back - - - > Keith Gallagher's A-6 Ejection Story
Log of Activities - USS Abraham Lincoln Aircraft Carrier(1991)
Frank Beierly, AZCS (E-8), (now retired)
Monday, May 27 1991
This account of CVW-11's "Adventure 91" is for specific events that I intend to (try) and log during our deployment aboard Lincoln, beginning today thru Thanksgiving or earlier (whichever comes first).
Depart NAS Miramar for Alameda
by C-9 (VR-57)
VF-114, VF-213, VA-95,
VAQ-135, VFA-22, VFA-94, VS-29, VAW-117, HS-6
Tuesday, May 28
Depart Alameda via USS Abraham Lincoln for some foreign ports (somewhere, how many?). At least three different schedules are the authorized one.
PULL ANCHOR, BEGIN TREK
ACROSS THE PACIFIC 0800
Sunday, Jun 9
Sunday, Jun 16
Heard a volcano in P.I.
blew called Pinatubo. Flew off
29 aircraft to Kadena AFB to make room for possible evacuation of Clark AFB/Subic
dependents due to eruption.. Papered
acft on roof to prevent ash damage.
Monday, Jun 17
Arrived P.I. 1400.
Picked up 2100 evacuees/180 dogs due to volcano eruption, departed
2200. Air filled with ash,
enroute to Cebu. Looks like a
moonscape out there. Everything
is covered with ash, amazing, like a National Geographic moment.
Never seen anything like this, like chewing on sand, in eyes, ears.
Tuesday, Jun 18
Transiting to Cebu, a baby
was born on the Roanoke today.
Wednesday, Jun 19
Arrived Cebu (Magellan Bay)
approx 0800. Evacuees begin
departing ship via CH-53. Slow
process. Clean air.
Thursday, Jun 20
Last CH-53 left 0100.
Departed Cebu at 0500 we are heading back to Subic to pick up more
evacuees. The Midway should be
there tomorrow, now a part of operation "Fiery Vigil".
Friday, Jun 21
Arrived in Subic 0600 for
second run. Scheduled pullout
is 1300. Took approx 3300
people. Pull alongside Midway
for vertrep. Midway will finish
evacuee run today. Raining
Saturday, Jun 22
Arrived Cebu 0730 with
verified 3200 evacuees. Departure
by helo should take 14-16 hours. Abraham
Canetta, 6 lb 8 oz was born onboard today at 1630.
They say Midway 1ook 1400 evacuees aboard on the 21st and
will not have to return.
Sunday, Jun 23
Last helo departed 0300,
rumors abound…next? Pulled
anchor 0800. Headed north. Aft berthing compartments are trashed. Hangar bay still smells like wet dogs.
Monday, Jun 24
Fourth mail call so far, and food is still plentiful, not much fresh fruit though.
Tuesday, Jun 25
Operating in the South China Sea near Saigon
Wednesday, Jun 26
Today = 30 days at sea. AECS Nettles got his Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) wings today.
Saturday, Jun 29
Acft mishap today, VF-213. 201 and 205 midair. 201 into sea, crew ejected and are safe. 205 lost 9 1/2 ft of stbd wing, diverted to Singapore (amazing). Will not make remainder of cruise. 201 struck from inventory.
Sunday, Jun 30
Arrived Singapore at 0700
will stay till Jul 5.
Thursday, Jul 4
VF-114. 106 sitting on the fantail, someone blew the canopy off with emergency jettison handle. Canopy bounced off the acft down to camel and into water. Luckily no one was hurt.
Friday, Jul 5
Pulled anchor 0650, depart Singapore.
Saturday, Jul 6
Transiting Straits of Malacca.
Sunday, Jul 7
Entered the Indian Ocean 0700
LAT N 5 29.350
LON E 90.35.318
Monday, Jul 8
Off the coast of Sri Lanka, acft mishap. VF-213. 203 went into sea near ship approx 1730, crew ejected safely. Recovered by HS-6 helo. Both ok.
