NOTICE: "...I am a volunteer researcher in the Archives at the National Naval Aviation Museum. We've received an inquiry from a family member of George Butler - see attached photographs leading us to believe Mr. Butler was assigned to VPB-26 between 1944 and 1946..." Contributed by Pam Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org [26OCT2020]
Name: George Robert Butler (born 1926)
Served: 6-12-1944 thru 7-3-1946
Rate: Seaman 1st Class at discharge in 1946
Service #: 7134782
Home: Maplewood, NJ
Is there documentation that Mr. Butler was assigned to VPB-26 between 1944 and 1946 - perhaps a roster with a Crew Number in the “Memories Book” (printed sometime after 1988)? The aircraft, a PBM-5, appears to have been assigned to VPB-26. Was Butler in Japan in 1945? His nephew also has a photo that shows a "Welcome to Tokyo" sign.
Does anyone recognize either of these patches? Naval History & Heritage Command says VPB-26 had no nickname or insignia on record. Perhaps these were a crew member's artistic vision?
Aircraft and Crew
Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
National Naval Aviation Museum
Volunteer Researcher, Archives
NOTICE: "...I am on a committee for a membership drive for Veteran's of VP-26. We have sent out many letters to past squadron members and have only received a few replies. We have seen a smaller amount of attendance each year for our Reunions. It was voted on at the last Reunion to have them every other year. We also have a web site: http://www.vp26vets.org/. We invite all former Shipmates to visit our site!..." Contributed by BUELL, Bob email@example.com [28OCT2014]
NOTICE: "...Looking for the video made for Discover or Discovery Channel in 1982 to 1983 with our squadron (VP-26). Any Tridents or others out ther have a copy that is/can be transferred on to DVD? Thanks! BAYER, SS3 John firstname.lastname@example.org..." [26JUL2009]
NOTICE: "...My father, AO1 Walter (Bud) Polen Jr., died in a VP-26 NAS Brunswick, Maine Mishap (April 14th, 1952). According to my Dad's Flight Log - he also served with VB-4 NAS Masters Field, Miami, Florida, VPB-197 NAAS Camp Kearny, California, VPB-200 MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and VPB-111 Palawan Is. P.I. I am hoping to find the man that was also aboard and survived E.G. Buck (Edward Guy Buck). I was a little girl when this happened and I so badly want to hear from anyone who knew my father. I am also looking for a man named Jack. He brought home my father's remains home to Alden, NY, near Buffalo, NY. He took us to Niagara Falls before he went home. I remember him so fondly. I would love to find him or find someone who knows who he is. Please contact me. Thank you, Cindy Polen Novick email@example.com..." [Updated 24JUN2006 | 09MAR2006]
I'm searching for Bob and Kay Lindberg. They were close friends of my parents (Bud and Eileen Polen) back in the 40's and 50's, when they were in the Navy. Bob & Kay were originally from Duluth, MN, probably born in the 20's. He was a radio man 1st class in the 50's. In 1960 - they were stationed in CA. They had 2 daughters - Kathy & Susan, I would love to find them or anyone who knows about them. My father, Walter Polen Jr. (Bud) was killed in Brunswick ME. in 1952. Any help appreciated....Cindy Polen Novick firstname.lastname@example.org..." [26SEP2006]
Walter (Bud) Polen Jr. "...Here are two photos of my dad. I am not sure how well the one in his uniform will show up. The other one is better and is the last photo taken of my father before he died.....Christmas 1951....Cindy Polen Novick email@example.com..." [28AUG2006]
"...I received a phone call from the son of the man who survived the crash that took my father's life. Thank you very much...Cindy Polen Novick firstname.lastname@example.org...Cindy Polen Novick email@example.com..." [08JUL2006]
