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"There I was" stories from a Vietnam era A-4 Driver

brownshoe

Well-Known Member
Contributor
The Loss Of Busy Bee 604
Some of you have asked so I'm re-posting this for BzB. We have included new pictures and an Mp3 of the radio transmissions that day. Story is posted as a PDF attachment.

http://www.mediafire.com/?n7mdshwscahivs1

“20 min. of patience is required…there are often periods of just a low hummm especially before the HIT.
*Recorded by “OVERPASS” (RANGER C-2); on SAR freq.
Players on the tape:
“BUSYBEE 6XX” VA-146, A-4 (us, RANGER)
“CROWN ALPHA” – USAF UH-16 Albatross, SAR Coordinator from Danang.
“FETCH 53” – RANGER’s SAR helo SH-3A
“POWERHOUSE 3XX” – VA-153, A-4 from CONNIE
“SILVER FOX” – VA-155, A-4 from CONNIE
“ELECTRON” – VA-145, A-1 from RANGER
“CUPCAKE 406” – VA-65, A-6 from CONNIE, downed A/C w/ crew in water, 1 rescued, 1 KIA
“GREY EAGLE” – USS RANGER
“WAR CHIEF” – USS CONSTELLATION

Starts as RESCAP A-4s arrive, various chit chat about where to find/bomb the mortars along the beach firing at survivors (killed A-6 B/N).
A-4 lead “BEE 1” our CO rolls in first (each short beepon the radio is a 250# Mk-81 bomb being pickled, multiple beeps = multiple bombs being rippled on the run.
“BEE 3” 604 (me) calls rolling in, then shortly after “BEE 4” calls in, the 85 mm flak hits 604 beneath the cockpit. First indication on radio is “607 this is 604”…”604 this is 607, go”….”Roger, I’ve taken a hit…it’s getting pretty smoky in the cockpit and I have no left rudder at all”!

From here on it’s self explanatory through the ejection, descent , and efforts of my wingie to get the helo on course and guide him toward me after he picked up the A-6 driver. Unfortunately, the tape ran out just as Fetch was approaching for the successful pickup.

You will note that my survival radio transmitter (PRC-45, I think), was very weak.
I could hear everyone fine, but it took about 4 calls about my physical condition before “Bee 1” heard my ”not hurt bad” response. None of my transmissions are on the tape!

*I’m often asked if it bothers me to listen to the tape? I say only that it still hurts that we couldn’t find/save LTJG MARIK. Had we gotten him, it would have been the most successful Yankee Station “feet wet” rescue of the air war in Vietnam.

Enjoy, the rest is history…..” BzB
 

Attachments

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Brownshoe & Gang that helped get this going. It' a unique thing that I wanted for a long time, to share, & make available to Y'all, the youngers, wannabes, & starry-eyed teens. In the words of AW legend KBayDog... "More to this game than Choker Whites & 400 kt, fan breaks"!:eek:

You cyber - supergeek whizzes REALLY made my day!:D
BzB
 

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
??? He was the A-6 B/N KIA during the SAR, did you have a question/comment... did you know him?
BzB
BigIron, thanks for posting the link to LCDR Marik's Memorial Profile. I've been trying off & on for years to make contact with Marik's family to, perhaps answer questions and help with closure. To date, no luck except ... three years ago, I did manage to find & swap e-mails with his Nephew Army CWO-4 Adam Marik, flying helos in the 'ghan'at the time. Had never met his Uncle, as he was born long after his Uncle's loss. He said he would pass the story and info to the family upon his return. Never heard any more from him or family.

RIP, LCDR Marik..LCDR Charles W. Marik  VA-65.jpg
BzB
 

Adam Marik

New Member
BigIron, thanks for posting the link to LCDR Marik's Memorial Profile. I've been trying off & on for years to make contact with Marik's family to, perhaps answer questions and help with closure. To date, no luck except ... three years ago, I did manage to find & swap e-mails with his Nephew Army CWO-4 Adam Marik, flying helos in the 'ghan'at the time. Had never met his Uncle, as he was born long after his Uncle's loss. He said he would pass the story and info to the family upon his return. Never heard any more from him or family.

