|Captain Marwood D 'Mardy' Lewis, USN (Ret)|
I was born and raised in the town of Milbank, S.D., population 1800. I was eleven when my father, who was Sheriff of Milbank, was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1941. I graduated from High School in 1948 and joined the Navy.
I completed boot camp in Great Lakes, Aviation Metalsmith School in Memphis, TN and then on my way to NAS Trinidad, British West Indies at that time. Duty days I was part of the beach crew that swam the landing out to PBM’s that landed there.
NAS Trinidad was preparing to close, just before the Korean War and an all enlisted crew, two AP’s, brought over our PBM, 5A, had its own landing gear, back to the states. I was one of the crew members.
Ended up in VP-26, PB4Y-2, in Patuxent River, MD. The squadron moved to NAS Brunswick, MA, formerly a Reserve Station. I think in 1952. Transitioned to P2V’s. Duty days I drove the gas truck and oil truck, a little cold in the winter! I was now an AM3J
On to NAS Corpus Christi, TX. Short while at NAS and then selected to be a member of the Blue Angels, now an AM2. The Blues moved to NAS Pensacola, FL in 1954 and I left Pensacola in 1955 with orders to VR-22 in Norfolk.
Ended up as a flight engineer, R5 and R6’s, now an AM1. Selected in 1957 for the Seamen to Admiral Program. OCS in Newport, R.I. Came out as an Ensign, USN (1100) with orders to the USS ROCKBRIDGE APA 228 in Norfolk. What an education for an ex AM1 who had never been aboard ship. Two Med deployments, Lebanon in 1958, when we landed Marines. I was the Boat Group Commander.
Left the ship in 1960, now the Navigator, enroute to the first class of NFO’s. Made it there, new designator, 1350, enroute to the RAG in San Diego and VP-2 in Whidbey. Left VP-2 in 1964 to the Staff at Whidby with the billet of ASCAC Officer.
Departed Whidbey in 1967 to Newport, RI to attend Command & Staff, now a new LCDR. A little tough,, prior education, high school in 1948. Graduated, orders as Commanding Officer, NAFAC, Cape Hatteras. At that time, NFO’s were not eligible for sea command.
Departed Hatteras July 1969, enroute to VP-1 via the RAG in Moffett Field, CA. Arrived in VP-1 just prior to moving to Hawaii. Now designator is 1320, unrestricted line officer. Don’t know the year that was changed by law. Billet, Operations Officer. Passed over for Commander. CDR Chuck Peterson, (Ex VP-2 in my time) says my only chance is Viet Nam. Left the squadron with orders to Viet Nam in May 1971.
Arrived in Nam July 71 with orders to COMNAVFORV. Ended up as Air Ops Advisor for the same. Made Commander. Left Nam with orders as CO, Naval Recruiting District Denver. Top Recruiting District in the nation on 1973.
Screened for command and received orders to VXN-8 in Pax River, 1974, as XO/CO. Finished my tour as CO in 1976 with orders to Air War College in Montgomery. I graduated, selected for Captain with orders to Okinawa as Chief Staff Officer for Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa.
Departed Okinawa in 1980 with orders to the staff of Chief of Naval Education and Training and assigned as Head of NJROTC. Departed in 1984 with orders as Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa.
Retired in 1987 with 39 years, 2 months and 23 days of happy continuous active duty service.