NOTICE: "...I am looking for a member of VP-26 by the name of Brundage he was in the squadron from January 1966 to November 1969. We were in boot togeather. I went to VP-56. Anyone knowing how to contact him please forward this to him...RICHEY, AO3 James W. firstname.lastname@example.org..." [09MAR2006]
NOTICE: "... I am looking for anyone that may have known my father AE1 Melvin C. Thompson. Dad flew with VP-26 Combat Aircrew 8. Dad and his crew were lost in the South China Sea northwest of Ca Mau, South Vietnam February 5th, 1968 (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends - 05FEB68) when I was only 5 years old. Any information, picture's or stories concerning my father or his crewmember's would be wonderful. Thank you, Cindy Thompson email@example.com..." [30DEC2004]
"...I wanted to keep you updated on my search for info about my dad AE1 Melvin C Thompson VP-26 CREW 8. I have had alot of info come my way here lately all because of your great web site. I have just recently heard from another crew member's son. Also I have had numourous e-mail's from men who served in Vietnam and they told me so much info, it was great. Thank you so much!...Cindy Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org..." [08FEB2006]
"...I have had contact with a few of the crew members families! Donald Burnett's widow and daughter, James C Newman's Son & nephew and Armando Chapa's fiancee', Pauline Suter. Also I heard from a few men who worked with my Dad when he was with VP-16 in NAS Jacksonville, Florida and they sent me a picture of him :) that no one else had! Its been great! Thank you...Cindy Thompson email@example.com..." [07OCT2005]
"...I received another response - this time from the widow of LT(jg) Roy A. Huss (another crewmember). Thank you!...Cindy Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org..." [21NOV2005]
NOTICE: "...I am a member of the Maine Air Museum located at Bangor International Airport. We are inviting former NAS Brunswick, Maine personnel to establish a display in our museum to commemorate the rich aviation history of NAS Brunswick, Maine. VP-8, VP-10, VP-21, VP-23, VP-26 and VP-44 served there. Will help you with design suggstions. So far all we have from NAS Brunswick, Maine is a flight suit. We have a major display about Loring AFB, a small one on Dow AFB and now we need to publicize what you accomplished. Please contact me. We could use model aircraft, patches and photos etc. We are a non-profit organization. Smooth sailing...Hank Marois, Maine Air Museum, Project Manager email@example.com..." [19JUL2005]
NOTICE: "...My father, Bill Stanley, was stationed with VP-26 in the early to mid 1970's. I am looking for anyone who was stationed with Dad in VP-26 who may have copies of pictures of my dad flying. I am putting together a book for my mother on what would have been their 45th wedding anniversary, and would like to include some pictures from that time in their lives. Thank you in advance for any assistance...Trish Stanley-Fratarcangelo firstname.lastname@example.org..." [28JUN2005]
NOTICE: "...Calling all VP-26 Shipmates..." Contributed by AM1 Dan Wagner WagnerD@patron26.cpw5.navy.mil [30SEP2002]
My name is AM1 Dan Wagner Patrol Squadron 26 Command Historian. We have just received a request from a former Vietnamese refugee who was rescued from a small boat in the South China Sea on 15 July 1980. She was lost at sea for 13 days with 48 other refugees, 5 of which had perished. She is looking for the names and contact information of the P-3 crew that spotted the boat and called in the rescue. She and other former refugees would like to express their thanks for saving their lives. VP-26 was deployed to Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan from March to September of 1980. If you or any of your other shipmates remember this incident and/or the names of the crew, please contact me ASAP. Thanks for any help that you can give me, your eternal shipmate Dan Wagner.
