Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). See FAQ/Research/Contact link under [SA] in the menu.
the fifth commanding officer of the VA-163 "Saints."
In May 1965, then-Commander Jenkins led the squadron in its third deployment to the Western Pacific theater and first involvement in combat, which included five extended periods of hazardous flying from Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. Under Jenkins' leadership, the Saints compiled a notable record of successful combat missions, including the first major Navy air strike of the war (led by CDR Jenkins), without loss of a pilot. Then, on 13 November 1965, two weeks prior to the squadron's scheduled date of departure from the combat theater for return to the U.S., Commander Jenkins' A-4 Skyhawk was struck by enemy anti-aircraft fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. With his aircraft damaged and out of control, Jenkins was forced to eject over enemy territory. He was captured by the North Vietnamese and spent almost seven and a half years as a Prisoner of War.
Jenkins term as a POW included barbarous torture and other inhuman treatment, yet his spirit was unbroken. One of his first public statements after his release from captivity in 1973 was a buoyant: "I feel great. When do I get command of a ship?" Promoted to the rank of Captain in absentia while he was a POW, Jenkins subsequently served successful assignments as Commanding Officer of USS Duluth (LPD-6) and as Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five. He retired from active duty in June 1978.
Captain Jenkins loved to fly and, in post-retirement civilian life in Southern California, he spent several years constructing and flying his own experimental private aircraft, a kit-built Ruttan "LongEasy." Jenkins was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and regularly flew his aircraft to the association's convention-air show held each summer at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. On August 2, 1995, while returning from his seventh visit to the Oshkosh event, Captain Jenkins was killed when his LongEasy crashed on take-off from the Prescott, Arizona airport. His memorial service, held in Spreckles Park in his hometown of Coronado, California, was attended by more than 300 of his friends and admirers from around the United States.
02 AUG 1995
Midshipman-Captain Harry T. Jenkins, Jr., USNMany of you know this personable giant-Captain Harry Tarleton Jenkins, Jr. USN, (Ret) died in a private plane crash on 2 August 1995, at Prescott, AZ on a return trip to San Diego from the annual Experimental Aircraft Association convention and air show in Oshkosh, WI. He was flying the experimental Long ESE design he built in his garage in Coronado, CA, over an eight-year period. He had flown this plane for nearly five years before this accident. His aircraft crashed during take-off when the engine lost power due to magneto failure. His son, Chris, a passenger, survived the crash.
Standing in the Hall of Fame at the Pensacola National Museum of Naval Aviation, one is reminded that Harry Jenkins was one of the more highly decorated Flying Midshipmen. He had been awarded four Silver Star Medals, the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Bronze Star Medals, thirteen Air Medals, two Purple Heart Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, several foreign decorations and numerous area and campaign ribbons and medals.
“Jenks” loved to fly and was an aviator’s aviator whose flying career began in biplanes, progressed to jets and continued on with light civil aircraft. Quoting Vice Admiral Jim Stockdale, “Harry was a great man to go to sea with. Morale soared around him. High spirited pilots are more effective pilots. And they like to see their boss in the cockpit, where you could always find Harry.” Captain Wynn Foster, TAILHOOK Association Officer, remarked, “Harry loved to bag traps and he had lots of them. But he was scrupulously fair in insisting that the serious fun of flying off and on the carrier deck was equally spread among the pilots of his squadron. His high-time, high-trap record in the Skyhawk resulted from a double tour as XO when he flew with the “Saints”. As squadron skipper, Harry never asked his pilots to fly missions that he wasn’t ready, willing and able to do himself.
He was born in Washington, D.C. 24 July 1927, and was reared, the oldest of three brothers , in rural Maryland. He enlisted in the Navy in May, 1945, age 17, and attended Newberry College and the University of South Caroling in the V-5 Program. By scrunching down during his physical exam, he just mad the maximum height requirement of 6’4”. He completed his requisite two years of college by the end of August,1946, and progressed through Selective flight training to solo in the Stearman “Yellow Peril” then to Pre-flight at Ottumwa, Iowa, where he became an Aviation Midshipman. Designated a Naval Aviator on 19 Aug 1948, he joined the fleet as a Flying Midshipman and was commissioned Ensign in December, 1948.
