VPNAVY VP-5 Mercury Capsule Recovery
VPNAVY Address

HistoryVP-17 HistoryHistory

Circa 1969

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraMeritorious Unit Citation "...Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross)..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [14DEC2012]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-17 History ThumbnailCameraVP-17 History "...VP-17 AOM at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in 1969..." Contributed by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [07OCT2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 47 - December 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/dec69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation June 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - June 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/jun69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - April 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/apr69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation January 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - January 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/jan69.pdf [16SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1966 "...Maintenance Awards Made - Page 19 - Naval Aviation News - December 1966..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1966/dec66.pdf [07SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: NAS ThumbnailCameraMCAS Iwakuni "...VP-17 Hangar at NAS Iwakuni, Japani - 1969..." Contributed by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [13DEC2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: NAS Lajes ThumbnailCameraNAS Lajes
NAS Lajes ThumbnailCameraAbove Photo Close-Up
"...Attached are two scans from one of my slides I made in 1969 while stationed at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal...The scene is a normal summer evening at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal. The 3 plane Det. from VP-17 is aboard and back from the days flying. The EC-121 is not careless at parking, they haven't finished arriving yet. ABH1 Arnolds' line crew is to the right of the P-3's waiting to tie them down for the RON as they return the long way to the USA after a tour of duty in SE Asia. The portuguese operated fuelers are waiting near the NAVY hanger to refuel them once they are secure..." Contributed by Michael Hemel kb7wuk@pcez.com [01JUL2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "VP-17: White Lightning Over the Pacific" "Torii Teller" Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan Vol. 15, No. 8 November 21, 1969 Contributed by Ed Cox Nep147967@aol.com

VP-17: White Lightning Over the Pacific
"Torii Teller"
Marine Corps Air Station
Iwakuni, Japan
Vol. 15, No. 8 November 21, 1969 Page 5

"Ordanceman load chutes five through nine."

The four-engine Navy patrol plane sweeps low over the Sea of Japan.

"Chutes five through nine loaded and ready for firing, sir," answers the observer.

The Tactical Coordinator, a lieutenant, makes a last minute correction to his firing plot, reaches for the arming switches, and ejects a series of sono-buoys from the belly of the Lockheed "Orion."

The buoys drop into the sea, the "Orion" banks and heads for its patrol station high above these electronic sub-hunters.

A sono-buoy is one of Navy Patrol Squadron-17's anti-submarine warfare weapons. This particular device will receive sound emissions from enemy submarines and send radio signals to the orbiting aircraft.

"Now comes the hard part of the mission - waiting for contact," explains one crew member.

Watching and waiting high above the Pacific best describes the mission of Patrol Squadron-17. With millions of dollars of sophisticated electronic equipment and aerial cameras, these hunters keep constant watch over the international waters stretching from Siberia to the tip of Southeast Asia.

Now under Cmdr. Robert E. May, the "White Lightning" Squadron is currently completing a tour of duty under FAW-6 as a part of the U. S. Seventh Fleet's Patrol Forces. In late winter, VP-17 will return to its home base at Naval Air Station, Barbers Point, Hawaii.

During this six month deployment in the Western Pacific, Patron-17, has staged operations from Naha, Okinawa, Taiwan, Misawa and Atsugi, Japan, along with lwaknni. Although air crewmen have more than enough time to collect their flight pay, they spend more time aground performing maintenance chores on the big "birds." 20 maintenance hours are performed on each aircraft during each pre-post flight inspection.

During a major check which lasts about three days, check crew personnel test every piece of electronic and mechanical equipment on the "Orion." Flight and maintenance crews work side by side during these detailed inspections insuring that all the complex instruments are in complete readiness.

A typical P-3 patrol plane crew consists of four officers, three pilots, (The patrol plane commander, the co-pilot and the navigator), and the Tactical Coordinator, (TACCO).

The TACCO runs the ASW problem in the P-3. He must gather and analyze all the data fed to him by the various sensor operators in the aircraft. He chooses the best tactics for the situation, and directs the aircraft according to the mission.

There are also eight enlisted crew members. The flight engineer is directly responsible for the readiness of the plane, and his knowledge of the complex P-3 aircraft must be perfect.

Three highly trained sensor operators, run the various submarine detection devices within the plane. It is their responsibility to supply the TACCO with data concerning a submarine's location so he can make the correct tactical decision. The crew also has a radio operator and an ordnanceman, who handles various ordnance carried by the P-3s. A second Mech, is also aboard to assist the flight engineer, and a safety flight observer rounds out the crew of the "Orion."

During the detection and localization of a submarine, crew teamwork is an absolute necessity. There are so many things happening at once, that each man must know his job, know it to perfection, and be able to perform it under pressure.

It takes months for a P-3 crew to operate effectively. Hours upon hours of training are called for, both in the air and on the ground, before a crew can be called really ASW ready. The goal of every P-3 crew is the symbolic "A," which signifies that a crew has achieved the highest degree in ASW readiness. Still the high speed submarine used today presents a great challenge to anti-submarine forces. The highly trained and specialized crews used in the P-3, combined with the extremely sophisticated submarine sensor equipment has brought great advances in anti-submarine warfare.

ASW is perhaps the greatest challenge to be placed before the Navy in a long time. The enemy is making advances in their submarine forces and it is the responsiblity of our anti-submarine forces to keep pace with them. VP-17 is at the forefront of this effort. "Torii Teller" Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan Vol. 15, No. 8 November 21, 1969 Contributed by Ed Cox Nep147967@aol.com [29JUN98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Change for VP-17" "Torii Teller" Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan Vol. 15, No. 8 November 21, 1969 Contributed by Ed Cox Nep147967@aol.com

Change for VP-17
"Torii Teller"
Marine Corps Air Station
Iwakuni, Japan
Vol. 15, No. 8 November 21, 1969 Page 3

Commander Robert E. May took over the helm of Patrol Squadron-17, from Cmdr. Clifford R. Behnken today in a formal change of command ceremony held in hangar #292. Guests of honor at the impressive ceremony were RAdm. W. T. Rapp, COMPATFORSEVETHFLT and BGen. W. G. Johnson, CG, 1st MAW (Rear).

A 1953 graduate of the Mass. Maritime Academy, the new "Skipper" was designated a Naval Aviator in 1956, after serving a tour of duty on the Staff of Commander Naval Air Forces, U. S. Atlantic Fleet. Joining 'his first Patrol Squadron, Cmdr. May flew the P2, with VP-11, at NAS Brunswick, Maine. After two years with VP-11, the Commander was transferred to VP-21, where he served as ASW Officer. After moving out of the cockpit for a short period to obtain his Master's Degree in Management at the Navy's Monterey Postgraduate School, the Commander then served with the Requirements Division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington for two years. Following his assignment with BUPERS, Cmdr. May moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he became Plans Officer on the Staff of the Commander, Fleet Air Wing-11. Following that assignment, he returned to flying P2 aircraft and duty with VP-5 as Operations and Maintenance Officer. The Cmdr. then attended a session at the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. Prior to his assignment to VP-17, Cmdr. May underwent replacement pilot training in the P-3 "Orion" with Patrol Squadron-31, flying out of NAS, Moffet Field, Calif. Cmdr. May has served as Executive Officer (of VP-17 for the last year, and arrived here with the Squadron in August when it replaced VP-40.

Cmdr. May wears the Air Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the National Defense Medal. He is married to the former Joan Dahnke of Winthrop, Mass., and they and their five children now call Ewa Beach, Hawaii, home.

Cmdr. Behnken, the outgoing CO, is a veteran Naval Aviator of 17 years service. He will depart the "White Lightning" Squadron for duty with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C.

