CANTED DECK QUALIFIED
Fighter Squadron 84
Robert L Nansteel
Sunday, September 16, 2001 2:18 AM
Air Group Shipmate
Ahoy fellow shipmates:
My name is Robert L. Nansteel ADCS(AC) U.S.N. Ret.
In regard to my Bio on the VP-Navy page, I was a F9F-5 plane capt/line trouble shooter in Fighter Squadron 84, CAG-8 in the '53-'54 era. Our squadron had taken the U.S.S. Antietam CVA-36 to Portsmouth England to allow the English to try out the new canted deck which they had the idea for, but the US built it and VF-84 was the first operational Squadron to become CANTED DECK QUALIFIED, we left Norfolk at 0800 11, June 1953 (Our daughter was born on 10 June 1953).
We proceeded to Portsmouth, Eng. and onloaded various British aircraft, we then put to sea and the English flew air ops. for the next 6 weeks, (putting into Portsmouth on week-ends). At the conclusion of the testing we were returning to Norfolk and were a day or so out when we received word that the fighter squadron which was to make a Middy cruise to Halifax had all of their aircraft grounded for some mechanical malfunction, and since we were to arrive at pier 10 and the U.S.S. Bennington was berthed two piers away, we were to offload the Antietam and onload the Bennington.We arrived on Sat. Morning, the planes had been flown off while at sea, to Oceana, our home field. as soon as the transfer of squadron gear was completed we were granted liberty until Sun. midnight, and Mon morning we were on our way to Halifax aboard the Bennington, I had seen our new daughter once before going to Portsmouth, and now a day and a half and I'm off to Halifax, I was not a happy airdale. But that's how things were back then, If the Navy wanted you to have a wife they would have issued you one.
We successfully completed the Middy cruise and returned to Norfolk, off loaded and returned to our home base at Oceana.
This was the sum total of my association with the U.S.S. Bennington. She was not a bad ship and we got along with the ships company just fine, a lot of my memory drum has slipped a notch or two, but I remember the dates because of our daughter's birth date of 6/10/53.
Fair winds and a following sea to all of you former shipmates of the U.S.S. Bennington
Robert L. Nansteel ADCS(AC) U.S.N. Ret.