VPNAVY VP-5 Mercury Capsule Recovery
http://www.vpnavy.org
VPNAVY Address

HistoryCASU HistoryHistory

Circa 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Regarding aircraft attached to FASRON-3 - I was transferredred there from Aviation Electrician's School (NATTC NAS Memphis, Tennessee) in July of 1949 as an Aviation Electrician Airman and was transferredred out to USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in March of 1953 as an AE2 (to be advanced to AE1). The aircraft I remember were: SNJ, SNB, TBM, TBG, TBF, F4U, F6F, F8F, SBD (the US gave a squadron to the French Navy), AD, and the most memorable one to me was the XBTD-2 (the prototype for the AD. It had the most screwed up electrical system as it was used as a test bed). For jets I remember the FH1, FH2 and the A3D. FASRON-3 was originally CASU-21..." Contributed by AEC Allen McCroskey, Retired amccroskey@woh.rr.com [21FEB2002]


Circa 1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News January 1947 "...Rocket Switch Corrosion Licked - Page 31 - Naval Aviation News - January 1947..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1947/jan47.pdf [16JUL2004]

History

Circa 1946

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "11JUL46...To establish clear-cut relationships for aircraft maintenance, the Chief of Naval Operations directed the disestablishment of all CASU's and other maintenance units and their replacement by Fleet Aircraft Service Squadrons by 1 January. The new FASRON's were to be of three kinds according to aircraft types serviced, and were designed to promote higher standards and greater uniformity and efficiency in aircraft maintenance..." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/avchr6.htm [19MAR99]


Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Photographs from my dad's collection while he was with CASU 42 (F) on Samar of VPB-71 PBY-5A BUNO: 46516 (LT(jg) Mackay) on April 28, 1945 moving the staff and patients of a filipino guerilla hospital from Oras, Samar Island to Tanauan, Jinamoc Seaplane Base, San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, Philippines. Several years ago, I corresponded with a VPB-71 veteran W.F. "Tommy" Thompson who authenticated the photos. Also attached are some images of VPB-71 PBY-5A BUNO: 46517-E-68 "Black Eagle"..." Contributed by Mark Balasi balasi@comcast.net [04JAN2015]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Attached is a picture of my Dad (BALASI, PH2 Alfred) with CASU 42 (F) Photo Shop on Samar Island Philippines in May 1945 (he's standing to left w/ pipe). He flew with VP-71 and VP-104 as attested to by his Air Medal Citation (attached). He then moved to Clark where he was part of the Photo Shop for CASU 57 (F) - photo also attached (he's front right). The Privateer pictures are from his time with CASU 57 at Clark from June 1945 till September and then he went to China and Japan assigned to seaplane tenders on Occupation Duty, before returning to the US for discharge in March 1946..." Contributed by Mark Balasi balasi@comcast.net [02JAN2015]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...PBY BUNO: 63993 USN History Card..." WebSite: Yahoo PBY Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PBY/ [11FEB2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...10 JAN 1945 - Comdr. John Donovan, USNR, assumed command of CASU-24..." WebSite: Naval Air Station Wildwood http://www.usnasw.org/Chron.htm [07NOV2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...Island Repair Work - Naval Aviation News - July 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/15jul45.pdf [10NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...Naval Aviation Advanced Bases - Naval Aviation News - June 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/1jun45.pdf [10NOV2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...CASU - Naval Aviation News - April 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/1apr45.pdf [10NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...CASU Borseights On Water Range - Naval Aviation News - January 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/1jan45.pdf [10NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraSquadron History "...Information from Odis Homer Strickland (FAW-6, CASU-7, NAS Hutchinson, Kansas, NAS Jacksonville, Florida, VP-45 and VPB-136)..." WebSite: EBay http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/goodjunquebin [27NOV2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 11 Jan 1944..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [29SEP2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

CASU

PATSU

VD-1, VD-2, VD-3 and VD-4

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-7, VJ-8, VJ-9, VJ-10, VJ-11, VJ-12, VJ-13, VJ-14, VJ-15, and VJ-16

VP-6 Coast Guard

VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15, VP-16, VP-17, VP-18 and VP-19