Change for VP-17 "Torii Teller" Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan Vol. 15, No. 8 November 21, 1969 Contributed by Ed Cox Nep147967@aol.com [29JUN98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-17 Crew ThumbnailCameraVP-17 PB4Y BUNO: Unknown "...All Officers Meeting, MCAS Iwakuni, fall 1969..." Contributed by Bob McLaughlin's wife DIANA G. MCLAUGHLIN banddmcl1964@msn.com [30NOV98]

Circa 1968

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History Circa 1968. LEFT TO RIGHT: ZE-12 NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and BOQ annex at NS Sangley Point, Philippines..." Forwarded by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [01JUL2009]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...4 photograph's by Phil Eley of the barracks and SDO office at NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam in 1968..." Forwarded by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [17JAN2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation November 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 30 - Naval Aviation News - November 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/nov68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation September 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - September 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/sep68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation June 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - June 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/jun68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-17 ThumbnailCameraVP-17 History "...VP-17's ZE-10 taxiing out for another Market Time Patrol (c1968). NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam's "OPS " office in background..." Contributed by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [15DEC2003]

Circa 1967 - 1968

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraLeo McStravick, Jr. "...Ran across this painting from a fellow reservist Leo "Bud" McStravick that was in the Viet Nam memorial in Chicago. Pretty moving .thought you could share it..." Contributed by FROHNE, CDR C. Thomas t@frohne.com [01MAY2008]

Circa 1967

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here are some more photos sent to Jay and I from Danny Meyer, Plane Captain of crew 9, 66-67. These are some really interesting shots of VP-17 aircraft in May 67 during what he said was some sort of show..." Contributed by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [22MAR2010]

Left to Right:

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-17 History "...VP-17's SP-2H Neptunes at NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam in 1967..." Contributed by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [07OCT2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation June 1967 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - June 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/jun67.pdf [10SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1967 "...Pacific, Atlantic 'E' Winnders Named - Page 3 - Naval Aviation News - April 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/apr67.pdf [09SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March 1967 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - March 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/mar67.pdf [08SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation February 1967 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - February 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/feb67.pdf [08SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "... NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam Circa 1967..." Contributed by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [Updated 01OCT2002 | 30SEP2002]
NAS CRB and VP-17 Pictures ThumbnailCameraPhoto ONE "..."Final approach" to NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam from the nose of a VP-17, P2H Neptune returning from a "Market Time" combat patrol (c1967). The NAF is on the left side of the runways and the AFB is on the right..."
NAS CRB and VP-17 Pictures ThumbnailCameraPhoto TWO "...The "NAVY" BOQ on the beach, the east side of the field (1967). Bottom (l-r): LTJG Brian McGuiness, LT Dave Gastony, LCDR Joe Hall and LT John Lancaster. (top-?)..."
NAS CRB and VP-17 Pictures ThumbnailCameraPhoto THREE "...Yours truly and the sandbag shelter adjacent to the NAF ramp (1967). It was a good idea to check for snakes before entering!..."
NAS CRB and VP-17 Pictures ThumbnailCameraPhoto FOUR "...Former French colonial villas at NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam (1967)..."
NAS CRB and VP-17 Pictures ThumbnailCameraPhoto FIVE "...Former French buildings used by the RVN Navy at NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam (1967)..."
NAS CRB and VP-17 Pictures ThumbnailCameraPhoto SIX "...Same French buildings being used by the Japanese Navy in 1944. Photo taken from a VPB-104 PB4Y-1. Note IJN Aichi E13A1 "Jake" float planes being fired upon!..."
NAS CRB and VP-17 Pictures ThumbnailCameraPhoto SIX "..."Neutral" vessel enroute to Haiphong through the Market Time patrol area (c.1967)..."

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Roster Circa 1967/68..." Contributed by Bob McLaughlin (LT) banddmcl1964@msn.com [17DEC98]

The roster was the "end-pages" of the cruise book for the '67-'68 deployment to
NS Sangley Point, Philippines from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.
That was the last deployment in P2s for VP-17

