VPNAVY VP-5 Mercury Capsule Recovery
http://www.vpnavy.org
VPNAVY Address

HistoryVP-16 HistoryHistory

Circa 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News October 1949 "...Photo Unit Flies Long Hops - Page 27 - Naval Aviation News - October 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/oct49.pdf [13JUL2004]

Naval Aviation News May 1948

Circa 1946

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN, known as the "War Eagles", has the primary mission of detecting, tracking, and if necessary, destroying hostile submarines. Secondary missions include Anti-surface Warfare, mine laying, shipping surveillance, reconnaissance and search and rescue. The squadron was commissioned in May 1946 at NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida, as VP-ML-56operating six amphibious PBY "Catalinas". Redesignated VP-741 in 1949, the squadron continued to operate in reserve status until the commencement of hostilities in Korea in 1951. At which time, the "Catalinas" were replaced with Lockheed P2 "Neptune" patrol bombers. In February 1953, VP-741 was made part of the regular Navy with the new designation of VP-16. During their colorful history, the "War Eagles" have participated in activities and exercises on both the east and west coasts, and throughout the world including Springboard Operations and UNITAS XI, XIII, XX, XXII, XXVII, XXIX, and XXXIV (exercises around the South American continent). In 1961, VP-16 commenced Project Mercury participation as a part of the Space Capsule Recovery Force. The first aircraft over the "Friendship Seven" capsule of LTCOL John H. Glenn belonged to VP-16. In the more recent past, VP-16 has deployed to NAS Bermuda, NAS Keflavik, Iceland, NS Rota, Spain, NAS Sigonella, Sicily, and the Caribbean. The "Eagles" were awarded the Battle "E" for Battle Readiness in 1973, 1974 and 1983. In November 1982 in preparation for a split deployment to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and NS Rota, Spain, VP-16 won the Top Bloodhound Award for torpedo placement accuracy and set new Wing records in the Operational Readiness Evaluation. Setting a standard for retention excellence, VP-16 also won the CPW-11 Retention Cup for both halves of FY-82; the CPW-11 Bronze Anchor Award; and the COMNAVAIRLANT Silver Anchor Award. While deployed, the "War Eagles" again established their reputation as leaders in ASW. Aggressive ASW was demonstrated time and again, and the squadron won two COMSSIXTHFLT "Hook-Em" Awards for ASW excellence in the Mediterranean. The squadron also received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for ASW prosecutions conducted in the Lajes ASW sector, and the Navy Expeditionary Medal for support of U.S. forces in Lebanon. VP-16's return to NAS Jacksonville, Florida in June 1983 marked a first at NAS Jacksonville, Florida with the transition to the P-3 Update III aircraft. Awards received during 1983 included the "Golden Wrench" Award for Maintenance Excellence, the COMINEWARCOM "Miner of the Year" designation and the CPW-11 "Top Gun" Award for all facets of weapon loading and delivery excellence.." Contributed by Paul Waeghe, Jr. pjwaeghe@bellsouth.net


Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...VPB-16 Remedies Spoiler Damage - Naval Aviation News - May 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/1may45.pdf [10NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

Circa 1944 - 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I wrote an article for Voices from the Pacific War about VP-16 when they were flying the PBM during WWII. My article is featured in WWII History - "VP-16 and Operation Forager" - In the opening hours of the battle of the Philippine Sea, and American patrol plane was unable to transmit the location of the Japanese fleet..." Contributed by PETTY, AO2 Bruce M. brucempetty@yahoo.com [05MAR2016]

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Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16) - Action Report - Palau Campaign - August 22nd through September 12th, 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [14OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16) - U. S. Action with Enemy on 23JUN44..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [21JAN2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-5 - VP-16 - War Diary - War Diary - 1 February 1944 to 29 February 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [24OCT2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraFAW-2 VP Aircraft and Location "...FAW-2, VPB-4, VPB-11, VPB-13, VPB-16, VPB-26, VPB-27, VPB-28, VPB-34, VPB-52, VPB-100 and VPB-106 - FAW-2/A12-1-013 December to 31 December 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [15OCT2012]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USS Pocomoke (AV-9)..." WebSite: History Central m/Navy/Tender/pocomokeIII.html [20NOV2006]

...She tended sea planes at Kwajalein and Eniwetok before anchoring off Saipan 15 June 1944 to begin operations for Patrol Squadron 16 which were continued until 12 September...

