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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS KITTY HAWK   (CVA-63)
(later CV-63)

U.S.S. KITTY HAWK
Courtesy of Al Grazevich



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Zulu - Foxtrot - Foxtrot

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Presidential Unit Citation / Navy Unit Commendation (4) / Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (7)
2nd Row: Navy "E" Ribbon (2) / Navy Expeditionary Medal (2) / National Defense Service Medal (3)
3rd Row: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (6) / Vietnam Service Medal (12 stars) / Southwest Asia Service Medal (1 star)
4th Row: Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal / Global War on Terrorism Service Medal / Humanitarian Service Medal
5th Row: Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm) / Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal / Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

CLASS - KITTY HAWK
Displacement 60,100 Tons, Dimensions, 1047' (oa) x 129' 4" x 37' (Max)
Armament 4 Terrier-SAM, 100 Aircraft.
Armor, Unknown.
Machinery, 280,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 34 Knots, Crew 4154-4580.

Operational and Building Data

Contract awarded on 1 October 1955 to New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, N.J. Laid down 27 December 1956, launched 21 May 1960, commissioned 29 April 1961. Reclassified as a "Multi-Purpose Aircraft Carrier" (CV-63) on 29 April 1973. Decommissioned 12 May 2009 (a Legacy Decommissioning Ceremony was held at Bremerton, Wash., on 31 January 2009). Stricken, 20 October 2017.

Status:   Stricken. Ex-Kitty Hawk departed Bremerton, WA, 15 January 2022, for a journey around South America to a scrapyard in Brownsville, Texas, where it arrived on 31 May.


Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Name
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CVA-63 was named for a small village in North Carolina and for Kill Devil Hill, the site approximately four miles south of the village, where Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful sustained powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine on 17 December 1903.

U.S. warships that had previously borne the name:

  1. An aviation transport, 1941–46.

(Map NS0263ck courtesy of Google Maps.)

Photo NS0263cka: First successful flight of the Wright Flyer, by the Wright brothers, 17 December 1903, at Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, NC. This is described as "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air, powered flight" by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

NavSource
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Construction, 1956 – 1961
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Keel laying, Thursday, 27 December 1956.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Wednesday, 15 May 1957.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Saturday, 27 July 1957.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Wednesday, 20 November 1957.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Wednesday, 16 July 1958.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Friday, 21 November 1958.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, March 1959.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Wednesday, 18 March 1959.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Friday, 15 May 1959.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction. Turbines go in.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Monday, 21 September 1959.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Friday, 16 October 1959.

Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Monday, 14 December 1959.

Ron Reeves.
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Bow view from drydock, December 1959 (Photo # 7634-157.)

Photo from the Harry Pierce collection (MSS 684) at the Camden County Historical Society, Camden, NJ.

Submitted by Ron Reeves.
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Under construction, Tuesday, 15 March 1960.

Ron Reeves.
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"The photos show the initial installation of one of the rudders on Kitty Hawk as she lay on the ways at NYSB Corp., Camden, New Jersey. The installation appears to have been accomplished in warm weather, and so the photos may date to either the middle of 1959, or early spring 1960, soon before her May 21st launch of that year."

"The man in the white hard hat is [Scott's] grandfather, John Davies. He was a foreman in the rigging department at NYSB Corp."

Scott Davies.
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Launching, Saturday, 21 May 1960
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Armed Forces Day Parade, Westmont, NJ, before Christening Ceremony. Color Guard from NAVSURFWARFARE Center and crew of Kitty Hawk.

Photo by Custom Photo Services, Camden, NJ
via Ron Reeves.
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Christening Ceremony.

Photo by Custom Photo Services Westmont, NJ,
via Ron Reeves.
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Audience at launching (Photo # 7634-506.)

Photos from the Harry Pierce collection (MSS 684) at the Camden County Historical Society, Camden, NJ.

Submitted by Ron Reeves.
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Port side view at launching. Note Goodyear blimp over the crane (Photo # 7634-507.)

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Official party (l to r): Mrs. Harry W. Pierce, wife of President of NYSB; Mrs. Camilla F. McElroy, ship's sponsor, wife of former Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy; Mr. Neil H. McElroy, sixth Secretary of Defense (October 9, 1957 – December 1, 1959; Mr. Harry W. Pierce, Pres., NYSB (Photo # 7634-508.)

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RADM Ralph K. James, USN BUSHIPS (Photo # 7634-509.)

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Mr. William B. Franke, Secretary of the Navy (Photo # 7634-510.)

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Mrs. Camilla F. McElroy christens Kitty Hawk (Photo # 1967.310.)

Photo from the Independence Seaport Museum, New York Shipbuilding Corporation Collection.

Submitted by Bill Gonyo.
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"Christening of the USS Kitty Hawk, May 21, 1960, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, a subsidiary of Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corporation"

Joel Craig.
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First float and shift to an outfitting pier. It was a rainy and miserable Sunday morning [22 May 1960]. The Reedy Point was the first tug to enter the dock and put lines up to her stern. Also on the job were the tugs Justine, Brant, H.C. Jefferson, Quaker, J.H. Deinlein, U.S. Goheen, Venus, Trojan and B.M. Thomas. The shift from the graving dock to Pier 6 in Newton Creek started at 1100 and was completed at 1400. Of the ten tugs there that day, only the B.M. Thomas remains on the River (as of May 2010). These are two views of the shift and the well-worn B.M. Thomas, lying neglected at Pier 84 South.

Photos from the Philadelphia Maritime Museum.

Pictures and text submitted by Ron Reeves.
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The future USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) at New York Shipbuilding outfitting dock, late 1960. Note radar mast abaft the island was not yet installed in this photo.

AP photo.

Darryl Baker
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Catapult testing, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.

Ron Reeves
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Catapult testing trials on the soon to be commissioned PCU Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), 13 March 1961. A "duck" is shown being catapulted off the ship moored at New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey.

Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Collection, Photo No. P560055B.

Mike Green
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Builders trials, 21–24 February 1961. Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) heads out to sea for trials (NS0263bgc–0263bg), at sea on trials (NS0263bga), and returning from sea trials (NS0263bgb).

Darryl Baker
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119k Ron Reeves
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Commissioning, Saturday, 29 April 1961
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Kitty Hawk shifting from New York SB to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard prior to her commissioning in April 1961.

NS0263bja: Under the Walt Whitman Bridge, Delaware River.

NS0263bj: About to enter Horse Shoe Bend with the Justine, B.M. Thomas and H.C. Jefferson on her port side.

Ron Reeves
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89k Curtis Hannah
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View of crowd in the hangar deck. ADM Arleigh A. Burke, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), delivered the principal address and hailed Kitty Hawk as the "forerunner of a new and greatly improved line of carriers."

Ron Reeves
1961-1984
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"Meet Navy's Missile Carrier," All Hands magazine, June 1961 issue.

Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
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85k USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) early in her career, circa 1961. Image courtesy of
Larry Blumenthal, PH3, 1957-61.
"US Navy Photos"
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120k Most of the original photo lab crew members, 1961. Curtis Hannah
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AD-6 (A-1H under the 1962 designation system) Skyraider, BuNo 139731, modex NH505, Attack Squadron (VA) 115 "Arabs," Carrier Air Group (CVG) 11, was aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during the carrier's "Around the Horn" maiden cruise, 11 August–1 November 1961 (Norfolk, South Atlantic, Cape Horn, East Pacific, San Francisco).

Joe Kaposi,
via Bob Canchola
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"Giant carrier Kitty Hawk gets steam up in preparation for sea trials to check out San Francisco Naval Shipyard's work as her post-shakedown overhaul nears its end." San Francisco Naval Shipyard Drydocker, 30 March 1962 (vol. 19, no. 11).

Ron Reeves
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"Three big carriers tied up at [Hunters Point] Shipyard's waterfront make an impressive sight. They are from left: USS Ranger (CVA-61), Berths 6 & 7; USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), Berths 8 & 9, and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), Berths 10 & 11." April 1962.

Ron Reeves
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) refueling USS McKean (DDR-784), at right, and USS Harry E. Hubbard (DD-748) on 18 September 1962. Note that the carrier has ten A-3 Skywarrior heavy attack aircraft parked on her flight deck, amidships and aft. Planes parked forward include A-1, A-4, F-4 and F-8 types.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# KN-4113).

Scott Dyben
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) refueling USS Wedderburn (DD-684) near Subic Bay, late December 1962 or early January 1963. From the collection of R.L. "Bob" Clawson.

Carol Hipperson, author of Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific
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A Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 (Badger) as it overflies USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) in the North Pacific in January 1963. The Tu-16 is being "escorted" by F-4B Phantom IIs (USN photo).

Photo and text from "Aircraft Carriers," by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and USS Cimarron (AO-22), near Japan in the spring of 1963, as seen from USS Wedderburn (DD-684). From the collection of R.L. "Bob" Clawson.

Carol Hipperson, author of Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific
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Aerial view of USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) underway, circa 1963–1964. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Robert Hurst
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A page from USS Uhlmann's (DD-687) 1963–1964 Cruise Book. An UNREP with USS Hassayampa (AO-145) and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), in the Western Pacific. This was Kitty Hawk's second WestPac deployment, 17 October 1963–20 July 1964.

