Saturday, June 9, 2018

TheList 4741

The List 4741     TGB

To All,
A couple of weekend reads thanks to Shadow, Lancer, Curt and Paul
June 8
Thanks to Curt Dose
Mach Descent: Dose' & Miller

Mach Descent
Bob Dose, Paul Miller, President Eisenhower on USS Saratoga
   I hadn't seen this article (below, from Barrett) in awhile - it was published in some magazine. This was in the good old "get 'er done" days. I corrected the final note - Dad had the Midway, not the Hancock. Use any of this in your e-letter if you like. Lots of F-8 drivers would appreciate it.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Barrett Tillman <>
Date: Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:06 AM
Subject: Fw: Mach Descent: Dose' & Miller
To: Dose' <>
Curt, in case you've not seen this, although I suspect you're familiar with the episode!
"MACH DESCENT" by Bill Northup Capt. Bob Dose and LCdr Paul Miller, 6 June 1957 Read about this record-setting flight -- click here. OFFICIAL RECORDS & FIRSTS "Where do we get such men?"
This painting, titled "Mach Descent" by artist/Naval Aviator, William Northrup
adorns a wall in my home in Palm City, Florida.  Below is the story behind it.
     The significance of Dosé's and Miller's flight was that it was not a "Project" anything.  That was the beauty of it.  It was a last-minute event set up by the U.S. Navy to portray the advances in the capabilities of new naval aircraft.  They knew that President Eisenhower would be on the USS Saratoga to observe naval exercises off the coast of Jacksonville, and that it would be a good time to do something special.
    John Glenn's "Project Bullet" six weeks later was a very official record run that had been set up well ahead of time to be a "big thing".  Remember Dosé and Miller only had about a week to get this organized.  These type of flights will probably never happen again due to the restrictions in supersonic flight over the U.S.
The following is extracted from Bill Northrup's narrative of the event.
     Toward the end of May 1957 Capt Dosé, CO of VX-3, based at NAS Atlantic City NJ, received a call from a friend at DCNO AIR Operations asking him if he could set up and make a historic carrier-to-carrier west to east flight in about a week, specifically, on the anniversary of D-Day, 6 June. President Eisenhower and top government officials and Navy Admirals and lots of press were to be on the east coast carrier, the USS Saratoga. Bob said "Sure, they will make it happen." 
     They were to pick up a new Crusader for Paul Miller at the factory at Dallas equipped with the new inflight refueling modification. They went to Dallas, and Bob's F8, an older one, had to be modified with the new refueling probe, etc, which was done in short order.
The F8 Crusader was a helluva machine. The previous year CDR Duke Windsor had set a speed record of 1015.429 mph. Not only that, he was ordered to "Hold it to just over 1000 mph" by the brass. The F8 had a very long cruise range also compared to other fighters of that time.
     The flight was planned to be two legs with inflight refueling over Dallas. It being only six miles off the great circle route, San Diego-Jacksonville. It was calculated that they would go into afterburner and go supersonic at a specific time on each leg with a safe margin of fuel remaining to, on the first leg, refuel airbourne, and the second to make a "Mach Descent" to a carrier landing aboard Saratoga. The first leg was to be thirteen minutes supersonic and seventeen on the last.  Longer on the last because they would be starting from 25,000 feet after refueling and not ground level. They figured to go to 43,000 feet and fast cruise to the point where afterburners were lit and acceleration to Mach 1.7. This was the maximum speed allowed for the early Crusaders due to directional instability above that Mach.  Later F8s had ventral fins which allowed Mach numbers above 1.9.
A practice flight was made from Dallas. Bob and Paul went west to the point where they were to go into A/B for the thirteen minutes of the last of the first leg east bound. They turned, went into burner, accelerated to 1.7 Mach headed for Dallas and the awaiting AJ Savage tanker plane. During the descent to the tanker they gave Dallas a "really good" sonic boom! Not intentionally , of course (?) Later that evening the Chance Vought test pilot, John Conrad, came to the BOQ where Bob and Paul were staying and told them "You guys almost knocked me out of my bathtub".
They had taken on enough fuel on that practice flight so they were sure the new inflight refueling system worked properly then landed at NAS Dallas. The next day they flew to NAS Alameda and the F8s were loaded aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. The carrier then headed to the San Diego area.
