Navy Unit Citation | National Defense Medal | Vietnam Service Medal  


Banshee crash during the 1953/54 cruise in Color
Ed Leach was an AT2 attached to VF-193 during the 1953/54 cruise. He sent me these color photos of the Banshee that crashed  during air operations. Below are the photos and their descriptions in his own words. Amazingly, the pilot was flying again the next day.

I recently received this email from Jack A Smith.

"Just to let you know I was the "hotsuitman" on the left in AT2 Ed Leach pictures The pilot was "Lt Frank Repp". When we got to his canopy he had no injuries and we only helped him to his feet and than he ran up the flight deck unassisted.


Jack A. Smith.

Ps the other "hotsuitman"was Tim Kirby"
normal landing
"Number 1 is a normal landing for our aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas Banshee F2H-3. I believe we were the first squadron (VF 193) in the Pacific fleet to get these aircraft and reputedly, Alan Shepard, one of the original seven astronauts, was the Navy's test pilot for the aircraft."
bad landing beginning
"Number 2 is the beginning of a very bad landing. The pilot first was too high and the LSO signaled him that and he throttled back too much to recover."
"Number 3 is shortly after impact where you see only the cockpit came aboard--the rest of the plane was on our stern gun mounts."
"Number 4 is a bit later where you see the fire has surrounded the pilot, but he is clear of the fire."
"Number 5 shows the rescue crews running to get him out which they did quite well."
"Number 6 shows the Big O tied up at the dock, most likely Yokosuka which was our main port in Japan. "
"Pictures number 2, 3, 4, and 5 were not taken by me but by a member of our squadron who had just loaded him camera with a new film roll and had a camera which would take a shot and rewind immediately. He was nice enough to make copies for all of us who wanted them." - Ed Leach AT2