Category Archives: Fallen Shipmates

AT3 Gerald D. “Gary” Myers VP-4 1959 – 1961

Myers, G.D.
VP-4 Vet Gerald Duane “Gary” Myers passed away on 8 March 2014.  He served as Radio Operator on Crew 1 during 1959 to 1961.
Military Services are set for Gary Myers cremains on April 11. 1330 Hours at:
Tahoma National Cemetery
18600 SE 240th Street
Kent, WA 98042-4868
Phone: 425-413-9614
His daughter, Deborah Kuno, has not yet decided on where contributions in Gary’s name are to be sent.
Condolence cards may be sent to:
Ms. Deborah Kuno
25135 110th Pl SE Apt B
Kent, WA 98030-6478
Watch this site for more info and to leave messages in Guestbook.

Passing of CWO4 Kent H. GUNN USN (Ret) VP-4 1978 – 1982

Fallen Shipmate

CW04 Kent Harold Gunn USN Ret. 75 of Covington passed away 2/18/2014 and is now with our Lord. A service celebrating his life will be held at Bethel Christian Church in Conyers on March 23rd 2014 at 2:00pm.

Kent was born and raised in Monroe. He was a Graduate of Monroe High School Class of 56, University of West Florida Batchelor of Science 1974. Kent proudly served his country for thirty years in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer. He Owned and Operated Gunn Brothers Truss Company of Covington from 1987 to 2003.

Kent was preceded in Death by Jessie Harold Gunn (father), Gladys Virginia McClure (Mother) He is Survived by Rick and Robin Haynes (daughter) of Conyers, Michael Kent Gunn (son) of Conyers, Alvin and Robin Gunn (brother) of Covington, James and Joyce Gunn of Rutlege (brother), Grand Daughters Megan Brown, Shannacy Morton and Jada Gunn. Great Grand Daughter Keiley Morton. In Lieu of flowers family request donations to Bethel Christian Church. 1930 Bethel Rd. NE Conyers, GA 30012.


Condolence cards may be sent to his son, Michael, who has posted several pictures of “Gunner” on the VP-4 Veterans Association on Facebook at


Mr. Michael K. Gunn

2725 Westminister Ln.

Conyers, Ga. 30012

CDR Melvyn “Mel” Maxwell BROWN VP-4 Veteran 1954 – 1956

Melvyn BrownMelvyn “Mel” Maxwell Brown passed away December 4, 2013 in Carlsbad, CA. He was born in Lanty, Arkansas on January 7, 1921. Mel was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He retired from the Navy after 27 years as a Commander, USN, Pilot. After retiring from the Navy, he was a real estate broker in San Diego County for over 20 years. Mel is survived by Ruth, his wife of 58 years; and his two children, Nancy Cook and family of Redwood City, CA and Ken Brown and family of Carlsbad, CA. Two grandchildren, Amy Buckley of Richland, MI, and Eric Brown of Oceanside, CA, also survive him. The memorial service will be at 11a.m. on December 17 at Miramar National Cemetery with full military honors.

Published in U-T San Diego on Dec. 15, 2013

CMDR. ALBERT L. DODSON VP-4 Veteran 1951-1953 – CO 1952-1953

Fallen ShipmateMemorial Services were Saturday at the George Belton Chapel, for retired Navy Cmdr. Albert LeRoy Dodson, 76, Raymore, who died April 29, 1992, at Research Belton Hospital.

Dodson was born in Cleveland and returned to this area in 1967. He served in the Navy from 1939 to 1967 and held five commands. He was a test and patrol pilot in World War II. He was a real estate broker for Kroh Brothers.

He attended Central Methodist College, Fayette, MO., and the Naval War College and the Naval Postgraduate School. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the Philipine Liberation Ribbon. He was past president of the Belton Historical Society and the Heart of America chapter of the Retired Officers Association. He was a member of the Navy League, the Quiet Birdmen, the Military Order of the World Wars, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, the Association of Naval Aviation, the U.S. Naval Institute, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Meteorological Society and the Harry S. Truman chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was a former board member of the Westport Historical Society. He was a Mason and a member of Ararat Shrine. He was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Raymore.

