HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Today’s spotlight is U.S. Navy veteran Tom Beck.

Tom joined the U.S. Navy in 1956 and was attached to the USS Princeton, CVS 37. He became a pilot, flying the S-2F Hunter Aircraft used for submarine detection Although Tom served during the Korean War, the submarines they were hunting, were not Korean, they were Russian.

“A crewman would watch his radar to determine the best pattern or distance in a line to drop the sonar buoys for listening detection,” Tom said.

They would drop sonar buoys out the back of the plane, or a crewman would jettison the buoys out the back. Some of the patterns would stretch out for miles, and they always used multiple aircraft, each usually patrolling an area of four or five miles.

“The crewman would then use magnetic gear to detect targets, and then we would drop smoke lights as markers over the suspected targets, to mark them,” Tom said. “We would then bring the destroyers into the mark, and they would depth charge. We progressed to the point, as a team and using our equipment, that eventually our aircraft did not even have to drop buoys, we could just fly over and just call mark over a target. The destroyers would then record it on their radar and home in on it.”

Thank you for your service Tom.


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