A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Sometime in Sept/Oct 1945 I was a member of one of 30 or 40 "skeleton crews" from HedRon 5 sent to NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England to ferry back PB4Ys that had been left there when VPB-114 crews were brought home. We travelled aboard the USS Albemarle (AV-5) from the Norfolk area to England (Plymouth, I think) and for us airdales it was a "pleasure cruise." We came back through Nova Scotia and took the planes to NAS Norman, Oklahoma where I believe they were scrapped. I was an ARM and this was my only sea duty! BORN, John F. firstname.lastname@example.org..." [20DEC2008]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...United States Atlantic Fleet - Air Force - Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Fourteen - 1 June 1945 - Flight Crew List..." Contributed by Ray Deyoung and forwarded by Lee Fleck email@example.com [11JAN2008]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VPB-114 Memories..." Contributed by John (Jack) Born firstname.lastname@example.org [10MAY2004]Circa 1944 - 1949
In January 1946 a group of us were at NAS Hutchinson, Kansas checking out in PB4Y2s. Sometime in April I was in one of three crews who took the first PB4Ys from Edenton, NC to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco. I remember that on our first flight to Gibraltar the British tower personnel thought we were a B29. That was in BUNO: 59921. I left NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco in August 1946 for NAS Atlantic City, New Jersey (my home town) and was discharged in Philadelphia in September.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...00XXX45--During the first few years of hurricane reconnaissance, the Navy used aircraft from various naval activities in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean areas. The first aircraft used was the PBM Mariner seaplane. In 1945, Navy Patrol Bomber Squadron 114 (VPB-114), stationed at NAS Masters Field, Miami, Florida, was assigned the task of making the reconnaissance flights, using the famous World War II patrol bomber, the PB4Y Privateer. From 1946 to 1949 the Privateers continued the hurricane flight while the squadron's designation was changed to Weather Squadron Three (VPW-3), Meteorological Squadron THREE (VPM-3), and Heavy Land Based Patrol Bomber Squadron THREE (VPHL-3). In 1949 Patrol Squadron TWENTY-THREE (VP-23) was commissioned at the Naval Air Station, Miami, for the job. The forerunner of VW-4 was Navy Weather Squadron TWO (VJ-2), commissioned during the 1952 Hurricane season at NAS, Jacksonville, Florida. The following year, the Hurricane Hunters replaced the Privateers with P2V Neptune, and in that same year the squadron's designation was changed to Airborne Early Warning Squadron FOUR. Hurricane reconnaissance techniques have improved greatly during recent years. Squadrons VPB-114, VPM-3, and VPHL-3 contributed to the research and initial development of the famous low-level penetration technique stated in 1943. This method has been used by the Navy for more than twenty years..." http://www.aewa.org/Library/vw4/vw4.html
A BIT OF HISTORY: PB4Y-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 email@example.com [01AUG2010]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET - AIR FORCE - PATROL BOMBING SQUADRON ONE HUNDRED FOURTEEN - NIGHT SEARCHLIGHT - PATROL AND ATTACK DOCTRINE from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington firstname.lastname@example.org [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Thanks from Nation - Promotion to ENS - Promotion to LT from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington email@example.com [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...War Diary's April 11-12, April 13 and April 14-16, 1944 from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington firstname.lastname@example.org [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...NAS Chincoteague, Virginia ID and NAS Jacksonville, Florida ID from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington email@example.com [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Meritorious Performance Award and Distinguished Flying Cross from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington firstname.lastname@example.org [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Crew Photographs from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington email@example.com [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Squadron and PB4Y-1 Liberator Aircraft Photograph from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington firstname.lastname@example.org [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VPB-114 History "...War Against U-Boats Newspaper Article from my late father-in-law (LT George Abbott Middleton - Pilot) personal collection..." Contributed by E. Frank Howington email@example.com [14OCT2016]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "..."…WWII Navy Pilot Receives Medals 60+ Years Later - Article by: BMC Christine Martinez - Photos by: MC1 Janine Deneault…" Contributed by BMCS Christine Martinez firstname.lastname@example.org [15SEP2009]
"...I want to let you
know that Joe Bunting passed away just before Christmas: Joseph Bunting Obituary Announcement. His wife, Jean called to let me know. The funeral will be 23 JAN, but I don't have any other details yet..." Contributed by BMCS Christine Martinez email@example.com [15JAN2016]
Phoenix--It took more than 64 years, but LT(jg) Joe Bunting finally received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal, which he earned during World War II. Navy Operational Support Center, Phoenix, when Cmdr. Pat Sanders, NOSC CO, pinned on the medals 10 February, as more than 200 Sailors looked on.
"I think it's a great honor," said Bunting, humbly adding, "there are a lot of people who deserve it as much or more than I do."
The 86-year-old didn't even know he was entitled to the awards until a VP-114 Reunion a few years ago, and his surviving flying buddies told him about it.
