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chiplee
10-11-05, 11:04 PM
This is my first post here. I was trying to think of a way to introduce myself and I found this forum. Puj was a single seat F/A-18 pilot flying off the USS Harry S Truman. A google search will surely yield more stories about his life. He was a loving husband. His wife is doing as well as can be expected and members of the squadron are fortunate enough to hear from her from time to time. He is dearly missed. http://webpages.charter.net/chiplee/hornet%20tom%20small.jpg

Release # 0629-04-1329
Pilot involved in F/A-18A+ Hornet mishap aboard USS Harry S Truman listed as deceased
June 28, 2004

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- An F/A-18A+ Hornet pilot involved in a mishap Saturday night aboard the USS Harry S. Truman has been listed as deceased.

Captain Franklin R. Hooks II, 32, of Dade City, Fla., was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115, Marine Aircraft Group 31, which was conducting flight operations off the Truman in the eastern Atlantic Ocean approximately 60 miles south of the Azores. Search and recovery efforts for Captain Hooks were unsuccessful.

A 14-year veteran of the military, Captain Hooks was married but did not have any children. Having enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1990, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997 and had been stationed here since December 2001. He flew combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of VMFA-115 “Silver Eagles” during their deployment aboard the Truman from December 2002 to May 2003.

Captain Hooks’ awards and decorations include the Air Medal, a Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a Combat “V” for valor, an Armed Forces Service Medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Naval Aviator Wings.

A memorial service for Captain Hooks will be held tomorrow aboard the USS Harry S Truman. Plans for a local memorial service will be announced at a later time.

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the mishap continues.

Media interested in speaking with Marine Aircraft Group 31 Executive Officer, Lieutenant Col. Ross Roberts, are asked to be at the main gate visitors’ center at 1:45 p.m. to be escorted to VMFA-115’s hangar. A photo of Captain Hooks is included below. For further questions, please contact Captain Don Caetano at (843) 228-6123.


Recent article:

Oxygen loss linked to fatal MCAS jet crash
Pilot crashed in Atlantic in 2004 training exercise
Published Wed, Sep 21, 2005




By GEOFF ZIEZULEWICZ
The Beaufort Gazette
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The death of a Beaufort Marine pilot who crashed his F/A-18 Hornet into the Atlantic Ocean last year was most likely caused by oxygen deprivation, but the exact reason for the crash may never be known, according to a Marine Corps report completed after the accident.
Capt. Franklin R. Hooks, 32, was taking part in a training exercise on June 27, 2004, when he crashed south of the Azores, in the eastern Atlantic.

Hooks, a pilot with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115, The Silver Eagles, had been training off the USS Harry Truman when the crash occurred, according to the Marine report released this month. He had logged the second-most night systems hours within his division.

Although investigators suspect that a lack of oxygen caused the crash, neither Hooks' body nor the jet were recovered, which makes determining an exact cause impossible, said Mike Barton, a spokesman at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina. The Silver Eagles are part of Marine Aircraft Group 31, which is overseen by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at Cherry Point.

"In aircraft accidents, they piece them back together and can determine the smallest details," Barton said. "Whereas in this case, without the aircraft, they can't do that."

Hooks, who was designated a naval aviator in 2000 and assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in 2001, became confused during the flight, which could have been caused by a lack of oxygen, the report states.

At one point in the flight, Hooks was unable to join up with the rest of his group, and when asked about his oxygen levels, he gave an unintelligible reply, according to the report.

When asked if he was experiencing vertigo or needed a descent, Hooks answered that he did not, according to the report.

"At the time of the flight, neither Captain Hooks nor any other member of the mishap flight recognized the nature or severity of his distress in time to prevent the mishap," the report states. "(Hooks) failed to recognize the deadly consequences of his symptoms before losing the mental clarity to calculate an appropriate course of action or to clearly articulate his problem."

The report states that Hooks' flight gear and jet were properly maintained and prepared for use before the crash.

Hooks had an existing illness or cold, which may have contributed to his problems in the air, the report states.