In the fleet, he began flying the Martin Maulers (AM) aircraft and subsequently flew Douglas Skyraiders (AD), Vought Corsairs (F4U) and Douglas Skyhawks (A-4) in a career that included 17 shipboard deployments and nearly eight years as a Prisoner-of-War in Vietnam.
Harry served as Maintenance Officer of VA-84; Assistant Maintenance Officer, Fleet Air Service Sq 6; CIC Officer in USS Pont Cruz (CVE 119). Composite Sq ELEVEN training was followed by attendance at U.S. Navy PostGraduate School, Monterey, where he earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. He served as Project Engineer at Naval Air Turbine Test Station then proceeded through replacement pilot training followed by a tour as Administrative and Operations Officer, Carrier Air Group 16. In October, 1962, he became XO, VA-163 and later assumed command of that Squadron in December, 1964.
While serving as CO of VA-163, Harry was shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese and remained a Prisoner-of-War in Hanoi from Nov, 1965 until February, 1973. After repatriation and hospitalization, Captain Jenkins served on the staff of Commander Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet as staff Operations and Plans officer. He assumed command of USS Denver (LPD 9) in July, 1974, and served as CO until September, 1975. He served as Commander, Amp Sq 5 from Jan, 1976 through Jan, 1978. Six months of that time, he was concurrently Commander, Amp Group Eastern Pacific. He retired from active service in June, 1978, ending a 33 year career.
After transitioning from the roomier cockpits of propeller-driven aircraft to the womb-like cockpit of the A-4 Skyhawk, Harry’s long, lanky frame would not fit easily with the canopy closed until he leaned forward with his head tilted slightly to the side. Nonetheless, he loved the diminutive, agile Skyhawk. He was a tough combat pilot, innovative tactician, and was Wing Commander Stockdale’s favorite strike leader during the early 1965 large-scale hits against North Vietnamese industrial and military sites. Harry’s squadron, the Saints, was credited with growing military effectiveness reported at the time in Newsweek and Stars and Stripes articles. Jenkins led the ‘maximum effort’ strike against the oil storage facility at Nam Dihn, 60 miles southeast of Hanoi, and was key leader in the combined attack on Vihn Airfield.
Harry was shot down on 13 Nov 1965, while on his 155th combat mission over North Vietnam. Hew was placed in an adjoining cell to Stockdale’s (who had been shot down 2 months earlier) at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”. He, along with Stockdale, were two of the early senior officers to be captured; they were subjected to especially brutal treatment and systematic torture. After a two-month purge by the Hanoi jailers to uncover the prisoner secret and forbidden communications network, Harry was identified as a ring-leader and moved to solitary confinement along with eleven other non-cooperative prisoner-know later as the “Alcatraz Gang”. During his 87 months as a POW, he spent 46 months in solitary confinement. He remarked that he occupied his time mentally reviewing college courses and books. One of his greatest achievements there was the force-feeding of a comatose fellow prisoner and roommate (and also a former Flying Midshipman) Commander Howard Rutledge. He gave from his own meager rations and kept Rutledge alive in order to see repatriation in 1973.
After a fairly brief period of medical rehabilitation, Harry quickly returned to active service.
Margorie, Harry’s wife, reared their children, was the elementary school librarian where the children attended and carried on without knowledge of Harry’s fate for over six years following the shootdown. Finally the North Vietnamese allowed a six-line postcard, dated November 13, to be mailed. It was delivered to Marge by the postal service on Christmas Eve, 1971.
After his Navy career, Harry and Marge retired to Coronado, CA, where they were active in civic and church organizations. He took a second career with Cubic Corporation. He became a tireless lecturer and inspirational speaker, who never accepted payment for his appearances. He was an advocate for POW/MIA concerns and continued to press for a full accounting. His experiences provided guidance for rethinking the armed forces Code of Conduct and for putting into place more realistic and compassionate guidance for military personnel subjected to systematic torture. Still an avid flyer, Harry built the “Long Eze” 940 pound fiberglass plane-NJ163 (N for Navy, J for Jenkins, and 163 for the Saints) his squadron he proudly commanded when he was shot down and taken prisoner. Harry Jenkins is survived by wife Margorie Fowler Jenkins, three children, Chris, Karen and Kirk and eight grandchildren. Harry was not only a giant in an airplane cockpit, he had a giant sense of humor and was everyone’s friend.
The Aviation Midshipmen LOG
Newsletter of the Flying Midshipmen, Summer 2000
Authored by: Ray Weiss
Provided by Margorie Fowler Jenkins.