Bunting wrote several letters, but his wife Jean said things really got rolling, when he wrote to Arizona Senator John McCain. (McCain, himself, was a Naval Aviator in Vietnam). In February, Bunting got a call from The Pentagon, then another call from LT Patrick Callan, the XO of NOSC, Phoenix.
"He asked if I would come in during the Drill Weekend. It brought back a lot of fond memories, and a lot of times not so fond (the 5 years I was in the Navy)."
LT Callan read the presentation on behalf of the President and CNO: "VP-114 was the only nighttime Submarine Warfare Squadron in the Atlantic, using a 50 million candle-watt searchlight to hunt and attack submarines. In concert with other Squadrons and ships, they successfully defeated Nazi efforts to control critical shipping lanes during World War II. VP-114 also provided low altitude ASW and anti-surface conduct in advance of and during the Normandy Invasion."
Bunting's Squadron played an integral part in the D-Day Success. "A lot of flying at the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France. We kept the German subs out of the English Channel for 3 days, while the Invasion Started."
Flying at extremely low levels in PBY-1 Liberators, this was no easy task, "We kinda kidded that we put on oxygen at 500 feet, because that was our cruising altitude. At one mile out, we were at 100 feet, and the searchlight operator would turn on the light."
By August 1943, Bunting had flown more than 40 missions from Gibraltar to the Azores, hunting down and destroying German U-Boats. "Sure, we'd like to sink subs, but our main duty was keeping them underwater, where they had to operate on batteries, and when they came up to recharge, the daytime squadrons had a much better shot."
Bunting's patrols lasted 11 to 13 hours, long before the Navy documented pilot fatigue. However, his long days in the cockpit paved the way for the Navy's Aviation Future. "I talked with the CO here. He never flew the PB4Y's, naturally, he's much too young. But he was a pilot with the PB3 Squadron; it was a final break-off of our Squadron as they changed airplanes."
"As a matter of fact," added Sanders, "it's because of him and others of his generation that there were improvements made, so we could fly safer and become more proficient at guarding our seas and way of life." He told Bunting, "My generation has a profound debt to you and the world you left us."
AM3 Kevin Delosh described the actions as "something brave, courageous.. greatest generation ever, and I believe it's being carried out these days, too. It makes me want to strive further, and be the best that I can be."
More information on Bunting
He served in the Navy 21 NOV 1941-19 MAY 1946, starting out as a Yeoman Third Class in the 9th Naval District Public Relations. He jumped at the opportunity to attend Flight Training at Lambert Field, St. Louis, MO. Bunting flew almost every Aircraft build during WWII: Piper Cub, N2S3 Steerman, SNJ Advance Trainer, SNB Beechcraft, PBY Catalina, PBM Martin Mariner, PB4Y Liberator, SB2C Curtiss Helldiver, F4F Bowman and F6F Bowman. He also piloted 2 drones: TD2C Culver Cadet & SO3C Curtiss Scout Plane. He lives in Sun Lakes Arizona with his wife, Jean. They have 3 sons: Joseph Jr., Steve & Richard.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...ANNEX FOX - Flight Organization - Depart 20 February 1944 - First Division..." Contributed by Ray Deyoung and forwarded by Lee Fleck firstname.lastname@example.org [11JAN2008]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...These pictures were taken at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island in January 1944. They are of my fathers crew (Bernard Fleck) during training with VB-114 before being deployed on night patrols. The Number "4" can be seen on the side of this liberator..." Contributed by Lee Fleck email@example.com [14DEC2007]
"...The members of my Dad's Crew # 6 Plane #4 (#32197) were: First Pilot - Lt. B.A. Fleck, 2nd Pilot - Lt. L.A. Freeland, 3rd Pilot - Ens. W.O. Whithorne, Nav - Ens. Charles McNulty, PC - E.G. Dowland AMM2/C, 1M - S.H. Overton AMM2/C, 2M - B.B. Stockton AMM3/C, 1R - J.J. Hanlon ARM2/C, 2R - L.J. Davis ARM3/C, 3R - E.A. Engler ARM2/C and 1O - W. Looker S/1C..." Contributed by Lee Fleck firstname.lastname@example.org [18DEC2007]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...This man was in a Navy Bomb sqd that did anti sub patrol in the north sea and England, Ireland, off the coast of Spain and the Azores. His log book is full of entries for the years 1944 and 45 while he served in PB4Y aircraft. His log lists that on August 24th, 1944 his aircraft spotted and killed a German U-boat..." WebSite: EBay http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/win73-4440 [21NOV2007]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here some of my Dad's (Bernard A. Fleck) pictures taken at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island circa 1944..." Contributed by Lee Fleck email@example.com [07FEB2007]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...31JAN44--The wreckage of Bureau # 32181 has been located in 150 feet of water off Block Island. The aircraft has been missing since 31 January 1944. At the time of the disappearance the plane was assigned to VB-114. The appropriate government agencies have been contact but have expressed no interest in investigating the wreck to ascertain whether or not the remains of the 10 crewmen lost with the aircraft are still aboard. Am presently looking for the next of kin of the following crewmen; NEFF,HAROLD L LT, MCCLELLAN,HC LT, KINNEY,NB ENS, LIEN,AJ AMM1C, YEZERSKI,P AMM2C, KLINE,WJ ARM3C, HINGER,WJ ARM3C, HORNSTEIN,N AMM3C, HARDIN,W ARM3C, and LINEHAN,JH AOM2C..." Contributed by Ted Darcy firstname.lastname@example.org WebSite: http://wfirg.com/
