Memories from Conway Kangas


By Conway Kangas

I remember once and I think it was at Yuma. We had one CH-53 Sea Stallion that was shot by a jet that returned with hot guns even though the guns are pinned. I remember talking to a guy that caught  shrapnel in his leg and he got the rest of the day off. I believe it was an A4 that cooked it off or was it a helicopter, but anyway it was on the deck, already parked, and it shot across the ramp. Out of the four CH-53's. It took out the only one that was capable of flying, and I see there was another one where it was a Harrier that came in and the cockpit went open they gave the pilot permission to punch the cockpit because it was so hot in there but he didn't want to in case it set off the seat. I'm pretty sure that was at Yuma. I went to Yuma three or four times between 83 and 87 with VMFA's 122 and 333

There was the time in Japan when an A4 landed and it caught the last cable on the runway and the cable broke and that cable went like a helicopter blade in the air all the way over the enlisted barracks the swimming pool out into town just across from the fence and it took a Japanese car in the garage and put it about a foot into cement and the pilot had to swerve between the ditches at the very end of the runway I was at the swim pool at the time.


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From World War II to Operation Desert Storm. The "Fighting Shamrocks" from VMSB to VMFA have served and sacrificed gallantly every time it has been called upon. From the cold inside the Artic Circle at Bodo Norway to the heat and dirt of Balıkesir Turkey. Shamrocks have left their mark.


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