JOIN THE MARINES, 

                    TRAVEL TO EXOTIC DISTANT LANDS,

                    MEET EXCITING UNUSUAL PEOPLE

                                     AND KILL THEM !

Introduction to a Career Marine [ mofakdcath@aol.com ]
Donald Edward Cathcart, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired.  Entered the Corps on January 10, 1954 at Los Angeles, California.  Graduated from Marine Recruit Training in San Diego.  First duty station was MCAS El Toro, Ca., as a PFC teletype operator in Intelligence.  Sent to NAS Pensacola, Fl. for pilot training June 54.  Discharged from the Marine Corps and designated a Naval Aviation Cadet (NavCad).  Flew the SNJ in basic at Whiting, Corry, Saufley and Barin.  Flew the T-28, T-33, and the F9F-2 Panther In advanced training at NAS Memphis and NAS Pensacola.  Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and designated a Naval Aviator with a Jet Fighter Pilot MOS.  Reported to NAAS Edenton, NC in February 1956 to fly Able Dog, A-1 Prop Skyraiders.  Assigned to VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers.  Attended VMAT-20 at MCAS Cherry Point qualifying in Able Dogs.  Married Angela Jane Asman on August 11, 1956 at NAS Akron, Ohio.  Flew Skyraiders until June 1958.  Volunteered for overseas duty in Skyhawk, A4D-1 jets in VMA-211 and October 1958 rotated to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan for a 15 months unaccompanied tour.   Sent to Quantico, Va in Feb 1960 to the Special Indoctrination Course for Regular Officer non-graduates of Basic School.  Transferred to Whiting Field in May 1960 as a T-28 Trojan Formation Instructor in Basic Flight Training.   Promoted to Captain.  Flew 1600 hours of instruction in Formation and Radio Instruments during two years.  Transferred to MCAS Beaufort, SC in June 1962. Assigned as Air Group Legal Officer and MAG-31 Assistant S-1.  Served as Recorder on Major Promotion Board at CMC.  Joined VMF(AW)-451 Warlords with F8D Crusaders in March 63 following an ejection at 300 feet while trying to dead stick a Crusader into an off duty runway following a flameout. Landed the Crusader 69 times aboard the Shangri La, the Lexington, and the Saratoga.  Made a VMF(AW)451 non-stop Crusader Trans-Atlantic flight.  Stood Crusader Hot Pad alert duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on three deployments.  Operated Crusaders from SATS site at Almeria, Spain.  Transferred to MCRD Parris Island as a Recruit Company Commander in March 1965.  Served as Commanding Officer of K Company and of Range Company.  Flew Crusaders with 235, 333, and 451 while flying the T-28, A-4 and TV-2 with H&HS at MCAS Beaufort.  Promoted to Major.   Reported to WestPac in November 1966.  Joined the Death Angels of VMF(AW) -235.  Flew 204 missions in F-8s flying from Da Nang Air Base.  Transferred to Saigon in August 1967 as III MAF and 1ST MAW Marine Liaison to MACV, 7TH Air Force and 7TH Fleet.  Flew the C1A to Yankee Station Carriers.  Flew the C1A and C45 to Con Son Island and other bases in Vietnam and Thailand.  Reported to El Toro in January 1968.  Flew TA4Fs as Group Adjutant and S-1.  Joined the Blacksheep of VMA-214 January 1969 as Operations Officer and Executive Officer flying A4Cs and A4Es.  Ordered TAD for transition to CH-46 helicopters in January 1971.  Selected for Lt Colonel.  Flew rotorcraft for 220 hours and went to WestPac in June 1971 as Aircraft Commander in CH-46 Sea Knights. Assigned as MAG-12/1ST MAW SIOP Officer responsible for target intelligence, flight crew target training and special weapons.  On 1 October 1971, became Commanding Officer of the Hawks in A6A Intruder squadron VMA(AW)-533 with 300 Officers and men.  533 set new records every consecutive month for Op Ready, Full Systems, and Flight Time.  Ordered to LFTC Coronado in July 1972 as Head of Supporting Arms Branch.  Flew the U-11 and T-28.  Ordered to MCAS(H) Santa Ana in June 1975 as Station Operations Officer. Flew the CH-46 and T-28.  Spent nearly 24 years active duty in the Corps.  Passed over once for 0-6. Voluntarily retired in Sept 1977 with 6300 flight hours.  Obtained a BS in Business Administration and studied one year in MBA program.  Taught Science and Phys Ed for one year in Elementary School in 1979.  Went to work for McDonnell Douglas at Long Beach as Airline Flight Crew Training Instructor on DC-9 and DC-10 aircraft.  Lured to John Wayne Airport in November 1984 by AIRCAL. Instructed Airline Pilots until resigning from American Airlines in April 1987 after AMR acquisition of AIRCAL. During 1977-1987, I flew Doctors, Dentists and other medical personnel in my Cessna Skylane on monthly trips over 500 miles into Mexico treating isolated poor and sick Mexicans while a member of the Orange County Flying Samaritans. We operated from dry lake beds, roads, dirt strips, and beaches.  Now, I Fish and golf around Orlando, Florida.  I play with my grandchildren and my wife of 57 years.  I sure miss the flying!  Otherwise, life is good.

Organizations include: Daedalians, Quiet Birdmen, CasBar, RRVA, Tailhook, MCAA, Crusader Assn, Skyhawk Assn, Amvets, VMA-211 Assn, VMF-235 Assn,  A-6 Intruder Assn, and NRA.