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Rob Anderson
194 articles

Drews beautiful S-3 brought back many memories and a funny story

October 19, 2019 · in Uncategorized · 16 · 1.4K

First this is a picture from my 2nd cruise in VS-38. We are launching during flight operations during Iraqi Freedom, Spring 2003. I am the guy in the khaki pants, I was flight deck coordinator for the squadron during that cruise. Connie was the "night" carrier and we flew 90% of our strike and support sorties at night. Anyway on to the funny story about when I first got into S-3s. I got to VS-38 in 2001 coming from 3 tours in E-2Cs and one as an avionics repair instructor. One day, after checking in as the AE CPO, I was looking at the flight schedule and noticed the name "Frick". He was flying quite frequently. I ignorantly mentioned it to one of my Petty Officers, saying "man he flies a lot". The Petty Officer looked at me rolled his eyes and said "Chief it's a big weight that sits in an unoccupied seat so the seats fire properly" . If I recall it usually occupied the SENSO seat, and in my time we rarely flew with 4 crew as we did mostly sea search, and airborne refueling, so Frick was on the schedule a LOT. I am also pretty sure I heard that Petty Officer mutter "Frick" under his breath as he walked away from his new Division Chief

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

16 responses

  1. hey...everybody's got to learn

  2. That's a good one! It's like telling someone to get the keys for one of the F-4's from maintenance control. Nice night shot.

  3. Rob, @robertandy

    That's an amazing night time photo !

    This story reminded me of a few US Army "Tanker" stories... It seemed that every recruit went through something similar when we arrived at our permanent duty station, including me. Some one from your newly assigned platoon would ask for the "Key" to the main gun travel lock... or a box of grid squares, used for reading maps. Neither such item exists mind you...

    So the newbie would be given a mission to go find the particular item that was asked for. They would be sent to see the Motor Sergeant. The Motor Sgt. in turn would send them somewhere else and so on...Usually it took several hours for the new tanker fledgling to return, and they were always empty handed. On the rare occasion they returned often carrying a huge wrench and were told that "so and so" from the platoon had requested it from supply...

    Another thing that happened was a shock absorber test... This was when one tanker recruit, (usually the heaviest or smallest from the bunch), would be told to get on top of the front fender of the tank and jump up and down. The rest would be standing on the ground next to the tank and looking closely at the actual shock absorber to see if it moved... Granted these are heavy armored vehicles and a 160 pound person jumping up and down is not going to cause the tank to "move".

    The last thing I remember offhand was to have them check the coolant level in the radiator... On an M-60 series tank, they had Air Cooled V-12's, so they didn't even have a radiator ! But it was fun to watch the newbies open the rear grill doors, remove the armored heat shield and so on... looking for the radiator. On occasion we would have one look at the Technical Manual to find out where the radiator was located.

    Now days it would be called hazing... It was all in good fun, and no one was harmed. Times were different then.

  4. LOL, you are right about it being hazing now, and I think the services are worse off for not allowing such fun.

    • What's really sad for the Navy is there are no more "Shellbacks". But I have to admit, thinking back to my initiation into Neptune's Realm, that was definitely "guys only" and might not even be able to be done that way today.

  5. How about a bucket of prop wash?

  6. The Chief? Didn't know everything? Heavens! 🙂

  7. You had to put FRICK in either of the back seats if the other was occupied. You didn’t need it if both back seats were empty. FRICK actually flew on every flight. FRICK was a series of metal plates you stacked on each other into the ejection seat then ran the belts through the slots to lock it in place. The plates actually slotted into a cutout in the tunnel area on the floor when not in use.

  8. That is a cool night shot!

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