Jim Pacetti (RD2)
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), and USS Turner Joy (DD-951) refueling from USS Kawishiwi (AO-146), 23 April 1964. Note the large "E" in a shield spelled out by crewmen on the carrier's flight deck. Photographed by PHCS Brown, USN.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1097351).

NHC
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USS Aludra (AF-55) resupplies USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and USS Coontz (DLG-9) during a WestPac deployment, 1964.

EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung
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Get FREE Adobe Reader
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) Ship's Command History, 31 March–30 September 1964.

Allison Butts Roulier, daughter of RADM John L. Butts, Jr., 4th Commanding Officer, USS Kitty Hawk
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USS Firedrake (AE-14) during an underway replenishment with USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) off the coast of Vietnam circa 1965.

From the Firedrake Cruise Book, 1965–1966.

Yu Chu
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was Our Navy's Ship of the Month for July 1965.

Ed Clough
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An AP story on the Kitty Hawk fire in 1965, published in the Ogden Standard Examiner.

Ed recalls:

"I was a machinist mate in the 'steam heat' shop maintenance of HVAC, aux steam, and catapults."

"Throw back Thursday, 6 Dec 1965. We were in the Tonkin Gulf on the Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), aircraft carrier, conducting airstrikes. A supply ship was alongside pumping JP5 (jet fuel) into our tanks when the pipe spit open in the Main Machinery Room 3, behind one of the boilers. The fuel was ignited and general quarters sounded. When I arrived at my fire station the chief put a OBA (oxygen breathing device) on me and four others and sent us into the MMR. We went in with two hoses, I was on the first hose to fight the fire and the hose behind was a fog nozzle to keep us wet and cool. Even with the hose on us we could not stay wet it was so hot in there, and dense smoke. We sent out one guy we found unconcious, later found he had died, as did one other sailor in the MMR when the fire started. After 25 mins or so we were relieved as our OBA was running low on oxygen. After some water and a canister change on the OBA we relived another hose team in an munitions stores room keeping a steel bulkhead cool as unarmed bombs were evacuated. Once the fire was out we continued air oprerations and then were ordered to Yokouska for repairs to the #3 MMR."

DANFS account:

"6 Dec 1965: During the morning a flash fire erupted in No. 3 Main Machinery Room, during air operations on Yankee Station. Two Sailors, FA William D. 'Billy' Heeper and FN Charles A. Philhewer, died, and 29 suffered injuries, with two men, FA Henry H. Powell and Grumman Aircraft Co. representative Edward B. Scherer, being injured seriously in the 'smoke-clogged fire below decks.' The crew regained control of the space, however, and flight operations continued without interruption."

Ed Clough
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An aviator's view of the flight deck, circa 1965–66.

Mike Haywood
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Briefing room.

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Hangar deck. Left to right: A-4C Skyhawk, two A-6A Intruders, F-4G (?) Phantom II.

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A-6A Intruder, VA-85 "Black Falcons," launching.

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E-2A Hawkeye, VAW-11 "Early Eleven" Det. C, launching. Other aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 parked on deck.

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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) pierside, with aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 on deck.

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A Douglas A-4C Skyhawk (BuNo 149495, modex NH-303) of Attack Squadron (VA) 113 "Stingers" landing on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) in March 1966. VA-113 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and deployed to Vietnam aboard Kitty Hawk, 19 October 1965–13 June 1966. U.S. Navy photo.

Info from Vietnam Air Losses: BuNo 149495 was hit by 37mm ground fire, 20 April 1966, some 15 miles north of Vinh, North Vietnam. With the aircraft on fire, LT(JG) Harry Glenn Welch headed back out to sea and flew 80 miles to where Kitty Hawk was waiting for him to make an emergency landing. As the Skyhawk approached the ship the fire burned through vital controls and LT(JG) Welch was forced to eject; fortunately he was picked up by one of the carrier's Seasprite helicopters.

Robert Hurst
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A U.S. Navy Douglas A-1H Skyraider (BuNo 139700, modex NH-504) of Attack Squadron (VA) 115 "Arabs" in flight over the Gulf of Tonkin. VA-115 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) for a deployment to the Western Pacific and Vietnam, 19 October 1965–13 June 1966. This aircraft was written off on 12 August 1966.

U.S. Air Force photo scanned from Air War over Vietnam, Volume IV. (Warbirds Illustrated No. 26), by Dana Bell. Arms and Armour Press, London 1984, p. 43, ISBN 0853686351.

Robert Hurst
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A Kaman UH-2A Seasprite plane guard helicopter (BuNo 149742) of helicopter combat support squadron HC-1 Det. C "Pacific Fleet Angels" hovering over the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during a deployment to Vietnam in March 1966. U.S. Navy photo.

Robert Hurst
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A Douglas A-1H Skyraider (BuNo 135263) of attack squadron VA-115 "Arabs," Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11), on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA‑63) in 1966. The plane is armed with six Mk-117 750-lb bombs for a mission over Vietnam. (BuNo 135263 was transferred to USAF as 52-135263. It was shot down by AAA over southern Laos on 28 July 1970, while assigned to the 1st Special Operations Squadron (SOS), 56th Special Operations Wing (SOW). Its pilot, Maj. P.B. Lee bailed out and was rescued.)

In the background are two McDonnell F-4G Phantom IIs (BuNos 150481 and 150487) of fighter squadron VF-213 "Black Lions." These Phantoms are two of the short-lived USN F-4G's: 12 were converted from F-4B's with AN/ASW-12 two-way datalink communication system and approach power compensator which, coupled with the shipboard AN/SPN-10 radar and AN/USC-1 datalink, allowed hands-off carrier landings. All were later rebuilt as F-4B's. BuNo 140481 was retired as an F-4N on 11 December 1981, BuNo 150487 had been lost at sea due to an inflight fire on 18 September 1972.

U.S. Navy Photo.

Robert Hurst
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), during her 19 October 1965–13 June 1966 Vietnam cruise. Two F-4B Phantom IIs, BuNos 149467 (NH114) and 152270 (NH405), VF‑114 "Aardvarks," CVW-11.

Flying with VMFA-314, BuNo 149467 crashed into the South China Sea, off South Vietnam, 8 February 1970, due to battle damage. Both Maj. J.B. Leonard and 1st Lt. J.C. Coon ejected and were rescued by helicopter.

BuNo 152270 was later upgraded to F-4N standard and is now preserved at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, in VMFA-251 markings.

ADJ3 David Elfver,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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A-1H Skyraiders (BuNos 137546 and 135263), VA-115 "Arabs;" and A-4C Skyhawks, VA-113 "Stingers."

BuNo 137546 was transferred to USAF as 52-137546 and was lost on 18 December 1968. Maj. Gregory Inman Barras was KIA.

See NS0263ao for details about BuNo 135263.

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Left to right: RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 151632, modex NH603, RVAH-13 "Bats;" F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 152233 (NH408), VF-114 "Aardvarks;" F-4G Phantom II, BuNo 150642 (NH109), VF-213 "Black Lions."

BuNo 151632 was shot down on 22 December 1965 (by an SA-2 SAM according to some sources, but there is no direct evidence of this). Pilot, LCDR Max D. Lukenbach, was KIA; NFO, LT(JG) Glenn H. Daigle, became a POW and was released in 1973.

BuNo 152233 had to ditch into the Gulf of Tonkin, 31 January 1966, due to battle damage. LT W. Fritz Klumpp and LT(JG) J.N. Stineman were promptly rescued by the plane guard helicopter, from HC-1 Det. C.

BuNo 150642 had been converted to F-4G standard (see NS0263ao) in 1964 but reverted to F-4B in 1966. Later upgraded to F-4N (1973) it was retired in 1984.

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RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 151624, modex NH604, RVAH-13 "Bats." Three A-4C Skyhawks from VA-113 "Stingers" are in the left background.

Flint River 604 was lost on 20 December 1965, while on a photographic reconnaissance mission over Uong Bi Thermal Power Plant (the first North Vietnamese industrial target authorized to be struck by naval aircraft), 15 miles northeast of Haiphong, North Vietnam, 20°51'N, 107°4'E. LCDR Guy D. Johnson and LT(JG) Lee E. Nordahl were KIA.

ADJ3 David Elfver,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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Left to right: Three E-2A Hawkeyes (modex RR706, RR704 and RR707), VAW-11 "Early Eleven" Det. C; COD aircraft, C-1A Trader (24); two RA-5C Vigilantes (NH605 and NH602), RVAH-13 "Bats;" and an F-4B Phantom II (NH411), VF-114 "Aardvarks."

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Left to right: RA-5C Vigilante (BuNo 151627?, modex NH602), RVAH-13 "Bats;" and E-2A Hawkeye (RR704), VAW-11 "Early Eleven" Det. C.

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ADJ3 David Elfver (right), plane captain, with a friend and an F-4B Phantom II, VF-213 "Black Lions."

ADJ3 David Elfver,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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Launching aircraft.

An F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 152270 (modex NH405), VF-114 "Aardvarks," launches from one of the waist cats. Also visible are the dishes of two E-2A Hawkeyes from VAW-11 "Early Eleven" Det. C, an F-4B (BuNo 152255, NH102) and an F-4G Phantom IIs (NH110) from VF-213 "Black Lions," two A-4C Skyhawks (BuNo 147836, NH302; BuNo 147727) from VA-113 "Stingers," and two A-1 Skyraiders (BuNo 137546, NH512; NH502) from VA-115 "Arabs."