VP-20, VP-23 and VP-24

VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

VP-52 and VP-54

VP-61 and VP-62

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-110, VP-111, VP-112, VP-113, VP-115, VP-116 and VP-117

VP-126, VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

VP-140, VP-141, VP-142, VP-143, VP-144, VP-145, VP-146, VP-147, VP-148 and VP-149

VP-150 and VP-151

VP-201, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216


History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...21 APR 1944 - Radar training transferredred to NAS Cape May, New Jersey as CASU-24 detachment..." WebSite: Naval Air Station Wildwood http://www.usnasw.org/Chron.htm [07NOV2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...CASU Simplifies Trouble Shooting - Naval Aviation News - September 1944..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1944/15sep44.pdf [07NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...CASU - Naval Aviation News - July 1944..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1944/1sep44.pdf [07NOV2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...VB-104 Gets Unit Citation - CASU Has Safety Equipment - Naval Aviation News - July 1944..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1944/15aug44.pdf [07NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...CASU Solves Difficult Problem - Naval Aviation News - May 1944..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1944/15may44.pdf [06NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...United States Pacific Fleet Air Force Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Eight..." Contributed by Jeff H. Olsen j.olsen@ssamarine.com [09MAY2000]

United States Pacific Fleet
Air Force
Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred eight
Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif
31 august 1945

Subject: Summary Operations, Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Eight

1. Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred eight was reformed at the U. S. Naval Air Station, Alameda, Calif., on 0 September, 1944, under the Command of Liut. Comdr. John E. Muldrow, USN. On 9 May 1945 Lieut. Comdr. Muldrow was shot down while leading a strike on Marcus Island and was officially reported Missing in Action. On 9 May 1945 Lieut. Comdr. Robert C. Lefever, USN, assumed the Command of the squadron.

2. Deployment of the squadron to date has been as follows:

20SEP44-16OCT44
Alameda, Calif
Reforming
Fleet Air Wing EIGHT

17OCT44-18JAN45
Cros Landing, Calif
Training
Fleet Air Wing EIGHT

19JAN45-12MAR45
Kaneohe, T. H.
Training
Fleet Air Wing TWO

16MAR45-04APR45
Peleliu
Offensive Search
Fleet Air Wing ONE
Antisub patrols

04APR45-15APR45
Tinian
Offensive Search
Fleet Air Wing ONE

15APR45-03MAY45
Tinian & Iwo Jima
Offensive Search
Fleet Air Wing ONE
Antisub patrols

04MAY45-09MAY45
Tinian & Iwo Jima
Offensive Search
Fleet Air Wing EIGHTEEN
Antisub patrols

09MAY45-03JUN45
Tinian
Offensive Search
Fleet Air Wing EIGHTEEN

03JUN45-31AUG45
Iwo Jima
Offensive Search
Fleet Air Wing EIGHTEEN
Air-Sea Rescue
Antisub patrols
Fleet Barrier Patrols



3. At its maximum complement the squadron was composed of (18) eighteen Flight Crews, six (6) Ground Officers, one (1) Ground Chief, two (2) Yeoman, and three (3) aviation radio technicians. The squadron did not receive its full authorized complement of (18) eighteen flight crews and (15) fifteen PB4Y-2 aircraft until December 1944, two and a half months after it was reformed. A second ACI Officer and a RCM officer reported for duty on 24 of February 1945 and 12 March 1945 respectively. The Radar Officer was detached from this Command on the 26 MAY 1945. A squadron of this size, while operation in the forward area, requires the services of three (3) instead of two (2) Yeoman to handle the immense amount of paperwork, including Action Reports, Recommendations for Awards, Personnel Reports.

4. Following is a summary of Combat Operations from 15 March 1945 to 31 August 1945:

FLIGHT

Combat Missions
731
Hours in Combat MissionsTest and Miscellaneous FlightHours on Test and Miscellaneous FlightsTotal Number of FlightsTotal Hours Flown
LAND TARGETS
DESTROYED

1 Government Building
1 Warehouse
1 Radio and Weather Station
Barracks
Harbor Facilities
Boat Repair Basin

DAMAGED
1 Airstrip
8 Radio Stations
5 Lighthouses
8 Revetments and Installations
5 Harbor Facilities
4 Warehouses