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: History ThumbnailCameraYakutat (AVP-32) as a Coast Guard cutter (WHEC-380) "...Yakutat - A bay on the southern coast of Alaska. (AVP-32: dp. 2,411 (f.); l. 310'9"; b. 41'2"; dr. 11'11"; s. 18.5 k.; cpl. 367; a. 2 5", 8 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 dct.; cl. Barnegat)...Squadrons Mentioned: VPB-13, VPB-16, VPB-17, VPB-27 and VPB-216..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/y1/yakutat.htm [22DEC2005]

Photograph Caption: Yakutat (AVP-32) as a Coast Guard cutter (WHEC-380), in the gray finish used on cutters operating in Vietnam.

Yakutat (AVP-32) was laid down on 1 April 1942 at Seattle, Wash., by Associated Shipbuilders, Inc.; launched on 2 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Peter Barber, a mother who had lost three sons when the battleship Oklahoma (BB-37) was sunk on 7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor; and commissioned on 31 March 1944, Comdr. George K. Fraser in command.

After her shakedown in the San Diego, Calif., area, Yakutat got underway on 25 May and arrived at San Pedro, Calif., late the following day. Following post-shakedown availability in the West Coast Shipbuilders' yard at San Pedro, the small seaplane tender sailed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 17 June; she reached Ford Island one week later.

Underway at 0700 on 28 June, Yakutat steamed for the Marshalls as an escort for Makin Island (CVE-93). Arriving at Kwajalein on 6 July, she shifted to Eni-wetok within a week, where she embarked officers and men of a patrol service unit and took on board a cargo of 5-inch illuminating ammunition. She sailed for Saipan on 14 July.

Reaching recently secured Tanapag Harbor on 17 July, Yakutat began setting up a seaplane base there and immediately commenced servicing seaplanes, providing subsistence and quarters for the aviators and aircrews attached to those aircraft. The tender provided the aircraft with gasoline and oil via bowser fueling boats and commenced servicing planes by the over-the-stern method as well.

Yakutat remained at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, Marianas Islands for the rest of July, all of August, and into September. After shifting to the Garapan anchorage, Saipan, on 8 September, Yakutat transferred all plane personnel to USS Coos Bay (AVP-25) and sailed for the Palaus on the 12th. In company with USS Chandeleur (AV-10), USS Pocomoke (AV-9), USS Onslow (AVP-48), and USS Mackinac (AVP-13), Yakutat reached Kossol Passage on 16 September, the day after the initial landings on Pelelieu.

Proceeding to the seaplane operation area via a "comparatively well-marked channel" and "while sweeping operations went on continuously" nearby, Yakutat soon commenced laying out a seaplane anchorage. The following day, the tender serviced the first plane of VPB-216, furnishing fuel and boat service.

With nine planes operational, VPB-216 was based on Yakutat, conducting long-range patrols and antisubmarine sweeps daily. During that time, the tender also served as secondary fighter director unit and experienced air alerts on six occasions. Enemy planes remained in the vicinity for varying lengths of time and occasionally dropped bombs in the lagoon area.

Yakutat serviced the Martin PBM patrol planes into early November 1944. On 9 November, the ship got underway for Ulithi and arrived there the following day. Yakutat tended planes there from 13 to 26 November before she underwent a drydocking for a routine bottom cleaning and hull repairs. She then sailed for Guam on the 29th.

Reaching Apra Harbor on the 30th, Yakutat loaded spare parts for Martin PBM Mariner flying boats before she got underway on the 2d to return to Saipan. She arrived later the same day; completed the discharge of her cargo two days later and, on the 5th, took on board 13 officers and 30 men of VPB-216 for temporary subsistence.

Yakutat tended planes of VPB-16 and VPB-17 at Saipan through mid-January of 1945. She departed Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, Marianas Islands on the morning of 17 January, steamed independently for Guam, and reached her destination later that day. However, she remained there only a short time, for she sailed on the 19th for the Palaus and reached Kossol Roads on the 21st. Yakutat discharged cargo there and fueled seaplanes until 6 February, when she sailed in company with USS St. George (AV-16) and escorted by PC-1130, bound for the Carolines.

Anchoring at Ulithi on the 7th, Yakutat tended seaplanes there for most of February; highlighting that brief tour was the ship's going to the vicinity of a crashed Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane on the 10th. After salvaging equipment from the plane—the aircraft apparently too badly damaged to warrant repair—Yakutat sank the plane with gunfire and returned to her anchorage in the seaplane operating area.

