“The Navy Was Good To Me”: Maintaining Aircraft Off Yankee Station

Frank D'Aversa


Frank D’Aversa volunteered for the Navy after graduation from Aviation High School, in Long Island, with the goal of being an aircraft mechanic. After graduating from Basic Training and maintenance school, he completed cruises in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean before deploying to Vietnam on the USS Ranger (CV-61), operating from both Yankee and Dixie Station. During the deployment, they regularly returned to the Philippines for maintenance and refitting. After returning from Vietnam, he completed cruises in the Mediterranean and Caribbean before leaving the service in 1966. He continued in the field of aircraft maintenance, working for several airlines, before joining the Navy Reserve in 1973. He served an additional 30 years, eventually retiring as an Aviation Maintenance Limited Duty Officer in 2003. In this interview, he talks about his passion for aircraft maintenance, and his service in the Navy. He describes his various cruises and his duties at different positions. He recalls an incident in which one of the ship’s aircraft crashed, and LCDR Donald Beard and LTJG Brian Cronin were killed. Beard was subsequently buried at sea. He discusses returning from Vietnam and feeling disconnected from his friends at home. He missed the camaraderie in the Navy, which explains his eventual decision to return to the service. Finally, he talks about his activities with the Vietnam Veterans of America, and being a mentor for the Suffolk County Veterans Court.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Camaraderie Leadership Life After Military Navy Returning from War
interviewer David Siry
date 10 July 2017


name Frank D'Aversa
service Navy
unit USS Ranger (CV-61), Reconnaissance Heavy Attack Squadron 5
specialty Aircraft Maintenance
service dates 1961 2003