Aranda, Jess, CPL

Aircraft Maintenance
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Life Member
 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Current Service Status
USMC Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Current/Last Primary MOS
6062-Aircraft Safety Equipment Mechanic
Current/Last MOSGroup
Aircraft Maintenance
Previously Held MOS
6061-Aircraft Safety Equipment Mechanic-Trainee
0100-Basic MOS
Primary Unit
1971-1971, 6062, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
Service Years
1968 - 1971



 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

US Marines Corps Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
-National Rifle Association (NRA)Post 1957Flying Leatherneck Historical FoundationMarine Corps Aviation Reconaissance Association (MCARA)
Chapter 20
  1999, American Legion, Post 97 (Member at Large) (Adrian, Michigan) [Verified]
  1999, -National Rifle Association (NRA)
  2000, American Veterans (AMVETS), Post 1957 (Member) (Adrian, Michigan) [Verified]
  2005, Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation
  2010, Marine Corps Aviation Reconaissance Association (MCARA) [Verified]
  2013, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 20 (Life Member) (Adrian, Michigan) [Verified]

 Additional Information
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  1968-1971, 6062, VMCJ-3

From Month/Year
November / 1968
To Month/Year
February / 1971
VMCJ-3 Unit Page
6062-Aircraft Safety Equipment Mechanic
El Toro
 VMCJ-3 Details


VMCJ-3 was commissioned on 12 December, 1955 at MCAS El Toro, CA. It marked the merger of VMC-3 and VMJ-3 which consolidated the Third Marine Aircraft Wing’s electronic warfare and photo reconnaissance capabilities into a single squadron. The two legacy squadrons had moved to El Toro from MCAS Miami (Opa Locka) with the 3rd MAW earlier that year. At standup, the squadron was assigned the RF9F-6P Cougars for photo reconnaissance and AD-4NL and AD-5N Skyraider ECM aircraft for the EW mission. VMCJ-3’s tail code was TN. The first CO was Lt. Colonel William Adams.

VMCJ-3 insigniaPerhaps most importantly, VMCJ-3 inherited the two prototype F3D-2 Skyknights that had been undergoing conversion to the EW or “Q” variant by VMC-3 avionics personnel to provide the Marine Corps its first tactical jet EW platform. These prototypes, BUNO 124620, and 125786, were officially reported as F3D-2Qs in February, 1956. After the successful testing of the ECM suite, which was essentially the same as the AD-5N, against simulated threat radars at Edwards AFB, White Sands Missile Range, and NAS China Lake, a recommendation was made to the Director of Aviation, HQMC to modify 36 F3D-2s based on the prototype configuration with 12 to be assigned to each of the VMCJ squadrons. According to John Cleveland, who was a young avionics technician in VMC-3/VMCJ-3 in 1954-56, the modification effort was under direction of the avionics officer, Capt. Noble, but led by WO Joe Bouher, an electronics technician and ECMO (A pioneer in Marine Corps ECM dating back to 1950 in the TBM-3Q Avengers at MCAS Cherry Point) who had also performed early modification of AD-2Qs in Korea. Although official records have not been located, it appears from accounts by Cleveland and others that at some point the aircraft were flown to Douglas Aircraft at Long Beach where the prototype design was formally documented as Airframe Change 173. Official aircraft custody cards reflect the modification program being executed by the Naval Air Rework Facility (NARF) North Island, CA. with the deliveries of the “production’ Q variants beginning with BUNO 124602 in December 1956 to VMCJ-3.

In August, 1957, Lt. Colonel Robert Reid took over as CO. With the transition to the F3D-2Q complete and newer RF9F-8Ps assigned Lt. Colonel Reid began to prepare the squadron to deploy to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in August of 1958 for a 15 month tour. This was the first operational deployment of a VMCJ squadron and the last for VMCJ-3. VMCJ-3 relieved VMJ-1, the last of the pure photo reconnaissance squadrons, and with its “new’ F3D-2Q EW aircraft began a new era in Marine Corps aviation history.

Lt. Colonel Reid was instrumental in carving out a peacetime electronic reconnaissance role for the 9 F3D-2Qs deployed to Japan. He was able to convince the Commander-in-Chief Pacific to allow the aircraft to join the Peacetime Aerial Reconnaissance Program (PARPRO) and the squadron began to fly missions along the periphery of North Korea, Russia, and China under the nickname Sharkfin. The Sharkfin missions were usually flown by 2 F3D-2Qs staging out of bases at Misawa in Northern Japan, Osan, Korea and Tainan, Taiwan. These sensitive missions were tightly controlled and required detailed reporting. The Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) collected included tape recordings of intercepted radar signals that were forwarded to the PACOM ELINT center at Fuchu, Japan along with hand drawn plots of radar locations and signal characteristic data logged by the ECMOs. The Sharkfin missions not only helped fill in information on the employment of radars by our Cold War adversaries but provided and excellent training environment for VMCJ aircrews that paid off when VMCJ-1 was deployed to Vietnam in April, 1965.

First Marine F8U-1P CrusaderVMCJ-3 was relieved by VMCJ-1 in November, 1959 and returned to MCAS El Toro where it remained until decommissioned in August 1975. From 1960 until 1965, VMCJ-3 served as the main training base for annual deployment of cadres to the Pacific to relieve VMCJ-1. The squadron transitioned to the RF-8As in 1960 and in 1965 received the first RF-4B, completing that transition in 1966, and sent the first RF-4B cadre to VMCJ-1 at Danang, RVN. In June, 1970, the last EF-10B in the Marine Corps inventory, bureau number 125618, was flown to Quantico by the MAG-33 CO Colonel O.R. Davis who had shot down the first MIG-15 with an F3D-2 in Korea. It remains there today. VMCJ-3 did receive the EA-6A aircraft later in 1970 but struggled to keep them operational ready due to demands for parts for VMCJ-1 and VMCJ-2 aircraft deployments.

