Station - Tonkin Gulf, North Vietnam.
stationed aboard the USS Kitty Hawk
Home Page for the
Brad Jones Exhibit.
Where: Aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)
Location: On Yankee Station - Tonkin Gulf, North Vietnam
What: Preparing to Recover Aircraft - Plane Guard is on station..
From the Webmaster: What Brad is talking about when he says "Plane Guard is on station" is the ship in the background behind the Kitty Hawk in the above picture. Whenever we launch or recover aircraft aboard the carrier, this ship is there. One day in 1978 while I was stationed on the Kitty Hawk, we had a Russian ship following us right in the place where the Plane Guard ship was supposed to be. On the intercom came the words, " Prepare to Recover." I knew that we were going turn into the wind and I would have some great shots. I climbed up the ladder on the back of the tower up to the Crows Nest. Here you could see and hear all of the action. It was great!
I was watching the Russian ship following us very steadily in this exact position. Looking toward of the Kitty Hawk, from the left came our Plane Guard ship. He was coming into position very fast and wasn't messing around. His course was going to take him directly into the side of the Russian ship. At the speed that he was traveling there was little chance of missing the Russian ship unless the Russians would move out of the way.
That's exactly what happened. The Russian ship turned to his port and avoided being rammed and cut into half by our Guard ship. A very exciting maneuver to watch.
As far as the actual function of the Plane Guard ship, I really don't know. If anyone knows the answer to this, please send me an email at the bottom of this page.
WE USE MANY WORDINGS TO ID. A CRAFT AND IGS WAS ONE OF THEM SHORT FOR
INTELLIGENCE GATHERING SHIP OR TROLLER. NOW THE GUARD SHIP DUTIES WAS
TO TAKE A POSITION AFT OF THE CARRIER A SAFETY TO PULL DOWN PLANE OUT
OF THE WATER OR IF SOME ONE FELT OVER BOARD DURING TAKE OFF AND
RECOVERING OF PLANES SEE SOME TIME THE CVA 'S ( CARRIERS ) HAD TO TURN
INTO THE WIND TO ASSIST IN LIFT OFF. WE HAD TWO TEAMS I WAS HELMSMAN ON THE BLUE TEAM THESE MISSIONS DT ON MANY COMPLEX FACTORS, BUT NOT THE LEST OF WHICH IS A STEADY COURSE OR A COURSE CHANGE AT ANY TIME BECAUSE THE CVA KNOTS AND COURSE CHANGE UNDER ADVERSE CONDITIONS TIS WAS ALSO TRUE ON THE SUCCESS OF A FIRING
RUN OF THE COAST OF VIET NAM DURING NGFS ASSIGNMENT . WE HAD TALES TO
TELL . SOME TIME IT FELT LIKE WE WERE IRON MEN 12 ON 12 OFF AND OUT OF
THE 12 OFF YOU STILL HAD YOUR DUTIES AND PMS TO DO. WE HAD TO KEEP THE
LADY UP AND RUNNING. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME .
|Fri, 27 Jan 2006
Have served on DD 704 on Yankee station in 1968. We mainly performed gun ship and plane guard functions. Sometimes we chased the Russian trawlers. As you requested the plane guard was there to pick up crew from planes that went in the drink during air operations. You guys were not going to stop and turn around in time.
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