Jake's Hancock Memorial Recognition
and Special Award Page

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The following are Mails from individuals who wished to supply information for 'Project Remembrance' in regards to the Casualties that occurred during HANCOCK's Cruise to WestPac in 1963 which was not listed in the LOG 19 Cruise Book for that Cruise.

These men have earned this Website's Special Recognition Award which we award for any Special Service of Note provided this Website which I, the Yeoman can't in good conscience, allow to pass without Special Recognition. Please Visit our Special Recognition Page to view the Awards.

I am providing the Communications from these men so that you may be kept in the loop regarding Project Remembrance.

The Following are their Emails on the Subject of West Pac '63:

Special Recognition Award

Jake's 'Special Recognition Award of Excellence'
Jim Barbour, V-2 Arresting Gear:

Hi Jake,
Jim B here. Bob M. is correct there was a tractor pulling, I believe an F8-U at night and drove it directly off the flight deck. He was never recovered as I recall. Can't recall if it was on the WestPac or MidPac cruise in 1963..............Jim B

Special Recognition Award

Jake's 'Special Recognition Award of Excellence'

Bob Matt (1 of 2):

Hi Jake,
Has anyone been able to follow up regarding the seaman that lost both legs? What I do remember is his name, Mack, and that he was from Ohio. Believe he was in 1st Division, if not 1st it may have been 3rd.
Thanks... Bob

Hi Jake,
Do you recall an Airdale going off the flight deck with one of those yellow jeeps? May have happened during flights ops the day before returning to NAS Alameda.

Special Recognition Award

Jake's 'Special Recognition Award of Excellence'

Jerry Childers: (1 of 3):

If I remember correctly the F-8 that hit the round down was doing night qualifications out of Barbers Point, HI. It was a photo/ model referred to as a Peter/Peter, not attached to the Hancock. I was working in the rear hanger bay that night on one of our F-8's when he hit. One of our mech's ran to the fantail, to find the fantail watch, a black kid, had both legs missing below the knee. He told me not to go back there and they had used CO
2 to stop the bleeding of the watchman.
Take care,
Jerry Childers

We lost Hal Crandall (VF-211 pilot) while off loaded at Cubi Point 7/24/63. Hal went inverted during take off roll at the end of runway 25. We never knew what the cause was. Have you ever looked at: "
Last of the Gunfighters" on the web? It lists F8 pilots that have died to date.
Jerry Childers

VF 213 lost a plane(F3H) and pilot around the same time as that F8. After landing the pilot was taxing forward when his throttle stuck open. As the plane headed for the side of the flight deck, my brother and others were yelling at him to jump out of the cockpit. However everything happened so quickly he went overboard with the plane, and the plane hit one of the ship's guns causing the console to pin the pilots legs. As the plane sank, you could see the pilot desperately trying to pull himself up onto the seat and out of the plane to no avail. It was a tough one for all of us who watched.

Note: News of late was received in the Admin Office that we had finally discovered the name of the P/P pilot of VFP-63, Lt. Donald John Meyer, from Santee, California who crashed in the fantail. We also discoverd the actual time and date of the loss... 2100, Friday, June 14, 1963.

A shipmate of Jake's, Donald Lamoreaux had sent him a photo of a news article published in Honolulu, Hawaii, a few days after the casualty on the Hancock Tuesday, June 18, 1963..

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Special Recognition Award

Jake's 'Special Recognition Award of Excellence'
Note: I've left Jim's use of 'Lt. Felton' as is for now, until he responds on this latest news (6 June 2008).

Jim Campbell (1-11-07)

Hey Jake, there were more than one crash that cruise. The first one was at twilight the day before we pulled into Pearl for our ORI for West Pac, was a Friday if I remember right. I had duty the next day (first day in port and for me the first time out of USA). Anyway, what happened was
LT. Donald John Meyer, of VFP-63 Det Lima was trying to land PP 903, an F8U photo recon, at that time when day turns to night at a certain spot coming down, we think he was blind for that last minute and went below the flight deck. It was too late to see the LSO wave off but by the time he did, he hit the fantail. My quarters were under the starboard cat. I hadn't been assigned officially but I was helping with that plane and I remember the crash very well, it jolted the whole ship and then the man over board because most of the plane went in the drink. Chief Klingenberg, myself and a couple of other guys went back to clean it up and try to figure out what happened. The Chief had a real hard time of it, and rightfully so, 'cause he found what was left of LT. Meyer, just his right foot and lower leg. It was a mess Jake, it really was. I pulled the right half of the instrument panel out to check the gauges, the right wing panel was there and most of the right side of the cockpit. LT. Meyer tried to pull the plane out under the fantail and caught the nose in the port corner there on the fantail and the rear bulkhead. His effort was a real good job of saving the boat.

