Author Archives: Larry Hames

Dittman, John G. ADRC VP-4 1956 – 1958

Dittman, John GlenJohn Glen Dittman, 83, passed away peacefully on March 28th, 2013.

Glen was born in Yonkers, NY, on June 1st, 1929, to Willis and Marion Dittman. He was raised in Walden, NY.
While working in Colorado, he met his future wife, Delphine. They were married October 20, 1948.
Glen joined the US Navy in 1951 and retired in 1971 as a Chief Petty Officer (E-7). He loved the Navy and he loved to fly. After retirement, he spent over 40 years active in the Fleet Reserve Assoc.
Glen had a great sense of humor and he never met a stranger. He had a strong sense of duty and responsibility for his fellow man, and was always doing for others. He was active in the First Congregational Church in Nampa and Wright Congregational Church in Boise.
Glen is survived by his children, Carol Tally (Les) of Nampa, and David Dittman, of Caldwell; grandchildren Erin Johnson (Nampa), Elizabeth Allen (Jon) of Albuquerque, NM, and Michael David Dittman of San Jose, CA, his sister Doris Bartow (Haverhill, MA); sister-in-law Virginia Dittman (Williamsburg, VA), and many cherished and beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his spouse, Delphine Dittman, brother Duane Dittman, sister Phyllis McClelland, and his parents.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am at the First Congregational Church, 55 S Midland Blvd, Nampa, ID. Interment will take place at 3:00 pm at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise, ID.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Congregational Church, Nampa, ID or to the Fleet Reserve Association, 1012 11th Ave N, Nampa, ID 83687.

Published in Idaho Press Tribune on April 21, 2013

Drake, George USN (Ret) VP-4 1947 – 1951

Fallen ShipmateGeorge Drake of Little River, CA passed away at Ukiah Valley Medical Center on Monday, January 14, 2013. George was born in Petaluma, CA on February 21, 1924. After high school in Santa Rosa, George joined the U.S. Navy and retired after 20 years of service. He flew as an Ordnanceman on Crew 3. George became a police officer for the last 20 years of his working career. George was proud of his Navy and law enforcement careers and furthering is schooling in the Navy. He was also a mason and a volunteer firefighter. George loved trumpet music. He will be remembered for always being there to help whomever he could with outdoor and other projects. George lived in Albion, Ca. for 40 years and enjoyed his friends and neighbors there. He was never at a loss for words and would talk to anyone. George is survived by his wife of 41 years Mary Drake of Little River, Ca. daughter Debbie Parks of Weaverville, Ca. half brother John Morse, three grandchildren and six great grandchildren. No services will be held, inurnment will take place at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Ukiah. Memorial donations in George’s name may be made to ones favorite charity. Mary would like to say she “loves him and will miss him forever”. Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary. –
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2013

Corley, Rolan D. LCDR USN (Ret) VP-4 1975 – 1978

Corley, Rolan D. 2 Corley, Rolan D. 3 Corley, Rolan D.Services for LCDR, Rolan D. Corley, USN, Retired, 67 of Gilmer, will be held 2:00 P.M. Monday, January 14, 2013 at Croley Funeral Home Chapel in Gilmer with Bro. Randy Stracener officiating. Interment will follow at Rosewood Park Cemetery in Longview. Arrangements are under the direction of Croley Funeral Home in Gilmer.


LCDR Corley was born on January 4, 1946 in Gilmer to Henry and Laurine Corley and passed away unexpectedly in Gilmer on Thursday, January 10, 2013.


LCDR Corley retired from the United States Navy in 1990 after 20 years of service where he flew a P-3 as a tactical coordination officer. LCDR Corley served as Upshur County Pct 3 constable for eight years and was active in the fight against drugs with his drug dog Samantha. He was a member of the Christian Motorcycle association and participated in the BOO Rally for several years. In addition, he enjoyed entertaining with his ventriloquist act, singing hymns and performing as Elvis. LCDR Corley was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Gilmer.


He is survived by his wife, Judy Corley of Gilmer; daughters and sons-in-law, Patty and Alan Jackson of Heidelberg, Germany, Diane and Brent Shelton of Hallsville; son and daughter-in-law, Jason and April Johnson of Hallsville; grandchildren, Tyler Corley, Austin Schrumpf, Walker Schrumpf, Amerie Jackson, Chloe Jackson, Julie Johnson, Colten Shelton, Kinsley Shelton, Caleb Spencer, and Zoe Spencer; also surviving the mother of his daughters, Kathy Corley of Pensacola, Florida; brothers and sisters-in-law, Gwinn and Diane Corley of Pensacola, Florida, Mickey and Kim Corley of Malakoff, Texas, Jeff and Becky Hill of Diana.


LCDR Corley is preceded in death by his parents, stepfather J.B. Hill and nephew Stephen Corley.


Rolan loved his family and you could not be in a conversation with him any length of time before he was bragging and showing you photographs. He was a proud husband, father and grandfather.


Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday, January 13, 2013 at Croley Funeral Home in

CAPT Warren P. VOSSELER USN (Ret) C.O. VP-4 Nov 1967 – Dec 1968

Warren Paul “Voss” Vosseler, Capt. (Ret.) U.S. Navy, 86, a 25 year resident of Annapolis, died October 18 at home suddenly, battling lengthy illnesses.
He was born September 28, 1926 in Orange, N.J., receiving a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1949; followed by a B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, U.S. Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA; M.S., Aeronautical Engineering, University of Michigan; M.S., International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; and Naval War College, Newport, RI.
Capt. Vosseler received a Naval Academy Congressional Appointment from the State of New Jersey by Senator Robert Taft, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1949. Following a brief ship tour to the Arctic, he proceeded to flight training in Pensacola, FL, qualifying as a Naval Aviator.
Operational tours were with Anti-Submarine Patrol Squadron NINE (VP-9) deploying twice in support of the Korean War and Anti-Submarine Patrol Squadron EIGHTEEN (VP-18) deploying in support of Cuban Missile Crisis and UNITAS, Joint British and Greek Operations in the Mediterranean, British and Canadian Operations in the Atlantic, and Pacific Rim Flight Exercises.
He reported aboard Anti-Submarine Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4) in 1966 as Executive Officer, eventually fleeting up as their Commanding Officer in 1967; deploying twice in support of combat operations in the Vietnam Theater of Operations.
Ashore, he served as the Air Guided Missile and Air Officer at U.S. Pacific Fleet and Special Projects Officer with Navy’s POLARIS missile system. Captain Vosseler completed his Naval Career in Washington, D.C., retiring in 1979 with 30 years of active duty service.
He became active as a private consultant in the National Defense community. He was awarded the Air Medal (2 Awards, 1strike/ flight award), Navy Unit Commendation, World War Two Victory, National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), American Campaign, Korean Service (3 Awards), Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Service, Vietnam Service, and Vietnam Campaign.
Captain Vosseler was a longtime Annapolis Rotarian. Naval Academy activities included the USNA Sesquicentennial, the Annapolis Tri-Centennial, Squadron Commander of the Annapolis Chapter of the Association of Naval Aviation, life member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, and Association of Naval Aviation. He diligently served his community of Chesapeake Harbour as a volunteer.
He loved to travel with his wife to Europe, especially Germany, where they both had family and friends. Numerous other adventures included Asia, Australia, South America, Africa, and worldwide ocean cruises. He enjoyed skiing, sailing, golf, shopping, and Bavarian Austrian folk dancing. In his later years, he enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, and his artistic side, including ceramic pottery, and scrapbooking the family travels. He had a lifelong love of Navy football, cheering at the last three games.
Married on November 15, 1975, Captain Vosseler is survived by his wife, Ursula Vosseler; and his daughter, Leslie Carol. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, two god-children, and one delightful German mother-in-law.
There will be a memorial service at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 5, at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel. Inurnment immediately following the service.
Contributions can be made in his memory to your preferred cause or charity.

Kenneth J. McNatt VB-144 1943-44

Another article, this one from the Chicago Tribune about our shipmate Ken:

Ken J McNatt, a decorated WWII Naval pilot and community leader in DuPage county for over 40 years, died on September 4, 2012 at his Wheaton home; he was 91 years old. Ken was born and grew up in Loveland, Colorado. He joined the Navy in 1942 after Pearl Harbor, and became a naval pilot in the Pacific theater. He was recognized for his service which included as a co-pilot; successfully landing of his badly damaged plane after the pilot was shot and killed. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, six Air Medals, the Navy Commendation, the Navy Unit Commendation and American, Asiatic Pacific Campaign and WWII Victory medals. After the war, he finished his college degree at Denver University in 1948. Upon graduation he began his career in sales for Exxon Corporation; he retired in 1983.
He moved to Wheaton in 1965 and began a lifetime of public service which included: President of the Arrowhead Homeowners Association, Precinct Committeeman for 12 years, and Milton Township Trustee for 16 years. He was the founding chairperson for the Milton Township Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT), a group dedicated to reducing crime and abuse of seniors. He was an active member of the Warrenville VFW Post 8081. Probably his most beloved work was with the Warrenville Fire Protection District, where he served for over 36 years. During his tenure, he was instrumental in transforming the unit from a solely volunteer fire protection agency in a small town, to a modern blend of volunteers and staff with the modern equipment to protect the district as its needs and population grew.
Among the awards and recognition that he received were: Illinois State TRIAD Award (2002), Milton Township Achievement Award (2002), Wheaton Good Citizen Award (2009), Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs “Veteran of the Month” (September 2011), Milton Township Appreciation Award (2012), and Trustee Emeritus, Warrenville Fire Protection District (2012).
McNatt is survived by his wife of 58 years, Dolores; two grown daughters Gwen (Chuck Enokian) McNatt of Berwyn and Mary Helen (Bob) Gibson of Sioux City, Iowa, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by three nieces and a nephew.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 6 at 7:00 p.m. at Hultgren Funeral Home, 304 N. Main St. in Wheaton, where friends may visit with the family from 4:00 p.m. until the time of the service.
Memorials may be directed to Warrenville Firemen’s Association Benevolent Fund, P.O. Box 51, Warrenville, IL 60555.
Information and guest book is available at

Another article, this one from the Chicago Tribune about our shipmate Ken:

Floyd W. Bithell VP-4 1954 – 1957

Chris Bithell, wife of Floyd W. Bithell, responded to my reunion announcement to give me the sad news that Floyd had suffered a massive heart attack/stroke and quickly passed away.

