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VP-50 Memorial

VP-50 Crew 2/11 - In Memorium - VP-50 Crew 2/11

March 21st, 1991

"Eternal Father Strong To Save"
The Navy Hymn
Sailor Aviators Version

Eternal Father, Strong to Save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its' own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In dark'ning storms or sunlight fair.
O, Hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air.

But when at length our course is run,
Our work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that flew and sailed,
Let not one life in thee be failed,
But hear from heaven our sailors cry,
And grant eternal life on high.

May all our departed shipmates rest in peace.

Eternal Father by the U.S. Navy Band's Sea Chanters (668 kbytes - WAV file)

Notice  VP-50 Memorial Page information furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Farquhar jakesnana@peoplepc.com, parents of Crewmember Petty Officer 3rd Class Dennis G. Farquhar Jr. (one of 27 crewmembers lost). [E-Mail Updated 21NOV2000]

Two Navy Planes Collide Over Pacific; 27 Missing
March 21st, 1991
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO - Two Navy submarine-hunting planes collided Thursday, and all 27 people aboard were feared dead in cold, choppy waters 60 miles off Sourthern California, authorities said.

The Navy listed the crews as missing, but there was little hope any of the crew members from the downed P-3 Orions survived.

The all-weather planes were engaged in an anti-submarine Warfare exercise when they collided in bad weather, authorities said.

"I think we have to be realistic here," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Bob Howard, a Navy public affairs officer at North Island Naval Air Station. "It is very cold out there. We're talking about what apparently is a mid-air collision...two aircraft. I would say it would be very grim."

Still, he said, the Navy was conducting an aggressive air and sea search of the crash site.

Search and rescue teams saw some debris from the planes but found no signs of life.

There was no word on how long the search would last, but Howard said the Navy would make "extraordinary" attempts to retrieve remains and wreckage.

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the destroyer USS Merrill and at least two other ships, along with helicopters and fixed-wing planes, were assisting in the search.

A Navy helicopter crew flying in the area and sailors from the Merrill reported a ball of fire and loud explosion about 2:30 a.m. PST, Howard said during a briefing at North Island Naval Air Station.

He said the accident occurred over the Pacific Ocean about 60 miles southwest of San Diego.

The collision occurred as one P-3 Orion was arriving to relieve the other, which had just complted its part of the exercise, Howard said. Officials were uncertain how much contact the pilots had before the crash, he said.

Howard said it was believed 13 crew members were aboard one P-3 Orion and 14 on the other. The planes were on a training mission from Moffett Naval Air Station near San Jose. Names of crew members were withheld pending notification of their families.

The P-3s were in contact with land- and sea-based air controllers during the exercise, but officials were uncertain who was directing them at the time of the collision, Howard said.

Showers and strong winds were reported in the San Diego area overnight. The National Weather Service said pilots in the area reported severe turbulence about the time of the collision.

Howard said the Navy was uncertain what part, if any, weather played in the collision.

The P-3 Orion, driven by four propellers, is regularly used by weather forecasters to fly in hurricanes.


Crewmembers

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Ray D. Beckner
29
Elmwood, Neb

Lt. Ronald L. Carmody
27
Tiverton, R.I.

Petty Officer 2nd Class
John Cavuoto
22
Savannah, Ga.

Airman
Brian M. Cerino
21
Saylorsburg, Penn.

LTjg David G. Chaikin
25
Lexington, Mass.

LTjg Martin B. Cox
27
Oklahoma City

UPDATE "...I am going to be in Wash DC and to Arlington Cemetery in April, and would like to visit the VP-50 Memorial (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends - March 21st, 1991). My cousins son, LTjg Martin B. Cox, was on one of the planes that crashed in 1991. I need directions to the site...Norma Cox Mielke namielke@hickorytech.net..." [28JAN2006]

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Richard A. Dabbs
22
Ramer, Tenn.

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Christopher D. Davis
20
Rapid City, S.D.

Petty Officer 1st Class
Jimmy W. Dyer
31
Ricerside, Calif.

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Dennis G. Farquhar Jr.
20
Brooksville, Fla.

UPDATE "...Remembering my brother, PO3 Dennis G. Farquhar Jr., on this 23rd anniversary of the accident (SEE: In Memorial for VP-50 lost friends March 21st, 1991)..." Contributed by Kelli Farquhar Karsen jake.tori@yahoo.com [21MAR2014]

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Michael L. Germeau
22
Centralia, Wash.

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Randall D. Hall Jr.
25
Saginaw, Mich.

UPDATE "...My brother, AW2 Randall Derrick Hall, 50th Airborn Division was one of the men killed in the collision of the two VP-50 P-3s of the coast of California on March 21, 1991 (See: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). If anybody knew him or has any information about the accident or investigation, please get in touch with me. I would love to hear from other families and friends who lost a loved one in this accident. God Bless. Travis Hall (brother to Randy Hall)...Travis Hall THll62017@cs.com..." [03DEC2000]

LT Mark D. Hamilton
26
Cedarburg, Wis.


Petty Officer 1st Class
Daryl J. Helkkinen
31
Chassell, Mich.

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Warren J. Hogue
22
Dolton, Ill.

UPDATE "...Proud brother-in-law of PO3 Warren J. Hogue (SEE: In Memorial for VP-50 lost friends March 21st, 1991)..." Contributed by Garry Tripp garry.tripp@energytransfer.com [21MAR2014]
UPDATE "...To all those who have served our country so bravely, our family says, "Thank You". The price paid for Freedom is beyond measure. God Bless you, and our country! Family of Warren J. Hogue - VP 50 - Mid Air Collision, March 21, 1991. Today is his 31st birthday, Memorial Day, May 31, 1999. Happy Birthday Warren. We love you and miss you very much!!...Darlene (Hogue) Tripp and Garry Tripp rowdie@cac.net..." [01JUN99]

Petty Officer 1st Class
Thomas McNerney Jr.
30
Pittsburgh, Penn.

