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Blue February

Blue February

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Blue February

64 pagine
1 ora
Jul 13, 2015


Many people do not realize how much sacrifice our military members dedicate to protect America from our enemies. This is just as true today as it was in 1958 when I was a lieutenant junior grade in the U S Navy assigned to USS Bon Homme Richard, CVA 31, and flying in the western pacific as an all-weather attack element of the 7th fleet. I woke up most mornings on the eight month cruise wondering if this would be the last day of my life. This is based on a true story but the names and certain incidents have been changed.
Aircraft carriers are part of America’s strategy of massive retaliation designed to prevent nuclear war. VAAW 35 is one squadron assigned to every carrier whose duty it was to deliver atomic bombs against enemy targets if the president makes the decision to enter a nuclear war.
Ltjg Smith and the Smith Crew are chosen to fly the first nuclear attack in World War III. This book describes the fictional briefing, launch and surprise attack from a low altitude bombing maneuver. The weapon carried by this single engine AD5N Skyraider is five times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima to end World War II. This bomb is designed to be delivered by a low altitude bombing system which starts the bomb run at 100 feet to carry out a surprise attack. Delivery of an atom bomb in a prop plane from 100 feet is pretty dangerous.
This and many other hazardous, even fatal incidents, are described as Det Echo pursues its duties in WestPac. Duty, fear, courage, separation from home and family, danger, and patriotism are all themes described in Blue February, a particularly rough month for the Smith Crew and their shipmates. Once you start, you won’t put it down.

Jul 13, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Bobby Everett Smith www.bobsmithsblog.comBobby Everett Smith is an American author of fiction and non-fiction essays, short stories and novels, and the publisher of the blog and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, Smith earned a degree in Economics from Rice University and an MBA from the University of Washington. Primarily during the Cold War, he served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy. His tours in East and Southeast Asia are inspiration for many of his works, taking the reader vicariously along for his adventurous rides, launched from aircraft carriers in the 7th Fleet.Fueled by his own leadership experiences in the U.S. Navy and the private sector, Smith has become passionate and knowledgeable about our nation’s leaders. In nearly a dozen summaries of great presidential biographies, he examines the lives, achievements and legacies of these important political figures.Smith’s most recent novel, Lida Murry Smith, was inspired by his own family history. Set in the backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement, it traces the arduous and courageous 1905 fictional journey of the Smith family from their farm in Missouri, through the Indian Territories and Oklahoma to a new farm in Texas.For access to these and other works of Bobby Everett Smith, visit:

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Blue February - Bobby Everett Smith

Blue February

By Bobby Everett Smith


Copyright © 2015 Bobby Everett Smith

All rights reserved.

Distributed by Smashwords

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Leaving San Francisco

Operations Readiness Inspection

Arriving Yokosuka

Subic Bay and Cubi Point

Blue February

Hotel Ryokan Farewell Party

Arriving Home

Back to Japan

Leaving San Francisco

I was mixed in feelings, lonely and guilty about leaving my young family alone, apprehensive, excited about the Operations Readiness Inspection and flying in the Western Pacific for the next seven months.

We had quarters on the Flight Deck standing at attention as we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge at 1400 on November 1, 1958. When USS Bon Homme Richard was west of the Bridge, the crew was dismissed and Det Echo went down to their living quarters on the third deck. Manley and Beckham in one quarters, Smith and Murphy adjacent. The Kingston Trio played as it did most of the cruise when we were in our staterooms.

We had a week of travel with no flying and then we would start our Operations Readiness Inspection, flying around Hawaii. Sometimes we launched off the ship and returned to the ship. Other times we would launch from the ship and fly to various bases on the Hawaiian Islands like Barbers Point and Ford Island

Hawaii was new to me. On November 7, we were about 250 miles northeast of Hawaii and the ship’s captain called for our first flight operations. Det Echo was scheduled to launch three AD5N’s to fly to Barber’s Point in a three hour flight. Lt. Manley, VV840, Smith VV841, and Beckham in VV842. Call Sign Rocket. First Det Echo plane off the CAT at 1400.

We were now sharing our ready room with pilots from VA 195 and they were also scheduled to launch 10 AD6 Skyraiders in the same launch as Det Echo. They flew independently of us but they lauded their superior skills and experience over Det Echo every chance they got. I was somewhat intimidated by it all.

The procedure this first operations day was to launch the AD’s off the carrier for a land base, today it was Barber’s Point on the island of Oahu. This procedure turned out to be a really good deal for the flight crews. We got to the land base before the ship’s company and were able to stake out the best places to live and things to do before the big group of ship’s company arrived the following day. Sometimes there were girls that the single guys could take first bids on. Of course, married officers never did such a thing.

Jack Manley started our briefing at 1300 in the ready room. He would lead the flight since he had been there before and Smith and Beckham would fly in formation with him. We would CAT launch, rendezvous and head for Pearl Harbor. Then we would fly at low altitude around Oahu ending up at NAS Barber’s Point on the southwest side of Oahu, 13 miles west of Honolulu. Weather was clear with 15 miles of visibility. Wind from the west at 10 mph. It was mostly a flight to transport the planes to the land base and to sightsee the islands. We were all excited about the chance to fly around the Hawaiian Islands for the first time.

Beckham and I were still new to CAT launches so butterflies still whelmed up in our stomachs before the launch. We went through the same procedures that we did in our first CAT launches except this time, we had two crewman aboard, Speedy Garcia in the front seat on the right and Mac McKenzie at Radar in the rear.

It turned out to be a fantastic flight. We joined up on Rocket 840 about ten miles north of the carrier at 2500 feet. We headed towards Pearl Harbor just outside Honolulu. After about two hours of flying, Rocket 840 started a descent to about 200 feet as we approached Oahu. We stayed over the ocean just along the shoreline. Manley led us in a loose formation all around Oahu and I was flabbergasted by the beauty of the scenery. Clouds hung over the mountain tops, waterfalls cascading into the ocean, and lush greenery blanketed the land leading from the beaches to the mountains. Beautiful.

When we had completed the flight we were west of Barber’s Point about 15 miles and Manley, our flight leader called for landing.


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