1953 to 1963
CVG-19 Trains VF-173 Pilot
East Meets West in Naval Aviation
That old saying "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet," doesn't hold true for either CVG-19 of Lt (jg) W.A Wright of VF-173.
Wright was hospitalized ashore while his squadron was serving aboard the Wasp in the Mediterranean. Several months later, Wright received his orders to return to the Wasp, by then in the far east. He needed refresher flying first, and since VF-191 was operating from NAS ATSUGI in Japan at the time, he was sent TAD to the CVG-19 squadron for his "brush up."
For 11 days he underwent instrument training and field carrier landing practice in a Cougar under the paddle-waving of LSO Roy Farmer. Wright was then flown to his carrier by Codfish Airlines. His parting words were, "I never thought I'd be flying with a west coast squadron here in Japan."
WRIGHT GETS AN IDEA HOW THE OTHER HALF FLYS
From Naval Aviation News, April 1954.
By late 1953, the squadron had transitioned to the new F9F-6 Cougar. With the Korean war cease fire, the squadron returned to "peace time" activities. In September 1953 the squadron, as part of CVG 19, boarded USS Oriskany (CV 34). Oriskany was to become the carrier with the longest association with VF 191. The first deployment with her lasted to April 1954 and followed by two more western Pacific deployments; March 1955 to September 1955 and February 1956 to June 1956. With the cease-fire in Korea, tensions between the United States and communist China was still hostile. China had taken to attacking American reconnaissance aircraft in the area. During the winter months of 1953, the aircraft of CVG 19 took part in air patrols, as well as routine training sorties in the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, and in the Philippines.
In the spring of 1954, Oriskany slipped back in time, to the Korean War. As the back brop for the movie "The Bridges at Toki-Ri", while VF 192 provided the aircraft for the filming, many of the the ships' crew and other airmen got to play in bit parts and crowd scenes. In March 1954, the aircraft of Oriskany provided air support for Marine amphibious assault exercises at Iwo Jima, the largest such operation since the close of the Korean War.
VF 191 Sets AirPac High!
In January 1955, VF 191 set a ComAirPac gunnery record at the Navy's desert installation, NAAS FALLON. Of the 29 pilots participating, 20 had never fired guns in the F9F-6 Cougar before. A squadron qualification average of 34% was realized. The Navy record, at the time was held by VF-81 with a squadron average of 42.9%. Flying 1,008 sorties for a total of 1,052 hours on air-to-air gunnery, the squadron flew for 17 days, averaging 62 hours per day. The Cougars expended 101,00 rounds of practice ammunition. Aircraft availbility consistently remained above 90%. Nine members of the squadron scored 40% or above. Paced by Lieutenant Commander "Slim" Granning, VF 191 XO, high of 67%. Lieutenant(jg). Harry Jevas came through with 52%; Commander "Butch" Voris, CO, had 49%. Voris was followed by two AF exchange pilots, Captain Miles Taylor and Captain Mo Weber, both with 44%. Lieutenant Bill Armstrong scored 42%, Lieutenant Commander Dean Chaix 41% and Lieutenant(jg) Robin McGlohn and Lieutenant(jg) Bud Meadows all made 40%. In order for a pilot to fire a qualifying score, he had to fire 100 of the 200 rounds of ammo loaded in his guns.
The 'planes, there are a-changing!
By March 1957, the Cougar had been replaced with the North American FJ-3 Fury. Then, in early 1957 VF 191 with CVG 19 boarded USS Yorktown (CV 10) for their only deployment flying the Fury. On 9 March 1957, they departed Alameda for the Far East, arriving at Yokosuka, Japan on 19 April. From 25 April, they operated off the eastern coast of Korea with TF 77 until 13 August, returning to Alameda on 25 August. While aboard with CVG 19, Yorktown was given the highest Operational Readiness Inspection grade ever given to a CVA to that date. This was also Yorktown's last tour of duty as an heavy carrier, before being converted to an antisubmarine warfare support aircraft carrier, with the designation CVS 10.
During a year long stay at NAS Moffet Field, from September 1957 to September 1958, VF 191 transitioned from the Fury to the Grumman F11F Tiger. The first four were recorded in squadron in October 1957. By April 1958, they had 14 F11F-1s on record and the last of the FJ-3 Furies were gone. Also while at Moffet Field, VF 191 claimed the world's first "catnick". The squadron's mascot, "Tiger Tom", accompanied the squadron skipper Commander R. N. Glasgow in his F11F Tiger in a supersonic flight, claiming a first for the United States, the US Navy and the squadron!
Later that year, the squadron boarded the U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31). This was to be the first of many deployments aboard the carrier spanning nearly a decade. CVG 19 comprised of VF 191 with F11F-1 Tigers, VA 192 flying FJ-4B Furys, VF 193 with the McDonnell F3H-2 Demon and VA 195 flying the Douglas AD-6 Skyraider. They were joined by VAH-2 Det Echo and a photo detachment to form ComCarGru3. After a routine deployment, they reurned to NAS Moffet Field for the summer of 1959. In the November, they rejoined the Bon Homme Richard. This time the air group had seem a few changes. While VF 191 retained the Tiger, VA 192 and VA 195) had transitioned to the Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk. The air group was also joined by VA 196 with AD-6s.
From July 1960 to February 1961, VF 191 were back at NAS Moffet Field. By the spring of 1961, VF 191 had transitioned to the better performing Chance-Vought F8U-1 Crusader. VF 191 was deployed twice aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31) with this aircraft, until January 1963, when they moved to NAS Miramar.
The squadron spent the spring of 1963 at NAS Miramar, before rejoining USS Oriskany (CV 34) in March. After a routine Western Pacific cruise, they returned to Miramar for Christmas.
|Sep 1953||Apr 1954||USS Oriskany (CV 34)||Grumman F9F-6 Cougar||B||Western Pacific|
|Mar 1955||Sep 1955||USS Oriskany (CV 34)||Grumman F9F-6 Cougar||B||Western Pacific|
|Feb 1956||Jun 1956||USS Oriskany (CV 34)||Grumman F9F-6 Cougar||N||Western Pacific|
|Mar 1957||Aug 1957||USS Yorktown (CV 10)||North American FJ-3 Fury||B||Western Pacific|
|Oct 1958||May 1959||USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31)||Grumman F11F-1 Tiger||NM|
|Nov 1959||Jun 1960||USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31)||Grumman F11F-1 Tiger||NM|
|Mar 1961||Nov 1961||USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31)||Chance-Vought F8U-1 Crusader||NM|
|Jun 1962||Dec 1962||USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31)||Chance-Vought F8U-1 Crusader||NM|
|Sep 1963||Nov 1963||USS Oriskany (CV 34)||Chance-Vought F-8B Crusader||NM|