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

HistoryVP-2 HistoryHistory

Circa 1958

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-2 Crew Logo ThumbnailCameraVP-2 Crew Logos "...Patrol Squadron TWO NAS Iwakuni, Japan Deployment September 1958 through February 1959 Crew Patches..." Contributed by Robert B. (Bob) Casey spec439@yahoo.com [25MAY99]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News December 1958 "...Till Last Prop Has Stopped - Page 25 - Naval Aviation News - December 1958..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1958/dec58.pdf [14AUG2004]

VP History Thumbnail

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News June 1958 "...VP-2 Sailors Answer Call - Page 32 - Naval Aviation News - June 1958..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1958/jun58.pdf [13AUG2004]

VP History Thumbnail

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWO NAS Iwakuni, Japan Deployment September 1958 through February 1959 Cruise Book..." Contributed by Robert B. (Bob) Casey spec439@yahoo.com [25MAY99]


THE IWAKUNI DEPLOYMENT 1958-1959


We of Patrol Squadron TWO traveled to Japan in August and September of 1958 for a six months operational tour. For most of us it represented our first visit to that nation and amounted to an unforgetable experience. For other members of the squadron it meant returning with enthusiastic anticipation to Japanese cities and friends they had known in former days. It was a time of discovery for all of us, and we learned that Japan is still the land of Fuji-san, Cherry Blossoms, and Giesha. But we also learned thatJapan is still the land ot cities, teeming with industry and with industrious people. It is a shopper's paradise tor the famed cameras, radios, silks, and other meticulously constructed products ot J^pan I he country-side charmed us too, with its myriad of soft colors arranged in patchwork predominantly agrarian populace, tenaciously applying their ancient tilling methods to the parent earth. And perhaps the best lesson we found, in the legendary country ot mountains rising in the mist from the sea, was that which the Japanese could show us about themselves. While our vocabulary expanded to include words such as Kuda-sai, arigato, and Watashi, we learned that it is possible for an honest, intelligent and generous people to live happily and simply without the material accumulations to which we are accustomed and sometimes dependent. We were treated with the utmost kindness and deference heightening immeasurably our respect for this island nation's people.

Though lwakuni was the setting for our primary military tasks, we visited other areas frequently. Almost weekly our blue Neptunes landed at NAS Atsugi, near Tokyo and other trips carried squadron members to Okinawa, the Philippines and exotic Hong Kong We walked the swarming streets of famed oriental cities, swam and lay in the tropical sun during winter months, or photographed the snow-draped slopes of northern mountains with only a few hours travel between.

Our work was of a serious nature. What had seemed simple and easy during the training cycle was made difficult by inadequate facilities, and the much greater demands made upon a operationally deployed squadron. We became acutely conscious of the importance attached to our mission and of the trust and responsibility which we inherited when we relieved the squadron which had preceded us. Often, commitments required that we work long hours in the cold or rain and we learned to live with the discomfiture accompanying before-dawn launches and extended patrols.

These things were foremost in our minds and they fully absorbed our time and energies But the reward was in the doing, the results satisfying, and the cohesive effect of the common vital experience will remain with us for the -future. This book, then, is intended to record the events which constituted our deployment in Japan. It is also intended to serve as a mental return passport to Japan in 1958-1959.

Circa 1957

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News July 1957 "...Ice Jam Bombed By VP-2 - Page 38 - Naval Aviation News - July 1957..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1957/jul57.pdf [11AUG2004]

VP History Thumbnail

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-2 History ThumbnailCameraVP-2 Lighter "...Circa 1957..." Contributed by John Lucas JohnLucas@netzero.com [08APR2004]


Circa 1956

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News November 1956 "...Training Open House At Denver - Page 28 - Naval Aviation News - November 1956..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1956/nov56.pdf [09AUG2004]

VP History Thumbnail

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News November 1956 "...Members Of VP-2 - Page 28 - Naval Aviation News - November 1956..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1956/nov56.pdf [09AUG2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News October 1956 "...Ice Floes Ahead! - Page 1 to 5 - Naval Aviation News - October 1956..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1956/oct56.pdf [09AUG2004]

