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HistoryVP-109 HistoryHistory

Circa 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News February 1949 "...Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 - Page 22 to 23 - Naval Aviation News - February 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/feb49.pdf [16JUL2004]

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Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-2, VPB-15, VPB-47, VPB-53, VPB-100, VPB-109, VPB-123, VPB-124, VPB-142, VPB-144, VPB-152, VPB-153, VPB-200 and VPB-205 - FAW-2 War Diary 1 APRIL to 30 APRIL 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [17OCT2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraFAW-2 VP Aircraft and Location "...FAW-2, VPB-15, VPB-53, VPB-100, VPB-108 and VPB-109 - FAW-2/A12-1-0133 01 MARCH TO 31 MARCH 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [15OCT2012]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The US Navy's Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Nine (VPB-109) based at Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippine Islands, launches the Special Weapons Ordnance Device (SWOD) Mk. 9 for the first time against an enemy target. The SWOD Mk. 9, or "Bat" missile, is a glide bomb consisting of a 1,000-pound bomb casing equipped with wings, twin tail and internal radar to guide it. Two Bats are launched by a VPB-109 Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer against Japanese shipping in Balikpapan, Borneo but both are defective and do not hit any targets..." WebSite: SeaWaves http://www.seawaves.com/ [09JUN2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Majuro Island - Circa 1945 - VPB-109..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [21OCT2006]

After a full week of rainy weather we finally left NAS Agana, Guam for NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Just about four hours into the flight our number four engine caught fire. The pilot pulled the fire extinguisher and feathered the prop to keep it from wind milling. The navigator was told to plot a course for the nearest island and stand by for a emergency landing. The Island of Majuro came back for a OK but said that the largest plane that had ever landed there was a R4D. We headed for the island and after a couple hours the pilot spotted our target and lowered the flaps and gear. I checked everything and gave him a thumbs up. I was yet to see the island so I asked where were we landing? At that moment our pilot made a sharp turn and started decending. I saw a small strip of coral running from one waters edge to the other. I said to myself he must be kidding. He sat down as close to the end as possible and started riding the brakes. You could really smell the rubber and smoke. I opened the top hatch as he turned off the strip so I could watch the wing tips. I heard a popping noise and as I turned the high tail was snapping wires and sparks flying everywhere. I jumped down and told the pilot what was happening and to cut the engines. After they cleared the fire trucks away they towed us to a parking place. I got some stands with lots of help and removed the cowling from the number four engine. The rain on NAS Agana, Guam had rusted the bolts holding the exhaust manifold and burned through an oil line. I cleaned the engine and inspected the other engines and tail for damage. After fueling the aircraft we decided to spend the night and take off early the next day. Security was tight for they were holding trial on the Japanese that beheaded some of the B25 crew members that bombed Toyko. Next morning the entire island was on hand to see if we could make it off. We taxied out with our tail over the waters edge we poured on the power and made a dry run to see if the brakes were OK. We taxied back put the engines in full power holding the brakes. The Privateer vibrated and shook until the pilot released the brakes. Seems as if we would never go at the speed we needed. I closed my eyes and felt the plane lift off the reef. All I could see was white caps. After the gear and flaps were up the pilot climbed to about 300 feet and made a pass over the island wiggling our wings as a salute and thanks. Soon as we landed at NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where the other VPB-109 planes were. The CO met us and said since we had a new plane we were to join a weather outfit back on Okinawa, Japan. By this time I was really disgusted for I had more than enough points for shore duty. I told my pilot that my second mechanic was a good plane captain and I flew back with VPB-109 as a passenger.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Reunion - Circa 1945 - Squadrons/NAS Mentioned: NAS Hutchinson, Kansas, VPB-109, VPB-197 and VPB-200..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [21OCT2006]