CDR Don L. Wuethrich
CDR Clifford R. Behnken
CDR Ralph L. Spaulding
WOI Vale J. Benning
LT Garfield R. Bensen
LT Lloyd W. Booth
LTJG Curtis G. Borchardt
LTJG C. William Campbell
LCDR Ronald C. Casey
LTJG Robert D. Chamberlain
AX2 Carl R. Agen
SD3 Eliseo M. Alejandrino
AN Barry G. Alien
PR3 Donald H. Anderson
AXC Richard C. Anderson
AA James E. Armstrong
AZ3 Joseph D. Auciello
ATC Daniel C. Auten
AMSAN William C. Asmussen
AEAN Frank N. Blaser
AE3 Larry M. Baarstad
AN Louis M. Baca
SD2 Honorio B. Bogongahasa
PH2 Richard L. Baker
ADR3 George C. Balboa
AFCM Robert W. Barge
AX2 David L. Barger
AE3 Duane A. Barnhart
AX2 James E. Barrington
ATI Tandy Bates
AX2 Daniel C. Battershell
ADR3 Billy J. Baxter
AE2 James A. Baxter
AK2 Thomas W. Bell
AXC Thomas L. Bernhardt
AMS3 James W. Biggers
ADR3 David L. Blickhan
AME3 Richard A. Bloomingdale
ADR2 Marvin G. Bolden
PH2 Harry F. Bowersox
AXAN Gregory K. Boyett
AFCM Ernest W. Brannan
ADRI Jerry D. Brewster
ABHAN Richard E. Brightman
AN Richard J. Broye
A03 George B. Blitz
AOC Dallas S. Cariton
AK3 Robert J. Callison
ATRAN David E. Carlson
ADRI Burton J. Carter
A03 Donald D. Carlson
AEAN Gerald R. Charles
PN2 Richard J. dark
ADRI David J. Cobb
AK3 Deane A. Cole
AME3 Dennis R. Collier
AX3 Vincent B. Collins
ADR2 Philip N. Comeau
LT Norman E. Cook
LTJG Terrence W. Danner
LT Robert L. Eastman
LTJG Philip R. Eley
LCDR Charles D. Emerick
LCDR Bobby C. Farrar
LT Water M. Florie
LT David J. Gastony
LTJG Robert W. Gear
LT Thomas 0. Griswold
ATN2 Kenneth R. Cooper
AMH3 Marshall L. Cooper
AE2 Kenneth F. Correra
A03 Leonard J. Coufal
ADJAN Edward J. Cox
A02 Joe D. Cox
AX2 Michael G. Cox
AA John M. Crowley
ADJ2 Charles M. Crattie
AE3 George H. Crum
ADRI John R. Cunninghai.i
AX3 Michael H. Davis
AMS3 David B. Dennis
AX3 Bobby J. DeShazo
AMH2 Tyier T. Diaz
ADR2 William E. Donnell
ADR3 John W. Dunne
AN Daryl L. Durand
AX2 Robert J. Drockton
AN James G. Easley
AE3 Charles A. Ehling
AX3 Steven T. Elliott
A02 Gary L. Ellsworth
ADRI Robert C. Elms
SD3 Fulgencio B. Escartin
AX3 David H. Etchells
ATR3 Emmett W. Evans
ATI Jerry L. Fairfield
AVCM Albert H. Fanning
AX3 Albert H. Fanning Jr.
ADR2 Larry V. Fanning
ATRAN Philip E. Fauver
AN John P. Flaherty
AMS3 Ross K. Fleenor
ADRI Henry E. Fenzau
PN3 Dennis P. Foster
ATN2 John J. Foster
ADRAN Peter J. Fowler
ADRI Donald L. Franklin
PNI Macauley Fredrickson
AE2 John M. Frick
A03 John H. Frost
AN Robert W. Frye
AX3 Earl L. Fultz
ATN3 David C. Galbraith
TN Manuel R. Gallardo
AN James L. Gass
AEAN Huemac C. Garcia
AX2 Leon E. Gardner
ADJAN dark L. Gussin
LT Paul S. Nechols
LTJG David A. Proffitt
LTJG Leonard A. Puchalla
LTJG Michael J. Riley
LT Thomas M. Ryan
LT Mitchell 0. Scobee
LT Raymond L. Stephenson
LTJG Frederick L. Steuber
LT John R. Stewart
LT Raymond A. Sullivan
ABH3 Robert K. Mosse
ADRC Vance G. Moore
A02 James G. Moores
ATN2 Charles E. Morris
AE2 Robert D. Morris
ADR3 William C. Myers
AMSI Dolon E. Nance
AA Milton H. Nelson
AZI Robert C. Nesbitt
AX2 James E. Newbaker
ADRI John F. Nicholson
ADRI Charles E. Nielson
AX3 Stephen R. Novak
AOI Felton R. Osborne
ATN2 Samuel L. Owen
AN Wayne Penix
AX2 Mark W. Perry
AA James A. Peterson
AEAN Jerry A. Peterson
AEAN Joseph E. Petroff
AXC Tommy L. Philips
AE2 Robert A. Piehl
AN Harry L. Pierson
A02 Charles L. Pullen
ATN3 Richard G. Pylman
AX3 John B. Ragsdale
AE2 John T. Reed
ADJ2 Paul T. Rehberg
ADRAN Jeffery L. Reid
SD3 Bobby E. Robinson
AE3 Laruen A. Robinson
ATC Wayne A. Robinson
AMS2 James B. Rollins
CYNSN Dale W. Ross
ATR2 Richard A. Rothlisberger
AXC Gary W. Rowe
AN Clifton J. Russel
AX2 Orville D. Shelton
AOC Clayton L. Schroff
AXAN Thomas V. Schwab
AX2 Larry W. Seguine
ADRAN Walter L. Shearer
AKCJodyJ. Shotwell
YNI Regal A. Sims
AN William R. Slaughter
AE2 David G. Smelser
AMEAN George M. Smith
AXAN Phillip F. Sparks
ATN2 Jerry W. Spivey
AX3 William H. Standish
LT Delbert J. Lubash
LT Glenn T. Martinsen
LT Gene A. McCracken
LT Kenneth P. McDaniel
LTJG Brian M. McGuiness
LTJG Robert A. McLaughlin
LT Richard W. McManus
LTJG Leo J. McStravick
LT Gary A. Miller
LTJG George M, Mirabella
YNSN Maurice J. Kaercher
ADJ2 John P. Karr
ADRC Kenneth E. Keller
AN Thomas B. King
AX2 James D. Kress
ADJI William R. Kurnre
AMS2 Jacob J. Lalli
ATN2 Richard W. Lally
AEI Joseph Lamotta
AN William D. Land
AN David C. Lange
AXI George W. Lanman
AA Edward E. Larson
ADR2 John G. Larson
ATN2 Robert D. Larson
AN Donald S. Leatherwood
ABHI John H. Lethgo
ATRAN Robert L. Lewis
ABHI Tommy L. Lester
AMS3 KellyH.Lipsius
ADR3 Larry J. Loewe
ADR3 John J. Logan
AN Warren L. Long
AX3 Terrence L. Lord
ATI David G. Lowas
SDI Ramon D. Luque
ADR2 David C. Lunsford
AE2 Delbert J. Mach
SDI Santiago Mamales
AOAN Fred H. Manning
ATR2 Jeffery J. Marks
ATN3 David G. Martin
AZAN Donald R. Martin
AA Lawrence D. Martin
AN Robert S. Martin
SA Ismael F. Martinez
AMSI James W. Marshall
AMSI William A. Matlock
ATN3 Warren L. Matney
ATN3 John A. Maulding
YN3 Frank A. May
ATR2 Patrick J. McDonald
PR2 Grady D. McFarland
AOI Loyal W. McQuiston
PNSN Eugene E. Mehrer
AX2 Darrell E. Metcalf
AOI David P. Michel
ADR2 Bobby J. Middleton
SN John W. Millikin
AEI Thomas E. Moilanen
LCDR Joe L. Hall
LTJG Myron G. Hamm
LTJG Phillip Harvey
LCDR Frederick J, Heimbuecher
LT Alfred T. Hind
LTJG Donald L. Johnson
LT William P. Kozain
LT James C. Ladwig
LTJon J. Lancaster
LTJG Billy Ray Loveless
AA Wayne L. Garrett
AN Randy L. Gerjes
CSI Frederick A. Gilbert
TN Wilfredo D. Golez
ADR3 Gerald H. Goodell
A02 Benjamin H. Goodspeed
ADJI Warren J. Grams
ATI Theodore C. Gray
AN John D. Griffith
PRC Leo A. Grosbier
AX3 John E. Grosso
AMSAN Walter A. Grunenberg
ATN2 Ronald E. Gulis
ADRAN Robert W. Gutterman
AEAN Michael F. Goory
AMS2 Darryl D. Hansen
A02 William F. Harding
AA James C. Harris
AA Clarke H. Harrison
ADR3 Johnny R. Hatcher
ATC Kenneth M. Hayes
ADJ3 William J. Hepburn
ADJ3 Thomas L. Hayes
AX3 Charles L. Herrmann
SN William C. Hicks
AX3 Daniel M. Hites
ADJAN Gary W. Hodgin
ADR2 Jay E. Holland
AN George L. Holloway
AN Kenneth C. Hollingshead
AEI Melvin R. Holman
AE2 Manley L. Holmgren
AR Robert L. Holton
SN Myron W. Hoviand
AN Gleen B. Howie
AE3 Jack T. Hughes
AXI Grorge C. Hunter
AX3 Bruce E. Husted
ADRAN Marshall D. Hutchinson
ATN2 Richard A. Irons
ADJAN Edward P. Ingraham
CSI Donald C. Jacklin
ATR2 Leonard R. Jacobson
AMS3 James L. Jean
AEC Ronnie V. Jefferson
ADR3 Walter B. Johns
AE2 Gerald B. Johnson
AN John L, Johnson
ATI Wilmer 0. Johnson
AN Byron L. Johnston
LTJG James R. Thompson
LT Richard L. Tolley
LCDR William R. Tully
LT Michael T. Wallace
LT Robert W. Webb
LTThatason L. Williams
WOI Claude 1. Wheatley
AN Richard J. Stanton
ATNAN John D. Statton
AN Bobby F. Steadman
AN Larry W. Stephens
YN3 Stewart D. Stephens
ADJ3 Robert Stokes
AFCM James A. Stephenson
AXI Michael L. Stevens
AN John R. Stevenson
AEI Dannie M. Stover
AX2 Edward C. Stuart
AN Charles G. Swafford
ATI Jay M. Tefft
AX3 Donnie C. Thomas
ADR2 Robert M. Thompson
ATR3 Richard E. Thorn
ATN2 Sherman R. Tifft
A02 Clyde W. Trusty
ADR2 Alien L. Torstenson
AA Everette J. Turner
AN Nolan L. Vandal
ADR3 Merlyn G. Varner
ADJI Billy E. Vickers
ADR3 Christopher Wilkins
AE2 Kurt J. Wagner
YNSN Larry L. Warren
AN Carroll N. Watson
AX2 Terry A. Walters
ATR3 Jimmy G. Wallace
ADR3 James R. Warnhoff
SN James A. Watkins
AX2 Howard 0. Welch
AXAN David T. Welker
HN Douglas R. Westmorland
AX2 James A. Whitmus
AX2 John T. Whitney
HMI Alvin M. Williams
AA Herbert W. Williams
ADR2 Tommy D. Williams
AMHC Eirno L. Winder
AN James W. Windham
DK2 Donald L. Winters
AMH2 David E. Woessner
ATI Roderick B. Woolever
SN Gary D. Woods
AE2 Edward E. Wright
PRAN Stanley L. Wright
AOAN Clifton W. Yelvington
AOI James R. Young
AX3 Gerald L. Zimmerman
Contributed by Bob McLaughlin (LT) banddmcl1964@msn.com [17DEC98]

Circa 1966 - 1967

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Tan San Nuht Circa 1966-1967 by COX, Ed Nep147967@aol.com..." Forwarded by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [20MAR2010]

Left to Right:

    P2 Crewmwmember on Duty Day in Futa VN, Front of Home of VP 17 in VN, Dannys bunk VN, and Road in front of Home VN.
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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...We have touched base with a former squadron member named Danny Meyer. He was Plane Captain of Crew 9 with Fred Heimbuecher on the 66-67 deployment. He connected with Jay Holland and I since we were in 9 after he left. Jay was the PC then. We've been sharing photos with him and he has sent us some also. The photos on this email are some of them. Pretty neat seeing several P-2's inflight together by COX, Ed Nep147967@aol.com..." Forwarded by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [20MAR2010]

Left to Right:

    R1-9 P2s over Whidbey Island May 1967, R1-10, R1-11, R1-12 and R1-13.
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Circa 1966

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-17 History "...Danny by assigned aircraft P-2_BUNO: 147967_Circa_1966 by COX, Ed Nep147967@aol.com..." Forwarded by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [20MAR2010]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation October 1966 "...Safety Winners Announced - Page 2 - Naval Aviation News - October 1966..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1966/oct66.pdf [07SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation August 1966 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - August 1966..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1966/aug66.pdf

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1966 "...On Patrol With Fleet Air Wings - Page 22 to 23 - Naval Aviation News - April 1966..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1966/apr66.pdf [05SEP2004]

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Circa 1965

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-17 HistoryCameraVP-17 History "...On The Line, U. S. Navy Patrol Squadron Seventeen, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan 1965 - Photograph by G. Ray Hawkins, PH3, VP-17, USN..." Contributed by HAWKINS, PH3 G. Ray hawkins@artnet.net [10AUG2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation October 1965 "...Pacific Air Wings On Patrol - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - October 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/oct65.pdf [02SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation August 1965 "...Pacific Air Wings On Patrol - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - August 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/aug65.pdf [01SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation June 1965 "...On Patrol With Pacific Air Wings - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - June 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/jun65.pdf [01SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation June 1965 "...Whidbey Winners Listed - Page 2 - Naval Aviation News - June 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/jun65.pdf [01SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1965 "...On Patrol With Pacific Air Wings - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - April 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/apr65.pdf [31AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...In 1965 our squadron deployed from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington to NAS Iwakuni, Japan. Aircraft that rotated into Vietnam wre based at Ton Son Nhut AFB in Saigon. In 1966 we deploeyd to NS Sangley Point, Philippines. The prior year it was necessary to overnite here en route to Vietnam due to treaties with Japan that would not allow us to use them as a launching pad to a war zone. Again we flew out of Tan Son Nhut AFB, than considered to be the busiest airport in the world. Flight crews during that period were billeted downtoan Saigon in military controlled civilian hotels. In 1965 we shared lodging with Army MP units in a hotel name "The International." Around December 1966 is when the Vietnam base changed to NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam..." Contributed by RACZKOWSKI, Jerry 1horses@msn.com [19APR2002]