Our database shows that Floyd, also known as Biff, served in VP-4 from 1954 to 1957 but I do not know his Rate/Rank or his duties while he was assigned to the squadron. If anyone can provide any details of his service, please contact me.

Floyd W. Bithell , 79, of Hermiston died Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, at his home. He was born Oct. 17, 1933, in Salt Lake City, Utah. A service will be held at a later date. Sign the condolence book at Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.

Larry Hames
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager

AW3 Kenneth B. Earnest; VP-4 1983 – 87

Mr. Kenneth Bradley Earnest, age 54, of Dobson, NC passed away on Friday morning, November 30, 2012, at Forsyth Medical Center. He was born in Surry County on May 16, 1958, to Charles and Rachel Edmonds Earnest. He was a graduate of Surry Central High School, graduated from Appalachian State University, and was a Veteran of the U.S. Navy. He was a member of Salem Fork Christian Church and also served as an Elder, a member of the Board of Directors of Dobson Community Library, and a member of Copeland Masonic Lodge #390 AFAM. Surviving are his two sons Drew Earnest and Fiancée Jessica Palmer of Roanoke, VA; Ben Earnest and girlfriend Emily Bryant of Dobson, NC; His parents Charles and Rachel Edmonds Earnest of Dobson, NC; Sister and brother-in-law Susan and Marc Tolbert, of Asheboro, NC; Two nieces Katie Tolbert and Madison Tolbert; Adopted family Bob and Kim Kaszowski, Logan, Joah, and Cooper, of Dobson, NC. Preceded in death by Brady and Novella Edmonds of Dobson and Charlie and Dovie Earnest of Cumberland, Mississippi. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Monday December 3, 2012, at Salem Fork Christian Church with burial to follow in the church cemetery with graveside rites by Copeland Masonic Lodge # 390 AFAM, and also by the V.F.W. Honor Guard Post 2019 and Post 9436. Services will be officiated by Paul Bunke and Rev. Jim Mauldin. The family will receive friends at Moody-Davis Funeral Home on Sunday from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to the Copeland Masonic Lodge #390 or to the Dobson Community Library. Online condolences may be made at

AOC Albert A. Castro USN (Ret) VP-4 1971-76

Albert Atanacio Castro, 62, AOC USN Retired departed our midst on 13 October 2012, after suffering a fall while hunting near his home in La Plata, MD. His wife Patricia of 28 years, devoted dog Rocky and other family survive him. Albert was born in Gallup, NM, to Atanacio and Lola Castro. He graduated from Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque, NM, and joined the United States Navy in August 1968.

Chief Castro had a distinguished 23-year Naval career. His first operational tour was with VP-4 Skinny Dragons, Barbers Point, HI from 1971 – 1976. Al logged over 500 hours of dedicated combat missions including many searches and refugee operations. Additional Duty Stations included: NAS North Island, San Diego, CA, VP-19 Big Red at NAS Moffett Field, CA, Naval Air Development Center (NADC), Warminster, PA, Oceanographic Development Squadron VXN-8 and Naval Aviation Maintenance Office (NAMO) at NAS Patuxent River, MD. Chief Castro’s awards and decorations include two Strike Flight Air Medals, Navy Achievement, Navy Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary, two Vietnam Service Medals, and numerous other citations and commendations.

Typical of his devotion to duty, Chief Castro took great pride in his civilian career. He proudly continued to serve the Navy and his country as a DOD contractor supporting Air-to-Air Weapons for Aviation Trainings Systems Command. In 2008 he became Program Manager for Acquisition and Life Cycle Support of the HARM Weapons System for the Naval Air Weapons Center at Patuxent River, MD. Chief Castro was a patriot, an unsung hero, always prepared to serve the Navy and the United States of America. Recently, he and his teammates were on board several naval vessels upgrading equipment as his comrades ventured into harm’s way. Chief Castro’s awards and decorations include two Strike Flight Air Medals, Navy Achievement, Navy Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary, two Vietnam Service Medals, and numerous other citations and commendations.

He was a life member of the Association of Aviation Ordinancemen, Plankowner of Chapter 22, Patuxent River, and also served on the AAO National Board of Directors. In addition he was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, prior Post 2632 Senior Vice Commander; the Military Order of the Cooties; the Fleet Reserve Association Branch 093; American Legion; VP-4 Association; the NRA; and the Saint Charles Sportsman’s Club.

