VARADY, AE Charles email@example.com "...A P2V on a carrier flightdeck!--NO WAY? My path into the VP Navy would be somewhat different then most. My two first encounters with P2V's came while aboard the carrier RANDOLPH CVA 15. I was a ships company airman, "blueshirt", plainhandler and we, having just completed a Mediterraniean cruisewere making our final stop at Gibraltar before heading back to the U.S. This the early spring of 1958. Out comes a barge with a P2V, wings removed outboard of the engines,prop tips neatly bent back with the look of a gear up landing. I suppose it was decided that it was repairable back stateside. We hoisted the plane aboard and it became flight deck cargo for the return crossing. My second P2V encounter came a few days latter.I was part of a skeleton air branch crew,maintained thru the night in the event a plane launch was necessary. Ship was running in a darkened condition.We were on the flight and could here faint aircraft engines in the distance.The sound grew closer and then "DAYLIGHT"! We had been lit up by a P2V flying out of the States for a visual I.D. After leaving the seagoing Navy, I joined up with VP-733, then merged with VP-933. As a reserve unit, we were recalled to active duty '61-'62. As an AE I actually worked on the P2V-5 wingtip carbon arc search light. Who knows, maybe one of our squdran planes was the one that "lit up the Randolph" those few years earlier..." [BIO Updated 11AUG2004 | 08NOV99]
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