Circa 1964

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March 1964 "...Crew 8 Wins At VP-17 - Page 27 - Naval Aviation News - March 1964..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1964/mar64.pdf [28AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Squadron Awards..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [23APR2001]

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
    04 Aug 64 - 01 Oct 64
    01 Oct 66 - 06 Dec 66
    01 Jan 68 - 28 Feb 68

  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
    01 Nov 70 - 20 Apr 71
    17 Nov 70 - 22 Nov 70
    02 Mar 72 - 15 Dec 72
    08 Dec 81 - 08 Jan 82

  • Navy "E" Ribbon (Battle "E")
    01 Jul 74 - 01 Apr 76

  • Navy Unit Commendation
    01 Jan 67 - 31 Mar 68

  • Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry)
    08 Mar 65 - 25 May 67
    01 Aug 69 - 30 Sep 69
    02 Nov 69 - 31 Jan 70
    02 Sep 70 - 21 Nov 70

  • Vietnam Service Medal
    28 Sep 66 - 01 Mar 67
    09 Nov 67 - 29 Apr 68

    VP-17 Crew 17
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
    06 Aug 81

    VP-17 Det OF
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
    Spring 70

    VP-17 Det Tan Son Nhut
  • Vietnam Service Medal
    13 Jul 65 - 03 Oct 65

    VP-17 Element OF
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
    22 Apr 75 - 07 May 75
    12 May 75 - 16 May 75

    VP-17 Participating Aircrew
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
    01 May 94 - 30 Nov 94
  • Navy Expeditionary Service Medal
    08 Dec 78 - 06 Jun 79
    21 Nov 79 - 10 Jun 80
    10 May 81 - 20 Oct 81

    VP-17 Participating Elements
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
    29 Apr 75 - 30 Apr 75
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
    29 Apr 75 - 30 Apr 75

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Sharpshooters of the Strait" By Andrew Headland Jr., Vol. 7 / No. / 36 Week of September 6, 1964 / Page A6" Article submitted by Richard D. Hunt RRRNwestcr@aol.com

    Sharpshooters of the Strait

    "Armed with camera, radar, they eyeball everything off Taiwan that moves"

    By Andrew Headland Jr.

    Pacific Stars and Stripes Taiwan Bureau Chief

    Article submitted by Richard D. Hunt RRRNwestcr@aol.com

    VP-17 NewsArticleCamera

    BETWEEN TAIWAN AND THE CHINA MAINLAND is a 100-mile-wide body of water which the communists might at any time attempt to cross In an effort to make good their threat to capture the Nationalist stronghold of President Chiang Kai-shek.

    The water, known as the Taiwan Strait, serves as a protective barrier to Taiwan in the same way that the narrower English Channel protects the British Isles against invasion by sea. But, because no one can predict with certainty what the communists will do, and to make sure that the island isn't caught off guard, the United States daily conducts air and sea patrol missions to scan enemy shipping and to-observe any activities that might portend a threat to its ally, Free China.

    The American patrols, conducted by the Seventh Fleet, are in addition to air and sea patrols sent out by the Republic of China.

    The patrols are a means of detecting any possible unusual concentrations of ships and types of cargo which might be Indicative of a move to offset our efforts, with those of our allies, to keep the peace in the Far East and in Southeast Asia.

    Trained analysts can tell a great deal from reports brought in daily by reconnaissance patrol missions.

    The patrols are a means of detecting any possible unusual concentrations of ships and types of cargo which might be indicative of a move to offset our efforts, with those of our allies, to keep the peace in the Far East and in Southeast Asia.

    Trained analysts can tell a great deal from reports brought in daily by reconnaissance patrol missions.

    PATROL SQ. 17, under Cdr. P Robert H. Lenson with head-quarters at Naha AB, Okinawa, is the aerial counterpart of the patrol ships which sail the strait. Both sea and air patrols have the mission of keeping track of shipping. Planes from the squadron follow a migratory flight between Naha to a base in southern Taiwan, with roosts at both ends and none in between.

    A dozen 12-man crews flying powerful SP2-H Neptunes with a cruising range exceeding 2,000 miles and a maximum weight load of 80,000 pounds, do the job. The reliable Neptunes are known as the "work horses" of the Seventh Fleet.

    Most crews fly under two experienced patrol plane commanders of the rank of lieutenant, lieutenant commander or commander. The average age of the officers is about 25, that of the enlisted men about 22. Usually the same crews fly together in the same aircraft. This arrangement results in a high degree of working efficiency and cooperation.

    I boarded a Neptune flown by the squadron's Crew 10 at their staging base in Taiwan to see how a patrol is carried out. After an early-morning breakfast washed down with cups of black coffee, members of the 12-man crew headed by Lt. Jerry Burns, pilot, and by Lt. (jg) John Pugh, co-pilot, handed me an orange-colored flight suit to wear, a helmet with earphones and strapped me into a seat on the flight deck which serves as the combat information center.

    At my elbow was a panel of radar and other devices for detecting shipping.

    Below the deck was a radar well, filled with additional equipment. Every square inch of the aircraft was taken up by complicated space-age mechanisms which made the ship look as though it might be equipped for inter-planetary flight. Each crew member, I found, was trained in several different but related operational functions of equipment and of the aircraft.

    "All the parts look good," I heard the pilot, Jerry Burns, sing into the earphones. "Let's go!" The Neptune, weighing more than 70,000 pounds loaded, was easily buoyed into the air by two jet engines. When we had attained a positive rate of climb the gear was raised and we went into what the crew called technically" normal rated power." The Neptune's two jet engines are used only for take-offs, ordinarily, but would be put into action in case one of the prop engines were lost.

    After taking off, it took the crew about 15 minutes to check equipment, each man examining the working performance of at least two pieces of equipment. If any serious mechanical malfunction is found during initial flight stages the flight is called off and another crew launched. A standing rule is that the crew missing a flight treats the replacement crew to "refreshments," but flights are almost never missed.

    As we flew, crew members briefed me on details of the trip. Flights are usually conducted below 3,000 feet, a height of 1,500 feet being average. For "rig runs" - a close look at shipping - they swoop down to within 200 feet of vessels while cameras click and observations are made such as the ship's name, type, structure, flag and deck cargo, if any.

    The squadron's primary mission, however, is not surface shipping, but anti-submarine warfare (ASW), including the detection and tracking of unidentified submarines.

    "Fifteen hundred feet is the best altitude for radar, eyeballs and for some other gear," said Lt. (jg) David Barrett, tactical coordinator. "Actually, our eyes are one of the best pieces of gear we've got. This looks like a rain and shine flight," he added.

    For night flights the Neptune carries a wingtip flashlight of 70 million, candle power which lights up the sea like day and shows details on objects a mile and a half away.

    On routine patrols the Neptune averages about two rig runs hourly and during the entire course they rig a total of eight or. 10 ships, besides taking quick looks at possibly 20 or 30 fishing boats, which are more easily observed.

    Lt. (jg) William Cooper, another tactical coordinator, called my attention to several flocks of fishing boats on the greenish radar screen.

    Heavy shipping is photographed from two positions. One, occupied by the bow observer, is in the oval-shaped plexiglass nose of the aircraft. The other is in the rear of the plane and the photographer in the latter position shoots through windows which may be opened or closed depending on the weather of the moment.

    Photographers use aerial type cameras, usually shooting shipping at a shutter speed of 500 while the Neptune curves in flight, making hawk-like darts at its prey.

    Rig runs are nearly always made into the sun to give the aircraft a greater aura of invisibility and to make the target easy for the photographer and other scanners to observe.

    In the few seconds it takes for the plane to make its 'rig run the co-pilot tries to note the name of the vessel. The photographer in the bow section takes in details forward of the ship's funnel, such as the number of hatches. The photographer in the after section of the aircraft scans the after section of the ship and n o t e s name, flag, whether heavily or lightly loaded and other details. If the first rig run does not disclose sufficient details, a second pass is made which usually gives all the required information.

