“My first use of your fine seat was on 19 June 1976, late sunny afternoon in the Puerto Rican Operations area about 80 miles from NAS Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. Flying in a VF-11 F4-J, 155434 with CDR Rod K. Kauber the commander of the squadron we experienced an uncommanded ejection at approx 11,000 feet and 320 knots. My chute opened immediately but I’d lost my seat pan. The Skipper tumbled over 9000 feet before manually deploying his chute. We were both recovered by our H3 flying from USS Forrestal, CV-59. Cause undermined, likely front seat fodded.
On 9 Feb 1977(8 months later) flying an F4-J 157299 within 25 miles of the previous adventure my pilot, LT T. G. Dobrovolny, and I found ourselves on fire, fire confirmed by both A-7s flying with us and the loss of the left engine, PC1 and Utility hydraulic pressure. We secured the left engine and decided to try to fly back to Roosevelt Roads since we were not operating with a carrier that day and no helo rescue were on hand. In the vicinity of Vieques Island and 10 miles from Roosevelt Roads as we attempted to lower our gear the damaged jet began to roll nose down. I initiated command ejection at about 11,000 feet(practice makes perfect) both seats worked flawlessly and were quickly recovered by a Canadian H3 operating nearby.”