Albert is also survived by his brothers Frank Castro of Paige TX, Anthony Castro and Timothy Castro of Albuquerque, NM and sisters Josephine Martinez of Clearfield UT, Marie Baca of Fort Worth TX, Florence Otis, Elizabeth Sumruld, and Dolores Torres of Albuquerque NM, and Kathy Martin of Dalles OR, and many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will be received to celebrate Albert’s Life on Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 4 PM to 7 PM at Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home, P.A., 30195 Three Notch Road, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622. There will be a funeral service on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 6:30 PM. Deacon Johnny Barnes will officiate. Interment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the VFW National Home for Children, 3573 South Waverly Road, Eaton Rapids, Michigan 48827-9799 or The VFW National Home for children provides support for our military and veterans’ families.

A Guest Book is available at

Hylan B. Lyon Jr. VP-4 1967 – 1969

While serving in VP-4 from 1967 -1969, Hylan B. Lyon Jr. was a LCDR, PPC on Crew 6 and was the Operations Officer.





DR. HYLAN BENTON LYON, JR. Loving Son, Father, Husband, Grandfather, Uncle, Cousin, Trusted Friend and, War Veteran. Dr. Hylan Benton Lyon Jr. died suddenly on the day of his 74th birthday July 20, 2010. He is survived by wife, Sandra Starr Lyon her sons Kenneth and Christopher Starr and his wife Rebecca; sons, Matthew Lyon and his wife Jasmine, their children Laura and Paul, Andrew Lyon, Jonathan Lyon his children Tyler, Jeremy and Evelyn; daughter, Karen Rogers and her husband Jeff, their children Elisabeth, Rebecca and, Melissa; loving sister, Sharon Gugat and her husband Kevin their children Ann Marie, Mike, Kathy and cousins. Hylan was the son of World War II Veteran Rear Admiral Hylan Benton Lyon, Sr. and wife Wilma. Graduate of the class of 1958 United States Naval Academy, his distinguished career spanned many years. During his Naval career he served as reconnaissance pilot during the Vietnam War. He was a distinguished scientist. While in the Navy he earned a PHD in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkley. He served under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter on the Presidents Science Adviser Staff. He was also with the Office of Naval Research, and was a Science Policy Analyst with the State Department. As a civilian he worked for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France. He also worked for Texas Instruments, The North Texas Commission, Marlowe Industries, and most recently Dumas Capitol Partners LLC. He was active in community service and enjoyed biking, sailing and fishing. A service will be held in Hylan”s beloved state of Texas on Saturday July 31 at 10 a.m. at Rest Haven Funeral home in Rockwall, Texas. A memorial service will be held in Maryland at a later date so that friends, USNA class mates and, family can gather to celebrate the life of Hylan Benton Lyon, Jr.
Published in The Washington Post on July 25, 2010

Larry Hames
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager

Allen A. BECK, VP-4 Vet 1959-1961

BECK, Allen A.

Passed away unexpectedly at age 79 on June 28, 2012. Allen was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather.


Allen joined the Navy in June 1951 and became an Aviation Electronics Technician. His squadron was deployed to Korea on the USS Oriskany in 1952. In 1959, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, with VP-4 flying P2Vs and in 1961, he was reassigned to Oak Harbor, Washington, with VP-6 flying PBM-6s chasing subs. After retiring as an AT1, he moved to Los Angeles, obtained a Bachelors Degree and taught elementary school for many years.


After Allen retired from teaching, he and his wife moved to Sacramento to be close to their grandchildren. They spent many years traveling all over the country in their motor home. Allen is greatly missed by his wife of 59 years, Ruthie; daughters, Barbara and Catrina; his son-in-law, Victor; grandchildren: Andrew, Victoria, and Ian; and a host of loved ones.


Committal services will be held at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon in the near future.

Published in The Sacramento Bee on July 15, 2012


Read more here:

William Brady Troendle, Sr (Bill) VP-4 1957-1959

May 6, 1921 – June 19, 2012


William Brady Troendle, Sr. passed away at home surrounded by family at the age of 91. He was born in New Orleans, LA to Hilda & George Troendle. Bill entered the Navy & was the youngest at that time to earn his commission & wings at the age of 20 from Pensacola NAS. He was a naval aviator during World War II & retired after 20 years of service as a Lieutenant Commander. LCDR Troendle served as Operations Officer and Executive Officer during his 1957-1959 Tour in VP-4.

Bill then worked for Nolting, Nichol & O’Donnell which was sold to A.G. Edwards where he worked for many years as the manager until he retired. He was an avid sailor, representing the Pensacola Yacht Club as the team captain for several winning Lipton teams. He was Commodore in 1966 and remained active at PYC for many years. Bill was well known for his great cooking, entertaining & storytelling.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Beverly; his sons Thomas & William Jr. (Barbara), daughter, Carol (Steve), grandchildren William III & Shelby Rose Gaudet (John) & great-grandson William IV.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff of United Home Care Services of NWFL for their compassionate care given to our dad these last months.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Wounded Warriors Project or your favorite charity.