UPDATE "...Be safe you good shepherds- Fair Winds & Following Seas. You (AW1 Thomas "Mac" McNerney Jr.) were a trusted friend and fellow AW. We never forget your sacrifice for others (SEE: VP-50 In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). See you when we RTB..." Contributed by Bob Massaro rmassaro@yahoo.com [23OCT2014]
LT Ned W. Metcalf
26
Sarasota, Fla.

UPDATE "...Classmate of LT Ned W. Metcalf (SEE: In Memorial for VP-50 lost friends March 21st, 1991. We graduated together from Admiral Farragut Academy high school in 1982. He was full of life's energy and made a tremendous lasting impact on all his friends. May his gentle soul rest in peace and his memory live on forever in those who knew him well..." Contributed by Lars Ulissey laurence.a.ulissey@nasa.gov [18APR2013]

UPDATE "...I was good friends with Ned Metcalf (SEE: VP-50 In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991) when he was in his Junior year at the Naval Academy. I was a sophmore at Catholic University and my good friend was dating a good friend of Ned's. I will always remember what a kind, caring, and compassionate person he was. Ned was full of life and loved to dance. We enjoyed going to many dances together most notably the "Ring Dance" at the Naval Academy. Often when he was unable to make it home to Sarasota Florida for holidays he would come to my home and enjoy the holiday with my family. We were always so honored to have Ned with us at these times; he was well loved and admired by each member of my family from my Grandparents down to my youngest sister Babe. He was truly a gentleman and will be missed by many many people. My heart hurts even as I write this; Ned had such a bright future ahead of him and he had so many hopes and dreams. I knew Ned when he was 21 and now it is 21 years after his death. I know he would have made the Navy proud given the chance! May he rest in peace with the angels!..." Contributed by Katie Grayson katiegrayson@live.com [27FEB2012]

LCDR Robert A. Nemecek
33
(Pilot)
Westmoreland, N.Y.

Airman
Dorsey C. Owens, Jr.
19
Haysi, Va.

UPDATE "...AN Dorsey C. Owens, Jr. (SEE: In Memorial for VP-50 lost friends March 21st, 1991) was my best friend through training. Never knew a more genuinely nice person. He died on his first flight! I've never gotten over that. Godspeed my friend. You will never be forgotten..." Contributed by Mike Edstedt offanchor@msn.com [12MAR2013]

UPDATE "...I went to high school with Dorcey Owens. I remember hearing of his death in 1991 (In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991), and it really hurt. I really didn't know the details until now. Even in high school it was his dream to fly. It was all he talked about. I am a Disabled veteran from Operation Iraqi freedom. I thank god for troops like Dorsey. I will never forget my friend and hero...Larry Younce spclarryy71@yahoo.com..." [15DEC2007]

LT Dennis L. Redmond
26
Freehold, N.J.

UPDATE "...LT Dennis L. Redmond (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991) was a relative of mine. I never got a chance to meet him but I wish I had. I found newspaper clipping of the plane crash that occured and I started to look it up on the internet when I came accross this website. I just want to say thank you to everyone who posted their thoughts about Dennis. My whole family appreciates it and I wish you all the best!...Amanda Kusevich pretty_n_punk2008@yahoo.com..." [25APR2005]

UPDATE "...I went to high school with LT Dennis L. Redmond (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991), and he was my best friend. I went into the Marine Corps right after high school and Dennis went into the Navy. Always much smarter than me, he had gotten a scholarship to Annapolis, to become an officer. I was just a buck private, but when we would see each other when we were on leave, we would joke about it, he never treated me any different then when we were in high school together. He was really a great guy. I was really proud of him, especially when he crushed his foot in the train accident. He could hardly walk the first time I saw him after that. He STILL became a navy pilot. We all thought he was something to behold. Dennis got married right before he died, which is something I harbor a lot of guilt over. I missed his wedding because i was in a bad way. This is hard to write, but I became addicted to drugs during that time, and just stupidly missed my best friends wedding. When I heard he died, I was in a drug rehab. I was crushed. I never even met his bride. I wish there was a way to tell him how sorry I am. I miss him so much and think of him often. He's gonna be the first person I look up, when my number is up. I just found this website today, not that I ever looked for one. I'm not a computer person, that was more a Dennis skill. If his family reads this, I want to say hello, and tell them I think of Dennis often. I didn't know that there are memorial services are still held for the crew that passed away. I would LOVE to know where and when the next one will be. Maybe I will even try to fit into my old uniform! Thanks for letting me share this, it's been something that will bother me the rest of my days...John Donahue 105;ne.zeke24@optonl&#net..." [27MAR2004]

UPDATE "...This mainly to the family of the late LT Dennis Redmond (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). I don't have your direct email address and hope that someone may forward this to your family. I was a VP pilot flying most of my training missions at VP-31 with Dennis in 1989. I was stationed at VP-4 in NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii and he to VP-50 at NAS Moffett Field, California. Dennis told me many things about his life and in reading all of the reports of the midair, my heart went out especially to his new wife Elizabeth. Our squadron was completing our missions in Desert Storm and I was sitting in the BOQ at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii when I saw the news on CNN. Dennis and I went through the RAG together and SERE school in San Diego. He told me a story about how he was jumping over two coupled trains to get to a night spot in Pensacola, Fl during his time there for flight training. The train began to move just as his foot was lodged in the metal couple and semi-crushed his foot. He said that after surgery, he had a big struggle to get admitted back into the Navy Flight Program which he wanted more than anything in his life. He was so excited before our training flights at VP-31 that I would let him go first with the instructor while I would eat lunch in the back of the P-3. I remember sitting on the beach with our Squadron CO and when I reflected on Dennis' life, he told me that it really should have been us over in the gulf war that experienced a tragedy of this magnitude due to the busy air war and operations at every level of altitude. I remember Dennis and had grieved over his loss knowing that he was doing what he loved to do the most along with his crew. Sincerely...Tim Strickland ondarock@qualityrecordinghawaii.com..." [27JAN2004]

Shipmate Pix
Petty Officer 3rd Class
Michael A. Rice
23
Tacoma, Wash.