Tuesday, Jul 9
VA-95. 515 had a partial ejection. The acft trapped with the B/N halfway outside the canopy in the air stream, his chute wrapped around the fuselage and tail. Everyone alive. Unbelievable.
back - - - > Keith Gallagher's A-6 Ejection Story
Wednesday, Jul 10
In Arabian Sea. Will turn north after replenishment with Roanoke. Current position:
TIME: 0645 (L)
LAT: N 7.05.100
LON: E 73.42.300
Thursday, Jul 11
Gulf pay entitlements begin today. FSA Type II, Combat Zone Exclusion, Imminent Danger Pay, free mail
LAT: N 13.13.107
LON: E 68.20.285
Roughest seas yet. Waves hitting hard, sometimes over the angle. Deck closed.
Friday, Jul 12
Someone left an AESS power hatch open rubbed against (scraped)
against 614 all night. Tail
pylon worn beyond limits. Swapped
helo with Nimitz.
Saturday, Jul 13
Entered Straits of Hormuz 0530, manned 50 cals, CWIZ, Sea Sparrows. Set Mine Zebra and watches. 0930: Nimitz 1000 yards to stbd. People waving happily, why?
When crossdeck/turnover is complete they head home. We are their relief. It is incredibly hot out here.
Sunday, Jul 14
All ship defenses will stay at the ready.
The beginning of a long, boring, hot, sticky, cloudy, smelly,
constant low visibility Persian Gulf patrol.
Plenty of life in the water (sea snakes, jelly fish, dolphins).
GQ every Monday and Friday.
Monday, Jul 15
Daily flight schedule usually 1300-2300 so they can get day and night traps.
Wednesday, Jul 17
Rumors are starting to fly about the 25th and what part we will play in Saddam's master plan. Will we see Dubai on the 25th (when we're supposed to pull in). We will probably stick to the original sched anyway, as printed as usual.
Thursday, Jul 18
The Cunnard princess is
here for R&R visits for the our crew (wah!).
Ship to ship? It's for
E-6 and below. Begins on the 23RD.
1ST Gulf mail call today.
AFCM is back from beach (Bahrain).
Cag calls him the snoozer (must be a personal one).
Something about the Londoner Pub.
Friday, Jul 19
Radiological (CBR) gear handed out today along with our own personal DECON
kit. Had our second mail call
since the 14th, almost as many as the Nimitz did their whole time
out here (they had three).
Saturday, Jul 20
Dubai officially cancelled
today, so much for the printed plan. No port scheduled in it's place at this time.
Must be something to that Imminent Danger Pay and what will happen
Jul 25th. . Scheduled to be on alert 24-28 Jul.
Monday, Jul 22
Approximate standard position since the 15th:
Supposed to head up north tomorrow.
Forrestal launched a 36 acft simulated strike at the designated range today.
Tuesday, Jul 23
Heading north to 25 miles off Iran and 100 miles off Iraq. Just as hot here. Launched a 32 acft simulated at the range. Everyone is back.
2100 heading back south, we'll be there by morning.
Wednesday, Jul 24
Rumor control says Dubai
12-17 Aug. Some say we'll have
beer day before next inport. Mail
call. These mail calls are not
the greatest. We often wonder
who is getting all this mail that comes aboard (tons), not us in the Air
Thursday, Jul 25
It's 2000, for some the day is ended, for some it's not even close.
Today is supposedly the big deadline. The only deadline we faced today was the meetings, briefs, flight schedule, chow time, stores closing, those normal day to day things associated with staff life.
Friday, Jul 26
Left Miramar 61 days ago. I didn't plan on writing a book. It seems to be turning out that way. Better than boring, who will want to read this in November anyway. Another mail call, nine tons, for somebody.
Wednesday, Jul 31
Have not moved much since the 15th. One trip up north, the rest of the time in small circles.
Thursday, Aug 1
Dropped anchor off the coast of Bahrain. No land in sight.
Visibility: Sucks. About 3/4 mile, you can see a film on the water. We will be swinging around the anchor through the 3rd. Another schedule came out today.