    VP-17 NewsArticleCamera

    Our first rig run came at 9:45 a.m., the target being a 7,000-ton lightly loaded Panamanian freighter. Five minutes later there was another rig run, 15 minutes later a third and at 10:12 a.m., a fourth.

    "Did someone get all the colors on that ship?" I heard Burns ask through the earphones after the last-run. "Yes," replied the aft photographer, "there was a red diamond with white lines running through it. It looked as though there was a letter 'C' in it."

    Crawling through the rabbit burrow that leads from the front to the rear of the aircraft I got out my camera and snapped pictures of A03 Joseph Widgren, ordnance, taking pictures during a rig run - and, at one point, a huge black waterspout that loomed out of the ocean a quarter of a mile to our left.

    Joe was as curious about the work of a reporter as I was about his job. As noise of the engines made talking difficult, he pulled out a pad of paper and jotted down a question. "Have you ever flown on a Taiwan Defense Patrol mission before?"


    "What is your impression?"

    "First, surprise at the great amount of equipment aboard. Second, the flying is much smoother than I had expected, even during storm squalls. Third, the tremendous feeling of lift and power in the aircraft."

    "This is a well equipped aircraft, and I think it does a good job," returned Joe modestly and proudly.

    "We fly all types of missions including this type of patrol," he added. "I've been flying Neptune aircraft for more than a year now, and have made three patrols to Taiwan."

    Team competition was evident in a conversation that drifted in on the earphones, something like on the proverbial country line. "We flew three hours less than they did and saw only eight less ships than they did. That's quality instead of quantity."

    Joe looked out over the sea as a voice from radar control came in on the earphones, "I have a target bearing 161/2 miles at 027." The target proved to be a Japanese freighter plowing through the choppy waters of the strait.

    By 3 p.m. we were about 45 miles out from the Naval Air Facility at Naha AB, and the aircraft was given radio clearance to make a landing approach at 3,000 feet.

    During the 61/2-hour flight from Taiwan we had made 12 rig runs and flown more than 1,000 miles at an average speed of 180 miles an hour. This is considered a comparatively short run.

    "It was our sixth patrol over the Taiwan Strait," remarked Burns, who is from Denver, Colo., as we left the aircraft. "Normal, except for weather. That waterspout was unusual. It looked to me like a tornado."

    The landing was followed by a crew debriefing and then the crew went to work to put the "workhorse" in condition for its next flight.

    The trip back to Taiwan started at 6:56 a.m. the following day. This time I was guest of Patrol Sq. 17 Crew No. 12, headed by Lt. Cdr. Bruce Brown, pilot, and by Lt. (ig) Reed Phillips, co-pilot. Brown, from Port Huron, Mich., did flight instructing at Kingsville Naval AS at Kingsville, Tex., with Lt. Charles Klussman, the first pilot to be shot down over Laos while flying a F-8 photo reconnaissance plane.

    Shortly after leaving Naha Brown requested his navigator, Lt. (ig) Charles Wenger, to inform him when we were 100 miles off the China coast. "Roger-Dodger," came the reply. "We sure as hell don't want to land on the China mainland."

    "No, I can't speak Chinese," joked Brown. "A sea Patrol lost over land would look rather silly. They play for keeps over there."

    "They'd blame it on the navigators," Wenger said. After that came darts and passes at shipping, followed by a perfect landing at Tainan AS at 11:45 a.m. We covered more than 800 miles in about 5 1/2 hours.

    "Pretty much of a gravy run," was the way the crew summed up the flight.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: 17AUG64 "They Hid Cause 'Kathy' Too Much 'Lady' For VP-17" By LTjg S. L. Childress" Article submitted by Richard D. Hunt RRRNwestcr@aol.com

    They Hid Cause 'Kathy' Too Much 'Lady' For VP-17

    By LTjg S. L. Childress

    Typhoon "Kathy," which struck Okinawa repeatedly beginning August 17, set an all time record as she scattered aircraft throughout the western Pacific. Task Group 72.2, which consists of Patron Squadrons Seventeen and Six, were the two units involved in the mass evacuation.

    Striking with the uncertainty of a woman, "Kathy" made three separate runs on the island. Twenty-four hours before she was to hit the Ryukyus for the first time, VP-17 and VP-6 manned their aircraft and headed for the areas of safety.

    Eleven hours later their aircraft were in five separate countries and as far displaced as 2400 miles. All in all, the aircraft and men of Task Group 72.2 dispersed over an area of approximately six hundred thousand square miles - from Saigon, Viet Nam to Atsugi, Japan.

    This surely was the Big Daddy of the typhoon fly-aways. In Tainan, Taiwan, just 60 miles from Communist China sat five of 72.2 aircraft. Two more were chocked 500 miles to the south at Sangley Point in the Philippines.

    Two of VP-17's airplanes, which were immobile due to maintenance difficulties, rode out the typhoon at Naha Air Base, Okinawa. But, they say the best liberty was toward the north and 12 of the aircraft were flown into Japan.

    Patrol Squadron Six had nine aircraft at Iwakuni, while the NAS Atsugi, Japan became home for three of VP-17's aircraft. The last two aircraft of Task Group 72.2 were temporarily based in Saigon, Viet Name, and to them the typhoon was a little concern.

    If Task Group 72.2 really wanted to set a record as the most widely dispersed, the one VP-6 aircraft which is still in Periodic Aircraft Rework (PAR) at NAS Alameda, California, would surely clinch the title.

    VP-6 which recently arrived from Hawaii to supplement Task Group 72.2 can well be proud of their rapid mobilization and deployment. Twenty-four hours after being notified, six Blue Shark aircraft were airborne from Barber's Point en route to Okinawa with five more following just a day behind.