But Hooks did not "feel strong enough about his condition to remove himself from the flight schedule, an action that he had demonstrated in past circumstances," the report states.

While no punitive action was taken as a result of the investigation, the report recommended that the squadron's commanding officer review the cockpit navigation flight systems in the jets, as well as cockpit pressurization.

More training should be given to pilots regarding oxygen deprivation and not flying if they do not feel well, the report states.

Hooks' crash marked the fourth of five Beaufort-based Hornet crashes from October 2003 to June 2004.

Just days after Hooks' crash, Canadian Air Force Capt. Derek Nichols was killed when his Hornet crashed while landing at the air station.

In October 2003, two Hornets with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 collided over the Atlantic.

In March 2004, a Hornet belonging to Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 82, The Marauders, crashed into the ocean about 43 miles southeast of Beaufort. In both crashes, all three pilots safely ejected. An all-weather fighter and attack aircraft, the average F/A-18 Hornet, costs about $35 million.

thedrifter
10-12-05, 07:09 AM
Rest in Peace

And
Welcome Sir!

Ellie

RichLundeen
10-17-05, 01:36 AM
Welcome aboard Captain.

Capt Hooks was a gracious host for our reunion in 2003. I'll post pics with my kid, Puj and I on the lex of his static display bird in the hanger at 115. He made (ha ha ha) me monitor folks sitting in the jet for a while, putting the 'ol PC back to work. I think it was actually Nate (Master Guns Monroe) that told him I should be put to work.

Folks shoud know that he was an AE in the Navy (I'm pretty sure that was his MOS) before he became an 18 driver.

He coached my kid in the flight sim; actually got her to land a Hornet all by her lonesome. It took 45 minutes of him squatting on the LEX of the sim, I bet he had sore knees.

Godspeed Puj. We'll have a beer in the 115 ready room again.

CCHOOKS
07-07-06, 03:50 PM
I google my husband very often, though most titles still hurt to read...I am very proud of him.

Two years have passed, yet...he is loved even more than before. Nothing compares to greatest man that ever lived...and for me, Frank was exactly that. A soul mate...the missing piece.

I miss him with every single cell of my body.

Forever loved, forever missed.

CC Hooks

garryh123
07-07-06, 03:54 PM
:iwo:

phillipl
07-25-06, 03:10 PM
I've known Frank since we were kids. We competed (although he always won) on grades, sports etc. We were pretty good friends. We more or less joined the Navy together and completed ET (electronics tech) school together during late 1991.

If anyone would like to talk to me about him about his early years please feel free to contact me at larry.j.phillips@navy.mil.
I'll type more here later....

Larry Phillips

RichLundeen
07-29-06, 12:23 PM
Hello Larry!

Unfortunately, I didn't get to know Puj and his wonderful wife much. But what I have experienced with them for a short weekend told me enough.

We shared common friends and coworker Marines; it transcended decades. Nate Monroe (Top to you Marine Corps types) was back at 115; the place we all wanted to be, and/or return to. He went to school together in 1985 when he lat moved from the grunts. I was class leader in Millington, and he taught me how to march our class............ even though I had graduated a Lance Corporal, 3rd squad leader from boot camp.

When I showed up at VMFA 115, he became my boss. Before I became a plane captain, he put me 'in charge' (ha ha) of plane wash and pre-oiling.

Lt Col. Logan, our CO for 2 back-to-back Hanson Award years (I believe we are still the only squadron to accomplish this), was at dinner at PI, as well as many other distinguished guests................... I met Col. (Lee) Logan at the race track, as I did, and continue to road race motorcycles. He became my CO about a year after that. That was helpfull at a few office hours.

All of these points of reference, revisited, were arrainged by Capt. Hooks and his wife.

RichLundeen
05-19-07, 08:53 PM
Cindy (and hello Larry),

I was just thinking about Frank today, looking through pictures. Just wanted to let you know. Give me a yell if you ever need anything. My kid, Ella (now 12), says she still wants to fly jets. Hell, she's already racing motorcycles and bikes with her old man, but Frank is the guy that got her fired up about jets.