UPDATE "...My husband, PO3 Michael Rice, was one of the brave men who lost their lives (SEE: In Memorial for lost VP-50 friends March 21st, 1991) that terrible night. He was an amazing man who loved being in a plane. With the 20 year anniversary approaching, I was wondering if anyone is interested in a memorial service..." Contributed by Julie Slater mjs15@comcast.net [26FEB2011]

UPDATE "...My son, Michael A. Rice, served with VP-50. I would like to hear from other families and friends of VP-50. I have missed hearing from all of you...Shirley White shirleysue1304@comcast.net..." [28MAY2003]

LTjg James B. Shields
26
Auburn, Maine

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Daniel W. Smith
27
Chetopa, Kan.

UPDATE "...I'm the sister of Petty Officer 2nd Class, Daniel W. Smith that lost his life on March 21, 1991 (See: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). My family is trying to keep in touch with the other families that also lost loved ones. If you have any new information regarding the crash or when the Reunion are please contact us...Krystal Underwood kduwood@yahoo.com..." [20NOV2000]

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Francis A. Sposato
30
Tulsa, Okla.

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Richard Tafoya
21
Glendale, Calif.

LT Cmdr Stephen A. Tisdale
39
San Jose, Calif.

LT Jay A. Williamson
27
Moore, Okla.

Pieces of Planes Found

Investigators may never know why Navy planes hit.


New York Times-MOUTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Searchers found only small pieces of debris Friday in the ocean area where two Navy planes collided Thursday off San Diego, and Navy officials say that the cause of the crash may never be known.

"It is possible that upon conclusion of this investigation we still may not know," Rear Adm. Tony Maness said Friday at Moffett Naval Air Station.

The lost planes, both large submarine-tracking P-3 Orions, were based at Moffett, south of San Francisco.

The planes, on a routine training mission, crashed at 2:26 a.m. Thursday. The crash occurred as one plane moved in to relieve another that had been training since Wednesday evening.

One plane held a crew of 13 and the other 14. Navy officials said the chances of finding survivors were slim.

Two Florida men, Petty Officer 3rd Class Denny Farquhar of Brooksville and Lt. Ned W. Metcalf of Sarasota, are amont the missing./strong>

A final salute
Navy says goodbye to 27 fallen airmen

Posted at 9:50 a.m. PDT Monday, December 7, 1998

http://www7.mercurycenter.com/archives/reprints/finalsalute120798.htm

By NICK ANDERSON
Mercury News Staff Writer
Published: Friday, March 29, 1991

One who died was always 'mission ready'

Posted at 9:50 a.m. PDT Monday, December 7, 1998

http://www7.mercurycenter.com/archives/reprints/heikkinen120798.htm

By MIRANDA E EWELL
Mercury News Staff Writer
Published: Friday, March 22, 1991

Radio trouble suggested in P-3 collision

Posted at 9:50 a.m. PDT Monday, December 7, 1998

http://www7.mercurycenter.com/archives/reprints/p3120798.htm

By SUE H UTCHISON
Mercury News Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, April 24, 1991

Navy ends search for wreckage
March crash of Moffett-based planes killed 27 crewmen

21JUL91 SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Navy has finished searching the area where two P-3 Orions collided over the Pacific Ocean, killing all 27 crewmen aboard both planes, official said Thursday.

The submarine-hunting planes assigned to Patrol Squadron 50 at Moffett Naval Air Station in Mountain View, collided March 21 during a training exercise.

Search crews looking for mission tape recorders recovered six spooled rolls of tape and various lengths of loose tape. They are being transcribed but will not be made public because the tapes are classified, said Navy Cmdr. Sheila Graham.

A navy court of inquiry will reconvene Monday at North Island Naval Air Station to hear more testimony to try to make a final determination of what caused the accident about 60 miles southwest of San Diego.

Radar tapes from the Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility at North Island show the planes were flying at their assigned altitudes of 3,500 feet and 2,500 feet when one pilot suddenly veered up and smashed into the belly of the other aircraft.

Investigators believe pilot error was involved in the accident, one of the worst in recent military history. Mechanical failure, air traffic controller error and weather have been ruled out as possible causes.

Radar tapes reviewe during earlier court of inquiry sessions show that one plane had been in the air 7 1/2 hours, veered up and struck the other craft that was arriving to relieve it.

Both pilots were flying under visual flight rules and were not receiving flight instructions from the Fleet Area Control and Surveilance Facility, which was monitoring the exercise.

The pilots had requested permission to change to a radio frequency not normally monitored at the facility shortly before communication stopped between the two planes.

Crewmen of a minature Navy sub located wreckage from the planes May 29 following a month long search of the ocean floor.

No bodies were found after the accident and no remains of any crew members are known to have been recovered. One plane carried a crew of 13 and the other carried 14.


Services are Sunday for Navy man

Wednesday, March 27, 1991 - By Michael D. Bates, Staff Writer - The parents, relatives and friends of Dennis Farquhar Jr. will be in church Easter Sunday to mourn the loss of this 20-year-old Navy man who touched the hearts of many in the county.

Petty Officer Farquhar, along with 26 other men, is presumed dead after last Thursday's collision of two navy planes off San Diego. A spokeswoman at Moffet Naval Air Station in Mountain View, Calif., where Farquhar was stationed, said rescue efforts were called off at dusk Friday.

"We have Christ," said Dennis's dad, Dennis G. Farquhar Sr. "I don't know how anybody could get through this without Him. He carries you through this."

At 4 p.m. Easter Sunday there will be a special memorial service at the Farquhar's church, Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Road in Weeki Wachee. There will be a special military service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family, residents of Spring Hill for eight years, is requesting any donations go to the Fritz Stanke Camp Fund at the church.

