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Exit.... Stage LEFT!
Lens: Super Takumar 50mm f:1.4 Camera: Spotmatic Photo Location: South China Sea 
Posted By: Dewman, 05-26-2018, 09:29 AM

This was taken sometime in 1966 while I was a US Navy photographer stationed aboard the USS Ticonderoga CVA-14 and we were prowling the seas off the coast of North Vietnam.

The F-8 Crusader had made his approach but for some reason, got all out of sorts. I took this shot the very second that we all realized he was headed in our direction.... but it all happened in literally the blink of an eye! Bear in mind, the stall speed of the F-8 was in excess of 100 mph, so things happen fast! In that "blink," the pilot yanked the controls to the left and luckily, he snagged the cable and made a safe, albeit somewhat shaky, unorthodox landing. But, like they say, any landing you can walk away from is a good one!

You can tell by the body stance of the fireman that he was looking for somewhere to go! The island was directly to the left of where the photo was taken and all three of us managed to squeeze through the door and out of harms way.

When they say that the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is the most dangerous job in the world.... believe them! I'm a witness! .

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Last edited by Dewman; 05-26-2018 at 09:37 AM.
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05-26-2018, 10:27 AM   #2
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Excellent capture Dewman...great image...bet you can still remember the sounds and smells of those days.
05-26-2018, 03:35 PM   #3
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Terrific photograph DEW. This one I am sure you will keep forever. Thanks a million.

TT
05-26-2018, 05:49 PM   #4
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superb photo-journalism! in the moment action, fraction of a second unnerving photograph... I can only imagine the tension, the exhilaration, the gut churning, mind bogling experience of
being in a war... remembering that in this one, you were either a volunteer, or you were drafted... no professional army then... just regular guys taken off, of their family and their neibourhood...
the ultimate sacrifice! whether you make it out alive or you don't... Spectacular image and courageous presence in a difficult situation!

thank you sir! I thank and salute you!

05-26-2018, 08:01 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by photomax7 Quote
Excellent capture Dewman...great image...bet you can still remember the sounds and smells of those days.

Yes.... very much so. So loud when filming the launches while working deck-level between the catapult rails, you could actually feel your innards move around! It would have a tendency to make you feel nauseous, especially when the F-8 Crusaders would hit their afterburners!. And the smell of burning kerosene mixed with the steam from the catapults was incredibly think in the air.
05-26-2018, 08:23 PM   #6
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I could tell what was being launched by the sound and shake of the ship without looking at the TV monitor just because you heard every type launch and recover so many times. The RF-8s were nearing the end of life when we had them on Constellation, CV-64. I also had a buddie who nearly got killed working as a director and another Marine I know ended up in the catwalk after an A-7 turned on him. (We ran the brig and correctional custody back then so the game was try to blow the Marines into the catwalk when moving aircraft. Plane captains and directors were our best customers in those days!)
05-27-2018, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
I could tell what was being launched by the sound and shake of the ship without looking at the TV monitor just because you heard every type launch and recover so many times. The RF-8s were nearing the end of life when we had them on Constellation, CV-64. I also had a buddie who nearly got killed working as a director and another Marine I know ended up in the catwalk after an A-7 turned on him. (We ran the brig and correctional custody back then so the game was try to blow the Marines into the catwalk when moving aircraft. Plane captains and directors were our best customers in those days!)

Tom, while I was aboard the Tico (fairly early in the Vietnam conflict) we didn't have any of the relatively "new" A-7's in our compliment. But, the Crusaders were quite the plane at the time. I had the very distinct pleasure of seeing two of them lay waste to a sampan that fired on us while I was flying loiter duty. Bad mistake on their part! Two F-8's, coming from opposite directions, both firing Vulcans can do some incredible damage to a small wooden boat! It was obvious that they were carrying a large amount of explosive cargo, because that thing went up in one enormous blast, with nothing left bigger than a Marlboro box!


The Tico had a wooden flight deck and we couldn't accommodate the F-4 Phantoms because they would set the flight deck on fire when they touched off the afterburners. We didn't have blast deflectors for the twin-engine planes like the Phantoms. But, we still managed to be awarded three Navy Unit Commendations, one Meritorious Unit Commendation and 12 battle stars. Not bad for an old WWII boat!
05-27-2018, 05:54 PM   #8
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simply remarquable guys! I am absolutely moved by stories like these... even teary eyes... from respect and pride...

05-29-2018, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Yep, there was always something exciting happening on the flight deck. I was on USS Oriskany, CVA-34, and I watched a bundle of flight ops. Forgot about flight deck being wood. Think it was teak wood if I remember correctly.
05-30-2018, 12:02 PM   #10
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Dewman,

I must say, I really enjoy when you post these old photos. A piece of history, and as an aviation buff, I think they are just 'cool'......

thanks!

Mark
05-30-2018, 12:21 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I'm glad these old photos are met with such approval. I have several more that I'll try to get around and post. Thanks for all the kind words.
05-31-2018, 06:24 AM   #12
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thanks for sharing a fantastic little piece of military history
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