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Two RA-5C Vigilantes, BuNo 151624 (NH604), left, and BuNo 151627 (NH602), right; RVAH-13 "Bats." Also visible are a UH-2A Seasprite (BuNo 149036, UP18), HC-1 "Pacific Fleet Angels" Det. C; and an F-4B Phantom II, VF-114 "Aardvardks." Two more Phantoms are in the background, beyond NH602.

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F-4G Phantom II, Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions" (appears to be BuNo 150633, NH106).

Parked on the port side of the flight deck is RA-5C Vigilante, NH603.

ADJ3 David Elfver,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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F-4B Phantom II, VF-114 "Aardvarks."

Left: Noses of A-4C Skyhawk, Attack Squadron (VA) 113 "Stingers," modex NH311 (BuNo 149540) and A-3B Skywarrior, Heavy Attack Squadron (VAH) 4 "Fourrunners" Det. C.

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A-4C Skyhawk, VA-113 "Stingers."

Left: Squadron mates NH311 (BuNo 149540) and NH313 (BuNo 148510 or 149581, depending on the exact date of the photo). A-3B Skywarrior, VAH-4 Det. C.

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A-6A Intruder, BuNo 151797 (NH812), Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons" (photo must have been taken before 18 February 1966, as the plane was lost on this date).

(See NS0263cyk–NS0263cym for further details.)

ADJ3 David Elfver,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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A-3B Skywarrior, BuNo 142660 (ZB2), Heavy Attack Squadron (VAH) 4 "Fourrunners."

(See NS0263cyk–NS0263cyn for further details.)

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A-1H Skyraider, Attack Squadron (VA) 115 "Arabs" (appears to be BuNo 139789, modex NH510).

(See NS0263cyk–NS0263cyo for further details.)

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"Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, Task Force 77, Power Squadron's First Regatta, 21 January 1966." Naval History & Heritage Command (NH&HC) photo, # USN 1114861.

Annotated copy (by NavSource):

  1. USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5)
  2. USS Hancock (CVA-19)
  3. USS Ingraham (DD-694)
  4. USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864)
  5. USS Carpenter (DD-825)
  6. USS Ranger (CVA-61)
  7. USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747)
  8. USS Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752), not shown
  9. USS Fletcher (DD-445)
  10. USS Hornet (CVS-12)
  11. USS Bache (DD-470)
  12. USS Harry E. Hubbard (DD-748)
  13. USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)
  14. USS Brush (DD-745)
  15. USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22)
  16. USS Edson (DD-946)
  17. USS Topeka (CLG-8)
  18. USS John S. McCain (DL-3)
  19. USS England (DLG-22)

NS0263dwa: Left to right: Fletcher, Hornet, Bache and Harry E. Hubbard, as seen from Kitty Hawk.

NH&HC
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1.79M Peter Stokely, Jean Stokely Hendrick, Florence Powell and Christine Williard, for their brother AQB2 Ray Stokely,
via Bob Canchola
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C-1A Trader recovering aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), 1965–1966.

Peter Stokely, Jean Stokely Hendrick, Florence Powell and Christine Williard, for their brother AQB2 Ray Stokely,
via Bob Canchola
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F-4 Phantom II recovering aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), 1965–1966.

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A-6A Intruder, modex NH803, probably BuNo 151783, Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11. This was Kitty Hawk's first Vietnam cruise, 19 October 1965–13 June 1966.

Aviation Fire Control Technician Bomb Director, 2nd Class (AQB2) Ray Stokely was assigned to VA-85.

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A-6A Intruder, modex NH807, probably BuNo 151787, Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.

VA-85 was an East Coast squadron and this was its first deployment to Vietnam, 19 October 1965–13 June 1966.

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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point, Philippine Islands, circa 1966.

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"This is a C-1A COD launching from a deck run in the SO CAL OPS Area while a signalman messages a ship in company using an Aldis Lamp. I do not know if this is the same C-1A assigned to Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station or not. The slide was processed in October 1966."

The A-4C Skyhawks seen at bottom center were assigned to Attack Squadron (VA) 112 "Broncos" but were not with the carrier for the upcoming 1966–1967 Vietnam deployment. BuNo 147674 (modex NH412) crashed into the sea off Southern California on 19 October 1966, after a collision with F-4B Phantom II BuNo 152995 (NH212) from Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks," while participating in Operation Baseline II. All three aviators ejected safely and were picked up by helicopters from Kitty Hawk.

BuNo 147714 (NH404) was transferred to VA-76 "Spirits" on 21 October. Retired from the US Navy, it was transferred to the Argentine Air Force in November 1974. It was shot down on 30 May 1982, during the Falklands (Malvinas) War by a Sea Dart SAM missile fired by British destroyer HMS Exeter (D89). The Skyhawk pilot, Primer Teniente (1st Lieutenant) José Daniel Vázquez, was KIA.

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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"This picture was taken in the SoCal Ops Area in October of 1966 prepping for the '66–'67 deployment. [...] It was made on the 19th or before as that was when 147674 was lost. The terrible edge resolution of the Petri 1.9 rangefinder is evident. Thank heaven I bought the Nikon first time we were in Yokosuka. [...I]t appears that 147796 as Montana 401 was the only one that deployed with us."

A-4C Skyhawks, Attack Squadron (VA) 112 "Broncos." BuNo 147796, modex NH401 (later converted to A-4L standard and eventually transferred to Malaysia). BuNo 147674 (NH412). BuNo 147714 (NH404).

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Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 on the flight deck of USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during the carrier's 5 November 1966–20 June 1967 Vietnam deployment.

Left: RA-5C Vigilante (BuNo 147858, NH601), RVAH-13 "Bats;" A-4C Skyhawks from VA-144 "Roadrunners" and VA-112 "Broncos;" F-4B Phantom IIs.

Right: A-6A Intruder (BuNo 151787?, NH507), VA-85 "Black Falcons."

Peter Stokely, Jean Stokely Hendrick, Florence Powell and Christine Williard, for their brother AQB2 Ray Stokely,
via Bob Canchola
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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point, Philippine Islands, 1966–1967. Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11. A-6A Intruders assigned to Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons."

Photo NS0263dfg also shows RA-5C Vigilantes from Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats" and, in the left background, an E-2A Hawkeye from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 11 "Early Eleven" (reestablished as VAW-114 "Hormel Hawgs" on 20 April 1967).

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Hawkeye, November 1966.

Tommy Trampp
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"Remember these guys a couple of days west of Hawaii? On the '66/'67 cruise we got a Bear one day and a Bison the next." "16–17 Nov 1966: Soviet Tupolev Tu-95 Bear and Myasishchev Mi-4 Bison bombers overflew the ship. Normal occurrences when carriers deployed near foreign shores, such overflights heightened Cold War tensions."

Kitty Hawk's deck logs record:

Wednesday, 16 November 1966. 1130 Blacklion 110 [F-4B Phantom II, VF-213 "Black Lions"] and Linfield 201 [F-4B, VF-114 "Aardvarks"] intercepted a section of 2 Russian Bear type aircraft bearing 035, distance 95 miles.
1216 [...] recover Condition I CAP aircraft. 1230 Launched second batch of fighters to intercept Russian Bear aircraft. 1245 Bogies intercepted at 180 at 80 miles, Russian Bears. 1305 Two Russian Bears passed overhead at 1500 ft.

Thursday, 17 November 1966. 0856 F-4s intercepted two (2) Russian Bear aircraft at a distance of sixty (60) miles. [...] 1144 F-4s intercepted two (2) Bison and one (1) Bear aircraft.
1147 Two Russian Bison and one Russian Bear aircraft passed over this ship, altitude 27,000 feet. 1215 Overflight at low altitude of two Russian Bison aircraft observed. [...] 1226 One (1) Russian Bison a/c passed overhead at low elevation. [...] 1315 All Russian aircraft have left area of this unit. [F-4B Phantom IIs and an E-2A Hawkeye were in the air during this "friendly" encounters.]
AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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"A VA-85 A-6A operating as Buck Eye 502 with 24 Mark 82 Snake Eye bombs ready for a strike package launch from Yankee Station on Kitty Hawk's cat 3 in March 1967."

Note that side number 502 is stenciled under the cockpit, but 504 is displayed on the starboard wing.

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KA-3B Skywarrior (BuNo 142652?, modex ZB3), Heavy Attack Squadron (VAH) 4 "Fourrunners," and F-4B Phantom II (BuNo 153025, NH113), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions," Yankee Station.

Photo taken from Vulture's Row, Nikkormat FT, 50mm Nikor S, 2x Kenco extender, Plus X Pan.

(Flying with VF-51 "Screaming Eagles" off USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), BuNo 153025 was shot down by an Atoll air-to-air missile on 27 April 1972. LT Albert R. Molinare and LCDR James B. Souder ejected and were captured; they were released on 28 March 1973.)

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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point, Philippine Islands, 6 January–28 May 1967.

Don comments: "Picture [taken by] myself in 1967 with my brand new Nikkormat FT and made this digital from the original Kodachrome slide."

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"24 Feb 1967 0724[H] Green Island Anchorage, Hong Kong, British Colony, China. Kitty Hawk's starboard anchor enters the water."