Friday, Aug 2
Helo folks going ashore saw a mine this morning 36 mi due east from ship. Launched the helo to search and destroy crew it, they looked all day and found it at 1700 18 mi due east and destroyed it. Good eyes in them helos. What if they didn’t see it?
Saturday, Aug 3
Pulled anchor in this lovely at anchor port, surrounded by sea snakes and man-of-war jelly fish. The crew thoroughly enjoyed liberty in their berthing compartments after “Holiday Routine” (holiday for the ship’s crew, routine for the Air Wing).
Friday, Aug 9
We may actually pull in on the 12th for restricted liberty (wonder what that means), at least the mail calls are getting more frequent.
Saturday, Aug 10
Mailed papers to Disney, Sea World, Universal to see if I get response to freebies to folks back home that served out here they expire on Nov 11. I hope to get extensions for us when we get back.
Monday, Aug 12
Dropped anchor off Dubai 0830, normal liberty. It's really hot. No shorts, avg temp should stay around 108 deg.
Saturday, Aug 17
Pulled out early for an exercise tomorrow, left 185 folks behind, including AK1 Panga. Excellent considering the amount of people that were on liberty.
Sunday, Aug 18
One person from VAQ-135 was drunk and dove head first into the shallow end of a swimming pool. Broke a vertebrae in his neck. He's there in traction.
Wednesday, Aug 21
An Air Force RF-4G Wild Weasel crashed 65 miles from Daharan, an A-10 vectored HS-6 to the scene, picked up crew. Crew ok, one had a broken shoulder. Transferred them to a Saudi via an H-1 FFT.
Saturday, Aug 24
On the 1530 launch VFA-94 acft 304 ( F/A18) had a cold cat shot. Only 108 knots at the end of stroke. Acft in water, pilot ejected and ok. Helo picked him up, less than 10 min in the water.
Sunday, Aug 25
Left Miramar 91 days ago. It's still summertime back home.
Tuesday, Aug 27
Today is the official halfway point. We had prime rib a and lobster tail (surf & turf).
Bad news, first threat of water hours - we are down to 53% of water capacity and can't make enough through the night. Conservation is a must.
Monday, Sep 2
This is the week for school to begin for most children back at home.
Sunday, Sep 8
Found out that there are 9000 doctors at a convention in Dubai. Now we are not pulling in until the 15th. What timing! Another unscheduled schedule. We're getting good at this.
Monday, Sep 9
Anchored off Baharain. Here for two days. An airman from VS-29 died last night, rumors say he was sniffing freon and froze his lungs. Flew his body off today. His friend survived. An AE1 from H-6 lost his ring finger, never took his ring off out here and got it caught in the basket reel of the helo. They sewed it back on today.
Tuesday, Sep 10
Today is Steel Beach day, no work. We still sent out an AMRR. They are grilling burgers, steaks on the flight deck. The lines are long, the weather is hot, and the band is playing. We'd rather be inport. But hey, could be worse and we are all ok.
Friday, Sep 13
HM-15 lost a CH-53 while taking off from the Pelileu (LHA-5) last night. Six personnel onboard, HS-6 out looking for survivors.
Saturday, Sep 14
Bad news. Six bodies recovered from HM-15 helo.
Sunday, Sep 15
Dropped anchor off the coast of Dubai at 0930 (about four miles off) for some well deserved (I could think of a cooler place) liberty.
Friday, Sep 20
Rumors are flying again about another deadline that we are involved in. We will not pull out early though. I think about how long this cruise would feel if we had a plan. This unpredictability is the norm (hmm…).
Saturday, Sep 21
Pulled anchor at 0700 everyone's back. Liberty was a mental relief for all. We are ready to head out again for normal ops. So far word is that all went well with the crew.
Sunday, Sep 22
Left one person behind, he was drunk (like the diver last inport). Went into someone's house and slept in their bed. They had him arrested, and as expected he's still there awaiting charges.
Tuesday, Sep 24
We left 120 days ago and should return home in about 62 days.
