Photo of Growney, William

Lt. Cmdr. William C. “Bill” Growney, USN (Ret), passed away peacefully on Sept. 20, 2014, with his loving family by his side.
Bill was born July 11, 1933, in Berkeley, Calif., to William Henry and Bernadine Wittschen Growney. Unfortunately, his mother Bernadine was called home to our Lord at Bill’s birth.
He was raised by his father and stepmother, Virginia “Ginny” Rose Growney.
He attended school in Berkeley, Calif., graduating from Berkeley High in 1950. He went on to Contra Costa College and was in the Navy Reserve, stationed at Oakland Naval Air Station attached to VP-8 from 1951-August 1953. He then applied for the NAV-CAD program Pensacola, Fla., to pursue his dream and become a pilot.
He received his wings January 1955 in Hutchinson, Kan., and was stationed in VP-2 at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, where he remained until 1962, serving in HATUPAC and VAH-123.
Bill married his high school sweetheart, Sandra “Sandy” Irene Gerbo, on Jan. 28, 1956. They completed their family with two beautiful children, Sharon Irene and William Craig Jr.
In 1962, as Bill continued his Navy career, they moved their family to stations in Oxnard, Calif., (Point Magu) and Honolulu (Hickham AFB).
During this five-and-a-half year period, while assigned to NAPOG, he flew the A3D Sky Warrior, a plane used to track the re-entry phase of test missiles.
In 1967, Bill was a part of NARU at NAS Alameda, Calif., training reservists.
From there, he transferred with NARU and was stationed at NAS Whidbey in 1970, becoming Officer in Charge of VP-69. He and Sandy knew that this was where they would plant their roots.
Bill retired from the Navy in July 1973, completing 23 years and building a dream home in Oak Harbor. His knowledge of Whidbey Island then served him well as he pursued his second career and became a Real Estate Agent. He sold properties with Panorama Properties and Island Brokers on the island for 22 years before retiring for good.
Bill and his family enjoyed many vacations to Lake Chelan. It was a favorite summer spot where he was known to take hour-long swims as Sandy followed along on the beach. He and Sandy also enjoyed vacationing in Hawaii. It was their favorite place to celebrate wedding anniversaries. He loved playing bridge and spending time with his family.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Sandy, at the family home; his daughter, Sharon (John) Flynn, of Hillsboro, Ore.; and son, William “Will” (Tammy Olander) Growney, of Oak Harbor, Wash. Also surviving are grandchildren, Kevin (Elizabeth) Flynn, Dennis (Amber) Flynn, Ryan Flynn, Kailey (Jeff) Nye, Ashton Growney and Danica (David) Faussette. Five great-grandchildren, numerous very special nieces and nephews and sister-in-law Aliye Smith also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Antonette “Toni” Lenfestey and brother-in-law George Lenfestey; sister Mary Strong and brother-in-law Paul Strong; brother John Growney; and granddaughter Sarah Irene Flynn.
Bill was laid to rest during a private service at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash. Funeral arrangements we entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home in Oak Harbor.

Whidbey Fly-In
144825 Arrives at NAS Whidbey Island, April 29, 2011.

Flight to Whidbey


New A-3 videos
A video of the restoration of RA-3B 144843
A video of the dedication of RA-3B 144843

Item of interest

from June 25 'Stars and Stripes' and 'San Francisco Chronicle'.
The (former) Alameda Naval Air Station (where you were assigned) has been - formally - turned over by the Navy to the city of Alameda. Which plans to develop the 1300 acre NAS to 2,700 homes, offices, shops, restaurants (expected to bring in 6,000 new jobs) - and - 700 acres of parks and open land.
Alameda NAS closed down April 25, 1997, with the loss of 14,000 jobs, and the Navy has been in negotiations with Alameda ever since. The Navy originally wanted to sell the NAS property for $1.8M, but in 2011, agreed to give it to Alameda - FREE.
Alameda NAS is one of the Superfund sites, and the Navy is expected to continue ongoing 'cleanup' for years to come.
The famed USS Hornet WWII aircraft carrier (which I've been on) is now a museum ship (for now). Rumors are the Hornet could either stay in Alameda or possibly move to San Francisco. Or possibly join the USS Iowa in the Port of LA. The Iowa was recently 'un-mothballed' (part of the shrinking 'mothball fleet' here in the Bay Area) and relocated to the Port of LA as a museum ship.
Another 'hidden' factoid is Alameda NAS (one of the runways) is frequently used as a site for the cable TV show "Mythbusters" (which is also based here in the SF Bay Area



If you haven't see the fall 2012 issue of Tailhook magazine, you need to see this article. It was written and compiled by our own Gary Meyers, the A-3 Assoc. museum officer. It is a great article!

click to read
A-3 Skywarrior: From The First Flight To The Last 

Attention Whalers

Well, you missed it. Last night, Sept. 29, 2011 the A-3 Skywarrior Assn. was on the radio. But we have a copy. See below and click on the play button to listen to the complete hour long show and hear interviews from Mark, Gary, and Mike. Several of our members even called in too. Enjoy.

Permission granted by Warbird Radio 


Further details will be released when available.

For a report of daily activities and photos by the restoration crew,
go to the Cowtown rescue menu link or
click here


below is a link to a pdf presentation

of the project objectives and goals
as put together by Bill Mego, the
executive director of the Fort Worth project.

click to see

Visit the Cowtown A-3 web site coordinated
by John Herndon with donation updates.
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Dateline 7 February, 2012

TA-3B, 144867, began an historic journey today. As pictured, it was transferred to a crane barge from a pier at Naval Air Station North Island, CA. Due to high winds, loading aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) was postponed till the 8th. It is then scheduled for departure to Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, HI. on monday the 13th where is will be restored and put on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum. Our own plane captain, AFCM, Ret, Mike Glenn will be accompanying her to insure a safe arrival.

Stay tuned for updates

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 8, 2012) A barge crane lifts a Navy A3 to the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Naval Base San Diego.  The aircraft will be transported to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joe Kane/Released)

Dateline Feb. 23, 2012

As the crew man the rails while the Bonnie Dick (LHD 6) passes by the USS Arizona Memorial, 144867 arrives at Pearl Harbor on Tues. Feb. 21, 2012. It was off loaded the following day. Mike Glenn and company will begin some preliminary restoration work while they are there to help some of the Pacific Aviation Museum crews get up to speed.


Edwards Project




Linked below are some first person comments by an early Douglas employee and his experiences with the first A3-D Skywarriors. Thank you Phillip Purpura.





From Eyesore to Airport Pride
by AOC Delbert Mitchel, USN (Ret.)


For dedication photos