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Light Photographic Squadron 62 (VFP-62)

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FreeFOXMIKE #1 Posted 03 December 2016 - 06:30 PM

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DL here for a representation of the unit and aircraft

https://www.dropbox.... Recon.zip?dl=0





Light Photographic Squadron 62 (VFP-62)


Light Photographic Squadron 62 (VFP-62) was an aviation unit of the United States Navy in service from 1949 to 1968. The squadron provided a detachment of reconnaissance planes for each of the Carrier Air Wings of the U.S
  VFP-62 was established in January 1949 as Composite Squadron SIX TWO (VC-62), nicknamed the Fighting Photos, and was equipped with Grumman F8F-2P Bearcat and Vought F4U-5P Corsair fighter aircraft converted to reconnaissance platforms. The first VC-62 detachment was assigned to Carrier Air Group 7 (CVG-7) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CV-32) from September 1949 to January 1950 for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.
Detachments of the squadron operated from all Atlantic Fleet attack aircraft carriers based on the U.S. east coast. From September 1950 to February 1951, a VC-62 detachment also operated during the Korean War from the USS Leyte as part of CVG-3. 

  In 1951, the squadron converted to jet aircraft and was equipped with the McDonnell F2H-2P Banshee. On 2 July 1956, the squadron was redesignated Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron SIX TWO (VFP-62) and transitioned to the Grumman F9F-6P Cougar (later F9F-8P).
Renamed Light Photographic Squadron SIX TWO (VFP-62) in order to distinguish it from Heavy Photographic squadrons that were being established, the squadron received its first Vought   F8U-1P Crusader aircraft in 1959, which were redesignated as the RF-8A Crusader in 1962. In 1966, these aircraft were upgraded to a new standard designated as the RF-8G.
VFP-62 is best known as the squadron that took the first low-level photos of the Soviet missile bases in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. At the time, it was commanded by then-Commander William Ecker, USN. In 2000, the movie Thirteen Days (film), produced by Kevin Costner, showed the actions of Ecker and the other members of VFP-62 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Fighter    F8F-2P Bearcat
F4U-5P Corsair
F2H-2P Banshee
F9F-6P/-8P Cougar
RF-8A/G Crusader

From June 1966 to February 1967, VFP-62 Det 42 operated from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) off Vietnam as part of CVW-1. VFP-62 was subsequently disestablished on 1 January 1968, with its role assumed by its Pacific Fleet sister squadron, VFP-63, also flying the RF-8G, and by several reconnaissance attack squadrons (RVAH) flying the RA-5C Vigilante.

Intelligence specialists considered the Navy's Light Photographic Squadron, VFP-62, the best low-level reconnaissance unit in the armed forces, because the unit's personnel were well trained and the Crusader was an especially stable aerial photography platform equipped with cameras of advanced design.
It seems Ltjg George Gaughran, Det 65 1963, was occasionally plagued with difficulties in making his traps the first time and usually hit long, had to go around again and sometimes again for the same reason. Noticing the consistancy of this occurrence the ever helpful and sometimes creative AMH2 James Weaver decided Ltjg Gaughran was in need of a little assistance with the problem of over shooting the last wire. 

"Just Tried to Help Sir."
One fine sunny Mediteranean day I came up on deck for a launch and there was a grappling hook attached to a length of rope strung out behind the tail hook of one of our RF8s. No one seemed to be paying attention to it and up walks Ltjg Gaughran to do his preflight. Noticing the extension to the tail hook he inquired as to who was responsible and what purpose the device was to serve? At this point Jim Weaver voiced that it was his new invention and was intended to solve Mr. Gaughran's overshooting problem. An unheard conversation face to face with Jim Weaver resulted in the invention being declined and quickly removed. We never saw that tail hook extension again, and yes, Mr. Gaughran still had an occasional problem with short tailhooks.

John Sees

Edited by FreeFOXMIKE, 03 December 2016 - 06:38 PM.

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