TACAMO Fallen Brother Mike Duvall

It is with much sadness TCVA reports the passing on one of

TACAMO brothers, Mike Duvall.

Memorial for Mike Duvall

TCVA regrets to share that the TACAMO Community lost Mike Duvall in early February. He fought a short battle with cancer and passed at home with his family. A private memorial is being planned by the family.

Mike was a lifelong Californian who entered the Navy to fly and returned home after his Navy career to teach in the public school systems. Originally a P-3 pilot, Mike was on the staff of Patrol Wing Two when a P-3 was lost at Pago Pago island. He served on the investigation board and captured many lessons learned from the mishap that became part of the Wing Two safety and instrument flying course. He joined TACAMO in 1981 just as VQ-3 was completing the relocation from Guam to Barbers Point. As NATOPS and Assistant Operations in his first tour and Maintenance Officer in his second nearly back to back tour in VQ-3, Mike was a standout known for his professionalism, easy going style, and nearly constant smile. As ‘an island expert’ he shared his knowledge of local attractions, customs, and good deals with his squadron mates. His inside knowledge of how Patrol Wing Two worked was invaluable to the COs he served under. Mike was part of the initial VQ-3 Barbers set up crew and then a key player as the squadron built up to 100% airborne coverage with alerts and standbys and a detachment at Moffett Field.

Just after the squadron had won a Battle E and Meritorious Unit Commendation for all of that, Mike moved to be the TACAMO and Antarctic Readiness Officer at Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific, NAS North Island, CA. This is where his knowledge of the Maritime Patrol community and his new community, TACAMO, were put to the test. He was given responsibility to create a plan to support VQ-3 during its transition to the new E-6A Mercury, a Boeing 707 variant and to support the relocation of its alert to Travis AFB and later for both TACAMO squadrons to be relocated to Tinker AFB OK. He made many a trip to OKC between 1988 and 1990, created a staff there to do the detail planning, construction supervision, and unit relocation work. At the same time, he prepared for upgrades to the Navy support of the US Antarctic Exploration Program via VXE-6. ​​

When Mike departed San Diego, the plan was in place and running and he handed the project over to a TACAMO community leader. He reported to VXE-6 where he served 3 years as first Operations Officer, then Executive Officer, and finally as Squadron Commander. That meant three mainland winter seasons, Christmas included, operating from McMurdo Station, Antarctica. When he retired, Mike had steered VXE-6 to new levels of operational excellence and safety. As part of his contribution to TACAMO, Mike created a plan to ‘borrow a former TACAMO C-130 for use by VXE-6 from the time it was stripped of mission gear until it reached the end of service life. This bird was lighter and had more capacity than the VXE-6 Hercs and so provided an added measure of efficiency and operational flexibility to that mission. At the end of that period, Mike saw to it that the TACAMO C-130 made its way to the TACAMO Wing at Tinker AFB to be a permanent display of how the mission was flown before the E-6 Mercury. Mike has been nominated for the TACAMO Hall of Fame for his three tours of contributions to the mission and his lasting contribution to the formation of the Wing and the preservation of our Hercules legacy.

Our TACAMO Community extends our condolences to Mike's family and friends.

View the entire list of TACAMO Fallen by clicking here

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