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"It is the USS Stoddard (DD-566) maneuvering for plane guard position as Kitty Hawk comes into the wind for a strike package launch and recovery from Yankee Station. 14 December 1966 (or, likely, 3 January 1967)."

Aircraft are, left to right: A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 147796 (NH401), Attack Squadron (VA) 112 "Broncos;" unidentified KA-3B Skywarrior, Heavy Attack Squadron (VAH) 4 "Fourrunners" Det. C; A-6A Intruder BuNo 151583 (NH507), VA-85 "Black Falcons;" another, unidentified, A-6A; F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 153011 (NH104), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions;" F-4B BuNo 152999 (NH206), VF-114 "Aardvardks;" A-4C BuNo 148601, VA-112; A-4C that appears to be BuNo 148566 (NH302), VA-144 "Roadrunners;" A-4C BuNo 148578 (NH304), VA-144; F-4B BuNo 153017 (NH107), VF-213; F-4B BuNo 153005 (NH205), VF-114.

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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Closest to camera is F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153015 (NH106), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions." Then, A-6A Intruder, BuNo 151583 (NH507), Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons." In the background, A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149532 (NH312), VA-144 "Roadrunners."

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"This is a VA-85 A-6A as 'Buckeye 506,' carrying AGM-45 Shrikes, being spotted for an Ironhand mission aboard Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station. The slide is dated March 1967."

Intruder, BuNo 151592, modex NH506, Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons." Closer to camera are two E-2A Hawkeyes, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 11 "Early Eleven" Det. C (reestablished as VAW-114 "Hormel Hawgs" on 20 April 1967). To the right is an SH-3A Sea King, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 8 "Eightballers," deployed aboard USS Bennington (CVS-20); its presence means the photo was possibly taken 3–8 March 1967.

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"This is a shot I got of VF-114 F-4B (BuNo 152999) as 'Linfield 206' in the groove just prior to trapping. The shot was made on the line on Yankee Station. [...] It is dated March of 1967 so 3 to 4 weeks prior to its being lost on 6 April 1967."

This F-4B Phantom II (modex NH206), Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvardks," entered an accelerated stall and then started to spin during a training flight. Given the available altitude, the crew (LT(JG) Frederick A. Nutting and LT(JG) Michael L. Tuft) could not stop the spin, had to eject, and were rescued.

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"This is a bombed up VA-144 A-4C as 'War Paint 312' being cleared for launch on a strike mission from Kitty Hawk's #4 cat on Yankee Station. Slide processed in January 1967 so most likely some time between 4 Dec 1966 and 3 Jan 1967 as we were in Subic Bay from 6 Jan 67 to 19 Jan 67."

Skyhawk, BuNo 149532, VA-144 "Roadrunners."

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"This is VF-114 F-4B (BuNo 153003) as Linfield 203 Taxiing forward to cat for a strike mission from Yankee Station. Slide is dated March 1967."

Kitty Hawk's deck log reads:

Tuesday, 30 April 1968—08–12 Maneuvering as before. 0912 plane in the water port side. Ship's posit 18° 07'.1 N Lat. 107° 26'.5 E Long. 0902 (late entry) Rigged barricade for F-4 with no port landing wheel. 0914 Threw two smoke flares in the water. 0912 (late entry) Rudder throw over left 20° c/s [changed speed] to stop. Commenced maneuvering on various courses and speeds while recovering two pilots from the water by helo. 0921 Both pilots on deck one man in stretcher other pilot walking. 1010 Hoffner, Conrad [C]., LCDR USN xxxxxx one pilot of F-4B Linfield 203 Beaureau [sic] Number 153003 involved in aircraft emergency. Treatment administered by the medical officer. La[i]ng, James W. LTJG USN xxxxxx also of VF114 was NFO of Linfield 203: Minor shock treatment administered by the medical officer.
AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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"This slide was processed January 1967, but was taken sometime between 04 Dec 1966, when we came on line, and 21 Dec 1966 when it was lost: '21 Dec 1966: War Paint 303, an A-4C (BuNo 148507), LT(JG) Danny E. Glenn, VA-144, was shot down by AAA during an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam, 18° 9'N, 106° 9'E. Glenn shouted 'I'm hit!' over his radio, War Paint 316, another Skyhawk, transmitting 'Eject, you're on fire.' Glenn was captured and did not return home until 4 April 1973.' (From Naval History and Heritage Command website)"

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Again "War Paint 303 very possibly the same day. Also F-4Bs of both VF-213 and VF-114 with the [USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42)] in the background on Yankee Station."

A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 148507 (NH303), Attack Squadron (VA) 144 "Roadrunners."

F-4B Phantom IIs are, left to right: BuNo 153017 (NH107), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions." BuNo 153011 (NH104), VF-213. BuNo 153000 (NH210), VF-114 "Aardvarks." BuNo 153004 (NH204), VF-114; shot down by an SA-2 SAM on 19 May 1967; LT(JG) Joseph C. Plumb and LT(JG) Gareth L. Anderson were captured.

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"This is a VAW-13 EA-1F trapping aboard Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station on the '66–'67 deployment. It was shot with Tri-X Pan at ASA 600 so a bit grainy but still pretty sharp. Most of the shots are from the 06 level 'Vultures Row' with a few from the flight deck, PRIFLY, fantail, berthing, etc."

EA-1F Skyraider, BuNo 134983 (modex VR774), Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 13 "Zappers."

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"Here a VA-144 A-4C as War Paint 313 (BuNo 145094) appears to make a 1 wire trap aboard Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station during the 1966–1967 deployment."

A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 145094 (modex NH313), Attack Squadron (VA) 144 "Roadrunners." Crashed on 24 January 1969, after a collision with another A-4C (BuNo 149624) near Green Cove Springs, FL. Both pilots (LT Allen Adler and LCDR Thomas Dibiase, respectively) ejected safely.

Don adds: "It appears that most, if not all, of my B&W pictures were made the same day and perhaps even the same evolution. I have another B&W showing that the RA-5C spotted on the port side aft is in fact Flint River 602."

RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 150826 (NH602), Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats," was shot down by ground fire over Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 19 May 1967. LCDR James L. Griffin and LT Jack Walters, Jr., ejected, were captured, and died shortly afterwards.

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"This is a VA-144 A-4C as War Paint 316 (BuNo 148602) returning to Kitty Hawk with empty MERs after a combat sortie from Yankee Station on the '66–'67 deployment."

A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 148602 (NH316), Attack Squadron (VA) 144 "Roadrunners." (Converted to A-4L standard in 1970, put into storage in 1976 and sold to the Malaysian AF in 1983.)

RA-5C Vigilante in the background is BuNo 150826, see above.

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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"This is another photo I got of 153000 just as the cat fired. As with my other B&W photos I, unfortunately, did not record the dates. I do know that it was made on Yankee Station during the 1966–1967 deployment and, of course, prior to 24 Apr 1967. It is also not the mission on which it was lost as it is configured for ground attack and not a TARCAP."

F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153000, modex NH210, Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks." Linfield 210 was hit by AAA (by a MiG-17 according to Vietnamese sources) on 24 April 1967 and, although it claimed a MiG-17, LCDR Charles E. Southwick and ENS Jim W. Laing had to eject en route to Kitty Hawk and were rescued.

On the bottom right corner there is an E-2A Hawkeye (BuNo 151708, modex RR704), Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 11 "Early Eleven" Det. C (re-established as VAW-114 "Hormel Hawgs" on 20 April 1967).

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This photo "shows an F-4B taxiing for a bow cat as another F-4B launches from a waist cat. Slide was processed in February of 1967."

Among the aircraft on the bottom of the picture are: A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 147739 (NH307), Attack Squadron (VA) 144 "Roadrunners;" E-2A Hawkeye BuNo 150533 (RR707), Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 11 "Early Eleven" Det. C; and A-4C BuNo 148601 (NH412), VA-112 "Broncos."

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"This is a VA-144 A-4C taken during combat operations on Yankee Station. The slide was processed in May 1967. Our 4th line period ended 27 Apr 1967 and the 5th began on 9 May 1967."

A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 145094 (NH313), Attack Squadron (VA) 144 "Roadrunners." In the background is a squadron mate, that might be BuNo 148566 (NH302).

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"Here is another photo of [...] VAW-11 Det C E-2A 704 showing its BuNo to be 151708. [...] The slide was processed in March of 1967."

E-2A Hawkeye BuNo 151708 (RR704), Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 11 "Early Eleven" Det. C (re-established as VAW-114 "Hormel Hawgs" on 20 April 1967).

On the lower left corner is RA-5C Vigilante BuNo 150826 (see NS0263dvn for further details).

In the background is F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153022 (NH215), Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks." On 20 December 1966, flown by LT Hugh Dennis Wisely (who would command USS Sylvania (AFS-2) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), and attain the rank of Rear Admiral) and LT(JG) David L. Jordan, it shot down an Antonov An-2 Colt biplane transport. Eventually transferred to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 "Black Knights," "On 11 June [1970], Capt. B. A. Rindt and 1/Lt R. C. Blakely were flying VW-10 [BuNo 153022] when the aircraft developed a fire, forcing the crew to eject in the South China Sea near Chu Lai. Both crewmembers were picked up shortly after entering the water, and neither sustained any injuries." (From VMFA-314 Command History for 1970.)

