Saturday, October 22, 2016
Snips and Snails and Grumman Tales
As I research Jolly Roger history in an effort to learn more about my first squadron, VF-84, I'm turning up a wealth of information. There's enough to write several books, and in fact several books have been written on the topic. I'd like to produce one or two or three blog posts with the aim of sharing a historical overview of squadron I joined nearly 40 years ago, and I'd also like to clear up a bit of the confusion about the lineage of what is arguably one of the most recognizable naval units of the twentieth century. Whether I'll succeed or not remains to be seen.
Today I'm going to post up a couple of videos. They're a bit longish for a blog post in general and really not suitable for a historical overview. I think they're quite interesting and entertaining, however, and perhaps you will too.
The first one, US Navy Air Power at Sea, was produced by Grumman and gives a very good look at the cutting edge of naval power projection circa 1980. The film showcases the stable of Grumman aircraft which were the backbone of US carrier aviation at the time. Five of the eight types of aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wings came from the Iron Works on Long Island; the F-14A Tomcat, A-6E Intruder, KA-6D Intruder tanker, EA-6B Prowler, and E-2C Hawkeye. There were only three non-Grumman types in the Airwing; the LTV A-7E Corsair II, the Lockheed S-3A Viking, and the Sikorsky SH-3H Sea King. Non-airwing Grummans around the boat were the C-1 Trader and the C-2 Greyhound. Other non-airwing/non-Grumman types included the Douglas A-3 Skywarrior (Whale) and from time to time a Phantom or a photo-sader. And the helos. CH-46, CH-53, H-2.
The next one, F-14 Air Combat Maneuvering, is another Grumman film, shot at Miramar in about 1978. It's mostly about ACM/BFM.
Finally, One of a Kind is about F-14 weapons tactics. It's fun for me to watch these films. They're about as close as I can get to a time machine. Those were pretty cool days, when the nation faced an external existential threat, rather than an internal one.