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

Circa 1954

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News November 1954 "...Hey Mac Where You From? - Page 8 - Naval Aviation News - November 1954..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1954/nov54.pdf [02AUG2004]

VP History Thumbnail

Circa 1953

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News March 1953 "...Hurricane Traps Bird Flock - Page 34 - Naval Aviation News - March 1953..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1953/mar53.pdf [29JUL2004]

VP History Thumbnail

Circa 1952

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FASRON-110, FASRON-112, FASRON-114, FASRON-117, FASRON-118, FASRON-119, FASRON-120, FASRON-885, FASRON-895, VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-6, VP-9, VP-22, VP-28, VP-29, VP-40, VP-42, VP-46, VP-47, VP-731, VP-772, VP-871, VP-892 and VP-931) - Naval Aeronautical Organization OPNAV NOTICE 05400 for Fiscal Year 1953 dated 1 October 1952 is: DECLASSIFIED per Office of Chief of Naval Operations on 1 February 1965 by Op-501..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/a-record/nao53-68/fy1953-oct52.pdf [14MAR2007]

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

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-1, FAW-2, FAW-4, FAW-6, FAW-14, VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-6, VP-9, VP-22, VP-28, VP-40, VP-42, VP-46, VP-47 and VP-871) - Naval Aeronautical Organization OPNAV NOTICE 05400 for Fiscal Year 1953 dated 1 October 1952 is: DECLASSIFIED per Office of Chief of Naval Operations on 1 February 1965 by Op-501..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/a-record/nao53-68/fy1953-oct52.pdf [14MAR2007]

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

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News December 1952 "...VP Commanding Officers - Page 16 - Naval Aviation News - December 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/dec52.pdf [28JUL2004]

VP History Thumbnail

Circa 1951

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News November 1951 "...VP-2 Shows Fine 'Can-Do' Spirit - Page 31 - Naval Aviation News - November 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/nov51.pdf [25JUL2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News January 1951 "...Planes Aid Barrow Supply - Page 12 - Naval Aviation News - January 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/jan51.pdf [22JUL2004]

VP History Thumbnail

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...01DEC51--KOREA--ARRIVED: 01SEP51 DEPARTED: 01DEC51 TAIL CODE: SB AIRCRAFT: P2V-4" http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/koreaob.htm


Circa 1950 - 1953
Korean War

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron Korean War Deployments - 1950 Deployments - 1951 Deployments - 1952 Deployments - 1953 Deployments..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/a-korea/vp-deploy.htm [26MAY2007]

      VP-1

        Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Date In: 19 Aug 1950
        Date Out: 13 Nov 1950
        Patrol Area: Formosa Straits
        Aircraft: P2V-3/3W
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

        Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Date In: Apr 1951
        Date Out: 29 Aug 1951
        Patrol Area: Korean coast
        Aircraft: P2V-3
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

        Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Date In: 29 Mar 1952
        Date Out: 5 Oct 1952
        Patrol Area: Korean coast
        Aircraft: P2V-3
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

        Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Date In: 27 May 1953
        Date Out: 1 Dec 1953
        Patrol Area: Korean coast
        Aircraft: P2V-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-2

        Deployed to: Detachment only
        Detachment Location: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Detachment Date In: 1 Aug 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 2 Dec 1951
        Patrol Area: East China Sea; Yellow Sea
        Aircraft: P2V-3W
        Losses: None

      VP-6

        Deployed to: Johnson AFB
        Date In: 7 Jul 1950
        Date Out: 6 Aug 1950
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea

        Deployed to: Tachikawa AFB
        Date In: 7 Aug 1950
        Date Out: 12 Feb 1951
        Patrol Area: Korean coastline; Sea of Japan
        Aircraft: P2V-3/3Wbr>Losses: None
        Detachment Location: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Detachment In: 5 Jan 1951
        Detachment Out: 12 Feb 1951
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Korean coastline

        Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Date In: 1 Aug 1951
        Date Out: 14 Jan 1952
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Sea of Japan; Tsushima Straits
        Aircraft: P2V-3/3W
        Losses: P2V-3 on 16 Aug 1951, crew rescued P2V on 6 Nov 1951, 10 KIA (combat)
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-7