C. Enemy Aircraft

ENEMY AIRCRAFT IN THE AIR
DESTROYED
2 Zekes
1 Oscar

PROBABLES
1 Oscar

DAMAGED
2 Oscars
1 Zeke

ENEMY SHIPPING
SUNK OR DESTOYED

6 ??? Sugars
25 Sugar Dogs
2 Motor Torpedo Boats
1 Whale Killer
2 Sub Chasers
6 Trawlers
1 Sea Truck
1 Auxiliary Schooner
1 Powered Lighter
1 Junk
1 Sea Going Tug
2 Landing Craft
68 Victor Ables, Luggers and Sampans

118 Total SUNK

DAMAGED
3 ??? Dogs
2 Picket Boats
1 Sugar Baker Sugar
1 Sugar Able Sugar
3 Motor Torpedo Boats
1 Gunboat
1 Sub Chaser
15 Sugar Dogs
1 Sea Going Tug
1 Powered Lighter
4 Trrawlers
7 Junks
10 Barges
108 Victor Ables, Luggers and Sampans

159 Total DAMAGED


The majority of the attacks on enemy shipping were made just off the coast of Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, and the Izu Islands (northern Nahfo Shoto) within range of shore batteries and in close proximity to enemy airfields.

Soon after Iwo Jima was occupied, the blockade of enemy waters south of the empire was so effective that large cargo ships were no longer risked in these waters, and for the most part traffic was confined to small cargo vessels, which kept close to the shore and often traveled only at night. For this reason, although this squadron flew offensive searches regularly to the Japanese mainland and investigated coves, and harbors closely, in spite of frequent AA fire and occasional fighter interception, the hunting was usually poor.

PERSONNEL CASUALTIES
Missing---8
Seriously Wounded---2
Slight Wounded---13

F. Aircraft Losses

AIRCRAFT LOSSES

ENEMY ACTIONS

1 Enemy Action
Shot down over Marcus Island

1 Forced Ditching
After being hit by AA fire from A A.P.D.

1 Forced Ditching
At end of long search as flown through enemy (exploding) ship; damaged beyond repair.

PATROL LOSSES

1 Forced Ditching
At end of long search as result of Navigation and Communication difficulties.

OPERATIONAL LOSSES

1 Hit by towed sleeve during air to air firing exercise
(Kaneohe, T.H.)

1 Delayed emergency landing
Engine trouble, damaged beyond repair.

MISCELLANEOUS

1. This squadron was the first to install two fixed forward firing 20 mm. guns in any PB4Y-2 aircraft and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the increased fire power in combat. During the period of advanced training at Kaneohe, work was begun on an experimental installation in one of the squadrons aircraft. The work was completed in March at Peleiu, and when the squadron was transferredred to Tinian, installations were made in other planes. The first combat test occurred off the coast of the Japanese mainland on April 26, 1945, when a steel hulled picket boat was attacked and sunk by 20 mm. fire. Since that date 20 mm. guns have been used extensively in combat by pilots of this command, and have been the major factor in the destruction of enemy shipping. It is believed that the additional fire power has materially increased the effectiveness of the PB4Y-2 for combat patrols.

The entire original assemblies were conceived, designed, assembled, and constructed by personnel of this squadron. Later installations were made with the assistance of CASU (F) 44 (TINIAN) and CASU (F) 52 (Iwo Jima).

2. It is believed that this unit was the first Navy Patrol Squadron to test the effectiveness of Napalm Bomb against small enemy cargo ships and important land targets. Both the AN/M13 500lb. and AN/M47A2 100 lb. Napalm Bombs have been used successfully in low level attacks.

3. In June, July, and August pilots of this squadron flew many Air Sea Rescue missions in Japanese Empire waters, and co-operated with lifeguard subs and surface craft in providing facilities for the assistance and rescue, when necessary, of Army B-29 and fighter pilots during long-range strikes on target on the mainland of Japan.

4. during July and August seventy (70) Barrier Patrols, averaging about 11.5 hours each, were flown by the squadron in close support of the operations of the Third Fleet in Japanese Empire waters.

COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. The experience of this command had indicated that the Navy's Long Range Search and Reconnaissance Squadrons could operate more efficiently in the combat area with (15) crews and (15) planes, instead of eighteen (18) crews and fifteen (15) planes which has been standard complement.