    By-passing all of the usual paperwork preparations required to move a deploying squadron certainly has its advantages as far as simplifying the moving process. According to squadron members it's the only way to go. Being already in a mobile state, the Typhoon Flyaway two days after arriving on Okinawa, was all in a day's work.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "03JAN44--Patrol Squadron SEVENTEEN was commissioned at 1000 on January 3, 1944 at NAS Norfolk, Virginia; in accordance with CominCh Confidential letter 03974 of November 9, 1943; and ComAirLant letter of November 30, 1943. Lt. Comdr. Kenneth A. Kuehner, USNR, of Minster, Ohio, was designated as commanding officer of the squadron, which was temporarily based at Norfolk awaiting the assignment of officers, men and aircraft. At the time of commissioning six members of the squadron were on hand, the skipper, two other officers, and three enlisted men. On January 11th VP-17 was transferred to NAS Harvey Point, Hertford, North Carolina, for fitting out and shakedown training. The first airplane, a PBM-3D, was received on January 22nd and flight operations commenced on the 24th. As more pilots, crews and planes arrived, the training program increased progressively. The squadron remained at NAS Harvey Point, Hertford, North Carolina until the middle of April. From March 31st to April 9th a detachment of 11 crews under the command of Lt. jg Coyle was sent to Key West, Florida for training in anti-submarine warfare. About the middle of April the squadron moved by plane and rail to the West Coast. NAS Harvey Point, Hertford, North Carolina was a good operating area, although limited transportation and liberty did not make it the best area for personal enjoyment. As a result the squadron was pleased rather than annoyed by ComAirLant secret dispatch transferring it to ComFair Alameda, California. By April 24th VP-17 began its transfer to Alameda, via Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas and San Diego, California. En route to San Diego on May 3rd Lt. J. H. Dornbox and his crew were forced to parachute to safety near Palo Alto. The Squadron did not spend much time at Alameda. The first two planes departed NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on April 30th. Lt. Swanson and Lt. Roberts being PPC's. Complete squadron transfer to Fleet Air Wing Two, however, was not completed until May 31st, which gave most of the squadron considerable time to enjoy the comforts of NAS Alameda, California and ample provisions for good liberty afforded in San Franciso and Oakland. At NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for three months from June 1st to September 1st the squadron underwent intensive training in anti-submarine warfare, and completed final training in all phases of PBM operations. During this time VP-17 flew 117 operational patrols in the Hawaiian area. Conditions of living and recreation at NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii were fine for both officers and men. Operating conditions were very suitable although usual quirks were encountered of a minor nature, including a forced shallow water landing by Lt. Healy on July 25th causing minor hull damage, and one plan, Lt. Temple, PPC, running aground on a reef in Kaneohe Bay on August 1st. During the period June 1st to September 1st the squadron received two officers, one enlisted man, plus seven planes temporarily attached. Through transfers two officers and one plane were detached. Several weeks before departure to the forward area a squadron party was held on the beach near BOQ with ample supply of steaks, barbeque, baked beans and beer. A softball game between the officers and enlisted men was the highlight of the afternoon. On September 1st the Skipper leading 5 planes left Kanaohe for Ebeye, Kwajalein Atoll, in the Marshall Islands. This squadron movement was performed exactly as scheduled, 5 planes departing NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii each day for three days. The entire movement was completed without incident, which was considered more than satisfactory. This Movement to Task Force 59 at Ebeye was the transition point between training and action. The squadron was the last moving toward the forward area. On September 5th a 5 plane detachment was sent to Eniwetck for duty with VP-21 were it flew 11 negative searches and one photo reconnaissance hop over Wake Island. This detachment returned on the 13th receiving high praise for its work, the subject of a letter of commendation from the commanding officer VP-21 to ComAirPac. The Balance of the squadron meanwhile was awaiting orders to a more forward area. Lt. Coyle with a 3 plane section flew to Saipan on September 11th. A week later the remainder of the squadron transferred to Saipan and moved aboard the U. S. S. Hamlin (AV-15) in the outer harbor at Tenapag. While taking off from Ebeye Lt. Temple hit a submerged object, seriously damaging the hull of his plane. CASU 18 did a fine job in effecting emergency repairs so that the plane could be flown to NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for replacement. Lt. Temple later rejoined the squadron at Saipan. Administration was moved to Saipan September 18th. At Tanapag the Squadron flew 34 search, 18 dumbo and 4 cargo missions. Included in these flights were hops to Iwo Jima and Chici. While on one of the cargo missions to Kossol Passage, Palau, Lt. W. R. Lasser sighted an enemy submarine, but Seventeen's first enemy sighting proved fruitless. Being on a cargo mission, Lt. Lasser was carrying no bombs or depth charges, therefore allowing the submarine to submerge unharmed. On October 1, 1944 Patrol Squadron SEVENTEEN had its designation changed to Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTEEN. The squadron moved from the U. S. S. Hamlin to the U. S. S. Curtis (AV-4) on October 6th and remained there for a week prior to departing for Ulithi Atoll in the Western Caroline Islands. On October 9th Lt. J. L. Leidecker took on advance detachment of six crews to Ulithi. Based on the USS Onslow (AVP-48) the detachment flew night anti-submarine patrols. When the balance of the squadron moved to Ulithi on October 13th it based aboard the U. S. S. Hamlin. Operations at Ulithi continued until December 24th and included just about everything in the books for PBM's. During this period SEVENTEEN flew 2,932 operational hours which comprised day and night anti-submarine patrols, convoy coverage, mail runs, photo-reconnaissance missions, transport flights, coverage for landing operations and Dubo missions. While at Ulithi VPB-17 encountered some of its more unusual experiences. On a night coverage flight, Lt. G. H. Gile lost 18 inches off one propeller blade and was forced to make a single engine open sea landing in high seas, (20 to 30 foot swells). His damaged plane was rescued by the U. S. S. ONSLOW and towed 250 miles back to Ulithi. One hundred and four nights and eighty day patrols, which included reconnaissance of Yap Island were flown in this period. One Japanese prisoner was taken during a mission covering landings on Ngulu. Escort flights consisted of 27 flights which included a flight by Lt. Whelan on December 15, plus flights on December 19th and December 21st by Lt. Comdr. Coyle and Lt. Temple on the U. S. S. Reno, U. S. S. Houston, and the U. S. S. CANBARRA, which had been damaged by the enemy action. Mail runs were made between Saipan, Palau, Ngulu and Ulithi and 4 Dumbo flights were flown to NAS Agana, Guam and Woleai. For five days beginning November 5th 13 planes were evacuated without incident to Saipan because of typhoon conditions at Ulithi. On December 24th, 25th, and 26th the squadron moved back to Tanapag Harbor Saipan, and base aboard the U. S. S. YAKULAT (AVP-32) until the U. S. S. HAMLIN arrived on the 29th. It remained at Saipen until January 19, 1945. During this period 3 ASP flights were flown daily for a total of 556 hours. All patrols flown were with negative results; so the squadron was pleased to receive FAW-1 orders transferring it to Kossol Roads, Palau. On January 20, 1945, 5 planes departed for Kossola Roads. Operations at Palau were conducted from the USS Kenneth Whiting (AV-14]. Thirty-six day searches and seven night anti-sub patrols were flown. Operating conditions at Kossol Roads were generally very poor due to extremely high seas. Many planes were damaged by boats and rough water take-offs. Lt. D. N. Brown of Ortonville, Minnesota lost a float and submerged his wing on a take-off in rough water. However, by exceptional skill he managed to get his plane airborne and later affected a safe landing. The excellent work and efficiency of the USS Kenneth Whiting (AV-14] saved one plane with a hole in her hull below the waterline. A plane already on the deck had to be put over the side before the damaged plane could be brought aboard - an excellent piece of work. On February 5th VPB-17 once again moved to Ulithi; this time to the U. S. S. CHANDLELEUR (AV-10) for inspection of planes, and then to the USS Kenneth Whiting (AV-14] which did the actual maintenance. From February 12th to 15th pursuant to ComAirPac orders the squadron moved to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, P.I., aboard the USS Currituck II (AV-7) . On February 20th the squadron moved to the U. S. S. SAN PABLO (AVP-30), after having sent a detachment of planes and crews to Lingayen. This Nucleus of the squadron remained aboard the U. S. S. SAN PABLO until March 31st and then moved ashore to NAB, Jinamoc for the first three weeks of April. While based in San Pedro Bay the squadron flew 165 missions totaling 934 hours. Sixteen airmen were rescued at sea and 110 persons were transported, including Lt. General Eichelberger, U.S.A., Commanding General 8th Army. Missions included photo reconnaissance, cargo flights, supplying guerillas, dumbo for army and marine air strikes, landing operations and air-sea rescue. There were also pre-invasions bombings of Iloilo, San Carlos, Panay, Zamboanga, Davoa and Malabang, Mindanao, Cebu-Negros, and Legaspi, Luzon by VPB-17. Squadron planes flew dumbo missions on the days of invasion of the above mentioned cities and islands also. On the second day of the invasion of Iloilo, Lt. Johnson lost an engine and was forced to land several miles north of Iloilo. An LST towed the plane to a safe area among invasion craft, where it was stripped of all salvageable parts and equipment and then sunk. Complete cooperation was given the crew by the landing craft officers and men present. There were several flights of interest and significance during this period which are worthy of mention.. Lt. J. A. Wallace of Alberta, Canada on February 19th made an open sea landing in swells of from 15 to 20 feet, off the southeast coast of Samar and picked up 1st Lt. Dan T. Doyle, 028241, and F4U pilot. The next day Lt. G. D. Mulford of Woodbury, New Jersey transported 1500 pounds of supplies to guerilla forces on Palawan and picked up Cpl. Elmo S. Deal, U. S. Army, who had been a prisoner of war since the fall of Corregidor. On the 22nd Lt. Alan Washinton, Nashville, Tennessee evacuated 14 battle casualties of the 182nd Infantry Division from Behind enemy lines near Allen on the northwest tip of Samar. At the same time blood plasma was delivered to the Army Medical Officer in command. Lt. D. N. Brown flew a photo reconnaissance hop over Jap held Ticao and Burias Islands off southwestern Luzon on the 26th of February. This flight was in preparation for a subsequent successful Army landing. On March 1st Lt. Comdr K. A. Kuehner, the squadron commander, and Lt. Wallace evacuated 2nd Lt. J. B. Lampe and his crew of 11 from a downed B-24 at Davao, Minanao. This mission, deep into enemy territory was completed without assistance of fighter cover. Lt. C. M. Nixon evacuated Major P. B. May, Commanding Officer Marine Fighting Squadron 211 and Major Teafilo Rivera, Regimental Commander of 130th Infantry Guerilla Force from the same location. Invaluable intelligence material was received form this guerilla leader. On March 26th Lt. Bouchard of Los Angeles flew two 8th Army Intelligence officers and Lt. General Eichelberger from headquarters to Cebu and returned the General on the 28th. When the Skipper and six crews went ashore on April 1st from the U. S. S. Pablo to Jinamoc Island to continue air-sea rescue operations it marked the first time since leaving NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that any part of the Squadron was shore based despite undeveloped and limited facilities the squadron personnel thoroughly enjoyed the welcome change and the cooperation and facilities afforded by the CASU and ACORN 30. While the squadron was at San Pedro a detachment of 