Brothers, Robert and Paul Gillcrist have collaborated, again, to produce a series of true vignettes drawn from their colorful careers. However, in some cases the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Bob a U.S. Marine, served on the aircraft carrier, Wasp, home-ported at the Boston Navy Yard, from 1957 until 1958.
His tour of duty on Wasp was followed by his discharge and return to complete his college education. There was an interim escapade in which Bob went to Castro's Cuba, and on to fight forest fires in Alaska, then to acquire his civil engineering degree. Following that Bob accepted a contract to work in South Vietnam.
After Viet Nam, Bob spent his career in construction in New York City. His affinity for sailing included sailing the east coast and Caribbean.
Paul's 33 year tour of duty as a naval aviator included graduation from the Navy's test pilot school, testing many of the new breed of strike airplanes which appeared in the 1960s. He commanded a fleet squadron, and then a carrier air wing and finally, commander for all Pacific Fleet fighter and early warning squadrons. He served in Vietnam and completed 167 combat missions for which he was awarded 17 combat decorations.
After retirement he embarked on a second career as an aviation consultant for several defense contractors and ultimately consulted for two movies, three television miniseries and finally spent 12 years as consultant for the television series, JAG.
His most satisfying retirement activity has been teaching creative to 7th and 8th grade students at a local private academy.
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April 13, 2009
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