Patch courtesy of Wynn Foster collection.
VA-163 SAINTS patch was established on January 31, 1961. It was conceived by ENS Joe Zieman and designed by ADJAN Ernest Jessen and AN John Langlinias, in shades of blue, gray, and gold the patch or Crest of the VA-163 "Saints" depicted the squadron's all-weather, day and night capability to deliver nuclear weapons over land and sea. Ironically, the design carried no hint of the conventional weapons delivery that was to occupy the squadron during half of its active life span.
Harry S. Gann
The Saints -- 1960 to 1971.
Unofficial Squadron Anthem: "When the Saints Go Marching In".
September 1, 1960, Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE - VA-163 was established at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
April 1, 1969, (April Fool's Day), VA-163 was placed on inactive status.
July 1, 1971, Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE was dis-established.
September 1, 1960 - - - - - Naval Air Station Cecil Field
September 26, 1961- - - - - Naval Air Station Lemoore
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
October 3, 1960 - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
March 1964- - - - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk *
4 March 1968- - - - - - - - - - - - Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk
* November 30, 1962
The A4D-2 designation was changed to A-4B
The A4D-5 designation was changed to A-4E
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
Date - - - - - - - - - - - - Tail code - - - - - - - Air Wing
September 1, 1960 - - - - - - AH - - - - - CVG-16 / CVW-16*
March 1, 1968 - - - - - - - - NP - - - - - CVW-21
Departure / Return - Air Wing - Carrier - Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
06-07-62 to 12-17-62 - CVG-16 - CVA 34 - A4D-2 - - WestPac
08-01-63 to 03-10-64 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4B- - - WestPac
04-05-65 to 12-16-65 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
05-26-66 to 11-16-66 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
06-16-67 to 01-31-68 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
07-18-68 to 03-03-69 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
September 1, 1960 - - - - - CDR Jack M. Manherz
September 19, 1961- - - - - CDR Daniel V. Marshall, Jr.
October 14, 1962- - - - - - CDR Merton D. Short
January 22, 1964- - - - - - CDR Jarl J. Diffendorfer
December 30, 1964 - - - - - CDR Harry T. Jenkins, Jr.
November 13, 1965 - - - - - CDR Wynn F. Foster
July 30, 1966 - - - - - - - CDR Ronald H. Caldwell
July 10, 1967 - - - - - - - CDR Bryan W. Compton, Jr.
July 10, 1968 - - - - - - - CDR Elbert D. Lighter.
Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals:
09-05-63 to 09-13-63
11-03-63 to 11-08-63
05-07-65 to 06-02-65
06-10-65 to 07-03-65
09-17-65 to 09-18-65
12-02-68 to 12-04-68
Navy Unit Commendation:
05-10-65 to 12-06-65
06-12-66 to 11-01-66
07-14-67 to 01-12-68
08-01-68 to 02-22-69
Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations:
11-11-65 to 11-12-65
07-06-66 to 07-07-66
10-09-68 to 10-11-68
11-07-68 to 11-08-68
11-10-68 to 11-11-68
11-13-68 to 11-19-68
11-21-68 to 11-26-68
12-21-68 to 12-24-68
12-26-68 to 12-28-68
01-01-69 to 01-03-69
01-07-69 to 01-14-69
01-31-69 to 02-08-69
Vietnam Service Medal
07-04-65 to 07-18-65
08-09-65 to 09-11-65
09-30-65 to 10-19-65
10-28-65 to 11-27-65
06-29-66 to 07-29-66
08-06-66 to 09-08-66
09-23-66 to 10-26-66
07-13-67 to 08-08-67
08-17-67 to 09-30-67
10-04-67 to 11-03-67
11-19-67 to 12-17-67
12-30-67 to 01-13-68
08-21-68 to 09-04-68
09-13-68 to 10-15-68
10-23-68 to 11-28-68
12-20-68 to 01-15-69
01-29-69 to 02-10-69
During the Saint's four Vietnam War combat deployments, VA-163 was awarded;
six Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals,
three Navy Unit Commendations,
22 Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations, and
17 Vietnam Service Medals
September 1, 1961: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE was established at Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Florida, moved cross-country to its new home base at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. The Saints were assigned the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk
December 6, 1961: Lt(jg). Henry E. Kramer ejected uninjured from A4D-2 BuNo 144879, 6 miles west of NAS Lemoore
June 7, 1962: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE deployed on board the United States Ship Oriskany CVA-34, for thier first WestPac cruise (06-07-62 to 12-17-62), flying the A4D-2 Skyhawk.