Farquhar said he found out about his son's death Thursday about 6 p.m. After hearing a television news report on the crash, Farquhar's brother called him. Farquhar called Moffet Naval Air Station and talked to his son's roommate. He noticed the roommate's usual joking attitude had became very somber. Farquhar knew something was wrong when he heard the phone drop.

"It was a big blow," Farquhar said. "It was also a blessing that God allowed him to do what he wanted to do. We have no regrets whatever.

"Denny was a great man and he loved what he was doing. He just wanted to excel in whatever he did."

Denny enlisted in his junior year at Springstead High School, joining the Navy in August 1988, after graduation from Springstead. Dennis was an aviation and electronics technician at Moffet.

The last time the family saw him was last September, when he was allowed a brief trip home.

"He always called every Sunday night," Farquhar said. "He was always close to the family.

"He's touched many a life. We never realized how many people he affected."

Morry Osborn, administrator of Christian Church of the Wildwood, worked with Dennis at the church's youth camp.

"He was kind of quiet, very adventuresome," Osborn said. "He was a hard worker. When he set his mind to do something he would do it."

Osborn said Dennis was a life-guard at the camp and put in many long hours there.

Dennis was born in Connecticut. He is survived by his parents, Dennis G. Farquhar Sr., and Maureen, his sister Kelli, and his grandparents Dorothy and Bill Sullivan.


When the phone didn't ring, dad knew

Posted at 9:50 a.m. PDT Monday, December 7, 1998

http://www7.mercurycenter.com/archives/reprints/mcnerney120798.htm

By LISA L APIN
Mercury News Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, March 23, 1991

Newly wed wife comes face to face with tragedy

NAVY TIMES/April 8, 1991 - By Carole Siler, Times staff writer - SUNNYVALE, Calif. - The pace had been hectic in the two weeks since newlyweds Dennis and Elizabeth Redmond moved into the rented, brown bungalow five miles from Moffett Field.

Elizabeth was trying to be, she said, the "perfect wife," shouldering the tasks of getting the house in order while Dennis, a Navy lieutenant and P-3 pilot with Squadron 50, was training for deployment to Adak, Alaska.

The Redmonds were just beginning to meld their lives together - his bachelor furniture, her 17-year-old cat, his Nintendo game, her vacuum cleaner. The picture proofs from their Jan. 5 wedding at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., were still on the coffee table, the wedding gifts still in boxes.

The couple had been thrilled to find the house, with its little rock garden out back and patio where they planned to barbeque this summer. Affordable houses near Moffett were hard to find.

Dennis had been putting in extra hours with the training, but Wednesday, March 20, he was home for the day. They slept late, went out to lunch at a deli, then shopped for a gag gift for the go's wife's birthday party which Elizabeth would attend that evening.

"It was a good day," Elizabeth remembered. One filled with "ordinary events, but special because we were together."

In the afternoon Dennis took a nap which is mandated for P-3 pilots before a long training mission like the ll-hour one he was going on that night.

At 7 p.m., Elizabeth prepared to leave for the party. Dennis was due at Moffett by 8. Elizabeth, never totally comfortable with Dennis' being a pilot, told him "fly safely and bravely." It was the kind of comment he shrugged off, she said, because he and his buddies called the P-3 the "safest plane in the Navy."

He told her he loved her, and she told him she loved him, too. They kissed goodbye.

Twelve hours later, in the gray dawn of March 21, the casualty officer brought the news that Dennis was missing and presumed dead.

She didn't believe it at first. Any moment, she thought, she would look out the window and see Dennis' red Mazda Miata convertible pull into the driveway.

Elizabeth felt terribly alone. She didn't know her neighbors. She had attended her first officers wives club luncheon only two days before. Her parents were miles away in Maryland. Her brother, Dan, a Navy lieutenant commander based in San Diego, had just returned from the Gulf war and gone on R&R with his wife and daughter to "parts unknown" avoiding television and newspapers. Her brother Pat, a Navy lieutenant, was still in Bahrain.

But as word of the tragedy spread, a chaplain and some members and wives of VP-50 came to comfort her. They brought homemade chicken soup and strawberry pie and an understanding of her grief. A few hours later, I arrived, a close friend from Elizabeth's years as a journalist with Navy Times, a job she left only in December to begin her life with Dennis. My trip to California, and a brief visit with the Redmonds, had been planned weeks before.

The reality of the tragedy settled gradually on Elizabeth in the hours that followed. With each degree of understanding that her husband was gone, Elizabeth cried - pained, piercing sounds like a child who has touched a hot stove.

She was irrational. When one caller asked how she was, she responded: "My husband is dead, but except for that. I'm OK."

She wanted people to call, even if they didn't know what to say because, she said, it showed her they cared.

She rubbed her chest and said her heart hurt. She made a bowl of Corn Flakes but never touched it.

She ran her hands through her hair, hair grown long because Dennis liked long hair. She chewed her nails and twisted her wedding band, and asked over and over, "What am I going to do?"

She bemoaned that instead of a future with Dennis, she would return to the past to live with her parents or in a lonely apartment. "He was so good to me," she said over and over.

"I'm so serious," she said. "I have to get eveiy-thing perfect. He was teaching me that it is OK to be a child at heart. He'd say, 'Let's play Nintendo.' Or, 'Let's put the top down [on the car] and drive around.' "

When someone offered to bring Dennis's Miata home from Mofiett, she said, "No," she wasn't ready to see it yet without him.

She wondered if he had suffered. "Did it happen fast? Was he in pain?" No, one of the airmen, who had come with his wife, told her. It was instantaneous.

Her greatest comfort, she said, was that she knew the names of the members of Flight Crew II. Dennis had talked about them.

"They were his friends. He laughed with them and loved them. They really cared about each other and they were good aviators," she said.

"I know wherever he is now, he's with his friends. He's not alone."


