Floyd Edward Andrus, III
Floyd Edward Andrus, III, was born: 18 September 1947, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Died: 16 March 1970, Da Nang, South Vietnam
He was single and 22 years old. He had been in the service 4 years.
Home of record: Greenfield Center, New York
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**This tribute was written by Floyd's parents and sent to Mom in 1970 or 1971.
Floyd Edward Andrus, III
Floyd was born the second of four sons to Floyd, Jr. and Armenia Andrus, then living on a 5 acre farm outside of Corinth, N. Y. Called "Bud" or "Buddy" when younger, he was "Angus" in service. Most of his teachers had already taught one generation of Andrus' in the Corinth School System.
He joined Cub Scouts in 1955, earned all ranks in Cubbing, graduated to Boy Scouts, earned the Eagle Award in August of 1965, which was presented to him at a special Christmas Party while he was on leave from NATTC, Memphis, Tenn. Floyd was also a member of the Order of the Arrow, B.S.A.
Floyd was a Charter member of the Junior Division, Adirondack Rifle Club, Corinth, and earned Marksmanship and Expert Rifle awards. He participated in the Photography Club and Track, earning his letter in Half mile event.
Floyd graduated in 1965 in the middle third of his class of 81 students from the Corinth Central School, living six miles from school within Greenfield Center.
He enlisted he the Navy before graduation, on so-called "Kiddie-Kruise". He went to Great Lakes Training Center in August. Upon graduation, he was transferred to NATTC, Memphis, Tenn. for Anti-Submarine Technician training, AX rate.
Floyd was assigned to Attack Squadron-72 (VA-72) stationed at Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida. VA-72 was a light attack bomber squadron flying A-4 Skyhawk aircraft. Floyd began a course of study to change rate. Meanwhile, he was trained as Plane Captain and Flight Deck Operations.
FIRST CRUISE ----- to Vietnam via South America and the Indian Ocean. They crossed the Equator four times on the way to and from Vietnam on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42). At the time of the fire aboard USS Oriskany, Floyd was about 1/2 mile from brother Robert who was on USS Ranger on the opposite side of the Oriskany, both taking aboard injured. Actually, this was the closest they ever came during two cruises in West-Pac for Floyd and three for Robert.
USS Roosevelt was also involved in a fire aboard while on this cruise but fortunately Floyd was not injured.
At Cecil Field again, Floyd continued to work on the change of rate, making AE-3 and began taking flying lesson. He loved to fly. He now owned a 250-cc motorcycle and I guess he tried all kinds of roads and trails because it spent almost as much time in repair shops as on the road.
SECOND CRUISE ----- to the Mediterranean Sea, again aboard USS Roosevelt and with VA-72. The Fleet was shadowed at times by Russian ships using harassing tactics. He wrote, showing great annoyance at their boldness. He remained as Plane Captain and began to work for AE-2 rate. Floyd enjoyed the Mediterranean area and the people he met while there. During a stop-over in Naples, Italy, he got permission to visit the grave site of his uncle Theodore Berg, (Armenia's brother) in the Anzio-Nettuno Cemetery, killed during the invasion of Sicily.
Floyd returned to Cecil Field for reassignment. He re-enlisted on 18 September 1968 for six years with the specific assignment to FAIRECONRON ONE (VQ-1) Atsugi, Japan as his objective. While awaiting orders to VQ-1, VA-72 went aboard USS Shangri-La (CVS-38) for Carrier Quals in the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea.
Floyd went to VQ-1 on 1 January 1969 via plane to Atsugi. We knew of many places he had been during 1969 and into 1970. At the time of the shooting down of the sister ship, an EC-121, off N. Korea, brother Robert was aboard USS Enterprise off N. Vietnam --- ordered to Sea of Japan and to Atsugi on Beach Detail for RVAH-6 -- stayed for three weeks, but Floyd was stuck in Da Nang, the whole time.
Floyd made AE-2 early in his last deployment and just prior to the accident was making application to enter the NESEP college program with a good chance of being accepted. Floyd was looking forward to the end of his deployment in December, buying a new Valiant Duster automobile and to a good stateside tour of duty afterward.
Floyd enjoyed flying, his work, the assignment he had asked for (VQ-1), the friends he met, country western music, rebuilding old beat-up cars. He was open-handed and open-hearted to his friends, family and those in need, but was very intolerant with the so-called hippies and militants of all kinds, especially draft-dodgers. He loved his country and everything it stands for.
Floyd has left us it is true but he gave us 22 years of love, boyhood enthusiasm, and adult behavior, for which we must be grateful, even though we are grief stricken at his passing.
** My mother corresponded with family members of others who were lost in the crash. She then compiled a scrapebook from letters and information sent to her. This tribute was written by Floyd's parents and sent to Mom in 1970 or 1971.
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