August 22, 1962: Lt(jg). Alva E. Kemmer perished when his A4D-2 BuNo 144883 developed engine trouble in the western Pacific
December 16, 1962: VA-163 participated in a massive fire power demonstration in honor of a visit by President John F. Kennedy to the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California.
August 8, 1963: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE deployed on board the United States Ship Oriskany CVA-34, for their second WestPac cruise (08-01-63 to 03-10-64), flying the A-4B Skyhawk.
September 10, 1963
November 1963: Deployed to WestPac on board the Oriskany, the Saints operated in the South China Sea during the governmental crisis that saw the overthrow of South Vietnam President Diem.
January 13, 1964: Ens. D.B. Small was rescued when VA-163 A-4B BuNo 144982/314 rolled off the starboard side of the flight deck forward of the island into the sea at latitude 27-54N and longitude 134-56E at 1028. Helicopter and USS Phillip (DD-498) commenced search for pilot. Recovery helicopter with rescued pilot onboard at 1035.
March 1964: The Saints were assigned the Douglas A-4E Skyhawk
April 5, 1965: The Saints departed San Diego on board United States Ship Oriskany CVA 34, for third WestPac cruise and its first combat deployment (04-05-65 to 12-16-65) in the Vietnam War.
June 1965: Commander H. T. Jenkins, VA-163 Skipper, led the first major strike of the war in Skyhawks against the Dam Dinh, North Vietnam POL storage facility.
July 18, 1965: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151089 was lost in an operational accident. The pilot, LT Malcom Arthur Avore was killed.
September 9, 1965: CDR (later VADM) James B. Stockdale, Commander Air Wing 16, was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire while flying with VA-163 in A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151134 AH 352 on a combat mission over North Vietnam. Stockdale spent 7+ years as a Prisoner Of War until his release in early 1973.
November 7, 1965: Lieutenant Commander Charles G. Wack was awarded the Silver Star for leading a strike against Surface to Air Missile sites south of Nam Dinh, North Vietnam. All though his Skyhawk was badly damaged by antiaircraft fire he pressed his attack and successfully completed his mission before being forced to eject from his A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150071 AH 343 when it caught fire. Commander Wack's ejection was successful and he was recovered.
November 13, 1965: Commander Harry Jenkins, the Saint's commanding officer, was shot down in A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151067 AH 340 by enemy anti-aircraft fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. Jenkins spent 7+ years as a Prisoner of War. Commander Jenkins was released in February 1973.
November 17, 1965: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151083 AH 350 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Commander Roy H. "Hap" Bowling was Killed In Action.
Late March-Early April 1966: VA-163 A-4E AH/3xx Crashed on bombing range Chocolate Mountains, CA during simulated Alpha strike from Oriskany. Dan Kapner killed.
May 26, 1966: The VA-163 Saints departed San Diego on board United States Ship Oriskany CVA 34, for fourth WestPac cruise and its second combat deployment (05-26-66 to 11-16-6) in the Vietnam War.
June 10, 1966: LCdr John I. Miles ejected from A-4E BuNo 151085 en-route from NAS Cubi Point to Vietnam - engine fire following refuel.
July 23, 1966: Commander Wynn F. Foster, the Saint's commanding officer, was personally hit by antiaircraft fire over Vinh, North Vietnam; Commander Foster suffered the loss of his right arm. Using only his left hand, Commander Foster piloted his crippled Skyhawk to sea and ejected, where personnel of the United States Ship Reeves (DLG-24) rescued him. Commander Foster was awarded the Silver Star for his actions.
August 27, 1966: Ens. B.T. Wood ejected safely when A-4E BuNo 152093 crashed into the sea bearing 350T 15 miles from Oriskany at 0510. Helicopter #47 launched to search for pilot at 0511. Helicopter #47 recovered downed pilot and returned to ship at 0611. USS Oriskany deck log - 27 August 1966.
October 23, 1966: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150072 was lost in an operational accident. The pilot was recovered.
