Ed Preston's son, Blair Preston request your presence at Ed Preston's Funeral in Arlington Cemetery January 22, 2018
"Boatswain..Standby to Pipe Over the Side: Ironman One Number One Departing."
A man larger than life, a true TACAMO Pioneer has departed. Big Ed Preston was a pilot's pilot, a Sailor's Sailor, and a larger than life character. He was the first CO of VQ-3, installed as the squadron was first commissioned on Monday, 1 July 1968 at NAS Agana Guam. CDR Ron Carlson, the TACAMO DET OINC of VW-1 had been ordered to be VW-1's XO and turned over the Det to Big Ed to become VQ-3. Ed was a tailhook pilot with 500 carrier landings in Grumman S-2 Tracker anti-submarine aircraft. Nearing the end of his Naval Postgraduate School studies, he happened to meet Ron and the Aviation Detailer at Mexican Village in Coronado. Hoping to avoid another boat tour, Ed so impressed the Detailer that with Ron's endorsement he was cut Sea Duty orders to become CO VQ-3. Following his command tour, he was assigned to Naval Material Command and then Naval Electronics Systems Command, essentially in jobs that made him the first Naval Officer to be the TACAMO Program Manager. He was the guy who worked with Collins Radio in Dallas Texas to field the new Q 17X series of TACAMO III Hercs with misson gear finally integral to the aircraft. Later reported as the Navy Det Officer In Charge at Collins, essentially the first Navy Liaison Officer (NLO) as the billet was later called. Considered by many a Sailor as their best Skipper, Ed was also famous for landing on a golf course during a local golf tournament on the island of Rorotongo when he ran short of fuel in the Pacific. He also made a Herc landing in Saipan in a 50 knot crosswind by setting down one set of main mounts in the slip, hitting full reverse, and slamming the bird in wings level at the last minute. Ed was famous for sharing stories and artifacts and frequently called many of us out of the blue to share. TCVA is blessed to have some of his historic treasures and memories. Look for more in an upcoming Newsletter. An honor to know this GREAT Man!