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Circa 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News March 1948 "...Naval Air Honors Truman - Page 8 - Naval Aviation News - March 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/mar49.pdf [15JUL2004]

Naval Aviation News March 1948

Circa 1948

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: UNIT: VP-21 PREVIOUS DES: VP-HL-11 NAME: Big Red TAIL CODE: HC/LH ACTIVATED: 9-1-48 DEACTIVATED: 11-21-69 TYPICAL LOCATION(S): NAS Brunswick, Maine
Books"Title: Lockheed P-2V Neptune An Illustrated History by Wayne Mutza wmutza@wi.rr.com...A Schiffer Military History Book...ISBN: 0-7643-0151-9...286 pages full of pictures and history!

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The Mercator and Me" - Flying with a rare and exotic bird by LCDR John A. Williams, Retired..." Foundation Volume 23 Number 2 Fall 2002 Page 48-55 National MUSEUM of Naval Aviation..." [09DEC2002]

In 1568, Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594), a Flemish cartographer, geographer and mathematician, devised and produced a system of map projection which represented meridians by parallel lines and parallels of latitude by straight lines intersecting the meridians at right angles. The system became known to navigators, sea and air alike, as the "Mercator Projection" and is still in use today. Until an anonymous buyer unknowingly purchased the lone surviving copy of Mercator's Great Atlas from a used-book store in 1967, much of Mercator's original, groundbreaking maps were either extremely rare or thought to be lost forever.

The Mercator I'm familiar with, however, is not much over 50 years old, but equally rare, and quite exotic. Mercator was the name given to the fourth patrol plane the U.s. Navy accepted from the Martin Aircraft Company for full-time operations with the fleet air arm, thus the letter/number designation, P4M. The P4M Mercator was a rare bird because only 21 were built between 1946 and late 1949. Of these 21, two were prototype XP4M-IS and only 19 were delivered to the Navy in 1949 and 1950. The Mercator was also an exotic bird: unfamiliar, beautiful and loaded with fascinating features years ahead of any other aircraft in service at that time. Even so, none survived much longer than 10 years.

In late 1948 I received my first introduction to the Mercator when a prototype X P4M was transferred to NATTC Memphis for technical training. The aircraft parking ramp at NATTC almost looked like the back lot of a Hollywood studio that had been producing World War II Navy aviation movies. I stood on the ramp looking at all of the old Navy aircraft, many already familiar to me, and there it was-an almost brand-new Mercator. At first I thought it looked like a larger version of Lockheed's P2V Neptune. I would soon learn that it was radically different in makeup and much superior in flight performance.

It was also in late 1948 that I came across the December issue of Aero Digest magazine. It was a special Air Navy issue containing a brief article on the Mercator, with only a few paragraphs, one picture, one drawing and a load of information. My next Mercator sighting was in July 1951 at NAS Sand Point, Seattle. I was preparing to ferry a PBY-5A Catalina from Overhaul and Repair back to NARTU Memphis. On the ramp were several P4M-1 Mercators assigned to Patrol Squadron 21. The planes were on a round trip of the perimeter of the 48 contiguous states, and the crews were preparing themselves and their planes for the last leg home to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. On their flight from NAS San Diego to NAS Alameda, the elapsed flight time was a record one hour and 15 minutes.

In September 1952 I received a most welcome set of orders to VP-21. Until then my experience in patrol aircraft had been seaplanes, PBM Mariners and PBY Catalinas. I didn't particularly care for land plane patrol aircraft, mainly the PB4Y Privateer or P2V Neptune, but now I would soon be flying in the Mercator. After about 700 hours crew time in the PBM, I would be back in a Martin aircraft, with jets too.

Shortly after checking in to VP-21, I had my first real close look at the Mercator, inside and out. As an aviation machinist's mate, I was most interested in the powerplants. Despite my experience with Pratt & Whitney R-1830S (on the PBY) and R-28oos (on the PBM), I was amazed by the "Wasp Major" R-436os on the Mercator. The R-4360 was awesome, 28 cylinders in all, and I could understand the reason for its nickname: "The Corn Cob." Additionally, there were the Mercators other engines, two Allison J33 centrifugal-flow turbojets. They presented a much larger frontal area than the later axial-flow jets that hung from pylons on the wings. Because of the J33'S size, on the Mercator they were housed in the nacelle behind the R-4360. The space in the nacelle occupied by the Mercators jets was that of the main landing gear on the Neptunes. Thus the P4M main landing gear retracted outboard into a slight wing cavity, similar to the Privateer or B-24 Liberator. Though I had anticipated an assignment directly to a flight crew, it didn't work out that way. To be a P4M plane captain or even second mech meant months of study and training. I must have done something right though-after only one month on the engine buildup crew, night maintenance, I was in training on a flight crew.

At this point I began to realize the many advanced features of the Mercator. The pilot's compartment was raised with a semi-bubble canopy for increased range of vision. The after-station had a large "picture window" on both sides for improved sea-search quality. The radio and radar stations were across the flight deck isle from each other and the overhead was high enough for the crew to stand upright. Just aft of this compartment was the radar countermeasures (RCM) operator station, later changed to electronic countermeasures (ECM). Also located in this area was an upper escape hatch. In fact, the Mercator had several well-designed ditching and escape features. One such ditching feature was the nose entrance hatch, or "hydro-flap." This hatch could be lowered in flight just prior to ditching. It was beefed up to withstand a 10,000-pound load when locked in the 45-degree down position. For defensive firepower, the P4M had twin 20mm cannon in both the nose and tail turrets. The upper deck turret was of the standard Martin 250CE, two .50-caliber, electrically driven, 360- degree azimuth variety.

By the end of my first month in flight training, I had flown 19 operational and training flights for a total of 75 hours. This was accompanied by ground classes on non-flying days, studying all the aircraft systems and emergency procedures. By February 1953 I had passed both oral and written exams, and all requirements for P4M-l plane captain. I now had 166.3 flight hours, and after another month of flight checks, on 16 March 1953, I received my official P4M-l plane captain card number 42. Because VP-21'S primary mission was "high-speed aerial mine delivery" with a secondary in anti-submarine warfare, the Mercator did not have the AN/APS-20 search radar of some Neptunes, but the AN/APS-33 and a smaller radome.

On routine training flights the jets were not used for power; however, they were always at idle for takeoff and landing as a matter of safety. Occasionally there would be a full-power, two-turning-two-burning takeoff, which would throw us back in our seats at near-catapult force.

P4M  ThumbnailCameraVP-21 P4M "...VP-21 Mercator BuNo 122209 flies over NAS Patuxent River, Maryland in 1951..."

In February 1953, VP-21 began to receive the Lockheed P2v-6 as a replacement for the P4M. I continued to fly as a P4M plane captain, and on 6 April 1953, I flew on the last P4M (BuNo 124368) flight in VP-21. Those last days of my Mercator association were also spent cross-training as a plane captain on the P2v-6 (sans jets). The Mercator summary: two prototypes, 19 fleet aircraft. One Mercator crashed in Chesapeake Bay in March 1951 while attached to Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River. Nine were delivered to VP-21.

All other Mercators were converted to P4M-IQS before leaving the Martin Plant and were assigned to VW or VQ squadrons. Eventually all VP-21'S Mercators were converted to P4M-IQS at Overhaul and Repair, Norfolk, and sent to VQ squadrons. These squadrons continued to operate the Mercators through the 1950s. The last ones were lost at sea, scrapped or stricken by mid 1960. There were no survivors!

The VP-21 P4M was replaced by another "limited issue" patrol aircraft, the P2v-6 of which only 67 were produced. There were also 16 P2V-6BS, these were later designated -6MS. But hey, this might be another story.

Lieutenant Commander John Albin Williams was born in Memphis, Tennessee on 13 July 1926. John graduated high school 18 May 1944 and enlisted in the Navy two weeks later. He received his wings in April 1945 and, after assignments with training and service squadrons on the East Coast, he received orders to Patrol Bombing Squadron 74 at NAS Coco Solo, Panama, in March 1946. Following his release from active duty in October 1947. he re-enlisted in the Naval Air Reserve at NAS Memphis, Tennessee.

After a year of studies at Memphis State College, he re-entered active duty with the Naval Air Reserve Training Unit. In September 1952, Petty Officer First Class Williams re-enlisted in the regular Navy and received orders to Patrol Squadron 21 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

For the next two years, as VP-21 transitioned from Martin Mercators to Lockheed Neptunes, Williams continued flying as a plane captain on both aircraft, making two Med deployments to Malta in 1953-54. His shore duty at NAAS Cabaniss Field, Texas, lasted only one year; as he was selected for the Aviation Change of Rate Program in 1955 and was subsequently sent to Heavy Attack Squadron 6 at NAS North Island, California. Over the next 42 months Williams advanced to chief petty officer; qualified as heavy attack bombardier/navigator; made two WestPac deployments aboard USS Ranger (CVA-61), and then received orders to instructor duty at NATTC Memphis.

In July 1961 he transferred to NAS Sanford, Florida, as ground electronics maintenance officer and assistant communications officer. Then in 1964 he received orders to Heavy Attack Squadron 6. This tour included two deployments with RVAH-7 aboard USS Enterprise (CVAN-65).

In 1968 he was the maintenance control officer with ReconAtkron 3. Williams was promoted to lieutenant commander a year early, due to a "Vietnam augment." During the Vietnam War; LCDR Williams deployed aboard Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and USS America (CVAA-66). LCDR Williams retired on 30 June 1973 at NAS Albany, Georgia. He returned to Sanford with his wife Mary Ann and their three daughters, Christy, Wendy and Laurie, and enrolled in Seminole Community College. Upon receiving his associates degree, Williams took a position at the college assisting veterans with their academic schedules and GI Bill matters. He then attained his bachelors degree from Rollins College and earned a vocational teaching certificate in electronics. For the next seven years he taught electronics at a local high school. He retired from teaching in March 1988. Following the passing of his wife of 40 years, Williams returned to his hometown. In 1991, he married his high school sweetheart, Charlotte. The couple resides in Memphis.


Circa 1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-21 History "...After becoming a Naval Aviator in March 1947 CDR Vernon F. ANDERSON reported to VP-21 where he was assigned as Electronics and Communications Officer. In January 1951 he reported to FAETULANT. CDR ANDERSON also served with VP-18 as Operations Officer in December 1961 until January 1962 when he became XO and in January 1963 he became CO..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [25DEC2012]


Circa 1946

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) - Circa 1946. Squadrons Mentioned: VP-21 and VPB-26..." WebSite: USS Salisbury Sound http://www.salisburysound.com/index_Page555.htm [07JAN2007]

Salisbury Sound got underway from San Pedro on 27 December 1945 for training out of San Diego. She cleared port on 12 February 1946 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on the 20th. After final exercises in the Hawaiian area, she sailed on 1 March to load 6 fighter planes and a torpedo bomber at Guam (13-15 March), then reported for duty to Commander Air Wing One at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, 19 March 1946. After conducting familiarization flights and gunnery tracking drills for planes of VP-21, she got underway on 8 June for tender service of VPB-26 at Shanghai (11 June-5 July); Tsingtao (6-17 July), returning to Buckner Bay on 10 July to resume duties at that base. She again sailed on 13 September to tend planes of Patrol Bombing Squadron Twenty-Six at Tsingtao, returning to 6 October 1946. Having repaired some 26 planes and directed several air-sea search and rescue missions which saved the life of a number of men, she put to sea on 4 November 1946 for return to the United States. Steaming by the way of the Philippines ports of Puerto Princessa, Manila and Guiuan, she arrived at San Diego on 23 December 1946. After upkeep and local training exercises, she cleared San Diego on 29 March 1947 again bound for Buckner Bay, Okinawa. She arrived at the latter base on 18 April 1947 to commence a second tour of duty as a mobile repair and seadrome control unit for the maintenance of patrol planes at that port, Tsingtao, China and Apra Harbor, Guam. She departed Buckner Bay on 27 July for another stay of service at Tsingtao until 30 August, then loaded planes and aviation cargo at Manila for delivery to Apra Harbor on 9 September 1947. She then set course for return to San Diego, 22 September 1947.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The P4M-1 Martin Mercator was designed primarily for antisubmarine warfare, and competed with the Lockheed P2V Neptune for Navy procurement in the mid-to-late 1940s. The aircraft first flew on 20 September 1946; the last of 21 aircraft bought by the Navy was delivered in September 1950. VP-21 got the first aircraft. The P4M originally was designed for a nine-man crew. Its propulsion was provided by two Pratt and Whitney R-4360s, producing 3,200 horsepower, and two Allison J-33s, 4,6000-pound-thrust engines. It had an operating range of 2,000 smiles and a ceiling of 17,000 feet. It could cruise at 150 knots or dash up to 340 knots with all four engines on line. The Q-configuration was installed in the P4M-1 that was delivered to the Patrol Unit/NavComUnit 32G in February/March 1951. The back-end installation was unsatisfactory, so work to modify the configuration commenced immediately. Four APR-4s and four APR-9s were installed - each with its own tuning unit and panoramic adaptor. An improved intercom system isolated the cockpit and forward stations from the operators and the supervising evaluator. The evaluator could talk to each or all of his operators and the pilot; the pilot could override and be heard by all crew members for flight safety. Each operator position also had a direction-finding capability and wire recorder. The evaluator had an SLA-1 pulse analyzer that could be switched to receive video and audio signals from any operator position. A camera mounted on the SLA-1 camera harness was solenoid-actuated by the first video signal pulse so that the visual record of an intercept could be achieved. This was an exceptionally useful tool in cases where the signals were of very short duration because it permitted later analysis. Frequency coverage was from 50 to 10,750. This configuration was incorporated in three additional P4M-1Qs, which arrived to replace all of the PB4Y-2s by June 1951. Lieutenant Robert L. Ashford, U. S. Naval Reserve, was the original designer. The configuration eventually served as the basis for the modification of the WV-2 and A-3B aircraft to a Q-configuration (WV-2Q/EC-121M/and EA-3B). These aircraft became operational in the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadrons, VQ-1 and VQ-2, a few years later..." "Cold War Snooper" by R. C. M. Ottensmeyer, NAVAL HISTORY, United States Naval Institute April 1997, Page 40 Contributed by George Winter pbycat@bellsouth.net

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...1946 The War Diary of the U. S. S. Chandeleur (AV-10). The story of a Seaplane Tender in World War II. 19 November 1942 to 19 November 1945. Compiled and edited by The Staff of "Tender Topics," the Ship's Paper...Squadrons Supported: VP-14, VP-21, VP-71, VP-202, VP-216, VH-1, and FAW-1..." Contributed by Bruce Barth bbarth1@austin.rr.com, Director Mariner/Marlin Association [30NOV2000]

The
WAR DIARY
of the
U. S. S. CHANDELEUR
(AV-10)

The Story of a Seaplane Tender in World War II
19 November 1942 to 19 November 1945
Compiled and edited by
The Staff of "Tender Topics," the Ship's Paper

The Tale of a Modern Mariner


It is said that the life of a ship begins when her keel is laid. The keel of the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR was laid at 1615 on 29 March 1941 by the Western Pipe and Steel Co. of San Francisco, California. At 1343 on 19 November 1941 she slid down the ways, sponsored by Mrs. W. T. Thea, wife of Rear Admiral THEA, USCG.