On 25 February, Yakutat sailed for the Marianas in company with USS St. George (AV-16) and reached Garapan harbor two days later. She tended seaplanes there for a little less than a month before sailing for Okinawa on the 23d to take part in Operation "Iceberg," the conquest of the Ryukyus.

Yakutat tended the PBM Mariners of VPB-27 for the rest of the war. The seaplane tender established seadrome operations at Kerama Retto on the 28th and spent the rest of the important Okinawa campaign engaged in her vital but unsung task. The presence of enemy aircraft in the vicinity on numerous occasions meant many hours spent at general quarters stations, lookouts' eyes and radar alert for any sign of approaching enemy planes. Yakutat provided quarters and subsistence for the crews of the Mariners and furnished the planes with gas, lube oil, and JATO (jet-assisted take-off) units. The twin-engined Martin flying boats conducted antisubmarine and air-sea rescue ("Dumbo") duties locally, as well as offensive patrols that ranged as far as the coast of Korea.

Although the ship received a dispatch on 21 June to the effect that all "organized resistance on Okinawa has ceased," her routine remained busy. A week later, for example, a Consolidated PB2Y Coronado crashed on take-off and sank approximately 500 yards off the starboard beam of the ship. Yakutat dispatched two boats to the scene and rescued eight men. Boats from another ship rescued the remaining trio of survivors from the Coronado. All men were brought on board Yakutat, where they were examined and returned to their squadron, VPB-13.

On 15 July, Yakutat sailed for Chimu Wan, Okinawa —in company with USS Norton Sound (AV-11), USS Chandeleur (AV-10), Onslow, Shelikof (AVP-52), and Bering Strait (AVP-34)—but returned to port due to a typhoon in the vicinity. However, she got underway again the following day and reached Chimu Wan the same date. She remained there, tending seaplanes, largely anchored but occasionally moving to open water to be free to maneuver when typhoons swirled by. On one occasion, while returning to Chimu Wan after a typhoon evacuation, Yakutat made sonar contact on a suspected submarine, on 3 August. The seaplane tender made one attack, dropping depth charges from her stern-mounted tracks, but lost the contact soon thereafter.

Yakutat was at Chimu Wan when Japan capitulated and hostilities ended on 15 August. With the officers and men of the crew assembled aft, the ship's commanding officer, Lt. Comdr. W. I. Darnell humbly led his crew in offering thanks to God "for being kept afloat to see the final day of this war."

Although V-J Day meant that offensive operations against the Japanese ceased, it only meant the beginning of the long occupation of the erstwhile enemy's homeland and possessions. Yakutat remained at Chimu Wan for the rest of August and for most of September, before she sailed for Japanese home waters on 20 September, in company with St. George.

En route, the two seaplane tenders caught up with Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's Task Unit 56.4.3 formed around the battleships Tennessee (BB-43) and California (BB-44) and became units of Task Force 56, and later, when redesignated, as Task Force 51.

Yakutat reached Wakanoura Wan, Honshu, on the 22d, finding Floyds Bay (AVP-4C) already there and operating as tender for seaplanes. Yakutat underwent a brief availability alongside Cascade (AD-26) before she commenced her tending operations at Wakanoura Wan. She operated as tender for seaplanes using that port until 12 October, when she shifted to Hiro Wan where she performed seaplane tender operations and seadrome control duties for a little over a month.

Underway on 14 November, Yakutat arrived at Sasebo on the 15th, stayed there until the 19th, and then set sail for the United States with 58 officers and 141 enlisted men embarked as passengers. After stopping at Midway for fuel on the 27th, the small seaplane tender continued on, bound for the Pacific Northwest.

Reaching Port Townsend, Wash., on 6 December, Yakutat transferred all passengers to LCI-957 for further transportation and then shifted to Sinclair Inlet, Wash., where she offloaded all bombs and ammunition before reporting on the 7th to the Bremerton Group of the Pacific Reserve (19th) Fleet.

Yakutat subsequently shifted south to the NAS Alameda, California, where she was decommissioned on 29 July 1946. Transferred on loan to the Coast Guard on 31 August 1948, the erstwhile small seaplane tender was towed to the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in September, where she was fitted out into the winter months. She was recommissioned at San Francisco on 23 November 1948 as USCGC Yakutat (WAVP-380).