I left patrol VPB-107 in December 1944. I ended up in a PBM squadron at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas in january 1945 and told the Personal Officer that I was a PB4Y man and would like to get back where I could do the most good. So on February 1945 he cut me a set of orders for Combat Aircrewman School at NAS Hutchinson, Kansas. They had a bunch of old PB4Y's they used for training purposes. It was like home coming when I checked in. I met a lot of pilots I flew with at NAF Natal, Brazil. LT Bill Bofenkamp was one of my favorites and we hit it right off. He took me aside and ask if I would do him a favor - anything I replied. We are to replace a crew in VPB-197 on okinawa would you pick out a good crew (like I know you can) and we will train as Crew M68. The only accident we had while training was on a training flight. We ran into a snowstorm and returned to the base. We had no one to park us so we waited. I finally told Bill I would get out and wave us to a parking place. As I started out my second mechanic said "let me go." The last thing I said to John was when you go out the bomb bay door go aft and around the wing tip. We waited and here comes a jeep at full speed waving his arms and giving us the cut engine sign. I knew what happened - grabbed the medical kit and dashed outside. What I saw made me sick. John had put his head directly into the prop! There was nothing but blood and mess every where and he was just making a gurgling sound. After filing our report I was told to inspect the prop for damage, clean and gas the plane. They made us go up and fly a couple hours. John was flown to a brain specialist but passed away later. We graduated April 1945 and sent to NAS for survival in the Everglades. May 1945 we reported to VPB-197 NAAS Camp Kearny, California. There I got the bad news. Bill told me his wife Betty was pregnant and he would not be going with us. We were saddened but left for VPB-200 NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Upon landing the pilot hit a telephone pole and knocked the right wing tip off. We waited a week for them to fly a wing tip from the states and then we were off for VPB-197 on Okinawa, Japan. When we landed the CO said we were going to NAS Agana, Guam for a week of R and R then return to NAS Alameda, California for disestablishment.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...28 Units Receive Commendation - Naval Aviation News - October 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/15oct45.pdf [10NOV2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...06FEB45 - The Chief of Naval Operations directed that, following a period of training at MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, VPB-109, VPB-123, and VPB-124 of FAW-2 be equipped to employ the SWOD Mark9 (Bat) glide bomb in combat..." http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-1910/PART05.PDF [23APR2004]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVPB-109 History "...BUNO: 59522 - 'Miss Lotta Tail' - Circa 1945..." Contributed by John Lucas john.lucas@netzero.net [13FEB2004]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Lockheed Aircraft ThumbnailCameraVPB-109 or VPB-118 PB4Y-2 Picture BUNO: Unknown "...PB4Y from either VPB-109 or VPB-118 at Miramar, June 1945. Photo from the TailHook Association http://www.tailhook.org/..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [16FEB2002]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Lockheed Aircraft ThumbnailCameraVPB-109 or VPB-118 PB4Y-2 Picture BUNO: Unknown "...PB4Y from either VPB-109 or VPB-118 at Miramar, June 1945. Photo from the TailHook Association http://www.tailhook.org/..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [16FEB2002]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I just read a fascinating article in the November 2000 issue of Aviation History Magazine. It detailed a 30 minute running gun battle (May 17, 1945) between two PB4Y2's of VPB-109 and 12 Japanese fighters. After a patrol near Korea and sinking a ship with a BAT, Crew 7 in Hogans Goat and crew 12 flying in Blind Bomber were returning home. Their path took them across the southern tip of Kyushu where they unknowingly flew over a Japanese fighter base. They were attacked by 12 fighters that were identified as J2M "Jacks" and Ki44 "Tojos" by the Americans. (Later research has identified them as N1K2-J "Georges", the Japanese Navy's best late model fighters.) Upon spotting the attackers the Privateers dropped to a few hundred feet of altitude to protect their undersides and headed for the open sea. Any direction that the attackers tried they were in the line of fire from at least 8 machine guns. The Japanese aircraft attacked the heavily armed Privateers many times in a battle that continued for 100 miles out to sea and the Japanese aircraft broke off as they ran low on fuel. One of the Japanese aircraft was shot down and near the end of the attack Hogans Goat sustained heavy damage from a frontal assault by one of the enemy fighters wounding several of the crew members. The aircraft was able to continue home and fly again. VPB-109 was decommissioned Oct. 19, 1845 and was credited with shooting down 6 enemy aircraft, destroying 118 ships and made strikes on many land installations. Along with a brief history of VPB-109 the article covered the changes that were made to the PB4Y-1 (B-24)Liberator to come up with the PB4Y-2 Privateer, one of the most heavily defended and potent aircraft of it's day. Hats off to VPB-109..." Contributed by DELL, Bob thedells@ctaz.com [27SEP2002]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...23APR45--Flying Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateers, Navy crews from VPB-109 launch two Bat missiles against Japanese ships in Balikpapan Harbor, Borneo. This is the first known use of automatic homing missiles during World War II.." http://www.af.mil/50th/library/chrono1.html