Survivors include his wife, Jane E. Dodson of the home; three sons, James L. Dodson, Lancaster, Calif., William B. Dodson, Ormond Beach, Fla., and Joseph G. Dodson, La Crescent, Minn.; a sister, Marie Curnett, Raymore; and nine grandchildren.

Burial with military honors will be in the Belton Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to the Belton Historical Society or the church.

Cyrus S. Lee VP-4 Veteran 1956 -1958

Lee Obit

letter with Lee Obit




Passing of VP-4 Vet David T. PITTS CDR USN (Ret) VP-4 1956 – 1958

I was informed by Susan Pitts of the passing of her husband, VP-4 Vet CDR David T. Pitts, who served in VP-4 from 1956 – 1958.
Condolence cards may be sent to :
Mrs. David T. Pitts
715 Chipandie Drive
Augusta, GA 30909
Pitts, David TPitts, David T. 2 AUGUSTA, Ga. – David Terrill Pitts, Sr., beloved husband of Susan B. Pitts, entered into rest July 2, 2013, and in exultation: For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Friends are invited to call at the home July 18th, between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00 PM, for a celebration of David’s life. A private family gathering will be held at the Pitts home the morning of July 19th under the leadership of Rev. Alan Smith, Associate Pastor, Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Known early on as Skipper, and later as Davey, his youth was spent in a happy, competitive, and seemingly unwashed pursuit of fun, sports and adventure. He and his brother Petey were deprived of nothing since their parents had nothing, nothing material, but an abundance of love, and a concerted quest for excellence in education, more than made up for it. In addition to his wife of 33 years, other survivors are sons: LTC David Terrill Pitts, Ret. (Melissa), Augusta, GA; Rowland Whitney Pitts (Ryma), Bristow, VA; LTC Esli Terrill Pitts (Faith), Ft. Hood, TX; and daughter, Sarah R. Pitts, Augusta, GA; grandchildren: Chelsie of Auburn, WA; Sean and Kellie of Augusta, GA; Jessica and Angel, of Bristow, VA; Ashley and Alyssa, Ft. Hood, TX, Kelly and Veronica of Everett, WA; great-grandchildren: Lucas and Blaine; sister-in-law, Jocelyn Milner Pitts, Pasadena, CA, and nephews: Dr. Andrew Pitts (Sara), Dover, DE and Jonathan Pitts (Jiho), Baltimore, MD; niece, Amy Pitts Buckner (Matthew), Pasadena, CA; great-nephews: Will and Hank; and great-niece: Johanna. Also survived by special furry friend, Butch, and special family friend, Wesley T. Pearson (daughter’s companion). He was preceded in death by parents: Ferris Newcomb and Florence Austin Morris Pitts of Webster Groves, MO; brother: Dr. Ferris N. (Pete) Pitts, Jr. of Pasadena, CA; and former wife, Mary Ann Barden Pitts of Oak Harbor, WA; and son, Thomas Barden Pitts (Tanya), of Everett, WA. After graduating from Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School in Maplewood, MO, he received a full scholarship to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in English and Naval Science. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree from the University of South Carolina where he enjoyed a year’s attendance with his wife. Upon completion of flight training at Pensacola, FL, he was designated a Naval Aviator and he experienced a variety of squadron assignments culminating in duties as a fighter pilot, primarily flying his favorite aircraft, the McDonnell-Douglass F-4 Phantom II. He was interested in aviation safety and completed a twenty-six year career without accident or injury, which led to a job as acceptance test pilot at the Rockwell International production facility at Columbus, OH. David and Susan were married in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany. After arriving in Augusta, David became the Naval Science Instructor at both Westside and Glenn Hills High Schools, and the couple found a wonderful community of loving friends through their church home: Aldersgate United Methodist. Once both became librarians, David and Susan were affiliated with several local libraries. Their primary pursuit was Christian mission work, and their greatest achievement will always remain putting down family roots in their adopted hometown, Augusta, GA. Loving thanks and recognition to the following individuals and organizations for their unmatched professional care: Dr. Nasha Nayak and staff of the Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center; Dr. Roger Fincher, Gastroenterology Dept., and Dr. Derek Baudoin, Family Care Center, Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Thanks and appreciation also to Augusta Chapter, Military Order of the World Wars, of which David was a founding member; Magnolia Garden Club; College Hill Chapter, DAR; Susannah Wesley Circle, Good News Gospel Choir, Leigh Cupp, the Youth Group under Shelly Martin, and the rest of our church family at Aldersgate. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Military Missions, Aldersgate U.M.C., 3185 Wheeler Road, Augusta, GA 30909.
Published in The Augusta Chronicle on July 7, 2013