October 26, 1966: A major fire, resulting from miss-handling of a Mk-24 illumination flare, occurred on-board United States Ship Oriskany while the ship was conducting strike operations from Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf. Forty-four men lost their lives, including twenty-four Air Wing pilots. Four VA-163 pilots; Lieutenant Commander Clem Morisette, Lieutenant Dale Miller, Lieutenant Junior Grade Tom Spitzer and Lieutenant Junior Grade Ron Tardio were casualties of the fire. Several squadron personnel received meritorious awards for heroic actions during the fire. VA-163 A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151075 was lost in the fire. Oriskany was withdrawn from combat and returned to the United States in November.
June 26, 1967: After Oriskany's damages were repaired, the VA-163 Saints deployed with their A-4E Skyhawks for their fifth WestPac cruise and third Vietnam War combat deployment cruise (06-16-67 to 01-31-68) as part of Air Wing 16. This cruise provided heavy combat losses -- between June and January Oriskany lost twenty pilots either MIA or KIA.
July 12, 1967: Lt. D.M. Wood ejected safely from A-4E BuNo 150102 when it crashed off the starboard bow (bad cat shot) at latitude 17-39N and longitude 116-10E and sank in 2,150 fathoms of water at 1002. Pilot was picked up by helo in good condition. USS Oriskany deck log, 12 July 1967.
July 17, 1967: Lieutenant Commander Marvin Reynolds earned the Navy Cross for leading and coordinating a dangerous, complex, and successful rescue of a pilot downed in North Vietnam.
July 20, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150097 AH 312 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant R. W. Kuhl successfully ejected and was recovered.
July 25, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149961 AH 304 was shot down by small arms fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Commander Donald V. Davis was Killed in Action.
August 4, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150052 AH 313 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. No one in his flight saw a parachute. The pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade Ralph C. Bisz did not survive.
August 21, 1967: Squadron Commander, CDR Bryan Compton, and LCDR James Busey earned Navy Crosses for leadership and coordination skills in an attack strike over North Vietnam that resulted in destruction of the Hanoi thermal power plant.
August 31, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 152058 AH 315 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade David J. Carey successfully ejected and was captured and made Prisoner of War.
August 31, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149975 AH 310 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Commander H. A. Stafford successfully ejected and was captured and made Prisoner of War.
September 10, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150047 was lost in an operational accident. The pilot was recovered.
October 20, 1967: Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Denny Earl, with both legs shattered by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire, successfully lands his A-4 "Skyhawk" attack plane aboard the Oriskany in the Gulf of Tonkin.
October 22, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150116 AH 306 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade James E. Dooley was Killed in Action.
October 24, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149963 AH 311 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade R. A. Foulks successfully ejected and was recovered.
October 25, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150086 AH 315 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant J. M. Krommenhoek is Missing in Action.
October 26, 1967: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149959 AH 300 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain III, successfully ejected and was made Prisoner of War.
January 5, 1968: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150131 AH 303 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade R. E. "Skip" Foulks was Killed in Action.
1967 tour summary: The 1967 Oriskany deployment subjected Air Wing 16 pilots to some of the heaviest air-to-ground combat that occurred during the Vietnam War. The VA-163 Saints lost eight pilots.
Thesis by LCDR Peter Fey U.S.N. on events JUN 1967 to JAN 1968. Members see the Ready Room. The "Military Channel" has aired a program that covers the actions of the USS Oriskany during the above time frame. It is titled "Hugging the Deck".
July 18, 1968: The VA-163 Saints deployed with their A-4E Skyhawks for their sixth and final WestPac cruise and their fourth Vietnam War combat deployment (07-18-68 to 03-03-69), as part of Air Wing 21 on board United States Ship Hancock CVA-19.
July 25, 1968 LCDR William Rodney Rankin was killed when after a successful catapult launch from the USS Hancock his Skyhawk descended and crashed into the water.
April 1, 1969(April Fool's Day): VA-163 was placed on in-active status.
July 1, 1971: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE - was dis-established.
1960-61: "While stationed at Cherry Point NC with VMGR 252, somehow I picked up a couple of photos, one is of an A-4 nose number 301 with the name Jack Manherz on the side. On the back it says Hank Kramer in the shot with "Ace" Kemmer." Lt.Col. Mitchell Bell
18 FEB 1961: Saints Skyhawk AH-302 draws a crowd of Boy Scouts. Joe Zieman is doing the emergency flare demonstration. Ed Copher.
