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  1. My grandfather was involved with the F-4 Phantom from the early days with Weapons Systems Test at NAS PAX (13th RIO to fly in the F4H-1). I have a patch that was given to him that is still in the wrapper. I understand the stitch quality is better than a lot of versions of this patch that were later produced. My question is, am I committing a sin if I remove it from the wrapper? I'd like to put it in a frame with two F-4 matchbooks and think it would look better out of the wrapper, but will leave it in if that is the best thing to do.
  2. I have a squadron photo from February 1951 if you're interested. Would you be able to identify the vet in the photo?
  3. I'm curious why the one set of wings is all gold. I don't have any photos of him wearing those. Here are photos with him wearing the other two. The first he is a Master Sergeant. I believe the photo would be from around 1958. The second he is a Warrant Officer and he was made a Warrant Officer in 1961. I can take and post pictures of the backs later.
  4. My grandfather was a Marine and these wings were his. Can anyone explain the difference between the three Naval Aviation Observer badges?
  5. No problem. I wanted to see if I could help identify the squadron, but I completely understand.
  6. What is the name of the Marine Captain whose helmet you have?
  7. Have any of you seen one of these? This was presented to my grandpa by McDonnell (they spelled is last name wrong) for being the 13th RIO to fly in a Phantom. It says 1st 100 in the top corner, which makes me think there are at least 99 others out there.
  8. I believe the VMFA-323 Death Rattlers were the only squadron to use the brown with yellow checkers, at least this was the case on their aircraft.
  9. Thanks Franck, In October '58 VMF(N)-531 traded out their Skyknights for Skyrays and the RIOs departed the squadron. This is likely when grandpa hung up the H-4. He transitioned to a Marine Detachment at NAS PAX and was the NCOIC of the radar/fire systems shop with the Weapons Systems Test division, primarily working on the Phantom. I think he switched to the APH-5 with the new assignment. You can see that his pilot was already wearing an APH-5 in '58. --John
  10. My grandpa was wearing the radar operator wings in my grandparents' wedding photo. They got married in December '48.
  11. My grandfather, Marine CWO John W Frederick Jr's H-4 helmet from the mid fifties with mask. At the time of the photo and when he used this helmet he was a Master Sergeant. The photo was taken when VMF(N)-531, then stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, reached 48,000 flight hours with the F3D Skyknight.
  12. I inherited my grandfathers white dress hat, which has spent the past 52+ years in its box. This is a Berkshire cover. The material was a bit yellowed and had a ring around where the cover rested on the frame. Yesterday I soaked it in Oxiclean and the material looks great. Unfortunately, the paint on the vent grommets came off. I have years of model building experience and want to carefully paint the grommets. I dont recall whether the white paint was gloss or semi gloss, off white or bright white. Can anyone help me out? Thanks! John
  13. Hi Don, Where did you find the declassified mission reports? I just learned that my grandfather, John W. Frederick Jr., was a tail gunner with VMTB-232. I'd love to try and find info about aircraft and any crew he flew with. He shipped out with the squadron from San Diego to Noumea, New Caledonia in July of 1943. That's all I know. Thanks, John Wertz
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