PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
The following Reflection represents AX2 Tim Hinds’s legacy of their military service from 1963 to 1969. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life.
Of all your duty stations you were assigned to from your Military Service, which one(s) do you have fondest memories of and why?
My all time favorite story is from my time as a Radio Operator aboard a P-2 at P31-31 DET NI. One of our pilots, nicknamed Porkie by the enlisted because he was portly and had a chubby face, had an incident the previous day training a new pilot. As three crew later told us. The student was high on glideslope and close to landing. He repeatedly told the student to get it down, get it down. He failed to do so adequately, and Lt. “Porkie” got angry and yelled, “I SAID GET IT DOWN!” Now they were already over the apron (Ideal touchdown area), and he wasn’t about to make a long landing. So he pulled back the power and dropped it like a rock onto the runway. The plane hit so hard it had to be towed back to the hangar.
The damage was severe. The Port reciprocating engine broke loose from the mounts, and the cowling on top of the wing popped off. The overhead antennae that ran from the vertical stabilizer to the cockpit snapped due to the extreme flex of the fuselage. The Starboard jet broke loose from the forward mount and was dragging on the ground with the intake down. They had to Jack it up and put a cart under it to tow it back in. There was a lot of other structural damage too. We all stared as it came in off the runway, and we couldn’t believe it. The next day, our crew was scheduled to fly with Lt. “Porkie” (not known for having a sense of humor and had disdain for enlisted in general and thus not popular among them). So we decided to prank him before he came out for preflight.
We got a bunch of heavy rope and wrapped it over and over and around the Starboard wing and under the Starboard Jet. When he showed up, he started his preflight on the Port side. We were all gathering near the aft, waiting for him to see it. He went around the nose to the Starboard side and glanced up, then down, and then did a whiplash when it registered. Instead of laughing it off like most Officers, he got really mad, wanting to know who did this. The plane captain stepped up and said, we all did, Sir, just having a little fun. He made it pretty clear he wasn’t amused and threatened to put us all on report, but that never went anywhere. Not sure why or if he even had grounds to do so. But the other pilots had a pretty good laugh when they heard about it. I think after that; he didn’t have the balls to write us up. We snickered among ourselves over the whole thing for months. It spread all over the squadron by the time we returned from that flight. Even the Captain chuckled when he heard.
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