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Date In: 28 Jun 1953
        Date Out: 27 Jul 1953
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Yellow Sea
        Aircraft: P2V-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-9

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Date In: 27 Jun 1952
        Date Out: 16 Nov 1952
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan
        Aircraft: P4Y-2S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Pusan
        Detachment Date In: Jul 1952
        Detachment Date Out: 3 Jan 1953
        Patrol Area: Inland Korea

      VP-17

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Date In: 1 Feb 1953
        Date Out: 30 Jun 1953
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Yellow Sea
        Aircraft: P4Y-2/2s
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-22

        Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Date In: 4 Nov 1950
        Date Out: 1 May 1951
        Patrol Area: Chinese mainland; Formosa
        Aircraft: P2V-4
        Losses: P2V, 21 Jan 1951 (non-combat)
        Detachment Location: None
        VP-22

        Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Date In: 1 Dec 1951
        Date Out: 31 May 1952
        Patrol Area: Tsushima Straits; Sea of Japan
        Aircraft: P4Y-2S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None
        VP-22

        Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Date In: 30 Nov 1952
        Date Out: 31 May 1953
        Patrol Area: North and South China Sea
        Aircraft: P2V-5
        Losses: P2V-5, 18 Jan 1953 (combat), 7 rescued, 4 KIA and 2 POW (combat related)
        P2V-5, 31 Jan 1953 (non-combat)
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-28

        Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Date In: 16 Jul 1950
        Date Out: 7 Aug 1950
        Patrol Area: Foochow; Shanghai
        Aircraft: PB4Y-2S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: NAF Agana
        Detachment Date In: Jan 1950
        Detachment Date Out: 7 Aug 1950
        VP-28

        Deployed to: Tachikawa AFB
        Date In: 1 Apr 1951
        Date Out: 9 Oct 1951
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Tsushima Straits
        Aircraft: PB4Y-2S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Itami AFB
        Detachment Date In: 24 Apr 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 30 Apr 1951
        Patrol Area: Japanese coast, ASW ops.
        Detachment Location: Kimpo AFB
        Detachment Date In: 1 Oct 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 13 Dec 1951
        Patrol Area: Inland Korea
        VP-28

        Deployed to: NAF Itami
        Date In: 1 Jun 1952
        Date Out: 2 Dec 1952
        Patrol Area: North Korean coast; China coast
        Aircraft: P2V-3/P4Y-2/2S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-29

        Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Date In: 27 Sep 1952
        Date Out: 1 Apr 1953
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Korean coast
        Aircraft: P2V-5/6
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-40

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Suisun (AVP 53), 11 Apr 1951-late 1951
        Date In: 9 Jun 1951
        Date Out: 13 Dec 1951
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Tsushima Straits
        Aircraft: PBM-5/5S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None
        VP-40

        Deployed to: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
        Date In: 2 Sep 1952
        Date Out: 28 Mar 1953
        Patrol Area: South China Sea; Formosa Straits
        Aircraft: PBM-5/5S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Pescadores
        Detachment Date In: 2 Sep 1952
        Detachment Date Out: 28 Mar 1953
        Patrol Area: South China Sea and East China Sea
        Detachment Location: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
        Detachment Date In: 2 Sep 1952
        Detachment Date Out: 28 Mar 1953
        Patrol Area: East China Sea; Yellow Sea

      VP-42

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Date In: 19 Jul 1950
        Date Out: 10 Aug 1950
        Patrol Area: Korean coast

        Deployed to: NAS Yokosuka
        Date In: 11-31 Aug 1950
        Date Out: 1 Sep 1950
        Patrol Area: Tsushima Straits; Sea of Japan

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Pine Island (AV 13), Aug 1950-Dec 1950
        Curtiss (AV 4), 1 Nov 1950-1 Dec 1950
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 18 Oct 1950-27 Feb 1951
        Suisun (AVP 53), 11 Apr 1951-15 Jul 1951
        Date In: 1 Sep 1950
        Date Out: 9 Apr 1951
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea
        Aircraft: PBM-5
        Losses: PBM-5, 7 Jan 1951 (non-combat)
        Detachment Location: Inchon
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 3-13 Oct 1950
        Detachment Date In: 3 Oct 1950
        Detachment Date Out: 17 Oct 1950
        Patrol Area: Korean waters
        Detachment Location: Chinhae
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 13-18 Oct 1950
        Detachment Date In: 14 Oct 1950
        Detachment Date Out: 18 Oct 1950
        Patrol Area: Korean waters; Yellow Sea