A private memorial was held. Internment with full military honors will be on Friday, June 29 at 11:00 at Barrancas National Cemetery.


See the VP-4 1958 Cruise Book pg 5

VP-4 Vet Kenneth Duane Tietze Sr.

Kenneth Duane Tietze Sr.

Kenneth Duane Tietze, Sr., 67, died June 18, 2012 in St. George, Utah. He was born November 17, 1944 in Canton, Ohio to Kenneth Ernest and Eileen Click Tietze. He married Shirley Irene Cornwell, April 19, 1969 in Denver, Colorado, they were married 43 years.

Kenneth went to Littleton High School in Littleton, CO and was a member of the First Baptist Church. He left high school with permission from his father, and joined the Navy at 17 in 1961. He served his country honorably in the Vietnam War where he received numerous medals.

Kenneth was a member of the Mesquite First Baptist Church, drove the bus, and was a help to all who needed assistance.

Kenneth enjoyed working in the garage, he love motorcycles, boating and fishing. He enjoyed football and was an avid Denver Broncos fan.

Kenneth and Shirley relocated to Mesquite, NV in 2007 for employment opportunity. Kenneth is survived by his wife Shirley, sons Kenneth Duane Tietze Jr., of Burlington, CO and Kenneth Ernest Tietze II of Mesquite, NV, four grandchildren, Dustin Michael Tietze of Portland, OR, Derrick Tietze, Dustin Vanness of Spokane, WA and Amber Joy Tietze of TN. He also leaves behind four great grandchildren, brother Daniel Tietze of Denver, Co and sister Barbara Elkins of Morrisson, CO. He is preceded in death by his parents and three sisters.

Arrangements are under the direction of Virgin Valley Mortuary, 320 E. Old Mill Rd. Mesquite, NV. There will be a celebration of life, Monday, June 25, 2012 , 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 700 Hardy Way, Mesquite, NV.

Allen, Gary (VP-4)

Brentwood, Tenn.

Gary Don Allen, 74, of Brentwood,Tenn., passed away Feb. 28, 2012, in Tennessee State Veterans Home, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

He was born Aug. 12, 1937, in Columbus, son of the late Don and Helen (Rotroff) Allen. His sister Karen Fastnaught, of Toledo, survives. Also surviving, his spouse Linda Mashburn Allen, of Brentwood.

Garywas a member of Franklin First United Methodist Church, Franklin, Tenn., and past member of First Christian Church ofSandusky. He graduated from Findlay High School and attended John Carroll University in Clevelandand Findlay College in Findlay, Ohio. While living inOhio, he belonged to many community clubs, including the Sandusky Yacht Club, Toastmasters, Power Squadron, and American Legion.

Garyworked for Chef’s Pantry and then for Stein, Inc. for many years as the director of Human Resources. He owned the photography studio “Images Unlimited” photographing weddings and portraits.

Garywas proud to serve his country in the Army Reserves and then in the Navy. He was presented with a medal and citation from the U.S. Navy for meritorious achievement as an air crewman of a P-3 patrol aircraft during a special reconnaissance mission off the coast of South Korea for directly detecting and subsequent destruction of an enemy infiltrator surface craft. His efforts were instrumental in bringing his damaged aircraft safely to a landing at a friendly base. His skillful airmanship, courage and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He was authorized to wear the combat “v”. During his career he was presented with several other medals and citations.

Garyserved in various U.S. Navy Patrol Squadrons including: VP-30, VP-7, and VP-4. He was involved during the Cuban Crises in 1963 and 1964 as an air crewman aboard a VP-7 P2V Neptune aircraft assigned to aerial surveillance of Russian ships in route to the island of Cuba carrying missiles. One of the photos he took from aboard a VP-7 aircraft was the one shown during President Kennedy’s news conference on national TV during his announcement of the Cuban Blockade.

Garywas an amateur radio operator (HAM) with the call sign of KB8APU. He enjoyed his experiences operating from various locations. He worked with operators near home base locations to provide members of his squadron with the ability to contact their families via radio from the squadron’s deployed locations. His operating included operations while aboard naval aircraft. He was not able to utilize his amateur radio hobby during the last few years as he would have liked to.

The children with whom Gary shared his life and loved all survive him. They are Deb (Bob)Redmond, of Port Clinton, Don Allen, of Sandusky, and Dawn (Allan) Peterson, of Fremont, whose mother Sarah Crawfis Hartley, survives. Kim Fredrick, of Castalia, and Chuck (Lisa Rutger) from Vermilion, whose mother Viola Sommers Allen, preceded him in death and whose father Chuck Rutger survives. Christy Kaser-Geiger, of Franklin, whose mother Linda Mashburn Allen and father the Rev. Larry J. Kaser survive.

