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Note VP-104 NoticeNote

Note NOTICE: "...My Father, Captain John Burton, flew 2 combat tours with VP-104 during WWII and is getting ready to celebrate his 93rd birthday on the 17th of this month. Unfortunately his health is very poor and we expect his passing very soon. Several years ago his collection of WWII photos were destroyed in a flood. Should anyone have photos of him during that time my family and I would very much appreciate any email copies you might be able to forward. They are truly priceless treasures of a bygone era. Thanks so much!..." Contributed by Marc Burton marc@evols.org [10MAY2011]

Note NOTICE: "...I just received some Navy film showing what appears to be VPB-116 #38800 showing the crew during a high altitude mission and upon landing at Tinian (Black and White with good to excellent quality). Another film, in color, shows VD-1 31996 Calamity Jane warming up and taking off (excellent quality). I would like to collect more film copies from any individuals that served with Navy/Marine PB4Y-1 Liberator and PB4Y-2 Privateer squadrons (VD-1, VD-3, VD-4, VD-5, VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108, VP-109, VP-110, VP-111, VP-112, VP-115, VP-116, VP-117, VP-118, VP-119, VP-120, VP-121, VP-122, VP-123, and VP-124). Thanks. Alan C. Carey acarey@austin.rr.com..." [27OCT2006]

Note NOTICE: "...I am looking for friends of Clarence Ira Bordeman I believe he was part of the VP-104 stationed for most of WWII at Jinamoc Seaplane Base, San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, Philippines I think...Laura Brewer lbrewer@geologics.com..." [21MAR2005]

Note NOTICE: "...

VP-106 Crew
Shipmate Pix

"...Attached is a photo of my father Ben Antonik (second row, 3rd form left). He was Harry Sears' first pilot in crew 1. However, in this photo he is posing with a different aircraft and crew. I do not recognize the tail number or the crew form the tourbook (1st tour). I read in Horse Thompson's book that some of the pilots served temp duty as PPC's for VP106. Could this b a photo of a VP106 crew and plane? VP-104 and VP-106 both flew out of Henderson Field during VP-104's first tour. It is very possible that a shipmate from VP-104 may recognize the plane or crew. If anyone out there can shed some light it will be appreciated. Thanks - Chris Antonik cantonik@dol.net or cantonik@outland.dtcc.edu..." [03SEP98]

UPDATE "...The mystery of the photograph of my father with the unknown crew has been solved thanks to his Shipmates!

My father, Ben "Tony" Antonik was assigned to VB-104's first tour as 1st Pilot of Crew 1, Sears' Steers. After Dad had passed away in 1990, I found a photo of him with a crew and plane not shown in the VB-104 tour book. A year or so after posting the photo and request for information on this web site, I was contacted by several Shipmates with the information needed to solve the mystery.

In Horse Thompson's book "The Buccaneers of Harry Sears" on page 162 he quotes the VB-106 War Diary dated November 1943 as stating shortly after arriving at Guadalcanal, "an 18th crew was constituted from available flight personnel of the squadron, complete except for a PPC who is "borrowed" from VB-104." Thompson states having no recollection of a VB-104 PPC being loaned to VB-106.

Jimmy Matthews, tail gunner for Crew #9 (1st tour), provided some background by identifying my father as the original PPC for that crew while in MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Before the squadron was moved to Guadalcanal, Antonik was assigned as Sear's 1st pilot. Then Howard Ells, of VB-106 contacted me with more information. He stated that he recognized the photo as Crew #21 that was published in a 1985 tour book from VB-106. He also sent me a copy of the photo from the tour book with the names of the men: Back Row: Williams, Richardson, Antonik, Younger, Gallagher, Spencer. Front Row: Smith, McCrimmon, Rhem, Gougan, Grahm, Fitzpatrick.

The tour book also stated that Lt. Antonik was borrowed from VB-104. Information contained in Thompsons' book and the VB-106 War Diary for the months of December 1943 and January 1944 suggest that Antonik flew with VB-106 for approximately one or two months before returning to VB-104 before January 1, 1944.

Enclosed is a photograph taken in 1944 at the Guadalcanal Offficers Club which shows the camaraderie between the two squadrons. In the foreground is Ben Antonik (drinking the beer), center is Captain Hayward of VB-106 (with cigar), behind Hayward is "Big" John Burton (VB-104) and to Hayward's right is John Humphrey also of VB-104.


