The model will Show USS TICONDEROGA in 1969 during her last Vietnam deployment with CVW-16 onboard. CVA-14 departed the West Coast in february with a colourfull airwing to spent 6 intense combat months off Vietnams coast. During this deployment she sailed to the North Korean coast for a Show of force Operation with the largest carrier force after the Korean War.
Her CVW consisted of VF-111 (F-8H), VF-162 (F-8J), VA-87 (A-7B), VA-25 (A-7B), VA-112 (A-4C), VFP-63 Det. 14 (RF-8G), VAW-111 Det. 14 (E-1B), VAQ-130 Det. 14 (EKA-3B) and HC-1 Det. 4 (UH-2C) which makes an interesting airwing.
When I started to build USS TICONDEROGA out of Trumpeters TICO kit I did not know that Gallery would release a kit of USS INTREPID just a couple of months later. Well, the hull was already blistered and many hours went into the necessary changes. I will use both the Trumpeter kit and parts of the Gallery kit to build TICO.
I will use several aftermarket sets and accessories as well as self designed photo etch for the necce
Torben Ke This sundays progress is a fitting far far away from mounting onto the ship. I have started design of the SPS-43 antennae in AI. My friend Sven did the renderings in Rhino which are very helpful to get the shape and multiple angles right. We will do the etch in a couple of weeks, hopefully.
Joseph Crown Old Joe I was aboard Tico in 1969 as part of CVW16. I was an aviation electronics technician with VAQ-130 working on the 3 EKA-3Bs our detachment brought aboard. I don't know a lot about the ship other than it turned 25 years old that year and it never had enough fresh water for drinking or showers. If you have any questions about the airwing, I may be able to answer them- I still have the cruise book from that deployment.
Joseph Crown When we sailed to Korea after the North Koreans shot down an EC-121 and strafed the survivors in their life rafts we joined Enterprise off the coast. The VA-112 A-4s were flown off and F-8s from VF-51 and VF-53 were brought aboard to bolster the airwing defenses. Nukes were loaded aboard several A-7s and parked in the hanger bay surrounded by Marines- right next to the chow line. The plan was to launch at extreme range to bomb North Korea while the carriers would turn tail and run. Any aircraft surviving the bomb runs would then try to find the carriers and land. It was pretty tense for awhile and very cold. Luckily, the bombing was called off and we headed back to warmer waters.
3. May 2016, 15:00
Torben Ke Thank you for your kind comments. Joseph, thank you so much for joining in here. It is so great to meet a crew member of TICOS 69 deployment. I just have the first EKA-3b´s on my desk. I was working on the frist plane when I read your post. It must have been terrible to be limited on fresh water use. I remember a couple of days on my ship (German Navy) in the Persian Gulf when our fresh water system was degraded. It was no fun at all... I saw this video of one of your fellow crew members with beautiful pictures of the deployment on youtube: Youtube Video
It shows an EKA-3 at minute 0:17. As I can see in the video their tail rudders were painted bright red?! Did Tico carry three A-3´s onboard?
3. May 2016, 15:09
Sven Schönyan Nice start so far. Looks like a huge amount of work which will surely be worth it.
@ Joseph: Very interesting detail and story!
3. May 2016, 15:50
Joseph Crown Most of the time we had only two of the A-3s on board. We took up too much room on the smaller carriers. One A-3 was usually in the Philippines undergoing maintenance or corrosion control. By 1970 we operated out of DaNang, South VietNam because we did take up too much room. We deployed with a carrier and the airwing but operated somewhat independently. I liked that a lot better than a small, dirty old carrier. Of course, DaNang wasn't any cleaner and we had little or no fresh water there, either, but it was dry land. I'm afraid I wasn't much of a sailor - I never did like ships and still don't.
3. May 2016, 16:03
Joseph Crown The rudders were painted white as each aircraft went through corrosion control. The band on the upper part of the vertical stabilizer was maroon- our squadron color.
3. May 2016, 16:32
Torben Ke A very interesting story, Joseph. Did TICO carry nukes all the time or were these taken aboard for the North Korea mission? One more question on the A-3. Did they do the corrosion control during the deployment? I have noticed on some pictures that aircraft markings slightly changed during the deployment.
3. May 2016, 17:35
Christian Bruer Wow Torben, very nice and time consuming start on you Tico. Thx to Joseph for the interesting stories
Guess we'll have a nice display in 2018 when your Ticonderoga, Sven's Intrepid and my Hancock are finish
3. May 2016, 18:57
Torben Ke Thx my friend! A lot of time but a lot of fun too.
Let me add Franks Coral Sea to our lineup of Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club carriers. That will be amazing!
Today I have glued the 3 A-3´s together. The wheel bays are cut out as Christan did with his Hancock planes. I have also cut out the cockpit area for some White Ensign PE. Pictures soon.
3. May 2016, 19:26
Joseph Crown I had a secret clearance but that wasn't high enough to know for sure if we carried nukes all the time nor did I have a need to know. I do know that each time before the ship pulled into Japan, there were containers off loaded. Did they contain nukes? I don't know. The weapon itself just looked similar to a drop tank.
Corrosion control was ongoing during the entire deployment. When the aircraft took on a speckled look from all the touch up painting and zinc chromate, it was repainted by the squadron in the Philippines.
3. May 2016, 22:06
Torben Ke Thank you Joseph. I think they did a lot of secrecy on the nukes. I read in Adm. Holloways book that the USN tried to never let the Soviets know how many and if any nukes were carried onboard.
4. May 2016, 20:12
Torben Ke Hello mates, my A7 master is ready. After four hours of work for just one plane I have decided to cast my about 30 planes for the airwing. Added are the wheel bays, in flight refuiling probe, cockpit, engine and the ejection seat. Unfortunately a lot of filling and sanding was necessary. I used Peter Halls great White Ensing photo etch.
15. May 2016, 17:15
Christian Bruer Well you can spent hours and hours in all these little details but great work Torben
16. May 2016, 14:45
Torben Ke Thank you Christian, you are so right. This week will see some structural work. It is much more encouraging to see something huge going on.
16. May 2016, 16:43
Torben Ke Not so much progress to show unfortunately, buisy week.
@ Joseph: I came around some pictures of modern hangar interiors and wondered if TICO carried any boats in her Hangar deck? Did she carry utility boats all the time or were they stowed somewhere ashore?
22. May 2016, 10:26
Joseph Crown I don't remember. There was probably a boat for the Captain to get around in during port calls but no other boats that I can remember. Tico was a small carrier by today's standards and when you had the airwing filling the hangar bay, there wasn't room for much else. We weren't allowed to take the A-3s into the hangar bay because of space issues. All maintenance of the aircraft was done on the flight deck, usually with the tail pushed out over the water.