     June 6 1957. Capt Dosé and Lcdr Miller catapulted off the Bon Homme Richard,, joined up, and headed east on the first leg of their flight. They climbed in A/B to 43,000feet (that took only about 4.5 minutes). Came out of A/B and continued the flight plan. This plan was all set except for one place.  The White Sands Nuclear testing area. The USAF had not previously cleared them through that air space.  Capt Dosé
contacted the Air Controllers seven minutes out warning them they were coming.  They received clearance 35 seconds prior to crossing into that air space!  Capt Dosé said, "It wouldn't have made any difference, because we were coming through regardless".
     Thirteen minutes prior to the descent point to the tankers awaiting near Dallas they went into burner and accelerated to 1.7 Mach and held this Mach to the descent point to the tankers.  Out of A/B.  Descend.  Pick up the tankers.  Plugged in and took on a full load of fuel and went into A/B and again climbed to 43,000 feet for the last leg.
     Bob said "It was one of those rare days. A beautiful clear dark blue sky all across the southern states".  They didn't get any help from the jet stream winds that day.  It was absent.  Practically no help there at all.  For the last leg's seventeen minutes of supersonic flight they went into A/B. This was near the middle of Alabama.  As they proceeded the Crusaders wanted to go faster, so to keep the Mach from exceeding 1.7 they started a slow climb.  Over eastern Alabama, while Capt Dosé gave the FAA controller his report, the controller exclaimed "What the hell are you guys flying?"  That gave Bob and Paul a grin.  They were really haullin' buggy!
     During the slow climb on their way toward Jacksonville the Crusaders had attained an altitude of 47,500 feet arriving at the descent point. Over Jacksonville Bob said "There was the biggest, tallest thunderstorm I ever saw. It must have topped out about 60,000 feet. I decided to go around the north side of it".  (This is the scene chosen for the painting). About 50 miles east of Jacksonville cruised the carrier group with many ships including three carriers.  Bob and Paul were breaking Mach 1 in their descent and were heading for the Saratoga where President Eisenhower and staff -etc were waiting.  They came by the ship just above deck level about 100 feet out doing 650 knots. That got everyone's attention! Three hours twenty eight minutes!  An unofficial record never broken.
Now Capt Dosé realized they had to do something to kill off all that excess speed if they were to be in good shape to get aboard on the first pass.  They were really honkin'! Every Navy pilot knows you have to look good around the boat.  So Bob decided to go a little farther upwind before breaking for the turn downwind and pulling a lot of Gs to help kill off all that excess speed. The Crusader was reluctant to slow up and Bob arrived on final approach at last with 220 knots, slow enough to raise the wing and drop the gear. He said "I had about 142 knots very close in and added a lot of power (for the first time since descent!)"  Made a big correction near the ramp and caught the #3 wire. Paul Miller got aboard OK also.  He had a little more time to get slowed up for his landing.  Later, the LSO, Lt Sharp, remarked to his CO, Capt Dosé, "Skipper, that was a dilly!!"
     After climbing down from their cockpits they were surrounded by the press before being greeted by President Eisenhower.  Bob remembered 'Ike' as being "A very impressive gentleman who was very interested in all the details of our flight".
     After the festivities Capt Dosé and Lcdr Miller launched and headed home to Atlantic City.  Their Crusaders had performed flawlessly.  Their 'record' stands.
Capt Bob Dosé went on to be the skipper of the USS Midway, CVA 41, in 1960, while I was aboard in VAH-4, Det Charlie.
In addition, his son, Curt Dosé, was credited with downing a MIG-21 while flying an F4 later on.
