A BIT OF HISTORY: "...You may want to include FASRON 108 (NAS Brunswick, Maine) and other FASRONs from VP bases as historical VP sites. FASRONs were the forerunner of AMD/AIMDs, but they were seperate squardrons. I joined FASRON 108 in 1958 as an AA fresh from AT'A' school. In '59 or '60 FASRONs were disestablished and became the AMD of the NAS where they were. Our mission or operations did not change. We did have two R4D's, an SNB and a P2V-3 for our use and the Wing's use (FAW-3 I think). When we became AMD we also acquired the station UF and HUP. I flew as crewman/radioman in all of these. We also flew many after check (major) flights in squardron aircraft (P2V-5Fs and P2V-7s). A good portion of my time there was spent in Hangar Division installing the ASA-13 plotter service change to P2V's. When not doing that I was on the flight schedule. I left there as an AT2, in Dec. 1960. Unfortunately, I never got back to VP's until 1972 as an ATC when I became the P3C in-flight tech instructor in VP-30 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. For some reason all my sea duty and much of the intervening shore duty had tail hooks attached (AD-5W's and RA5Cs)...I opted for retirement and went over to AIMD Pax for my final year, retiring in July '76...If I remember right, the Buno of the P2V-3 we had in FASRON 108 was 123969. I saw a picture in the chow hall at NAS Norfolk, Virginia, while TAD there, of Buno 123969 taking off from a carrier with JATO. If I'm wrong about the actual Buno, I still believe the one we had in Brunswick was the same as the one in the picture..." Contributed by Charles A. Joseph email@example.com
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...P2V-5 BUNO: 131518 temporarily assigned to FASRON-108 May 1956 - Photo taken in 1956-1957 while I was stationed at NAS Brunswick, Maine. I served as an AE with FASRON-108 and later with VP-7..." Contributed by Art Van Buskirk firstname.lastname@example.org [12MAR2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: P2V BUNO: 131522 "...P2V BUNO: 131522 at VFW-3761 Post Home (http://www.freewebs.com/vfw3761/p2vneptuneaircraft.htm. Don Bates provided aircraft data and gray and the blue photographs. Assignments: FASRON-108 (07JAN55), VP-11 (15FEB55), VP-16 (19MAR56), NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. (28FEB57), VA(HM)-13 (22MAR58), VP-24 (31JAN59), VP-8 (14OCT59),l VP-16 (12SEP60), VP-7 (26FEB62)..." Contributed by Don Bates email@example.com [03AUG2009]Circa 1952
Department of The Navy
AIR:00D3:WJA:mw dated 5 March 1982
Mr Wyatt McFarland.
Dear Mr McFarland,
The Curator for the Navy forwarded your 22 January letter to my office for reply to you.
You asked for information on your SP-2E.
The distance from the ground to top of fuselange is 14' 4"; from center to center of landing gears left/right it is 25' 11"; and from center to center of main to nose landing gear is 24' 9". Weight and connecting points are items too complex to explain in a letter.
You need copies of the Flight Handbook and the Erection and Maintenance Manual for the P2V-5F, which was the aircraft's designation before being changed to P-2E.
The Air Force may have copies of these books. We have retired ours to the National Archives. I suggest that you ask at Rickenbacker.
If the Air Force does not have the books, all you can do is write the National Archives, Printed Archives Branch, 4205 Suitland Road, Washington, D.C. 20409. Ask for the books by aircraft designation.
The histoty of Bureau Number: 131522 is as follows:
29JUL54 - accepted by Navy BAR, Burbank, CA
05AUG54 - went to O & R, NAS Jacksonville, Florida
07JAN55 - went to FASRON-108, Burbank, CA
15FEB55 - went to VP-11, NAS Brunswick, Maine
19MAR56 - went to VP-16, NAS Jacksonville, Florida
28FEB57 - went to NARTU (Naval Air Rescue Training Unit) NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C.
03MAR57 - went to BAR Burbank for rework
25MAR57 - went to O & R NAS Alameda, California
22FEB58 - went to O & R NAS Norfolk, Virginia
22MAR58 - went to VA(HM)-13, Malta
30NOV58 - went to NAS Chincoteague, Virginia
31JAN59 - went to VP-24 NAS Keflavik, Iceland
14OCT59 - went to VP-8 NAS Norfolk, Virginia
04JAN60 - went to O & R BUWEP at NAS Alameda, California
26APR60 - went to VWRFR Burbank, CA
12SEP60 - went to VP-16 NAS Jacksonville, Florida
26FEB62 - went to VP-7 NAS Jacksonville, Florida
00APR64 - went to NS Rota, Spain for 6 month tour
16MAR65 - went into storage at Litchfield Park, a Navy Storage facility in Arizona.
