These are the latest sea trials of the F-35B on the USS Wasp. They were very successful, with 74 VL's
and STO's in a three week period. The media and the program critics had predicted that we would burn holes in the
deck and wash sailors overboard. Neither of which happened. You will notice a sailor standing on the bow of the
ship as the jet rotates. That was an intentional part of the sea trials.
The USS Wasp is an amphibious assault ship designed to embark a Marine Expeditionary Unit. It is capable
of simultaneously supporting rotary and fixed wing STOVL aircraft and amphibious landing craft operations. For
this test deployment the USS Wasp was outfitted with special instrumentation to support and measure the unique
operating environment as the F-35B conducted short takeoffs and vertical landings. No catapult ! No Tail hook !
The shape and scope of warfare – worldwide – just changed. !
Richard Sullivan's father filmed a brief Film Clip of the Celebrations in Honolulu, T.H. and he has
been gracious enough to provide us access to this Superb Film Clip - the video is so good, you would think it was
filmed yesterday.... Visit our Mirror Page for that Film Clip...
An American Hero - His name was Lewis Burwell Puller, and he came from West Point, Virginia... This is his Story:
Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller
When he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1917, he was just Serial No.135517. From that modest beginning,
the young man rose through the ranks to later become Lieutenant General Puller. But in the annals of military valor,
he is known as "Chesty" Puller, not only for his bull chest but also for his absolute fearlessness and
devotion to duty. "Chesty" Puller came to the Marine Corps out of Virginia Military Institute, the college
where General Stonewall Jackson taught before the Civil War. The school itself had a history of wartime valor.
VMI cadets fought as a unit in Jackson's Army, the only time in American history when a student body was committed
to a pitched battle. Cadet Puller may have been inspired by their heroism. Or perhaps it was the example of a cadet
four years ahead of Puller - Lemuel C. Shepherd. In either case, with World War I raging in Europe, Puller left
VMI at the end of his freshman year to enlist in the Marines, saying simply, "I want to go where the guns
He didn't see service in Europe: the war was over before he
could ship overseas. But he saw plenty of action before and during World War II and during the Korean War.
Slowly and steadily, he worked his way up the ranks. He received a direct commission. And he began collecting awards
for valor. By the time he retired from the Corps in 1951 he had earned more awards than any Marine in history:
five Navy Crosses, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit with "V" device,
the Bronze Star with "V" device, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
"Chesty" Puller became more than a hero: he was an American Legend. His gruff, give 'em hell attitude
was admired throughout the Marine Corps. His bravery and his nickname, were known to the millions of Americans
on the home front. He was a man's man, a Marine' s Marine. For all his renown, however, there are few permanent
monuments to "Chesty" Puller. One is in the Hall of Valor at the VMI Museum. There, thousands of visitors
come each year to learn about the VMI men who made our nation great. "Chesty" Puller's medals are on
display along with those of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, General Lemuel C. Shepherd, and others.