2. Although the rotation plan has been working satisfactory, relief by squadron rather than by individual crews is believed to be preferable for the reason that it tends to produce a more closely knit and effective organization.

3. In preparation for combat flying, more heavy-load take-offs at all hours and in all kinds of weather than were called for in the flight training syllable are desirable. While this squadron was operation the forward area, take-offs with gross weight of 68,000 lbs. or more were made regularly under adverse flying conditions.

4. The present relief system for CASU's is not considered satisfactory. Maintenance efficiency and morale of CASU personnel definitely decreased after twelve months of service in the forward area, where equipment, facilities, and living conditions are generally inadequate.

5. The maintenance work of CASU (F) 52 at Iwo Jima is especially commended. Operation under the adverse conditions of a newly occupied forward base, the CASU kept this squadron's planes, as well as the PB4Y's of other squadrons, at a high level of operational and combat efficiency.

6. Command of this squadron was transferredred 31 August 1945 from Lieut. Comdr. Robert C. Lefever, USN, to Liut. Comdr, Alexander D. Walter, Jr. USNR.

Circa 1943-1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraCASU-31 History "...My father, Charles Laymon Whitchurch, passed away October 26th, 2001. Dad served at NRS Chicago, Ill (1942), NAS Glenview, Illinois (08/1942-08/1943), CASU-31 (08/1943-01/1944), MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (01/1944-08/1944) and NAS Whidbey Island, Washington (08/1944-09/1945). This photograph (CASU-31 Squadron) was in my Dad's personal collection..." Contributed by Diana Fessler diana@fessler.com [23MAR2017]


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Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Memories (NAS Inyokern, California and CASU-45F)..." Contributed by MOSER, Lawrence E. nein9moe@yahoo.com [02JUN2007]

I can add a little to the saga of "Life in the Desert".

The incidents as I relate them are not in any order as there happenings, just ramblings.

There was the night that the driver of a load of fuel tried to make a shortcut across the sand area to the fuel dump, not wanting to take the long way on the road. Needless to say that the heavy truck was not made for "off road" driving and he got stuck. The Boatswain called out all of use who could drive our bigger trucks to come and help pull him out. Using the "6x" hooked together using the winches , about 6 of us were able to get him back on the roadway.

And then another night that one of the men "jumped ship' by stealing our 750 gallon oil truck and cutting across the desert and the next day having to go pull it back to the motor pool.

We had a man who's wife was living in Inyokerrn that used to bring sandwiches to the fence for him sell.

The information about the crash of the plane that killed the pilot for whom the base was named is not as I remember it.

As I recall it was an SB2C that was carrying 2 Tiny Tim (11 3/4") rockets. One attached to the bomb shackles under the wings, This was before we started using the "rail" system. when he fired the rockets they failed to release from the bomb racks and he did a power dive at a low altitude into the ground. They called out some of the personnel to go out to the target to search for remains. I was not among the group but was told that it was a rather gruesome sight.

One of the more interesting things that occurred was the testing of the firing of the Tiny Tim rocket from the torpedo bay of an TBF. I had worked on the release mechanism to drop the rocket below the "prop arc' before it was fired. I had welded the framework of tubing and also the clip on the end of the cable that was attached to a reel that when the rocket was clear it triggered the switch that fired the rocket. We had the TBF setting on a built-up stand similar to an old fashion grease rack. This was tested out in a dry lake bed. When the rocket fire, it was almost like in slow motion and when it landed it tumbled end over end.

On one of our test sites we had some large concrete blocks about 10 feet hight and 10 feet wide with about 5 feet into the ground. There were about 6 of these about 4 feet apart in 2 rows about 10 feet apart. These wee use to test the the fuses of the High Explosive heads. Beyond the rows of concrete block was a simulated "Tarawa Pill Box, standing vertically and consisting of 3 layers of cocoa logs and about 3 feet of sand.The rockets were fired into this to see if the fusing was able to fire after penetrating the cover of the Japanese entrenchments. While doing this test I was standing between 2 of the concrete block shrapnel landed about 2 feet in front of me. The fuse was a success.