Grief hits home at Moffett Field in wake of crash

Posted at 9:50 a.m. PDT Monday, December 7, 1998

http://www7.mercurycenter.com/archives/reprints/wake120798.htm

By DAVID B ANK
Mercury News Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, March 23, 1991



UPDATE "...Be safe you good shepherds- Fair Winds & Following Seas. You (AW1 Thomas "Mac" McNerney Jr.) were a trusted friend and fellow AW. We never forget your sacrifice for others (SEE: VP-50 In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). See you when we RTB..." Contributed by Bob Massaro rmassaro@yahoo.com [23OCT2014]

UPDATE "...My husband, PO3 Michael Rice, was one of the brave men who lost their lives (SEE: In Memorial for lost VP-50 friends March 21st, 1991) that terrible night. He was an amazing man who loved being in a plane. With the 20 year anniversary approaching, I was wondering if anyone is interested in a memorial service..." Contributed by Julie Slater mjs15@comcast.net [26FEB2011]

UPDATE "...For any former Blue Dragons and Blue Dragon family members who will be in the NAS Moffett Field, California vicinity on March 20th, 2010 - A Memorial Service for the 1991 VP-50/FASO Mishap (SEE: In Memorial for lost VP-50 friends March 21st, 1991), as well as other Moffett-based mishaps, is scheduled to begin at 2:00PM at the VP-50/FASO Memorial site behind the former HQ building, across the street from the commissary. Volunteers are being sought to assist with the laying flowers for each of the crew members as well as the sharing of any memories of our former squadron mates. A reception will be held afterwards at the Moffett History Museum, a short walk away..." Contributed by Darrell Martin darrell@darrell-martin.com [09MAR2010]

UPDATE "...I ran across this page while searching for info on a midair at NAS Moffett Field, California (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends - March 21st, 1991). One of the P-3s and an AMES aircraft collided and ended up in the golf coarse at Sunnyvile. I had wondered for years what the aircraft commanders name was as I sat next to him on our trip over to NS Sangley Point, Philippines on the R4D that transported us. I just couldn't recall his name. I helped LTCDR Dow with the acident report paperwork and collection of debris. I remember that plane because it had the oddball paint job, a dark gray rather than the lighter color gray the rest of them had. All I remember seeing was a torn and burnt oarrnge piece of a seat coshion that was returned to the squadron. It kind of confirmed the report that a rocket blew up and caused a fire. From what I heard they were not even suppose to be using those rockets any longer as the motors tended to malfunction. I was on R&R with crew six in Hong Kong when it happen or I could have well been on that plane. I wish I had gotten a squadron book from that year but I didn't get one until the next deployment. I thought thier names were in that year also but they aren't. I was grounded at the time and just got flight hours when I could grap a training flight. My wife nearly lost it because I hadn't written the week we were in Hong Kong and It got in the papers while we were gone. We didn't even know about it until we returned from R&R. She contacted the Red Cross looking for me. Looking at the pictures really brings back memories of those guys. One of my crew members has been trying to call me the last week or so. Guess I had better get busy and call him back. He was at the reunion last year in Florida. Wish I could have made it. That was a sad time in VP-50s history. The only time as bad was the 91 accident of the midair out from San Diego while they were working a sub. It only takes one mistake when flying. TURNBULL, AMS1 August ted946@msn.com..." [02MAR2009]

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVP-50 Memorial Announcement "...Pulled this from the Moffett American Legion Post - 15 MARCH 2008..." Contributed by HONAKER, CDR Carl Retired carl.honaker@rda.sccgov.org [14MAR2008]

UPDATE "...There will be a Memorial Service on 15 March, 2008 at 1400 at the former NAS Moffett Field, California to remember those lost in the VP-50 Mishap (Mid-Air Collision) on March 21st, 1991. This is the 17th anniversary of the Maritime Patrol community's largest loss of Shipmates, and especially from one squadron. For the first time, we are also including a remembrance for those lost in the VP-50 Mishap (American Samoa) on April 17th, 1980 where 6 more Shipmates were lost. Friends and family from this accident will be participating. Thank you. Herb Parsons (AVCM-ret) herbndi@sbcglobal.net Moffett Wing VP International..." [28JAN2008]

UPDATE
Memorial Service Planned
March 21, 2001


UPDATE "...I am going to be in Wash DC and to Arlington Cemetery in April, and would like to visit the VP-50 Memorial (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends - March 21st, 1991). My cousins son, LTjg Martin B. Cox, was on one of the planes that crashed in 1991. I need directions to the site...Norma Cox Mielke namielke@hickorytech.net..." [28JAN2006]

UPDATE "...LT Dennis L. Redmond (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991) was a relative of mine. I never got a chance to meet him but I wish I had. I found newspaper clipping of the plane crash that occured and I started to look it up on the internet when I came accross this website. I just want to say thank you to everyone who posted their thoughts about Dennis. My whole family appreciates it and I wish you all the best!...Amanda Kusevich pretty_n_punk2008@yahoo.com..." [25APR2005]

UPDATE "...2005 and the 14 observance of VP50 & FASO..." Contributed by Blake Hauf blake.hauf@lmco.com [19JAN2005]

January 11, 2005

Dear Friends,

Welcome to 2005 and the 14 observance of VP-50 & FASO, as we get together in Corpus Christi, TX from March 18th to March 22nd.

This year's observance will take place on Monday, March 21st, time and place to be announced at the hotel.

Hotel accommodations are as follows:

RAMADA LIMITED AIRPORT

    Location: 5501 I-H 37 @Mc Bride Lane, Corpus Christi, TX 78408

    Directions: From I37 North & Hwy 181: Take exit 3B McBride Lane, left to the hotel.
    From I-37 South: Exit 3A (Navigation Blvd.), make a left U-Turn to McBride Lane, left to the hotel.

    Telephone: 1-800-894-5821 Reference Code: VP-50
    URL: http://www.ramadacorpus.com
    Fax: 1-361-299-1718

Refer to Group VP-50

Rates: $64.00 plus 15% tax per night

Reservation deadline Saturday, February 19, 2005.

Free Airport Shuttle, and Complimentary Hot Breakfast.

Please share this letter with your family, as this is only being sent to parents.