Nick Nickerson
Thanks to Shadow -
Had a wonderful time last week… went up to North Carolina to play in the annual "Purple Heart Classic" Golf Tournament… It is run by my first Company Commander in Vietnam during my "Grunt" tour… Dan McMahon. Always a great time in that Mike "Lancer" Sullivan also lives near Cherry Point. It becomes a grand reunion… and I get to share "Bubba Time" with two men who had a great impact on my life. Lancer was the man who introduced me to the Phantom while I was still in college. I've known very few men who had the unadulterated joy of flying that Lancer displayed throughout his entire career. I went up early and stayed with Lancer and Nichole Thursday night. Great hosts, great food… and we shared memories and relived some great times. Along the way, the subject of Gary "Gazelle" VanGysel came up. I'd written a short snort for "Boom" to use in "The Hook" about the "Half Assed Marine" when the oxygen bottle blew up under Gary's ejection seat and literally froze part of Gary's derrière… long story but he's now missing a large part of his buttocks. All of us Marines who knew Gary, loved the man and he was quite possibly the most uninhibited and colorful character of our Band of Brothers. I was telling Mike about the time at an MCAA Convention when Gary spots me across the room and yells out… "Hey Shadow, what the hell are you doing these days"? He then rushed across the room, grabs me from behind and sends my adult beverage flying all over a "Three Star" standing next to me… he then spins me around and kissed me right on my lips in front of everybody! Only "Gazelle" could pull off something off like that and get away with it! Lancer then says he did the same thing to him at a function and someone took a picture of it… you never knew what Gary would do, especially after a couple of hooks? Just another part of the "Legend". As we talked about days gone by sitting on Lancer's back patio, overlooking the river, we couldn't help but express our disappointment about the changes being forced on the military and its impact on the "Warrior Culture" our generation so enthusiastically embraced. Lancer then tells me one of the funniest stories involving VanGysel and Lancer. I just have to share it. Gonna tell it as I remember it… gonna give it a title…
"You Couldn't get Away With That Today"
The story begins when Lancer was the CG at Cherry Point and received an invitation to be a guest speaker at the "Air War College" (AWC) over at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. Gary was the Group Commander at the time. Lancer calls up Gary and asked him to provide an F-18 for him to fly over the Maxwell to give his speech about Marine Aviation's... composition, tactics, philosophy and Force Projection. Gary then says, "No problem General… I'll have an airplane ready and heck… I'll go with you as your wingman". On the anointed day… these two warriors depart and instead of going direct to Maxwell… they enter "The Box" in the Restricted Area and "Fights On"! Seems the were having so much fun… they forgot about the time. Lancer was scheduled to give his speech at 1300. Because of the little diversion… they end up landing at about 1255. No time to change into a "Class A" uniform. So Lancer and VanGysel rush over to the auditorium in their flight suits. When they get there… the auditorium is full with the students students attending the college… except for the first two rows that were reserved for VIP's if they attended. They were empty. Lancer goes on stage and Gazelle sits himself down in the empty front row. Mike gives his presentation and at the conclusion he opens the forum up to "Q&A". Many students asked some good questions and toward the end… things get  little dicey.
This was back when all the "Don't ask… Don't tell"  issues were in the news. And the Marine Corps was the last service to still resist the big changes being forced by the politicians. A female student raises her hand and Lancer acknowledges her… She stands up and instead of asking a question about tactics, philosophy, or force composition… she goes off the page and asks the following; "General… What's the problem you Marines have with homosexuals"? Mike is kinda shocked at the question and then hesitates and tried to adroitly duck it by saying he didn't think it was an appropriate subject considering what the lecture was all about. You could hear a pin drop as the audience anticipated what was about to happen... they like Mike and Gary knew there was an attempt to set them up.The young lady was persistent and all of a sudden… VanGysel yells out in a booming voice from the front row and waving his arms… "Oh hell General… come on; answer the lady's question"! 
The whole place is stunned at Gazelle's outburst! Lancer again hesitates, thought about it and then says the following in typical Fighter Pilot and Marine fashion…
"The truth is… we Marines don't have a problem with homosexuals... In fact, we only have one homosexual in the entire Marine Corps… and that's the SOB sitting in the front row right down there"... as he points at VanGysel!  Almost instantly, the auditorium erupts in in pandemonium… with cheering and laughter! Said it was like the home team scoring a touchdown with 3 seconds left to win the Super Bowl! The whole class then rushes forward grabs and embraces Lancer and Gazelle and marches them over to the O'Club… and proceeds to get them "Tox-on Stinko"! They ended up spending the night… with the class refusing to let either one of them ever buy a drink…Lots of back slapping and praise for the "Marine Way"… of handling a sensitive situation… even an occasional and spirited oooraah was heard in the normally placid, Politically Correct… Air Force Officer's Club.
As Mike told the story I couldn't help but laugh and then think… You couldn't get away with that today! 
Guys like Lancer and Gazelle reflected the best of our breed in spirit, enthusiasm, leadership and Warrior ethos… maybe the "Last of the Breed"… as the wave of social change swept over our military. I also couldn't help but reflect that I had been blessed to know greatness reflected in such men that I so admired. I'm no hero… but I've known a few… Patriots and Warriors to the end. I could go on and on; but I'll leave it at that...
Thanks to Paul
Thinking of the Bedford Boys  this morning. Of the 35 young men who went to Normandy, 19 of them perished. During World War II, no American town suffered such a great one-day loss as Bedford
Thanks to Shadow -
During my visit with Lancer… he told another story and I'd emailed him this morning to refresh my memory of what he said… here's his response. Thought it better to have him tell it rather than me.