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

Passing of VP-4 Vet AFCM Quinten T. Starren USN (Ret) VP-4 1959 – 1960

Starren, Quinten T. ADCSLarry Scott, who served as an AK-3 in VP-4 from 1961-62, sent me a note about a 1959-1960 VP-4 Cruise Book available for purchase on Ebay.  He queried the seller about the source of the book and was told that it came from the estate of Quinten T. Starren who served in the US Navy from 1942 to 1972.
Quinten T. Starren served as an ADCS in VP-4 during 1959 – 1960 and retired as an AFCM in 1972.  He may have served longer in VP-4 but I could only find him in the 1959-60 Cruise Book and have no other record of him.
I located the following obituary.
Quinten T Starren
Birth: Mar. 6, 1923
Death: Sep. 2, 2012
Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Quinten T. Starren
Posted on: September 4, 2012
Brainerd Dispatch
Quinten T. Starren, 89, Lower Sylvan Lake resident, died Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, at Essentia-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. He was born March 6, 1923, in Warroad, Minn., to Erick and Esther (Toombs) Starren. He was a graduate of Warroad High School. Quinten served in the US Navy for 30 years, retiring in 1972.
Surviving are his daughter, Diane Valenti, of Arkansas; and grandson, Patrick; and great-grandson, Alek.
His wife Clarisa died in 2010.
Graveside services with military honors will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery.
Nelson-Doran Funeral Home & Crematory

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

AT1 Gary A. Nelson VP-4 1966 – 1969

During his tour in VP-4, Gary served as Radio Operator or 1st Tech on Crew 12 and Crew 5.  After his time in the Navy, Gary went to work for the FAA and retired from there.

Fallen ShipmateGary was born in Nov 1944 and passed away on 15 May 2013. He thought he had food poisoning, however it was his appendix.  He did not go to the hospital in time and it ruptured. They couldn’t fight the infection.
It was all very sudden and quick!!
His funeral is on June 27,2013 @ 11 AM At Willamette National Cemetery  in Portland, Oregon.
Condolence cards can be sent to:
Trevan & Jill Nelson
335 S. 7th St.
Saint Helens, OR 97051

Stubbs, Darrell D. AK1 USN (Ret) VP-4 1979 – 1980

Stubbs, Darrell D 1 Stubbs, Darrell D.Darrell Dee Stubbs, 55 of Lexington Park, MD, was greeted at the Gates of Heaven on June 15, 2013. He was the son of the late John and Irene Stubbs, born on April 5, 1958 in Fairmont, West Virginia. At nineteen years old, Darrell joined the U.S. Navy where he served his country for twenty years and at retirement was ranked a 1st Class Aviation Store Keeper. During his Naval career, he was awarded the following medals: Navy and Marine Corps Achievement, Good Conduct, National Defense, Southwest Asia and two Expeditionary. While stationed in Lexington Park, MD, Darrell met the love of his life, Cecelia (Darlene) Woodland and the two married on Christmas Eve in 1986. In his spare time, Darrell enjoyed playing bid whist and was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. He also loved listening to the oldies but goodies and sharing his favorite meal of spaghetti with his granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents and a long-time friend, Vernon Coates. Darrell is survived by his wife, Cecelia; his daughter, Tesha Stubbs; two sons, Darrell Stubbs II and Dominic Pendleton, seven grandchildren, three sisters, Margaret Holman, Genevieve (Gary) Freed and Carolyn Stubbs; four brothers, John (Martha) Stubbs, Robert (Beverly) Stubbs, Videll (Sandra) Stubbs and Julian (Mildred) Stubbs; in laws, Joseph and Thelma Woodland; brothers-in-law, Joseph “Al” Woodland and David Woodland; one sister-in-law, Ellen (Daryl) Bogier; a special friend, Jackie Butler and a host of other relatives and friends. Family will unite with friends on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 for visitation from 3:30 p.m. until time of service at 5:00 p.m. at Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home, 38576 Brett Way, Mechanicsville, MD. Interment will be private.

