SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans
CHRIS WILLS (1935-A/LIFE-1991)
United States Navy, United States Coast Guard
|Aboard the “Big E“, USS ENTERPRISE in 1978.||Acceptance of the last Falcon jet for the Coast Guard.|
After boot camp in 1974, CHRIS was attached to Attack Squadron 215, the ‘Barn Owls‘ at NAS Lemoore, CA operating with A-7 Corsair jet fighters. They boarded USS ORISKANY for a WesPac and this was to be the last cruise for this old bird farm. Upon returning stateside, the squadron was attached to USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT based out of Mayport, Florida.
They made a Mediterranean cruise and this was also to be the last cruise of “ROSEY” as this carrier was decommissioned on her return stateside. Since they no longer had a carrier to call home, the entire air wing was disbanded.
CHRIS was transferred to NAS Whidbey Island and attached to VA 196 flying A-6 Intruders. They were aboard USS ENTERPRISEfor another WesPac cruise and then the ” Big E” returned stateside, he was released from active duty and returned to his home state.
Not ready to remain idle, CHRIS joined the U. S. Coast Guard that same year and was a Flight Mechanic on HH-52A helicopters.
His most memorable experience with the Coast Guard was participating in the rescue of a family of six whose sailing vessel ” LAY DOWN SALLY” was sinking off Cape Mendocino.
He transferred to Little Rock then to CGAS Astoria, Oregon and became Dropmaster on the HU-25 Falcon Jet.
CHRIS says that although he never got involved, he is proud to have served his Country none the less. He retired at the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer with more than thirty years of service to the United States of America.