Here’s another gem from days gone by. This film, entitled ‘Ready on Arrival”, is a look at life aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CVA-62) during her May 1965 through December 1965 Western Pacific (WestPac) deployment to the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. Shot at the opposite end of the Vietnam War from our recent find highlighting flight ops aboard the Midway during her 1972 WestPac, the film was sponsored by Grumman in cooperation with the Navy and narrated by the voice of 20th century educational films Alexander Scourby (when you hear it you’ll know). There is some footage spliced in from other sources and the narration is just a little bit tedious at times, but for good-quality footage of mid-60s, orange flight suit, American carrier flight deck action, and life while deployed, it’s worth every minute.The film was uploaded to YouTube by AIRBOYD. Enjoy!
Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) plays a large part in the film. The Indy and CVW-7 were on their first (and last until 1990) WestPac when the footage was shot. The film features the McDonnell Douglas F-4B Phantom IIs of VF-41 Black Aces (call sign Fast Eagle) and VF-84 Jolly Rogers (call sign Victory), the Grumman A-6A Intruders of VA-75 Sunday Punchers (call sign Flying Ace), and the Douglas A-4E Skyhawks of VA-72 Blue Hawks (call sign Decoy) and VA-86 Sidewinders (call sign Winder).
Also aboard are the North American RA-5C Vigilantes of RVAH-1 Smokin’ Tigers (call sign Comanche Trail), the Grumman E-1B Tracers of VAW-12 Bats Detachment 62, the Douglas A-3B Skywarriors of VAH-4 Fourrunners Detachment 62 (call sign Holly Green), the Douglas EA-1F Skyraiders of VAW-13 Zappers Detachment 1 (call sign Robinson), the Douglas EA-3B Skywarriors of VQ-1 World Watchers Detachment 62 (call sign Deep Sea), the Douglas RA-3B Skywarriors of VAP-61 World Recorders (call sign Quiz Show), and the Kaman UH-2A Seasprites of HC-2 Fleet Angels Detachment 62.
Flying with the Sidewinders during this WestPac was none other than Youthly Puresome himself, also known as CDR Jack D. Woodul UNSR (ret). This was Youthly’s first deployment flying A-4E Skyhawks with CVW-7. He recently recalled a particularly hairy mission he flew during this WestPac against the Cao Nung bridge in an exclusive interview he did with me for Avgeekery.com which can be enjoyed right here.