Don Beauford's Pictures
VC-5, 1950 and 1951

The pictures in this file were sent to me in May 2004 by Don Beauford

As background for the first picture one needs to know that VC-5 sent a detachment to Gitmo in mid-October 1950 for approximately two weeks, the first week for FCLP and tactical exercises and the second week to operate off USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. The first picture, of CAPT Hayward landing aboard the FDR, is from the second week of that two week period.

A tragic footnote to this operation from the FDR was the crash on October 27 of BuNo. 124163 killing pilot LCDR David Purdon and third crewman Edward R. Barrett ALC. The accident report recommended that controls be re-located so that they could be monitored by the person in the right seat. Undoubtedly this recommendation had something to do with the improved layout in the cockpits of the AJ-2s.

CAPT Hayward landing on USS FDR
CAPT John Tucker "Chick" Hayward landing aboard USS FDR during the third or fourth week of October 1950. Although the side number cannot be deciphered in this scan, Don Beauford says it can be read as "5" on the original picture.


Before looking at the remaining three pictures, it may help orient the reader to be aware that on 5 February 1951, VC-5 sent a detachment of 6 AJ-1s and 3 P2V-3Cs to Port Lyautey, French Morocco, the first ever heavy attack deployment to Port Lyautey. On 26 February 1951 they sent 5 AJ-1s aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, which was in the Mediterranean at the time. During this time aboard ship, three AJ-1s were catapulted on 27 February. This was a "first." Prior to this time all carrier launches of the AJs had been deck runs.

While operating off the FDR, BuNo. 124172 (NB side number 11) had difficulties that prevented it's coming back aboard, and the plane was diverted to Halfar Field in Malta. A work party was sent from the FDR to Malta to repair the plane. Upon the completion of their assigned task the group went back to Port Lyautey. The following three pictures were taken while the work party was on Malta. This dates the pictures as being approximately the first week of March 1951.

Like the mission to Gitmo before it, this foray upon the FDR ended in tragedy. On 6 March BuNo. 124171 crashed following an inflight fire which killed pilot LCDR Maurice Wickendoll, flight surgeon LCDR Clyde Fairless Jr., and third crewman Ruben Lopez AT3. Apparently this crash was a major factor in the switch to water-based Hydrolube as a replacement for the more flammable hydraulic fluid.

Repair crew in fron of BuNo. 124172
Rescue crew in front of BuNo. 124172, side # NB/11, Halfar Field, Malta, early March 1951
Back row: Edward El Cenko; Swanson*; unidentified; Don Whitaker*; unidentified
Front row: Chief Bob Yarba; George Bullis*; Hays (Jock Hay?); unidentified
* Identified by Joe Wall Joe also says that in the front row the third person is unidentified and that Jock Hay is fourth in the row.
Note the "Grim Reaper" logo on the side of the plane.
For a bigger image with a clearer view of the faces, click on the photo.
Any help in providing identities would be greatly appreciated!

BuNo. 124172 at Halfar, Malta, March 1951
BuNo. 124172, side # NB/11, Halfar Field, Malta, early March 1951
For a bigger image, click on the photo.

Repair crew awaiting departure from Malta
Rescue crew of BuNo. 124172, side # NB/11, probably awaiting departure from Halfar Field, Malta, early March 1951
Back row: unidentified; unidentified; Tex Ellis; Chief Bob Yarba; Forrest (Stetch) Lowe*.
Front row: Joe Moniz, under first white hat on left; unidentified, under second white hat; Edward El Cenko, lying down with feet across the legs of Joe Moniz; Hays (Jock Hay?), lying down with feet extended toward camera; Don Beauford, sitting on his luggage
* Tentatively identified by Joe Wall Joe doubts that the fourth person in the front row is Jock Hay.
For a bigger image with a clearer view of the faces, click on the photo.
Any help in providing identities would be greatly appreciated!
In order to make clearer the details of the picture in the dark area in the vicinity of the two white hats I have excerpted a fragment of the picture and increased the brightness and contrast.

Go to my Navy File on my old web site.

Kenneth Jennings Wooster
27 Abdallah Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045-3302
(607) 753-3558
File created: 7 May 2004.
File modified: 8 May 2004; 9 May 2004; 28 June 2004.