It was good to hear from you. I was going through some old papers one day and my son was there and he is more computer friendly than I am. He suggested that I look at my old Navy squadron VR-21 on the Internet. That is were I found you after a lot of searching. I know a that you are interested in Sam Bass. When I arrived at Atsugi in July of 1960 Sam was a PO1 and the Plane Capt. of Wheelchair 7. When The Commander of 7th Fleet got transferred Sam was transferred with him as they were good friends and Sam flew with him all the time. After Sam left a PO1 named Lamagna took over WC7 and he had it till he made Chief and they gave him extra duties. Then is when I became PC of WC7. At the time I was AD3. and CDR Russell who was the XO of the squadron liked me for some reason and gave me the job. When I took over WC7 VADM C.D.Griffin was the ComSevenFleet. That is a little history that I know of that might help you out. - Jerry Hampen 02/10/05

I am sorry I should of told you who these people were. The fellow in the black rain coat in front of WC7 is Senator Hugh Scott of Penn. The fellow in the flight suit and may-west is Capt. Iaribenno. The fellow in the light rain coat looking straight ahead is Capt.Trum who was traveling as attaché officer for Senator Scott and the other fellow is Cdr. Iaribenno. I was the one in front of the engine. The other people were on lookers. This covers the small pictures. The large picture with the jeep it is the driver, me and a Chief from the squadron. We made several trips to the crash site. We raised the ac with air bags and lowered the landing gear for the investigators and that is when they decided to repair it on site. We had an AC at the overhaul base in Shamua Japan and it had good engines and props when it went there so the decision was made to pull the engines and props, and transport them to the crash site for WC7. They also had to build a runway. That is one of the large pictures and I think that a Japanese contractor was hired to build it. There was suppose to be 1000 ft of psp and a stone over run of 500 ft. The AC was airborne in 700 ft the day it left with out the help of JATO bottles. Some people had reported that JATO bottles were used. They flew about 25 minutes to Shamua Japan to the overhaul base where it was repaired and put back into service. In the interim period WC11 became WC7. The reason I have no pictures of the pilots is because they were taken to a police box to make a phone call to Iwakuni to let them know where we were and that everyone was OK.- Jerry Hampen  02/14/05

 

Also at the time of the crash Capt. Iaribenno was Skipper of a fleet oilier but I do not have the name of the ship. He always wanted me to come aboard his ship for dinner when he was in port but I never could make it. I don't know what his brother did at the time. MCAS Iwakuni sent a plane to Tokashimau to pick us up that night but the Senator said that he had enough flying that day and decided that we go to a hotel which we did and then we had a dinner celebration that I think he paid for out of his own pocket. The AC came the next day and flew us to Iwakuni were I had to stay for a review board investigation. - Jerry Hempen 02/15/05

 

Pictures and links to be added - MJH