RIP, LCDR Marik..View attachment 11151
BzB
BusyBee604, I just stumbled on to this site. Glad to see that you are still doing well. I see the photo of my uncle's grave marker on the post above. I am curious to know where this is at? I have shared the story and the papers that you sent me with my family. My aunt and father who were Chuck's older sister and little brother were both very interested in it. It is still a very hard thing for either of them to talk about but I do think it helped provide some closure for them. Have you been in contact with anyone else from the USS Constelation that knew my uncle? I haven't had any luck making contact with anyone else. My wife and I went to D.C. last year after I got back from Afghanistan and I was able to see his name on the Wall in person. I am going back to Afghanistan soon but I would like to visit his grave marker when I get back next time. Take care and i'll talk to you soon.

CW2 Adam Marik
Spectre 10
 

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
:)
BusyBee604, I just stumbled on to this site. Glad to see that you are still doing well. I see the photo of my uncle's grave marker on the post above. I am curious to know where this is at? ...
CW2 Adam Marik
Spectre 10
Welcome home Adam, glad you are OK. I haven't learned much more since we swapped e-mails several years ago, although I did make conact by e-mail with a Squadronmate of your Uncle on CONSTELLATION. I was trying to contact LCDR Dick Weber, Charles' A-6 pilot who survived the ejection & was rescued along with me. Never found Weber, but was put in contact with Weber's roommate, a VA-65 squadronmate on CONNIE. He should be help with any questions you may have. His name is Bernie Deibert (LCDR I think). I will PM you with his (2-yr. old) e-mail address shortly. My old e-mail address is still good [bzb604@cox.net].
BzB
 

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
:)
I haven't learned much more since we swapped e-mails several years ago, although I did make conact by e-mail with a Squadronmate of your Uncle on CONSTELLATION.
Adam, a photo I found of your Uncle's A-6A Intruder "Cupcake 406" , taken on the NAS North Island ramp; just after receiving a new 'camo' paint job at O & R. It was taken several months prior to the loss.
CUPCAKE 604 VA-65.jpg
BzB;)
 

BigIron

Still kicking
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Continuing on with the LTJG Marik posts, I did find his name on a memorial at the USNA when I was up there a few weeks ago.
 

Attachments

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
:)

Welcome home Adam, glad you are OK. I haven't learned much more since we swapped e-mails several years ago, although I did make contact by e-mail with a Squadronmate of your Uncle on CONSTELLATION. I was trying to contact LCDR Dick Weber, Charles' A-6 pilot who survived the ejection & was rescued along with me. Never found Weber, but was put in contact with Weber's roommate, a VA-65 squadronmate on CONNIE. He should be help with any questions you may have. His name is Bernie Deibert (LCDR I think). I will PM you with his (2-yr. old) e-mail address shortly. My old e-mail address is still good [bzb604@cox.net].
BzB
Re. above, sadly, I received a call yesterday from Bernie Diebert, LCDR Dick Weber's Squadronmate, that he just learned that Weber had passed away in Aiken, SC some 25 years ago at the age of 56. No cause of death, NOK, or any other amplifying info was available.

I first met Dick at NAAS Chase, when I was a NAVCAD in advanced, & he a 'plowback' JG Instrumeht in TV-2s at ATU-213. I moved to ATU-223 w/ F9F-8 Cougars in March '58, & never saw Weber again until that fateful day in June '66.

Dick was the pilot of "Cupcake 406", the A-6 Busy Bee flight was RESCAPPING, when my 604 went down. I met him in the rescue helo, when they picked him up just prior to fetching me. I recognized him immediately although 8 years had passed since we flew together at Chase.

Dick confided to me that he was deeply depressed over losing his B/N, because he had seen his chute & there was a dye marker... I saw it from the helo, but we couldn't find him. The last time I ever saw Weber, was when the helo deposited me back on RANGER, then departed to deliver him back to CONSTELLATION. I've been trying locate Weber off & on for the past 20 years, just to talk or possibly meet.

The quotation above, was for Army WO2 Adam Marik, the KIA B/N LCDR Charles Marik's nephew, whom had never met his Uncle, and wanted to learn all he could about him. Their VA-65 Squadronmate Deibert told me that from the day of the incident until he left the Squadron, Weber was withdrawn & depressed, never recovering from the loss of his B/N. I strongly suspect that LCDR Richard Weber was one of many other thousands of Vietnam victims, who died young, yet will never be honored on the Vietnam Wall. RIP Brothers Chuck and Dick...:(
Marik-2.jpg
BzB
 

ea6bflyr

Working Class Bum
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I see the photo of my uncle's grave marker on the post above. I am curious to know where this is at?
Adam,
His marker is located in Arlington National Cemetery. The marker is located at MH101. Use the LOCATOR to find the location below. Here are some pictures from the site:





-ea6bflyr ;)
 
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