I wouldn't stop her in a heartbeat, in fact, I'm grateful to Frank for that.

jinelson
05-19-07, 09:34 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v660/jinelson/156100.jpg

Welcome Aboard chiplee!

WWoodson
10-30-07, 12:59 PM
I wanted to stop and post a memory of this Marine, Capt. Hooks, because its what I remember the most of him. Sometimes you want to tell the family good things that they didn't know about a their son, husband, or father but you never get a chance to. Hopefully they will read this and know what the Capt. did for me.

It was the spring of 2002/2003 and we were already in the Med. flight ops were going at full strenght daily and we had been out to sea for sometime. From my post in maintenance control it was a constant juggle every night to get the aircraft in everynight and ready when the sun came up to put more rounds down range in support of OIF. You can imagine how busy the pilots were with constant briefings. At that time I had enrolled in a college course via mail in Electrical Engineering. I obviously wasn't thinking straight as I quickly found out that it was easy to stare without a clue for quite some time, at formulas you don't understand. After asking around I found out that Capt. Hooks had graduated with a major in Engineering. So after speaking with him he decided to try and help me out, when we both had some free time we got together and he explained formulas so that I understood them.

When we arrived back home to our heros welcome, and all the fan fare faded away I got out of the Corps and headed to Texas. While there I went to school and graduated in Engineering. It was there I had heard about what happened to this "very cool pilot". I was ready to give up when I saw my first engineering book just a 3 years prior, when out in the middle of the Medditeranean Capt. Hooks helped me figure out that I could be an engineer.

Its funny sometimes how things come full circle. I thought about Capt. Hooks today for some reason and came across an article that said he had went to school at the Naval Academy. And now here I sit, at work, at the Naval Academy and I'm here thanks to the help of one of its finest Alumni.

May God Bless the family of this Marine
Semper Fi :usmc:

chiplee
10-30-07, 06:31 PM
I'll try to see to it that Cindy sees your post. She's registered here as you can tell. I spoke his name today at work for the first time in a few weeks and coincidentally, when I got home I had this topic reply notification email. I guess I never mentioned that we were pilots in the squadron together. It's not surprising how often I think of him, and I'm thrilled to see this thread alive. His relationship with his wife impressed me to the point of envy and its abrupt end, with no goodbye, is perhaps the most painful thing I'm ever compelled to consider. Yet I consider it often. Not that its meant to be, or could ever be any consolation but his loss made me a better pilot. Just like car accidents, aviation mishaps are always something you think won't happen to you, until you lose a friend in one. There had already been a two plane loss in 115 while I was there and I still felt pretty much bullet proof. Now I fly every flight more keenly aware of what's at stake and what really matters. My heart is broken in an utterly unique way for Cindy, and it seems that will never go away. What business do I have being choked up at the thought of it after so long? I miss him, but he is at peace. Missing him for her really gets to me.

RichLundeen
10-30-07, 08:42 PM
I just wanted to say 'thanks' to the two gentlemen who posted the last few, very insightful pieces.

Capt. Lee (I assume that is correct), people that have touched your life, or influenced you in some way, live on forever. That's the mark of somebody who has made a true difference.

Inkpoison28
11-26-07, 12:39 AM
It's awesome for me to see some of the people my brother knew on this forum, reminiscing of some of the good times. My brother and I were very close and it means alot to me to post this here. I think of all of the fun we had playing backyard football, sniping dragon flies with pellet guns. As the years are going by, I miss him more and more each day, but I can still hear his laugh and that's what I miss most. He was always smiling and willing to offer a helping hand and an encouraging word, constantly urging me to do well for myself. He was my idol, and I looked up to him like no one else. I miss my brother very much, and it feels good to see some of you guys talking about him and how he helped out in some way because that's how he was. Semper Fi Bro...I miss you

RichLundeen
06-16-08, 02:42 AM
Hello from sandy Taji all. Hello especially to Puj's family and friends.

