Capt Franklin "Puj" Hooks VMFA-115 - Page 2
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  1. #16

    Cool Updated tattoo

    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.












  2. #17
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    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


  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by oifvet23 View Post
    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





  4. #19
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    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


  5. #20
    yellowwing
    Guest Free Member
    Semper Fi Captain Hooks.


  6. #21

    tribute to a friend

    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'.


  7. #22
    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.


  8. #23
    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.


  9. #24

  10. #25

    Today

    Love you, Hooker. Miss you every day.

    XOXOXO,
    C


  11. #26
    Marine Free Member RichLundeen's Avatar
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    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


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