"...I was looking at the site and saw a notice on VP-26 notices a post by AM1 Dan Wagner from 30SEP02 about who was involved in the rescue. I tried emailing them directly but his E-Mail is now obsolete. I am sending what I tried to send him. Dan Wagner I was reading all of the info about VP-26 and saw your request Dated 30SEP02 about the rescue of Vietnamese Boat people on July 15, 1980. I was on the flight. I was the TACCO of Crew 10 but they mixed up the crews so much at that time I don't remember who all was flying then. We received a medal (Humanitarian Service Medal). As I recall we were flying out the the NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan that day and found these people floating and vectored a Navy ship in to rescue them. I will try and find my flight log book also and confirm those dates. It was a long time ago..." Contributed by McBRIDE, LT Bob email@example.com [14JUN2005]
NOTICE: "...Navy Establishing Augment Units For All FRS's Including VP-30..." Contributed by LCDR Robert J. Cable firstname.lastname@example.org [03DEC2003]
The Navy is scheduling the establishment of a Squadron Augment Unit (SAU) attached to VP-30 for 1 October, 2004. Final numbers have yet to be released, but the SAU is likely to total near 150 personnel composed of Officer and Enlisted instructors and maintenance personnel. The SAU has begun recruiting the advance party of 20 maintainers in the AD, AE, AT, AM, and AME rates. If you are interested in serving as a Selected Reservist in VP-30 SAU, have P-3 NEC's and P-3 experience within the last 6 years, and are within drilling distance of NAS Jacksonville, Florida, please call Naval Reserve Recruiting Area SE at 904-542-3320 ext 490 or the SAU OIC at 904-542-0990.
NOTICE: "...For some research I'm doing in connection with a book to be published next April about the loss of VP-9's PD-2 off Shemya. I'd like the serial numbers of the two VP-26 aircraft lost over the Gulf of Siam in 1968 (BUNO: 153440 and 153445). Any additional information about these incidents as well as accounts of the loss of VO-67's three OP2Fs during the same period (early 68) over the Ho Chi Minh trail would be very welcome. Thanks...Andrew C. A. Jampoler ACAJ@GEOKNOW.COM..." [28JUL2002]
NOTICE: "...To Whom It May Concern: I am currently researching a documentary for Discovery Channel USA about a Soviet Hotel Class submarine called K-19. Our film focuses on a major accident aboard K-19 on 4 July 1961, where its nuclear reactor malfunctions and eight crew die while attempting to rig an emergency cooling device. The crew saved the ship from sinking, but radiation damage was irreparable. K-19 had to be towed back on the surface over the course of several days from the accident site southeast of Jan Mayen Island to its base on the Kola Peninsula. K-19, the lead ship of the Soviet Navy's first line of SSBN's, was then on its first combat-ready patrol as part of a larger Soviet naval exercise in the Norwegian Sea code named Arctic Circle. The accident took place during the height of the Berlin Crisis, a situation which had the Cold War superpowers considering options of nuclear war. In speaking with various US Navy Admirals, Commanders and ONI Officers who remember (however vaguely) this event, I have frequently been referred to US military posts in Iceland as a point of contact. Captain Joseph F. Bouchard, Commander of Naval Base Norfolk and author of an extensive book on the Navy's involvement in various crises over the past 40 years, suggested that VP-10, VP-11, VP-21, VP-23 or VP-26 might have been deployed to NAS Keflavik, Iceland at this point in time. To lend our film historic and contextual authenticity, we would very much like to speak with any personel who were on duty in Iceland in 1961, specifically during the summer months. We are also very eager to find photographs of this incident, as they have proven so far to be impossible to locate. What I have been told regarding American response to the K-19 incident is that a P2V Neptune would have been sent out to photograph the submarine, and that bases in Iceland would have been the origins for such an operation.
