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Personal Experiences

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt

CVA-42

Harry A. Jordan

Service Dates: November 1962 to December 1965

 

From November 62 til December of 1965 I served aboard the Roosevelt CVA42 as a radar operator in Operations Intelligence Division. MY Commanding Officer at that time was Commander Gibson and our Ships Captain was Captain Clark. I completed two Med. Cruises with the 6th fleet and two Operational readiness Inspections at Guantanemo Bay Cuba. One ORI inspection was during the time Castro cut the water off to the base.

During my second Med. Cruise while standing mid-watch off the coast of Sardinia, I was on a SPA8 radar repeater which had the ECM IFF code box attached to the top of the repeater. At around 0200Zulu time I detected a unidentified aerial object at several hundred miles from the Roosevelt. The object never returned any IFF identification squalk . The contact was dead still and then closed our ship travelling over 3000 mph. It winked out after our ship was turned into the wind and two F4B's Phantom 2 jets were launched and headed toward the contact with afterburners on. When they turned on their conical scan radar to home in on the target the target winked out ! The aircraft were recovered and five minutes later the contact winked on again. The aerial contact was returning a solid signal . The strength of the signal was equivalent to a surface contact the size of an aircraft carrier. If anyone reading this was ever attached to the USS FDR CVA-42 during the time I mentioned, wou!
ld you please contact me at the home address provided. I was also trained at OCS in Newport Rhode Island on the use of the WLR-1 Active and Passive ECM equipment....

Harry A. Jordan RD3- USN Honorably Discharged with Commendations JUly, 1967 Jone Point US Naval reserve Training Center, Alexandria, Virginia.
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Sailor:Larry M Easton

Service Dates: 5/24/58-5/17/62


Late in the year of 1958 or 1959 (It's been to long to remember for sure) I was standing a look out watch on the FWD. port side of the 07 level, directly above the bridge. I was a radarman in OI Division, and all look outs fell under our jurisdiction. We were involved in Car- Quals, and we were steaming on fox-corpon at about 30 kts. and they were positioning a F8U Crusader on the port catapult. The bridle had been put into position, and the catapult officer had began his hand signal for the pilot to turn his power up as the JBD's rose into position for the aircraft to take off. Suddenly, the catapult chief comes out of the port side catwalk, and walking in a 1/3 bent over position, he attempted to walk under the forward section of the aircraft, and appeared to stumble on the cable that the bridle is attached to. Woosh, he was sucked into the intake of the F8U, as a vacuum cleaner would suck the dirt off of a carpet. One second he was there, the next he was gone. I remember hearing this loud POP, and a ball of fire flew out of the exhaust, that turned out to be the chief's leather jacket. The aircraft was very quickly shut down. A Doctor was on the scene very fast (I don't know if it was a flight surgeon, or ships Doctor) at any rate, he almost passed out, and had to be removed from the intake. They, at this time pulled the plane over to the #-1 elevator and lowered it into hanger bay #1. After hearing how bad it was from the Doctor that had attempted to get the chief out, they got this older marine, that had fought in WW2 and Korea to go in and get the chief out. This he did, and to everyone's surprise the chief was still alive. They did what they could for him on board, then flew him off in a TF to NAS JAX Hospital. However due to loss of blood and of course shock, he died later that same afternoon. From that day until I left the ship the F8U was known as the chief eater. During my time at sea, all of which was on carriers, I saw quite a few men die from different reasons, and also suffer severe injuries. However I looked at it this way, the navy gave us all very good training, but when you went to the fleet, especially a carrier, you better remember your training and stay alert at all times. If you do this your chances of completing your tour are very good.

Sailor=In memory of Earl J Thompson
Service Dates=Sept 51-Jan 54

Posted By:Earl A Thompson (son)

I am the son of a former crew member (Earl J Thompson).My father passed away in 1972 when I was 9yrs old.In trying to learn more about my father I have been researching the Roosevelt.I remember him telling me how much he enjoyed those yrs he served in the Navy.So I just wanted to post a message in his memory.I would love to hear from anyone who may remember him.He served from 51-54
Thank You
Earl Thompson

 

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