Many Personal Remembrances of Admiral Aurand
Dave Orozco, LCDR USNR-R

From: Bill Copeland
Fri 1/4/02 3:35 PM

Memories of Admiral Aurand, Bennington '67 from Dave Orozco ( )

These stories of Admiral Aurand bring to mind many personal remembrances. 
I remember him as an aggressive, forward-thinking officer.
I remember his habit of "reversing" his initials ... APE ... when coding his Op Orders. 
We began calling them "APE Orders" as a result. I also recall him having designated a 
specific area of Bennington's flight deck .... painted with yellow paint, and I was 
told that the Admiral did not want aircraft chocked in this area, because his spaces 
were directly beneath and the noise bothered him.
I believe that Admiral Aurand was one of the Hellcat squadron commanders involved with 
the late afternoon launch by Admiral Mitscher (June 20, 1944) that sunk 
the Japanese carrier Hiyo and damaged the Zuikaku. Those pilots returned to TG 58 
considerably after dark, and Admirla Mitscher gave the order to "light up the fleet" 
so that his pilots could find their carriers. Then a Lcdr., Aurand stayed aloft over 
the carrier vectoring his pilots in until all had either landed on the ship or ditched 
along side ... only then would he come aboard. Leadership!
Our Task Group had a destroyer hit by shore gunnery while near the town 
of Vinh (U.S.S. Cherry, I believe ??) and the Admiral wanted to develop a method to 
strike back. He thought that the S-2's could load 6 rocket pods on the hard points, 
each carring 19 rockets, and do some "loft rocketing."  We practiced this during 
a "down time" in the PI, and then actually launched rockets at a fortified shore gun 
emplacement at Vinh! Pulled 3.5 g's until 30 degrees nose up ... fire all rockets ... 
then 90 degrees of bank and rudder the nose down to barely avoid stalling into the sea! 
Cool manoever! Very much like the Admiral to come up with something like that.
He loved his cigars, and his Marine aide always had a generous supply. The Admiral 
liked to attend briefing and de-briefing with the pilots. He would be sitting at the 
briefing table, and just reach his hand blindly behind him ... and the Marine Corporal 
would produce a cigar and place it in his hand! This guy had class!
I took him flying once ... he wanted to see Viet Nam up close for himself. I let him 
fly the aircraft, and I remember him as a very smooth pilot. He did not want to bring 
it aboard, however, and I was pleased at that decision. I have just retired from the 
airlines with over 27,000 hours ... but I would not attempt coming anywhere near the 
fantail of a carrier at my current age!! A man must know his limitations!
Sorry to hear that he passed away, he was a warrior and a leader. Too few of our 
curent commanders can say that ......
Dave Orozco


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