Thursday, Sep 26
Our relief, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) departed Norfolk today for deployment. How do you spell relief? IKE!
Friday, Sep 27
Headed out of the Gulf for a few days off the southern coast of Oman. Ocean a little cooler out here, 80 deg instead of the standard 93. Outside temp: mid 80's.
Saturday, Sep 28
Sleeping is a lot better out here, the whole ship is a lot cooler. Cool water is good for the ship.
Current position: Arabian Sea
LAT: N 21.48.580
LON: E 60.07.305
Temp: Cooler than the last two months. Feels like a cold front.
Sunday, Sep 29
It was truly a remarkable day, the Lizards (VA-95) thought it was fly-off or something, they had 12 out of 14 jets up. Must be the weather. People are talking about sleeping with two blankets. We may need foul weather gear if the temp drops below 78 deg.
Monday, Sep 30
It's the compensation factor. The weather is still nice and cool. Now it takes longer to get hot water, that's the easy part.
Tuesday, Oct 1
AK1 Panga is getting his annual workout. Money, big money. Somewhere around 63 million dollars, and every squadron wants their part of the pot.
Friday, Oct 4
Tomorrow we pull in, anchor four miles out again (pull in?). The positive thing: This is the first scheduled port that we are going to be on time for. It only took four months to get it right (with a little help from Saddam). That's scary. Lets hope the rest of this cruise is on schedule.
Saturday, Oct 5
Dropped anchor approx one mile off Dubai 0745 (swinging around the anchor again). Scheduled to depart this anchorage on the 12th.
Thursday, Oct 10
This Dubai inport is too long.
Saturday, Oct 12
Pulled anchor 0840 due to fog. Headed outta here today. Should be through the straits by morning then through the Gulf of Oman into North Arabian Sea by tomorrow.
Good-by Dubai!!! And we're getting short.
Monday, Oct 14
Officially out of the Gulf. Entering the North Arabian Sea. I got my EAWS wings today.
Tuesday, Oct 15
Last night a guy cut his wrists. He'll live, he flew off this morning. Got one of those letters from home.
Thursday, Oct 17
Heading south, IKE in the Red Sea. Turnover complete. We won't see them, that's ok, we're going home.
Tuesday, Oct 22
Entering the Malacca Straits 0300, finish transit at 1800 tonight in the South China Sea.
Wednesday, Oct 23
Halfway across the South China Sea.
LAT: N 4.55.091
Lon: E 106.0.291
Been raining off and on the last two days. Free SCRUBEX (cleaning) for those guys on the flight deck.
Thursday, Oct 24
150 days gone by, 32 days left.
Saturday, Oct 26
Arrived Subic 1415. Have not seen this place since May (still a mess), but we will be tied to a pier! We can walk off this time too. Just a walk down the brow, no liberty boats. Subic looks good, some green, a lot of ash, still thick in some places. Looks like dirty snow.
Sunday, Oct 27
It's pretty hot and muggy during the day, at least we can wear shorts, not like the gulf (long pants, collars, and 108 deg). Except for the ash, it's hard to see when the winds blow. It gets in your hair, mouth, ears, ugh….. I feel so sorry for the people that live here, but they are doing as well as can be expected.
Monday, Oct 28
It's amazing, the survival rate of the bars here, most of them are still kicking. A lot of buildings are down, the main street (Magsaysay) looks beat up, but alive with life. Beer on average is 15 pesos (70 cents).
Wednesday, Oct 30
Scheduled to depart today at 1600. Going to heavy weather tie downs on departure, expecting heavy seas. Heavy weather.
Thursday, Oct 31
Rough riding across the South China Sea.
Friday, Nov 1
Anchored eight miles out at 0810 in the port of Hong Kong. Rides in are supposed to take 45 min. After the last port (two days ago) most are saying they will wait for the next port to get off (Alameda). Nice weather, cool, maybe wear the sweater I brought.
Sunday, Nov 3
Rides in are over 90 min. The water is rough going in.