CDR George R. HENRY VP-4 1961-62


Henry, George R. 1

I just received the following email from Dana Henry Young, daughter of George R. Henry, who served as Crew 7 PPC and Quality Control Officer while assigned to VP-4 during 1961 and 1962.




This is Dana Henry Young, George’s daughter.  It is with great sorrow that I inform you that tonight (28 May 2013, Tues, 10:30pm) at his home, your dear Navy buddy, George, has gone to be with his Lord and Savior.
I will be arriving in Hot Springs Village tomorrow to be with Mom, my brother, Richard and my sister, Sharon.   Feel free to call me at [removed for OPSEC] later in the day if you would like share your condolences.  Not sure what shape Mom will be in since Dad was her rock but if she is taking calls I will put you through.
I am praying Dad’s contact list is still on his computer when I arrive.  Please share this news with any other Navy friends of Dad’s that aren’t on this email.  He loved you all so much and cherished the friendships he made with each of you.
If you have any G rated stories you want to share with the family, please feel free to email me.  If you have R rated stories, you can send them to me and I will share them with Richard. J  Dad and Richard were best friends, please keep him in your prayers as well.
Since Dad became ill, as a family we were by Dad’s side through 2 hospital visits (2.5 months each) and 2 rehab stays (2 months each) + time at brother’s home and their beautiful home in Hot Springs Village for a total of 17 months.
The 10 months that I was helping care for Dad was the best time of my life.  I am so grateful that I had this precious time with my sweet Daddy.
If you want to send Mom a card, her address is:
Email Database @ vp4association . com for address information
Mom’s email is denehenry @ yahoo . com
All our love,
Dene, Sharon, Richard and Dana
Henry, George R. - Mom Dad Christmas 2012 Henry, George R. - Mom and Dad Officer Club

Larry Hames
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager
database @ vp4association . com
(503) 688-9804