One year later to the day on 19 November 1942, after successful trial runs had been made the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR was officially accepted for the Navy Department by Captain William SINTON, U. S. N. who, at the same time, took over as her first Commanding Officer.

For those who sailed aboard her it will be interesting to note that the CHANDELEUR was named for Chandeleur Sound which, with the islands of the same name is located off the coast of Louisiana, north of the Mississippi River delta. The Sound was discovered on 2 February 1699-Candlemas Day, and so was named "Chandeleur," French for Candlemas.

EARLY DAYS OF THE AV-10


After her commissioning the CHANDELEUR started on a series of cargo runs which carried her twice to HAWAll and the NEW HEBRIDES ISLANDS. It was seven and one-half months after going into commission before the AV-10 did any seaplane tending. However, the fact that the CHANDELEUR was doing her part in the war effort is testified by a mailgram received from ComAirSoPac congratulating the ship on her cooperation and by a personal letter received by Captain SINTON from Admiral TOWERS, Com Air Pac.

It may be of interest to note that on 14 February 1943, at Apia, British Samoa, many months before PBM's were commonly in use by the Navy in the Pacific, the CHANDELEUR hoisted aboard a damaged PBM-3R for transportation back to the United States.

FIRST SEAPLANE OPERATIONS


On the Fourth of July, 1943 the U. S. S. took over the job for which she was built, tending seaplanes. On that date, at ESPIRITU SANTO, N. H., VP-71 came aboard and began operations using this vessel as a base. This patrol squadron conducted searches, bombing missions, and Dumbo operations using fifteen PBY's.

An interesting sidelight on the Solomons Campaign was an incident which took place on 12 January 1944 at GAVUTU HARBOR, FLORIDA ISLAND. A New Zealand PBY was taking off and, while making its run, hit an anti-submarine net and tore a large hole in its hull. Boats from the CHANDELEUR were immediately dispatched. When the plane landed it was brought alongside and hoisted aboard. The ship got underway and by maneuvering in very close to HALA VO BEACH, it was possible to beach the damaged PBY on the seaplane ramp by hoisting it into the water and towing it up on the beach.

Thus ended this phase of the CHANDELEUR'S seaplane tending career but bigger and more important things were in store for the A V-10.

BACK TO THE STATES


After the departure of our second PBY patrol squadron, VP-14, the CHANDELEUR'S next job was to make a run up to Bougainville Island's CAPE TOROKINA with a load of Marine Airmen. VMF-218, Marine Air Group 11, First Marine Aircraft Wing and VMSB-244, Marine Air Group 21, Second Marine Aircraft Wing were our passengers on this trip. This was on the 25th of January, 1944, when BOUGAINVILLE was being bitterly contested. The AV-10 came to anchor at 0659 on 25 January and was underway again at 1749 on the same date. The C.0. of the Marines on BOUGAINVILLE presented the ship with a certificate of merit for the effective expediting of this mission.

MUNDA in the New Georgia group was the next stop on our cargo run and was followed by another series of trips between the NEW HEBRIDES and GUADALCANAL.

Then came our long awaited orders home- back to stateside via Pearl Harbor. The CHANDELEUR passed under the Golden , Gate Bridge 21 March 1944 and tied up at the Carrier dock, NAS Alameda, California to discharge passengers and cargo.

March 24, 1944 found us in the yards of General Engineering and Drydock Company, Alameda, for thirty days availability for overhaul and repair. Six days of this time was spent in drydock. After completion of our period of availability in the yard, we made a cargo run between N. S. D., Oakland and Pearl Harbor and returned to Oakland for the final loading for our next assignment overseas.

THE SAIPAN OPERATION


On 18 May 1944, the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR got underway from N. S. D. Oakland for Pearl Harbor. From Hawaii our next stop was KW AJALEIN in the Marshall Islands, which we reached on 5 June 1944. After two weeks at KW AJALEIN, we departed for ENIWETOK. Arriving at ENIWETOK the CHANDELEUR took over the duty of tending these patrol squadrons. Each squadron was made up of fifteen PBM-3D's.

Then came our orders to get underway and on 23 June 1944 we left for SAIPAN, MARMARIANAS, which had been invaded by U. S. forces less than 10 days before. Arriving at SAIPAN on 26 June we immediately began tending our PBM's under the overall command of Captain TAFT, C. 0., U.S.S. POKOMOKE. Captain TAFT was succeeded soon after our arrival at SAIPAN by Commodore Dixwell KETCHAM, U. S. N., Commander FAW-1.

Operating conditions at SAIPAN were not always of the best due to rough water, high winds, and enemy shore batteries. This vessel was anchored in GARAPAN BAY and on several occasions the ship's planes came under fire from enemy shore guns scattering shrapnel and doing some minor damage to the PBM's. At one time, there was a bad run of weather with 15 to 20 foot swells. Plane maintenance crews had to go over the side into their boats via cargo nets and the sea made working on the planes extremely hazardous. .

During the CHANDELEUR's stay on SAIPAN we went to General Quarters many times but were never under actual attack, the raiders seemingly being intent on creating a nuisance and preventing the ship and squadron personnel from getting much needed rest.

During our stay on SAIPAN, the planes of VP-202 and VP-216 conducted long range searches and photographic missions. Planes of VH-1, a rescue and evacuation squadron, were also assigned to us for maintenance on 5 July giving the CHANDELEUR a total of 36 (thirty-six) PBM-3D's to keep flying.

On 10 July 1944, well before the island was secured, the CHANDELEUR placed the first PBM on the ramp of the Japanese seaplane base at SAIPAN for maintenance work. Some Chandeleur men received a commendatory mass from Capt. Goodney for their work in preparing the ramp for operations. Putting this ramp to use greatly facilitated seaplane maintenance during this important operation.

Early in September 1944 we were ordered to make preparations for a new operation. Our plane maintenance crews had thirty-six seaplanes to check before leaving and also eighteen engines to change but all work was accomplished with time to spare.

TENDING AT KOSSL PASSAGE


On 3 September 1944, Commodore Dixwell KETCHAM, U. S. N. came aboard the CHANDELEUR as Commander FAW-1 and Commander Task Group 59.3. This flag remained aboard the AV-10 until 15 October. After completing all checks on the planes of VP-202 and VP-216, and VH-1 the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR was ready to go and on 12 September, 1944 this vessel got underway as part of Task Group 59.3 consisting of the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR, USS Pocomoke (AV-9), USS Mackinac (AVP-13), U. S. S. YAKUTAT, and U. S. S. ONSLOW. The task group proceeded to a position latitude 7 degrees 30 minutes north and longitude 138 degrees east to await further orders. Upon receiving the expected orders the task group set its course for KOSSOL PASSAGE, PALAU ISLANDS and arrived at 1130 on 16 September 1944. Hundreds of mines were being sunk on all sides, many even after we were anchored.

The operation at KOSSOL PASSAGE proved to be one of our toughest jobs since the water was almost continuously rough. During one day, 7 November 1944, a wind of hurricane force hit this area with gusts up to 75 knots. Many of the seaplanes rode out this typhoon on the water but despite everything the planes were kept in commission and the patrols were met. Food had to be floated to the planes on a rubber life raft, towed by a boat, since the water was too rough for a boat to come alongside a plane. It was very important that the patrols be made as our planes were flying coverage for the invasion of the PHILIPPINES.

While at KOSSOL PASSAGE, VPB-202 was relieved by VP-21, the last crew of VPB-202 being relieved on 24 October. VH-1 was detached from our cognizance on 6 October and VPB-216 left for home on 21 November leaving the CHANDELEUR only VPB-21 to tend.

The operation at KOSSOL PASSAGE was uneventful in respect to enemy action. A few nuisance raiders came over from nearby BABEL THUAP ISLAND but there was only one instance of a bomb being dropped. On Thanksgiving Day, 30 November 1944 we got underway for dispersal due to an expected enemy air attack. The "attack" came off exactly on time but consisted of only one plane which dropped a bomb (causing no damage) and left the area. The only harm done was to everyone's disposition due to having a fine Thanksgiving dinner spoiled by General Quarters.

ULITHI AND SAIPAN-A BREATHING SPELL


Having completed her mission at KOSSOL PASSAGE, the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR got underway Christmas Day 1944 for ULITHI, CAROLINE ISLANDS, arriving the next day. We stayed at ULITHI for over a month carrying out routine maintenance on the fifteen PBM-3D's of VPB-21 and enjoying a breathing spell from the "no-liberty" port of KOSSOL PASSAGE.

On 8 February 1945 we got underway for SAIPAN, MARIANAS, where we remained until 23 March. The routine here was much the same as at ULITHI. However, things began getting busier during the end of our stay at SAIP AN and we knew that another opera- tion was shaping up.

KERAMA RETTO AND THE OKINAWA CAMPAIGN


On 23 March 1945, the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR embarked on what was to be the most important and difficult operation of her career. The task group consisted of three AV's (HAMLIN, ST. GEORGE, CHANDELEUR) and four AVP's (ONSLOW, HERING STRAIT, SHELIKOF, YAKUTAT) with Commander FAW-1, Commodore Dixwell KETCHAM, in the HAMLIN as CTG and OTC. While still underway we learned that our destination was KERAMA RETTO, a small group of islands in the NANSEI SHOTO or RYUKYU chain, seventeen miles west of OKINAWA.

Task Group 51.20 arrived at KERAMA RETTO 28 March 1945 only one day after the 77th Division, U. S. Army had landed and secured part of the group. Thus 28 March found us at KERAMA RETTO on D plus 1 Day for that group and D minus 3 Day for OKINA W A itself where the initial landing was made on 1 April 1945, Easter Sunday morning.

Immediately prior to leaving SAIPAN, our squadron, VPB-21, completed a change-over from PBM-3D aircraft to the PBM-5 type. Throughout the OKINA W A campaign VPB-21 used fifteen PBM-5's on their bombing, search, and rescue missions.

On 29 March 1945, before any planes had departed on flights, this vessel assumed control of seadrome operations and remained Seadrome Control Tender until relieved by the U. S. S. KENNETH WHITING on 5 August just before our departure for SAIPAN. During the period 29 March through 30 April 1945 the CHANDELEUR also had the duty of FLEET POST OFFICE ANNEX and handled air service for the press to COMMANDER IN CHIEF, PACIFIC OCEANS AREA, Public Relations, Guam.

At KERAMA RETTO the seaplane maintenance problem was made more difficult because of the number of planes returning from missions badly damaged from enemy action-frequently in a sinking condition. Then, too, much valuable working time was lost due to Red and Blue Alerts. In order to keep the planes flying, it became necessary to work even during Flash Blue, using dimmed lights at night. Only when General Quarters was sounded, did the maintenance crews leave their work.

While on the subject of General Quarters and enemy attacks, it is interesting to note that the CHANDELEUR went to General Quarters 204 times between 28 March and 15 July, a period of a little over three and one-half months. During this time enemy aircraft were brought under fire by the ship's guns on eight occasions, hits being scored at least twice. One enemy single-engine aircraft was splashed at 0121 29 April 1945. This plane came through a gap between two nearby islands, headed directly toward the CHANDELEUR. It was tracked and taken under accurate fire from two 40 mm. and eight 20 mm. guns at close range, (before any other ship opened fire). The plane pulled up momentarily, then fell into a dive crashing into the water and exploding about 30 seconds later.