Later we were to have a test of the Tiny Tim air-fired at the concrete blocks to test penetration. On this test I was driving the jeep with the range security officer. Our job was to be sure the range was clear before the firing took place.

For this test we had a lot of Allied brass witnessing the action. Commander Vossler of the Aviation Ordnance Testing Unit Was flying an F4U. The rocket was fired and went through the first block and into the bottom of the second block blowing it out of the ground. A very impressive test.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Memories (NAS Inyokern, California and CASU-45F)..." Contributed by MOSER, Lawrence E. nein9moe@yahoo.com [07APR2007]

In Febuary 1943 I left NAS North Island, San Diego, California in the morning for NAS Inyokern, California by way of Los Anglele. We arrived at NAS Inyokern, California some time after dark. I was in charge of a draft of 25 men which was to be the formation of Ships Company and was assigned to Transportation. As a result I was able to witness the first of many activities before the base was commissioned. I spent 13 months there before being transferred to 29 Palm assigned to CASU-45F.

After a short time in transportation I was assigned to the Aircraft Metal Shop as I was a an Aviation Metalsmith stricker. During my assignment as drive I was assigned to drive the cook to Mohave Marine Corp base for mess supplies. This was a one way trip of about 54 miles and was a welcome relief from the duties on base. Also we always had to sample some of the food like cheese and crackers. Getting on good terms with the cook also allowed me free acess to the mess hall when he was on duty.

One of the things that stands out in my memroy is the first time we picked up beef quaters. We were to get aboout six quartes of bothfront and hind quarters. Noticed the when we started to take the beef off the hooks that he held back so that I had to grab the first one. I didn't realize that he was making me grab a quarter that weighed about 225 pounds. He liked to laugh his head off as I almost collapsed under the weight. We would grasp the beef by walking up to it and throw our arms around the quarte and heave it up off the hook, and ofcourse I was not prepared for that much weight. Then he told me how much it weighed.

My first work assingment was to to take a work party and gater large rocks to take to the rocket target areas to outline the target rings. As we were returning from one of the targets we had to cross the firing line of one of the targets where ther were doing strafing runs. I waited for the plane to make his pass so I could try to cross the dive line, not seeing the next plane, I started across the line about the time he started firing. I floor boarded the 6x and hit a rut that knock the air breather off the carburator spilling oil over the hot manifold causing it to smoke. Thinking that the engine was on fire and knowing that the fire exstinguisher was empty, I started throwing sand on the smoking area. With the air breather off the carburator this let sand get down in the intake. A contractor party came by and I sent the work party back to the base with them with instrution to have a wrecker come tow me back to the base. I would not turn the engine over for fear of damaging the engine. The motor Mech at the garage want to courtmartial me but the Transportation Officer questioned me about my report and said that "I was either very quick and smart or very clever" and let me of with just the warning that they would be watching me.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 31 May 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [02OCT2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

CASU

PATSU

VD-1, VD-2 and VD-3

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-7 and VJ-10

VP-1

VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14 and VP-15

VP-23

VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-125, VP-126, VP-127 and VP-128

VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

VP-140, VP-142, VP-144 and VP-146

VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211 and VP-212

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 16 Jan 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [01OCT2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

CASU and PATSU

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-6, VJ-7 and VJ-8

VP-6 Coast Guard

VP-3

VP-11 and VP-12

VP-23 and VP-24

VP-31, VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-41, VP-42, VP-43 and VP-44

VP-51, VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81, VP-82, VP-83 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92VP-93, and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-110

VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

VP-131, VP-132, VP-133 and VP-134

VP-200, VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211, VP-210, and VP-216


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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 09 Nov 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [01OCT2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

CASU and PATSU

VD-1, VD-2, VD-3 and VD-4

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-15, and VJ-16

VP-6 Coast Guard

VP-1

VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15 and VP-16

VP-23 and VP-24

VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-110, VP-111, VP-112, VP-113, VP-114, VP-115 and VP-116