Fathers Day made me think of how cool Frank and Cindy were to my family. I received a Dads Day 'card' from the kid, created in Photshop. Go figure, she's barely thirteen, and more advanced with computer applications than I will ever be.

Out of the five pics on this beauty, one is of her and I standing on the static display bird at the 2003 115 reunion. Nobody forgets a thing.

inkpoison
10-28-08, 08:01 AM
For quite sometime, I've been looking for a tattoo artist to do a memorial tattoo for my brother. I finally found one, and he's an incredible artist. I don't have much time to talk about it this morning, but I'll keep this post updated as the tattoo comes together.


http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w4/inkpoison28/copyforcindy-1.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w4/inkpoison28/MemorialTattoo009-1.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w4/inkpoison28/MemorialTattoo014-1.jpg

inkpoison
11-20-08, 08:25 AM
Here's an update on this memorial tattoo. We're trying to get this done before Christmas, and it looks like it will at this point. I've been sitting 3-4 hours a week, and we are about 17 hours in so far, about 20 to go.


Excuse the blur on the first pic, I haven't uploaded the clear copies yet.


http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w4/inkpoison28/MemorialTattoo034.jpg



http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w4/inkpoison28/memorialtattoo038.jpg



http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w4/inkpoison28/memorialtattoo11111.jpg

oifvet23
12-10-08, 12:42 AM
The first time I had any interaction with Capt. Hooks our squadron just started its first work ups with the carrier Truman. My shop received a call from maintenance control telling my SSgt to get someone down to the hanger deck. Aircraft 212 just had a hard landing and would be waiting on jacks to have its landing gear stripped for testing. The test needed to be performed to make sure there were to microscopic cracks that could fail in future landings. Its a long tedious process which had to be done by hand, no power tools, because power tools could damage the high strength steel the landing gear are made of. Naturally the lowest of the low rank would be sent down to get it done, me. For a squadron new to the sea, hard landings happened often. I grabbed what I needed and cursed all the way to the hanger. This time there was someone I didn't quite recognize as a maintainer in blue coveralls already at work under the aircraft. It was Capt. Hooks, I asked "Is there something I can do for you Sir" and he said "What can I do to help." "I don't need any help Sir" and then "Listen, why should you guys be the only ones down here fixing MY **** up, what do you need me to do." I was blown overboard, I could not believe what I just heard, no pilot did that, none, never. He helped me, and the other shops run all the tests. He was there the entire time, It had to be close to six hours and that was after a full flight schedule. For him it was a very long day. I still cant believe it today, a pilot getting dirty and not only getting dirty but taking off the Captain's bars and being one of the boys even if it was for a short time, it personally meant a lot to me. He didn't have to do that but thats why the enlisted loved him, because he did do things like that. He wanted us to know he wasn't above us he just had a different job description. He was very humble in the sense that he never had to demand respect from the enlisted personnel. He was someone you could look up to.

The last time a saw/spoke to Capt Hooks was the day he left beaufort for the last time to fly out to the carrier. I was on rear Detachment and was hanging out in the pilot changing room while he suited up. We were talking and he mentioned he hoped his wife was going to make it before he had to take off but it didn't look like she would. When he was done I helped him carry his bags to maintenance control so he could go over the log books. I went outside to take a minute to smoke a cig before I had to be on the flight line to launch the aircraft. I was looking over to our headquarters building and could see a women on the phone looking a little upset. I asked her if she was ok and she said no, that she was looking for her husband and was afraid she missed him. I asked "Who is your husband" and she responded "Captain Franklin Hooks", without a thought I flicked my cig and said " right this way ma'am, he's been expecting you" and showed her they way. I left them alone and got ready to launch his aircraft. I grabbed his bags, me and Capt Hooks walked out to his aircraft. He thanked me for bringing his wife to him before he took off and shook my hand as he ascended the aircraft ladder. I armed him up and gave him a crisp salute and mouthed "have a good flight". I watched him take to the sky that afternoon and never saw him again. Memories like these will live with me forever. They say God takes the good ones first, Capt Hooks Was one of the good ones. He is loved by his family, his friends and his brothers in the Corps.

