When I first arrived on board in May 1967 the avionics shop where I worked was manned by three ship's company sailors. At that time, it was not an AIMD shop at all! It was an avionics test equipment shop of the V6 Division of the USS Coral Sea – Air Department. AIMD was not formally established and fully functional until underway with CVW-15 aboard on the 7th WESPAC deployement. For the 6th WESPAC deployement the shop was moved from V6 Division to the newly formed Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) of the Carrier Air Wing (CVW-15).
The sailor at right, John D. Kaufman, came aboard several days prior to my arrival and never let me forget his senior status. He also became a good friend and shipmate. Now across the years as old men we both appreciate our Navy experience and thank God we survived to today.
Both John and I were assigned to leave the general bench test equipment work and specialize in support for the installed Grumman test equipment systems for E-2A support.
The photo at left shows AT1 Loehr (right), AT2 Olshefskie (left) and three squadron sailors the air wing tossed in to replace John and me. These five sailors maintained all the general electronic bench test equipment for all the IMA avionics shops.
E-2A Avionics Shop
When Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116 (VAW-116) came aboard both John and I were integrated into their squadron IMA crew and quickly became familiar with the squadron way of life. Beyond the shop test equipment work, there were occasions when checking out systems in the aircraft on the flight deck became necessary. It turned out the basic Naval Aviation Training I received back at NAS Millington, TN was not a waste of time after all.
On my first cruise 26 July 1967–6 April 1968, the IMA avionics shop where I worked was equipped to support only the Grumman E-2A aircraft of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116 (VAW-116). The photos of me on the AIMD Document working on the E-2A test bench were taken during that first cruise in the Gulf of Tonkin.
I am the third sailor standing from the right margin of the photo at left and also the only ship's company sailor in the group. The rest are the VAW-116 squadron maintenance officer, AE and AT rates assigned to E-2A computer and Inertial Navigation System (INS) support.
The photo at right of one of my favorite squadron shipmates, Rich Ecker, was taken in the E-2A AN/APS-96 search radar shop, a shop within our IMA avionics shop. AT3 Kaufman also worked in the E-2A AN/APS-96 search radar shop with AT3 Ecker.
Copyright © 2019 Bert McNamee, Harleigh, PA. All rights reserved.