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Date In: 7 Dec 1951
        Date Out: 6 Jun 1952
        Patrol Area: Korean coast
        Aircraft: P4Y-2
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Chinhae
        Detachment Date In: 15 Mar 52
        Detachment Date Out: Apr 1952
        Patrol Area: Inland Korea

      VP-46

        Deployed to: Pescadores Islands
        Suisun (AVP 53) 30 Jul 1950-6 Mar 1951
        Date In: 31 Jul 1950
        Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
        Patrol Area: Formosa Straits; China

        Deployed to: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
        Date In: 1 Dec 1950
        Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
        Patrol Area: Night sector searches
        Aircraft: PBM-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Buckner Bay
        USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13), 1 Nov 1950-6 Mar 1951
        Detachment Date In: 1 Nov 1950
        Detachment Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
        Detachment Location: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
        Detachment Date In: 31 Jul 1950
        Detachment Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
        Patrol Area: Courier flights to Okinawa

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Floyds Bay (AVP 40), 26 Sep 1951-early 1952
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 26 Sep 1951-early 1952
        Date In: 30 Sep 1951
        Date Out: 2 Apr 1952
        Patrol Area: Korean coast
        Aircraft: PBM-5S/5S2
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Chinhae
        Suisun (AVP 53)
        Detachment Date In: Sep 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 2 Apr 1952
        Patrol Area: Korean coast

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
        Date In: 1 Mar 1953
        Date Out: 27 Jul 1953
        Patrol Area: Formosa Straits; east coast of Korea
        Aircraft: PBM-5S2
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-47

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), Jul 1950-1 Oct 1950
        Date In: 31 Jul 1950
        Date Out: 16 Oct 1950
        Patrol Area: Chosin Straits

        Deployed to: Chinhae/Inchon
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 3-13 Oct 1950
        Patrol Area: Korean waters
        Date In: 16 Oct 1950
        Date Out: 15 Nov 1950

        Deployed to: NAF Yokosuka
        Date In: 16 Nov 1950
        Date Out: 1 Jan 1951
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; eastern Korean coast
        Aircraft: PBM-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

        Deployed to: Pescadores Island
        Pine Island (AVP 12)
        Date In: 1 Aug 1951
        Date Out: 4 Mar 1952
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea
        Aircraft: PBM-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
        USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13)
        Detachment Date In: 26 Jul 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 4 Mar 1952
        Patrol Area: China Sea
        Detachment Location: Buckner Bay
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
        Corson (AVP 37)
        Detachment In: 26 Jul 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 4 Mar 1952
        Patrol Area: China Sea
        1952 Deployments
        VP-47

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
        Date In: 22 Nov 1952
        Date Out: 31 May 1953
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Sea of Japan
        Aircraft: PBM-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Fukuoka
        Corson (AVP 37)
        Detachment Date In: Dec 1952
        Detachment Date Out: 31 May 1953
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan

      VP-48

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
        Date In: Jul 1953
        Date Out: Dec 1953
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea
        Aircraft: PBM-5S2
        Losses: PBM-5 on 30 Jul 1953 (non-combat), 5 rescued, 10 killed in the crash
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-50

      VP-57

        Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Date In: 28 Mar 1953
        Date Out: 27 Jul 1953
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Yellow Sea
        Aircraft: P2V-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-731

        Deployed to: Buckner Bay
        USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13), 1 Nov 1950-6 Mar 1951
        Suisun (AVP 53), 6 Mar 1951-13 Aug 1951
        Date In: 7 Feb 1951
        Date Out: 13 Aug 1951
        Patrol Area: Formosa Straits; China coast
        Aircraft: PBM-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
        USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13), 13 Mar 1951-18 Oct 1951
        Detachment Date In: 7 Feb 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 13 Aug 1951
        Patrol Area: Formosa coast; China coast
        Detachment Location: Hong Kong
        Detachment Date In: 7 Feb 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 13 Aug 1951
        Patrol Area: Courier Flights

