I have more photos than I can include in a single posting. Please click on my face to open an album of photos I took while serving on the USS Bon Homme Ricard (CVA -31). I was deployed with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One (HELSUPPRON ONE or HC-1) out of NAS Imperial Beach, CA.
In 1968 if you were male and didn’t have a deferment, then the government had plans for you in Vietnam. I joined the Navy in 1968. This seemed like a good strategy because the Army and Marines were drafting anyone with a pulse and I figured that an ocean cruise was preferable to jungle warfare. After a delightful year in Memphis Tenn studying Avionics, I was sent south of San Diego to a base in Imperial Beach. I was attached to a helicopter squandron whose motto was “Twist and Turn, Crash and Burn”. Just outside the base perimeter was a bar called the “Whirly-Bird”. I was able to live off base near the beach and life was good. Eventually we were deployed aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA31) which was an Essex class attack carrier built in the distant past. The HC1 squadron was an interesting mix of people and occasionally I wonder what has become of them. I still have contacts with my Imperial Beach Roomate, who still travels to the Philippines for R & R (this is 39 years later), but I have no idea what happened to the rest of the crew. Imagine my suprise when recently I received an email from someone who discovered my name on a site. I decided the least I could do is upload some photos and hope that others find this posting if they search for “HC-1” or “CVA-31”. A lot has happened in those intervening 39 years and now a new generation is involved in another pointless war. I wish them all well. Click on the photo to see all the pictures. Peace.. John