Matt Johnson
CWO3 USN (Ret)

CWO3 Matt Johnson, USN

CWO3 Matt Johnson, USN (1988)

If you don't see the Index to the Left, click here

Matt on the Flight Deck ...

FLIGHT DECK MISSILE


Ah yes, up here on the flight deck of the USS Hancock.. Got all the bombs loaded, planes launched, now it's time for recovery. Boy, it sure is busy up here. Since I have only been up here loading bombs during re-spot, I thought I would see what is happening during a recovery. It was too hectic during the launch, don't want anything to happen to me and now it looks like everything has calmed down. Think I'll go over here to the angle and stand with my old Crash & Smash buddy, Johnny. He has to man one of the little fire trucks that roam around the deck all day. Real boring job.

A-4 ON FINAL !!

Yes, Air Boss. Everyone can hear you. Here she comes. One of the missile planes from our sister squadron.

UNEXPENDED MISSILES


Yep, got two Shrike missiles hanging. One on each wing. She's about a couple of hundred yards from the round down. Here she comes. Pilot is aiming for the # 3 wire. Yep he….HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT….. Come on feet don't let me down now !!!!!

E.O.D. TO THE ANGLE !!

E.O.D. My butt!!! Good thing that missile went off the angle when it broke loose. MAN !!! That thing hit the deck…..started spinning ……ass end over tea kettle….MAN !! That would have hurt someone if it hadn't gone off the ship. It was spinning about 20 feet from where I was standing. Whew !! Man, that was close. Think I'll just stay here in the island for the rest of the day.

(Next Day)

Ok, Let's try this again. Missiles just don't come off aircraft. Musta been a bad pin or something. Never seen it before and don't care to see it again.

Hey, Johnny!! How you doing?

Yea, I know. Ran like a scared rabbit. Glad you got a laugh from it. I didn't think it was very funny!!!

A-4 ON FINAL !!!

Yea, Boss, heard that before. No wonder they tell you to face aft during recovery. After yesterday, you can bet that I will always face on-coming aircraft.

UNEXPENDED MISSILES !!


Here she comes……sister squadron aircraft….pilot aiming for the #3 wire….and he ..HOOOOLLLLYYYY SSSSHHHHHIIIIIITTTTT….NOT AGAIN !!!!

E.O.D. TO THE PORT CATWALK…FORWARD OF THE ANGLE !!!!

COME ON JOHNSON……GIVE ME A HAND !!

My old EOD buddy wants me to help him ???!!!! What the hell am I going to do??

ALL RIGHT, THE MISSILE LANDED IN THE CATWALK….GET YOUR ARMS UNDER IT…AND ON THE COUNT OF 3, WE WILL PICK IT UP AND THROW IT OVER THE SIDE.

Yea, Right !!

ONE….

Ugh…good thing I've been loading bombs for the past 2 months.

TWO….

Hell, this ain't heavy…

THREE…..

Hummm…that was pretty easy…million dollars dumped !!

HEY, THANKS A LOT…REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

Awwww…it was nothing.

REASON WE HAD TO DUMP THAT THING QUICKLY IS BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW IF IT WAS GOING TO BLOW UP OR NOT.

What???? Blow up !!!!!

A-4 ON FINAL

Damn, nothing stops up here…. Blow up !!!…. ok…God….. you warned me yesterday…and today …

UNEXPENDED MISSILES !!


….You put the fear in me….I've learned…. No more recoveries…Gonna get my butt inside the island where I belong.

(A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER)

Oh great, now that everyone saw me help dump that missile, they are wondering where I am during recoveries. Calling me rookie. Well, it's the truth. But, not one single missile has come off since the other day. Guess they fixed that problem… I don't care… I think I'll go up between the bow cats during a launch…..sorta see what that is like. Figure since I load those puppies, I might as well see them go off the bow.

This ain't so bad….as long as I keep my head down….sitting here between the cats…watching the green shirts hook up the bridle….final checker gives a thumbs up…runs toward the Cat Officer….he has his hand in the air circling….waiting for the pilot to salute….he salutes back…looks at the bow…back at the pilot…kneels down … touches the deck with his hand….and…BAM !!! Away he goes!! Next .. Man, this is neat….much safer than that recovery junk….Alright….here comes the planes I just loaded… Got 4 - 500 pound bombs and 2 - 750 pounders. Sure wish they would run out of those big boys. Man, they are a pain to load by hand…. Yep…green shirts hooking up bridle….thumbs up…salute….touch…. BAM !!!

Uh oh !!!!

E.O.D. TO THE BOW !!!!!!

That damn bomb came off !!!!! Landed up at the numbers…..Right in the middle of the deck…..

JOHNSON….GRAB A SKID AND BRING IT UP TO THE BOW !!!!

Oh sure, What???? Am I the only Ordie you know??? Yea, Yea..I'm getting it.

ALRIGHT….PICK THE BOMB UP BY THE TAIL FINS…TILT IT UP ON IT'S NOSE…..AND I'LL PUSH THE SKID UNDER IT.

Geeeezzzzeeeuuuusss…..Kkkkkrrrreeeeeiiiiissssssttttttt…..

GOOD WORK….HERE…HELP ME PUSH THE SKID …..WE'LL DUMP IT OVER THE SIDE.

Kersplash !!!!!!

THANKS AGAIN….HERE….TAKE THE SKID WHERE YOU GOT IT FROM.

Ok God, that's it…you're the real Boss…gonna take this skid back to the island….put my dumb butt inside the island….and sit there until the Air Boss says recovery complete. No more of this learning crap…. Gonna learn how to kill myself.

NOTE:
A photo of the bomb sitting on the numbers appeared in Navy Times two weeks later.

You can see photos of these events by clicking here.

Print This Story

Return to Matt's Home Page