The second time our guns scored hits was on the evening of 21 June 1945. At about 1838 two enemy planes, later identified as a FRANK and an OSCAR, approached our anchorage without warning and at low altitude. The FRANK immediately crashed into the U. S. S. CURTISS and the OSCAR circled to attack this vessel. Due to the alertness of the CHANDELEUR's fire control personnel the enemy plane changed its course and crashed about 10 yards short of the port side of the nearby KENNETH WHITING. Several hits were scored by our 20 mm. and 40 mm. gunners and the CHANDELEUR was credited with an assist for her part in splashing the would-be KAMIKAZE.

It was decided to move the seaplane base from KERAMA RETTO to OKINAWA proper and so on 15 July, after 109 busy days at KERAMA, the CHANDELEUR got underway for CHIMU WAN, OKINAWA in company with other units of Task Group 30.5.

At our new location, this vessel continued tending planes for VPB-21 with our same additional duties as Seadrome Control Tender. During the three weeks we were at CHIMU WAN, we went to General Quarters 16 times but did no firing at enemy targets.

While at CHIMU WAN, the CHANDELEUR had to get underway twice and stand out to sea in execution of Typhoon Plan X. Due to approaching storms, we evacuated our planes and left CHIMU WAN once on 19 July and again on 1 August. The storms quickly subsided however and operations were resumed in short order with no damage being done to any of our seaplanes.

On 5 August the CHANDELEUR was relieved of Seadrome Control and the next day got underway for SAIPAN, MARIANAS.

During the 131 days this vessel operated in the OKINAWA area, every landing and take-off made by planes of FAW-1 was controlled by us and despite 220 (two hundred twenty) general quarters, enemy at- tacks, typhoons, and other hazards to seaplane operation, we helped keep our search planes flying.

A few words about the accomplishments of our squadron during the OKINAWA operation would not be a risk at this point. We have tended VPB-21 continuously since 18 October 1944, eleven months together at KOSSOL PASSAGE, ULITHI, SAIPAN, KERAMA RETTO, CHIMU WAN, and now the Occupation of JAPAN at OMINATO.

In citing the deeds of the squadron at OKINAWA only, we are not forgetting the other months of the day-to-qay patrols but since the operation at OKINAWA was undoubtedly the largest and most important seaplane operation in history, the facts about this campaign seem the most logical to present.

During the OKINAWA operation, Mariniers of VPB-21 sank nine enemy vessels, probably sank three others, and damaged twenty-nine more. In addition to this, many land tar- gets were destroyed or damaged.

CHANDELEUR-based PBM's drew first blood at OKINAWA being in on the kill of a large Japanese submarine two days before the invasion of OKINAWA. Our search planes spotted the giant Japanese battleship YAMATO on the morning of 7 April 1945 and warned the carrier planes that later destroyed her.

During the OKINAWA operation, planes of VPB-21 rescued twenty downed airmen, shot down at least one Nip plane, and flew over five hundred combat missions for a total of 7,000 (seven thousand) hours.

Close co-operation between ship an squadron made such accomplishments possible and in helping VPB-21 pile up such an impressive record, the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR has definitely fulfilled her primary functions to act as a floating base for the maintenance of seaplanes and for the caring of their crews.

OCCUPATION OF JAPAN


After leaving OKINAWA, the U. S. S. CHANDELEUR stopped first at SAIPAN, arriving there 10 August. Orders to get underway again came and on 12 August we departed for ENIWETOK, arriving at this Marshall Island atoll three days later. At ENIWETOK we passed from under the cognizance of CFAW-l for the first time in over a year and during our stay here the CHANDELEUR was under the Commander of the Marshall and Gilberts Area.

The biggest news stories of the war, the atomic bomb, Russia's entry into the conflict, and Japan's surrender offer found us underway between OKINAWA and ENIWETOK and the rapid cessation of hostilities left us very uncertain as to our status.

After seven days availability alongside the U. S. S. LAERTES (AR-20) to make critically needed repairs in the engine room, our status began to clear as cold weather gear came aboard and the CHANDELEUR was ordered to get underway again.

The official V-J day, Sunday, 2 September 1945, found us underway en route to OMINATO, HONSHU, JAPAN. On 6 September the CHANDELEUR joined the main force of the North Pacific Fleet about 200 miles off the Northern coast of the main Japanese island of HONSHU, and thus came under direct command of Com Nor Pac, Vice Admiral Frank Jack FLETCHER, U.S. N.

Reaching OMINATO on 8 September with the other units of the North Pacific Fleet, the CHANDELEUR was one of the first large ships to enter the harbor and anchor. The next morning, Admiral FLETCHER received the formal surrender of Northern HONSHU and all of HOKKAIDO from the Japanese envoys on a nearby ship, U. S. S. PANAMINT.

Our PBM's arrived 10 September and using us as their base flew routine searches, Dumbo missions, and mail and passenger trips to TOKYO. The OMINATO operation was the culmination of the CHANDELEUR's war activity. On 16 October after the arrival of our relief, the U. S. S. TANGLER, we at last weighed anchor. SAIPAN, almost our home port, was our first stop, but in less than 24 hours we had provisioned, fueled and taken on passengers. On the morning of 23 October the familiar landscape of SAIPAN faded from sight and the CHANDELEUR, her days of war over, headed home.

Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 04AUG45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 27JUN45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 16JUN45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 31MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 29MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 12MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 09MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 09MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 07MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 03MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - -01MAY45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 29APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 28APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 27APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 26APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 25APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 21APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 17APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 15APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - U. S. Action with Enemy on - 14APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - Anti-Shipping Report - 02APR45..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - War Diary - January 1 through 31, 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...March 5th, 1945 - Invitation to the Officers Club First Anniversary Party - Patrol Bombing Squadron 21, NAS Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, Marianas Islands - Reads: The Officers of Patrol Bombing Squadron 21 cordially invite you to be their guest at The First Anniversary Party of this command to be given at the Officerss Club Fleet Recreation Center on March Fifth, 1945 - 1830 to 2100 1945 - Buffet Supper and party typed lyrics to "The B-29 Lullaby" (to the tune of David Rose's "Holiday for Strings" - "We will leave the Marianas, catch the Japs in their Pajamas, drop our eggs on Fujiyama, Tokoyama, Yokohama...Guam, Saipan we love you Tinian, don't knock a, you will find we'll rockya, block by block in Osaka..."..." WebSite: EBay http://www.ebay.com/ [09JAN2010]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...Patrol Squadrons Cited - Naval Aviation News - March 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/15mar45.pdf [10NOV2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...Pilot Must Check All Passengers - Naval Aviation News - January 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/1jan45.pdf [10NOV2004]

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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]

Midget, 21 January 1945
Type: Kaiten Laid Down: Unknown
Commissioned: Unknown
Commander: Unknown
Career: Unknown
Successes: None

Fate: Sunk 21 January 1945, in Ulithi lagoon by a VPB-21 PBM Mariner flown by Lieutenant (jg) Richard L. Simms. The Kaiten was released earlier by the mothership, I-36, for an attack on shipping in Ulithi lagoon. Simms and his crew spotted the midget submarine in the lagoon and dropped 4 depth charges on it. Four midgets had been launched, but only one scored a hit on ammunition ship Mazama (AE 9). None of the Kaitens returned to I-36 after the attack.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I'm looking for a PBM Association if it exists. In particular, I am wishing to know the details of VPB-18's loss of two PBMs to Japanese fighters on 5-15-45. The pilots were Lt(jg) I.E. Marr and Lt. M.E. Hart. Hart was rescued along with some of his crew. They were picked up by a submarine which was directed to them by VPB-21's Lt. Bailey and Kalemaris. Thank you for any info you can send my way!...Shipmate Requested Name Removal (SEE: SPAM Summary Page) [Shipmate Removed 15DEC2002]..."

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "05SEP45--VP-17 moved 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..." Contributed by Thomas Edwin Russell tompbm@aol.com

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "1945-1946--flew PBM-5s out of Ominato, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Okinawa, Sasebo, Yokosuka and Manila in 1945-46..." Contributed by Ted Stoddard tedstod@verizon.net

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13)...Squadrons Supported: VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VPB-21, VP-22, VPB-26, VP-40, VP-42, VP-46, VP-47, VP-48, VP-50, FAW-1 ..." Contributed by Patrick Clancey Pat.Clancey@central.sun.com, WebMaster The HyperWar Project [30NOV2000]

USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13)
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/dafs/AV/av13-history.html


USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13), a Seaplane Tender, is named for Salisbury Sound, Alaska, a strategically located basin near Sitkawitch, which forms a natural harbor especially suited for seaplane base operations.

Salisbury Sound was built by the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of San Pedro, California, which became Todds, San Pedro shipyard before her completion. Her keel was laid 10 April 1943 and she was launched 18 June 1944, under the sponsorship of Mrs. John D. Price, wife of Rear Admiral Price, Commander of Fleet Air Wing Two, Air Forces US Pacific Fleet. The Seaplane Tender was placed in commission on 26 November 1945, Captain Doyle G. Donaho, USN, in command.

Salisbury Sound is capable of supporting two (2) fifteen plane squadrons of the Mariner type, both in material upkeep and repair and personnel subsistence. Her facilities include engine repair, hydraulic repair, carburetor repair, metal, parachute, and photographic shop. In addition to her own officers and crew she is able to billet over 120 squadron officers and 200 crew members. Her most striking feature is her large after-deck where two huge seaplanes can be hoisted aboard and serviced at the same time. Two enormous cranes, one on her after-deck and one on her superstructure, can lift the planes with ease. Her hospital ward is fitted with 18 beds and a great number can be made available in event of emergency. high speed boats can be lowered over her sides by cranes and dispatched to refuel planes or boats at sea, and if necessary, tow them to safety. Supplies, trained mechanics, and medical rescue teams stand by ready to the blown over vast ocean reaches and parachuted to me immediate relief of planes or vessels in distress.

Salisbury Sound got underway from San Pedro on 27 December 1945 for training out of San Diego. She cleared port on 12 February 1946 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on the 20th. After final exercises in the Hawaiian area, she sailed on 1 March to load 6 fighter planes and a torpedo bomber at Guam (13-15 March), then reported for duty to Commander Air Wing One at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, 19 March 1946. After conducting familiarization flights and gunnery tracking drills for planes of Patrol Squadron Twenty-One, she got underway on 8 June for tender service of Patrol Bombing Squadron Twenty-Six at Shanghai (11 June-5 July); Tsingtao (6-17 July), returning to Buckner Bay on 10 July to resume duties at that base. She again sailed on 13 September to tend planes of Patrol Bombing Squadron Twenty-Six at Tsingtao, returning to 6 October 1946. Having repaired some 26 planes and directed several air-sea search and rescue missions which saved the life of a number of men, she put to sea on 4 November 1946 for return to the United States. Steaming by the way of the Philippines ports of Puerto Princessa, Manila and Guiuan, she arrived at San Diego on 23 December 1946. After upkeep and local training exercises, she cleared San Diego on 29 March 1947 again bound for Buckner Bay, Okinawa. She arrived at the latter base on 18 April 1947 to commence a second tour of duty as a mobile repair and seadrome control unit for the maintenance of patrol planes at that port, Tsingtao, China and Apra Harbor, Guam. She departed Buckner Bay on 27 July for another stay of service at Tsingtao until 30 August, then loaded planes and aviation cargo at Manila for delivery to Apra Harbor on 9 September 1947. She then set course for return to San Diego, 22 September 1947.

Salisbury Sound underwent overhaul in the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard 26 September 1947 to 16 February 1948, then shifted to her base at San Diego for refresher exercises in the area off San Clemente Island. She cleared San Diego on 12 March 1948 and steamed by the way of Pearl Harbor to deliver aviation cargo at Apra Harbor, Guam, and Manila, Philippine Islands, before arrival at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, 7 April 1948. After off-load of aviation cargo, she got underway the following day for similar deliveries at Tsingtao and Yokosuka. She returned to Buckner Bay on 30 April and got underway for tender services at Yokosuka (18 May-2 July); Tsingtao (5-21 July); and Shanghai (23-26 July). She resumed duty at Buckner Bay on 20 July 1948 and returned to Tsingtao on 14 August to tend patrol planes of Fleet Air Wing One. On 5 September 1948, at Tsingtao, she acted as conference ships for Rear Admiral R.P. McDonnell (Commander Fleet Air Wing One); Captain J.B. Taylor (Commander Destroyer Division (One); Vice Admiral Oscar C. Badger (Commander Naval Forces, Western Pacific); and Dr. Stuart (American Ambassador to China). Having embarked passengers, she got underway from Tsingtao on 22 September to load aviation cargo at Apra Harbor, Guam, then picked up an amphibious plane and passengers at Ponape in the Caroline Islands on 1 October 1948. She put to sea on the latter date and embarked more passengers at Pearl Harbor before arrival at San Diego on 15 October 1948. Upkeep at San Pedro (18 October 1948-10 January 1949), was followed by training in local areas out of San Diego.

Salisbury Sound cleared San Diego on 15 January and arrived at Port Hueneme, California, the following day to embark men of the Naval Schools Construction Battalion Center and their snow-removal equipment before her arrival at Seattle, 19 January 1949. She became the Flagship of Commander Fleet Air Wing Four, 27 January, and got underway for Takutat, Alaska. She arrived at the latter port on 30 January, debarking her student passengers and their equipment for special exercises ashore until 6 February, when the last of her student passengers and their equipment were again aboard. She put to sea the following day for Kokiak, where Commander Air Wing Four hauled down his flag on 15 February 1949. After touching at Seward, Alaska (17-21 February); and Seattle (25-26 February), she debarked her student passengers at Port Hueneme on 3 Mar, returned to her base at San Diego the following day. She became the Flagship of Vice Admiral G.F. Bogan (Commander First Task Fleet) on 25 March 1949. Training in local waters off San Diego and off San Clemente Island were conducted until 17 June, when Vice Admiral Bogan departed the ship. She entered the Hunters Point Shipyard for upkeep and repairs on 29 June and returned to San Diego on 10 September 1949 for a busy schedule of refresher training off Coronado Roads and San Clemente Island.