Garyloved his grandchildren, all of whom survive. They are Greg Allen, of Toledo, Bryce and Breanne Fredrick, of Castalia, Andrea, Bethany, and Laura Rutger, of Vermilion, Noah, Evan, Corinne and Nathan Geiger, of Springhill, Tenn., and Brook and Brandi Peterson, of Fremont. He also loved his great-granchildren, all of whom survive. They are Zack and Trenton Peterson, of Fremont.

One nephew, Jeff Fastnaught, of Toledo, survives. One niece Chris Fastnaught is deceased.

A memorial service facilitated by Woodfin Funeral Chapel and Ransom Funeral Home will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, at First Christian Church on Hayes Avenue, Sandusky, with the Rev. Don Linn officiating. Burial will be at the Margaretta Township, Castalia Cemetery on Bardwell Roadin Castalia, immediately following the memorial service. A time for visitation with the family at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall will be after the graveside service.

Donations to your church or favorite charity are suggested by the family.

A Special thank you is given to the administration, doctors, and staff of the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro, for making the last year of Gary’s life as enjoyable as possible. Their expertise and kindness surpassed all expectations.


LT. PORTER, Lee Warwick (VP-4 1957-1962)

Dr. Lee Warwick Porter, JrDr. Lee Warwick Porter, Jr., beloved husband, devoted son, supportive brother, loving step-father, wonderful granddaddy, American patriot, helpful friend, compassionate Christian, leader of his church was resurrected to his heavenly mansion on Saturday, March 17, 2012.

Born on November 3, 1934 to Ethel Orrell Porter and Lee Warwick Porter, Sr., in Wilmington, Dr. Porter grew up along Masonboro Sound before moving to Wilmington with his family as a teenager. He was well-educated at New Hanover High School where he graduated in 1953 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1957. Dr. Porter placed his formal education on hold to defend his country as a Naval Pilot flying P-2 reconnaissance planes based in Okinawa, Japan between 1957 and 1962. Dr. Porter was committed to serving in the United States Navy, even after his time of active duty by continuing as a Naval Reservist until retiring in 1994.

Dr. Porter returned to UNC-Chapel Hill to graduate from the School of Dentistry in 1968 after his tour of duty. His love for the people of his hometown led him to return to Wilmington to begin his practice of dentistry that continued uninterrupted for thirty-five years. Upon his retirement from practicing dentistry full-time, Dr. Porter continued filling in for area Dentists during their times of vacation and study and also served as a member of the faculty of Cape Fear Community College.

The love of Dr. Porter’s life was Wanda Pigott Porter, his wife, companion, dental assistant, best friend and partner in ministry. The two of them enjoyed better than thirty-two years of married life together.

Dr. Porter is survived by his wife, Wanda; sister, Mary Porter Lee of Wilmington; a daughter, Cynthia (Cyndi) McLelland Meyer (Roger) of Peachtree City, Georgia; a son, Frederick (Freddy) McLelland of Hillsborough, North Carolina; four grandchildren, Savannah Corey (Alex) of Swansboro, North Carolina; Perry and Cole McLelland and their mother, Amy McLelland of Hillsborough, North Carolina, and Autumnlee Meyer of Peachtree City, Georgia; and one great-grandchild, Spencer Nichols of Swansboro, North Carolina. Dr. Porter will also be remembered lovingly by his mother-in-law, Della F. Pigott of Shallotte Point, North Carolina; brother-in-law, Sheldon Pigott and his wife, Janice of Brunswick County, and his nephew, Andy Lee of Raleigh.

Dr. Porter was pre-deceased by a sister, Constance (Connie) Porter Tilson

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 PM, Monday evening at Andrews Market Street Chapel.

A celebration of Dr. Porter’s life will be conducted on Tuesday, March 20 at 11:00 a.m. at The First Baptist Church of Wilmington (corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street) of which Dr. Porter was a member for better than sixty years. His remains will be interred in the columbarium of First Baptist Church.

Dr. Porter’s family sincerely thank the medical and nursing staffs of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Lower Cape Fear Hospice for the care they provided to Dr. Porter and each of them during his final days on earth.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church, 411 Market St., Wilmington, NC 28401 or the Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Dr., Wilmington, NC 28401


In Memory of VP-50 shipmates



Two Navy Planes Collide Over Pacific; 27 Missing

March 21st, 1991

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO – Two Navy submarine-hunting planes collided Thursday, and all 27 people aboard were feared dead in cold, choppy waters 60 miles off Sourthern California, authorities said.

The Navy listed the crews as missing, but there was little hope any of the crew members from the downed P-3 Orions survived.

The all-weather planes were engaged in an anti-submarine Warfare exercise when they collided in bad weather, authorities said.