We lost a real good man, he was our legal officer among other things. I got to know him fairly well as a pilot, a man and an officer. Our crew lost a good man that day and our country lost a great Naval Aviator. The photo that Jake took from Vulture's Row (07 Level) is of the burial at sea is of LT. Meyer's.

A burial at Sea of Lt. Felton from VFP-63 who crashed on the fantail during our ORI in Hawaii - WestPac1963

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I'm stopping here, more to come.
Jim Campbell

    Note from Jake: This picture is of Lt. Donald Meyer's Burial at-Sea - the Yeoman snapped the photo as they were about to tip the portage and ease his body into the sea. Lt. Meyer was buried at sea with full military honors, while the entire crew stood at attention and his wife waited patiently at home for the latest information. After the honor guard had fired the last salute, and as the bugler had sounded "Taps," the National Ensign covering Lt. Meyer's remains fluttered slightly, and then lay motionless at attention. Lt. Meyer's remains, encased in a weighted cocoon of canvas, quickly slid from under the Flag as the portage was momentarily tilted toward the sea by six of his fellow Officers. As the gentle waves received his remains, a peaceful hush settled over the flight deck and his shipmates assembled there. It was as if everyone was paying their last respects and perhaps mourning inside, not only for their beloved shipmate, but also for all those lost in other conflicts and at-sea casualties of the past aboard this Ship.

Note from Jake: Our Shipmate Jack Campbell (not related to Jim Campbell above), was aboard the Hancock from November 1961 through June of 1963 and was a eye witness of several tragedies that took place aboard the Hancock, including Lt. Donald Meyer's loss. He had the following to say about these two crashes on the ship and helped add more information to our Post- Recommissioning Casualty Page:

Special Recognition Award

Jake's 'Special Recognition Award of Excellence'

Jack Campbell, V-2 Arresting Gear '61-'63
(added 4-2-08):

"Jake, Regarding Lt. Thomas John Campbell, casualty of West Pac '62, I am not a relative of Lt. Campbell. I was on the Hancock in V-2, Arresting Gear, from November 1961 into June of 1963. Came on board right out of San Diego boot camp. Spent my first 9 or 10 months in the arresting gear engine room for engines 1 and 2. Even bunked in there for some time over #1 engine during the '62 cruise to West Pac. Eventually I ended up working up where the Air Boss was, I would spot the planes before they turned into the "groove", note the type of aircraft and wait for the pilot to call the fuel load and then I would calculate the setting for the arresting gear and call out over the sound powered phones for the operators to set the arresting gear once we had a "clear deck". Talk about on adrenalin rush, this would do it - plus lots of coffee.

"Anyway, on the F3H from VF-213, I think I had been relieved for chow and was coming back when an emergency sounded and I ran out on a starboard catwalk and there was the plane in the water about 30 or 40 feet below me. I saw the pilot trying to get out and the name on the plane was
Thomas Campbell and it just burned in my mind because it was mine also-- it was kind of chilling. We were probably cruising along at 20+ knots because we were still in a flight recovery mode. It was quick, they sent the plane guard helo and a DD to search. Not sure if he was a Lt. or Lt Jg.

Fantail Crash, WestPac '63:
"I was still onboard for the F-8, Crusader, that came in under the ramp,
Lt. Meyer. I believe this was a night time incident. The LSO kept telling him (yelling) to add power, but he was still "sinking" in the groove. He (Lt. Meyer) had gotten the "wave off" verbally, very strongly, from the LSO and landing system lights were flashing a "wave off", but apparently he waited too long to recover. The LSO, his talker and anybody else who was there bailed out into nets because they thought they were gone. It was scary. The kid on watch on the fantail lost both legs as I recall, but his life was saved by two quick acting enlisted men who applied tourniquets. It was a bad incident, but could have been worse.

"I was a short timer for the ORI in Hawaii before the 1963 cruise. There was a group of short timers they kept on for ORI and then sent us back to Treasure Island for discharge at the end of June. Spent my last 9 months on the Hancock as an ABE 3.

"No one knew me as Jack Campbell, they stuck me with the name of "Soup" or "Soupy" right out of boot camp, wonder why? Anyway had a great life experience on the Hancock. I enjoy your web site.

Jack Campbell"

To all of you who responded on this subject, again, thanks so much. I would expect nothing less, because you guys are HANCOCK Shipmates and the HANCOCK Crew was ALWAYS a unified labor of Pride. The Pride still continues in all of you!