Vietnam was marred by the loss of an F-4 on departure from NAF Naha enroute to NAS Cubi Point. Both crew members were lost in the accident.

The total time required for the deployment of MAG-15 (Fwd), with two F-4 squadrons (VMFA-115, w/12 F-4B aircraft and VMFA-232, w/15 F-4J aircraft), along with support elements from H&MS-15 and MABS-15, was just 2 days. The last increment of follow-on cargo to the initial lift arrived on the fourth day. The total lift of MAG-15 (Fwd), including supporting elements, totaled 984 Marines, 2,099,702 lbs of cargo (187,020 cubic feet) amd was provided by the Pacific Command Transportation Management Agency (PATMA), the Military Airlift Command (MAC), and Marine KC-130F (VMGR-152) assets. After COMUSMACV imposed a two day stand down for air crew orientation, the first combat sorties were flown on 9 April. The command element of MAG-15 deployed to RVN with the squadrons was designated as MAG-15 (Fwd).
Operational control of MAG-15 (Fwd) remained with CG, 1st MAW. However, mission direction authority was vested with COMUSMACV's Deputy for Air Operations, the Commander, 7th Air Force. Combat missions were flown primarily in Military Regions one and two (MR-1 and MR-2). Initially onlyvMK-82 "free-fall" bombs were used, but later ordnance load were expanded to include SNAKEYES and ROCKEYES.

These squadrons would move to Nam Phong, Thailand during the summer of 1972.

<<<+>>>

(Dale Martin submits this information on Mike Koehnen.  Mike was responsible for setting up the website for marines who served at the "Rose Garden".  We have been fortunate to have some Rose Garden marines attend our reunions.  You can find their website at www.namphong.com.)

Michael D. Koehnen, 53, of Jamestown, ND passed away on Friday, September 23, 2005 at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota.  Michael was born March 13, 1952, in Jamestown, the son of Aloyis and Jeanette (Balken) Koehnen.  He grew up in Jamestown and attended Saint John’s Academy and Jamestown High School.  He married Sharon Lien of Jamestown on June 21, 1973.  A Vietnam Veteran; Michael proudly and honorably served in the United States Marine Corps from 1970 to 1974.  He later attended Jamestown College. Michael then served with the

Jamestown Fire Department for 18 years, and became City Fire Marshall.  Michael was working for the United States Postal Service at the time of his passing.  Michael was a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Michael made many good friends through his mastery of computers,

technology, and the Internet.  Michael is survived by his wife Sharon (Lien) Koehnen of Jamestown, ND, father Aloyis Koehnen of Peoria, AZ, sister Vicki Novak of Durango, CO, sister Nancy Mosley of Pembroke GA, brother Richard of Chula Vista, CA, sister Andrea Carper of Pueblo, CO, and hundreds of heartbroken Marine Veterans.  He was preceded by his mother Jeanette (Balken) Koehnen.  230 Years of U.S. Marines are calling out "Welcome Home.”  We will sorely miss you Brother.  Rest in Peace.

 

<<<+>>>

Association Member R.J. Renock has set up a "Related Homepage" at military-dot-com's VMFA-115 Unit Page.  He also posted pictures from Chu Lai taken during his 68-69 tour.  Check it out:    http://unitpages.military.com/unitpages/unit.do?id=765203

<<<+>>>

And Don Franklin contributes this link for the Skyray fans...Try this site for F4D-Skyray information and image.  http://www.vectorsite.net/avskyray.html

<<<+>>>

 

********************************************

********************

TAPS

(click on name for obituary)

2014 Alton
2012 Moynihan
2010 Twomey
2009 Sypkens
  Brummell
2008 Teague
  Lynch
2007 Jolly
2006 McGovern
  Maas
2004 Stub
  Hooks

********************

Back to top

 
 
1

1

1

1

1

1