Proceeding via the Panama Canal and Kingston, Jamaica, Yakutat eventually commenced weather patrol duties in the North Atlantic out of Portland, Maine, in late January 1949. Homeported at New Bedford, Mass., in 1949, Yakutat operated out of that port over the next 11 years, always ready to perform her assigned missions of search and rescue, ocean station patrol, and providing meteorological and oceanographic service_s. Periodically, the ship conducted refresher training in company with naval units out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

During the course of her operations. Yakutat proceeded, in February 1952, to the scene of an unusual maritime disaster that occurred off Cape Cod. Two tankers—SS Fort Mercer and SS Pendleton—each broke in two and foundered, almost simultaneously. Yakutat, as ship in tactical command of the rescue efforts, consequently picked up men from both ships and directed the rescue efforts by other participating vessels in the vicinity. Later that year, in December, Yakutat rescued survivors of a plane crash off the entrance to St. George's Harbor, Bermuda, with her small boats.

Participating in Coast Guard operations as part of Operation "Market Time" off the coast of Vietnam in 1967 and again in 1970 and 1971, Yakutat was also re-designated as a medium endurance cutter and given the alphanumeric hull number WHEC-380. Returned to the Navy in 1970, Yakutat was transferred to the Navy of the Republic of South Vietnam on 10 January 1971.

Renamed Tran Nhat Duat (HQ-03), the former seaplane tender and weather ship cooperated with units of the United States Navy on coastal patrol and counter-insurgency missions off the coast of embattled South Vietnam until the collapse of that country in the spring of 1975.

Fleeing to the Philippines, Tran Nhat Duat and her five sisterships of the former South Vietnamese Navy lay moored in Subic Bay awaiting disposition—ships without a country. The Philippine government, however, acquired the ships in 1975, and title was formally transferred on 5 April 1976. Tran Nhat Duat and her sistership Tran Quac Toan (HQ-06) (ex-Coofc Inlet, WHEC-384 and AVP-36) were acquired only to be cannibalized for spare parts to keep the other four units of the class in operating condition.

Yakutat (AVP-32) received four battle stars for her World War II service. She also received one award of the Navy Unit Commendation, one award of the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and four battle stars for Vietnam service while assigned to the United States Coast Guard

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]

I-177, 2 October 1944 (shared)
Type: I-176 Class (Type KD7) Laid Down: 1940, Kure Naval Yard
Commissioned: 1942
Commander: LCDR Masaki Watanabe
Career: Designed as a short-range cruising submarine with a radius of action of 8,000 miles,modified after 1942 to act as a transport submarine. I-176, I-177 and I-181 had their 4.7-inch deck guns and spare torpedoes removed to make room for a 46-foot Daihatsu landingcraft and other equipment to be used in supplying cut off island garrisons.
Successes: None

Fate: On the evening of 1 October 1944 a VPB-16 PBM-3D Mariner flown by Lieutenant Floyd H. Wardlow, Jr., made radar contact on a submarine near Palau Island. When approached the submarine crash-dived, but not before a positive identification was made as an enemy submarine. A Mark 24 mine was dropped, severely damaging I-177. Location of the target was relayed to a nearby hunter-killer group which destroyed the submarine the next day at 07°48'N, 133°28'E, approximately 12 miles from the first attack. Samuel B. Miles (DE 183) received credit for the kill. There were 101 men aboard when the submarine was sunk, including the commanding officer of Submarine Division 34, Captain Kanji Matsumura.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "10AUG44--Occupation of the Marianas--Task Force 58 (Vice Admiral M. A. Mitscher), built around seven heavy and eight light carriers, opened the campaign to occupy the Marianas Islands with a late afternoon fighter sweep (11 June) that destroyed one-third of the defending air force. In bombing and strafing attacks on shore installations and on shipping in the immediate area on succeeding days, this force prepared the way for the amphibious assault of Saipan (15 June), supported operations ashore with daily offensive missions, kept the area isolated with attacks on airfields and shipping in the Bonin and Volcano Islands to the north (15-16, 24 June, 3-4 July, 4-5 Aug), and successfully defended the operation against an attack by major fleet forces in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (19-20 June). On the first day (19 June) TF 58 repelled a day-long air attack from carriers and shore bases, destroying 402 enemy planes, and the next day (20 June) launched an air attack late in the afternoon on the retreating Japanese Fleet, sinking the carrier Hiyo and two fleet oilers. Air cover for assault and close air support for operations ashore was provided by aircraft from an initial force of 11 escort carriers attached to Attack Forces. A Navy seaplane squadron VP-16, moved into the area (16 June) and began operations from the open sea..." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/avchr5.htm


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: "...Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16) - History December 20th, 1943 through June 24th, 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [15OCT2013]

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Circa 1943

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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Circa 1942-1945

HistoryA 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]

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Circa 1942

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USS Yakutat (AVP 32)..." http://laesser.11net.com/cutters/whec/311/cgcyakut.htm [10OCT2001]

USS Yakutat (AVP 32)


Yakutat (AVP-32) was laid down on 1 April 1942 at Seattle, Wash., by Associated Shipbuilders, Inc. launched on 2 July 1942 ; sponsored by Mrs. Peter Barber, a mother who had lost three sons when the battleship Oklahoma (BB-37) was sunk on 7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor; and commissioned on 31 March 1944, Comdr. George K. Fraser in command.