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The Privateer was primarily used for patrol missions in support of amphibious operations during the latter stages of the Pacific war. The crew was typically 11 to 13. Three squadrons (VPB-109, VPB-123, and VPB-124) were equipped with PB4Y-2Bs which carried an ASM-N-2 Bat anti-shipping radar-homing glide bomb underneath each wing. The Bat was 12 feet long, hand a 10-foot wingspan, and weighed 1600 pounds. The first operational use of the Bat was on April 23, 1945 when a VPB-109 Privateer launched a pair of these gliding bombs against enemy shipping in Valikpapan harbor on Borneo. . " http://www.csd.uwo.ca:80/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/b024-37.html


Circa 1944 - 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPB4Y-2 Squadron Assignments "...PB4Y-2 Squadron Assignments 1944 - 1949 by W. T. Larkins 5-11-1984. A review of the aircraft history cards for the 740 aircraft 59350-60009 and 66245-66324 allows the following squadrons with one or more aircraft. Unfortunately the original assignment on many in 1944 is simply "PAC" for Pacific area. No card was found to verify VB-200 as the first squadron delivery or any Marine Corps squadrons. Squadrons listed include VP-12, VP-21, VP-22, VP-23, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-29, VPB-100, VPB-101, VPB-10, VPB-102, VPB-104, VPB-106, VPB-107, VPB-108, VPB-109, VPB-111, VPB-114, VPB-115, VPB-116, VPB-117, VPB-118, VPB-119, VPB-120, VPB-121, VPB-122, VPB-123, VPB-124, VPB-143, VPB-197, VPB-200, VP-HL-1, VP-HL-2, VP-HL-4, VP-HL-6, VP-HL-7, VP-HL-8, VP-HL-9, VP-HL-10, VP-HL-11, VP-HL-12, VP-HL-13, VPM-1, VPW-1, VPW-2, VPW-3, VX-1 and VX-2..." Contributed by Bill Larkins wtl@earthlink.net [01AUG2010]


Circa 1944 - 1945

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 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USN US Navy WWII Good Conduct medal named to Aviation Machinist's Mate Third Class Clarence H. Ziehlke. He was involved in the Battle of Eniwetok February 1944. Ziehlke was attached to VPB-109, declared missing, then dead (01-15-1946). Medal on excellent strong and clean ribbon with slot broach. Planchet is officially impressed "CLARENCE H. ZIEHLKE", location or data regarding his other awards are unknown, EF , Extremely fine as pictured..." WebSite: EBay http://www.ebay.com/ [30SEP2015]

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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: "...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: PB4Y ThumbnailCameraVP-109 PB4Y BUNO: Unknown "...VB-109 Crew 6's PB4Y-1 Climbaboard turning her engines. Marshall Islands 1944..." Contributed by Alan Carey acarey@austin.rr.com [03FEB2002]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...08JAN44 - Aerial minelaying operations in the Marshalls continue: eight PB4Y-1s (VB-108 and VB-1098), flying from Apemama, mine the waters off Wotje and then strafe enemy facilities on the island and shipping offshore; seven PBY-5s (VP-72), flying from Tarawa, mine Wotje anchorage and Schischmarov Strait..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1944.html [13SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...7 Jul–24 Aug 1944: VB-116 was deployed to Eniwetok, commencing operational patrols and sectorsearches by the 12th. Truk and Ponape were the frequent targets of the squadron's missions. Occasional VD-4 escorts were provided for VD-4 during low level photographic reconnaissance flights over Truk. During the first two weeks of August, VB-116 flew several missions with VB-109 against enemy positions on Truk, Wake Island and Ponape. From 17–24 August 1944, the squadron flew special search patrols with VB-102 operating from Isley and East Fields, Saipan..." http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-vol2/Chap5.pdf [12FEB2004]