“I think we have to be realistic here,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Bob Howard, a Navy public affairs officer at North Island Naval Air Station. “It is very cold out there. We’re talking about what apparently is a mid-air collision…two aircraft. I would say it would be very grim.”

Still, he said, the Navy was conducting an aggressive air and sea search of the crash site.

Search and rescue teams saw some debris from the planes but found no signs of life.

There was no word on how long the search would last, but Howard said the Navy would make “extraordinary” attempts to retrieve remains and wreckage.

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the destroyer USS Merrill and at least two other ships, along with helicopters and fixed-wing planes, were assisting in the search.

A Navy helicopter crew flying in the area and sailors from the Merrill reported a ball of fire and loud explosion about 2:30 a.m. PST, Howard said during a briefing at North Island Naval Air Station.

He said the accident occurred over the Pacific Ocean about 60 miles southwest of San Diego.

The collision occurred as one P-3 Orion was arriving to relieve the other, which had just completed its part of the exercise, Howard said. Officials were uncertain how much contact the pilots had before the crash, he said.

Howard said it was believed 13 crew members were aboard one P-3 Orion and 14 on the other. The planes were on a training mission from Moffett Naval Air Station near San Jose. Names of crew members were withheld pending notification of their families.

The P-3s were in contact with land- and sea-based air controllers during the exercise, but officials were uncertain who was directing them at the time of the collision, Howard said.

Showers and strong winds were reported in the San Diego area overnight. The National Weather Service said pilots in the area reported severe turbulence about the time of the collision.

Howard said the Navy was uncertain what part, if any, weather played in the collision.

CDR ANDERSON, Joseph Carl USN (Ret) CO Mar 1953 – Jul 1954

Joseph C. Anderson passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, in Bellingham. He was born July 11, 1916, in Bellingham to Joseph and Margaret (Lindsey) Anderson. Joe grew up in Everson, graduated from Mt. Baker High School and the University of Washington with a pharmacy degree.
After graduating from UW, Joe enlisted in the Navy and served his country for 23 years as an aviator. He retired with the rank of Commander. After his retirement from the Navy, Joe created a new career as a Pharmacist; later he became a State Drug Inspector. He moved back to Bellingham in 1991 to be close to family and joined the Police Volunteer Security Patrol.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Melodie, in 2001 and by his brother, James Anderson in 1998. Joe is survived by his children Melodie Anderson, Merrilee (John) Swinehart, Charlene (DeFord) Cochran and Michael (Jody) Anderson; 11 grandchildren; many great grandchildren; and sister, Betty Woods.
Our family would like to end our thanks and appreciation to all of our father’s dear friends at The Willows who shared themselves so generously over the last ten years. We would also like to thank the dedicated people at Hospice for their thoughtful care.
A graveside service will be held Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at Bayview Cemetery. Moles Family Funeral Homes & Crematory, Bayview Chapel, Bellingham
Published in Bellingham Herald from December 28, 2011 to January 1, 2012

Ohlson, Bruce H. CDR VP-4 1955-58

Cdr. Bruce H. “Swede” Ohlson , USNR Ret. K7UAL

After a brief struggle with illness, Bruce “Swede” Hjalmar Ohlson took his last flight west for his final check on February 4, 2012. Bruce faced his final days with dignity and serenity.


Bruce was born on April 23, 1931 in Huntington, West Virginia. He grew up there experiencing all the usual lessons of childhood. Bruce enlisted in the US Navy, then took the opportunity to attend flight school courtesy of Uncle Sam. He was commissioned as an Ensign and assigned as a member of VP- 4 as a plane commander. This was an exceptional group of young men who flew anti-submarine patrols on 2 tours of the Far East. This group of young men, flying government supplied airplanes, had a very good time (probably too good of a time) and continue to hold regular reunions through the years. Bruce continued to serve his country in the United States Naval Reserve, finally retiring with the rank of Commander. After stepping down from Active Duty, Bruce worked briefly for Mohawk Airlines, then accepted a job flying for United Airlines. He flew for United for more than 36 years, retiring as a very senior Captain. Bruce always enjoyed flying large airplanes, and ended up flying 747’s to Europe, the Far East and South America. If United had a larger Airplane in its fleet, Bruce would have flown it. He was an exceptionally competent pilot, and walked away from every landing he ever made. Passengers for United Airlines were in very good hands when Bruce was in the cockpit. After his retirement from UAL, Bruce indulged his passion for Amateur radio. His ham shack had every conceivable band of radio in it, and if there had been an amateur radio operator on Mars, Bruce would have found a way to broadcast to him, as the nest of radio antennas in his yard would attest to. Bruce was a member of the Washoe County search and rescue team, helping to coordinate their communications from a mobile radio shack.


Bruce was married twice. He found the love of his life Diane Ohlson and married her on August 24, 1981. They stayed together for the duration of his life. Bruce raised 3 children.