A BIT OF HISTORY: VP-114 History "...VP-114 Establishment in Virginia Beach - Photograph provided by Joe Bunting an Officer and Pilot in VB-114. My Dad (FLECK, Bernard A.) is the sixth one in on the first line of officers..." Contributed by Lee Fleck email@example.com [05JAN2008]
VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED
A BIT OF HISTORY: VP-114 History "...Photo was taken in Africa. The one with the six people in are ?, Charles McNulty, W.C. Whitthorne, Your Dad (FLECK, Bernard A.), Marty Kranz and John Meyers. Photograph provided by Joe Bunting an Officer and Pilot in VB-114. My Dad (FLECK, Bernard A.) is the sixth one in on the first line of officers..." Contributed by Lee Fleck firstname.lastname@example.org [05JAN2008]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 09 Nov 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [01OCT2006]
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-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-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
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Memories..." Contributed by BUNTING, LT Joe H. Retired email@example.com [27MAR2002]Circa 1942-1945
I was an original member of this squadron which was commissioned on Aug. 26, 1943 at the Oceana NAS at Virginia Beach, VA. At this time I was an Ensign and a co-pilot. We were designated as a night searchlight squadron carrying a one million candlepower searchlight under our right wing. We were the only squadron of this type in the Atlantic operation.Our original training in the PB4Y-1 took place at Oceana NAS.
On Dec. 28, 1943 to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island for Operational Training. On Jan. 31, l944 we lost the only plane and crew of the 19 months that I was with this squadron. This was during a night training excercise and extensive search turned up no reckage. This was Bureau #32181 and I see that the "Bit Of History" site states that the reckage has now been found.
On Feb. 24, 1944 the squadron left NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island flying to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco. This was our home base. The PB4Y- 1 carried a ten man crew and an armament of 10 - 50 caliber machine guns, 9 - 250 pound torpex depth charges, and a 680 pound bomb (actually and accoustic torpedo} at that time it was classified as a bomb for security reasons.
On May 1, 1944 one-half of the squadron was sent to Gibralter to patrol the straights and into the Mediteranian.
Our patrols were all at night and were from 11 to 13 hours. We would take over an area from a daylight squadron and then turn it back to a daylight squadron when we left the area.
On June 18, l944 our group left Gibralter and went to NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England. We were sent there to participate in the envasion of France. Our patrols were flying back and forth across the channel. About that same time the other one-half of our squadron that was in NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco was move to Lagens Field, Terciera Island in the Azores.
On Oct. 15, 1944 our group left NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England and went to the Azores and the group that was there went to NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England to take our place. I then flew patrols out of Terciera untilI left there on April 4, l945 Norfolk for reasignment.
I flew a total of 39 night searchlight patrols while I was with this wonderful group of men in VPB-114
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...The squadron's history may be traced back to August 26, 1943. When Bombing Squadron 114, flying the PB4Y Liberator from the NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, was asked with Convoy protection duty in the Atlantic during WW II. On 1 October 1944 was designated VPB-114, and on 15 November 1946 VP-HL-6 with HB as tail code on its PB4Y-2 Privateers. Successively the squadron adopted the code EK and in 1947 was based in NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco, with temporary detachments at Hal Far, Malta. On 15 September 1948 the squadron was designated VP-26. One of its PB4Y-2 was shot down in the Baltic Sea by Soviet fighters in 1950. In 1951 the squadrton received the P2V-3 Neptune and subsequently moved from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland to NAS Brunswick, Maine. in 1953 the code was EB. In 1958 the VP-26 passed to the P2V-5, with code LK. Some of the highlights..." Contributed by Claudio Antonelli firstname.lastname@example.org [24DEC2000]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-5 - History of Headquarters Squadron Fleet Air Wing Five - 01SEP42 through 01JAN45. Squadron's Assigned: VP-15, VP-16, VP-17, VP-18, VP-21, VP-22, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-31, VP-52, VP-63, VP-81, VP-92, VP-94, VPB-105, VPB-107, VPB-110, VPB-111, VPB-112, VPB-113, VPB-114, VPB-126, VPB-134, VPB-147, VPB-149, VP-201, VP-205, VP-208, VP-209, VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216 - Submitted Feburary 1, 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [27NOV2012]
A 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]
"VP-114 History Summary Page"