"F-8 Coming Aboard" by Swede Hedberg

Updated 6 Nov. 2004

Bits and pieces of information of interest to Crusader drivers....old friends, etc. Send your contributions to the Page Watch Officer.

The following were sent to the P.W.O.:

VF-194 reunion March 25-27 2005. 
Check the VF-194 website for details! Our Reunion Email is VF194_reunion@hotmail.com.

Jim Crumly

I am a volunteer at the Fred Weisbrod and International B-24 Memorial Museum and I am seeking information from anyone who might have flown or been otherwise associated with the following aircraft:

{several skipped}
C. Vought F-8 Crusader # 145349 Tail Code: 7K
J. Grumman F11F-1 Tiger #141853 Tail Code: NP
U. Grumman F9F-8 Cougar #138876

Anyone who has been associated with the specific aircraft listed here or who have experience with the aircraft type please email me at: or "snail mail" the information to:

Pueblo Historical Aircraft Society 31001 Magnuson RD Pueblo, CO 81001

Jason B. Unwin

Click here to Email Jason

I have put together an A-1 (sorry, AD) Skyraider web page recently at:


I am recounting missions I flew in the Skyraider during the summer of 1972, 25 years ago. I am about to write about a SAR I flew for a USN F-8 Crusader pilot, callsign Nickel 102. He was down north of Ashau Valley west of Hue and northwest of DaNang. His name was Commander Jim Davis, flying from Hancock. Date of downing was 20 June 72, rescue made on 21 Jun 72.

Can anyone out there put me in touch with him, or him with me?

Byron Hukee
USAF, LtCol, Ret.
5762 Hwy 25 S.
Fruitland, WA 99129
(509) 722-3469

From: Lee Van Brocklin

Did you happen to know a Ltjg Lee Merrick whose F-8 crashed at sea after a PDA over NVN in 67. He was a NROTC grad from Iowa State Univ. His Mother She gives an annual scholarship in Lee's name to the highest ranked Mid who has been selected for Naval Aviation Training.

He was with VFP-63 Det 19 onboard Hancock and was lost on October 3, 1968. He got his wings in March of 67 so he wasn't there very long I guess.


	James Lee Merrick, Jr

        Iowa State U graduate 1965

        Wings March, '76

        VFP-63 Det 19, USS Hanckock (CV-19)

        Crashed in S. China Sea enroute from NVN to ship 3 October, 1968.

(Lee Van B. was an S-3 NFO & NROTC instructor)

Click here to email Lee Van B

Subject: "Son of a Gunfighter"

My name is Michael Bell and I am the son of Donald B. Bell who flew the F-8 with VC-2 out of NAS OCEANA, Va. from 2-1-66 until his death on 9-25-68 during an ACM exercise with F-4's from VF-103. I have had limited success contacting any of his former squadronmates and if any of your group has any good info on my father, I would appreciate it greatly!

We've got our memories; can anyone out there help Michael find his??

Click here to email Michael

(The following was recieved by the PWO on 8 May 1997:

LT Rick Amber, USN, /USNA '67/ F-8s USS Hancock, 1971 passed away from cancer. Rick was a paraplegic having broken his neck during a ramp strike and then having his SAR crash in bad weather on the way to Da Nang.

Rick went on to found "Challenge Air" here in Dallas, which offers free light airplane rides to the physically handicapped. Please check out his website


Herb Kelleher, CEO, SW Airlines, has donated space at Dallas' Love Field --

Challenge Air
North Concourse, Suite N106, LB-24
(Southwest Airlines)
Love Field
8008 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, Texas 75235

Telephone: (214) 351-3353
FAX: (214) 351-4565

Check Herb Kelleher's page at: http://www.iflyswa.com/herb/herbie.html

And Southwest's Homepage (incl. reservations option) at: http://www.iflyswa.com/

The Navy is rich in tradition, official and unofficial. Here is a "mini-tradition" that I really like, and I think you will too.

From Gary Williams, VF-211, 68-70:

I was Moon Vance's first student at Kingsville--he pinned his own wings on me at my graduation--the same wings his instructor (Moon was his first student also) had given him. I recently had the privilege of giving those same wings to my daughter Kendra, 30 years later at her winging ceremony in Kingsville.

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