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"The slide is of the 'bomb farm' starboard of the superstructure containing a mix of Mark 82 and Mark 83 Snakeye high drag bombs. BuNo 145157 is clearly visible. The slide was processed in February 1967."

The RA-5C in the background is the prototype YA3J-1 Vigilante, flown for the first time on 31 August 1958. Converted to an RA-5C, it was modex NH603 with Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats" during Kitty Hawk's 1966–1967 deployment.

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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"[This] slide of RVAH-13 RA-5C as Flint River 603 [BuNo 145157] was processed in March 1967. [...] LCDR James L. Griffin is listed as pilot and LT Jack Walters, Jr., is listed as RAN. I'm sure planes were routinely flown by someone other than the name on the side of the aircraft accounting for both of them being in the ill fated 602 on 19 May 1967. The slide was taken during operations on Yankee Station. I find pictures of pilots being associated with the lost aircraft saddening. Brave, capable men passing far too soon. We all took our chances, but they more than most."

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"This is an HC-1 UH-2A making a slow, close in pass down the port side possibly for a photo op? Crewman looks like he may be holding a camera. On the '66–'67 deployment with the slide being processed in January 1967."

This is Seasprite BuNo 149764 (modex UP9), Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 1 "Pacific Fleet Angels" Det. C. This is the very same helicopter that, on 19 June 1968, was flown by LT(JG) Clyde E. Lassen and his crew—LT(JG) Clarence L. Cook, AE2 Bruce B. Dallas, and ADJ3 Donald West—to effect one of the most daring rescues of the Vietnam War. See "HC-7 RESCUE 43", at the HC-7 website, for details. LT Lassen, Medal of Honor Citation.

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"This is RVAH-13 RA-5C as Flint River 606 (BuNo 151620) trapping aboard Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station. The slide was processed in January 1967."

(RA-5C Vigilante BuNo 151620 crashed near NAS Albany, GA, 5 March 1970, while assigned to RVAH-12.)

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"This is a bombed up VA-85 A-6A as Buckeye 501 (BuNo 151581) being spotted for the next evolution. It bears the name of CDR Ron Hays, the VA-85 commanding officer. If you have not read it there is a very good account of a mission flown by CDR Hays against the Bac Giang thermal power plant on 24 March 1967 on the Rollingthunderremembered.com website [here]. CDR Hays was known to lead from the front. The aircraft shows 15 completed bombing missions. The slide was processed in March of 1967 so not the mission of the 24th. 151581 shows to have had a great and rewarding career before being unceremoniously scrapped in or around 2010."

This is A-6A Intruder BuNo 151581 (NH501), Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons." Helicopter on the right is UH-2B Seasprite BuNo 151311 (UP50), Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 1 "Pacific Fleet Angels" Det. C.

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"This is a VAW-13 EA-1F with BuNo and modex easily readable and the slide was processed in March of 1967."

EA-1F "Electric Spad" BuNo 132576, modex VR773, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 13 "Zappers." (Struck off charge in 1970 and eventually transferred to the South Vietnamese AF.)

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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"I got this shot of LT Wood's F-8C after the Flight Deck crew finished with it. The resolution is not as good due to this originally being a Kodachorme negative and not a slide. I have misplaced the negative and so had to copy the 3x5 print made from the negative."

"19 May 1967: Lieutenant Phillip R. Wood of squadron VF-24 operating from the USS Bon Homme Richard as MIGCAP for the Van Dien mission engaged and shot down a MiG-17 that attacked the egressing strike force. Having obtained a trail position on the MiG LT Wood utilized an AIM-9D launched from his F-8C to make the kill. Due to damage sustained by his aircraft he was unable to reach the Bon Homme Richard and recovered aboard the Kitty Hawk."

"The aircraft sat on the deck for some time and I believe I heard that the Captain made them clean the 'decoration' off before it was unloaded. It really didn't look to me like it had strike-off damage". Some sources state that LT Wood's aircraft, BuNo 147029 (NP443), was so badly damaged that it never flew again, but, in fact, it survived, was upgraded to F-8K standard and was not retired until the 1970s.

Wood, by then a Captain, returned to Kitty Hawk in 1984 as her commanding officer.

(E-2A Hawkeye BuNo 151708 can be partially seen in the left background.)

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"This is the starboard side of CDR Hays's VA-85 A-6A as Buckeye 501 showing the name of the B/N, LT Ted Been. On Yankee Station and the slide processed in January of 1967."

In the background, F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 152998 (NH115), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions." (This aircraft was destroyed in a ground fire at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, 19 October 1974, while assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 115 "Able Eagles".)

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"RVAH-13 RA-5C as Flint River 605 taxing for a cat for a strike mission BDA. The wear and tear of 12-hour a day, 90-minute cycle, 30-day line periods is evident. Slide dated March 1967."

RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 151627 (modex NH605) Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats," was shot down on 9 March 1967 near Long Chau. CDR Charles L. Putnam ejected but was subsequetenly KIA while trying to avoid capture (either he drowned or was shot by enemy troops). LT(JG) Francis S. Prendergast was captured, but killed his captors, escaped and was rescued.

Don adds: "I noticed something for the first time after many years of looking at these slides. The image of Flint River 605 taxing out, Black Lion 106 is also manned up for the launch and is not carrying ordnance as though it could be an escort mission for him. Since 106 was the aircraft that observed 605 breakup, 605 was lost 9 March, and the slide was processed in March, this is possibly the mission on which it was lost."

"After watching RA-5Cs recover with the stabilator moving from the up stop to the down stop all the way down the groove, I have a great deal of respect for anyone who could bring one aboard. [...] RVAH-13 shows to have had 3 losses from enemy fire on the 1965–1966 cruise. Five losses to enemy fire for a six-aircraft contingent for the two deployments. It took courage to strap on an RA-5C during the war. No losses to mechanical failure or pilot error speaks very highly of all the squadron support personnel."

F-4B Phantom II in the background, left, is BuNo 153015 (NH106), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions." (It was operationally lost on 3 July 1969, still with VF-213 aboard Kitty Hawk. LT(JG) Scott Shields and LT Gary Benn ejected and were rescued.)

F-4B in the background, right, is BuNo 153000 (NH210), VF-114 "Aardvarks."

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"This is a C-2A catapulted when the brakes locked and blew both main landing gear tires. PRIFLY called up the Grumman rep and he recommended burning down to minimum fuel and making a normal recovery. That's what was done and I would not have known anything was wrong if I had not been in PRIFLY when it happened. It even taxied clear of the gear and to parking on its own. Grumman Iron Works. It is sitting a tad low in the back. The slide was processed in May of 1967."

C-2A Greyhound, Fleet Tactical Support Squadron (VRC) 50 "Foo Dogs," not part of the Carrier Air Wing.

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"This is a C-1A COD making a 2-wire trap aboard Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station. The slide is dated March of 1967. I like that you can see everyone on the LSO platform looking back to see how he did on the recovery. Kitty Hawk's COD, Phantoms, and Vigilante."

C-1A Trader, BuNo 146024, Kitty Hawk's Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) plane.

In the background, left to right: RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 151620; F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 152996 (NH101), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions" (currently preserved at the Southern Museum of Flight at Birmingham APT, AL.); F-4B BuNo 152999.

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
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"This slide shows two VF-114 F-4Bs launching. On the cat in afterburner is Linfield 212 BuNo 152997 and behind the blast shield is Linfield 205 BuNo 153005. The slide is dated March 1967."

Both F-4B Phantom II, Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks," were lost in 1967. NH212 crashed into the sea, 8 May, just after launching off Kitty Hawk; LT(JG) Thomas J. Steimer ejected but struck pilot's canopy and was killed; LT(JG) Michael L. Tuft ejected and was rescued. NH205 crashed on a bombing run on Cape Falaise, 27 December; both LCDR Leonard M. Lee and LT(JG) Roger B. Innes were KIA.

Note, as well, the nose of EA-1F BuNo 132576 (VR773) on the right bottom corner.

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eee
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"This is a pretty good picture of 153002 being spotted for a strike and several other aircraft in the area. The Ektachrome slide was processed in February 1967."

F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 153002 (modex NH202), Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks" (collided with a squadron mate, BuNo 153043, on 15 April 1968, shortly after a strike mission near Vinh. All four aviators ejected and were rescued).

RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 147858 (NH601), Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats."

Partly visible are A-4C Skyhawk NH310, Attack Squadron (VA) 144 "Roadrunners," and F-4B 153017 (NH107), VF-213 "Black Lions."

Helicopter in the right background is the same seen on photo NS0263dvg. If the slide was processed in February 1967, the presence of this helicopter means it may have been taken 21 December 1966–3 January 1967, 17–23 January, or 10–14 February.

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eef
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"Here steam jumps from the track as a bombed up VF-114 F-4B as Linfield 214 launches from Kitty Hawk's cat 4 on Yankee Station. [...] The slide was processed in January 1967. This is one of my favorite pictures. I wish I had owned a polarizer to take the glare off the canopy."

F-4B Phantom II, probably BuNo 153014 (modex NH214), Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks." (On 28 April 1968, flying with VF-21 "Free Lancers" off USS Ranger (CVA-61), this aircraft was hit by AAA fire, the crew had to eject and were rescued by a Navy helicopter. LCDR Diego E. "Duke" Hernandez went on to command USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and retired a Vice Admiral. LT(JG) David J. Lortscher, however, was killed when his F-14A Tomcat, BuNo 159022, collided with F-14A BuNo 160902 on 5 December 1979.)