If you have any questions, call Ron or Adele Hogue at 708-596-2195 or E-Mail them at ronaldhogue@netzero.net.

Hope to see you all there.

Sincerely,

Ron & Adele Hogue
Parents of Warren J. Hogue, Crew 11

UPDATE "...I went to high school with LT Dennis L. Redmond (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991), and he was my best friend. I went into the Marine Corps right after high school and Dennis went into the Navy. Always much smarter than me, he had gotten a scholarship to Annapolis, to become an officer. I was just a buck private, but when we would see each other when we were on leave, we would joke about it, he never treated me any different then when we were in high school together. He was really a great guy. I was really proud of him, especially when he crushed his foot in the train accident. He could hardly walk the first time I saw him after that. He STILL became a navy pilot. We all thought he was something to behold. Dennis got married right before he died, which is something I harbor a lot of guilt over. I missed his wedding because i was in a bad way. This is hard to write, but I became addicted to drugs during that time, and just stupidly missed my best friends wedding. When I heard he died, I was in a drug rehab. I was crushed. I never even met his bride. I wish there was a way to tell him how sorry I am. I miss him so much and think of him often. He's gonna be the first person I look up, when my number is up. I just found this website today, not that I ever looked for one. I'm not a computer person, that was more a Dennis skill. If his family reads this, I want to say hello, and tell them I think of Dennis often. I didn't know that there are memorial services are still held for the crew that passed away. I would LOVE to know where and when the next one will be. Maybe I will even try to fit into my old uniform! Thanks for letting me share this, it's been something that will bother me the rest of my days...John Donahue 105;ne.zeke24@optonl&#net..." [27MAR2004]

UPDATE "...It has been a long time since saying goodbye to my good friends that were in the VP-50 Mid-Air Collision. I still remember that morning as if happened yesterday. I had just transfered to VP-31 a month prior. It happened on 03/21/91 at 02:13:39 from what I remember. It was a devesting blow to find out what happened. It was even more difficult when I went over to VP-50 from VP-31 with AW1 Pat Mespelt and found out how many of the people I knew. Many of them were on my last crew (CAC9). I assisted my good friends family (AW2 Sposato) otherwise known as "Spaz" or "Spuds". It was a great honor to have been able to be there for them. I was also present at the memorial ceremony at Arlington. Still to this day I shed a tear to think of all the friends I lost on that day. The loss we all went through will forever be with us. Whatever we all do, we should always remember one of the last things AW2 Sposato told his family the last time he visited them. "Don't mourn for me when I die but instead celebrate my life." ...CARBAJAL, AW2 Chuck lizandchuck@yahoo.com..." [24JUL2003]

UPDATE "...Welcome to 2002, and the 11th observance of VP-50 & Faso, as we get together in Cocoa Beach, Florida from March 20th to March 23, 2002. Last year, an east coast Memorial Service was held on March 21, 2001 in Washington D.C. at the Arlington Memorial with twenty-three in attendance, and a west coast Memorial Service was held in California at the Moffett Field Memorial with past officers, crew and family members, which numbered many. Thanks to all who made these services memorable. This years observance will be very informal and will take place on Thursday, March 21, time and place to be announced at the hotel. We plan to tour the Kennedy Space Center during our stay. Hotel accommodations are as follows: Hampton Inn - Cocoa Beach, Florida (approx. 1 hour from Orlando) Location: 3425 North Atlantic Ave. Directions: From I95, take exit 77A East (SR 528) 16 mi. to A1A From Orlando, take SR528 East to A1A Telephone: 321-799-4099, ask for Pat Butler, Sales Mgr. or her assistant Kathy, Asst. Sales Mgr. refer to group VP-50. Rates $99.00 + 10% tax per night Reservation Deadline: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 Please share this letter with your family, as this letter is being only sent to parents. If you have questions, call Ron or Adele Hogue 708-596-2195 or E-Mail us at ronaldhogue@netzero.net. Hope to see you there. Sincerely, Ron & Adele Parents of Warren J. Hogue, Crew 11..." Contributed by Ronald Hogue ronaldhogue@netzero.net [18JAN2002]

UPDATE MemorialCameraMemorial "...Memorial plaque to the crewmembers killed in the 1991 VP-50 crash. Photo by Airman John Esplana circa 1992. Photo from the Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/dvic/..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [17MAY2001]

UPDATE "...It was March 21, 2001, 11:00 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. There were 27 red, white and blue carnations placed at the Memorial site. The weather was typical of the night of the accident. It was raining ice crystals, with winds in excess 40 mph blowing, and 40 degree. Everyone's umbrella was being blown inside out with these conditions. There were twenty three family members and friends gathered to hear Chaplain Pervis Opening Remarks, Scripture Readings and Words of Comfort. AWCS (Ret) Dave "Devo" De Varney read "The Final Patrol". Roll Call was done by Ron Hogue. We all read three verses of "Eternal Father". Chaplain Pervis lead us in a Closing Prayer and Benediction. Family and friends met for lunch and fellowship at the Iwo Jima Quality Inn..." Contributed by Ron & Adele Hogue ronaldhogue@netzero.net [08APR2001]

UPDATE "...SEE March 21, 2001 Ceremony Moffett Photos vp50mem_06apr2001.html..." Contributed by Jeff Collins collinsjt@hotmail.com [06ARP2001]

UPDATE "...Moffett Ceremony Photos vp50mem_06apr2001.html [06APR2001]

UPDATE "...Hard to believe it has already been 10 years since the 50 crash. I remember it well. When one of the senior petty officers told me about it in the next morning, I thought it was his idea of a sick joke. I just couldn't believe it. May they all rest in peace. I was in VP-47 at the time serving as an AW. I was a non-acoustic operator on CAC 5. I can't be absolutely sure, but I think I gave Petty Officer Tafoya (he was one of the ordinanceman on one of the planes involved) his buoys for his flight that night as I think I was on Buoy Locker watch that night. I learned about the accident the next morning when I came to work at the hanger. Ken Levesque kenlevesque@mindspring.com..." [20FEB2001]

