Castellano, Gaetano P.

Castellano, Gaetano P.

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Gaetano P. Castellano lived in Rye and served with U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He was a Rye High School graduate, Class of 1963.
Date of Birth: Seeking Info
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy - USS ENTERPRISE CVAN-65

Veteran Code: VIET-24

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My address in Rye was 391 Midland Avenue which I lived there from 1943 to 1967. I enlisted in the US Navy Reserves in New Rochelle, NY in July 1963 until discharge July 1969. Active duty July 1964 to July 1966 aboard the USS ENTERPISE CVAN-65 assigned to G Division - Guided Missile Office. USS ENTERPRISE CVAN-65 was the Navy's first nuclear aircraft carrier to go into battle of the coast of Vietnam. The ships name USS ENTERPRISE has a long history serving in the Navy since be being captured by General Benedict Arnold in 1770.

Gaetano P. Castellano

USS Enterprise Vietnam Deployments

In November 1965, the Enterprise was transferred to the Seventh Fleet, home-ported at NAS Alameda, California. The following month, on 2 December, she became the first nuclear-powered ship to engage in combat when she launched aircraft against the Viet Cong near Biên Hòa City. The ship led Carrier Division Three, with Enterprise (redesignated CVAN-65), which had Carrier Air Wing Nine aboard, Bainbridge; Barry; and Samuel B. Roberts. Enterprise launched 125 sorties on the first day, unleashing 167 short tons (151 t) of bombs and rockets on the enemy's supply lines. On 3 December, she set a record of 165 strike sorties in a single day.

In January 1966, the aircraft carrier was continuing operations as a unit of Task Force 77 in the Gulf of Tonkin, as the flagship of Rear Admiral Henry L. Miller, Commander Carrier Division Three.[44] Under the command of Captain James L. Holloway III, she was carrying a complement of approximately 350 officers and 4,800 men. Four West coast squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Nine, commanded by Commander F. T. Brown, were embarked; VF-92, under Commander E. A. Rawsthorne, and VF-96, under Commander R. D. Norman, flying F-4B Phantom IIs; VA-93 under Commander A. J. Monger, and VA-94, under Commander O. E. Krueger, flying A-4C Skyhawks. With these squadrons were three others based on the East Coast; VA-36, under Commander J. E. Marshall, VA-76, under Commander J. B. Linder, flying A-4C Skyhawks; and RVAH-7, under Commander K. Enny, flying RA-5C Vigilantes. Rear Admiral Miller was relieved as Commander Carrier Division Three by Rear Admiral T. J. Walker on 16 February 1966. During the change of command ceremony on the flight deck, Rear Admiral Miller praised the ship's performance in his farewell remarks, and presented air medals to more than 100 pilots and flight officers.

The ship tied up at Leyte Pier, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, on the evening of 8 December 1966.[44] Loading of supplies for the first line period was started immediately. Rear Admiral Walter L Curtis, Jr, Commander Carrier Division Nine, brought his flag aboard. In company with Manley, Gridley and Bainbridge, Enterprise sailed for Yankee Station on 15 December, and took up her position there three days later.

When Enterprise departed the Gulf of Tonkin on 20 June 1967, her pilots had flown more than 13,400 battle missions during 132 combat days of operations.(Enterprise Command History 1967, 29) As Vice Admiral Hyland stated in his congratulatory statement, "the entire Air Wing Nine has earned a resounding 'Well Done'." The carrier had steamed 67,630 miles in operations with the Seventh Fleet. She arrived in Subic Bay on 22 June and departed on 25 June for return to Alameda on 6 July 1967.

Sailors aboard Enterprise battle a huge ordnance fire triggered by a Zuni rocket. 14 January 1969 At Alameda, Enterprise began an overhaul. Captain Kent Lee relieved Captain James L. Holloway as commanding officer in ceremonies on 11 July 1967. Shipyard work was completed on 5 September 1967, and after completing sea trials on 7 September, Enterprise steamed south from San Francisco Bay to San Diego to reembark Carrier Air Wing Nine and get underway for refresher training off the California coast.

Enterprise was visiting Sasebo, Japan in January 1968 when the US intelligence ship USS Pueblo was seized by North Korea, and she served as flagship of TF 71 (Rear Admiral Epes), which had been formed in response. When diplomatic negotiations had defused tensions, Enterprise and her escorts were released to head south to Yankee Station on 16 February 1968. Enterprise returned to NAS Alameda on 18 July 1968, having completed 12,839 catapult launches, with 12,246 sorties—9,182 of them combat. After a short overhaul in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 29 July to 26 September, she returned to Alameda to prepare for another deployment to Vietnam.

1969 Fire :

USS Enterprise fire Sailors from the destroyer Rogers use their on board hoses to assist with the firefighting efforts aboard Enterprise. During the morning of 14 January 1969, while being escorted by the destroyers Benjamin Stoddert and Rogers, a MK-32 Zuni rocket loaded on a parked F-4 Phantom exploded when ordnance cooked off after being overheated by an aircraft start unit.[45] The explosion set off fires and additional explosions across the flight deck.

The fires were brought under control relatively quickly (when compared with previous carrier flight deck fires), but 27 sailors were killed and an additional 314 sailors were injured. The fire destroyed 15 aircraft, and the resulting damage forced Enterprise to put in for repairs at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii, primarily to repair the flight deck's armored plating.[46] On 1 March 1969, repairs to the ship were completed and the ship proceeded on her scheduled western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment to Vietnam and the Tonkin Gulf. These destinations would be delayed by events in the eastern Sea of Japan.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Branch of Service July 16, 2020
Reviewer: Norman Johnson from [email protected]  
Gaten Castellano was not in the Army. He was in the Navy. From Jan to June of 63 we use to ride down together to the Navy Reseves in New Rochelle. When he went active in June of 63 he was stationed on the USS Enterprise. About a year and a half later I met him on the Enterprise in Subic Bay Philippines

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