VP-125, VP-126, VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

VP-140, VP-141, VP-142, VP-143, VP-144, VP-145, VP-146, VP-147, VP-148 and VP-149

VP-150

VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216


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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...16 AUG 1943 - CASU-24 arrived for duty with Lt. Comdr. E. C. Asman, USN, as Commanding Officer..." WebSite: Naval Air Station Wildwood http://www.usnasw.org/Chron.htm [07NOV2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...23 AUG 1943 - CASU-23 Detachment transferredred to NAS Atlantic City, New Jersey..." WebSite: Naval Air Station Wildwood http://www.usnasw.org/Chron.htm [07NOV2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraNAAS Crows Landing "...Historic California Posts - Naval Auxilary Air Station, Crows Landing - History..." WebSite: The California State Military Museum http://www.militarymuseum.org/NAASCrowsLanding.html [06NOV2005]

Photograph: Title: Crows Landing - Image Number: A92-0471-4 - Date: 1992 - Keywords: aerial - Crows Landing - historical - Description: Aerial photo, NAAS Crows Landing; Photographer: US Navy; Date: August 5, 1947 WebSite: http://ails.arc.nasa.gov/Images/Historical/A92-0471-4.html

NAAS Crows Landing, located 2-1/2 miles northwest of the town of the same name, began in late 1942 as an auxiliary air station to NAS Alameda, California. It was used to train Navy fighter pilots. Pilots of F4F Wildcats, TBF and TBM Avengers trained here first in Link and Panoramic trainers then eventually in actual planes. Later, pilots in R4D Skytrains and R5D Skymasters (Navy versions of the Army's C-47 and C-54) trained here. After the war the station was placed in caretaker status.

History
by M.L. Shettle, Jr.
Historical works by M. L. Shettle, Jr.


In late 1942, the Navy chose a site in the San Joaquin Valley, 71 miles southeast of Alameda, for an auxiliary air station. An 804-acre parcel of land was purchased for $86,708 and ground broken on December 1, 1942. The site was located near the agricultural community of Crows Landing, 1940 population of 363, that consisted of a gas station, country store, and a freight train stop. During con struction, the project was known as NAAF Patterson for the nearest post office, six miles to the north. After the Navy decided to include a post office on the station, the base commissioned on May 25, 1943, as NAAF Crows Landing.

On June 18, 1943, VC-36 became the first unit assigned. A detachment of Alameda's CASU 6 also arrived in support. For the next nine months, Crows Landing hosted various carrier units. These units included VC-65, and elements of CAG 28, CAG 18, and CAG 11. In the meantime, a detachment of CASU 37 replaced CASU 6 and Crows Landing was upgraded to an NAAS. Up to the spring of 1944, multi-engine patrol aircraft were based at NAAS Vernalis, 18 miles to the northwest. The Navy real ized that Crows Landing's 7,000-ft. concrete run ways would be better suited for the heavier weight multi-engine aircraft than Vernalis's asphalt run ways; thereafter, Vernalis was designated for carrier units and Crows Landing for multi-engine types.

In March 1944, the first multi-engine squadron, VPB-137 arrived from Alameda with PVs. From June to November, the station embarked on an expansion project that added housing, a hangar, and other improvements. The runways were widened from 150 to 200 ft. The station's ramp that initially was 200 x 400 ft. was enlarged by a 1200 x 200-ft. and a 1890 x 260-ft. section. In August 1944, the first PB4Y-2 Privateer squadron, VPB-118, arrived from NAAS Camp Kearny, California. In January 1945, Crows Landing added six enlisted barracks, a warehouse, and a 100-man ground training building. From February 2, to March 27, 1945, a VRE-1 Detach ment with 12 R4Ds was based at the station. VRE-1 was one of the Navy's three evacuation squadrons that transported wounded men from combat areas in the South Pacific to the various Naval Hospitals in the U.S. In addition, Oakland's VR-4 and VR-11 used Crows Landing for training throughout the sta tion's existence.

Crows Landing's isolated location prompted the Navy to run 10 liberty buses a day to Modesto and Patterson. Navy men were allowed to use the swim ming pool at Patterson High School. In June 1945, the station's complement stood at 27 officers and 185 men -- squadron personnel added an additional 245 officers and 1220 enlisted men. Available billeting accommodated 268 officers and 2116 men. Patrol squadrons that passed thought the station during the war included VPB-115, VPB-122, VPB-101, VPB-103, VPB-107, VPB-133, VPB-140, VPB-118, and VPB-108. The PV operational training squadron, VPB-198, also spent time aboard. Patrol squadrons were supported by PATSUs 8-2, 8-4, 8-5, and 8-7. Other units that operated and trained at Crows Landing were VJ-12 and ABATU 105. By war's end, the station was valued at $4 million.

