Skipper Mike Davidson brought the first operational MERC from Boeing and the next week was change of command, bringing Skipper Vern Lochausen in as CO. Hercs slowly started retiring and year later they were all gone and the line was full of MERCs. With over 700 Sailors and Boeing folks assigned at the highest point, it was truly an ALL HANDS ON DECK effort. The idea that a completely new aircraft model, logo, and way of operating warranted plankowner status for all those hands as contributing members of the new Ironman Squadron. The MCPON and senior commands were consulted and agreed. The Gedunk flourished and so funded the effort and CMC Carl Stillwagon (a surface warfare Master Chief) supervised the building of a huge wooden board with small brass plates bearing the names. Skipper Lochausen was given stacks of certificates to sign and they were presented via the department heads. The Skipper’s Yeoman, YN2 Donna Frenette printed off extras for Vern to sign in case anyone was missed after he departed for AIRPAC in San Diego.
Anyone who qualifies for the VQ-3 MERC Certificate and did not receive one from Skipper Lochausen in 1990, please email VernLochausen@oldtacamo.com to obtain one.