VMCJ-3 became VMFP-3 in August, 1975 which began another chapter in Marine Corps aviation history.

Air Units
Parent Unit
Fixed Wing Units
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Apr 21, 2011
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84 Members Also There at Same Time

Harris, Dwight, MSgt, (1966-1993) 60 6062 Sergeant
Reed, Michael, SSgt, (1966-1972) 60 6062 Sergeant
Hager, Robert, SSgt, (1970-1979) 60 6062 Lance Corporal
Martin, Jerry, Sgt, (1967-1976) 60 6062 Lance Corporal
O'Brien, Tim, MSgt, (1970-1993) 60 6062 Lance Corporal
Waren, Larry, CPL, (1969-1971) 60 6062 Private 1st Class
Kaminski, Robert, GySgt, (1967-1977) 60 6052 Gunnery Sergeant
Evans, David, SSgt, (1964-1971) 60 6083 Staff Sergeant
Abbott, Malcolm, Sgt, (1969-1973) 60 6014 Sergeant
Deegan, Dennis G, Sgt, (1966-1970) 60 6024 Sergeant
Evans, David, SSgt, (1964-1971) 60 6083 Sergeant
Green, Richard, Sgt, (1965-1969) 60 6072 Sergeant
Aikin, Michael, SSgt, (1968-1989) 60 6014 Corporal
Ankney, Craig, GySgt, (1970-1990) 60 6053 Corporal
Peterson, Kenneth, CPL, (1967-1971) 60 6059 Corporal
Quen, Benjamin, CPL, (1966-1969) 60 6014 Corporal
Dodson, Allen, Sgt, (1970-1976) 60 6053 Lance Corporal
McKinney, Robert, LCpl, (1970-1974) 60 6024 Lance Corporal
Reynolds, Arvel, Sgt, (1966-1970) 60 6014 Lance Corporal
Trent, Mark, Sgt, (1970-1976) 60 6014 Lance Corporal
Moore, Royal, MGen, (1953-1992) 99 9905 Major
Cunningham, Tim, LtCol, (1966-1992) 75 7545 Captain
Galloway, Neil, Capt, (1965-1970) 75 7586 Captain
Gravseth, Arlo, Capt, (1965-1975) 66 6614 Captain
Mays, James, Capt, (1967-1971) 75 7584 Captain
Miller, Gerald, BGen, (1964-1994) 75 7521 Captain
Asbury, David, 1stLt, (1970-1972) 75 7584 First Lieutenant
Calman, Tony, LtCol, (1968-1990) 75 7585 First Lieutenant
Cornelius, Randall, 1stLt, (1969-1970) 75 7545 First Lieutenant
Harlan, Fred, Capt, (1967-1973) 75 7545 First Lieutenant
Westfall Jr, William, LtCol, (1968-1990) 75 7585 First Lieutenant
Bannister, Ron, SSgt, (1967-1971) 62 6271 Staff Sergeant
Childress, James, SSgt, (1967-1971) 62 6217 Staff Sergeant
Rusk, John, SSgt, (1960-1970) 59 5977 Staff Sergeant
Wood, Howard, SSgt, (1963-1973) 62 6271 Staff Sergeant
Childress, James, SSgt, (1967-1971) 62 6217 Sergeant
Cusack, James, Sgt, (1965-1968) 66 6671 Sergeant
Foster, Mike, Sgt, (1968-1972) 63 6313 Sergeant
Fredericks, David, MGySgt, (1968-1998) 30 3041 Sergeant
Fredericks, David, MGySgt, (1968-1998) 30 3041 Sergeant
Hull, George, Sgt, (1962-1971) 65 6501 Sergeant
Jacobson, Neil, Sgt, (1968-1972) 63 6351 Sergeant
Massouras, John, Sgt, (1969-1973) 62 6271 Sergeant
Miller, Bob, Sgt, (1966-1970) 62 6212 Sergeant
Newman, Drew, Sgt, (1965-1969) 62 6271 Sergeant
Petersen, Thomas, Sgt, (1964-1968) 62 6244 Sergeant
Pump, Duane, Sgt, (1966-1970) 62 6217 Sergeant
Rees, John, Sgt, (1970-1974) 66 6628 Sergeant
Rees, John, Sgt, (1970-1974) 66 6623 Sergeant
Smith, Daniel, SSgt, (1965-1970) 62 6217 Sergeant
Taylor, Roy, Sgt, (1966-1970) 62 6217 Sergeant
Warrington, Edward, Sgt, (1969-1973) 62 6217 Sergeant
Watkins, James, Sgt, (1966-1972) 63 6311 Sergeant
Winget, Tom, Sgt, (1968-1972) 1 0182 Sergeant
Ybarra, Roberto, Sgt, (1968-1972) 62 6244 Sergeant
Anderson, David, MGySgt, (1967-1993) 63 6372 Corporal
Cline, Tandy, CPL, (1968-1973) 62 6217 Corporal
Everhart, David, SSgt, (1967-1978) 62 6243 Corporal
Fisher, James, CPL, (1969-1971) 4 0431 Corporal

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