I'd like to extend a very sincere, and overdue, thanks to all who helped...Thanks - Chris Antonik cantonik@dol.net..." [13DEC2000]

Note NOTICE: "...Gentlemen: I represent the Stillwater Airport Memorial Museum of Stillwater, Oklahoma. For your information, our airfield was a storage and disposal site for 82 PB4Y-1's, (approximately a third of the total naval inventory of this particular type of aircraft), immediately after World War Two. Please be informed that for over the past eight years I have been writing a book about all of the 475 combat aircraft that were scrapped at Searcy Field. I am in the final stages of preparation of my book. Unfortunately, I'm lacking information and photographs concerning many of the Navy Liberators that were flown to Stillwater including: BUNO/SQUADRON: 31974 VF-4, 31986 VD-3, VMD-254, 32030 VB-103 VPB-105, 32041 VPB-105, 31991 VB-109, 32106 VD-1 VPB-197, VD-3, 32130 VB-109 VPB-121, 32133 VMD-254, 32152 VB-106 VPB-109, 32154 VB-106 VPB-109, 32156 VB-200 VPB-122, 32158 VD-3, 32232 VMD-254, 32311 VD-1, 32314 VD-1 VPB-122, 38970 VPB-103 VPB-114 VPB-117 , 46735 VPB-104 VPB-143, 65303 VB-112, VB-114, 65311 VPB-113, 65313 VPB-113, 65314 VPB-103 VPB-114, 65384 VPB-113, 65392 VPB-114, 65393 VPB-103 VPB-114, 65394 VPB-103 VPB-114, 90132 VPB-103 VPB-114, 90135 VPB-103 VPB-114, 90467 VPB-114, 90468 VPB-114, 90469 VPB-114, 90474 VPB-103 VPB-114. Any assistance you can give my organization will be greatly appreciated! Thank you. Sincerely, John L. Dienst, Curator (Emeritus), Stillwater Regional Airport Museum, 20365 Lorain Road B-7, Fairview Park, Ohio 44126...John L. Dienst Dienst@hotmail.com..." [Home Address updated 03MAR2004 | 13JAN2000]

Note NOTICE: "...All Hands of VB-104, VPB-104, VP-24, VP-HL-4, VA-(HM)13..."

I obtained your email address from the web site VPNAVYor through some other public forum. I am broadcasting this email message in the blind.

I solicit your participation in the VP-24 Veterans Association. It is a non-profit organization. Anyone (or spouse) who served in VP-24 or it's predecessor squadrons is welcome.

It will cost you nothing (although financial support is always needed and requested). You are encouraged to participate in reunion events and support the Association in anyway you can. I will not be contacting you again unless you contact me. Plane Captains, Chiefs, CO's, Dept. Heads and PPC's organize your crews/staffs to sign up! We need some youngsters to join, the Navy isn't making anymore VP-24 veterans! Those of you still in the NAVY, get the word out!

We have been having annual reunions for the last 10 years or so. We have about 400 people on our roster. In Oct. we had a reunion in Dayton OH with our brothers from VPB-104 of WW II fame, from which VP-24 is descended.

In 2000 (Plan Nov 11) we will have our next Reunion in Pensacola Fla! Be there. To get your name on the squadron roster contact via email, phone or surface mail:

Jack Claugherty
1830 Mate Circle
Cantonment, FL 32533
850-937-0853 jclaughert@aol.com


I am also writing a History of VP-24, including VP-HL-4 and VA-(HM)13. I have many facts from Naval Records. I need stories and pictures from you. Can you assist me? You'll get credit and any pictures will be returned. As you are 'wired' we can talk electronically. I can process just about any file type containing pictures!

Did you know the squadron once rescued Eddie Rickenbacker?
Did you know Eleanor Roosevlt once flew as co-pilot for 2.5 hours?
Did you know the squadron won 2 Presidential Unit Citations?
Did you know the squadron shot down Admiral Yamagata?
Did you know the Batgirl had a sex change?
Remember the time our plane landed with 15 gallons of fuel left?
Did you know the squadron lost a plane in New Foundland?
Did you know the squadron was in the middle of the Cuban Missile crises?
Did you know the squadron was disestablished in 1995?
Do you know how many people have served in VP-24?

I was in VP-24 in the mid 60's, in real airplanes (open windows, recip engines that leaked oil etc. I know, we didn't have guns!). There is little 'history' of the squadron in the 80's & 90's. I need a lot of help there.


Remember - email to Jack to be included on the roster. Email or call me regarding History.

Spread the word to the non-wired Shipmates! Pensacola 2000! We would like to have the roster up to 1,000 and have 300 vets at Pensacola!

Best of the Holidays to you and your families! Get the word out!

