Dave Thomas

AO2, USN (Ret.)
VA-212 '68-'70

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Hi Jake,

I came home on leave once. It was 70 I believe. My mother pulled out a letter from a Phillipino girl named Lolita. She must have gotten my address from my wallet, I really don't know how. She wrote, in pidgin english, how much she F.....'n loved me and wanted to come F.....'n U.S.

She obviously learned ALL her english from sailors and marines . This letter was 6 pages long on how she want take care of me, etc. My devout Catholic mother was appalled at this. My Dad, however, had a few glimmers in his eye over it.

My sister has the letter in with the family stuff. I'll try and dig it out over Christmas. I was a bomb humper for VA-212 for 2 cruises on Hancock. We flew so much during TET that I swear to this day, I can sleep anywhere, at anytime. If I have trouble going to sleep, I just think back to "HOW BONE TIRED" I was. It was affecting us all physically and I worried everyday on deck that something was gonna happen due to just plain fatigue.

Hancock consistently outperformed and flew more sorties than the super-carriers, much to their frustration. If there was a dirty job, Hancock got it. Because they knew WE, the ship, and the air wing, were THE BEST!

Still wanna be a Marine? (NO! ) Hancock saved more Marine lives than other Marines did. We flew close air for them in so close, pilots could read ranks. We were also responsible for more enemy casualties than ANY ground unit could ever think of. Hancock was a scourge for the NVA and VC. I am proud to have served on her, and with my weapons training, give her teeth!

One more thing Jake. I never took a rating test. Never. They gave us rank after a certain period of time. No one wanted to be a squadron AO. No one. You'd have to be nuts, of which I am . Hump'n bombs all day is not everybody's idea of a job. So, to keep us happy, they just gave us crows and rank.

JD Thomas AO2 (old serial) B440695 USN (Ret.)
202 10Avenue. SE
Rochester, MN. 55904
507-289-1929

Jake's Comment: I have a great deal of respect for you 'Ordies' Dave! After much thought and consideration, and listening to your lecture on Marines, I have decided that there absolutely is no shame in being a Sailor! I am proud, like you, of my Naval Service, as I am in our Ship! I think I have proved that to you, and to everyone else, who comes aboard this Website. Had I been lacking in even an 'enth degree of that pride, this website would never be 'afloat'! Thanks again for the 'wake up call' shipmate! ~ Jake



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