Fresh from the pages of the Winter 2009 “Hook” magazine… Ok maybe not that fresh… comes the story of “The Fish” form the Puking Dogs of VF-143. An element of the great multi-piece articles written by Fred Tennenbaum on the history of VF-143.
The below video was produced by Dave “Dude” Aamodt in 2002 documenting “The Fish” on it’s many flights… so many flights “The Fish” qualified for an Air Medal. (We’ve ported the video over to the editor’s youtube account to ease distribution here. It can also be viewed over here [link] but that site uses 2002 technology and is a PITA.)
“Fish made several successful flights, with picture-perfect landings, when the Admiral found out about the "fishcapades", at which time, just like Maverick in his Tomcat, The Fish was grounded. Never to be one to obey little things like the skipper's orders, however, our Brave Betta continued flying. And just flying F-14 Tomcats wasn't enough for him: he went on to fly every aircraft aboard the Kennedy, from A-18's to choppers, accumulating airtime in more aircraft types than any other aviator aboard the carrier.”
The Fish's flights were well documented, with just a little of the video footage being represented in the video. After a huge number of missions over Afghanistan and many other wartime theaters, this video was presented and shown to the Admiral, who was so impressed with the video, that he pardoned Fish for his disobedience.
After The Fish's tour of duty was over, Fish was honorably discharged, and is today in retirement in California. And no doubt he is telling all the female Bettas of his exploits, impressing the hell out them.”