After her shakedown in the San Diego, Calif., area Yakutat got underway on 26 May and arrived at San Pedro, Calif., late the following day. Following post shakedown availability in the West Coast Shipbuilders' yard at San Pedro, the small seaplane tender sailed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 17 June; she reached Ford Island one week later.

Underway at 0700 on 28 June, Yakutat steamed for the Marshalls as an escort for Makin Ialand (CVE-93). Arriving at Kwajalein on 6 July, she shifted to Eniwetok within a week, where she embarked officers and men of a patrol service unit and took on board a cargo of 6-inch illuminating ammunition. She sailed for Saipan on 14 July.

Reaching recently secured Tanapag Harbor on 17 July, Yakutat began setting up a seaplane base there and immediately commenced servicing seaplanes, providing subsistence and quarters for the aviators and aircrews attached to those aircraft. The tender provided the aircraft with gasoline and oil via bowser fueling boats and commenced servicing planes by the over-the-stern method as well.

Yakutat remained at Tanapag Harbor for the rest of July, all of August, and into September. After shifting to the Garapan anchorage, Saipan, on 8 September, Yakutat transferred all plane personnel to Coos Bag (AVP-26) and sailed for the Palaus on the 12th. In company with Chandeleur (AV-10), USS Pocomoke (AV-9), USS Onslow (AVP-48), and Mackinac (AVP-13) Yakutat reached Kossol Passage on 16 September, the day after the initial landings on Pelelieu.

Proceeding to the seaplane operation area via a 'comparatively well-marked channel' and 'while sweeping operations went on continuously' nearby, Yakutat soon commenced laying out a seaplane anchorage. The following day, the tender serviced the first plane of VPB-216, furnishing fuel and boat service.

With nine planes operational, VPB-216 was based on Yakutat, conducting long-range patrols and antisubmarine sweeps daily. During that time, the tender also served as secondary fighter director unit and experienced air alerts on six occasions. Enemy planes remained in the vicinity for varying lengths of time and occasionally dropped bombs in the lagoon area.

Yakutat serviced the Martin PBM patrol planes into early November 1944. On 9 November, the ship got underway for Ulithi and arrived there the following day. Yakutat tended planes there from 13 to 26 November before she underwent a drydocking for a routine bottom cleaning and hull repairs. She then sailed for Guam on the 29th.

Reaching Apra Harbor on the 30th, Yakutat loaded spare parts for Martin PBM Mariner flying boats before she got underway on the 2d to return to Saipan. She arrived later the same day, completed the discharge of her cargo two days later and, on the 5th took on board 13 officers and 30 men of VPB-216 for temporary subsistence.

Yakutat tended planes of VPB-16 and VPB-17 at Saipan through mid-January of 1945. She departed Tanapag harbor on the morning of 17 January, steamed independently for Guam, and reached her destination later that day. However, she remained there only a short time, for she sailed on the 19th for the Palaus and reached Kossol Roads on the 21st. Yakutat discharged cargo there and fueled seaplanes until 6 February, when she sailed in company with USS St. George (AV-16) and escorted by PC 1180, bound for the Carolines.

Anchoring at Ulithi on the 7th, Yakutat tended seaplanes there for most of February, highlighting that brief tour was the ship's going to the vicinity of a crashed Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane on the 10th. After salvaging equipment from the plane (the aircraft apparently too badly damaged to warrant repair) Yakutat sank the plane with gunfire and returned to her anchorage in the seaplane operating area.

On 25 February, Yakutat sailed for the Marianas in company with USS St. George (AV-16) and reached Garapan harbor two days later. She tended seaplanes there for a little less than a month before sailing for Okinawa on the 23d to take part in Operation 'Iceberg,' the conquest of the Ryukyus.