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
        Date In: 1 Jun 1952
        Date Out: 8 Dec 1952
        Patrol Area: Korean coast; Formosa Straits
        Aircraft: PBM-5S2
        Losses: PBM damaged on 31 Jul 1952, 2 KIA and 2 WIA (combat related)
        Detachment Location: None

      VP-772

        Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Date In: 31 Jan 51
        Date Out: 3 Aug 1951
        Sea Patrol Area: Yellow; Tsushima Straits
        Aircraft: P4Y-2
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: K-1, Pusan
        Detachment Date In: 12 Jun 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 3 Aug 1951
        Patrol Area: Inland Korea

      VP-871

        Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
        Date In: 1 Dec 1951
        Date Out: 7 Jul 1952
        Patrol Area: Sea of Japan
        Aircraft: P4Y-2S
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: Kimpo AFB
        Detachment Date In: 12 Dec 1951
        Detachment Date Out: 7 Jul 1952
        Patrol Area: Inland Korea

      VP-892

        Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
        Curtiss (AV 4) thru 30 Dec 1950
        Pine Island (AV 12), Dec 1950-mid-1951
        USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 18 Oct 1950-13 Apr 1951
        Suisun (AVP 53), 11 Apr 1951 - Late 1951
        Date In: 13 Dec 1950
        Date Out: 9 Jun 1951
        Patrol Area: Yellow Sea, night patrols
        Aircraft: PBM-5
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None
        1951 Deployments

        Deployed to: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
        USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13)
        Date In: 1 Mar 1952
        Date Out: 12 Sep 1952
        Patrol Area: China Sea
        Aircraft: PBM-5S/S2
        Losses: None
        Detachment Location: None
        1953 Deployments

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol squadrons in the Korean War - Naval Aviation News, July-August, 2002 by Rick Burgess..." http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IAX/is_5_84/ai_90332255 [29MAR2005]

Because most of the combat action of the KOREAN WAR took place over the Korean peninsula, the bulk of the Navy's aerial contribution to the war took the form of carrier-based tactical aircraft. For Navy patrol squadrons (VP), the war was fought primarily on the peripheries of the main front, mostly in sea-control and sea-denial missions, and other roles such as mine hunting.

The Korean War was one hot spot of many along the Asian landmass attracting the attention of VP squadrons in the early 1950s. The broader Cold War was in full chill. The Soviet Union had tested its first nuclear weapons in 1949, and its large submarine fleet presented a credible threat to the Navy's carrier and amphibious task forces. Also in 1949, the Communist Chinese People's Liberation Army forces had pushed the Chinese Nationalist forces off the Asian mainland across the Formosa Strait onto Formosa (now Taiwan). French colonial forces in Indochina were embattled by an increasingly strong Viet Minh force led by Ho Chi Minh. From the Bering Strait to Singapore, Navy patrol planes had much to monitor.

Although the U.S. Seventh Fleet's carrier task forces were committed to the Korean area of operations, the fleet still was charged with the protection of Formosa. The fleet was able to maintain routine surveillance of the Formosa Strait with patrol aircraft, which made it impossible for the Communist Chinese to launch a surprise invasion of the island.

In the Korean area of operations, VP squadrons participated in the blockade of North Korea, keeping merchant shipping and fishing fleets under surveillance and deterring hostile submarine activity. In addition, patrol aircraft hunted and destroyed mines, dropped flares for air strikes, and conducted weather reconnaissance and search-and-rescue operations.

At the beginning of the Korean War, Pacific Fleet VP squadrons were equipped with three heavily armed aircraft types. Martin PBM-5/5S/5S2 Mariners were the only flying boats in active patrol squadrons (the P5M Marlin had not yet entered service.) Seaplanes were increasingly being displaced by land-based patrol bombers, such as the four-engine Consolidated Privateer P4Y-2/2S/2B, a holdover from WW II; and versions of the new twin-engine Lockheed Neptune (P2V2/3/3W/4/5), successor to the post-WWII PV-2 Harpoon patrol bomber.

