Hi everyone. I was an AE2 from 1967-July '68. I was in the squadron for less than a year and it was my last duty station. I was on a kiddie cruise and was released from active on the day before my 21st birthday, July 14th. I was a close friend of Wayne Labhart and went on a deployment with him to the Med in '68. He was an AE1 but was flying as flight engineer on the deployment. We got in trouble in Rota Spain for having a couple Senoritas on the plane. LOL
I searched for Labhart for 40 years, and found out from his brother that he had been killed outside the air base in Puerto Rico, shot by someone after his car had broke down. His brother was also in the squadron.I think that's the way the story goes, but not positive
I was at the 2000 reunion in Pensacola Fl. and was eating lunch at the hotel and saw a fella with a VW-4 badge walk into the dining room and I asked him if wanted to join me for lunch. I recognized the name on his badge, but couldn't remember how I knew him from. I told him I thought I had flown with him during my time with the squadron. He asked me when I had been in the squadron and I told him the dates.
He replied, "Hell kid, I was your Commanding Officer!" His name was Commander H.P. Sommers, and he was also the guy that almost court martialed Labhart and I!!!! We spent a lot of time talking about that trip during that reunion and he dubbed me the Chicago Torpedo one night at dinner. I wear that label proudly and I hope to see Howie at the next VW-4 reunion.I think he was easy on us because he had come through the ranks as an enlisted guy through Warrant Officer. What an interesting guy he was.
I used to have an apartment outside the base a piece and used to share it with "Ski", Andy Stypolkowski, AE3. I can only remember someof the first names of the people I used to party with: Marci, a Navy Wave, who later married SKI, crazy Karthy, one of the squadron girls, Walt, Quino, George from Boston, who spoke Gaelic whenever he drank too much, and a guy named Peppitone.
If any of you remember me or any of these people, please send me an email.
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