The La Crosse Tribune from La Crosse, Wisconsin on December 26, 1965 · Page 3
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The La Crosse Tribune from La Crosse, Wisconsin · Page 3

La Crosse, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 26, 1965
Page 3
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AFTER SERVING ON CARRIER OFF VIET NAM Navy Off icersGet Acquainted At Home Two La Crosse men, officers in the Regular Navy, have gotten better acquainted while home on Christmas leave after serving together as virtual strangers aboard the 4,200-man USS Independence off the Viet Nam coast. Lt. Cmdr. Donald B. Gilbert, 32, was a flight deck officer aboard the attack aircraft car rier. He is the son of Mrs. W. C. Gordon, 344 S. 20th St., and the late Police Capt. Lyle Gilbert. Gilbert presumably on many occasions assisted in launching, by steam catapult, Lt. (j.g.) Daniel R. Hertzfeldt, who was flying an F4B Phantom II against the Viet Cong. Hertzfeldt, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eldon C. Hertzfeldt, 120 S. 24th St., has flown about 115 combat missions since July 1. He was awarded the Air Medal while serving with Fighter men around and Navy men the Independence. to the Western Pacific Ocean, The couple has two children, home on leave. The career of- have learned to hold down the Gilbert, a 1951 graduate of twice to the Mediterranean Sea, Carol, 5 and Dawn, 2M*. He ficer, also an F4B pilot, has chatter. Aquinas High School and 1955 and once around South Ameri- plans on making the Navy a ca- been recently on Pentagon graduate of Loras College in ca. He is married to the former Sosalla of Whitehall. His aircraft, said Hertzfeldt, was shot at many times but was not hit. He saw some enemy missile firings, he said. A few of his friends were not so fortunate. Some were killed, others believed captured. Gilbert said the Independence lost 18 men killed, 12 known to be lost from combat. One of the biggest lessons learned, said Hertzfeldt, was the use of the F4B—a fighter- bomber — against ground targets. When he entered the squadron, he said, the concept mostly was use of the fighter against potential enemy aircraft and against seaborne targets. Dubuque, Iowa, leaves La Crosse Jan. 6 for Jacksonville, Anne H. Fla., assigned to a light jet at-( tack squadron. An officer candidate school graduate in February 1956 at Newport, R. I., and a qualified jet pilot since March 1957, Gil- * bert is in the process of leaving “ship’s company” to go back on fulltime flying status. He will be in an A4 “Skyhawk” squadron. As “catapult and arresting gear” officer on one section of the flight deck, Gilbert had a crew of about 125 men and officers on the job. Also board the Independence, reer duty. He reports in January as a A brother, Lt. Cmdr. Robert flight instructor to a training L. Gilbert, 33, USN, also is squadron at Key West. But now, he continued, crews said Gilbert, were A6 “Intrud- have become more proficient in ers,” a late model jet, and the releasing “conventional ord- A4B. Between 70 and 90 jets Squadron 41 aboard the carrier, nance” against ground installs- were employed at a time. The ☆ <r <r tions. The craft has air-to-air jets would take off from a dead The two men had never met missiles. When it takes off, the stop and within 250 feet on the face to face until Wednesday in 58-foot long plane with its ar- forward “power stroke” would La Crosse. Both came through senal weighs about 25 tons. accelerate up to 165 miles an the seven months in the South When it returns, usually in a hour, he said. China Seas and the Tonkin Gulf (“cycle” of two hours, the total The Independence, he said, unscathed. gross weight is about 17 tons, would be situated for 30 to 40 Both are en route to new as- - • * days at a time at various dis- signments after Jan. 1. j In preparation for ventures tances off the Viet Nam coast. The Independence had a rath- north of the 17th parallel, Hertz- “It was within easy flying dis- er noteworthy homecoming into feldt and others flew against tar-tance of the targets,” said Gil- Norfolk, Va., Dec. 13, when one gets in South Viet Nam. Noth- bert. F4B aircraft, leaving the flight ing special happened, he said.; -V ☆ ☆ deck, dropped a portion of There was the usual problem of “Things are going quite well” its fuel tank load. The deck was jungle foliage hiding targets and for United States forces in the set afire. Fifteen men, including results of bombings. Viet Nam area, said Gilbert, four of Gilbert's men, were in- Bridges, truck convoys, bar- That’s a limited view, however, jured. racks and other “targets of op- he added. Gilbert, on duty at the two for-1 portunity” were usual targets in Morale is good and there is ward catapults, said the spilled North Viet Nam. an important job to be done, he fuel burned along a distance of Hertzfeldt, who is single, was said. There is never any doubt about 250 feet by 35 feet wide at La Crosse State University in his mind, said Gilbert, that in the waist catapult launching one year before Annapolis train- he has an obligation as a pro­ area. ing. After commissioning, he fessional person taking an oath Hertzfeldt was staff duty offi- was at Pensacola, Fla., for 15 to carry out the United States’ cer at the time of the fire. months of flight school. Later he policy. Hertzfeldt, a 1957 graduate of served in Mississippi and in He said the fire aboard the Drive, La Crosse, has been as-tered the Army in May, com- Central High School and 1962 Texas. He was awarded his pi- carrier took place about 200 signed to the 35th Armor in Ger- pleted basic training "at Ft. g r a d u a t e of the U. S. Naval lot’s wings and later shipped off miles off shore while the jets many. Leonard Wood, Mo., and was Academy at Annapolis, Md., de- to Key West, Fla., for F4B tran- were flying “home” to shore many—Army Pvt. Larry D. La- LaSeure, a turret mechanic last assigned at Fort Knox, Ky. scribed his cruise in the Pacific sition training. bases from the carrier. Seure, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leon in Headquarters Company of The 21-year-old soldier was combat area as “very interest- He reports Jan. 2 to Oceana. Gilbert in 1963 received his F. LaSeure, 3160 Edgewater the armor’s 4th Battalion, en-graduated from Logan H i g h ing.” Va. He is fairly certain of be-master’s degree from American ________________________________________________ School in 1952 and attended La But, generally, he was guard- ing a career officer, likes flying University, Washington, D. C. Dec 26 1965 ^ Crosse state College in ijEt e(i in his comments. He said In- and by next spring could well Since joining the Navy, he has MODEL OF THE F4B ‘PHANTOM’— Lt. (j.g.) Daniel R. Hertzfeldt (right), just back from 115 combat flights in Viet Nam, holds a scale model of the jet aircraft he flew. He was aboard the USS Independence, an aircraft carrier, as was another La Crosse man, Lt. Cmdr. Donald B. Gilbert (center). At left is Cmdr. Robert L. Gilbert, brother of Donald, who also is a pilot and is to begin instructor’s duty.—Tribune Photo. Soldier In Germany 4TH ARMORED DIV.. Ger*! 26. 1965 Del. RFD Dec. 27 Crosse. dependence frequently has news : be in the Mediterranean aboard twice been on long deployments WOMEN'S DRESS AND STREET SHOES regularly $5" to $8" You’ll find-the newest styles and detailing. The finest leathers and materials. Everything in heels. Colors galore. But hurry! 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