Koontz, Kenneth Joe VP-4 1994 – 1998


Fallen ShipmateBRACKETTVILLE, Texas | Kenneth Joe Koontz and his loving wife, Melissa Lou Hill Koontz, along with their two daughters, Madison Glenn and Marley Ann, of Brackettville Texas, went to their heavenly home Sunday, April 14, 2013. They are survived by their son and brother, Kenneth Zachary Koontz. Ken and Melissa blessed us with their love and acceptance. They saw the best in everyone and raised their children to do the same. God blessed us all by sharing them with each of us. Ken had a passion for the great outdoors, flying, and loved working with his hands. He had a love for life and could always be counted on to lend a helping hand. Uncle Kenny was a favorite play partner for all his nieces and nephews. One of his happiest moments was when his son and best friend, Zachary, was born. Melissa was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. She spoke from the heart and shared her faith and love. Melissa’s beauty shined from her eyes and radiated forth and warmed us all deeply. The brightest smiles were to be found when she was watching Madison act, Marley playing sports, and Zach creating with Legos. She loved sitting and having a cup of tea and sharing her life with her prayer partners and Bible study groups. Madison and Marley were both shining examples of young Christian ladies. Both of them list the book Heaven is for Real as a favorite. Both young ladies saw the beauty and goodness in others before anything else. Madison lit up the world with her smile on the sideline cheering and on the stage taking on a variety of roles. She loved Tae Kwon Do and teaching others about this and The Lord. She had a passion for music which she had hoped to share and develop at Texas A & M Corpus Christi. Her words of hope and listening heart will be missed by the many who counted her as a friend. Marley always had a smile on her face and kind words for others. She loved her friends and family and enjoyed spending time with all. Marley was always taking care of animals and loved her sweet dogs, Bella and Sammy. Her Facebook page reflected her strong faith. God is love. God is life. Our hearts mourn the loss of Ken, Melissa, Madison, and Marley. They are survived by a large family and extended family, mothers, Selma Clements Koontz and Lucinda Wilson Hill; brothers and sisters, Dan and Pam Koontz, Kimberlee and Mike Humble, David and Renee Koontz, Lucinda Kelly, Bettie and Steve Fedrizzi, Emily and Randall Bolander, Hilda and Andy Wertz, Maggie and Barry Johnson, Sam and Carol Hill, and Jane Hill; nieces, nephews and cousins, Megan and Leslie Bolander, Heather and Scott Gilbertson and Emily Fedrizzi, Matthew Henniger and Cinda Kelly, Emma, Melanie, Hannah and Caroline Wertz, Ella, Charles and Lillie Johnson, Tracy and Angel Hill, Chris Jorgenson and Richie Hill, Graham and Grady Koontz, Ryan Humble, Reid and Charlotte Humble, and Macy Koontz. They were preceded in death by father and grandfather, G. Doyle Koontz and Richard C. Hill; brother, Richard D. Hill, and nephews, William D. Hill and Gary Hill. Visitation for Ken, Melissa, Madison, and Marley will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 21, 2013, at the Brackettville Civic Center. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday, April 22, 2013, at the Brackettville Civic Center. A private burial for the immediate family will follow. In lieu of flowers, the families are requesting for donations to be made to the Koontz Family Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will honor the family’s dedication and love for education and Brackettville. Donations will be accepted through the Brackettville ISD, P.O. Box 586, Brackettville, TX 78832. Please visit our website at and sign our online guestbook. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Sunset Memorial Oaks Funeral Home & Cemetery, 2020 Bedell Ave., Del Rio, Texas 78840, (830) 778-2020.


Published in The Citizen from April 19 to April 20, 2013




4/15/2013 – LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — An Air Force reserve instructor pilot and civilian employee was killed along with his wife and two daughters near San Antonio, Texas, April 13.


Lt. Col. Kenneth Koontz, a civilian simulator instructor and member of the 96th Flying Training Squadron was killed in a traffic accident on U.S. Route 90.


“Lt. Col. Kenneth ‘Jughead’ Koontz was one of the most seasoned T-6 instructor pilots at Laughlin,” said Lt. Col. Sean Garrett, 96th FTS commander. “He was a valued and trusted leader within the 96th FTS and he was loved by the students, having recently been named the ‘Best Guest Help IP’ by Class 13-15.”


Each pilot training class has instructor pilots who do not fly with them on a day-to-day basis, but do fly with them regularly. These instructor pilots are known informally as ‘Guest Help IPs’ and each class picks their favorite, as well as favorite simulator instructor. Koontz had been picked a number of times for these awards.


While Lt. Col. Koontz loved teaching students how to fly, it wasn’t his top priority, explained Garrett.


“Jughead was a man of strong faith, and spending time with his family was always his priority. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” said Garrett.


Before joining the Air Force Reserve, Koontz was in the Navy for 15 years. He became an Air Force reservist in 2006.


Many of the training flights for April 15 were curtailed as students and squadron members dealt with their grief.


“Our priorities right now are to help this family any way we can and to ensure our team is mentally ready to resume flight training,” said Col. Tom Murphy, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “Lt. Col. Koontz was a civilian employee and a Reserve lieutenant colonel, exemplifying what an Airman is all about, and he established a very high standard of excellence along the way. He and his family were deeply ingrained into the Laughlin, Brackettville and Del Rio communities. This is a tragedy and they will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Koontz family and friends.”


Koontz flew 894 sorties equaling 5,656.5 flight hours during his career; 4,456 of those hours were in the Navy and 1,200 hours in the Air Force. He also had 2,036 hours in a simulator.


“That means he probably worked with 1,800 students in the SIMs alone,” said Mr. Danny Williams, Director of Sims and Academics.


“The number of students Lt. Col. Koontz has worked with and helped shape into remarkable pilots is a testament to his skills and talents,” said Murphy. “He helped us graduate the world’s best pilots. That is a fact!”

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