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eeg
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"This is just a clean shot of 150829. The slide was processed in February 1967. Seems like one of the few [Vigilantes] that survived the war and wound up in an Air Force target range. The Air Force probably got a kick out of being able to shoot up a Navy plane."

RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 150829 (modex NH604), Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats." Struck off charge on 29 May 1978. Sent to be a target on the Tolicha Peak Range, NV, May 1986.

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eeh
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"This is VF-213 F-4B (BuNo 152998) as Black Lion 115 just about to recover. The nose strut is still extended so has not yet touched down. Carrying both AIM-9s and AIM-7s it is returning from a BARCAP or TARCAP. The BuNo is confirmed by [photo NS0263ee]. [...] The slide was processed in May of 1967."

F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 153998 (modex NH115), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions."

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eei
324k

"This is an F-8C of VC-5 (BuNo 146990). It made several low passes to port as we entered Subic Bay on 30 November 1966. The story I heard was that it was a friend of the Captain's that flew out to welcome him in."

F-8C Crusader, BuNo 146990 (modex UE13), Fleet Composite Squadron (VC) 5 "Checkertails." These unusually-marked F-8s towed targets and controlled drones from Da Nang and Chu Lai.

Tail of F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 153009 (NH103), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions." (This aircraft was lost on 10 December 1972, while flying with VF-21 "Free Lancers" off USS Coral Sea (CVA-43). According to the ship's deck log, "operating SO CAL OP Area BuNo 153009 impacted the sea approximately 100 yards off starboard quarter. Pilot LT(JG) Cooper & RIO LT Morris ejected after bolter. Rescue helicopter picked up LT(JG) Cooper and the USS Cook picked up LT Morris. No apparent injuries to either.")

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eej
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"As you can see this is a VA-85 A-6A (BuNo 151587) as Buckeye 511 about to catch a wire on Kitty Hawk's flight deck. The picture was taken on the '66–'67 deployment prior to 24 Mar 1967 when 511 was lost after attacking the Bac Giang Thermal Power Plant."

Quoted from DANFS: "Buckeye 511, an A-6A (BuNo 151587), LCDR John C. Ellison, and LT(JG) James E. Plowman, VA-85, went down during a 'night, four-plane coordinated attack' against the Bac Giang Thermal Power Plant, in the vicinity of 21°25'N, 106°57'E."

See "Ripple Salvo" and Vietnam Air Losses for more details.

A-6A Intruder, Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons."

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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"This is a pilot egressing RVAH-13 RA-5C as Flint River 603 (BuNo 145157) after a mission [...] The slide was processed in March 1967."

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eel
622k

USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) entering Subic Bay on the afternoon of Wednesday, 30 November 1966.

Some aircraft that can be identified are:

  • Attack Squadron (VA) 112 "Broncos"
    • A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 145077 (NH413). (Preserved at NAS Pensacola, FL.)
  • VA-144 "Roadrunners"
    • A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 148528 (NH301). (To Singaporean AF in 1980.)
    • A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 147739 (NH307). (Crashed in the Bay of Naples, Italy, 14 June 1969, with VA-95 "Green Lizards" off USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67).)
    • A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 147802 (NH315). (To Malaysian AF in 1983.)
  • Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions"
    • F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153021 (NH111). (Ditched into the sea off California, 16 November 1970.)
    • F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153023 (NH112). (Written off aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43), 3 April 1983.)
    • F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153011 (NH104). (Struck off charge, 19 August 2004.)

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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"This is an HC-1 UH-2B launching from Kitty Hawk as plane guard. The slide was processed in December of 1966 so most likely on the 1st line period of the '66–'67 cruise or enroute to Subic Bay or Subic to Yankee Station."

UH-2B Seasprite, BuNo 151311 (modex UP-50), Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 1 "Pacific Fleet Angels" Det. C.

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eer
1.02M

"The picture below was processed in May of 1967 and shows VA-85 modex 510 as BuNo 152586. It must be the replacement aircraft for 151590 lost 19 Jan 1967."

A sad photograph. Left to right: RA-5C Vigilante BuNo 150826 (NH-602), Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats," lost on 19 May 1967. A-6A Intruder, BuNo 152586 (NH-510), Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons," lost on 17 January 1969 with Marine All-Weather Attack Squadron (VMA(AW)) 242 "Batmen." F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153004 (NH-204), Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks," lost on 19 May 1967.

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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"I took this trying out exposures that included the sun in the picture. A number of BuNo's and modex's are visible. The slide was processed in March 1967. 7739 is manned and bombed up so on Yankee Station."

Left to right: A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 145077, Attack Squadron (VA) 112 "Broncos." RA-5C Vigilante BuNo 151620 (NH-606), Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats." F-4B Phantom IIs BuNos 152996 (NH-101) and 153011 (NH-104), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions." A-4C BuNo 147739 (NH-307), VA-144 "Roadrunners."

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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"This is a VA-85 A-6A (BuNo 151582) as Buckeye 503 showing 90+ bombing missions and bombed up for another one. The negative was processed in May of 1967."

A-6A Intruder, Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons." (Converted to KA-6D in 1970. Crashed with VA-85 on takeoff from NAS Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, 22 February 1979.)

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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"RVAH-13 RA-5C (BuNo 151620) as Flint River 606 and VF-114 F-4B (BuNo 153004) as Linfield 204 silhouetted port side aft at dawn. The slide was processed in March 1967."

RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 151620. F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 153004.

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
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"This is VF-114 F-4B (BuNo 153004) as Linfield 204 taking an interval break returning from a mission. It was also processed in March of 1967."

F-4B Phantom II BuNo 153004 and a squadron mate, Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks."

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263af
675k

Two F-4B Phantom IIs of VF-114 "Aardvarks" enroute to targets in North Vietnam. Photo is dated 16 April 1967.

BuNo 153005 (NH-205) was lost on 27 December 1967. BuNo 153040 (NH-213) was shot down on 21 May 1967; LT Dennis H. Wisely—who had previously shot down an An-2 Colt biplane, 20 December 1966, and a MiG-17, 24 April 1967—and ENS Jim H. Laing ejected and were rescued.

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex CV‑9),
via Chris Stanley
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bs
127k

F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 153008, modex NH207, assigned to Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks," deployed to WestPac and Vietnam, 5 November 1966–20 June 1967, aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). (BuNo 153008 was later converted to F-4N.)

Photo is dated 28 April 1967.

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex), via Chris Stanley
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bt
110k

A-6A Intruder, assigned to Attack Squadron (VA) 85 "Black Falcons," launches from USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), for an air-attack strike on North Vietnam. U.S. Navy photo # 1122595, by photographer J.W. Bakker, dated 14 May 1967.

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex), via Chris Stanley
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263br
87k

"South China Sea—Three A-6A Intruder aircraft of [Attack] Squadron 85[, 'Black Falcons,'] are returning from a bombing mission over North Vietnam. The aircraft are home based aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)."

U.S. Navy photo # 1122702, taken in May 1967 by Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 13 "Bats."

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex CV‑9),
via Chris Stanley
CVS-33 Kearsarge
NS023329
191k

Overhead look at Aircraft Carriers and Amphibious Assault Ships (Helicopter) at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, July 1967. Left to right: USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), USS Bennington (CVS-20), USS Kearsarge (CVS-33), USS Princeton (LPH-5), USS Valley Forge (LPH-8), USS Yorktown (CVS-10, top right corner).

Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bv
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EA-1F Skyraider BuNo 132555 (built as an AD-5N/A-1G night-attack variant), modex VR012, VAW-13 "Zappers," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, deployed with USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) for a Vietnam cruise, 18 November 1967–28 June 1968. Delivered in October 1954, this aircraft was retired in July 1968.

Ron Reeves
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bva
191k

The same aircraft as above, EA-1F Skyraider BuNo 132555 (modex VR-012), Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron—or Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron, depending on the exact date of the photo—(VAW) 13 Det.63 "Zappers," on final approach for recovery aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) in the Western Pacific. VAW-13 Det.63 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 aboard Kitty Hawk for a deployment to Vietnam from 18 November 1967 to 28 June 1968.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.253.2285.

Robert Hurst
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263ec
141k

"This is an F-4B making a night recovery on Kitty Hawk on the '67–'68 deployment. I did not record the squadron or aircraft information. The slide was processed in January of 1968. The nose wheel door mounted AOA light is clearly visible turning amber and red between the red and white navigation lights. On the deck is an RVAH-11 RA-5C as Glen Rock 602."

The RA-5C Vigilante may be BuNo 147858 (NH602). Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 11 "Checkertails," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.

AG3 Don Fitzgerald,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263eca
220k

"This is a VA-112 A-4C making a strike package recovery during night operations aboard Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station. The slide was processed in January 1968."

A-4C Skyhawk, Attack Squadron (VA) 112 "Broncos." Sister squadron VA-144 "Roadrunners" was equipped with A-4Es for this cruise.