Bruce was a man who was always there. If someone needed help he could be counted on to assist. If there was a meeting or a group to get organized, he would be in the thick of it. If he said he would be at one place at a specific time, he would be there. You could rely on Bruce to do his dead level best at anything he attempted. A day “loafing” with Bruce would exhaust a lesser person. He was a member of a select group of men that was taught to be as good as their word, and he expected that from everyone in his circle. Bruce was an achiever who led an exemplary life. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. Bruce is survived by his wife of thirty years Diane, of Reno, Nevada, his sister Sylvia of Virginia Beach, Virginia, his son Dana (Nancy) Ohlson of Grand Junction, Colorado, his daughter Kristin Ohlson Melnikoff (Harry) of Collbran Colorado, his daughter Tracy Hoobyar (Phil) of Reno Nevada and 6 grandchildren, Lauren, Amber, Daniel , Hannah, Brandon and Cody.


There will be a celebration of Bruce’s life at the family’s home in South Reno on Saturday, March 3, at 4 pm. Please call <Omited by VP-4 Association> for information and the address. In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Bruce’s name.



Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on February 19, 2012

POND, Richard E. LCDR USN (Ret) VP-4 1954-56

Dick Pond served in the Navy for 23 years as a pilot and communications engineer. He retired as lieutenant commander in 1968 and moved with his family from Brunswick, Maine, to Southern California, settling in the then small town of Newbury Park, where he lived with his wife for 43 years. After working 20 years for Lockheed in Burbank, Dick retired and devoted his time to his hobbies of photography, gardening, computers and baking bread. He and his wife of 61 years had three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren (and counting). Dick was preceded in death by his granddaughter Danielle Burt. He is survived by his wife, Roberta, and family members Patty, Rick, Carol, Danny, Pam, Bill, Tanya, Bradley, Sally, Shannon, Robert, Andy, Daniel, Nikki, Alyssa, Canaan, Mokey and Izzy. Memorial services were held last week at St. Julie Billiart Catholic Church in Newbury Park and Conejo Mountain Funeral Home in Camarillo. Published in the Thousand Oaks Acorn on 12/01/2011


Max A. Koontz
COLUMBUS — Max A. Koontz, 82, of Columbus, NC died Monday, February 13, 2012 in St. Luke’s Hospital, Columbus, NC.
Born in Kannapolis, NC, he was the son of the late Jennings Michael and Grace Thompson Koontz. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict, having served in the U.S. Navy in the VP-4 Squadron before being honorably discharged in 1954. After his discharge he studied at NC State University, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering. Shortly thereafter he worked for the Navy as a Civil Servant. In 1984 he transferred to the Department of Energy in the Senior Executive Service. His total Government service was over 38 years. He retired in 1996, and then moved to North Carolina and in 2008 moved to Columbus to his dream house in the mountains. He was a 60 year Mason and a member of Advent Lutheran Church.
Surviving is his wife of 18 years, Rose Gwynn Koontz; one brother, Kenneth Michael Koontz (Dianne) of Concord, NC; two sisters, Gilda Kuhn of Salisbury, NC and Rosemerry Koontz of Concord, NC; one son Michael Koontz of Metamora, MI; four daughters, Christy Heussner (Robert) of Metamora MI, Sherry Koontz of Poolesville, MD, Kathy Koontz of Portland, OR, and Kelly Koontz (Steven Arabia) of Darnestown, MD; two stepsons Fred Smith of Silver Spring, MD and Pat Smith of Colorado Springs, CO; three stepdaughters, Theresa Gwynn of Colorado Springs CO, Catherine Kramer of Waldorf, MD and Susan Myers of Rockville, MD; grandchildren, Jens Panyard (Desiree), Jennings Alexander Heussner, Olivia Arabia and Samuel Arabia; two great-grandchildren Kamron and Connor Panyard; former wife Doris Koontz of Metamora, MI, and many other relatives and friends.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 16, at Advent Lutheran Church, Spindale, NC with Rev. Ron Fink officiating. Inurnment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
An online guest register is available at
McFarland Funeral Chapel, Tryon, NC is assisting the Koontz family. Published in Charlotte Observer on February 16, 2012

Wayne E. Cowen VP-4 1964-66

Wayne E. Cowen, age 73 of New Braunfels, TX, passed away on January 8, 2012.
Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, Carl H. Cowen and Berniece (Duvall) Cowen and his brothers, Eugene and Delmer Cowen.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley A. (Baze) Cowen; son, Carl Cowen & wife, Amy; daughter, Stacy Burgh & husband, Steve; grandson, Kyle Burgh and granddaughters, Katelyn Burgh and Sarah Cowen.

Wayne served as a Naval Flight Officer from 1960 to 1980, retiring as a Commander. He then worked until 1994 as a Management Analyst for several companies supporting the U.S. Department of Energy.

Visitation will be held at 9:00 AM on Friday, January 20, 2011 at Schertz Funeral Home. Family and friends will then process to Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery for a Graveside Service, with military honors, to begin at 10:45 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Cancer Research Institute. Please visit for more information on donating.