God Bless his Soul

Lcpl Barto

inkpoison
12-10-08, 04:38 PM
The first time I had any interaction with Capt. Hooks our squadron just started its first work ups with the carrier Truman. My shop received a call from maintenance control telling my SSgt to get someone down to the hanger deck. Aircraft 212 just had a hard landing and would be waiting on jacks to have its landing gear stripped for testing. The test needed to be performed to make sure there were to microscopic cracks that could fail in future landings. Its a long tedious process which had to be done by hand, no power tools, because power tools could damage the high strength steel the landing gear are made of. Naturally the lowest of the low rank would be sent down to get it done, me. For a squadron new to the sea, hard landings happened often. I grabbed what I needed and cursed all the way to the hanger. This time there was someone I didn't quite recognize as a maintainer in blue coveralls already at work under the aircraft. It was Capt. Hooks, I asked "Is there something I can do for you Sir" and he said "What can I do to help." "I don't need any help Sir" and then "Listen, why should you guys be the only ones down here fixing MY **** up, what do you need me to do." I was blown overboard, I could not believe what I just heard, no pilot did that, none, never. He helped me, and the other shops run all the tests. He was there the entire time, It had to be close to six hours and that was after a full flight schedule. For him it was a very long day. I still cant believe it today, a pilot getting dirty and not only getting dirty but taking off the Captain's bars and being one of the boys even if it was for a short time, it personally meant a lot to me. He didn't have to do that but thats why the enlisted loved him, because he did do things like that. He wanted us to know he wasn't above us he just had a different job description. He was very humble in the sense that he never had to demand respect from the enlisted personnel. He was someone you could look up to.

The last time a saw/spoke to Capt Hooks was the day he left beaufort for the last time to fly out to the carrier. I was on rear Detachment and was hanging out in the pilot changing room while he suited up. We were talking and he mentioned he hoped his wife was going to make it before he had to take off but it didn't look like she would. When he was done I helped him carry his bags to maintenance control so he could go over the log books. I went outside to take a minute to smoke a cig before I had to be on the flight line to launch the aircraft. I was looking over to our headquarters building and could see a women on the phone looking a little upset. I asked her if she was ok and she said no, that she was looking for her husband and was afraid she missed him. I asked "Who is your husband" and she responded "Captain Franklin Hooks", without a thought I flicked my cig and said " right this way ma'am, he's been expecting you" and showed her they way. I left them alone and got ready to launch his aircraft. I grabbed his bags, me and Capt Hooks walked out to his aircraft. He thanked me for bringing his wife to him before he took off and shook my hand as he ascended the aircraft ladder. I armed him up and gave him a crisp salute and mouthed "have a good flight". I watched him take to the sky that afternoon and never saw him again. Memories like these will live with me forever. They say God takes the good ones first, Capt Hooks Was one of the good ones. He is loved by his family, his friends and his brothers in the Corps.

God Bless his Soul

Lcpl Barto

I really don't think you could understand what these stories of my brother mean to me. They fill me with a rejuvenated feeling, and make me feel so damn proud of him. I was ALWAYS proud of him, he was my idol, but this is different. Thank you so much for sharing that, it does mean the world to me. I can't seem to shake the feeling that it's been almost 5 years, and still feels like yesterday we lost him. Thank you again.