00DEC65 - still in storage, Litchfield Park was disestablished and a tri-service storage facility Military Aircraft Storage & Disposition Center, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucon, AZ, became a storage site. This aircraft transferred there in Dec 1965.
15JAN71 - out of storage, went to NARTD North Island
05MAR72 - aircraft struck administratively from active inventory with 6,179 flying hours total service for training purposes at NARDET Training at NARDET Columbus, Lockbourne AFB, Ohio
09FEB79 - Lockbourne AFB requested this aircraft as training device in fire/crash rescue.
28FEB79 - aircraft transferred to Air Force Custody.
Signed: Wm. J. Armstrong, Historian Naval Air Systems Command.
From The Department of Defense, Rickenbacker, AFB, Aircraft SP2E No. 131522 transferred to VFW Post 3761 Baltimore, Ohio 6 May 1982
Signed: H.W. Wickline, Colonel USAF, Commander.
Letter From Wyatt McFarland
COMRADES AND SISTERS
This is for you, not a memorial, monument, or a donation, but a piece of American Heritage from yesteryear, not so long ago but yet tucked away in the past. She was to die a death not befitting so many of her kind, to be burned, but somewhere down the road of her military career fate played a hand. Her career is above reproach, her destiny is now yours, for her final landing and resting place will be Liberty Union VFW Post 3761. Where else can American Heritage stop, be revived and begin a new career of American Heritage, but in the hands of the Veterans.
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation P2V-5 Model 526
Lockheed Factory S/N 426-5403
Patrol & Anti-Submarine Search SP-2E # 131522
Wing Span 103' 10 "
Length 81' 7 "
Length with stinger 91' 2"
Height 28' 1"
Weight Empty 41,754 Lbs.
Gross Weight 67,500 Lbs.
Max-Gross 76,152 Lbs.
Fuel 2800 to 3900 Gals.
Tip Tanks 350 Gals.
Range 4,750 Miles
Service Ceiling 23,200 Ft.
Power Plants (2) R-3350-30WA's
Power Plants Aux (2) J34-WE-34
Armament (Nose) (2) 20mm Cannon
Armament (Top) (2) 50 Cal.
Armament (Tail) (2) 20mm Cannon
Cruise Speed 207 MPH
Top Speed 323 MPH at 17,400 ft.
Landing Speed 109 MPH
Rate of Climb 1820 Feet per minute
Number A/C Built 424
The P2V-5 first flew on 29 Dec 1950, it had a search light to illuminate the target for the nose guns. The light is housed in the nose of the starboard wing tank. The P2V-5FS (SP-2E) has a magnetic anomaly detection gear in the stinger tail, it also carried the Julie/Jezebel active and passive detection systems. The Navy updated the P2V-5 to the P2V-6 on 16 Oct 1952, this plane was built under the P2V-5 plans in 1953. She has been called "The Old Man of The Sea", but the Navy called her the "Neptune". Navy Neptune, "Truculent Turtle" set a world distance record of 11,236 miles. The Navy "Neptune" have seen service in Viet Nam.
Written By: Wyatt McFarland, Updated 11AUG92
Moving From Rickenbacker to Post 3761
A real big thank you to Paul Wooster for the many hours of his own time and hard work for getting the "Neptune" moved from Rickenbacker to the VFW Post Home.
Crew of the Neptune in 1965
It should be noted that three (3) comrades of our Post were members of the aircrew when this aircraft was on active duty.
They are, Don Bates, Herb Jung and Richard Woody.
The crewmembers when 131522 was taken out of active service in 1965 was as follows, Lcdr. Bob Byerg (pilot), Lt. Bob Harris (co-pilot), Lt. Larry Johnson (navigator), Lt. Bob Crabtree (tacco), ADJ2 Don Bates (plane captin), ATR2 Howard Hollweg (radar), AX2 John Delconte (juli/jez), AE3 Wayne Des Rosiers (electrician), ATN3 Henry Rustmann (radio), ADR3 Richard Woody (2nd mech), and AO1 Herb Jung (ordance) This is per Don Bates e-mail Dec. 7, 2008.
Another thank you to all those who helped Paul with the move. I don't know if anyone kept a list of those who helped and I don't want to miss anyone, if there is a list please let the Post know and we will add it .
We have a book at the Post with letters and picture of the A/C and the move of the aircraft if you at the Post and would like to see it, please ask.
P2V Story From Don Bates 12/08/2008
On the evening of July 2, 1963 we left Jax, Fl. on a routine 10 hour flight, due east over the Atlantic Ocean, to monitor shipping in the area. We did this by checking for screw sounds, getting a fix, then honing in on the ships, clicking on the search light to get it's name and port of registry. We would chart this along with the ship's heading. About 6 hours into the flight we picked up screw sounds that were identical to a Russian conventional sub. We honed in on it to find that it was submerged. So we dropped 3 consecutive practice depth charge s, which was at the time a warning to surface and be recognized. Nothing! We did it several more times and no response. We were told by the higher-ups to stay with it till they could get another crew launched to relieve us as we were now low on fuel. We idled back as slow as we could go and still stay airborne. By the time our relief plane arrived we didn't have enough fuel to return to Jax, so we were diverted to Nassau Airport in the Bahamas to get fuel. Nassau told us to buzz the field when we got there and they would turn on the runway lights for us to land. I guess they were saving energy way back then. We had to wait till they could locate a driver for the fuel truck. We could see the truck on the other side of the fence where they parked old 522. 2 hours later, 5am, the driver showed up and was so drunk that we ended up driving the truck and fueling the plane ourselves. It ended up being a long and hungry flight, but worth it. At daybreak the Russian sub had to surface to charge his batteries, because they normally charge them at night under the cover of darkness, but we foiled that by staying with them and the other crew got some great daylight pictures.
Each aircraft had a log book that records were kept in. Inside the log book for 131522 was a newspaper clipping from Shreveport,La. that told the story about ADR2 Swain(plane captain) flying 131522 by himself from Burbank,Ca. to Shreveport,La. which would have been 1960 when it was scheduled to leave VWRFR Burbank to Jax, Fl. From what I can remember, the article told how the Navy was going to court-marshall him and the Airforce stated anyone who could fly that bomber that distance by himself they wanted on their team. It was quite an interesting article. I tried several years ago to find the article from the Shreveport news but they couldn't find it as I didn't have an approximate date. All I could tell them was that it was sometime late 50's early 60's. From your info we now know it was probably Sept 1960. If you have the time you might be able to research the article, explaining that it is important information needed to complete the history of your aircraft. To my knowledge it's the only Neptune to have been flown by one man. You have a piece of history there.
This is what I can tell you about special tours etc. of 131522 while I was Plane Captain. It spent 3 tours out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the Cuban crisis doing reconnaissance around the Island 1962,1963,and 1964. It was on T.A.D.(temporary additional duty) out of Boca Chico Naval air station in the Florida Keys doing reconnaissance between Cuba and the Keys 1963. It went to Puerto Rico for 2 weeks every January for Maneuvers with the Atlantic Fleet to brush up on our skills while it was in VP-7. It was picked by our Commanding Officer, while we were in Rota, Spain, to be displayed in an air show at Lajes Air-Force Base in the Azores Islands. It was on T.A.D. to the Island of Crete, while in Rota, Spain, working the Mediterranean Sea. The "Skipper" picked it and our crew to take him to London, England to meet with his Executive officer, who was in charge of the other half of the squadron in Keflavik, Iceland. It wasn't that he liked "us", he only liked the way we kept the aircraft clean and and in the "up" status and that made "him" look good!
As you can see the color of the plane changed from charcoal grey to light gray between Rota in 1964 and storage 1965. It was repainted in Norfolk, Va. November 1964 and a memo followed that nothing was to applied to the paint of any aircraft but soap and water. Unknown by others, our crew had applied Johnson's one step glo-coat which helped us keep old 522 clean and shining. Don
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...3 Squadrons Safety Leaders - Page 35 - Naval Aviation News - May 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/may52.pdf [26JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Flash! Hellcat Has Kittens - Page 38 - Naval Aviation News - November 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/nov49.pdf [13JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Panama Idea Saves On Time - Page 33 - Naval Aviation News - June 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/jun49.pdf [13JUL2004]
"FASRON-108 Summary Page"