VC-5 Roster for September 15, 1954 to February 15, 1955 deployment

These lists are derived from orders to Kenneth Wooster and from his memory. The list of officers is from the set of orders at the end of the deployment. Except for Garth Garreau and his plane commander (see next paragraph) the list of officers is believed to be complete. Since the names appear to have been listed by seniority in the orders, that arrangement has been kept.

A plane and its crew were lost off Coral Sea due to a "cold" cat shot sometime in late October or early November. [I learned in August 2003 that the date was 8 November 1954.] The B/N was Garth Garreau, but the name of the plane commander and the third crewman are unknown to Kenneth Wooster. Garrett "A" White, Kenneth Wooster and Charles O. Reichl transferred from VC-9 to VC-5 as replacements, bringing with them AJ-2 BuNo 134037, which had borne side number FG-2 in VC-9.

Note: On Friday, February 7, 2003, I received the following email from Regie Ashley,, of Ochlockonee Bay, Florida:
The plane commander of the Coral Sea accident plane on the Sept. 1954 to Feb. 1955 deployment, was LT. Leon R[ex]. Grover, Jr.
I was a classmate of Cdr. J. S. Stafford's son at that time and had an early interest in Naval Aviation.
Thank you, Regie. That is the name also that I recall after you have refreshed my memory. The name of the third crewman is still a mystery to me.
In August 2003 I learned (from a copy of the official accident report) that the third crewmand was AT2 Billie D. Patterson. His nickname, inspired by his intitials, was "Bulldog."
In March 2006 PR2 Melvin L. Reed reported to me that he had thought the third crewman was AT2 "Goodie" Goudreau. I have to conclude that the accident report is correct, but I wonder whether Goodreau may have been involved in some other accident that Reed recalls. Any help, anyone?

Officers (in presumed order of seniority)

Irving G. Peters, CDR, USN, 085322/1310
Leopold (n) Weidlein, CDR, USN, 112162/1310
James S. Stafford, CDR, USN, 149039/1310
Edward M. Albrecht, LCDR, USN, 124394/1310
Kenneth F. Rowell, LCDR, USN 124859/1310
Gilbert S. Blake, LCDR, USNR, 250779/1317
Jonathan J. Crowder, LCDR, USN, 283355/1310
Howard K. Wallace, LT, USN, 337996/1310
Robert B. Williams, Jr., LT, USNR, 363402/1315
Duan W. Linker, LT, USN, 368573/1310
Daniel B. Delly, LT, USN, 319237/1830
Garrett "A" White, LT, USN, 402782/1310
Harry J. Griffin, LT, USNR, 403352/1315
James (n) Lynch, LT, USN, 428329/1310 (LSO)
Frederick H. Gralow, LT, USN, 513052/1310
Robert C. Hendrickson, Jr., LT, USN, 521527/1310
Kenneth Wooster, LTJG, USNR, 553896/1355
Walter E. Ruel, LTJG, USNR, 566464/1355 (Assistant Air Intelligence Officer?)
John E. Smith, LTJG, USNR, 567643/1355
Richard M. Smith, LTJG, USNR, 567645/1355
Paul B. Wells, LTJG, USNR, 567762/1355
Robert C. Blackwood, LTJG, USNR, 568648/1355
William R. Edwards, Jr., LTJG, USNR, 568910/1355
Jule F. Merkel, LTJG, USNR, 569235/1355
James W. Wagner, LTJG, USNR, 570845/1355
Henry M. Walker, LTJG, USNR, 570849/1355 (probably Assistant Maintenance Officer)
Curt H. Kretzshmann, LTJG, USNR, 572231/1355
Alfred B. Hughes, RELE, USN, 555982/7612
(Perhaps there was also in the squadron a LT Bill Thomas, Air Intelligence Officer, but his name does not appear in my copy of the group orders at the end of the deployment.)


1. Peters/Hendrickson/??????? (In Detachment 31 aboard USS Coral Sea and later in Detachment 36 aboard USS Randolph)
2. Weidlein/??Blackwood??/?????? (In a detachment aboard USS Lake Champlain)
3. Stafford/??J. E. Smith??/??Guernsey?? (In Detachment 36 aboard USS Randolph)
?. Griffin/Merkel/??????? (In a detachment aboard USS Lake Champlain)
?. Blake/Wells/G. K. Smith (In a detachment aboard USS Lake Champlain)
?. Grover/Garreau/Patterson (In Detachment 31 aboard USS Coral Sea until their deaths on 8 November 1954)
?. White/Wooster/Reichl (From 22 November 1954 in Detachment 31 aboard USS Coral Sea and later in Detachment 36 aboard USS Randolph)
?. Crowder/R. M. Smith/???????? (In Detachment 31 aboard USS Coral Sea)
?. Williams/Kretzshmann/???????? (In Detachment 31 aboard USS Coral Sea)
?. ???????/Edwards/??????? (In a detachment aboard USS Lake Champlain)
?. ???????/Wagner/?????? (?Perhaps in a detachment aboard USS Lake Champlain?)


(There were 218 at the end of the deployment in mid-February 1955. Additions are requested.)

John Bayko, AEC [added June 2004]
J.H. Enloe, 422 15 36, AD2, USN-1
"Goodie" Goodreau, AT2 [added 5 March 2006]
C. H. Guernsey, 288 24 62, AT2, USN
James L. Hargreave, 820 32 58, AD1, USN [added April 2004]
Leonard ("Herkie") Herskovitz, AT3(?) [added March 2004]
Robert Johnson, AT1(?) [added April 2004]
Jerry Kelley, AE2, reporting to Chief Bayko [added June 2004]
D. A. McFarland, 890 18 73, AD1, USN
J. D. O'Connor, 668 69 64, AD1, USN
Billie D. "Bulldog" Patterson, AT2 [added August 2003]
Melvin L. Reed, PR2 [added 5 March 2006]
Charles O. Reichl, 550 73 91, AD3, USN-U1
Larry St. Onge AN [added August 2003]
G. K. Smith, 844 40 08, AL1, USN
Paul Amos Stokes, AT1(?) Later enlisted B/N; commissioned; killed in Viet Nam. [added April 2004]
William G. Town, AN [added June 2004]
William (Bill) Walker, AB1, in detachment aboard USS Lake Champlain [added 30 June 2004]
Joe Wall, AD2 [added April 2004]

The following list is from a set of orders to Kenneth Wooster dated 31 August 1955. Most of these men were probably on the deployment from 15 September 1954 to 15 February 1955, but I cannot be sure. The possibility exists that some of them might have come aboard between February and August.

James L. Douglas, 303 54 92, AD2, USN-1
Otis E. Goad, 266 27 91, AE1, USN
Franklin R. Hoffman, 912 23 88, AMAN, USN-U1
Harold W. King, 281 51 99, AM2, USN-U1
Albert K. Michel, 719 14 31, AE2, USN
Billie (n) Robinson, 268 88 63, AD2, USN
Philip G. Rosini, 272 85 54, AD2, USN
Jack K. Tolle, 272 07 80, AM2, USN
Alexander P. Vorndran, 438 64 46, ADC, USN
© Kenneth Jennings Wooster
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File created: ??
File modified: June 14, 1998; December 26, 2002; March 2, 2003; August 10, 2003; September 1, 2003; September 24, 2003; March 14, 2004; April 10, 2004; March 5, 2006; January 17, 2009.