Andy Massa
15 Michigan Dr.
Hudson, MA 01749
978-294-2354 (work)
978-562-3222 (home) [10DEC99]

Note NOTICE: "...Researching US Navy missions in the Hong Kong area. On Mar 10 a PB4Y-2 of VPB-119 joined a VPB-104 PB4Y-1 in the Hong Kong area that was attacked by an "Oscar". The VPB-119 claimed the "Oscar". Does anyone remember this or other patrols around the HK area? Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks...Ian Quinn quinns@hkstar.com..." [19MAR99]

Note NOTICE: "...I'm looking for any info on a man named Jennings R. Opie, he was in VPB-104 Crew 20, and flew on the PB4Y-1. The aircraft #s he was on were BUNO #38752/38761. This is a friend of my dad, and he asked me to see if I couldnt find anything on him. Thank you...Bob Cissell rjcbigbob5@yahoo.com;rjcbigbob5@yahoo.com;..." [12NOV2004]

Note NOTICE: "...I am looking for info on my grandfather Robert L Hammond, Sr. I have found his name listed with VPB-104. I am looking for a picture of grandfather. If anyone has a picture or knows where I can find one can you please e-mail me with the information. Thank You in advance...Jennifer S Hammond wetnwildx2@aol.com..." [19DEC2002]

Note NOTICE: "...My mom's uncle Robert Miller flew with VPB-104 in 1944-45 based on Mindoro & Leyte. He was the radio/upper turret gunner in the PB4Y-1 flown by Capt. Whitney Wright. Does anyone have photos of this aircraft? I am interested in building a model of it but have no photos of his aircraft, and unfortunately he died several years ago. Thanks...Dave Calhoun dcalhoun01@snet.net..." [10SEP2000]

Note NOTICE: "...I am looking for info on my uncle David Solari. He was a radioman on some type of navy patrol bomber lost in action in 1944. The name of his squadron was the "Buccaneers" I believe. I would like to find some one who might have known something about the incident. I think they were flying out of Guam. His brother, my father, was too upset to talk about it for years and can't remember to much about it now but would like to know more now. My father is 88 yrs of age now...Marvin Solari solari@softcom.net..." [07FEB99]

UPDATE "...On Feb. 7 I asked for help finding information about my uncle, David Solari, M.I.A 1944. I wish to thank Nevins A. Frankel, H. Herzog, Paul Stevens, and H.J. Thompson for their help. I have ordered "The Buccaneers of Harry Sears." Mr. Thompson sent me a couple of pages by E-mail that have answered some 55 yr. old questions for our family. Thank you all...Marvin Solari solari@softcom.net..." [25FEB99]

Note NOTICE: "...My father Frank Orrall was in VB-104 (or VPB-104?) in '44 and '45 I believe, and I would very much hear from anyone who knew him or flew with him. I do not know the crew number, but I can relate some of the stories he told, such as flying into Hong Kong harbor just above the sails of the junks on the way to mainland china to fight japanese troops on the ground. He was a tail and a bow gunner at different times. I think he said he was a Pilot's Mate. He also spoke of flying early AM missions, one day on, and one day off. He related that he never felt more alive than when he and the crew would return at dawn from a mission, the sun just coming up and shining in his face as he walked back to the hangar with the whole day ahead of him, knowing that he had made it back and had two whole day ahead of him to live. He is not able to speak now, and I am grateful to find this site and hear the familiar tone in your stories that I recall in his. If anyone has any info to share, please contact me. I wish you all the best and look forward to coming back to your site. Thank you. Also, he has some pictures which I hope to provide for you here...Malcolm Orrall OrrallMQ@aol.com..." [18OCT98]

UPDATE "...I have since heard from Steve Hawley who saw the posting and said Dad was was in VP-102 & VP-197, crew # 132 of the third tour. Another person suggested the book, "Low Level Liberators," available through its author Paul Stevens (616-373-0147). This is all very useful and I appreciate the responses I have gotten..." [Info Updated 03NOV98 | 27OCT98]

Note NOTICE: "...My dad, William H. Thys (Willie) shipmates pix, served as Air Bomber in Crew 11 of VPB 104, during the second tour, 1 June 1944 - 1 June 1945. After "adapting" many B-24 model kits over the years to look like the PB4Y-1 my dad flew in, I'd finally given up on having an accurate model. Just recently, after MANY years away from the plastic model building hobby of my youth, I discovered that Academy/Minicraft has come up with what appears to be a very accurate 1/72nd scale model of the PB4Y-1, WITH the ERCO nose turret. I'd be interested in corresponding with any of dad's shipmates who could help me out with details such as true colors,etc of his plane. Though he passed on over 20-yrs ago, I'd still like to complete this little project. Thanks, Bill Thys BillTHYS@aol.com..."

Note NOTICE: "...Looking for missing guys that was in the U.S. NAVY Squadron VPB/VP-104 Buccaneer's & Screamers 1943-1945 - hello if this sound like you. I have 4 pages of missing guys I'am trying to find. I know everyone reads these guestbooks. I found one guy and it took me 2 years. We would like to know what happen if they passed away, or they are still around. Please write (Kathleen Brown- P.O. Box 1671, Glen Ellen, Ca. 95442) or e-mail. Please Help...Kathleen Brown happytail2003@yahoo.com..." [30NOV99]

UPDATE "...We are planning for our next Reunion. As you can imagine, we've lost touch with many Shipmates over the years. If anyone knows the whereabouts (alive or deceased) following shipmates - please let me know. Thanks! Kathleen happytail2003@yahoo.com..." [01DEC99]

"VP-104 Summary Page"