Undaunted by the cover of darkness, acting in the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service....
...these sample short stories are taken from The Intruder's Lighter Side. It is a publication that was compiled for the VA-128 decommissioning and designed for your coffee table. It has been re-complied for those who couldn't make it to the decomm ceremony and for inclusion on this website. It is available for you to view online or download and print. To download and save this PDF file (2.9 megs) right click on this link and select "Save Target As" (no pun intended) to begin the download. To view online, left click the link (Requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader).
There we were...on our way to sunny
and warm NAS Roosevelt Roads for a January weapons det. We stopped and
hot refueled at Cecil, and decided we could continue as part of the formation,
even though we didn't have any cockpit pressurization. I had brought a
can of Pepsi, and thought that I could drink it quickly, even though cabin
altitude was higher than it normally would have been...much higher. So,
to minimize the time off of oxygen and maximize the time required to drink
the Pepsi, I left my oxygen mask on as I smartly pulled the pull tab.
Much quicker than instantly, this brown, evaporating, sticky mist covered
me, the cockpit, and my patient B/N, who just looked at me and muttered,
"You dumb s___!" Nothing got wet and it was
then I remembered my Pepsi can might have experienced what was probably
known as explosive decompression. And there I was, just as thirsty,...and
a whole lot stickier!
EDDY / OHNEMUS VA-85, 1977
There we were...one night in the
marshall stack...with three carriers operating in the Tonkin Gulf at the
same time airspace and ship maneuvering water was limited. It seemed that
every other time we would turn back in towards the ship (away from the
beach), we would get a "singer low" on the RHAW gear. Back on
deck we plotted out that the marshall stack extended into a known SAM
envelope! Needless to say, we both stayed awake in marshall that night!
YARHAM / HOUSE VA-52, 1972
There they were...in the VA-52 Ready Room aboard the CORAL SEA in 1968. LCDR Warren Clarke and LCDR Al Siebeck are weighing-in for a contest between themselves to see who could loose the greater amount of weight. Warren was known to be a real straight-shooter and as honest as the day is long. On the other hand Al (nicknamed "Dancin Bear") was also a straight-shooter, but was akin in using "gamesmanship" to gain the desired outcome. The first weight check found both parties to be approximately the same weight. Al had been observed eating in the wardroom with no restraints. This concerned Warren somewhat as he had been dining on dried toast, tea, juice, and all those not-so-fun foods. The second weight check found Al to have lost a substantial amount compared to Warren with no change in wardroom "grazing" patterns. Warren was now concerned that Al was not playing by the rules, and rightfully so, but could not find anything out of order. The third weight check was the final straw. Warren weighted in with a respectful loss for the week and waited in anticipation of at last beating Al.
Al stood confidently on the scale and again weighed in
with a greater weight loss! Reluctantly, Warren conceded the contest.
Warren asked Al, "How did you do it?" Al's
reply, "It was a case of mind over matter."
The truth of the matter was that Al had taped 10 pounds of lead weights
to his legs at the initial weigh in and had been reducing the amount at
each weight check. WINNING IS EVERYTHING!!!
CLARKE / SIEBECK VA-52, 1968
Windscreen Testing - A new use for dead chickens
The FAA has a device for testing the strength of windshields on airplanes. They point this thing at the windshield of the aircraft and shoot a dead chicken at about the speed the aircraft normally flies at it. If the windshield doesn’t break, it’s likely to survive a real collision with a bird during flight. The British had recently built a new locomotive that could pull a train faster than any before it. They were not sure that its windshield was strong enough, so they borrowed the testing device from the FAA, reset it to approximately the maximum speed of the locomotive, loaded the dead chicken, and fired. The bird went through the windshield, broke the engineer’s chair, and made a major dent in the back wall of the engine cab. They were quite surprised with this result, so they asked the FAA to check the test to see if everything was done correctly. The FAA checked everything and suggested that they might want to repeat the test using a thawed chicken.
Bored Pilots…from a source in England
It seems that the Royal Air Force pilots stationed on the Falkland Islands have devised, what they consider, a marvelous new game. Noting that the local penguins are really fascinated by airplanes, the pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly along it at the water’s edge. Perhaps 10,000 Penguins turn their heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match. Then, the report says… “The pilots fly out to sea and directly back to the Penguin colony and over fly it. Heads go up-up-up-up and then 10,000 Penguins fall gently over on their backs.” The wingman flies behind the leader to enjoy the “Fall Over Show”…
It only takes one pilot and one airplane, and the possibility of someone on the ground to watch, to constitute an airshow.