David Cable oral history interview
United States Navy veteran David “Dave” Cable is interviewed about his military service during the Vietnam War. He discusses his military career during the 1960s and 1970s and describes his experiences as a naval aviator, including his time with Navy Attack Squadron 35 (VA-35) aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). Topics discussed include his personal background, his experiences with the Grumman A-6A Intruder and other aircraft, his aerial bombing missions over North Vietnam, and his post-military careers.
Table Of Contents
David “Dave” Cable served as naval aviator for the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. He was born on May 14, 1941 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Thomas and Ruth Cable. He was selected for the NROTC scholarship program out of high school and graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1964. Commissioned as an ensign, Cable attended naval flight training at Naval Air Station Whiting Field (Florida). He was later assigned to advanced jet flight training in Kingsville, Texas, earning his wings in 1965. Afterwards, he participated in survival training and Grumman A-6A Intruder combat preparation training in Rangeley, Maine.
In 1966, Cable was deployed to Southeast Asia on the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). During his tour, he served with Navy Attack Squadron 35 (VA-35), participating in bombing missions over North Vietnam. Some of his key targets included railyards, bridges, petroleum storage facilities, and power plants. After returning to the U.S., he served as a flight instructor at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (Washington) until his retirement from the military.
In 1973, after earning a master’s degree in Industrial Management from Purdue University, Cable relocated to Washington State. He worked in a variety of industries, including corporate marketing with PACCAR, Inc, food processing with CPC International, heavy-duty truck sales with Kenworth Truck Company, and for a start-up radio controls company. While working for US West and T-Mobile, he contributed to the early deployment of cellular/PCS service and Wi-Fi networks. Cable retired in 2006 and joined The Museum of Flight’s Docent Corps in 2016.
Cable married his wife Jane in 1976. They have two children, Marsha and Scott, and several grandchildren.
Biographical information derived from interview and additional information provided by interviewee.