Enjoy, Shadow
     This happened when I was CG, 2ndMAW, and Gen. Gray, was CMC, and he called me one afternoon and said he wanted me to fly up the Wash DC the next morning to protect our interests at a Congressional Hearing (HASC) starting at 1000 on USAF CAS support for the Army.  He told me to be prepared to defend our interests.  I asked him who did he want me to check my remarks with and he said, "No one!  You know as much about it as anyone so do your homework and tell the truth!"  Can you imagine getting that guidance from any other Service Chief?  This was in 1987 or 1988.
     At 0730 in the morning I was over at the tower filing my flight plan as I was going up to Wash DC in my trusty Harrier.  While there, I get a phone call from OLA (Office of the Legislative Assistant to CMC) asking me what time I'd arrive at Andrews AFB and to change into my uniform in the VIP room at Base Ops and they'd meet me with a staff car to drive me to the Hearing.  Oh, by the way, be sure and bring copies of your opening statement!  This was my first introduction to a Hearing as I'd never been to one before.  I told them I had no idea what they were talking about and I didn't have one prepared.  They said it's supposed to be distributed to the staffers before the Hearing starts...
     When they discovered I didn't have one they said don't worry as they won't call on you until the reps from the Army and USAF have made their opening statements but that I'd better prepare something and I'd get the hang of it after hearing the Army and USAF Generals give theirs.  Later as we are driving into Wash DC I take out my knee board navigation card and turn in over and write down the steps in a CAS request starting with the FAC making the request and then the procedures going up through various agencies like the DASC and FSCC and back down again after the CAS aircraft are launched, what agencies they contact, and finally contacting the FAC and clearance to drop bombs on target!  We're driving into Wash DC and I'm in my "greens" and I still had the oxygen mask imprint on my face that the OLA guys noticed but it went away before the Hearing started.
     The Hearing supposedly started at 1000 but none of the Congressmen on the Committee were sitting down as they were all yakking with each other or staffers and signing autographs.  Finally we get started and Congressman Stratton, (D, NY) opens the Hearing and immediately says, "General Sullivan would you like to make your opening statement?"  I about crapped in my pants as I'd been given the wrong scoop again!  Well, glancing now and then at my kneeboard card notes I explained to the Committee how the Marines perform a CAS mission from start to finish.  It flowed easily and I was totally relaxed as I knew what I was talking about even if nobody else in the room did!  It took about three minutes and Stratton thanked me and said it sounds like the Marines have a good system that works.
     I had just been informed before the Hearing started that the reason for the Hearing was that the Army is complaining that the USAF doesn't give them "dedicated" CAS.  Now it's time for the Army and USAF to make their opening statements but they had a  combined "dog and pony" show delivery where they even showed charts up on a screen.  Several committee members took exception to some of the data they were offering like the Army saying they wanted their own A-16s!  Well, this went on for an hour and a half and I had no participation in the diatribe between the Army and USAF.  It was getting a little contentious so Stratton closed the Hearing.
     Now here comes the heart of the matter...A Committee member asks Gen. Schofield, US Army, if the USAF gives them "dedicated" CAS as that what this hearing is all about...Gen. Schofield replied, "When the show up they do!"  Then the question was asked of Gen. Logan, USAF, if he felt the USAF provided "dedicated" CAS to the Army...
     Gen. Logan said he couldn't use the word "dedicated" so then he was asked what do you use?  He said we use the word "designated".  He was then asked to explain that so he said a "frag order" comes out 24-36 hours ahead of the next day's battle requirements and if you want CAS you can request it and if assets are available it will be scheduled.  He was further asked what do they do if the Army has an immediate CAS request due to a developing situation and he answered that they normally launch a pair of aircraft every 10-15 minutes and they'll just divert them.  That did not seem satisfy the Committee members so now here we go!  "General Sullivan how do the Marine provide dedicated CAS for their Marines?"  Without batting an eye or even thinking about my reply, I answered, "It's real easy, our aircraft have Marines painted on the side!"  The staffers went crazy jumping up and down and clapping while the Committee members had big smiles on the faces and were nodding in approval!  After the reaction subsided Stratton made the comment that he wasn't advocating going back to the Army Air force but may be was!  That pretty much ended the Hearing.  Marines...1  USAF...0 and Army...0.
     Two weeks later I had to return to the SASC for the same hearing and Gen. Logan asked me not to use "that Marines painted on the side of the aircraft again" as he can't recover from it!  Bottom line is the Army didn't get A-16s and the USAF still provides the Army CAS when it wants to!  SF, Lancer

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