6 planes and 8 crews under Lt. Comdr. Coyle of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was based at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon aboard the U. S. S. ORCA from February 14th until the middle of March when it moved by degrees to Puerta Princessa, Palawan aboard the USS Pocomoke (AV-9). Operations at Lingayen Gulf consisted of dumbo, air-sea rescue, evacuation, guerilla supply and photo reconnaissance flights, with primary emphasis on air-sea rescue. Of particular note was the rescue of February 20th by Lt. L. H. Roberts of Green County, Pennsylvania of two survivors of a ditched B-25 just south of North Island. He landed and took off in 30 knot winds with a cross swell running about 16 feet. On the 25th Lt. G. H. Gile of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and crew distinguished themselves by effecting two landings and take-offs 4 and 8 miles respectively from the southwest coast of Formosa. In the first landing Lt. Scott M. Alexander of a downed P-47 was rescued. On the second landing, although a wreckage of a P-51 was searched, the crew was unable to locate a survivor. Both landings and take-offs were made in 30 knot winds with 14 to 16 foot cross swells. Another flight of interest occurred on march 2nd when Lt. C. Mellerup, Cambridge, Massachusetts was called to the northwest coast of Formosa to pick up survivors of a downed B-25. After prolonged search he landed and rescued 2nd Lt. J. C. Discon, 2nd Lt. A. C. West and Sgt. D. D. Bowers of the 823rd Bombing Squadron. During his return flight Lt. Mellerup was tailed by an enemy fighter, but no attack was made. Field missions flown by this detachment included the delivery of supplies and scouts into unfriendly territory and evacuating wounded and other personnel from behind enemy lines. On May 9, 1945 the squadron received a letter from Walter Krueger, General, U. S. Army Commanding 6th Army commending them for the work of this detachment at Lingayen. With its work at Lingayen complete this detachment was transferred March 9th to 18th to Palawan where it flew searches in the South China Sea. On March 20th the squadron was augmented by its first two replacement crews. Recreation at Purta Princessa was excellent and the squadron had numerous baseball games and beer parties with the USS Pocomoke (AV-9) and the U. S. S. ORCA ship's company. On March 18th the squadron was disposed as follows: 6 planes on U. S. S. SAN PABLO, 3 planes at Jinamoc, 1 plane at Lingayen, 4 planes at Palawan. From this time forward until April 22nd the squadron crews and planes were shifted about detachments throughout this area. The month at Palawan went all too fast before the detachment received the call to rejoin the squadron and report to the U. S. S. TANGIER (AV-8) at Lingayen Gulf for Black Cat duty. On April 22nd the squadron moved from Jinamoc to Lingayen Gulf where it went aboard the U. S. S. TANGIER. From this time on until June 29th the primary mission of the squadron was night reconnaissance or Black Catting along the China Coast and the western coast of Formosa. This area was covered by two sectors, one extending from Swatow, China to Hainan, and east along the shipping lanes from Hainan Straits; the other from Hong Kong, to Foochow, China, to the northern tip of Formosa and along the western Formosa Coast. The direction in which the sectors were flown was determined by the most effective use of moonlight. These missions were flown to intercept enemy shipping which ventured under cover of darkness into the waters and bays of the China Sea. Flights took off from Lingayen Gulf with 2500 gallons of gasoline, four 250 pound and six 100 pound G. P. Bombs, 3400 rounds of .50 cal. Ammunition and six to eight 25 pound fragmentation bombs. Take-off time varied according to the hours of darkness, moonrise and prospective targets. It was always prior to darkness and flights returned after daylight on the following day. To insure that no flight would be delayed on take-off, all planes scheduled for flights and stand-by planes were water-tested every day in advance of departure time. The doctrine set forth for Black Cat missions was "plenty rugged." The first consideration after take-off was gasoline. It was necessary to conserve in every possible way. Low power settings were used constantly. The only difference between the attack run and the cruise was that the engines were put into auto-rich when in range of enemy fire. The flight to target area was maintained at an altitude of 250 feet or less and, once over the target area, altitude many times was lowered to absolute minimum in order to effect undetected attacks on enemy strongholds. Radar served as the eyes of the plane, guiding it in between and over numerous protruding rocks and islands which lined the coast. Entries into bays and rivers were made on radar. The attack run was guided by radar, the target often remained invisible until illuminated by the plane's .50 cal. Tracers. Radar operators, whether they were ordiancemen, mechs, or radioman, were soon able to distinguish between rocks, junks and prospective targets. No matter how proficient the radar operator, or how good the radar, there were no substitutes for contact flight under a full moon. Flights were completed in darkness, in fog, or in moonlight. It was not the policy to cancel flights or return to base because of weather. Fronts were usually entered without a change of heading, but at low altitude to avoid turbulence. The entire crew was unconsciously under continual strain. During the two months of Black Cat operations VPB-17 worked a heavy schedule and achieved remarkably good results in destruction and damage inflicted upon the enemy, considering the curtailment of Japanese shipping between the East Indies and Japan. Although there were numerous creditable attacks, there were a few in particular that were especially worthy of mention. On the night of May 18 and 19 in the sector between Formosa and the China Coast Lt. Warren B. Lasser of Waterloo, Iowa attacked a five ship convoy totaling 17,000 tons and completely destroyed it. One Fox Tar Baker, One Fox Tar Charlie and two Sugar Charlies were sunk and one Fox Tare Baker left burning furiously. The following night Lt. E. H. Ross of Shelbyville, Tennessee sank one and left two remaining Sugar Charlies down by the stern and listing to port. On May 28th Lt.jg J. Centa of Barberton, Ohio sank a Sugar Charlie. On June 23-24 Lt.jg Willie F. Sander of Brenham, Texas scored a clean sweep when he destroyed a 200 foot M/V and two Sugar Charlies by bombing and strafing, and later on the same flight sank two 150 foot 3-masted schooners with a single bomb hit. In the way of retaliation the enemy did some damage during the squadron's career of Black Catting. On May 26th Lt.jg F. W. Forman, Baltimore, Maryland failed to return from a mission. It was not until July that it was found that his plane had been shot down. The only survivors were Lt. Forman of Baltimore, Maryland and his co-pilot, Ens. R. S. Bunge, East Hartford, Conn. They made there way to the China Coast and, on the basis of their evasion and escape knowledge, located friendly Chinese who evacuated them inland to Kunming. Those lost included Ens. A. Ligrani, (A1), USNR, 419577; Cass, W. S., AOM3c(T), USNR, 565 75 01; Shoemake, C. M., AMM1c, USN, 295 82 35; Suck, G. R., AOM3c, USNR, 664 52 93; White, R. D., ARM3c(T), USNR, 816 25 08. On May 30th Lt.jg V. B. Moore sighted seven schooners with probable destruction of five before he ran out of ammunition and bombs. Another example of the accuracy of Japanese AA fire was the plane brought back to the squadron the morning of June 6th. That PBM had 380 holes in the after end of the plane, but miraculously enough there were no injuries or casualties among the personnel. On June 22, Lt. Edward Harmeyer sank one Sugar Dog and two Barges. On the same night Lt.jg G. R. Hauser of Yorkville, New York sank a Fox Tare Charlie. On June 25th Lt.jg E. Peterson of Marquette, Michigan sank a Sugar Charlie. On the night of June 28th the squadron's last Black Cat Missions were flown. While Lt.jg James B. Nourse of Wocester, Massachusetts was attacking a PC off the Pescadores Islands, enemy fire wounded his Mech, W. F. Snyder, AMM3c, of Passaic, New Jersey in the foot. Thus ended VPB-17s night sorties against the enemy. While the squadron was busy Black Catting the USS Currituck II (AV-7) steamed into Lingayen Gulf on June 24th. The following day VPB SEVENTEEN left the U. S. S. TANGIER and moved aboard the USS Currituck II (AV-7) . On the 16th the Squadron's new commanding officer, Lt. Comdr. Leeds D. Cutter, USNR, reported to replace "Skipper" Kuehner. The change of command ceremonies took place on June 21st with the squadron present in the hanger of the USS Currituck II (AV-7) . On June 29th VPB-17 ended its Black Cat operations and started its movement to Tawi Tawi in the Sulu Archipelago, off the coast of Borneo. As the main flight to Tawi Tawi was leaving Lingayen on June 30th the squadron suffered it first serious known operational loss. A few minutes after take-off, Lt. Comdr. Cutter had both engines fail and crashed three miles inland from Dasol Bay.The plane caught fire and was completely destroyed. Ensign Stadtler and six enlisted men were killed. Lt. Comdr. Cutter, pilot, Ensign Jensen and three men were badly burned. A few minutes later Lt. L. D. Hicks, USN, also had both engines of his PBM cut out but was fortunate in being able to reach Dasol Bay where he made a skillful landing without injury to anyone. Upon examination and investigation it was found that Lt. Hicks engine failure was caused by the presence of salt water in the gas tanks. It is presumed that Lt. Comdr. Cutter crash resulted from the same cause. With the exception of the crews involved in the emergency landings at Dasol Bay the squadron completed its transfer to the USS Pocomoke (AV-9) in Chongos Bay, Tawi Tawi between July 2nd and 4th. In the meantime while Black Catting was going on at Lingayen a detachment of three planes and crews headed by Lt. J. T. Whealan had been sent to Tawi Tawi on June 7th and had been augmented on the 14th by an additional three planes and crews. Although this detachment was originally based aboard the USS Pocomoke (AV-9), it moved to the U. S. S. HALF MOON (AVP-26) on the 11th where it remained until July 5th at which time it rejoined the squadron on the USS Pocomoke (AV-9). Operations at Tawi Tawi consisting almost entirely of anti-submarine patrols continued throughout July and August until VPB-17 was relieved of operational duties by VPB-25 on August 21st. Most of the ASP's were of a dull routine nature and all had negative results. Barrier patrols covering the Brunei and Balikpapah landings lent a spark of excitement, however, in an otherwise uninteresting operation. The searches or patrols from Tawi Tawi covered the convoy shipping lanes between Morotai and Borneo and extended south through Macassar Straits to the southern tip of the Celebes and Borneo. The Tawi Tawi operation provided the only submarine attack made by a plane of Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTEEN. On June 17th, 1945 Lt. J. T. Whelan, USNR of Rocky River, Ohio made a run on a RO class Japanese submarine and was credited with a class A attack and probable destruction of the enemy. On June 21st Lt. jg C. D. Heitert, while returning from a patrol through Macassar Straits heard a distress transmission and on his own initiative located and rescued Lt. Ferguson, U.S.A., and 10 survivors of a ditched Liberator attached to the 380th Bomber Group. Another air-sea rescue incident took place when Lt.jg W. O. Phillips of Easr Akron, Ohio and his crew sighted a survivor on a life raft west of Morotai. Lt.jg Phillips contacted a destroyer of a nearby convoy and directed it to the location of the survivor. Meanwhile two more life rafts were detected. As a result of this cooperation between air and surface craft Lt. Callison and four other members of an RAAF Liberator crew were rescued. In addition to anti-submarine patrols VPB-17 flew several missions at the request of in cooperation with Allied Intelligence Bureau. Most of these flights were of a transportation nature, carrying supplies and personnel from Morotai to guerilla groups on the coast of North Borneo. Capt. Chipper of the Australian Army often participated in these flights and was extremely helpful in supplying information about such places as Semporna, Labuan Island and Marudu Bay. Toward the end of the war in late July and early August these flights were made all the more interesting by the evacuation of prisoners of war who had been held captive by the Japanese in North Borneo." Contributed by Thomas Edwin Russell tompbm@aol.com