Yakutat tended the PBM Mariners of VPB-27 for the rest of the war. The seaplane tender established seadrome operations at Kerama Retto on the 28th and spent the rest of the important Okinawa campaign engaged in her vital but unsung task. The presence of enemy aircraft in the vicinity on numerous occasions meant many hours spent at general quarters stations lookouts' eyes and radar alert for any sign of approaching enemy planes. Yakutat provided quarters and subsistence for the crews of the Mariners and furnished the planes with gas, lube oil, and JATO (jet-assisted take-off) units. The twin-engined Martin flying boats conducted antisubmarine and air-sea rescue ('Dumbo') duties locally, as well as offensive patrols that ranged as far as the coast of Korea.

Although the ship received a dispatch on 21 June to the effect that all 'organized resistance on Okinawa has ceased,' her routine remained busy. A week later, for example, a Consolidated PB2Y Coronado crashed on take-off and sank approximately 500 yards off the starboard beam of the ship. Yakutat dispatched two boats to the scene and rescued eight men. Boats from another ship rescued the remaining trio of survivors from the Coronado. All men were brought on board Yakutat, where they were examined and returned to their squadron, VPB-13.

On 15 July, Yakutat sailed for Chimu Wan, Okinawa (in company with USS Norton Sound (AV-11), USS Chandeleur (AV-10). Onelow, Shelikof (AVP-52), and Bering Strait (AVP34)) but returned to port due to a typhoon in the vicinity. However, she got underway again the following day and reached Chimu Wan the same date. She remained there, tending seaplanes, largely anchored but occasionally moving to open water to be free to maneuver when typhoons swirled by. On one occasion, while returning to Chimu Wan after a typhoon evacuation, Yakutat made sonar contact on a suspected submarine, on 3 August. The seaplane tender made one attack dropping depth charges from her stern-mounted tracks but lost the contact soon thereafter.

Yakutat was at Chimu Wan when Japan capitulated and hostilities ended on 15 August. With the officers and men of the crew assembled aft, the ship's commanding officer, Lt. Comdr. W. I. Darnell humbly led his crew in offering thanks to God 'for being kept afloat to see the final day of this war.' | Although V-J Day meant that offensive operations against the Japanese ceased, it only meant the beginning of the long occupation of the erstwhile enemy's homeland and possessions. Yakutat remained at Chimu Wan for the rest of August and for most of September before she sailed for Japanese home waters on 20 September, in company with USS St. George (AV-16).

En route, the two seaplane tender caught up with Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's Task Unit 56.4.3 formed around the battleships Tennessee (BB-43) and California (BB-44) and became units of Task Force 56 and later, when redesignated, as Task Force 51.

Yakutat reached Wakanoura Wan, Honshu, on the 22d, finding Floyds Bay (AVP 40) already there and operating as tender for seaplanes. Yakutat underwent a brief availability alongside Cascade (AD-26) before she commenced her tending operations at Wakanoura Wan. She operated as tender for seaplanes using that port until 12 October, when she shifted to Hiro Wan where she performed seaplane tender operations and seadrome control duties for a little over a month.

Underway on 14 November, Yakutat arrived at Sasebo on the 15th, stayed there until the 19th, and then set sail for the United States with 561 officers and 141 enlisted men embarked as passengers. After stopping at Midway for fuel on the 27th, the small seaplane tender continued on, bound for the Pacific Northwest.

Reaching Port Townsend, Wash., on 6 December Yakutat transferred all passengers to LCI-857 for further transportation and then shifted to Sinclair Inlet Wash., where she offloaded all bombs and ammunition before reporting on the 7th to the Bremerton Group of the Pacific Reserve (19th) Fleet.

Yakutat subsequently shifted south to the NAS Alameda, California, where she was decommissioned on 29 July 1946. Transferred on loan to the Coast Guard on 31 August 1948, the erstwhile small seaplane tender was towed to the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in September, where she was fitted out into the winter months. She was recommissioned at San Francisco on 23 November 1948 as USCGC Yakutat (WAVP-380).

Circa 1941-1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-8 - History from 08JUL41-31DEC44 Submitted April 12th, 1945. Squadron's Assigned: VP-16, VP-18, VP-19, VP-20, VP-21, VP-22, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-43, VP-61, VP-62, VP-63, VP-72, VP-81, VP-82, VP-83, VP-84, VP-92, VP-118, VP-123, VP-133, VP-137, VP-140, VP-142, VP-144, VP-148, VP-150, VP-153, VP-198, VP-205, VP-208 and VP-216..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [01DEC2012]

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