UPDATE "...The ceremony at Moffett was well attended (200+). The ceremony at Arlington happened amid the rain and muck (so I was told). There are several new photos etc on my web site http://www.users.qwest.net/~pcondon/newpage1.htm. Of particular note is the poem that Dave "Devo" DeVarney wrote and delivered at the Arlington Ceremony ..." Contributed by CONDON, AD1 Pete pcondon@uswest.net [24MAR2001]

UPDATE "...Information regarding the West and East Coast 10th Anniversary Memorial Services for VP-50/FASO Memorial Services. (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends - March 21st, 1991) for information..." Contributed by Ron Hogue ronaldhogue@netzero.net [22JAN2001]

UPDATE "...This mainly to the family of the late LT Dennis Redmond (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). I don't have your direct email address and hope that someone may forward this to your family. I was a VP pilot flying most of my training missions at VP-31 with Dennis in 1989. I was stationed at VP-4 in NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii and he to VP-50 at NAS Moffett Field, California. Dennis told me many things about his life and in reading all of the reports of the midair, my heart went out especially to his new wife Elizabeth. Our squadron was completing our missions in Desert Storm and I was sitting in the BOQ at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii when I saw the news on CNN. Dennis and I went through the RAG together and SERE school in San Diego. He told me a story about how he was jumping over two coupled trains to get to a night spot in Pensacola, Fl during his time there for flight training. The train began to move just as his foot was lodged in the metal couple and semi-crushed his foot. He said that after surgery, he had a big struggle to get admitted back into the Navy Flight Program which he wanted more than anything in his life. He was so excited before our training flights at VP-31 that I would let him go first with the instructor while I would eat lunch in the back of the P-3. I remember sitting on the beach with our Squadron CO and when I reflected on Dennis' life, he told me that it really should have been us over in the gulf war that experienced a tragedy of this magnitude due to the busy air war and operations at every level of altitude. I remember Dennis and had grieved over his loss knowing that he was doing what he loved to do the most along with his crew. Sincerely...Tim Strickland ondarock@qualityrecordinghawaii.com..." [27JAN2004]

UPDATE "...My son, Michael A. Rice, served with VP-50. I would like to hear from other families and friends of VP-50. I have missed hearing from all of you...Shirley White shirleysue1304@comcast.net..." [28MAY2003]

UPDATE "...Latest Information Regarding 10th Anniversary Memorial Services for VP-50/FASO on March 21, 2001..." Contributed by Ron & Adele Hogue ronaldhogue@netzero.net [22JAN2001]

January 15, 2001

Dear Friends,

This letter will include information regarding the west and east coast loth Anniversary Memorial Services for VP50/FASO on March 21,2001.

The West Coast Memorial Service will be held at Moffett Field Memorial in California on March 21, 2001. For those attending this service, your name MUST BE ON A LIST at the main gate by February 28,2001. NO NAME, NO ENTRY.

To get your name on the list, contact Eileen Metcalf, mother ofLt. Ned Metcalf, by calling her at (941) 371-8699 or E-Mailing Teeniemetcalf(ii),cs.com.

The East Coast Memorial Service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at the VP50/FASO Memorial, Section H Lot #1 on March 21,2001. We are awaiting confirmation of being placed on the Ceremony Schedule and assignment of a non- denominational Chaplain, so we do not have an exact time yet. We are hoping for sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m-

We ate planning to arrive at the hotel on Sunday, March 18th after 6:00 p.m.

For meeting place and memorial service time call us at Quality Inn Iwo Jima (703) 524-:5000, after 7:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 18th.

In order to drive into Arlington National Cemetery , car passes will be issued.

The service itselfwill be informal, there will be readings, roll call with candle lighting, prayers and time for each family if they wish to add a memory, a poem etc. The most important thing to us is that we are together on this day and that the men ofVP50/FASO are not forgotten.

We hope to have some time together at the hotel. If you would like to bring photo albums to share, please bring them.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the QUALITY INN -IWO JIMA located at 1501 Arlington Boulevard (U.S. Rt. 50) at Fairfax Drive in Arlington, V A. Reservations can be made for check in March 17 or after by calling Bart Fowler, Sales at (800) 228-5151X511. Refer to our group name VP50-group #1815 to get our room rate of $90.00 (double) per room per night plus 9.75% tax. Deadline for reservations at this price is March 1, 2001.

Parking is available, however, airport transportation courtesy of the hotel is not available. The Inn suggests that you fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Cabs are available or MetroSystem/Rapid Transit Blue Line which stops at ROSSL YN. That is within three (3) blocks of the hotel.

In our November mailing, letters were sent to 27 families of which we no longer have addresses for seven, eight did not respond, two were undecided and ten families responded to be in California or Virginia.

There are about eight families that will continue to get together every year in March I somewhere in the United States.

After ten yean, we would like to know if you would like to remain on our mailing list for future mailings. If so, call us, E-Mail us or write to us.

Ron & Adele Hogue ronaldhogue@netzero.net
(708) 596-2195
16235 Michigan Ave.
South Holland, IL 60473-1499

If we do not hear from you, your mail from us will be discontinued. Please share this information with your family.