Crows Landing decommissioned on July 6, 1946, becoming an OLF to NAS Alameda, California and later NAS Moffett Field, California. In recent years, the Navy maintained a perma nent detachment at the field that supplied crash equipment and refueling services for Naval aircraft from the stations in the area. With the closing of Moffett, the Navy turned Crows Landing over to NASA's Ames Research Center in 1993.

Circa 1942

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: NAS ALANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY History Contributed by Tom Melley tomadr2@aol.com

This information was obtained thru :
Emil Buehler Naval Aviation Libary
National Museum of Naval Aviation
1750 Radford Blvd., Sutie C
Pensacola, Fl.
32508-5402
(850)452-3604
NAS ALANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY


In the fall of 1942, the CAA began buliding a new municipal airport, 12 miles northwest of Alantic City, in the township of Egg Harbor. The Navy took an interest in the site and announced the intention of establishing an air station at the airport.The CAA completed construction of the airfield and the Navy commissioned NAS Alantic City on April 24, 1943. With the forming of CAG 31 (VF-31 and VC-17) on May 1,under the command of Cmdr. W. J. Junkerman. Meanwhile, Carrier Air Support Unit 24 had come on board followed by bombing, fighters, and torpedo squadrons. Shortly thereafter the Navy designated Alantic City excusively as a fighter base.

Lt. S. W. Vejtasa, who had eighteen months of fighter combat expirience in the Pacific, designed and organized a fighter training program. This program consisted of ground school, gunnery, rocket training, tactics, and aircraft dummy deck landings (ADDLs). The Navy requisitioned the Brigantine Hotel, at Brigantine, N. J. and formed a Fighter Directors School. Additional support came from CASU-25. The hotel had radar installed on the roof and its upper two floors converted to a CIC unit. The vast majority of fighters based at Alantic City were F6F's and the station ultimately had over 200 on hand. In December 1944, the Navy commissioned the first ofthree Observation Fighter Squadrons, VOF-1. The Navy intended the VOF units for use in European Operations. By the spring of 1945, over 50 fighter squadrons had passed through the station and the number of aircraft on board had peaked at over 275. CASU 23, present during most of the war, supported the carrier squadrons. A detachment of Utility Squadron VJ-4 from Norfolk, also stationed here, provided target towing service with Martin JM Marauders.

Alantic City had four 5280 ft. concrete runways. Station complement in March 1944, consisted of 326 officers, 2073 enlisted, and 448 civilians with billeting capacity for 315 officers and 2348 enlisted. Alantic City had two outlying fields. The one at Woodbine, shared and supported by Wildwood, had three 2500 ft. runways and two catapults and arresting systems. The station's second OLF was Alantic City's municipal airport, Bader Field, that had been first used by the Navy before completion of the main station. CASU 23 stationed its 29 SNJs at Bader and the fighter squadron's pilots conducted all proficiency instrument flying from here. The Navy also set up a rocket target at Coyle, N.J., at a former State Fire Warden airfield; when weather was favorable, as many as 3,000 bombs were dropped per week. In Alantic City's Harbor, the station maintained a crash boat facility. Station aircraft numbered about 10 and included rescue amphibians, light transport, and utility aircraft.

After the war, Alantic City was the base for Composite Squadrons, an Air Development Squadron, and a Fleet Electronic Traing Unit. Reserve squadrons also served their two weeks summer crusies here. On July 15, 1958, NAS Alantic City closed. After the Navy departed, the Federal Aviation Agency created a technical and testing facility in former Navy spaces. In 1994, the 177 Fighter Group of the New Jersey Air National Guard is stationed here with F-16s.

Bibliography

A: " History of United States Naval Air Station, Alantic Ciry, July 1942- May 1945" and supplements ( Washington Naval Historical Center, Operational Archives Branch); U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks, Buliding the navy's Bases in World War II, 2 vols. (Washington: GPO, 1947), I:237

B : "Four Stations Will Close," Naval Aviation News

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