Tailhook 2019: September 5 thru September 8, 2019.



I have a photograph of a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk on Fisherman's Wharf in 1992, close to the USS Pampanito, which I have attached.....
This is definitely one of three A-4A's converted to recruiting tools at NAS Alameda. They carried the nose numbers 500, 501 and 502. 500 carried Bu 142220 ending up at Fighting Classics at Marana. That left two but NAS Jacksonvile and NAS Atlanta also had folding wing A-4A's. Of those, 142180 ended up at the former NAS Wildwood in a very faded Blue Angels scheme. This had no undercarriage and was mounted on a low loader, so we believe that this was not 501. 
Also, it is rumored that at least two of these machines were "bitzers", composite machines built from bits off the scrapyard. The fact that your machine did not carry a proper Bureau number, suggests that this was one of those.
I would suggest you log it as "108634"/501 including the inverted commas, with a c/n as unknown.
Regards, Steve Morley at   Also please contact with any info.


In this case the clue is the hinged vertical stabilizer and what appears to be a hinge fold on the upper wing surface indicating this is one of three A-4As with a folding tail and wings. One was used by recruiters in the Lemoore area and yours may be the one in this photo taken by Martyn Swann in 2011. The BuNo on the tail is 142220 which is an A-4A BuNo and may, or may not, be correct. BuNo 142220 spent a lot of its service time in CA, but was at NAS Memphis when it was dropped from the inventory and there is some information that it ended up at Fighting Classics in Marana, AZ.

Note from Kevin Koby, P.E.: "I remember one (maybe two?) Skyhawk being converted to folding wing on a low boy trailer to be used as recruiting tool when I was stationed at then NAS Memphis by the NATTC. That was in the mid 1970s. The work was done on the south side of the base by the aircraft maintenance department that maintained the aircraft the students trained on."







Today's sentiment:

Here's to old, here's to new.
You may know me, I may know you.
But, for some we've never met,
It's a meeting you won't forget.

A-4's, they say, are Tinker Toys.
They say they're made for little boys.
But, alas, we no longer qualify
For our asses no longer will comply.

So, let's resolve to return and repeat
To gather, do business, drink and eat.
Be you civilian Navy or Marine
Together forever, there is no between.

Association Poet Laureate - "Bear".

NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay Phillipines.


Skyhawk Association's suggested "Plan Of the Day".

[Restricted to old salts and die-hard leathernecks who have clearance from their flight surgeon.]

Original sketch by and courtesy of Hank Caruso


  • 06:00 = Roll-over and go back to sleep

  • 07:00 = Roll out of your rack and take a shower - please! Uniform of the Day is casual (must cover the "personal parts" of your body.)

  • 08:00 = Muster at the coffee shop, consume your breakfast while reviewing the events of the day so far.

  • 11:00 = Report for duty at your favorite aviation shop, museum, or outdoor display. Contemplate what needs to be done to maintain your good standing with the local aviation buffs, and consider an attempt to remember it for future reference.

  • 12:00 = Report to your favorite lunch establishment for coffee, sliders, and ice-cream.

  • 13:00 = Gather again with others interested in aviation for a discussion surrounding the differences of various time-frames in aviation history (the good old days), the merits of various aircraft in various mission scenarios, and the death of the "Happy Hour" as you remember it.

  • 16:00 = Happy Hour, where every attempt is made to resurrect happy hour as you remember it.

  • 18:00 = Report to your resident sick-bay for an attempt to recover from "Happy Hour".

  • 20:00 = Keep trying to recover.

  • 22:00 = Give up on a recovery, and hit the rack.

  • 22:00 to 06:00 = Dream of A-4 Skyhawks, and a OK3.


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