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]

RO-117, 17 June 1944
Type: Small, short-range, Class B Submarine, Type KS Laid Down: 1941, Kawasaki, Kobe
Commissioned: 1943
Commander: LCDR Yasuo Enomoto
Career: Assigned: SubRon 7 Successes: None

Fate: Sunk by a VB-109 PB4Y-1 Liberator at 0338, between Guam and Truk, position 11°05'N, 150°31'E. Lost with all hands. Lieutenant William B. Bridgeman and crew sank RO-117, which had left Truk on 5 June bound for a position off Saipan. Originally claimed by the squadron as possible damaged, the submarine was confirmed as sunk by Japanese records after the war. (entire crew of 55 were lost).

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...14SEP44--PB4Y Liberators, of VB-109 based at Saipan, made the first strike on Iwo Jima by shore-based planes." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/avchr5.htm


Circa 1943 - 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Around the Bend of the World by Thomas George Wack - Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 Circa 1943 - 1945..." WebSite: The George and Eleanor Wack Family http://imps.mcmaster.ca/wackfamily-public/documents/uncle-toms-memoir/ [30MAY2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VB/VPB-109 (The Reluctant Raiders; December 1943 to August 1944 and April to August 1945). Commanding officers: Commander Norman "Bus" "Buzz" Miller (1943-1944); Lt. Commander George L. Hicks (1944-45). Based at Apamama, Gilbert Islands; Kwajalein, Marshall Islands; Eniwetok, Marshall Islands; Isley Field, Saipan. Commander Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for a mission to Truk and Puluwat. On the second tour, as a PB4Y-2 squadron,it was based at Palawan, Philippines; Yontan Field, Okinawa; Iwo Jima. Flew PB4Y-1 Liberators during first tour and PB4Y-2 Privateers during the second tour. It was the first squadron to use the SWOD mk-9 "Bat." ..." WebSite: U.S. Navy Pacific-Based PB4Y Squadrons in World War II http://www.alanc.carey.freeservers.com/custom3.html [26NOV2005]

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

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VB/VPB-109 (The Reluctant Raiders; December 1943 to August 1944 and April to August 1945)..." WebSite: PB4Y-1 Liberator and PB4Y-2 Privateers Information Center http://alanc.carey.freeservers.com/custom3.html [11DEC2007]

Commanding officers: Commander Norman "Bus" "Buzz" Miller (1943-1944); Lt. Commander George L. Hicks (1944-45). Based at Apamama, Gilbert Islands; Kwajalein, Marshall Islands; Eniwetok, Marshall Islands; Isley Field, Saipan. Commander Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for a mission to Truk and Puluwat. On the second tour, as a PB4Y-2 squadron,it was based at Palawan, Philippines; Yontan Field, Okinawa; Iwo Jima. Flew PB4Y-1 Liberators during first tour and PB4Y-2 Privateers during the second tour. It was the first squadron to use the SWOD mk-9 "Bat."

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_navyL.html [22NOV2007]

MILLER, NORMAN MICKEY

Synopsis:

The Navy Cross is presented to Norman Mickey Miller, Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action as commander Patrol-Bombing Squadron 109 (VPB-109) and pilot of a PB4Y aircraft at Truk Lagoon, where he destroyed a 10,000 ton tanker and severely damaged a 5,000 ton cargo ship. He then proceeded to Puluwat and staffed d part of Japanese, killing more than 30 men and demolishing their truck. Despite being badly wounded, he flew his plane 800 miles to a safe landing. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Born: February 1, 1908 at Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Home Town: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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: "...Four veterans of VB-109 awarded the DFC and Air Medal after 54 years. Howard Bensing, Robert Carey, George Murphy, and Robert Tovey (deceased) were awarded two DFC's and nine Air Medals earlier this year for their service with the squadron from 31 December 1943 to 14 August 1944..." Contributed by Alan C. Carey Will673@IBM.net [22OCT98]


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