13MAR61: Saint XO Bert Creighton's bicycle-built-for-two which he occasionly rode to the Cecil Field hanger. BuNo 142136, AH-301, is CO Manherz's plane. Note CAG-16 tail flash, but 163 insignia decals had not arrived. VA-163 Ordnance shack in background. Joe Ziemian on rear seat. Photo from Joe Ziemian.
06JUN61: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 142136, AH-301, parked on the ramp next to a Curtiss Pusher prop replica. Photo from Ed Copher.
06JUN61: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 144914, AH-304, next to a Dam Buster from the RAF Vulcan Bomber 617 Squadron at the 50th Anniversary of Naval Aviation demonstrating the biggest and smallest delta wing nuclear capable bombers. Naval Aviation News Photo via Ed Copher.
22AUG61: Skyhawk AH-311 draws a crowd as the Saints host the Boys Ranch members. Joe Zieman at right and plane captain kneeling at the top of the ladder. Ed Copher.
FEB62: The Saints in February, 1962. (image date of 08feb61 incorrect?) Picture of Initial Compliment of 163 pilots. Photo taken NAS Lemoore. To arrive yet were Bill McGowen, Spear, Hewitt, Northwang, and Daniels in time for 1st West Pac deployment in June 62. Pilots dressed in Survival & Safety gear as required by BUAER. Picture compliments of Joe Ziemian.
VA-163 Saints say goodby to one of their own. Photo from Joe Ziemian.
1962-63: BuNo.142128. Navy photo via Tom Bispo.
Circa 1962: VA-163 BuNo 142827, AH-305; VA-163 AH-304; VA-163 BuNo 142139 and VA-164 BuNo 144904. Aboard the U.S.S. Oriskany during a WestPac Cruise. From Lt.Col. Mitchell Bell.
07JUN63: VA-163 A-4Bs weapons drop, Sept. 28, 1964 at China Lake. Photo U.S. Navy from Gary Verver Collection.
07JUN63: VA-163 A-4Bs weapons demo for President JFK at China Lake, Jun 7, 1963. Photo U.S. Navy from Gary Verver Collection.
07JUN63: 2nd shot of VA-163 A-4Bs weapons demo for President JFK at China Lake, Jun 7, 1963. Photo U.S. Navy from Gary Verver Collection.
1964: Saints Skyhawk formation trails Skywarrior BuNo 138959, ZB-10. From the top BuNo 142914, AH-307, BuNo 144914, AH-304, BuNo 142917, AH-301, BuNo 142775, AH-305 and BuNo 142826, AH-306. Naval Aviation News Photo.
1965: VA-163 Pilots during the 1965 cruise. Tom Herold.
09SEP65: VA-163,BuNo 151134, AH352, was lost in Viet Nam when CDR James B. Stockdale was shot down and taken prisoner on 09 SEP 1965.
1965: VA-163 White Hats during the 1965 cruise. Tom Herold.
On the ramp at Lemoore, BuNo 151074, AH-343, AH-349, and BuNo 151134. All "Saints".
BuNo 151074, AH-343, starting up on the ramp at Lemoore. Name under canopy is LCDR HAP Bowling, and Plane Captain name is Smith.
Final Check before taxing out at NAS Lemoore in BuNo 151065, AH-341, is VA-163 C.O. CDR Harry T. Jenkins, Jr.
BuNo 151065, AH-341, of VA-163 receiving maintenance at Lemoore. T. Prezorski (right) was killed when he was blown overboard during the up-coming WestPac on the Oriskany, CVA-34.
1965: L to R: unknown, BuNo 151055, AH-351, AH-345, AH-346, and AH-35x. AH-351 is having external power removed after start-up. CVA-34, U.S.S. Oriskany, is in the Tonkin Gulf.
1965: BuNo 151067, VA-163 AH-340, is the "CAG"s bird when he flies with VA-163. Under the canopy, CDR Jim Stockdale (007), and Plane Captain Yaxxess (?).
1965:Preflight of a VA-163 A-4E, in the Tonkin Gulf. Pilot J. Shore checking the dumb bombs with an AO.
From "Vulture's Row", a good shot of a skyhawk in the landing pattern. Note the "Plane Guard" escort following CVA-34, ready to pick up anyone that goes for a swim.
1966: CDR Foster leading a formation of Saints Skyhawks.