The Pacific Fleet was equipped with only nine VP squadrons in June 1950, having disestablished four squadrons in the first half of the year. VP squadrons were based at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington; NAS North Island, San Diego, California; and NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. They deployed to NAF Yokosuka, Japan; NS Sangley Point, Philippines, Philippines.; NAS Kodiak, Alaska; and NAS Agana, Guam. By the end of 1950, seven reserve VP squadrons were activated, five of which were assigned to the Pacific Fleet. By the end of 1951, two more active duty VP squadrons were established in the Pacific Fleet, and two more reserve squadrons were activated to augment them. NAS Alameda, California, and NAS Seattle, Washington, accommodated some of the new squadrons. Only one Atlantic Fleet patrol squadron, VP-7 at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, was deployed to the war zone, arriving less than one month before the truce on 30 June 1953.

When the war broke out in 1950, Fleet Air Wing FAW-1 at Guam controlled squadrons deployed to the western Pacific. In July 1950 FAW-1 moved to Naha, Okinawa, to control patrols over the Formosa Strait using one land-based and one flying boat squadron. FAW-6 was established at Atsugi, Japan, to coordinate patrols in the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan. Eventually the typical strength of FAW-6 included three land-plane squadrons and two flying boat squadrons, as well as two squadrons of Royal Air Force Sunderland flying boats. These command structures remained in place throughout the war, except during a short period when they were relieved by FAW-2 and FAW-14, respectively.

Only eight patrol planes--PBMs assigned to VP-46 and the squadron it was relieving, VP-47--patrolled the Far East when the North Korean invasion began, while VP-28's PB4Ys were deployed to NAS Agana, Guam. Soon, VP-47 was regrouped and retained on deployment, VP-6's P2V-3s arrived at Johnson Air Base near Tokyo, Japan, and VP-42's PBMs staged at Iwakuni, Japan. VP-28 staged to NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan and began daily patrols of the Formosa Strait and the coast of China. Other squadrons rotated in turn, and also deployed to far-flung bases and anchorages such as Hong Kong; the Pescadores, Buckner Bay and NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan; Tachikawa and Itami in Japan; and NAS Kodiak, Alaska and Shemya in the Aleutians.

As the North Korean invasion pushed south, VP-6's Neptunes were used on three occasions to provide naval gunfire spotting for United Nations warships on the western coast of South Korea. The squadron's P2V-3s, armed with 20mm cannon, bombs and rockets, also launched many attacks themselves against North Korean targets along the northeast shore.

On 29 July 1950, two crews destroyed a railroad train with their rockets and guns. On 13 August, crews sank three boats and two barges engaged in minelaying near Chinnampo, and damaged two surface craft near Wonsan. One VP-6 Neptune was damaged in the attack. An attack on a patrol boat near Chinnampo on 16 August was fatal to another VP-6 aircraft, which ditched after taking fire. The crew was rescued by the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Kenya. Patrol planes were prohibited thereafter from undertaking attack missions over Korea. VP-6 became the only patrol squadron awarded the Navy Unit Citation during the Korean War.

Patrol planes--PBMs, P2Vs and Sunderlands--were used extensively in mine hunting, particularly in the harbors of Inchon and Wonsan. This tedious activity required the PBMs to fly low and slow, close enough to detonate a moored mine with machine gunfire, but high enough to avoid the mine's explosion. P2Vs dropped depth charges to wipe out magnetic mines.

In 1951 VP squadrons were pressed into another role, this time over land, dropping illumination flares in support of air strikes. Known as Firefly missions, they helped deny the night to enemy supply movements. Admiral Arthur W. Radford suggested the use of P4Y-2 Privateers as flare ships to replace the more vulnerable R4D Skytrains in illuminating targets for Marine Corps F4U-5N Corsair and F7F-3N Tigercat night hecklers. One P4Y from VP-772 was modified For the mission and proved highly successful, and three more P4Ys from VP-772 and VP-28 were assigned as "Lamp Lighters" (later operated by successive squadrons). During a typical mission, the P4Y would rendezvous with four attack aircraft, search for truck convoys and illuminate the targets for the attack aircraft.

Although United Nations forces were successful in maintaining air superiority over most of the Korean peninsula, lumbering patrol aircraft had a few encounters with enemy aircraft. A VP-42 Mariner was damaged on 11 May 1952 by a MiG-15 fighter over the Yellow Sea, and on 31 July 1952 a VP-731 PBM was seriously damaged by gunfire from a MiG-15, which killed two crewmen and injured two others.

