Collection Archive

BILL STEINBERG PILOT USMC (United States Marine Corps) 145.012-67

Omega Speedmaster Professional
ref. 145.012-67
cal. 321
s.n. 25mil

Bill Steinberg was an RF-4 pilot in “Playboy” VMCJ-2 from Wisconsin.

His parents gave him the watch as a graduation gift from University. The day he graduated he enrolled in flight school and upon graduation from this had the engraving ‘Pilot USMC’ added to the case back.

Bill flew F4 Phantoms in the Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron (VMCJ-2) out of North Carolina before transferring to VCMJ-1 based in Iwakuni in the Pacific. From there he logged 200+ hrs flying recce sorties over Vietnam (day and night) based out of Danang and from the carrier USS Midway. His squadron was among the first of the air group to return a year later in support of operation linebacker when the navy mined the harbor at Haiphong. The squadrons motto was 'alone, unarmed and unafraid’ as the recce F4’s had no armaments. However, the lack of arms meant that they were lighter than the fighter version and courtesy of the twin engines and afterburners could literally point vertical and power away from any marauding NV Migs if required.

Bill tells me that he wore his speedy during every one of his flights as a USMC pilot and kindly sent me the photo below. He owned the watch for 40 odd years before selling it.