If anyone feels they can direct us to any resources or people that might be able to assist us in our search, I would very much appreciate it. Kind regards, Robin Waite, Head Researcher. CineNova Productions Inc., 468 King St. West, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5V 1L8. Phone: 416-363-2600...Robin Waite email@example.com..." [06APR2002]
"...our film about K-19, the Soviet SSBN, will be broadcast on Discovery Channel tomorrow evening Thursday July 25th. It's titled: "K-19: Doomsday Submarine"... Robin Waite firstname.lastname@example.org..." [24JUL2002]
"...I have already spoken today with a former VP pilot who remembers being briefed about the incident. Finding these little anecdotes is very helpful for our production - the incident was so long ago, even the fact that someone remembers it is significant! To those interested, our film will be airing on Discovery Channel USA in the summer of this year. Thanks! Robin Waite email@example.com..." [09APR2002]
NOTICE: "...Seeking present wherabouts of Phil D. Ward. He served with VP-26/VPU-1 in the late 70's / early 80's...Helmer Hellebust firstname.lastname@example.org..." [12SEP2004]
NOTICE: "...Looking for a shipmate named Tommy Thompson who served with VP-26 in the 1957-1960 timeframe. He was 2nd mech on crew 4...Gene Balog email@example.com..." [08FEB2003]
NOTICE: "...I would like to find anyone from VP-26 who attended my wedding in September 1958. I am planning a surprise 45th anniversery party for my wife and I would like to have the members of the wedding party all attending. If the 45th year seems a little odd... I visited my best man this past July in a veteran's nursing home and I doubt that he will last until 9/13/2003...Nicholas firstname.lastname@example.org..." [02NOV2002]
NOTICE: "...I am looking for anybody that served with Vincen N. Croteau in WWII he was with VP-26 at BNAS. Any help would be greatly appreciated...Josh Martin email@example.com..." [10FEB2002]
NOTICE: "...I'm looking for the whereabouts for AZ1 Charlene Wyman. When VP-11 decommissioned, I went to VP-10 and she went to VP-8. We were good friends and we lost touch. Also looking for the whereabouts for AZ2 Chris Jackson. We were in VF-84 together years ago. While in VP-11 and VP-10 I believe he came to VP-26 for a short time. I now reside in Texas and I remember him being from Texas as well...PORTER, Mark firstname.lastname@example.org..." [E-Mail Updated 02FEB2003 | E-Mail/Notice Updated 01JAN2002 | 13AUG2001]
NOTICE: "...I am researching my husband's WWII MIA father (Captain Houston R. Cannon). He served from 07DEC41 to 31MAR42 when while serving in the Aleutians with VP-43 his PBY disappeared. Captain Cannon served with VP-102, VP-26, and VP-13....Some background: After his graduation from Flight School at NAS Pensacola, Florida in May 1939, he was assigned to VP-13 that became VP-26. He was a member of Plane Crews 26-P-6 and 26-P-7 during overseas flights from NAS Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to NS Sangley Point, Philippines, via NAS Midway Island, wake and Guam, in June and December 1940, respectively. I understand it was the second and fourth of flights of such distance in a military plane and considered quite a feat. In DEC 40, VP-26 became VP-102 and joined forces with VP-101 IN PI. The squadrons received the Presidential Unit Citation for their bravery, herosim (and ingenuity) against purusing Japanese from Cavite, PI to Darwin, Australia via Java Sea, Dutch West Indies, etc. He was granted leave and returned to the states via the USS Mt. Vernon ((formerly the ocean liner Washington). He was then assigned to VP-62, came home to Texas for five days before returning to San Francisco, where he soon was to fly a PBY to San Diego and join VP-43. He arrived in AK approx. 13JUN42. The notification of his APR 42 promotion to Chief Aviation Pilot arrived the day his PBY disappeared, so he never knew it. Any information on Captain Cannon would be appreciated...Judy Cannon CannonGrambo@cs.com..." [03JUN2001]
NOTICE: "...VP-26 CAC-12 1959-1961. I have been able to locate most of the crew. We would like to locate at that time LT Tom Roberts and LTjg Niles Mattolay. We would appreciate any help in finding these Shipmates. Thanks...Pete Henderson email@example.com..." [13MAR2001]
