|Harry H Ferrier|
CDR Harry H Ferrier, USN RET
I transferred from Patrol Squadron TWO Sept 1964 to USS Princeton LPH 5, at Long Beach, CA. Princeton was a WW II Essex class aircraft carrier that was reconfigured to support helicopter operations. (Incidentally, CDR Kistler was XO when I reported aboard.) We were part of an Amphibious Ready Group consisting of an LPH, APA, LSD and a DD. We supported US Marine Corps helicopter squadrons and a Reinforced Battalion Landing Team while embarked. The ship was employed this way during three combat tours to Vietnam.
Although I was ordered in as the ship's Aircraft Maintenance Division officer, over time I became a fully qualified Officer of the Deck and Command Duty Officer at Sea. During our third combat tour I was one of three OOD's that rotated the Deck Watch on the Bridge on all combat operations while putting troops ashore in Vietnam.
I was promoted to LCDR in Oct 1965 and held my wetting down party at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Unfortunately, it was a stag affair.
I left Princeton in Oct 1966 and reported to VAH-123 (- back at NAS, Whidbey!!) as ASST Aircraft Maintenance. VAH-123 was then supporting A-3B's and A-6A's. In 1967 the A6 unit was split off and established as VA-128. I remained with the A-3's part of VAH-123. I was promoted to CDR in 1968 and finished my tour as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. I retired from the Navy on Sept 01, 1970 after 29 years 7 months and 3 days service. It was a good time to retire!
In 1973 I was elected to the Oak Harbor Board of School Directors. From 1974 to 1979 I was President of the Board. At the Washington State level I was Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the WSSDA, and elected as one of the Vice Presidents 1978. I was not reelected in 1979 partly as a result of being the President of the Board during our only school teacher's strike.
I was appointed to the Island County Planning Commission in 1980 and served two years. Then I was appointed Island County Auditor in 1981 and reelected twice to that position. I retired on Jan 01, 1991 - for good!!
My wife Christie died in 1989 and I was remarried 1990 to Evelyn Koetje.
In 1997 I was inducted into the Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor on board USS Yorktown, (now a museum) at Charleston, SC. Then in 1998 the flight crew of Navy TBF-l Avenger Buno 00380 was inducted into the American Combat Airman Hall of Fame, at Midland, TX. We were the first TBF-1 and the only one of VT-8 aircraft to survive the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. In all VT-8 lost 15 TBD-1s, 5 TBF-1's and 45 airmen in the battle.
I was privileged to accompany DR. Robert Ballard on an expedition to search for and ultimately find the USS Yorktown, CV-5, down 16,500 ft. It had been sunk at the Battle of Midway. The National Geographic Explorer movie, "The Battle for Midway", tells the story of the trip.