    UPDATE "...My name is William Cass. I wrote a poem in memory of my great uncle who was killed on patrol in a PBM on May 25, 1945. I have attached a poem about the Purple Heart his mother received.. William Cass wscass69@speakeasy.org..." [Crew Added 09DEC2001 | 01DEC2001]

    By William Scott Cass in loving memory of William Stephen Cass
    VP-17 History ThumbnailCameraCrew

    Top Row from Left to Right: Marion Nutter, P. Orberdorffer, W.S. Cass, Chester Shoemake, Gerry Slick, Oliver Plumb Front Row from Left to Right: Ralph Halstead, Robert Bunge, Fredrick W. Forman, Amedo Ligrani, Robert White

    At the bottom of the beautiful laden sea,

    lies the grave of someone I knew, but never met.

    He lived his life as a sailor, but he died as a savior.

    The ones he left behind will always

    remember his passing, he received a

    blessing, that should be in red, not in purple.

    The red would stand for the blood

    spilt to receive it, the gold

    figurehead stands for the First

    Commander who gave it.

    The colors that hold it stand for the

    Glorious Country that cries each time it is given.

    On the back of the medal the names are

    scrolled to remember those who received it.

    The shape is in that of a heart to show

    where the true idea of giving it came from.

    The purple and gold are in memory of

    where you may be now, and where we

    someday may join you.

    Circa 1963

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...These photograph's were taken 1963 early 1964 during our NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan. Hiako "dog" was 1964..." Contributed by OSBORNE, ABH3 Richard E "Ozzy and Oz" mythog@classicnet.net [19NOV2008]

    Photographs (Left to Right):

      Me Pulling, Boys, Hiako and Me.
      History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailShipmate Pix

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News February 1963 "...VP-17 Hits Safety Mark - Page 24 - Naval Aviation News - February 1963..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1963/feb63.pdf [25AUG2004]

    VP History Thumbnail

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...In the spring of 1963 during my three months flying the Aleutians, we had some events, too. I recall a flight from Shemya to Kodiak that was to take us north of the chain for a while and then go through a slot Unimak Pass and come up to Kodiak from the south. We were proceeding and the weather was getting worse and worse. I tried to keep track of our course by staying below the clouds so that my navigator could keep track of the drift. It got to 45 degrees. Wow! We were at 100 feet and could see only down at a 45 degree angle. Time to climb. So we did, got to 2,500 feet in the soup and flew for one hour and ten minutes. Radar reported a ship about twenty miles to the northeast. I opted to go to it, rig it and get a position. "Navigator, is there any land around us?" "Nope! Long way from land" was the reply. OK lets go to the ship. Radar says "It's not looking like a ship anymore, it looks more like land!" WELL, its identified now, it's Cape Newenham! Some years later a P2 augurs in at Cape Newenham. What happened to us was that when we climbed, we got into the wind going the other way and now were 90 degrees off course for over an hour...." Contributed by C. David Hamilton, Commander USNR-Ret chamil@centuryinter.net [26JUL98]

    Circa 1960 - 1994

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "..Navy Squadrons - Squadron Deployments.." WebSite: GoNavy.com http://www.gonavy.jp/ [22NOV2011]
    Get Adobe Reader
    Open VP History Adobe FilePatrol Squadron SEVENTEEN (1960 - 1994) 110KB

    Circa 1960

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FASRON-12, VP-1, VP-2, VP-17 and VP-50) - Naval Aeronautical Organization OPNAV NOTICE 05400 for Fiscal Year 1960 dated 1 February 1960 is: DECLASSIFIED per Office of Chief of Naval Operations on 1 February 1965 by Op-501 - Atlantic Fleet Support Stations..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/a-record/nao53-68/fy1960-feb60.pdf [12MAR2007]

    History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The U.S. Navy/U.S. Coast Guard Vietnam Unit Memorial Monument, will be located on the Council International Sport Military Field on the US Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, CA. This monument will be a personal detailed, and heart-felt tribute to all Naval & Coast Guard personnel who died serving their country in the South East Asia Theater of the Vietnam War from 1960-1975. A few of the military squadrons represented are: VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-6, VP-17, VP-26, VP-40, VP-42, VP-48, VP-50, VAH-21, VAP-61, and VO-67. WebSite: Vietnam Unit Memorial Monument..." Contributed by BAILEY, AO3 Bob flynavy10@comcast.net [Updated 21DEC2000 | Updated 02JUL2000 | Updated 14APR2000 | 03APR2000]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: USAF P2 Thumbnail "...In February 1960 my crew was sent to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, Midway & Johnson Island from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington to try and see if we could spot any rockets that the Russians were shooting from Siberia and landing in that area of the Pacific. After taking off from Midway and flying all night and spotting some contrails of the Russian rocket as it reentered the atmosphere we had to land at Johnson Island. Johnson is 800 miles SW of Honolulu and is slightly bigger than a carrier deck...Parked next to us was this strange P2V with Airforce markings. Those folks would not talk to us or reveal anything about their aircraft...When we thought no one was around we attempted to climb up the nose wheel ladder to get a peek inside. What we found was the barrel of a .45 looking as big as a cannon. When the voice said "get out of here or I shoot." We didn't have to be told twice to leave...To this day I don't know the answer to why the airforce had at least one P2V...As aside, we were told not to discuss what we had seen anywhere on the trip concerning the Russian rockets. When we returned to Honolulu from Johnson Island the headline in the Honolulu paper read "Navy Crew Spots Russian Rocket." Yep that was us and we weren't allowed to talk about it..." Contributed by Tom Scalese tjs@deltanet.com [24FEB2000]

    Circa 1962

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News March 1962 "...VP-17 Passes A Milestone - Page 24 - Naval Aviation News - March 1962..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1962/mar62.pdf [22AUG2004]

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