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263ecb
685k

"This is VF-114 F-4B (BuNo 153005) as Linfield 205. I sent the slide to Kodak to have a print made and they sent back a 4x6 print but never returned the slide. This image is a copy of the print so not as sharp as a slide would have been. The slide was made on the '67–'68 cruise sometime between 23 Dec 1967, the beginning of the first line period, and 27 Dec 1967 when 3005 and crew were lost. Just no clue on why they crashed."

F-4B Phantom IIs BuNo 153005 (NH-205) and 153022, Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks."

CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026397
65k

USS Kitty Hawk underway circa 1968, location unknown. USN photo.

Robert Hurst
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263dl
482k

KA-3B Skywarrior traps aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), 28 January 1968, in Yankee Station, Tonkin Gulf. This aircraft is BuNo 138971 (modex ZB4), assigned to Heavy Attack Squadron (VAH) 4 "Fourrunners," Det. 63 (the squadron was redesignated Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 131 on 1 November 1968).

Aircraft in the background are, left to right: RA-5C Vigilante, BuNo 150831 (NH605), Reconnaissance Heavy Attack Squadron (RVAH) 11 "Checkertails;" F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 153023 (NH112), Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 "Black Lions;" and F-4B BuNo 153068 (NH115), VF-213.

Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263dla
556k

Probably taken at the same time as the photo above. (Date is also given as 2 March 1968, but this is the day Kitty Hawk departed Subic Bay.)

A-6A Intruder, BuNo 152913, modex NH501, Attack Squadron (VA) 75 "Sunday Punchers." (This aircraft replaced BuNo 152917, that had been shot down on 31 December 1967.)

US Navy photo by PH2 Stinchcomb.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.253.7032.022.

WestPac 1969 (4th Vietnam Cruise) – Collection of John Williams
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263cs
89k

An aircraft carrier, most likely USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), in the Gulf of Tonkin, 1969, as seen from USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25).

Don McCutcheon,
via Bob Canchola
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026386
74k

USS Kitty Hawk underway in the Pacific in the 1970s, with four E-2 Hawkeyes and an A-7 Corsair II on the flight deck.

Robert Hurst
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263cl
182k

This photo is believed to have been taken on 6 November 1970, as USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 embarked, departed North Island, San Diego, California, on her 5th Vietnam War Cruise (6 November 1970–17 July 1971). USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14) is astern of Kitty Hawk.

Josep M. Ferrer
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS121109902
118k

USS Beacon (PG-99) alongside Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). US Navy photo from the December 1970 edition of "All Hands" Magazine.

Joe Radigan
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bw
83k

A Douglas EKA-3B Skywarrior (BuNo 147660) of Electronic Countermeasures Squadron (VAQ) 133 "Golden Zappers." VAQ-133 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) for a deployment to Vietnam, 6 November 1970–17 July 1971. Photo from the Kitty Hawk 1970–71 Cruise Book.

Robert Hurst
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263de
612k

The so-called bomb farm abreast the island of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during her deployment to Vietnam between 6 November 1970 and 17 July 1971.

The bombs are mostly Mk.82 227 kg (500 lb) bombs. In the background three aircraft of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 are visible: Two North American RA-5C Vigilantes of Reconnaissance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 6 "Fleurs" (BuNos 156624 and 156625, modexes NH602 and NH603, respectively) and a Douglas KA-3B Skywarrior tanker (BuNo 138915, NH610) of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 133 "Golden Zappers."

Via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263dg
181k

USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) underway with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 circa 1970–1971. The large number of sailors on the bow seems to indicate that this was not a particularly busy moment, but an F-4J Phantom II appears to be on alert on Cat. #3, anyway.

US Navy photo.

Via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263dga
717k

"The USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) on station in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam." Almost the exact same photo as above. Photograph by PH1 J. Brittain.

Although the photo is dated May 1973, the presence of KA-3B/EKA-3B Skywarriors from Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 133 "Golden Zappers"—among them, leading the group of Intruders forward of the island, BuNo 147655, the EKA-3B prototype airframe—means this photo must have been taken during the 1970–1971 deployment.

Craig Chaddock
Photos by Bruce A. Hevner, USS Mispillion (AO-105), via Bob Canchola.
USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) Fifth Vietnam Cruise, 6 November 1970–17 July 1971.
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.


CVA-63
NS0263dm
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Ready for UNREP. Late 1970.
CVA-63
NS0263dma
103 Kb
Left to right, forward of the island: RA-5C Vigilante, RVAH-6 "Fleurs;" two A-6A Intruders, VA-52 "Knight Riders;" A-6B Intruder (appears to be BuNo 155628), VA-52; and KA-3B Skywarrior, VAQ-133 "Golden Zappers." Late 1970.
CVA-63
NS0263dmb
112 Kb
Left to right: Two helicopters, apparently from HC-7 "Seadevils" (not part of CVW-11; based in the Philippines); RA-5C Vigilante, RVAH-6 "Fleurs" (BuNo 156623, NH601); two A-6A Intruders, VA-52 "Knight Riders." An A-7E Corsair II, BuNo 157537 (NH310), VA-192 "Golden Dragons," can be seen in the hangar deck. Late 1970.
CVA-63
NS0263dmc
65 Kb
USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). Late 1970.
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263cw
77k

"A zinc chromate primer RA-5C Vigilante of RVAH-7 ["Peacemakers of the Fleet"], aboard USS Kitty Hawk, 1972. LCDR Art Skelly, CO of RVAH-7, seeing large portions of the aircraft painted with this primer told maintenance crew to paint the entire aircraft yellow. He wanted to fly it over North Vietnam but the schedule did not allow it!"

Photo and caption by Marc Chiabaud,
via Yu Chu
Photos by Barry Rowland, who was stationed in Da Nang, via Bob Canchola.
Sixth Vietnam Cruise, 17 February–28 November 1972.
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.


CVA-63
NS0263co
192 Kb
A-7E Corsair II, modex NH402, VA-195 "Dambusters."
CVA-63
NS0263coa
182 Kb
USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) as seen from the ship's COD aircraft, C-1A Trader BuNo 136769.
CVA-63
NS0263cob
192 Kb
USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63).
CVA-63
NS0263coe
241 Kb
USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63).
  CVA-63
NS0263cod
185 Kb
A-6A Intruder, apparently NH503, BuNo 157019, VA‑52 "Knightriders," about to trap aboard. Two F-4J Phantom IIs, one each from VF-213 "Black Lions" and VF-114 "Aardvarks," are on the right. Nose of E-2B Hawkeye, VAW-114 "Hormel Hawgs," on the left.
CVA-63
NS0263coc
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KA-6D Intruder, BuNo 152632, NH516, VA-52 "Knightriders." This aircraft was manufactured as an A‑6A, and was lost in the Arabian Sea on 29 December 1979 due to a bad catapult launch from Kitty Hawk (both crewmen, CDR Walter D. Williams, Jr., and LCDR Bruce L. Miller, perished).
 
Photos by AE2 Mike Dunlap, Reconnaissance Heavy Attack Squadron (RVAH) 7 "Peacemakers of the Fleet," via Bob Canchola.
Sixth Vietnam Cruise, 17 February–28 November 1972.
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.


CVA-63
NS0263dq
741 Kb
"Fresh off Yankee Station, CVA-63 USS Kitty Hawk pulling into Hong Kong Harbor with airdales all over the Bow Sprits," 30 June 1972.
CVA-63
NS0263dqa
694 Kb
"Guy in Center [...] is AE2 Tommy Taylor with dark-bearded guy behind him with camera (AE2 Dennis Beatty). Both were in my squadron RVAH-7 (Recon Attack Heavy Seven) with three RA-5C Vigilantes on board. I was on the Starboard sprit taking the photos."
CVA-63
NS0263dqb
1.66 Mb
Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, May–November 1972.
CVA-63
NS0263dqc
1.97 Mb
AE2 Mike Dunlap on the flight deck of Kitty Hawk, standing next to F-4J Phantom II, BuNo 157246, modex NH202, Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 "Aardvarks." In the background there are an SH-3G Sea King helicopter, two Phantoms attached to sister squadron VF-213 "Black Lions," and a KA-6D Intruder.
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263em
287k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) passing the Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Photo is dated 5 November 1973, but this cannot be correct, as Kitty Hawk was moored at NAS North Island, San Diego, California, on said date.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.488.104.054.

Mike Green
CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026398
165k

Official US Navy photograph of USS Kitty Hawk underway with Carrier Air Wing 11 (CVW-11) circa 1975, location unknown.

David Buell
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263en
282k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, moored at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, San Diego, California, 1976.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.488.104.060.

Mike Green
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bx
92k

A Grumman A-6E Intruder at the moment of touchdown on board the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), having engaged the third wire to score an "OK, Three" in the LSO's log. The lowered leading-edge slats and wing-tip air-brakes help reduce landing speed. Photo US DoD.

Photo and text from Carriers: The Men and The Machines, by David Miller and Lindsay Peacock.

Robert Hurst

NS026344
114k

"Attack Aircraft Carrier Kitty Hawk." (From a Russian publication).

This drawing shows Kitty Hawk in the late 1970s, with SPS-37A and SPS-48C radars and two 8-cell BPDMS launchers.

Alex Tatchin
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026377
166k

An elevated starboard quarter view of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) underway, July 1977. US Navy photo by PH1 A. Legare (DVIC id: DN-SC-86-00162).