Salisbury Sound departed San Diego on 24 November 1949 and reached Pearl Harbor six days later. She got underway on 4 November and anchored two miles off Kussie Island, East Carolines, 13 Nov. She embarked a Congressional party of 10 persons and Rear Admiral L.S. Fiske, Deputy Commissioner of Trust Territories, along with his staff for an inspection tour of Kussie and Mokil Islands. She debarked the party at Ponape Island on 17 November 1949 and steamed by way of Guam and Manila to arrive at Hong Kong on 1 December 1949. She tended planes of Patrol Squadron Forty-Two at that port until 6 February 1940, then shifted to Subic Bay in the Philippine Islands. She resumed duty at Hong Kong on 12 April and cleared port on 11 May for exercises off Sangley Point, Luzon before loading aircraft at Guam (27-29 May 1950). She put to sea on the latter day and steamed by way of Pearl Harbor for return to San Diego on 13 June 1950. After voyage repair in the San Francisco Naval Shipyard, she embarked passengers, including men of Patrol Squadron Forty-Two, and sailed from San Diego on 26 July bound for the Far East. She debarked her passengers at Pearl Harbor on 1 August and to sea the next day, carrying some 700 passengers destined for the Patrol Squadron One, Patrol Squadron Two, and Patrol Squadron Four of Fleet Air Service Squadron and Army units in Japan. Four helicopters and an equal number of SNBS of the Fleet Air Service Squadron were loaded on her seaplane deck. She reached Yokosuka on 11 August 1950, debarking her passengers and their equipment, and took on new aviation cargo and passengers for transport to Apra Harbor, Guam. She arrived at the latter port on 20 August, debarked her passengers, then loaded patrol bomber spare parts and eight jet fighters for delivery to Naha Harbor, Okinawa, 25 August 1950. She reported to Commander Seventh Fleet for duty that day and shifted to Buckner Bay for operations under Commander Service Squadron Three (Commander Task Group 70.7). On 3 September she serviced seven Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty-Six and two Sunderlands of the 88th Royal Air Force Squadron, which had sortied on typhoon evacuation from their base at Iwakuni, Japan.

On 6 September 1950, Salisbury Sound arrived at Iwakuni, Japan, and reported for duty to Commander Fleet Air Wing Six. She commenced service to Patrol Squadron Forty-Two and Forty-Seven, which had eleven Mariners present on that day plus three Sunderlands of the 88th Squadron of the Royal Air Force. These units comprised the seaplane and reconnaissance of Task Force Ninety-Six supporting the operations of Task Force Seventy-Seven and Task Group 96.5. Four additional Mariners had arrived on 9 September 1950 when Salisbury Sound became Flagship of Commander Fleet Wing Six. She now became the operating base for all seaplanes in the Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (*Task Force 99) tending eight Sunderlands of the 88th Squadron of the Royal Air Force, seven planes of Patrol Squadron Forty-Seven and nine planes of Patrol Squadron Forty-Two. On 16 September Commander Fleet Air Wing Six shifted his Flag, along with pilots and crew of Patrol Squadron Forty-Seven, to sea plane tender Curtis (AV-4), controlling all flights from that ship. Salisbury Sound continued seadrome control until 18 September, then took on aviation fuel at Kure, returning to Iwakuni on 21 September 1960. She reported for duty to Commander Air Wing One (task Group 70.6) on 23 September and shifted to base at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, on the 26th. She laid 18 buoys in the seaplane anchorage and on 2 October five Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty-Six (Southern Search and Reconnaissance Force), arrived from the Pescadores Islands to escape the fury of a typhoon. These planes conducted nightly reconnaissance and patrol flights of the Formosa Straits from the Salisbury Sound until 10 October, when they again terminated their flights in the Pescadores. Meantime she had hoisted the flag of Commander Fleet Air Wing One on 5 October 1950. Winds and heavy seas again threatened the seadrome in the Pescadores on 19 October, and Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty-Six there once again shifted gradually to base from Salisbury Sound. On 2 November 1950 she entered the harbor of Naha, transferring 30,000 gallons of gasoline to Y-53 for delivery to the Naval Base before return to Buckner Bay the same day. She continued direction and tending of the Mariners' search and reconnaissance flights until 27 November 1950 when Commander Fleet Wing One shifted his flag to Gardiners Bay (AVP-39).

Salisbury Sound arrived at Iwakuni, Japan 20 November 1950, and hoisted the flag of Commander Air Wing Six. She relived Curtis (AV-4) of seadrome control and began tending nine Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty-Two and four Royal Air Force Sunderlands, operating from Iwakuni. On 1 December, seven Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty-Seven arrived, and on the 21st, Commander Fleet Air Wing Six transferred his flag to Curtis. On 15 December 1950, Salisbury Sound returned to Buckner Bay and relieved Gardiners Bay (AVP-39) as flag ship of Commander Fleet Air Wing One. She now commenced service for the detachment of five Marines of Patrol Squadron Forty-Six, stationed at Buckner Bay, and three Mariners of the same squadron, stationed at Sangley point, Luzon, Philippine Islands. These units conducted search and reconnaissance flights out of Buckner Bay and completed courier flights between Sangley Point and Hong Kong. Commencing 6 January 1951, she supported Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Element 7016 comprising a Land Plane Air Search and Attack Unit (9 P2V4s of Patrol Squadron Twenty-Two); a Seaplane Air Search and Attack Unit (9 Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty-Six); and Fleet Submarine Besugo (SS-321). This duty terminated on 16 January 1951 and Salisbury Sound resumed her daily direction of reconnaissance flight and tender services.

Commander Fleet Air Wing One departed Salisbury Sound on 30 day emergency leave on 2 March 1951, and her Commanding Officer assumed the flag duties until the 9th when she arrived at Sangley Point, Luzon, Philippine Islands. She got underway on 11 March for return to the west coast of United States, touching at Guam and Pearl Harbor before her arrival at San Diego, 31 March 1951. She conducted training exercises out of that port with visits to Monterey and San Francisco. On 24 May 1951 she broke the flag of Vice Admiral A.D. Struble, Commander First Fleet, who departed the ship on 3 June. Five days later she embarked men of Patrol Squadron Forty-Seven, then sailed for Whidbey Island, Washington, where operational readiness was completed on the 18th for the Mariners who took off for return to the Naval Air Station at Alameda. Salisbury Sound returned to San Diego where on 26 June she embarked the Chief of Staff of Fleet Air Wing Fourteen and stood out to sea for operational readiness inspection, terminated 28 June 1951. She completed a similar inspection on 23 July and cleared San Diego on 1 August 1951 for another tour of duty in the Far East. Steaming by way of Pearl Harbor, she arrived at Boko Ko, Pescadores Islands, 22 August 1951. That same day she relieved Pine Island as Flagship of Commander Fleet Air Wing One and became the base for Mariner planes of Patrol Squadron Forty-Seven. She departed Boko Ko 10 October 1051 and sailed by way of Hong Kong to base at Buckner Bay, Okinawa (18 October 1951-21 February 1952). On the latter date she was relieved as Flagship of Commander Air Wing One by Pine Island (AV-12).

Salisbury Sound served as flagship of Commander Fleet Air Wing Six at Iwakuni, Japan (24 February-31 March 1952), and hauled down his flag at Yokosuka on 2 April. She put to sea the same day for return to San Diego, 16 April 1952. She entered the Hunter's Point Shipyard on 29 April for overhaul until 16 July 1952, followed by refresher training out of San Diego. She sailed from Long Beach on 15 August 1952 and reached Yokosuka, Japan, on 2 September. Clearing that port on the 5th, she arrived at Buckner Bay on 7 September 1952. The next day she broke the flag of Rear Admiral T.B. Williamson, Commander Task Force Seventy-Two. The Mariner planes of Patrol Squadron Forty came to base aboard, temporarily, on 10 September for repairs and service, and Salisbury Sound arrived at Keelung, Formosa, 8 October 1952. While in that port on 11 October, Rear Admiral Williamson held conference on board with the Honorable Karl Ranking, United States Minister to China; and Major General Chase, Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group. After visits to Takao, Formosa (220-22 October) and Hong Kong (23-28 October), she commenced tending Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty at Buckner Bay. She got underway from the latter port on 30 November to base at Subic Bay in the Philippine Islands (3-20 December), then touched at Kaohsiung, Formosa (22 December) before resuming operations at Buckner Bay on the 24th. On 28 February 1953 the Mariner planes of Patrol Squadron Forty were relieved by planes of Patrol Squadron Forty-Six. Commander Task Force Seventy-Two transferred his flag to Pine Island on 7 March and detachments of Patrol Squadron Forty-Two also left the Salisbury Sound for that Seaplane Tender. That same day Task Force Seventy-Two was established as the Formosa Patrol Force under Rear Admiral Williamson in Pine Island.

Relieved of her duties in the Far East, she sailed by way of Guam and Pearl Harbor to reach Alameda, California, 25 March 1953. She underwent overhaul in the Hunter's Point Shipyard (31 March-27 April 1953). She put into the harbor of Long Beach on 28 April, embarking Commander Mine Squadron Five, and got underway on the 30th with other ships of Task Unit 11.7 for landing assault exercises of Ayliso Beach, California. This duty terminated on 7 May and the ships underwent alternations in the Hunter's Point Shipyard (11 May-30 June), followed by gunnery exercises in local areas from the naval Air Station at Alameda. She cleared the latter port on 21 July and arrived at Boko Ko, Pescadores Islands, 12 August 1953. On that day she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Truman J. Hedding, Commander Formosa Patrol Force (Task Force Seventy-Two) and Commander Fleet Air Wing One. Tending the planes of Patrol Squadron Forty-Eight, she departed Boko Ko on 26 August to base at Buckner Bay until 12 September 1953. Thereafter, she based her operations at Boko Ko (14-19 September); Keelung, Formosa (20-25 September); Kaohsiung, Formosa (29-30 September); Keelung, Formosa (8-14 October); Buckner Bay (15-29 October); Hong Kong (1-7 November); Buckner Bay (11-28 November); Kaohsiung, Formosa (30 November); and Manila (1 December-6 January 1954). She arrived at Sangley Point on 13 January and Commander Task Force Seventy-Two (Formosa Patrol Force) shifted his flag to Pine Island on 18 February 1954. Salisbury Sound put to sea that day and steamed by way of Buckner Bay and Pearl Harbor to arrive at San Francisco, 11 March 1954. She shifted to the Naval Air Station, Alameda, the next day and entered the Mare Island Navy Yard on 8 April for overhaul until 28 June 1954.

Salisbury Sound conducted refresher training out of San Diego and cleared Alameda on 3 August 1954 for another tour of duty in the Far East. She arrived at Yokosuka on 23 August and became the flagship of Rear Admiral F.N. Kivette, Commander of the Formosa Patrol Force (Task Force Seventy-Two) at Boko Ko, Pescadores Islands, 31 August 1954. In the following months she made repeated calls at Formosa port of Kaohsiung and Keelung; Yokosuka, Japan; and spent much of her time in operations while based at Buckner Bay, Okinawa. She was relieved as flagship of the Formosa Patrol Force at the latter port on 28 February 1955 and put to sea for return to Alameda on 19 March 1955.

Salisbury Sound engaged in a rigorous schedule of training maneuvers off the California coast until 23 September 1955 when she cleared Alameda to arrive at Yokosuka, Japan, 13 October 1955. That same day she hoisted the flag of Rear Admiral G.W. Anderson, Jr., Commander of the Formosa Patrol Force and Fleet Air Wing One. She commenced duty at Buckner Bay, Okinawa on 20 October 1955, making frequent cruises to Manila Bay; Kaohsiung and Keelung, Formosa. The Formosa Patrol Force was redesignated Taiwan Patrol Force, effective 1 November 1955 and Salisbury Sound arrived at Manila on 9 February 1956 to participate in "Operation Firmlink" with Joint Task Force Nineteen. This operation was a joint maneuver of the SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organization) forces to demonstrate their readiness to preserve the peace and ward off any aggressive action which might be taken against any of the member nations (Australia, France, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom, and United States). Units participating in this operation was USS Salisbury Sound, USS Princeton (CVS-37), USS McDermott (DD-667), HMS Newfoundland, HNS Comus, HMS Tobruk, and HMNZA Consort.

Salisbury Sound embarked 9 official observers, 40 officers and 526 troops of the First Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, Third Division of the Philippine Armed Services and cleared Manila with the Joint Task Force which conducted tactical maneuvers and battle exercises enroute to Bangkok, Thailand. She arrived at Bangkok on 15 February 1956 and her passengers-troops went ashore to take part in a demonstration of readiness which included parachute demonstrations, helicopter landings, and equipment displays. The demonstration was completed by 18 February and Salisbury Sound debarked the Philippine Army Forces at Manila on the 23rd. She resumed operations at Buckner Bay on 6 March 1956 and was relieved as flagship of the Taiwan Patrol Force at Yokosuka, 23 March 1956. She cleared port the next day and returned to Alameda on 12 April 1956.