Updated tattoo pic - I'm still about 25-30 hours from having this tattoo completed, and very anxious to have it done. After this last sitting I got an infection, and have to take a break from my sitting until next week after I'm off of the antibiotics. Sucks pretty bad, but I want this tattoo to look pristine forever, so I'll be patient. Thanks again gentlemen (and ladies) Happy Holidays, and Semper Fi


http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w4/inkpoison28/memorialtattoo049.jpg

oifvet23
12-10-08, 10:23 PM
Im glad you enjoyed the stories, I only wish I had more, but being an enlisted we didn't get to hangout as much as I would have liked to. I always loved going out on the town when we were on deployment. We would try to find out what bars the officers were going to because if your brother was with them I knew we enlisted were not going to be paying for a drink. I remember one time, me and a bunch of guys went to a bar in norfolk VA and your brother saw us from the street, came in and dropped money on the table said "have a drink on me" and walked out. We drank all night on that money and I think there was some left over. I never saw him raise his voice in anger, not once. Even to reprimand someone he never raised his voice and you felt glad he was the one to do it. He made you feel sorry for him that he had to reprimand you..lol, if that makes any sense. The memorial you are doing is great, although I don't have a tattoo, me and a couple of others wear KIA bracelets with his name on them going on five years I'd say and when it wears out, I will buy another. He was a great lose, In my 4 years with VMFA-115 we had 4 aircraft accidents and lost 2 pilots. It makes you think of the great dangers these pilots put themselves in, I would like to think that I could do it, sure for a one time flight, maybe, but to get in that seat day in and day out it takes a special type of person. Its hard to even imagine the fears that one must overcome and after all of that tell you to do it at night on a aircraft carrier at sea. Amazing... I asked Capt Hooks what it was really like to land at night on the carrier and he said "your whole life flashes before your eyes and right before you die, somebody shocks your heart, and its like that every time." no thanks, that was enough for me. I will watch this memorial and add anything I can remember.

Lcpl Barto

yellowwing
01-21-09, 10:51 PM
Semper Fi Captain Hooks. :usmc:

Dave Dequeljoe
02-13-09, 07:54 PM
Mrs. Hooks this message is for you. I flew with your husband on the Truman. I was in VF-32, his 'sister' squadron - our two squadrons were paired up for training and combat flights. The Marines were the coolest guys to fly with and we had a great time with them on and off the ship. I was always impressed with the way they conducted themselves: true professionals during the missions and complete comedians while ashore. We would laugh and laugh with them, knowing that in the air this aggressive and determined bunch would always have our backs. It was refreshing to be in their company; with clear and intelligent purpose they were ready to fight for our country. And equally ready to have a good time. In the squadron, "Great Americans" was the consensus description for our Marine pilot buddies.
I got to know Puj a little better than the rest as he and I were LSO's (landing signal officers) together. He always made everything fun and always had something positive to say, no matter what the conditions were. He was a great person to be around.
The night his jet went down I was in the ready room just finishing debriefing a flight. We saw the code for his jet still airborne and the recovery was complete, and we were trying to figure out why. Word filtered back that his jet was missing and immediately everyone wanted to launch to help out. Our CO told us the S-3's and the helos were conducting the search effort. I was stunned. As I sit here right now crying I remember it like it was yesterday. We stared at the screen in the ready room hoping to see the code for Puj's flight status change to anything other than 'airborne/not checked in'. We all loved Puj and we extend our love to you. You can always be proud of the Officer and man he was. He truly was a 'Great American'.

wristbandsnow
05-27-09, 09:46 AM
First time see FA 18 single seat fighter plane photo. This is so hot. You are giving these information is very useful more knowledge. You have more information for fa18 plane. Please share with us. I am interesting in fa18. Thanks for this matter.

Jpiziak
05-30-11, 12:34 PM
We miss Frankie very much in our family. I am his cousin. I was born the same year as him and we grew up together. Doesnt seem like he has been gone almost 7 years.
Thank you Chris for letting me know about this website. I love to read about the stories of his life sometimes we didn't get to hear.
Thank you Frankie and the rest of the military for defending our freedom.
All gave some, some gave all. Rest in peace. Love you.

CCHOOKS
11-29-11, 07:53 PM
missing you.

CCHOOKS
02-22-12, 01:22 PM
Love you, Hooker. Miss you every day.

XOXOXO,
C

RichLundeen
03-12-14, 10:18 PM
I just wanted folks to know that I still think of Captain Hooks and Cindy nearly everyday. I'm sure with all the lives they both touched, I'm far from alone.

Semper Fi

Rich