1966: A VA-164 A-4E over the ramp of CVA-34. Pictures from Wayne Cypress.
1966: BuNo 151134, AH-352, BuNo 151055, AH-351 and BuNo 151086, AH-345. U.S. Navy photo via Tom Herold.
VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-343 ready for launch. U.S. Navy via Tom Bispo.
VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-348 assigned to LT Dick Tulley on the cat. U.S. Navy via Tom Bispo.
1967: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 150116, AH-306, parked on the ramp. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
Pre-23JUL66: Believed to be BuNo 152100, the last A-4E built, this Skyhawk is about to trap. On 23 JUL 1966 BuNo 152100, AH-301, was lost when VA-163 C.O. Wynn Foster was struck by AAA over Vietnam, injuring him and damaging the aircraft. Foster, his right arm severely damaged, made it "feet-wet" and punched out. BuNo 152100 went to a waterly grave and Foster, with the loss of his right arm, changed his call-sign to "Captain Hook".
VA-163 A-4E BuNo 152100 flown by Commander Wynn Foster, the CO of the squadron. It was the last A-4E off the production line. Commmander Foster was flying it when it was later bagged by "AAA". BuNo 152100 went deep six in the Gulf of Tonkin on July 23, 1966; after Commander Foster was forced to eject due to the lose of his right arm. Photo from Wynn "Captain Hook" Foster.
Captain Hook was a major player in the formation and growth of the Skyhawk Association. A "Plank Owner", he contributed in many areas, his most visible contribution being the "Skyhawks on Display" page. Here is Wynn Foster leading a flight. BuNo 152100. NOTAM 5-2013 (Wynn Foster)
Captain Wynn F. Foster, USN (Ret), Golden Eagle Emeritus:
CAPT Wynn F. Foster was a gentleman of the first order, a man who never complained about his fate, a man determined to serve his country as long as he was able, and a man to whom the honorable way was never out of focus. We have lost another member of the Greatest Generation. He will be missed. In sadness, Fred Lewis-Pilot.
Captain Wynn F. Foster, USN: Dec. 6, 1926 - June 9, 2013.
OCT66: BuNo 149998, AH-310, with port wingtip damage after an arrested wheels-up landing. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
26OCT6: U.S.S. Oriskany burns. Photo from Tom Herold, VA-163 White Hat.
26 OCT 1966: VA-163 Saints Skyhawks in the aftermath of the 1966 fire. U.S. Navy via Tom Bispo.
26 OCT 1966: Heavily damaged VA-163 Saints and VA-164 Ghostriders A-4E Skyhawks including AH-316, AH-404, AH-405 and AH-415 after a tragic fire on board the Oriskany. Also visible are a VA-52 Aces A-1H Skyraider and VF-162 Hunters F-8E Crusader AH-200.
Scorched VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-306 at O&R in the aftermath of the 1966 fire.
Scorched VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-306 at O&R in the aftermath of the 1966 fire.
1967: USS Oriskany (CVA-34) enroute to the western pacific with aircraft from CVW-16 (AH) including VF-111 Sundowners F-8C Crusaders, VF-162 Hunters F-8E Crusaders, VA-163 Saints A-4E Skyhawks, VA-164 Ghost Riders A-4E Skyhawks, VA-152 Fighting Aces A-1H/J Skyraiders, VAH-4 Fourrunners Det. 34 KA-3B Skywarriors, VFP-63 Eyes of the Fleet Det. 34 RF-8G Crusaders, VAW-111 Early Elevens E-1B Trackers and HC-1 Fleet Angels Det. G UH-2A/B Seasprites, 23 June 1967.
20OCT67: LTJG Denny Earl, with both legs shattered by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire, engages the barricade as he lands Saints Skyhawk BuNo 149959, AH-300, aboard the Oriskany. a href="/sites/default/files/images-buno-149647-150600/149959b.jpg">Pic2. U.S. Navy Photo by PHC Neal Crowe. U.S. Navy photos via "Boom" Powell.
AUG68: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 14997x, NP-302, lands in the barricade aboard the Hanna.
Saints Skyhawk BuNo 14997x, NP-302, following a landing into the barricade aboard the Hanna.
Circa 1967: VA-163 A-4E BuNo 149998, AH-310, and VA-152 A-1H Skyraider BuNo 137610, AH-513, from USS Oriskany (CVW-16) fly close together during an air strike somewhere over North Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Bob Lawson.