Wednesday, Nov 6
Pulled anchor 0840. Next port, USA. They say the exchange rate is one to one (haha). We are supposed to hit 12-14 foot seas today and up to 18 ft tomorrow. We have to tie stuff down so it doesn’t fall or roll, things could get rough.
Thursday, Nov 7
We are in the Philippine Sea, the roughest waters of the cruise so far. The deck is pitching 4-6 feet in the office, it's oscillating, it's terrible. People are sick (me included). A lot of folks don't look well.
Sunday, Nov 10
Off the coast of Japan, should start the southeastern transit across the pacific toward Hawaii tonight, should get warmer. Our last official task "ANNUALEX" was complete at 1000 today.
We'll be advancing the clocks one hour each even day till the 22nd.
Monday, Nov 11
Heavy winds and high seas are preventing our all weather acft from flying,…..sea states are bad, the ship had been getting pounded, waves occasionally over the bow. The Philippine Sea was calm compared to this. All sponsons and weather decks are closed. Stay inside.
Tuesday, Nov 12
I remember writing a few months ago about how hot it was, now there are jackets everywhere. People are sleeping in sweats, socks, and two blankets.
LAT: N 32.58.333
LON: E 159.32.137
Weather: read yesterday
We're getting close to home.
Wednesday, Nov 13
Blue skies to prevail today. Sure hope so.
Thursday, Nov 14
The weather has broken. It sure is pretty out here, halfway between Japan and Hawaii. Almost flat blue seas. Weather is getting good., getting warmer, clear skies. Can see the horizon. Beautiful……
Friday, Nov 15
We crossed the international dateline at 0832 on this second 15th of Nov 1991. We lost Jun 9th and got it back today.
LAT: N 29.44.409
Three more time changes and two GQ's and we'll be home.
Sunday, Nov 17
Amongst the Hawaiian Islands. Nice outside. Beautiful.
LAT: N 26.14.409
LON: W 167.54.582
All 79 acft onboard looking good for a fly off on the 24th. Two S-3's are already gone. Flew to Guam.
Thursday, Nov 21
I haven't logged anything for almost a week. Thought we already left didn't you. VS-29 flew off today.
Friday, Nov 22
Airlift madness has begun. We will move 1200 folks home by air and 250 by bus. Crunch time.
Saturday, Nov 23
Getting the hangar bays ready for the scrubbing. Tomorrow is the major fly off, all the acft will be gone, things will get hectic. All the squadrons will want everything they can't have. Every command is their own priority, we have to get 1300 people home as soon as we pull in.
Sunday, Nov 24
All acft gone, packing out. It has been a long time. We've done a lot, seen a lot. We got there and "almost did" (25 July). I guess it's better that we didn't. The storm has passed, and hopefully will not come again. We're at the trailing end. Time to go now……..
Monday, Nov 25
I just had to say that this my last entry.
Going home by C-9 at 2010.We all survived this deployment, it went fast now that I look back to May 28th
Time to get busy staging, schedule aircraft to fly folks home, offload maddness, no sleep, almost over ... later CAG, CAGMO, Jun, Don, Dennis, George, Pete, and the rest of the CAG Staff .... thanks for sharing May 1991 to November 1991 with me. It was a quick six months, but fun and full of memories.
Frank served in the Navy for 26 years, retired as a Senior Chief (E-8) and made four cruises between 72' and 96'.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This site published and maintained by Mark Gallagher. This is a non-commercial site. The purpose of the site is to share an interesting story. All rights are reserved on the content. The images, photos, sound clips, video and text of this site may not be duplicated on any web site or paper media for commercial purposes. You may save the HTML and images on your computer for display for educational, training or individual (non-commercial) purposes or print and make copies of the pages for same purpose. The best way to share this site with others is to e-mail, post or link to the web address of this site: http://www.gallagher.com/ejection_seat/
Publishing the text, photos, images, sound clips and
video from this site to any web site available to the general public is
not allowed without the permission of Mark Gallagher and only
non-commercial purposes will be considered. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last update: 2015
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
back - - - > Keith Gallagher's A-6 Ejection Story