Salisbury Sound remained at Alameda until 12 June 1956 when she steamed for visits to Astoria and Portland, Oregon. She entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 14 June for overhaul until 29 August 1956. After refresher training she departed Alameda on 13 November 1956 for Yokosuka where she arrived 2 December 1956. The next day she became the flagship of Rear Admiral R.E. Dixon, Commander Taiwan Patrol Force. Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty commenced operating from her seadrome at Buckner Bay on 12 December 1956 and rescued the crew of a United States Air Force seaplane from the sea on 5 January 1957. Intervening these operations were cruises for visits at Hong Kong; Manila, Kaohsiung and Keelung, Taiwan; and Apra Harbor, Guam. Mariners of Patrol Squadron Forty-Six commenced operations from her seadrome on 26 March 1957 and she conducted exercises in the area east of Tsugen Jima Island before clearing port of 17 April. She touched at Keelung (18-20 April), then visited Iwakuni, Japan before her arrival at Yokosuka on the 28th. Commander of the Taiwan Patrol Force hauled down his flag at Yokosuka on 6 May 1957 and Salisbury Sound sailed for return to Alameda on 23 May 1957. During the remainder of the year she participated in combined fleet maneuvers off the California coast, and engaged in refresher training exercises while operating from Alameda and San Diego.

Salisbury Sound sailed from Alameda on 8 January 1958 and reached the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong on 4 February to become flagship of Rear Admiral F.E. Stoop, Commander Taiwan Patrol Force. Rear Admiral Stoop was relieved of his command 10 February by Rear Admiral P. Blackburn, Jr., who retained his flag in Salisbury Sound. She commenced operations in the Philippines area on 26 February, alternating between Dingalan, Subic and Manila Bays, then shifted to Buckner Bay, Okinawa on 18 March with occasional cruises for visits to Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Boko Ko, Pescadores Islands, and Hong Kong. She cleared Buckner Bay on 5 June 1958 and was relieved as flagship of the Taiwan Patrol Force at Sasebo on 13 June by USS Pine Island. She put to sea the following day and returned to Alameda on 3 July 1958. Upkeep in the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard of San Francisco (8 August-2 September) was followed by final overhaul period in the Todd Shipyard at Alameda (2 September-4 November 1958). After refresher training, she cleared Alameda on 27 December 1958 and arrived at Yokosuka on 13 January 1959.

Salisbury Sound arrived at Buckner Bay on 25 January and the following day relieved Orca as flagship of Rear Admiral P.P. Blackburn, Jr., Commander Taiwan Patrol Force. Seadrome operations at that base were again intervened by visits to ports of the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. In addition to these ports, she visited Saigon, Viet Nam (1-4 June) and Jesselton Harbor, North Borneo (8-11 June). She departed Buckner Bay on 23 June and was relieved as flagship of the Taiwan Patrol Force at Yokosuka, 30 June 1959 by Pine Island. She sailed from Yokosuka on 2 July and reached Alameda, California on 14 July 1959.

Following a leave and upkeep period in Alameda, Salisbury Sound conducted periods of ISE at sea off San Francisco. During the period from 14 November to 29 November, she was in San Diego for special weapons exercises. In early December, seadrome operations were conducted in Drakes Bay just northwest of San Francisco.

Salisbury Sound got underway from Alameda on 11 January 1960 for her 15th deployment to the Western Pacific. arriving at Pearl Harbor on 18 January for a two-day stop over and then proceeding to Yokosuka, Japan. Following post-voyage repairs, she got underway for Kobe, where on 9 February 1960 the flag of Rear Admiral J.W. Cannon (Commander Taiwan Patrol Force) was shifted from the USS Frontier (AD-25). She then proceeded to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, where seadrome operations were conducted until 9 March. She arrived in Hong Kong on 12 March for a 5-day visit prior to departing for Kaohsiung, Taiwan where along with other Seventh Fleet units she participated in operation "Blue Star." After returning to Buckner Bay on 29 March, the Salisbury Sound was needed to assist a downed P5M Marlin at Fukuoka, Japan on 14 April. Almost a year to the day since an accidental emergency at Fukuoka necessitated transporting a disabled aircraft to Iwakuni, history repeated itself. The stricken aircraft was hoisted aboard and taken to Iwakuni via the Shimoniseki Straits. The ship returned to Buckner Bay on 23 April. Seaplane operations were conducted at Okinawa until 20 May when Salisbury Sound departed for refueling at Subic Bay then on to Sangley Point, R.P., arriving there on 23 May. She departed Sangley for Hong Kong on 26 May. After a brief visit to the British Crown Colony (28 May-2 June) she departed for Buckner Bay and seaplane operations. On 22 June she left Buckner for Yokosuka, arriving there on 25 June and after voyage repairs she headed for Alameda, California on 2 July 1960.

The ship remained in EastPac during the remainder of 1960 and early part of 1961. Operations consisted primarily of independent ships exercises and type training. She underwent extensive overhaul at U.S. Naval Shipyard San Francisco, California from the last of September until December of this year.

Salisbury Sound operated as a unit of the Seventh Fleet from 1 April 1961 until 17 July 1961. During this period, the ship performed her primary mission of providing an advanced base for seaplane squadrons and served as flagship for U.S. Taiwan Patrol Force. Most of the ship's operations were conducted in Buckner Bay, Okinawa where units of Patrol Squadron Forty and Fifty were supported for periods of short duration. In addition the ship visited the following ports while deployed: Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Iwakuni, Kobe, Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan. The ship departed WestPac on 17 July 1961 and arrived in San Francisco on the 31st of that month.

On 21 August, the ship's mid-cycle overhaul period began in Williamette Shipyard at Richmond, California and continued until 22 September. After the yard period, the ship was engaged in type training and independent ship exercises while operating out of the Naval Air Station, Alameda, California.

On 6 November 1961, Salisbury Sound established a seadrome at White Cove, Santa Catalina Island and operated with P5M aircraft from Patrol Squadron Forty-Two for three days. Other operational exercises of short duration were conducted with Patrol Squadron Forth-Eight. Type training and independent ship exercises were continued throughout the spring as the ship prepared for her next WestPac deployment. During the period the ship assisted in the Administrative Inspection of USS Currituck (AV-7), and was given an Operational Readiness Inspection.

Salisbury Sound deployed to WestPac on 28 May 1962. She served as flagship for Rear Admiral B.M. Stran, USN, Commander Patrol Force Seventh Fleet/Commander Taiwan Patrol Force. While in port at White Beach, Buckner Bay, Okinawa, she continually maintained an operational seadrome which operated on a 24-hour, all-weather basis. While deployed, Salisbury Sound operated in support of scheduled exercises with Patrol Squadron Forty from 13 to 17 August and Patrol Squadron Forty from 13 to 16 September.

The ship visited Yokosuka, Kagoshima, Iwakuni, Sasebo, and Kobe, Japan; plus Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Sangley Point, Philippine Islands. Significant contributions were made to the people-to-people program through blood, general visiting, and guided tours for special groups.

The ship was relieved by Currituck (AV-7) on 14 November 1962, and sailed for Alameda, California the next day. A gala welcome awaited her arrival on 29 November. The remainder of 1962 was devoted to a leave period while the ship remained in Alameda, California.

On 15 January 1963, Salisbury Sound entered Williamette Iron and Steel Company Shipyard at Richmond, California for her periodic major overhaul. In addition to routine overhaul and maintenance, the ship's wooden seaplane deck was renewed and several new radio antennas were installed. Included in the latter was a large "Decone Cage" antenna installed on the forecastle at frame 5. This added another feature to the silhouette. Dry-docking for cleaning and preserving the underside of the hull, was accomplished during the period 2 to 16 February.

On 1 March 1963, a change of Command ceremony was held at which Capt. Hugh M. Durham, USN, relieved Capt. James L. Holloway, III, USN, as commanding officer. The yard period over and sea trials complete on 16 April, Salisbury Sound rejoined the operating forces. After a short period in Alameda for refitting and replenishment, the ship sailed to San Diego and reported to Commander Fleet Training for operational control and refresher training. The period 13 to 24 May was spent conducting simulated battle problems, ship's drills, and damage control problems while underway. The was followed by a week of Air operations at San Diego Bay , working with aircraft from Patrol Squadron Forty-Eight.

After completion of underway training and a short period in Alameda, Salisbury Sound sailed to Oak Harbor, Washington and reported to Commander Fleet Air Wing Whidbey for operational control. From 17 to 26 June, day an night antisubmarine warfare seaplane operations were conducted with Patrol Squadron Forty-Seven embarked. This advanced training was conducted in Holmes Harbor, an elongated body of water near Saratoga Straits, a component of the Puget Sound complex.

The ships departed Whidbey Island on 28 June 1963 to return to Alameda. The operational schedule for the months of July and August included an Operational Readiness Inspection and an Administration Material Inspection. The ship sailed to San Diego and reported to Commander Fleet Air Wing San Diego on 24 July for the conduct of the Operational Readiness Inspection. Commander Fleet Air Wing Fourteen and Commander Fleet Air Training Group, San Diego, assisted in the inspection. Selected operational exercises involving seamanship, navigation, gunnery, and damage control problems were conducted in the San Diego ocean operation area. These were followed by a simulated battle problem to test the crew's ability to perform as an integrated fighting unit. The final portion of this inspection was conducted in White Cove, Santa Catalina Island, and included the conduct of air exercises and seaplane support exercises applicable to the type ship.

Upon return to Alameda on 2 August, the ship made final preparations for the Administration Inspection to be held by Commander Fleet Air Alameda on 6-7 August. The inspection of administrative organization and procedures was completed the first day, and was followed by a personnel inspection of the brew by Rear Admiral D.J. Welch, USN, on 7 August.

Salisbury Sound received the following Commendations and awards for the competitive year 1962-1963, which were presented to the ship after the close of fiscal year 1963:

A. Ney Award for the best General Mess in type.
B. ComNavAirPac Battle Efficiency Awards for Engineering and Communications.


It was during this period that the Chief of Naval Operations informed the ships that the homeport was to be changed from NAS Alameda, California to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The effective date for rthe change for administrative purposes was established as 29 June 1963. However, in view of the ship's forthcoming deployment, the physical shift would not occur until the return from WestPac in March of 1964.

On 26 August 1963, the ship departed Alameda for her scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific. On 7 September, Operational Control was changed to Commander Seventh Fleet. The ship was assigned to Task Force Seventy-Two and further designated Task Group Seventy-Two.

Upon arrival in Yokosuka, Japan on 10 September, action to shift the staff of Commander Patrol Force, Seventh Fleet, from USS Pine Island to USS Salisbury Sound was commenced immediately. The flag of Rear Admiral R.A. MacPherson, USN, was broken on 12 September, and Salisbury Sound officially relieved Pine Island as flagship.

The ship arrived in Buckner Bay on 19 September, and established a seadrome. Air operations with detachments from both Patrol Squadron Forty and Patrol Squadron Fifty were conducted during intervals in port Buckner Bay.

[During September and October, Salisbury Sound made operational visits to Yokosuka (10 Sep), Iwakuni (2 Oct), Beppu, Japan (5 Oct), and to Sangley Point, P.I. (28 Oct).]

At the conclusion of the port visit to the Philippines, the ship established a seadrome in the southern part of Subic Bay. From here, with Patrol Squadron Forty embarked, the command was to participate in a fleet exercise, Operation Yellow Bird. The operation was subsequently canceled; however, the ship, with twelve aircraft from Patrol Squadron Forty conducted operational and training operations from 5-9 November.

A port visit was made to Singapore in the Federation of Malaysia from 28-29 November. Salisbury Sound was the first US warship to visit this port after formation of the federation in October. People-to-People activities were scheduled which included a significant contribution of blood by crew members to the Singapore Blood Bank and a Christmas party for under privileged children. Upon departure from Singapore, the ship crossed the Equator into the Southern Hemisphere at longitude 105º37' E, at 0911 Zulu on 9 December, while on operations prior to return to Okinawa. [Because of the 30-day mourning period for President Kennedy's assination, the usual ceremonies were not performed.]

Arrival in Buckner Bay was on 18 December. The ship remained in port for the remainder of 1963, observing Christmas and New Year holiday period in Okinawa.

On 8 January 1964, Salisbury Sound departed for Keelung, Taiwan and Hong Kong. While in Keelung, Admiral Ni, CINC of the Republic of China Navy called on Rear Admiral MacPherson and Capt. Durham. The ship returned to Buckner Bay on 23 January.

Patrol Squadron Fifty flew in three aircraft to Buckner Bay on 27 January. Heavy winds and sea conditions damaged an engine and a prop on one aircraft necessitating an engine change. No sooner was this engine changed than a second engine failed. The second aircraft was hoisted aboard just prior to the ship getting underway for Sasebo, Japan on 3 February. This engine was changed enroute to and in Sasebo.

Salisbury Sound arrived at Sasebo on 5 February and departed for Buckner Bay on 8 February arriving there on 10 February.

On 16 February 1964, the ship shifted berths to Naha Port in order to shift the flag to USS Currituck. The shift was made on 18 February and immediately following, Salisbury Sound got underway for Oak Harbor, Washington, arriving there on 6 March 1964.

Capt. Merle M. Hershey relieved Capt. Hugh M. Durham on 10 March 1964.

