Sunday, December 28, 2008

LAMPS and the SH-60

I was just over at EBM's site reading reading about the LAMPS system and other interesting ASW doo-dads. When she was discussing the helos, it occured to me that I have few pictures of such a bird...modern as of this summer. Here is an SH-60 for your viewing pleasure, then please hop, skip, or jump over to her site and see what this damned lumpy contraption is supposed to do. Oh, and in this picture, that window that juts out a bit on the left side is usually taken up by either the sonobuoy system or some sort of MAD gear. The pilot told me, but six months on, I can't recall.

Note the bucket under the bird to catch hydraulic fluid...obviously they are not very hygeinic birds.

I forgot to get a shot of it's nose gear, which included, among other things, a FLIR.

Oh, and I had to include this Huey. I am pretty sure its an ANG bird. They had six of them flying over Yakima last brought visions of Full Metal Jacket to sounded pretty neat as they loitered overhead awaiting their ingress to the Firing Center.
In 2007, they also had some Kiowas with the whole ball surveilance thing on the top of the rotors doing was pretty interesting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bremerton Naval Museum News

So, right after the decommissioning ceremony we will certainly have to drop by the museum! I guess they have been doing some major changes! Please take a look at this article, it expains it much better than I could.

I can't wait!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

105 Years!

Oops, I missed it, but, lets pretend the news is traveling as fast as it did in 1903, and this is the first I heard of it. So, As of yesterday, it has been 105 years since the Wright Brothers first flew at Kittyhawk! Look how far we've come.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Larson AFB

Larson AFB was home to several things over the years. In the last years of its service, it was a SAC Base. But just before that it was home to a few squadrons of interceptors. A specimen of which is pictured below. Pictured is an F-86L Sabre, also called the Dog model by some...I assume due to its snout like apearance. I have other photos, but photoshopped this one to look old...and/or just artsy...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Climb Mount Niitaka


On November 26, 1941, units of the Imperial Japanese, or Combined Fleet set sail. Their mission was secret and no radio comunication was sent by them during their mission. On December 2, 1941, the phrase "Climb Mount Niitaka" was sent to these elements of the Combined Fleet instructing them to attack Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941(Tokyo Time, also referred to as Time Item, as it relates to Time Zulu, which is Greenwich Meantime ).

As we all know, December 7, 1941 is the date which will live in Infamy. At about 7:55am planes from the IJN carriers Kaga, Akagi, Hiryu, Soryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku began their attacks on targets all over the island of Oahu. (here is a good page on the Combined Fleet units and their movements)

Their targets were the ships on Battleship Row. I will not go into too much detail since it has been covered elsewhere. I think it is necessary to note the significnce of this date, however.

All the battleships in the harbor were damaged. All but two returned to service. Of those two, only one was never raised. The Battleship Arizona, famous, or infamous, for her energetic reaction to an armour piercing bomb landing in her magazine, was never raised becuse the energetic reaction ruptured her hull and broke her back. She remains on the harbor floor.

I had the opportunity to touch her, well, a part of her.
You see, part of her rests here in the continental US. In April, when we went to Phoenix, Arizona for vacation, we happened onto one of her anchors and her mast. It was the state memorial to the ship with its name.

That day, 2400 men died. The real figure depends upon the source. That day, the US was thrown into WWII. Within days Hitler had made one of his biggest mistakes, and the world would never be the same. Within six months Japan would make her last movement forward in the Pacific and spend the rest of the war retreating before the growing war machine of the United States. Within four years, Japan would lie in ruins and two of her cities would be victims of the only atomic bombs used in anger.

So, today, I hope you will take a moment and remember. When they died, they did not necessarily know who was attacking. Some of them did not even have time to know they were being attacked. Still, they were service men, and they did their job. When they fell, others, thousands, stood in their place. I am not always proud of our nation's actions, but I am proud of our nations' fighting men(and women) and their indomitable spirit.

American fighting men and women, here's to you! Wherever you serve. Whatever your job. And, here's to your brothers who fell, during the attack on Pearl Harbor and anywhere else.

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Friday, December 5, 2008


She was commissioned on April 29, 1961. She is only the second Aircraft Carrier to carry the First Navy Jack. She is NOT a nuclear powered ship. She has been the oldest active ship in the Navy since 1998. She is none other than the USS Kittyhawk. She is presently in the Puget Sound area. She is scheduled to decommission on January 31, 2009.

I visited her website a couple months ago, and only just got an e-mail asking me for a mailing address for the invitation. I was so excited that my wife gave me the "Look." You know, the "what the hell was SO exciting that you had to sound like a little girl?" look. Oh, well, wives re like that. So, I am sending them my address and a request for four invitations. My parents have expressed an interest in attending...well, my father has. Anyway, while this in only a small way relates to aviation, well, that's not true, but it does also relate to Washington State.
I once visited the USS Constellation during a Seafair. I am afraid most of the photos from that trip were...well, I had a film snafu. I think they still inhabit a light-tight steel-tin somewhere in my boxes...
I have been aboard USS Turner Joy, USS Missouri(in 1984 and 1998), USS Pampanito, USS Hornet, USS Jeremiah O'Brien, and USS Tripoli. Yes, they are a motley assortment, and most are museums, but they are more than most landlubbers who live in a desert get to...who are not history fanatics. I have seen USS Henry B. Wilson, USS New Jersey, USS Iowa, USS Long Beach, USS Okinawa, USS Midway, and most of the Essex Class carriers that resided in Bremerton until they were either melted down or made into Museums. I wish I could say I have seen and been aboard more, but, it is hard to do in Central Washington.