VA-163 A-4B BuNo 142917, AH-301, in formation with a VAH-4 A-3A Skywarrior BuNo 138959, ZB-10, from USS Oriskany (CV-31). Photo courtesy of Bob Lawson.
1968: The maintenance/material control department of VA-163 aboard CVA-19, the USS Hancock. "Left to right they are; AK1 Pippin, AZ2 Carter, AN Harman, ADTC Hall, AMCS Gallaher, AZ1 Wheeler and AZ3 Bedgood. My picture mentions that AZ3 Blythe was absent from the picture. I was assigned to the Saints in September of 1967 after San Diego boot camp, marriage and “A” school in Millington, Tennessee. The squadron was deployed on the USS Oriskany and I was flown to Cubi point where I initially was billeted in the transient barracks. Once the squadron “found” me I was assigned to the beach detachment until the ship returned to Subic Bay and picked-up the detachment in route to Hong Kong and then San Francisco. I had nice accommodations; I think they had to come down to our space to check the black oil and we had two fire alarms on the way to Hong Kong!! (a lot of “Z” fittings to get out of there)
1968: VA-164s (red boomerang) birds are on the port and you’ll note that they all have the electronics hump behind the cockpit. "This picture of the Hancock shows me with my arms stretched out over my head between the 2nd and 3rd A4 on the starboard bow." Donald Franklin Bedgood VA-163.
1968: Newspaper Clipping from April 1968 of the "Saints". Provided by Ed Copher.
A "zoom in" shot of "163". Larry Neff, with the white 'T' shirt on, is shown standing just left of the nose of the left aircraft. Provided by Ed Copher.
14JAN69: VA-163 A-4E Skyhawk January 14, 1969. This is probably the last A-4E of VA-163 to visit Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan. A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149982, side number NP-314, from the United States Ship Hancock, approaches touchdown at Atsugi. Please notice the open speedbrake. The wingman, (not in picture), was flying A-4E BuNo. 150026, side number NP-305. Photograph by and courtesy of Masaaki Hayakawa.
VA-163 A-4E Skyhawk at Pensacola. BuNo 149656 hangs in the Pensacola Museum dressed in VA-163 colors. She did not actually serve with VA-163, spending most of her time at the Navy Fighter Weapons School at NAS Miramar. Photo by John Shore.
Jim Taylor Memorial: ..we put Jim away in a style fitting for a Sailor, Officer and Gentleman. The proceedings were a short service at the Southern Nevada Veterans Cemetery, then a reception ..... Ed Chadwick, Bill Tomko, John Weber, Fred Mitchell and myself in attendance. A number of stories were told of happenings in Jim’s life. The family was appreciative of our support.... a few photos below in the attachment section of the family, Life Celebration Program and VA -163 Saints. Wife Judy, son Gary and daughter Mary Anne. Hubert Cook.
Former Saint, Bill Tomko, has provided images of the Oriskany cruise during 1965. See the attachment section at the bottom of the page, and also the photo section.
2003 VISIT TO NAS LEMOORE: Mister Ed (Ed Copher, VA-163 SDO) On Veterans Day , I spent the night at the Navy Lodge on Lemoore. The whole Base is practically brand new. Base housing is one year old, made of stucco and has red tile roofs….very elegant looking. The Navy Lodge is three years old and very nice rooms with full kitchens…..it won an award as the best in the Navy last year .
Off Duty shots of Art Janson and shipmates, 1962: Off duty Pic1; Off duty Pic2; a href="/sites/default/files/images-people/fuller-hanson-steck-oct62-hawaii2_copher.jpg" width="900">Off duty Pic3; Off duty Pic4; Off duty Pic5; Off duty Pic6. Images from Wayne Cypress via Ed Copher upon the death of Art Hanson.
1966: The long straight street on the left side is "Palm Street" on North Island, and leads SE away from the Carriers CVA-64 and CVA-34.
VA 163/VA-164 Reunion in Pensacola Nov 16/17/18, 2007
Saints Reunion 2014: Hello Saints! We just want to say what a wonderful time we had at the Saints Reunion 2014! We had 38 Saints in attendance plus some wives and friends. We had an opportunity to visit with our lone remaining Saints Commanding Officer, Skipper Bryan Compton and that was a treat.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit