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HistoryVP-103 HistoryHistory

Circa 1947

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 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-7 PATSU 7- A VPB-103 NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England 1944-1945 (the end of the war)..." Contributed by AMM3 Matt Wilson mwilson1942@optonline.net [21MAR2003]

VP HistoryVP HistoryVP HistoryVP HistoryVP HistoryVP History
Winter 1945Winter 1945Winter 1944AMM3 Matt Wilson 1944AMM1 Ross and AMM3 Matt WilsonAMM3 Matt Wilson
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AMM3 Matt Wilson and GangMartin and Swampy 1944Mackie, Ross, Kindness, Martin, Matt, Hollihan, and MannAMM2 Dean ElliottAMM3 Matt Wilson 1944F. F. Ward
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A. Conti after a hard day on the lineWinter 1945    

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-681, 11 March 1945
Type: VIIC Laid Down: 21 October 1942, Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Commissioned: 3 February 1944, Oblt. Helmut Bach
Commander: February 1944 August 1944, Oblt. Helmut Bach; August 1944 March 1945, Oblt. Werner Gebauer
Career: Assigned: February 1944 October 1944, 31st Flotilla (Hamburg); October 1944 March 1945, 11th Flotilla (Bergen)
Successes: None

Fate: Sunk at 0930 hours on 10 March 1945, position 49°53'N, 06°31'W, by bombs from a PB4Y-1 Liberator of VPB-103. Lieutenant Field and his crew caught U-681 on the surface southwest of the Scilly Isles and straddled the vessel with a perfect salvo of depth charges. Forty survivors exited the U-boat before it sank and were picked up by British naval units. 11 dead.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-326, 25 April 1945
Type: VIIC/41 Laid Down: 26 April 1943, Flender-Werke, Lubeck
Commissioned: 6 June 1944, Oblt. Peter Matthes
Commander: June 1944 April 1945, Kptlt. Peter Matthes
Career: Assigned: June 1944 February 1945, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); March 1945 April 1945, 11th Flotilla (Bergen)
Successes: None

Fate: Sunk 25 April 1945, in the Bay of Biscay west of Brest, in position 48°12'N, 05°42'W, by a PB4Y-1 Liberator of VPB-103 equipped with air-dropped acoustic homing torpedoes (Fido). Lieutenant Nott and crew spotted a snorkel on the surface southwest of the Brest peninsula and dropped a salvo of torpedoes directly on top of the unsuspecting submarine. The snorkel was blown into the air, a large oil slick appeared, and the body of one of the German submariner surfaced. 43 dead (entire crew lost).

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "04APR45--German submarine sunk: U-1107, by naval land-based aircraft (VPB-103), English Channel, 48 d. 12'N., 05 d. 42'W...." http://www.cyberplus.ca/~chrism/chr45.txt

UPDATE "...SINKING OF GERMAN SUB U-1107 YOU GAVE CREDIT TO VB-103. IN THE REPORT BY THE GERMAN SUB "U-BOATS DESTROYED" BY PAUL KEMP THE GERMANS GAVE CREDIT TO VP-63 IN A CATALINA (R.) FLOWN BY LT. F.G.LAKE AND THE DATE OF LOSS WAS ON 30 APRIL 1945 INSTEAD OF APRIL 4 1945 (CAUSE OF SINKING WAS BY "FIDO") THE GERMANS REPORTED LOSS OF 36 MEMBERS OF THE CREW INCLUDING THE CAPTAIN KAPITAN LEUTENANT FRITZ PAHRDUN..." Contributed by GENE S. McINTYRE GMACK1917@aol.com [14JUL98]


Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-14 - History from 15OCT42-01DEC42 - Submitted December 22nd, 1944. Squadron's Assigned: VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15, VP-21, VP-23, VP-24, VP-33, VP-44, VP-53, VP-54, VP-71, VP-72, VP-81, VP-91, VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-106, VP-109, VP-111, VP-115, VP-117, VP-118, VP-119, VP-121, VP-122 and VP-202..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [06DEC2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Recently Life Magazine (US) and Google placed the Life Magazine photo archives on-line. While researching some else, I came across 168 photos that were dated Jan 1944 LIFE Photographer David E Scherman the subject was called Bay Patrol, and by checking out the photos, I determined the the patrol unit was VB-103 and the airfield was NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England. The church in the photos is St Nicholas, Dunkeswell with the old bell tower. Here is a link to the thumbnails of those images on http://images.google.com/..." Contributed by John Szalay john.szalay@att.net [16APR2010]

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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

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


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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "..."Almost A Mutiny On 'A' For Able" - By James A. Crossman - Foundation - Spring 2004 http://naval.aviation.museum/home.html Page 28 through 31..." [03MAY2004]

It was 4 January 1944, and PB4Y-l Liberator (BuNo 32179), "A" for Able was in takeoff position on Runway 5 at NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England. I was a young 22-year-old chief aviation pilot assigned as second pilot, and the patrol plane commander was a lieutenant junior grade who was woefully inadequate as an aviator. This was not necessarily his fault, as most of his flight time was as a junior pilot. Prior to the advent of the navigator designee, the junior pilot on a patrol plane crew was mostly utilized as a navigator. If someone had a PPC that was a time hog, the low man on the totem pole received very little experience piloting the plane. He was surely designated as PPC simply because of the horrendous attrition rates, early on, from enemy action and the ever-present threat of the English weather.

We had no navigational aids other than coded light beacons, curiously named Occults and Pundits, which were strategically located all around Southwestern England to help us find our way home. There was, however, one other method; if a crew found themselves hopelessly lost, they could start circling their position, call on a designated radio frequency and transmit the phrase, . "Hello Darky, Darky, this is Nemo:' Ground searchlight personnel would listen for a circling aircraft, and upon locating it, would pierce the sky with twin beams from two powerful searchlights. First, the lights would be displayed vertically, and then they would be quickly brought down to horizontal, pointing to the nearest airfield. It was crude, but effective, though I never had occasion to use "Darky:'

Our PB4Y-l stood a little over 19 feet at the cockpit, and the ceiling as reported by the Meteorological Section at Ops was stated to be an indefinite 20 feet. I mentioned this to the pilot, and, knowing his qualifications, added, "We'll be in the cloud cover just as soon as the wheels leave the runway:'

In a very sarcastic, raspy voice, he replied, "I've got it!"

With the checklist complete, he began the takeoff roll even before we had received a Green Aldis from the checkered control caravan at the end of our runway. As the second pilot, I was busy answering the calls from the pilot-landing gear, flaps and power settings-when I suddenly sensed that the Liberator had started to sink. Glancing at the instrument panel, I immediately saw that we were in a 70-degree bank to the left and descending.

Fortunately for us, Dunkeswell is situated on a plateau 850 feet above sea level and gradually slopes down to a little over 100 feet after departing the end of Runway 5. I looked over at the pilot and, to my absolute horror, saw him hunched over the control yoke with his head cocked curiously to the right. His eyes were clamped tightly shut and he had the wheel in a death grip with his elbows straight out. He was frozen to the control and taking no action at all to right the aircraft!

In one combined effort I quickly knocked his hands from the control yoke. He didn't oppose me and relinquished his tight grip right away. I yelled for the Plane Captain to manage the throttles and prop pitch, which had not yet been cinched down by the friction clutch located on the right side of the engine control pedestal. I cranked the yoke over, righting the plane, all the while cautiously endeavoring to salvage what precious little altitude we had until such time that I had regained enough airspeed to initiate a shallow climb. I did not know then, nor will I ever know just how close to the ground we were, but I can imagine the inhabitants of the Slade Farm, which lay just to the end of Runway 5, were probably saying "What in bloody hell is going on with those crazy Americans and that aeroplane?" The locals often referred to us as "Those crazy Americans!"

I climbed up through the overcast, breaking out around 2,000 feet. I requested from the navigator the first heading to steer in order to start our patrol. After getting squared away, checking the intercom response from all crew positions and heading out for the Datum point, I turned my attention to the PPC, still huddled and befuddled in the left seat of the aircraft, staring blankly. I was angry. So angry, in fact, that I ignored a previously thoroughly indoctrinated U.S. Navy rank protocol and "ordered" him from the cockpit. I informed him that I would conduct the patrol alone, which I did.

Common practice dictated that during the takeoff of a heavily laden PB4Y-l, usually grossing around 60,000 pounds, three crewmen would stand directly behind the two pilots to help keep the center of gravity within a prescribed range. During this incident, the three crewmen were the navigator, Plane Captain, and senior radioman. All three witnessed what had transpired.

This particular antisubmarine patrol lasted for 10.8 hours, and I made a night landing back at Dunkeswell at around 2100. It was highly unusual for a crew to depart from the home base on a patrol and return to the same base afterwards as the home base would often be closed in due to weather. Most of us carried a small toilet kit just in case we were diverted.

The pilot elected to remain on the flight deck for the entire patrol and, upon disembarking the aircraft after the "follow me" lorry guided us back to the hard-stand, he called me aside and sheepishly remarked, "I got a little mixed up this morning on the takeoff:'

I was still angry and said "You sure as hell did, Sir!" This was an apologetic "Sir" as I had regained some of the rank protocol so cavalierly abandoned earlier in the day. "More than a 'little;" I continued, "Big chunks of this airplane and smaller pieces of all of us could be strewn all over the Devonshire countryside!"

I also informed him that there was a Link Trainer in the Ops building and suggested he spend some time there. As far as I know, he never did.

Before our next scheduled mission, three of the crew members asked for an audience with the CO. After clearing through proper channels, they were heard by the CO. They informed him that, speaking for Crew 18, henceforth they were refusing to fly any more missions unless Chief Aviation Pilot Crossman was in the cockpit. This was pretty grim stuff for wartime. I never did learn what the CO's response was to this mutinous declaration, but I do know that I was flying every mission rather than alternating with the other second pilot assigned to Crew 18.

As time passed, I was eventually reassigned to another crew and another inexperienced PPC just in from the states. All of the principle characters, save for myself, who lived through the incident described above are no longer with us. All of them, to a man, had approached me from time to time in the interim to confide in me that "something" was going to happen to Crew 18. In every case, I attempted to make light of it, put I could see it in their eyes'ana could hear the absolute dread in their voices.

On the night of 18-19 March 1944, I boarded a train at Exeter, bound for London for a four day R & R. That very night, my old crew failed to return from an operational sortie in the Bay of Biscay. The next day, an oil slick and some debris was sighted near their last reported position. It was grim evidence that "something" did eventually happen to Crew 18.

James A. Crossman was born in 1921 and enlisted in the u.s. Navy in September 1939. After serving with VCS-5 aboard USS Louisville (CA-28), he was recommended as fleet selectee for the Naval Academy but was denied entry due to the age restriction as he would've been four months too old upon graduation. In May 1942, Crossman was ordered to flight school in NAS Pensacola, Florida and graduated November 1942. He was promoted to chief aviation pilot in 1943. He flew 32 anti-submarine missions from bases in the U.K.

Crossman was promoted to ensign in 1944 and was promoted to lieutenant junior grade with a regular appointment. He resigned his regular appointment in 1946 to attend school, having checked out in many varying types of U.S. Navy aircraft.

While attending school, Crossman was employed as a flight instructor to augment his G.I. Bill. A student of Crossman's was an Army major on recruiting duty, who convinced Crossman to transfer his reserve commission into the U.S. Air Force. Crossman ultimately entered the Air Force in June 1949 and retired from active duty in 1962.

During his tenure in the U.S. Navy, Crossman earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with four gold stars and the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" for valor and the attendant area ribbons.

Crossman is a life-member of the U.S. Naval Institute, a member of the Silver Eagles Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, Retired Officer Association and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Crossman retired as a Level22 civil service employee with almost 45 years of total Federal service. He and his wife of 50 years now reside in Southern California. They have two daughters.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Misc Thumbnail "...PATSU7-1 members (VP-103 Support), NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England 1944. Also graduates of NAS Hutchinson, Kansas PB4Y Line Maintenance School May 1944 (1st Graduating Class). Back Right AOM2 J. G. Beveridge, Center ARM3 Irvin "Sneezie" Berlinski, and Right Front ART1 J. Lerner..." Contributed by KEENEY, ARM3 Joseph Stimmel c/o His Daughter Jacque Morehead jkmrhd@aol.com [22JUN2001]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Misc Thumbnail "...VPB-103 Hedron FAW-7 members, England 1944. Left to Right: Irvin "Sneezie" Berlinski ARM3, P. D. Keefe AOM3, and J. G. Beveridge AOM2..." Contributed by KEENEY, ARM3 Joseph Stimmel c/o His Daughter Jacque Morehead jkmrhd@aol.com [22JUN2001]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Misc ThumbnailMisc Thumbnail "...Left: ART2 Jack G. Szollosi, 1944, NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England VPB-103 Barracks. Right: W. T. Meador "Tommy Joe" England 1944..." Contributed by KEENEY, ARM3 Joseph Stimmel c/o His Daughter Jacque Morehead jkmrhd@aol.com [22JUN2001]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-271, 28 January 1944
Type: VIIC Laid Down: 21 October 1941,
Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack
Commissioned: 23 September 1942, Kptlt. Curt Barleben
Commander: September 1942–January 1944, Kptlt. Curt Barleben
Career: Assigned: September 1942–May 1943, 8th Flotilla (Danzig) training; June 1943–January 1944, 1st Flotilla (Brest) front. U-271 was one of seven U-boats converted into "U-flak" boats to serve as surface escorts for the incoming/outgoing attack U-boats operating from the French Atlantic bases. They had greatly increased antiaircraft firepower and were intended as aircraft traps by luring Allied aircraft to attack these heavily armed U-boats. The converted boats proved effective for little more than two months before the Allies developed countermeasures. U-271 operated briefly as a U-flak during October 1943, providing AA cover in the refueling area north of the Azores. All U-flaks were converted back to attack boat configuration in November 1943. It should be noted that by late 1943 the U-flaks had become redundant due to improvements in the standard AA armament for U-boats.

Successes: None

Fate: Sunk 28 January 1944, west of Limerick, in position 53°15'N, 15°52'W, by a PB4Y-1 Liberator of VB-103. 51 dead (entire crew lost). Lieutenant George C. Enloe and crew caught the U-boat on the surface and dropped six depth charges. The submarine quickly settled by the stern and slid beneath the surface.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Misc Thumbnail "...Award reads: Fleet Air Wing Seven Liberator Air Group COMMENDATION Know ye all men by these presents that Murrel E. Little, ARM2C, U.S.N.R. did on 5 March, 1944 successfully complete his thirtieth mission on ANTI-SUBMARINE PATROL in the BAY OF BISCAY serving with credit as 1st RADIOMAN in number ten crew of BOMBING SQUADRON ONE HUNDRED THREE..." [18MAY2000]


Circa 1934 - 1946

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Air Medals, etc. belonging to ARM3 George L. McLean while serving with VPB-103. Air Medal Documentation (28MAR45) for outstanding airmanship and meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights as a member of the crew of a PB4Y-1...Gold Star in lieu of a second Air Medal (31MAY46) during the period from 25NOV43 to 22FEB44), Gold Star in lieu of a fourth Air Medal (18SEP45)..." WebSite: EBay http://myworld.ebay.com/kastauffer [16SEP2012]

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Circa 1943 - 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [28APR2001]
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Circa 1943 - 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Air-to-Air Shoot Downs by Navy and Marine Corps Patrol Type Aircraft During World War II - This Squadron Mentioned...Naval Historical Center ADOBE Download File: http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-vol2/Appen4.pdf [12FEB2004]
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Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Full Text Citations For Award of The Navy Cross - To U.S. Navy Personnel - World War II - (2,889 Awards) - Navy Cross Citations U.S. Navy - World War II..." WebSite: Home of Heros http://www.homeofheroes.com/ valor/ 1_Citations/ 03_wwii-nc/ nc_06wwii_navy.html [19NOV2007]

ALEXANDER, JAMES HERBERT, JR.

Citation:

The Navy Cross is presented to James Herbert Alexander, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service as Pilot of PBY Patrol Bomber in Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THREE (VPB-103), during action against enemy German forces over the Bay of Biscay on 4 September 4 1943. While conducting a highly dangerous antisubmarine patrol, Lieutenant (j.g.) Alexander, under a vicious attack by six twin-engined fighters, maneuvered the bomber with such precise skill that his gunners were able to shoot down one hostile craft and cripple three others. Although his own plane was set afire in the vigorous air battle, her flying instruments rendered inoperative and her four engines badly damaged, he nevertheless carried on, despite a painful head wound, until he had evaded the remainder of the enemy and effected a safe landing at sea. Successfully abandoning the big flying boat, he and his crew rode out a severe storm in a rubber life raft before reaching land two days later. Lieutenant Alexander's outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 323 (February 1944)
Born: August 17, 1920 at Sioux City, Iowa
Home Town: Sioux City, Iowa

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 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: "...NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England..." WebSite: http://www.townfacts.co.uk/new_page_118.htm [14NOV2005]

Construction of the airfield for 10 Group, Fighter Command started in 1941 and, after its transfer to Coastal Command the runways were upgraded for 3 maritime squadrons and completed in the Spring of 1943. That summer saw the Flying Fortresses of the 479th Bombardier Group, USAAF, soon replaced by the Liberators and Catalinas of FAW-7, US Navy, in the form of Patrol-Bombing Squadron VB-103. This was joined by VB-105, VB-110 and VB-111 operating anti-submarine patrols over the Channel and the Bay of Biscay until the cessation of hostilities in May 1945.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Recently, I found a batch of wartime letters written by my late father (Tony Sivo, a CAP in VP-103 in 1943-1944)..." Contributed by Tony Sivo, Jr. sivo@flash.net [05SEP2005]

Letter dated 5-8-43 (from NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island):

Not flying this morning on account of bad weather…when we landed up here, there was a cold wind blowing and everyone was freezing…but now things are beginning to warm up…the only trouble is as soon as it gets a little warm up here we move further north where its cold.

Our plane was the first plane to leave NAS Norfolk, Virginia. The skipper didn't want to stay there any longer…we left at 8:30 and stopped in Baltimore, Md. From there I called up my mother and talked to her and my 2 brothers and sister. Sure was good talking to them. I told them I'd be over the house in about an hour or so and my mother called my uncle and aunts and my brother Pete went over to the Pool room and told the boys about it and sure enough when I flew over my back yard there was the family waving towels and stuff. One of my uncles was on the roof. I flew over the house about 800' high and circled once then went on our way. There I was so close to home and yet I couldn't stop in.

I got a big kick out of some of our crew when we flew over New York City. When we passed the Statue of Liberty the gang gave a big cheer for it was the first time for some of them. Then we circled the Empire State Building and then the crew wanted to see Brooklyn.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-508, 12 November 1943
Type: IXC Laid Down: 24 September 1940,
Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Commissioned: 20 October 1941, Oblt. Georg Staats
Commander: October 1941 November 1943, Kptlt. Georg Staats (Knights Cross)
Career: Six Patrols; assigned: October 1941 June 1942, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); July 1942 November 1943 10th Flotilla (Lorient)
Successes: 14 ships sunk for a total of 74,087 tons

Fate: Sunk 12 November 1943, north of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 46°00'N, 07°30'W, by U.S. bombs (VB-103). 57 dead (entire crew lost). Lieutenant (jg) Brownell made a night attack on a submarine. His PB4Y-1 Liberator was apparently heavily damaged by the U-boat's AA fire and crashed into the sea with no survivors. The next day, two oil slicks were spotted, about five miles apart. Postwar examination of German records indicates that he sank U-508.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "1943-1944--VP Squadrons Win Citations - Five Outfits Given World War Honors...Five patrol bombing squadrons of the Navy have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation or Navy Unit Commendation on the basis of their heroic actions during World War II. those granted the PUC were VP-84, VP-83, later renamed VB-107, and VP-84. VP-83 won the citation for heroism against German submarines in the Atlantic between January and April 1943, July through February 1944 and the month of September 1944. Any personnel attached then can wear the PUC ribbon. Squadrons winning the Navy Unit Commendation were VP-32, VP-83, later renamed VB-100, and VB-103, later renamed VBP-103. VP-32's honor was won off Cuba from July 1 to 31, 1943, VP-82 won its award in the Atlantic from 15 January to 10 June 1942 and during April 1943. VB-103's period covered 1 November 1943 to 31 January 1944 and from 1 March to 30 April 1945, in Atlantic waters off England..." Bill O'Neil [AB4FK- HAM RADIO Call] ab4fk@norfolk.infi.net WebSite: Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society http://www.qsl.net/ab4fk/fbars/ [URL Updated 26 MAY 99 | 15FEB98]


Circa 1941-1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-7 - History from 01MAR41-31DEC44 Submitted June 11th, 1945. Squadron's Assigned: VP-31, VP-52, VP-53, VP-63, VP-71, VP-72, VP-73, VP-74, VP-82, VP-84, VP-92, VP-93, VP-103, VP-105, VP-110, VP-111, VP-114, VP-125, VP-126 and VP-128..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [30NOV2012]

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Circa 1941

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Dunkeswell Airfield. Construction of the airfield for 10 Group, Fighter Command started in 1941 and, after its transfer to Coastal Command the runways were upgraded for 3 maritime squadrons and completed in the Spring of 1943. That summer saw the Flying Fortresses of the 479th Bombardier Group, USAAF, soon replaced by the Liberators and Catalinas of FAW-7, US Navy, in the form of Patrol-Bombing Squadron VPB-103. This was joined by VPB-105, VPB-110 and VPB-111 operating anti-submarine patrols over the Channel and the Bay of Biscay until the cessation of hostilities in May 1945..." http://www.devon-cc.gov.uk/tourism/pages/dunkeswe.html [26FEB2000]


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