NOTICE: "...I am trying to locate Richard Blake. We served together in VP-26 from 1957-1960. He was an AT and I was an AE. I got discharged but Dick made it a career and let the Navy send him through college and he went on to become a pilot and the last I heard made LCDR and was stationed in NAS Pensacola, Florida. He should be retired by now but would like to make contact with him. If anyone thinks he knows him please let me know. Thanks...BALOG, AE Gene firstname.lastname@example.org..." [21FEB2001]
NOTICE: "...Any one knowing the where abouts of Chief Nichols or Chief Beers please let me know...Clarence "Dutch" Arnold Dutch434@aol.com..." [06MAR2000]
NOTICE: "...I am trying to find AOC Roger Clark. He served in VP-26 until 1974-75. Anyone knowing the where abouts of him or anyone who knows him please contact me and I will respond. He and I were stationed together and he did me a great service during that time. Just wanted to contact him and tell him that he isn't forgotten by the DeBerry family. Thanks Shipmates! Look forward to hearing from any of you that I flew with during my tour (Oct'70-July'76)...Hank DeBerry email@example.com..." [27NOV99]
NOTICE: "...IÝm a Radar Operator in Portuguese Air Force (PAF) 601 Squadron and IÝve been flying ASW/Patrol missions for the past 14 years. I flew a couple of times with american crews (VP-10; VP-8; VP-26 and VP-66). IÝm tryng to contact any VP-26 Flight Engineer. Would anyone help me out ? Tks in advance...Eduardo Cruz firstname.lastname@example.org..." [20NOV99]
NOTICE: "...I'm already listed in the archives but forgot to mention that if anyone knows the whereabouts of Dwight "Al" Harper retired AECS flight engineer from VP-26 please let me know or him know that I'm trying to contact him. Last rumor was he was in the Carolinas (North or South). I've tried the web search and no luck for this beginner. Thanking you in advance. A final comment...It really sucked when the Navy said that since I made MCPO that I'd have to drop out of the FE program. I loved the VP commuity and flying/deployments...Robert W. Thomas (AVCM AW/NAC) ret. email@example.com..." [29APR99]
NOTICE: "...I am looking for anyone who might have known my granduncle, Cdr. Dennis M. Szabo, USN (ret), served with VP-13 as an AvCdt and was commissioned as an Ensign at the same time all of the other AvCdt in the fleet. He was then assigned to VP-26 as an Ensign and PPC. He was sent to the Phillipines and flew during the early days of the war with the newly formed VP-102 (formerly VP-26) of PATWING TEN. Also in PATWING TEN were Lts. John J. Hyland and Thomas Moorer (both later became four star admirals). He made it out on the USS Heron and served in Australia for a while, where he met and married his wife. After the war he formed and was the first CO of VPW-1. Later, he was the CAG on an aircraft carrier, but I don't know which one. Unfortunately, the closest contact I've ever had with him was when I visited his gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery and I have some old flight rosters from the late 30s and two letters to my grandfather. I also have a Navigator's Log from a June 4, 1940 Pearl Harbor - Midway- Manila hop (two years to the day before Battle of Midway). I have corresponded with several of his squadron mates and have passed on his official portrait to Ray Parsons firstname.lastname@example.org, who has also given me the VPW squadron histories on a 3 1/2 disk..." Contributed by Nick Selk (CDR Szabo is Nick's Uncle) email@example.com [22OCT98]
NOTICE: "...My name is Anthony. I've been trying to find someone that personally knew my grandfather, Melvin C. Thompson. He died in 1968, during Vietnam. His squadron, twenty-six, flew in the P3-B "Orion." I'm trying to establish a book on my grandfather, the one which I never knew. Having a heroic grandfather means a great deal to me and I plan on making a book titled: My Heroic Grandfather. It seems that most of the M.I.A. and P.O.W.'s that didn't possess a high rank were never mentioned. This summer I plan on going to the Reunion with my grandma, his wife. So, if you could be of any assistance it would be of much gratitude...Anthony Roller, 17 a_roller@Hotmail.com" [E-Mail Updated 19SEP98 | 19JAN98]
06FEB98 "...I created a WebPage about my Grandpa on http://www.freeyellow.com/members2/aroller/ Thanks. Anthony Roller a_roller@Hotmail.com..." [E-Mail Updated 19SEP98 ]
"VP-26 Summary Page"