On 28 March Salisbury Sound got underway on two hours notice for Kodiak, Alaska to assist in recovery operations following the tidal wave that hit Kodiak Island on the 27th [the "Good Friday" earthquake]. Arrival was on 31 March and parties were immediately organized to assist in the clean up.

During the 1963-64 competition cycle, Salisbury Sound received Battle Efficiency Awards for the Air and Engineering Departments.

During her operations in Alaska the Salisbury Sound provided electricity, hot water and working parties of up to 40 hands to assist the stricken station to clear debris. For her efforts, she was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.

On April 10 the ship departed Kodiak and returned to her homeport at Whidbey Island. She arrived four days later and on 16 May held open house at Oak Harbor.

During June, provisions and fuel were taken aboard in preparations for a cold weather cruise. Aviation gasoline was pumped aboard from the ship's sister, the Pine Island, and the ship's fuel tanks were topped off readying her for her 15 June departure for Cold Bay, Alaska.

Once anchored in Cold Bay 20 June, seadrome operations with VP-47 seaplanes commenced. On securing these operations 30 June 1964 and heaving in the anchor, the ship cruised the coast of Alaska stopping at Haines, Juneau and Sitka. She was in Haines for the Fourth of July celebrations. On 11 July, the ship departed Alaska for her return voyage and arrived back at Oak Harbor 13 July.

She remained at anchor until 6 August and then sailed up Puget Sound to Seattle, where she remained at Pier 91 for four days. On the 10th, the Salisbury Sound returned to Oak Harbor by way of Bangor, Washington, where she loaded ammunition.

On 17 August, she pulled out of Oak Harbor and set sail for San Francisco. She was in San Francisco three days before cruising beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and heading north to Oak Harbor.

Salisbury Sound was anchored at Oak Harbor until 10 September when she moved to Astoria, Oregon and commenced seaplane operations for 10 days. She returned home 22 September and remained there until 8 October except for a one-day dependents' cruise on 3 October.

She sailed to San Diego, California for supplies 12 October and then went to Long Beach Naval Station for minor repairs.

On 19 October 1964, the Salisbury Sound anchored in White Cove, California off Catalina Island and commenced seaplane operations. She returned to Whidbey Island 26 October and remained there until departing for a Far East cruise.

On pulling into Yokosuka, Japan, the Salisbury Sound tied next to the Pine Island, her sister ship, and on 1 December the Commander Patrol Force Seventh Fleet shifted his command to the AV-13. Four days later the Salisbury Sound left for Buckner Bay, Okinawa.

The ship spent Christmas and New Year's in Buckner Bay and on 6 January 1965 lifted anchor for Keelung. She stood in Keelung two days on 8 January left for Kaohsiung and then on 14 January pulled into Naha, Okinawa.

She returned to her homeport overseas, Buckner Bay, 19 January and remained there until 5 February when she departed for Manila Bay.

She stood off Sangley Point in Manila Bay on four hours standby until the next day when she steamed for DaNang, South Viet Nam.

For five days from 12 February she operated a seadrome at DaNang. She returned to Sangley Point and then to Buckner Bay where she pulled in 23 February.

On 25 February, Captain Earnest R. Horrell relieved Captain Merle M. Hershey as Commanding Officer.

March 22 the Salisbury Sound left Buckner Bay for Hong Kong where she anchored for six days. The American Counsel General visited the ship 26 March.

March 31 the Salisbury Sound left the world's most populated city for Buckner Bay arriving there 3 April.

On 30 April the ship left Buckner Bay for Subic Bay, Philippines, arriving there 3 May. Five days later she left Subic Bay and steamed into Manila Bay and then to Poula Condore, South Viet Nam, arriving 11 May and setting up a seadrome the next day. On 20 May the Salisbury Sound secured seaplane operations and sailed for Bangkok, Thailand.

While in Bangkok the ship was visited by officials of the Thai Royal navy and British naval officers.

Culao Cham Island, South Viet Nam was the next port of call. Leaving Bangkok 27 May, the ship was refueled at sea while underway 29 May. She arrived at her destination 31 May and set up seadrome operations.

On 5 June she closed down her seaplane operations and sailed for Subic Bay, where she anchored for two days before returning to the United States. The trip across the Pacific took 18 days and the Salisbury Sound arrived at Oak Harbor 26 June.

On 5 August the Salisbury Sound reported to Seattle for the Sea Fair, the Navy's part in the World Fair being held in Seattle. She remained in Seattle for four days before returning to Oak Harbor.

At her next port of call, Juneau, Alaska, the Salisbury Sound once again set up a seadrome on arrival 10 September. Three days later she lifted anchor and sailed for Kodiak, Alaska where she was warmly greeted on 15 September as a visitor after her timely help following the earthquake of the year before. After a five day visit, she sailed for Anchorage, arriving 21 September. Two days later she heaved in the anchor and returned to Oak Harbor.

From 27 September until 5 February 1966 the Salisbury Sound remained on the West Coast, moving only to pick up supplies or undergo repairs prior to her final cruise.

After visits to San Diego for supplies, Bangor, Washington for ammunition and Bremerton shipyards for repairs, the Salisbury Sound departed the United States from San Diego 5 February for Yokosuka, Japan. The ship left Yokosuka 23 February and made quick stops in Kobe, Japan and Buckner Bay, Okinawa before getting back to the business of tending her seaplanes in Cam Ranh Bay, South Viet Nam. She arrived there on 4 March.

Capt. Clarence E. Mackey relieved Capt. Earnest R. Horrell as Commanding Officer of the Salisbury Sound 7 March. It was the first time a United States man-o-war changed Captains in Viet Nam.

On March 26 the ship secured her seadrome operations and pulled out of Cam Ranh Bay and set her charts for Subic Bay, P.I., arriving there two days later for a five day stay before steaming to Hong Kong.

It was a 24-hour journey from Buckner Bay to Keelung, Taiwan, and after three days in port there, the Salisbury Sound headed for Kaohsiung, Taiwan, arriving 9 May. Returning to Cam Ranh Bay, South Viet Nam on 15 May, the ship set up her seadrome and tendered her planes until 3 June, when she lifted anchor and steamed for Bangkok, Thailand, for a four-day goodwill visit. She went back to Subic Bay for provisions and rest for the crew before beginning nearly three months of seaplane operations: in Buckner Bay from 17 June to 6 July, in Cam Ranh Bay from 10 July to 6 August, and again in Buckner Bay from 12 to 29 August.

On the 29th, the ship headed for Sasebo, Japan for a goodwill visit and rest for the crew arriving 31 August. After a ship's party, the USS Salisbury Sound pulled out of Sasebo 9 September and headed to Buckner Bay for fueling and supplies. The ship departed Buckner Bay 27 September and headed for Subic Bay, where she moored alongside the Currituck, her sister ship, on 30 September, and transferred the Commander Patrol Force Seventh Fleet, Rear Adm. Roy M. Isaman to the Currituck before heading to Cam Ranh Bay on 5 October.

During her last operations in Cam Ranh Bay, from 7 to 27 October, the ship pumped her millionth gallon of aviation fuel to her attached seaplanes, setting a record for a Seaplane Tender for number of gallons pumped during one cruise. On 27 October, the Salisbury Sound hoisted a 540-foot homeward bound pennant and steamed from Cam Ranh Bay for the last time.

Another rarity, a double hoist, was accomplished for the trip from Cam Ranh Bay to Sangley Point in Manila Bay when a second Martin Marlin seaplane developed engine trouble just before departure time, forcing the Salisbury Sound to accommodate the second plane on her deck. After off-loading the giant planes in Manila Bay, the ship sailed for Subic Bay, arriving the same day, 29 October.

On 2 November the ship pulled out of Subic Bay and steamed for Buckner Bay for refueling before starting across the Pacific bound for the United States. The long-awaited trip back began 5 November. The Salisbury Sound pulled into Oak Harbor for the last time 21 November, in time for her crew to enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's celebrations.

The ship bid farewell to her homeport 3 January 1967, and started her last voyage to Bremerton, Washington, where she docked at Pier Delta at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

The ship's Executive Officer, Commander Austin V. Young relieved Capt. Clarence E. Mackey as Commanding Officer 13 January 1967.

On 31 March 1967, the USS Salisbury Sound was decommissioned and joined the Reserve Fleet, ending a 21-year career.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Shipmate Pix"...LCDR Crawford Test 1945..." Contributed by CWO Jack M. Bamberger jackbam@worldnet.att.net [26MAR98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Shipmate Pix"...Lt Paul Tesch NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone A&R Test Flight PBM 1945..." Contributed by CWO Jack M. Bamberger jackbam@worldnet.att.net [26MAR98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Air-to-Air Shoot Downs by Navy and Marine Corps Patrol Type Aircraft During World War II - This Squadron Mentioned...Naval Historical Center ADOBE Download File: http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-vol2/Appen4.pdf [12FEB2004]
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Open VP History Adobe FileAir-To-Air Shootdowns 118KB

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: PostCard "...Postamp Publishing Co. poster stamp #229 picturing combat insignia PATROL SQUADRON VP-21..." [11OCT2000]


Circa 1944 - 1949

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


Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VPB-21) - Attack on Japanese Tug - 19OCT44..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [17OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-14 - History from 15OCT42-01DEC42 - Submitted December 22nd, 1944. Squadron's Assigned: VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15, VP-21, VP-23, VP-24, VP-33, VP-44, VP-53, VP-54, VP-71, VP-72, VP-81, VP-91, VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-106, VP-109, VP-111, VP-115, VP-117, VP-118, VP-119, VP-121, VP-122 and VP-202..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [06DEC2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-5 - VPB-21 War Diary - February 1944 - Establishment..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [30OCT2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: flight book "...Aviators Flight Log Book of Horst Weignad Crew #3 Plane Captain. VPB-21 Port Eng time 409.6 hrs, STBD. Eng Time 258.5 hrs. First entry is March 1944 training with remarks. Last entry is July 1945. April 44 Training BMEP Gage broke in air had to make landing P2 over shot Bea and caught fire plane burned up but crew was not injured. May44 P-9 Crew #13 went to 18,000 feet when plane blew up killing three officers & six enlisted men fire men were blown out and were lucky enough to have a chute on...June 44 8.8 hrs from Harvey Point NC to Eagle MT Lake Texas to San Diego Calif- 3.5 hrs from San Diego to Alameda Calif 15.7 hrs from NAS Alameda, California to MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii...August 44 Johnston to Ebeye to Parry Is (Eniwetoh Is.) Is one mile away Sept 44 V12 Forced down in sea was on single engine but could not hold altd. Hit water and split keel plane sunk in 15min. Two men were hurt bad and sent back to states...Dec 1944 had engine trouble landed at San Pedro Bay between Leyte & Samar Jap Sally flew over our plane on way to air strip was shot down had 9 Japs in it. Tried to land on our air strip and blow up our planes..we traded clothes for money, knives, matches, pocketbo! ! oks, etc….58 missions...Places that ive been at or flew over, bombed, and was stationed at Keneoke Hawaii Phillippnes Johnston Is, Ebeye Is, Parry Is, Eniwetoh Is, Wake, Is, Palou Is, Hawaii, Is, Oahu Is, Kauai Is, Molakai, Is, Maui Is, Lanai Is, Kahoolawie Is, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, Saipan..." [04JUN2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "00MAR44--commissioned in March 44 and in Pacific theater from Aug 44 to end of 46. We flew PBM-3d's and 5's...had quite a record at Okinawa..." Contributed by Don Sweet SweetUsn@aol.com WEBSITE: World War Two Seaplanes in the Pacific http://hometown.aol.com/sweetusn/index.html [WebSite Updated 30DEC98]


Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of CPW-10 - Interview of LCDR Clarence Keller and LT William Janechek in the Bureau of Aeronautics 12 March 1943. Squadrons Mentioned: VP-12, VP-21, VP-22, VP-101 and VP-102..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [11DEC2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Wartime movie inspires youth to join up..." http://www.virtualtexan.com/veterans/memories/guay.htm and permission granted by his wife Mary Ellen Guay mguay@prodigy.net [10DEC2000]

A movie called "Wake Island" inspired a New Hampshire teen-ager to sign up for wartime service in the U.S. Navy and eventually gain Texas citizenship. The movie remains a cable TV favorite, especially since Wake island was his first combat mission in the South Pacific.

James Raymond Guay enlisted March 1, 1943, just three months before graduation from Farmington High School. (A grateful nation and the high school gave him a diploma and four years of higher education after his discharge in 1946.) After boot camp at Sampson, N.Y., he trained as an aviation ordnance man striker in Memphis, Tenn., and was later shipped to the Naval Air Station at Banana River, Fla. It was there on the first day of training he got a nickname that stuck with him through the war. When nobody answered the roll call for the name "Gooey," Jim finally told them HIS name was Guay (rhymes with "Hay"). Jim Grieve, who was later assigned to Jim's combat crew, began calling him "Gooey" and so did the rest of the trainees.

Jim graduated from Naval Air Gunners School at Jacksonville, Fla. on Dec. 7, 1943 and joined Combat Crew 7 of Navy Patrol Bombing Squadron 21. As an aerial gunner on a PBM Martin Mariner, a seaplane contracted by the Navy in 1937 for a "twin-engine, all metal, deep-hulled flying boat," Jim Guay went to Hawaii, then the Marshall Islands, Saipan, and Okinawa. He flew missions to Peleliu, the Philippines, Okinawa, China, Korea and the Japanese home islands.

