Leslie Bertrand

Winnie, Texas

I entered the Navy in Feb 1965 and was sent to school in Memphis, Tenn. My aunt asked what did Memphis have to do with the Navy, there was no ocean. she did not realize I was in aviation.

After several years of volunteering various programs that would have sent me to Vietnam, including Army Warrant Officer (helicopter pilot) I finally got into a squadron. It had F8 Crusader fighter aircraft and the squadron deployed on the U.S.S. Hancock CV-19 carrier. we patrolled mainly in the Gulf of Tonkin. Our pilots had missions over both North and South Vietnam. One story, one day an A4 aircraft was being used to refuel an F8 and a photo F8 was to take pictures. As the photo F8 attempted to fly over the formation it dropped down on both the other aircraft. Both F8’s went in but the A4 landed back on the carrier with significant damage and would not fly the remai ning of the cruise. someone painted two little F8 on its side.

Due to our relief carrier not being able to relieve us on time, we stayed and extra three months and missed out on going to Singapore and Australia. I will never forget that carrier for not getting there on time.

Stats for Leslie Bertrand

Hometown: Winnie, Texas
 U.S. Navy
Rank: E-6
Years Served: 1970