Ron & Adele Hogue
Parents of A W3 Warren J. Hogue USN..." [22JAN2001]

UPDATE "...VP-50 & FASO Memorial Services (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends - March 21, 1991) March 21, 2001 at the March 21, 2000 family gathering in Memphis TN, the 9th Memorial Observance, the families decided to have the 10th Memorial Observence in two locations. A west coast Memorial Service will be held at the Moffett Field Memorial in California on March 21, 2001. For those interested in attending, your name must be on a list at the main gate by February 28, 2001. No name, no entry. To get your name on the list, contact Eileen Metcalf (mother of LT Ned Metcalf) call (941)371-8699 or E-Mail Teeniemetcalf@cs.com. An east coast Memorial Service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery Memorial (H Lot #1 Wilson Drive) in Virgina on March 21, 2001. For those who we have not heard from and are interested in attending contact Ron Hogue (Father of AW3 Warren J. Hogue) call (708)596-2195 or E-Mail ronaldhogue@netzero.net...Ron Hogue ronaldhogue@netzero.net..." [25DEC2000]

UPDATE "...My brother, AW2 Randall Derrick Hall, 50th Airborn Division was one of the men killed in the collision of the two VP-50 P-3s of the coast of California on March 21, 1991 (See: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). If anybody knew him or has any information about the accident or investigation, please get in touch with me. I would love to hear from other families and friends who lost a loved one in this accident. God Bless. Travis Hall (brother to Randy Hall)...Travis Hall THll62017@cs.com..." [03DEC2000]

UPDATE "...I'm the sister of Petty Officer 2nd Class, Daniel W. Smith that lost his life on March 21, 1991 (See: In Memorial for lost friends March 21st, 1991). My family is trying to keep in touch with the other families that also lost loved ones. If you have any new information regarding the crash or when the Reunion are please contact us...Krystal Underwood kduwood@yahoo.com..." [20NOV2000]

UPDATE "...A Memorial Service to honor the 27 airmen who lost their lives in the mid air collision of March 21, 1991 is scheduled for March 21, 2001 at NAS Moffett Field, California. If you plan to attend, please contact: (we'd really like to know how many are attending) Pete Condon AD1 (NAC) USN/RET pcondon@uswest.net or my phone on (480)998-5334..." [07OCT2000]

UPDATE "...I was a friend of LT. Ronald L. Carmody (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends - March 21, 1991) and was never able to find any information on the location of his parents and brother and sister since they had left Tiverton, RI. I recently came across this wonderful Memorial by TOTAL accident and now alot of questions are answered about his death, without any certainty that it was a real event. I had trouble believing it happened. Ron was a great friend to all and on the senior graduation the following year the class of 1982 presented Tiverton High School with a scholarship in Ron's name. It was beautiful and I wish his parents could now just how missed by his "high school friend." Please do not email me back...Jackie Nadeau gedmon@mcttelecom.com..." [10AUG2000]

UPDATE "...Myself, and several other parents are in the process of trying to get a memorial service for the navy personnel envolved in the March 21, 1991 VP-50 midair collision off of San Diego. The memorial site is at Moffett Field and I have been in touch with personnel at Moffett Field to see if we can get this authorized for the year 2001, the 10th year since the accident. If anyone is interested or wants to help in getting this organized, especially with people from the west coast area, please have them contact me. Any information, suggestions or help would be appreciated. Thank you - Eileen Metcaf (mother of Lt. Ned W. Metcalf) Teeniemetcalf@cs.com..." [14MAR2000]

UPDATE "...My brother, AW2 Mike Germeau was on one of the aircraft involved in mid-air collision. Trying to reach a person by name of Mike Connelly, he was stationed in different squadron at NAS Moffett Field, California. He was best man at my brothers wedding, have not talked with him since the accident...Steve Germeau germeaunwebbs@uswest.net..." [17FEB2000]

UPDATE "...The mid air collision (Mishap) off the coast of San Diego in 21 MAR 91 involving two planes from VP-50, the JAG investigation blames the pilot, the second investigation (Accident) could not determine the cause of the accident (repoted in the Navy times in Feb of 92). I am one of those who prefers to believe the Accident findings. To this day I refuse to believe that my Shipmates, family, and good friends caused their own deaths. My ex-husband currently still has all the newspaper articles from this heart breaking period of our careers...Nadine P Mongan (Wikkerink) nmongan@washington.navy.mil..." [10JAN2000]

UPDATE "...I just got down to Florida yesterday, but I have to tell you some sad news....On the way here, I stopped off at Arlington to spend some time at the memorial to our sons. If you will remember, as you stand to the side of it, you could notice that the front of the base was not exactly in line with the rest of the memorials. Now, I know why, and that is the bad news....As you park your car and start to walk up to the memorial, you will notice a small memorial marker in front of it. When I was there, there appeared to be a setting being prepared for an additional one. The problem is that these markers are ABOUT SIX INCHES in front of the base. These markers will be preventing a view of the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of the memorial, and thus all those names will only be able to be read when you are next to the memorial, and not in front of it. It looks like there will be two of the small markers covering the right and left thirds of our memorial....Needless to say, I was devastated. Unfortunately, I could not reach my camera, as it was in the trunk directly behind the back seat. Otherwise, I would post the photo on the site...I am sorry to report this sad news. I do hope that someone will be able to rectify this cruel mistake....Dick Chaikin vireya@yahoo.com , Father of LTjg David Chaikin..." [25OCT99]

UPDATE "...To all those who have served our country so bravely, our family says, "Thank You". The price paid for Freedom is beyond measure. God Bless you, and our country! Family of Warren J. Hogue - VP 50 - Mid Air Collision, March 21, 1991. Today is his 31st birthday, Memorial Day, May 31, 1999. Happy Birthday Warren. We love you and miss you very much!!...Darlene (Hogue) Tripp and Garry Tripp rowdie@cac.net..." [01JUN99]

UPDATE "...While visiting the monument at Arlington, I took these photos..." Contributed by Richard W. Chaikin Father of Ltjg David Chaikin vireya@yahoo.com [11MAY99]
History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail


UPDATE "...My brother was one of the 27 men killed in the VP-50 mid-air collision in 1991. I would love to hear from anyone who knew him or also lost a loved one in the same tradgedy. His name was Dennis Farquhar...Kelli Karsen (Farquhar) coachkarsen@yahoo.com..." [E-Mail Updated 11MAY2002 | 19MAY99]

UPDATE "...VP-50 Memorial Page information furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Farguhar jakesnana@peoplepc.com, parents of Crewmember Petty Officer 3rd Class Dennis G. Farquhar Jr. (one of 27 crewmembers lost)..." In Memorial for lost friends...March 21, 1991 [04DEC98]

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