On Jan. 13, 1945, while on bow turret watch during the dawn approach to Ulithi atoll after a night mission, Jim sighted a Japanese midget two-man submarine. His report caused the dispatch of air and surface forces and the ship was sunk.

In late March 1945, VPB-21 was sent to Kerama Retto, the outlying islands off Okinawa. When his PBM anchored off shore they were warned that targeted caves that housed Japanese suicide boats were nearby. But it wasn't until shells passed overhead that they realized the PBM was between the firing guns and the caves. They quickly moved the plane. On a mission from Okinawa to China, flak damaged the left engine. The pilot ordered non-essential weight thrown overboard into the Sea of Japan. Like his movie hero, John Wayne, Jim donned bandoliers of ammunition over his shoulders and threw out all but 100 rounds per gun. Then he noticed the radioman was throwing out pencils, one at a time.

On a mission to Japanese home islands, Jim's PBM strafed shipping. Manning his turret with twin .50-caliber M-2 Browning aircraft machine guns, Jim experienced his only actually viewed personal kill. His shells hit a man aboard a Japanese ship as he ran to his anti-aircraft gun. The man was blown some 20 feet into the air.

On a torpedo mission to Kaiato Island, Korea, May 28, 1945, two American PBMS were sent to destroy a Japanese cruiser in the harbor. Enemy ships filled the harbor and they received intense fire. Flying further up the coast, they waited until dusk to attack the cruiser. Jim was in the bow turret on approach to the island and he saw a small islet. Looking closer, he reported to his pilot there was a wake behind the islet. It turned out to be a camouflaged Japanese aircraft carrier with trees on it. One of the American PBMs dropped its torpedoes, hitting the submarine nets and alerting the ships. As Jim's plane dropped its first torpedo, the sudden shift in weight caused enough waggle that the left torpedo, heading for the cruiser, grazed the side of the plane's fuselage and tore a huge hole in it. The plane was so low above the water no turn could be made. The pilot flew over the cruiser and behind a small mountain to escape the scene.

When the plane returned to the Seaplane Tender, USS Chandaleur, more than 300 projectile holes were counted in its body. On the way back to Okinawa the crew learned that on May 8 Germany had surrendered and the only enemy was now Japan. In August 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Japan surrendered and the war came to an end.

The Navy commended Jim for his exploits and he was presented the Air Medal, Aircrew Insignia with three stars, Asiatic Pacific Medal with two stars and the American Theater of Operations medal.

Jim Guay was sent to Corry Field, Pensacola, Fla. to be discharged from the Navy. It was there he met his future wife, Mary Ellen Ancelin, a U.S. Navy W.A.V.E., who had enlisted at her hometown, Dallas. And she's made a Texan out of him since.

They married September 14, 1946 after her discharge from service in July. They moved to Poolville where they farmed and owned a dairy until moving to Weatherford in 1968. Two years ago they celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. They have four sons and a daughter, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Both veterans are paid-up for-life members of the American Legion and Jim also holds a life membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

UPDATE Memorial Picture "...Just like to add that Jim suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage with terminal pneumonia on Sept. 11, 2000 and died Sept. 24...Mary Ellen Guay mguay@prodigy.net" [10DEC2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The year 1943 witnessed the inauguration or Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE as a vital addition to the Nation's Sea Power. After commissioning at Norfolk, Virginia, as Patrol Squadron ONE HUNDRED ELEVEN, the unit spent a short tour at St. Eval, England after which it reported to French Morrocco with the responsibility of protecting the western approaches to Gibraltar. In July, 1944, the squadron returned to the United States for regrouping and reassignment and then proceeded to the Western Pacific for operations against the Japanese Empire. During World War II the squadron flew over 15,000 hours, destroying 260 enemy ships and 26 aircraft. It established a reputation as the "Ready Squadron" that has continued to this day. In 1946 the squadron designation was changed to Patrol Squadron ELEVEN and in 1948 to Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE. The "Blackjacks" were finally home-based in Brunswick in 1954. Since that time the "Blackjack" pennant has been seen as far North as Iceland and as far East as Beirut and Istanbul. VP-2l's primary mission has been the demanding and exacting profession of anti-submarine warfare. But it has also shown its adaptability by such diverse assignments as participation in the space program in 1967 and search and rescue operations for the ill-fated submarine SCORPION in 1968. Among the "BLACKJACK's" past accomplishments are the Arnold Jay ISBELL Award for having attained the highest degree of anti-submarine warfare battle efficiency and operational readiness of all the Atlantic Patrol Squadrons earned concurrently with the Battle Efficiency Award - perhaps better known as The Navy "E" - for being the leading squadron in Fleet Air Wing THREE in 1967. On this day, 21 November 1969, Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE, the "Blackjacks", retire their pennant and complete their log. The officers and men of VP-21 would like to convey a closing word of appreciation to Fleet Air Wing THREE, her sister squadrons, and the surrounding communities all of whom have been our dearest, finest and most faithful supporters - we thank you." Contributed by Ralph Fink Wisowl31@aol.com

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Chandeleur (AV-10)..." DANFS Online The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/auxil/av10.htm [20AUG2000]

Waiting for permission to post entire article.


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: "...After the somewhat shaking events of 7 December, Midway, no less than Pearl Harbor, prepared for the worst with full anticipation that it would come. Wake, it was known from scant despatches and by rumor, was undergoing continuous attack; Johnston and Palmyra had been shelled; VP-21, with all combat aircraft then on Midway, had been withdrawn; and it was believed that, with the Fleet in its crippled status, little could be attempted to assist Midway should that atoll become the next target. In this frame of mind, and on short rations,[1] the 6th Defense Battalion worked grimly to make every possible improvement in existing defense installations..." http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/Midway/USMC-M-Midway-3.html [12SEP2000]


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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Circa 1941

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...U.S. CONGRESS JOINT COMMITTEE ON PEARL HARBOR ATTACK, HEARINGS: EXHIBITS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE, Pt. 16, pp. 2721-27..." WebSite: ibiblio Public Library http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/misc/martin_1.html [16JAN2006]

From: U.S. CONGRESS JOINT COMMITTEE ON Pearl Harbor ATTACK, HEARINGS: 
EXHIBITS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE, Pt. 16, pp. 2721-27.


                             EXHIBIT NO. 120

[1]          KIMMEL EXHIBIT 5 TO REPORT OF ACTION

                                            PATROL WING TWO
                                        U. S. NAVAL AIR STATION,
                                 Pearl Harbor, T. H., December 19, 1941.

Memorandum for Admiral H. E. Kimmel, U. S. Navy.

MY DEAR ADMIRAL: In accordance with our conversation of yesterday, I am 
forwarding to you the following information:

1. Availability and Disposition of Patrol Planes on morning of 7 
December, 1941:
                            Total
Squadron  In commission   available  Location   Under  Ready   In air
                          for flight            Repair at base
VP-11     12 PBY-5            12     Kaneohe      0      12         0
VP-12     12 PBY-5            11     Kaneohe      1      11         0
VP-14     12 PBY-5        [1] 10     Kaneohe      2       7     [1] 3
VP-21     12 PBY-3        [2] 11     Midway       1       4     [2] 7
VP-21      1 PBY-3 (spare)     1     Pearl Harbor 1       0         0
VP-21      1 PBY-3            12     Pearl Harbor 2      12         0
VP-22     14 PBY-3            12     Pearl Harbor 1      11         0
VP-24      6 PBY-5             5     Pearl Harbor 1       1     [3] 4

RECAPITULATION

                            Total
Squadron  In commission   available  Under  Ready   In air
                          for flight Repair at base

At Kaneohe     36          [1] 33       3       30     [1] 3
At Pearl       33          [3] 28       5       24     [3] 4
At Midway      12          [2] 11       1        4     [2] 7 
   Total       81              72       9       58        14

[2]                               NOTES

[1] 3 planes armed with two depth charges each conducting search of 
assigned fleet operating areas in accordance with U. S. Pacific Fleet 
Letter No. 2CL-41 (Revised) (Task Force NINE Operating Plan (9—1). 3 
planes in condition 2 (30 minutes notice).

[2] 5 planes conducting search of sector 120 —170  radius 450 miles; 
departed Midway at 1820 GCT. 2 planes departed Midway at same time to 
rendezvous with U. S. S. LEXINGTON at a point 400 miles bearing 130  
from Midway to serve as escorts for Marine Scouting planes. Four planes 
additional plants armed with 2—500 pound bombs each were on the alert at 
Midway as a ready striking force. These four planes took off at about
2230 GCT upon receipt of information on the attack on Pearl Harbor and 
searched sector 060  to 100  radius 400 miles. One plane was under 
repair in the hangar at Midway. A spare plane was under overhaul at 
Pearl Harbor.

[3] Four planes conducting inter-type tactics in area C-5 with U. S. 
Submarine.

[4] All planes except those under repair were armed with machine guns 
and a full allowance of machine gun ammunition.

[3]  2. Material condition:

(a) Of the 81 available patrol planes 54 were new PBY-5's; 27 were PBY-
3's having over three years service. The PBY-5's were recently ferried 
to Hawaii, arriving on the following dates:

Squadron Number Arrival date   Squadron Number Arrival date
         Planes                         Planes
VP-11      12   28 Oct. 1941    VP-23     12    23 Nov. 1941
VP-24       6   28 Oct. 1941    VP-14     12    23 Nov. 1941.
VP-12      12    8 Nov. 1941

(b) The PBY-5 airplanes were experiencing the usual shake-down 
difficulties and were hampered in maintenance by an almost complete 
absence of spare parts. In additions a program for installation of 
leakproof tanks, armor, and modified

engine nose sections was in progress. They were not fully ready for war 
until these installations were completed, nor were extensive continuous 
operations practicable until adequate spare parts were on hand.

(c) The 12 PBY-3 airplanes at Pearl Harbor (VP-22) had returned from
Midway on 5 December after an arduous tour of duty at Midway and Wake 
since 17 October. This squadron was in relatively poor material 
condition because of its extended operations at advance bases with 
inadequate facilities for normal repair and upkeep. In addition 10 of 
its planes were [4] approaching 18 months service and were due for 
overhaul.

(d) It should be noted that the material situation of the patrol 
squadrons made the maintenance of continuous extensive daily searches 
impracticable. Under such conditions the PBY-5's were to be expected to 
experience numerous material failures which would place airplanes out of 
commission until spare parts arrived. The PBY-3's of Patrol Squadron 
TWENTY-TWO at Pearl were scheduled for a week of upkeep for repair and 
maintenance.

(e) Under the circumstances, it seemed advisable to continue intensive 
expansion training operations and improvement of the material military 
effectiveness at the same time preserving the maximum practicable 
availability of aircraft for an emergency. Under the existing material 
and spare parts situation, continuous and extensive patrol plane 
operations by the PBY-5's was certain to result in rapid automatic 
attrition of the already limited number of patrol planes immediately 
available by the exhaustion of small but vital spare parts for which 
there were no replacements.

(f) In this connection it should be noted that there were insufficient 
patrol planes in the Hawaiian Area effectively to do the Job required. 
For the commander of a search group to be able to state with  [5]  some 
assurance that no hostile carrier could reach a spot 250 miles away and 
launch an attack without prior detection would require an effective 
daily search through 360  to a distance of at least 800 miles. Assuming 
a 16-mile radius of visibility this would require a daily 16 hour flight 
of 84 planes. A force of not less than 209 patrol planes, adequate spare 
parts and ample well trained personnel would be required for such 
operations.

                                             (Signed) P. N. L. BELLINGER
                                             Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy,
                                             Commander Patrol Wing TWO.

PW2/A16-3/
016
Confidential

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...EATON JOHN M., JR. - Lieutenant (j.g.), U.S. Navy Reserve - Seaplane Patrol Squadron 21 (VP-21), Naval Air Station, Midway Island - Date of Action: December 7, 1941..." WebSite: Home of Heroes http://www.homeofheroes.com/verify/1_Citations/nc_06wwii_navy.html [29DEC2005]

Citation:

The Navy Cross is presented to Eaton John M. Eaton, Jr., Lieutenant (j.g.), U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a ground officer of Patrol Squadron 21 temporarily based at the Naval Air Station, Midway Island, during the attack by Japanese naval forces on the night of December 7, 1941. When devastating hostile gunfire damaged or destroyed several Catalina flying boats, the hangar and other installations, Ensign Eaton organized a crew of untrained civilian workmen and, without benefit of tractors and lines, ingeniously directed the launching of heavily overloaded aircraft. In the cold water of the lagoon and on a ramp which was flooded with gasoline from damaged airplanes and lighted by conflagration nearby, he valiantly and resolutely continued his work without regard for his safety until all Catalinas capable of flight had been launched. Although completely unfamiliar with aviation, Ensign Eaton, by his couragous initiative and tenacious determiantion, successfully executed this highly technical opeation and thereby undoubtedly contributed to the Japanese abandonment of their attack, consequently saving the islands from more extensive damage.