Flights off China and the Soviet Union, far from protective cover, were more dangerous. VP-28 P4Ys were attacked over the Formosa Strait on 26 July by an F-51 Mustang in North Korean markings, and on 20 September and 22 November 1950 by MiG-15s, all without result. A VP-42 PBM was lost to unknown causes in the southern Formosa Strait on 5 November. On 6 November 1951 a VP-6 P2V-3W was shot down, with no survivors, by Soviet fighters near Vladivostok. On 18 January 1953 Chinese antiaircraft batteries shot down a VP-22 P2V off Swatow. A Coast Guard PBM-5G picked up the survivors but crashed on takeoff, resulting in the loss of 11 fliers, including 7 from the P2V. The survivors were rescued by a Navy ship. Further such aircraft incidents and losses occurred in the years after the Korean truce.

One daring P2V crew amazingly survived a series of eight or nine intentional overflights of the Soviet Union's Kamchatka peninsula between April and June 1952. A VP-931 P2V-3W--modified with special electronic intelligence equipment in its nose and flown by a handpicked crew--flew in radio silence over the peninsula at 15,000 feet in search of military installations. When military sites were detected, an Air Force RB-50 flying above and behind the P2V photographed the sites. The snoopers were intercepted on two missions by Soviet MiG fighters but apparently never were fired upon. Fortunately, the recently declassified operations never required the services of the Air Force SB-17 rescue plane assigned to the missions. This VP-931 (later VP-57) crew also performed a daring search and rescue flight in July 1953 over Vladivostok harbor for the crew of an RB-50 that was shot down by Soviet fighters. A U.S. destroyer rescued one of the crewmen.

Land-based patrol planes saw greater use than flying boats in the Korean War, proving to be more efficient. In Korea, land-based patrol planes flew 12 sorties for every 9 flown by flying boats.

As with U.S. forces in general, patrol aviation maintained a high level of presence in the Far East after the Korean War. Its operations increasingly focused on peripheral reconnaissance of the Soviet Union and China, particularly surveillance of the growing Soviet submarine force and vigilance against Chinese sabre-rattling against Formosa.

U.S. Navy Patrol Squadrons in the Korean War

Squadron    Aircraft    Tail Code    Home Port


Circa 1950

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) - Circa 1950. Squadrons Mentioned: FAW-1, FAW-6, VP-1, VP-2, VP-4,VP-42, VP-46 and VP-47..." WebSite: USS Salisbury Sound http://www.salisburysound.com/index_Page555.htm [07JAN2007]

She tended planes of VP-42 at that port until 6 February 1950, 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 VP-42, 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 VP-1, VP-2, and VP-4 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 VP-46 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 FAW-6. She commenced service to VP-42 and VP-47, 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 VP-47 and nine planes of VP-42. On 16 September Commander FAW-6 shifted his Flag, along with pilots and crew of VP-47, to sea plane tender USS Curtiss (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 VP-46 (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 FAW-1 on 5 October 1950. Winds and heavy seas again threatened the seadrome in the Pescadores on 19 October, and Mariners of VP-46 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 USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39).

Salisbury Sound arrived at Iwakuni, Japan 20 November 1950, and hoisted the flag of Commander Air Wing Six. She relived USS Curtiss (AV-4) of seadrome control and began tending nine Mariners of VP-42 and four Royal Air Force Sunderlands, operating from Iwakuni. On 1 December, seven Mariners of VP-47 arrived, and on the 21st, Commander FAW-6 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 FAW-1. She now commenced service for the detachment of five Marines of VP-46, 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 VP-22); a Seaplane Air Search and Attack Unit (9 Mariners of VP-46); 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.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadrons In The Korean War By LCDR Rick Burgess, USN (Retired) - Naval Aviation News July-August 2002..." Contributed by Mike Yared mikeyared@yahoo.com [25JAN2003]
VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4
VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4
VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4
VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4


Return
"VP-2 History Summary Page"

Selection Page

VPNAVY Copyrighted  1996 - 2012