Kitty Hawk departed San Diego on March 8, 1976 and four days later entered drydock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA, to commence a 100-million dollar complex overhaul scheduled to last 12.5 months. This overhaul configured Hawk to operate with the F-14 Tomcat and S-3A Viking aircraft in a total CV sea control mode. This included adding spaces for storage, ordnance handling and maintenance facilities for the two aircraft. Also included in the work package were more efficient work areas for air frames and a repair facility for ground support equipment and the addition of avionics support capability for the S-3. The ship also replaced the Terrier Surface-to-Air missile system with the NATO Sea Sparrow system, and added elevators and modified weapons magazines to provide an increased capability for handling and stowing the newer, larger air launched weapons. The carrier completed the overhaul in March 1977 and departed the shipyard April 1 of that year to return to San Diego.

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263dr
354k

Starboard view of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, underway off Yokosuka, Japan, November 1977.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.488.104.059.

Mike Green
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263ej
500k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, in Yokosuka Naval Station, Japan in late December 1977. From USS Badger (FF-1071) as she departs for Chin Hai, S. Korea. In the foreground, STG3 Chuck Barre and GM3 Steve Forsyth.

Derrell W. Poole, STG3
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263ek
613k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) had just launched an A-6E Intruder, with two F-14A Tomcats being moved up to the catapults. From USS Badger (FF-1071), north of Philippine Islands mid-Jan. 1978. Badger often pulled bird farm (guard) duty for Kitty Hawk.

Derrell W. Poole, STG3
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026399
120k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) underway with Carrier Air Wing 11 (CVW-11), circa 1977–1978, location unknown.

Robert Hurst
CV-63 Kitty Hawk et al.
NS0602104826
244k

USS Sacramento (AOE-1) simultaneously replenishes USS Sample (FF-1048) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), while underway in the Pacific Ocean, 16 March 1978. USS Goldsborough (DDG-20) and USS Bainbridge (CGN-25) are steaming astern.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.488.104.052.

Bill Gonyo
Mike Green, Port Angeles, Wash.
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263ag
77k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) island structure at dusk, circa early 1979, at NAS North Island.

Richard Stiles
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026378
98k

Two crewmen move Mk-82 500-pound bombs past two parked A-6 Intruder attack aircraft during flight deck operations aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), 1979. US Navy photo by ENS A. Legare (DVIC id: DN-SN-85-11093).

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263df
12k

Soviet "visitors" duly escorted by USS Kitty Hawk's F-14A Tomcats. Indian Ocean, 1979.

Aircraft in photo NS0263dfa appear to be a Soviet Tupolev Tu-95K-22 (NATO code Bear-G) and a VF-111 "Sundowners" Tomcat.

Andrew Liskey, VF-111 "Sundowners,"
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263dfa
125k
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026379
89k

Crewmen inside the flight deck control center aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) use a table to simulate the arrangement of aircraft on the carrier's flight deck, December 15, 1979. US Navy photo by PHC Ken George (DVIC id: DN-SN-85-06358).

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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57k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) underway in the late 1970s–early 1980s.

Robert Hurst
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026364
109k Indian Ocean, January 15, 1980 — Aircraft of Carrier Air Wing One Five (CVW-15) are parked in formation aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). Aircraft seen include A-6 Intruders, foreground; F-14 Tomcats and A-7 Corsair IIs, background; SH-3 Sea King helicopters, left; E-2C Hawkeyes and EA-6B Prowlers, right. US Navy photo by PHC Ken George (DVIC id # DNSN8506347). Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026312
256k Picture of the Kitty Hawk taken Jan 80. © Lee D. Schnell
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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135k

Stern view of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) at NAS North Island, San Diego, Calif., mid-1980.

Richard Stiles
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263ce
183k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) underway, circa 1981. An excellent, direct overhead shot from about 1500ft.

Jim Geldert
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026311
718k Picture of the Kitty Hawk taken Feb 81. © Lee D. Schnell
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026365
71k Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, April 1981 — A port bow view of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) as crewmen form the number "200,000" on the flight deck. An S-3A Viking has just made the 200,000th aircraft landing aboard the aircraft carrier. US Navy photo by PH2 Michael McMillan (DVIC id # DNSC8200170). Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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103k Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, April 15, 1981 — The island of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). US Navy photo by PH1 Johnson (DVIC id # DNSN8200162). Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bk
96k

A Grumman A-6E Intruder (BuNo 155670) from Attack Squadron (VA) 52 "Knightriders," part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15, in 1981.

Official U.S. Navy photo, available from Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (# DN-SC-84-05437). Although dated 15 January 1984, this cannot be correct. BuNo 155670 wore modex NL503 for just one deployment to WestPac with USS Kitty Hawk, 1 April–23 November 1981. In 1984 VA-52 and CVW-15 were teamed with USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and 155670 was no longer attached to the "Knightriders." BuNo 155670 was manufactured as an A-6A, later upgraded to the A-6E standard, and was sunk as an artificial reef after its retirement.

Robert Hurst
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263dn
1.93M

An air-to-air left side view of four A-7E Corsair II aircraft from Attack Squadron (VA) 22 "Fighting Redcocks." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15 was embarked aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). Photo is dated 1 July 1981.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 330-CFD-DN-SC-82-00141.

Aircraft are, from top left and clockwise: BuNo 160721 (NL304), 160858 (NL307), 159342 (NL301), and 159650 (NL306).

NARA
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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264k

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 18 November 1981.

Note USS Wabash (AOR-5) in the background, across the pier.

Photos by Chris Howell,
Port of Bluff,
New Zealand
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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202k
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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186k
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026381
66k An air-to-air right side view of a Russian Tupolev Tu-95 bomber aircraft (NATO designation is Bear), center, and two U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat aircraft, acting as chase planes above the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) as the ship makes a right turn, December 1981. Photographer unknown (DVIC id # DN-SN-82-03011). Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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1.15M

An aerial port bow view of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) passing the USS Arizona (BB-39) Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Although the photo is dated 14 July 1987, general ship configuration and Air Wing show it was actually taken circa 1981.

Official US Navy photograph, available from Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DMA), VIRIN DN-ST-87-09079.

Via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026382
98k A starboard bow view of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) en route to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA, for a year-long overhaul, January 1982. US Navy photo by PHC Chesterfield (DVIC id # DN-SC-87-11542). Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026383
99k A stern view of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) (ground level, looking up) while in dry dock. Puget Sound NS, Bremerton, WA, February 1982. US Navy photo by PH2 R. Plunkett (DVIC id # DN-SN-86-00114). Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS026384
90k A starboard bow view, taken at night, of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) moored at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA, August 1982. US Navy photo by PH1 C. Hinkle (DVIC id # DN-SC-85-06816). Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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515k

Official caption reads: "Crew members' and their dependents' cars are parked on the flight deck of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) as she enters the harbor at San Diego, 30 January 1983. The aircraft carrier was returning to California after being overhauled at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington."

However, location and date are not correct. Kitty Hawk is in fact departing Bremerton, bound for San Diego, 24 January 1983. The carrier has just left Rich Passage and Blake Island is just off the port bow. (Thanks to Ray F. Longaker, Jr., who identified the location and Kitty Hawk's heading. Date is from the ship's Command History.)

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # DN-SC-87-11555.

Yu Chu
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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94k An aerial port bow view of USS Kitty Hawk underway in the Pacific Ocean, October 1983. Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class C. Yebba (DN-SC-85-06884). USN
CV-64 Constellation
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USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), left, and USS Constellation (CV-64). NAS North Island, San Diego, Calif., circa 1984.

Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
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153k

A barricade restrains an F-14A Tomcat (BuNo 161296, modex NE107) from VF-1 "Wolfpack" during an emergency landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), 30 June 1984. The Tomcat had to make a barricade arrestment due to a sheared starboard strut. The recovery was successful; no injuries were sustained.

U.S. Navy photo by PH3 Hall, available from Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (# DN-ST-87-11416).

Robert Hurst
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263boa
213k

Crew members use an NP-50 crane to remove a damaged F-14A Tomcat from the flight deck after an emergency barricade landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), 30 June 1984. (See above.)

U.S. Navy photo by PH3 Hall, available from Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (# DN-ST-87-11420).

Robert Hurst

NS0263cv
Augie Hiscano.
104k

NS0263cva
F-14A Tomcat, VF-2 "Bounty Hunters."
104k

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F-14A Tomcat launching.
110k

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F-14A Tomcat launching from one of the waist cats.
136k

NS0263cvd
S-3A Viking (BuNo 160127, modex NE704), VS-38 "Red Griffins."
144k

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SH-3H Sea King, HS-2 "Golden Falcons."
123k

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E-2C Hawkeye, VAW-116 "Sun Kings."
86k

NS0263cvg
A-7E Corsair II, VA-147 "Argonauts."
94k

NS0263cvh
F-14A Tomcat, VF-2 "Bounty Hunters."
100k

NS0263cvi
S-3A Viking, VS-38 "Red Griffins."
110k
MM2/P1-4MMR Mike Hiscano, USS Kitty Hawk, for his father Augie Hiscano. "Tiger Cruise," 1984.

Via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)

For more information about this ship, see:

Read the
USS KITTY HAWK (CVA-63 / CV-63) DANFS History
Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact:  
Address:  
Phone:  
E-mail:  
Web site: USS Kitty Hawk Veteran's Association
Remarks:  

Related Links
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Last update: 16 May 2024