Birth: 3/26/1918 - Boston, MA
Home Town: Concord, MA

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...17DEC41 - USMC SB2Us (VMSB 231), led by a plane-guarding PBY (VP-21) (no ships are available to plane-guard the flight), arrive at Midway, completing the longest over-water massed flight (1,137 miles) by single-engine aircraft. The squadron had been embarked in Lexington (CV-2) when the outbreak of war cancelled the projected ferry mission on 7 December 1941..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1941.html [15SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Hearings Before The Joint Committee On The Investigation Of The Pearl Harbor Attack - Congress Of The United States - Seventy-Ninth Congress...Squadrons mentioned: VP-11, VP-13, VP-14, VP-21, VP-22, VP-23, VP-24, VP-31, VP-32, VP-41, VP-42, VP-43, VP-44, VP-51, VP-52, VP-71, VP-72, VP-73, VP-74, VP-81, VP-82, VP-83, VP-84, VP-91, VP-92, VP-93, VP-94, VP-101, VP-102, CPW-1, CPW-2, CPW-3, CPW-4, CPW-5, CPW-7, CPW-8 and CPW-9..." WebSite: The public's library and digital archive http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/misc/rainbow5.html [01APR2005]
Get Adobe Reader
Open VP History Adobe FileHearings Before The Joint Committee On the Investigation Of The Pearl Harbor Attack 333KB

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...07DEC41--Patrol Wing TWO (CPW-2), U. S. Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor. T.H., War Diary Sunday, December 7, 1941...Prior to the sudden attack by Japanese aircraft on Oahu, the forces under the Commander Patrol Wing TWO were disposed as follows: VP-21 at Midway; VP-11, VP-12, and VP-14 at Kaneohe; VP-22, VP-23, and VP-24 at Pearl Harbor. All tenders except the WRIGHT were at Pearl Harbor, the WRIGHT was enroute Pearl from Midway. Following is the exact status of aircraft at the time of attack:

VP-21 7 planes in air conducting search 120 to 170 degrees to 450 miles from Midway. 4 planes on surface at Midway armed each with 2 five hundred pound bombs and on 10 minutes notice.

VP-11 12 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice

VP-12 6 planes ready for flight on 30 minutes notice. 5 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

VP-14 3 planes in the air on morning security patrol armed with depth charges. 3 planes ready for flight on 30 minutes notice. 4 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

VP-22 12 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

VP-23 11 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

VP-24 4 planes in the air conducting inter-type tactics with submarines. 1 plane ready for flight on 30 minutes notice.

Total 72 in the air or ready for flight in 4 hours or less..." http://www.pby.com[14MAY2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...07DEC41--The units at NAS Pearl Harbor and their aircraft on 7 Dec 41 were: Patrol Squadron Twenty One (VP-21) based on Midway Island 1 Consolidated PBY-3 Catalina under repair...Patrol Squadron Twenty Two (VP-22) 14 Consolidated PBY-3 Catalinas (12 could be made ready on four hours notice; 2 under repair)...Patrol Squadron Twenty Three (VP-23)12 Consolidated PBY-5 Catalinas (11 could be made ready on four hours notice; 1 under repair)...Patrol Squadron Twenty Four (VP-24) 6 Consolidated PBY-5 Catalinas (4 in the air; 1 ready on 30 minutes notice; 1 under repair)..." World War II Discussion List WWII-L@UBVM.BITNET http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9312A&L=wwii-l&D=&H=&T=&O=&F=&P=4270

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...31DEC41--PATROL WING TWO (VP-21) Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE (12 PBY3)..." http://omni.cc.purdue.edu/~pha/pha/hart/xha-029.html

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...NAS Pearl Harbor was on NAS Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the middle of Pearl Harbor and served two functions; first, it was home for the four squadrons of Patrol Wing Two (PatWing Two) and second, it was the home base for the carrier based squadrons when the carriers were in port. Generally, the carrier based squadrons would fly off the carriers to NAS Pearl Harbor before the carrier reached port; subsequently, the aircraft would fly back to the carrier when the ship left port. Because it served as a home for carrier aircraft, there were seven spare carrier aircraft present during the Japanese attack. NAS Pearl Harbor was also the home of two utility squadrons flying non-combatant utility aircraft. The units at NAS Pearl Harbor and their aircraft on 7 Dec 41 were: Patrol Squadron Twenty One (VP-21) based on Midway Island 1 Consolidated PBY-3 Catalina under repair..." http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9312A&L=wwii-l&D=&H=&T=&O=&F=&P=4270

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...PATROL WING TWO - U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION - PEARL HARBOR, T.H. - 20 Dec 1941..." http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/Pearl/PatWing2.html [08JAN2001]

UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET AIRCRAFT
PATROL WING TWO
FLEET AIR DETACHMENT
MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
1 January 1942.


From: The Commander Task Force NINE (Commander Patrol Wing TWO).
To: The Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.

Subject: Operations on December 7, 1941.

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, forces under my command were disposed as follows: Patrol Squadron TWENTY-ONE at Midway, Patrol Squadrons ELEVEN, TWELVE, FOURTEEN at Kaneohe, TWENTY-TWO, TWENTY-THREE and TWENTY-FOUR at pearl Harbor, all tenders except Wright at Pearl Harbor; Wright enroute to Pearl Harbor from Midway.

The condition of readiness in force was Baker 5 (50% of assigned aircraft on 4 hours notice) with machine guns and ammunition in all planes not undergoing maintenance work. In addition to the above, three squadrons (VP-21 at Midway, VP-23 at Pearl, and VP-11 at Kaneohe) were in condition Afirm 5 (100% of assigned aircraft on 4 hours notice). This was augmented by specific duty assignments on December 7 which required six planes from Patrol Squadrons FOURTEEN, TWENTY-FOUR, and TWELVE to be ready for light on 30 minutes notice.

The general orders listed above were modified by circumstances and planes actually ready for flight were as follows:

VP-21 7 planes - in the air conducting search 120° to 170° to 450 miles from Midway.
  • 4 planes - on the surface at Midway armed each with 2 five hundred pound bombs and on 10 minutes notice.

    VP-11 12 planes - ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

    VP-12 6 planes - ready for flight on 30 minutes notice. 5 planes - ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

    VP-14 3 planes - in the air on morning security patrol armed with depth charges.
  • 3 planes - ready for flight on 30 minutes notice.
  • 4 planes - ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

    VP-22 12 planes - ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

    VP-23 11 planes - ready for flight on 4 hours notice.

    VP-24 4 planes - in the air conducting inter-type tactics with submarines.
  • 1 plane - ready for flight on 30 minutes notice.

    Total 72 planes - in the air or ready for flight in 4 hours or less.

    In this connection it may be stated that the 4 hours notice was primarily set to permit rest and recreation of personnel and was in no wise a criterion of material readiness. For example, one plane of VP-23, theoretically on 4 hours notice, was actually in the air 45 minutes after the first bomb dropped.

    To summarize the foregoing, at the moment the first bomb dropped, aircraft of this command were in the following condition:
  • 14 - in the air (7 on a search from Midway).
  • 58 - on the surface ready for flight in four hours or less.
  • 9 - undergoing repairs.
  • 81 - Total.

    Illustrative of the efforts made by personnel, one of the nine planes undergoing repairs took off for a search at 1356, local time, loaded with 4 one thousand pound bombs.

    A narrative of events of the day follows:
  • TIME (LOT)
  • 0700 14-P-1 sank enemy submarine one mile off Pearl Harbor entrance.
  • 0715 Message coded and transmitted to base.
  • 0735 Message and decoded and information received by Staff Duty Officer.
  • 0737 Message relayed to Operations Officer.
  • 0740 Relayed by telephone to Staff Duty Officer of Commander-in-Chief.
  • 0750 Search plan drafted by Operations Officer.
  • 0757 First bomb dropped near VP-22 hangar.
  • 0758 Message ordered broadcasted to all ships present quote "AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NO DRILL" unquote (An identical message was sent by CinCPac).
  • 0800 Search plan transmitted by radio and telephone (Received by some of the planes in the air at 0805).

    From this time on an accurate chronological account is impracticable.

    The Commander Patrol Wing TWO arrived at the Operations Office during the first attack and approved the orders that had been issued. Telephonic communication with the various squadrons at Pearl harbor was established in order to supplement and possibly accelerate the radio transmissions. As was usually the case, it was difficult to communicate with Kaneohe. The page printer had gone out of commission and it was quite difficult to obtain a telephonic connection. Immediately upon termination of the first attack, an endeavor was made to determine the sectors of the search actually being covered. it was determined, with some difficulty that, of all planes at the bases of Kaneohe and Pearl Harbor, only 3 were still in commission. These were dispatched to fill holidays in what appeared to be the most promising sectors for search. in addition, available planes from the Utility Wing were ordered out. The 2 planes still available for duty at Kaneohe were ordered by telephone to cover the sector between 280 and 300 degrees. The one plane still available at Pearl harbor had some difficulty in being launched due to the wreckage and fires of other planes in the way. Abut this time the second attack came in. Fire was opened by tenders of this command and from machine guns mounted in planes on the ground or removed from the planes to extemporized mountings with greater arcs of fire. As a result of this second attack, all communications, radio, telephone and page printer were knocked out of commission. Immediate steps to restore communications were taken while the second attack was still underway and communications personnel, who unfortunately have not yet been identified, proceeded to repair the radio antenna during the height of the attack. Before the end of the second attack, radio communications were established on the tenders of this command. Shortly thereafter, telephonic communication was reestablished and information was received that the 2 planes at Kaneohe previously reported as ready for service had been destroyed. Accordingly, orders were issued for the 1 plane at Pearl Harbor, which had somehow escaped uninjured during the second attack, to cover the sector from 280 to 300 degrees. The Commander Patrol Wing ONE at Kaneohe felt that the orders to cover the sector 280 to 300, which had been transmitted to him by telephone for the 2 planes on the ground, required his taking action and he accordingly diverted 14-P-1 and 14-P-3 from the sectors that they had been searching. Information of this action was not received by me.

    The Fleet Aviation Officer, Captain A.C. Davis, U.S.N., kept in constant touch by telephone and made many valuable suggestions. Various members of my staff maintained communications with Army information centers and requested that attempts be made to track the retiring Japanese planes by RADAR. Unfortunately, the Curtiss RADAR was placed out of commission by the damage sustained by that vessel. During the mid-afternoon, 14-P-2 reported being attacked by enemy planes and was thereafter not heard from for 2 or 3 hours. As it was felt that this plane had been shot down and a hole thus left in what appeared to be the most promising sector of the search, every effort was made, as additional planes from whatever source became available, to plug the gap.

    All hands exerted their utmost efforts to get more planes ready for flight and to arm them for offensive action. Three more patrol planes were reported ready at Pearl harbor and dispatched, each carrying 4 one thousand pound bombs. Thirteen SBD planes, loaded with 500 pound bombs, came in from Lexington and were pressed into service. Nine were dispatched to search a sector to the north, while the remaining 4 were ordered to attack 4 Japanese troop ships reported off Barbers point. This report proved to be unfounded.

    The accompanying charts indicate the search as actually conducted. The urgent necessity for conducting daily searches since December 7 and for putting all planes possible back in commission, together with urgency for immediate operations, have precluded an exhaustive analysis of the events of the day. Certain highlights however may be of interest:

    All planes in commission had guns on board together with full allowances of service ammunition. During the first attack, fire was opened from the guns as mounted in the planes, and when it was discovered that these were not effective for fire from the ground due to structural interference, many personnel removed these guns from the planes and set them upon benches in vises and opened up an effective fire against the second attack. As nearly as can be determined, a total of 4 Japanese planes were shot down by personnel of patrol plane squadrons by this method.

    Two planes or Utility Squadron One conducted an extensive search although these planes being of a non-combatant type were not equipped with machine guns. Despite the lack of defense against attacks by hostile aircraft, the pilots of these planes persisted in their search until the threatened exhaustion of their fuel forced their return to Pearl Harbor. The devotion to duty of these pilots will be made the subject of a special report.

    These and numerous other instances of distinguished conduct occurred which Commander Task Force NINE has not yet had time to investigate.

    Attention is invited to the following dispatches and mailgrams indicating the extensive searches conducted by units of this command during the period 30 November to 7 December, 1941, from Wake and Midway:

    CinCPac 280450
    280447 of November.
    040237 of December.

    ComTaskForce NINE 291124
  • 292101
  • 292103 of November.
  • 302359
  • 050323 of December.

    [signed] P.N.L. BELLINGER.

    Copy to: Comairscofor.

    Circa 1941 - 1942

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons CD-ROM: Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol. 2 Stock No. 008-046-00195-2 The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL), and VP(AM) Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C...." [15JUN2000]
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    Circa 1940

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-29 is not the same as VPB-29. VPB-29 was the last squadron designation from VP-101. That squadron included VP-101 from the Philippines in 1940 plus VP-22, and VP-21 from NAS Pearl Harbor, Hawaii..." Contributed by Larry Katz papakatz@sbcglobal.net [18JUL99]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Why no mention of original VP-26 which was part of Patrol Wing TWO at Pearl and which went to Subic (Olongapo) in fall of 1940 and became second squadron (VP-102) of Patrol Wing TEN. VP-21 had come out year earlier and became VP-101 at Cavite. LT J. J. Hyland, USN, was Engineer Officer of VP-102. As Admiral, USN, and either CINCPAC or COM7thFLT he flew last flying boat war patrol in Viet-Nam. Deceased 25 Oct 1998. Both top notch pilot (he served 18 months as Admiral E. J. King's pilot during WWII and if he hadn't been good wouldn't have lasted a week) and fine officer - he was first OIC of USN detachment at Geraldton, Australia (north of Freemantle) in 1942 and my brother (AOM1c at the time) remembers him with respect and admiration..." Contributed by Allan LeBaron alebaron@HiWAAY.net [24JAN99]


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