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

HistoryVP-33 HistoryHistory

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

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: UNIT: VP-33 PREVIOUS DES: VP-AM-3 NAME: TAIL CODE: EB ACTIVATED: DEACTIVATED: 12-15-49 TYPICAL LOCATION(S):
Books"Title: Lockheed P2V 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!


Circa 1948 - 1949

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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Open VP History Adobe FileCHAPTER 3 Patrol Squadron (VP) Histories VP-33 214KB


Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron THIRTY-THREE (VPB-33) - War Diary - February 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [31OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron THIRTY-THREE (VPB-33) - War Diary - January 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [31OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Through January and early February 1945, USS SAN PABLO (AVP-30) made search missions in the South China Sea and along the China coast with VPB-25 and VP-33 squadrons. On 13 February, she was relieved by USS Tangier (AV-8) and returned to Leyte..." WebSite: EBay http://www.ebay.com/ [03NOV2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...28 Units Receive Commendation - Naval Aviation News - October 1945.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1945/15oct45.pdf [10NOV2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  Maritime Patrol Association Planeside Quarterly NewsletterVP-33 History "...Official Recording of 1944 VPB-33 Bombing Run from “Air Op Memo”... Maritime Patrol Association Planeside Quarterly Newsletter - 2015: Issue 4..." WebSite: Maritime Patrol Association [28OCT2015]
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Open VP History Adobe FileOfficial Recording of 1944 VPB-33 Bombing Run from “Air Op Memo” - 2015: Issue 4 1067KB

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  Maritime Patrol Association Planeside Quarterly NewsletterVP-33 History "...Photos of the Morning After a Heroic Event in 1944... Maritime Patrol Association Planeside Quarterly Newsletter - 2015: Issue 4..." WebSite: Maritime Patrol Association [28OCT2015]
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Open VP History Adobe FilePhotos of the Morning After a Heroic Event in 1944 - 2015: Issue 4 1661KB

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron THIRTY-THREE (VPB-33) - War Diary - December 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [31OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron THIRTY-THREE (VPB-33) - War Diary - November 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [31OCT2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron THIRTY-THREE (VPB-33) - War Diary - October 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [31OCT2013]

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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-17 - FAW-8 - VP-33 War Diary - January 1944 - War Diary..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [12NOV2012]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Here's a humorous bit of WWII history involving squadron VP-33 and it's parent command FAW-17..." Contributed by David C. Deatherage satx_dave@flash.net [04NOV2012]

On 16 Sept 1944, Patrol Bombing Squadron VP-33, a Catalina "Black Cat" squadron, was operating from the tender USS San Carlos off Middleburg Island, New Guinea. VP-33 operated within the organization of FAW-17. One of that night's search and attack missions was that of squadron XO, Lt. James F. Merritt.

Merritt's PBY-5 departed the tender at 1830 hrs and proceeded to the vicinity of Kendari, South Celebes (now called Sulawesi). Entering Kendari harbor, Merritt came upon an enemy Fox Tare Able (FTB : an 8,000 ton freighter/transport) and commenced several bombing and strafing runs.

Damage to the ship was not immediately apparent so Merritt bore in one more time on a low pass to make sure that he could execute an accurate, lethal strike. Merritt's after action report describes that he "flew in towards the ship a mite too low and as the plane passed over the ship between masts, the starboard wing struck a forward king post, biting out a one foot square chunk of the leading edge, in which was found sizable pieces of the king post."

Despite the damage to his plane, Merritt continued his attack, performing more strafing and bombing runs until, finally he had expended all his ammunition and bombs. Before leaving the scene the FTB was seen to be blazing furiously; it was eventually assessed as destroyed in the squadron records.

After returning to base, Merritt's aircraft was repaired locally and he was back out on subsequent missions within a few days. Upon hearing of Merritt's low level pass and damage to the plane, Fleet Air Wing 17's commander, Captain C.B. Jones, wrote a memo to Lt. Merritt and his squadron commander with the subject line : "Ramming Tactics - Plane versus Surface Ship - Disapproval of."

I have attached page scans of Merritt's 5 page Aircraft Action Report and Captain Jones' two page memo.

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 11 Jan 1944..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [29SEP2006]

VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

VD-1, VD-2, VD-3 and VD-4

VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-7, VJ-8, VJ-9, VJ-10, VJ-11, VJ-12, VJ-13, VJ-14, VJ-15, and VJ-16

VP-6 Coast Guard

VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15, VP-16, VP-17, VP-18 and VP-19

VP-20, VP-23 and VP-24

VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

VP-52 and VP-54

VP-61 and VP-62

VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

VP-81 and VP-84

VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

VP-110, VP-111, VP-112, VP-113, VP-115, VP-116 and VP-117

VP-126, VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

VP-140, VP-141, VP-142, VP-143, VP-144, VP-145, VP-146, VP-147, VP-148 and VP-149

VP-150 and VP-151

VP-201, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-208 and VP-209

VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216


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

  • Presidential Unit Citation
    01 Sep 44 – 04 Oct 44

    Circa 1943

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 31 May 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [02OCT2006]

    VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

    CASU

    PATSU

    VD-1, VD-2 and VD-3

    VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-7 and VJ-10

    VP-1

    VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14 and VP-15

    VP-23

    VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

    VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

    VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

    VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

    VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

    VP-81 and VP-84

    VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

    VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

    VP-125, VP-126, VP-127 and VP-128

    VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

    VP-140, VP-142, VP-144 and VP-146

    VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

    VP-210, VP-211 and VP-212

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 16 Jan 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [01OCT2006]

    VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

    CASU and PATSU

    VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-6, VJ-7 and VJ-8

    VP-6 Coast Guard

    VP-3

    VP-11 and VP-12

    VP-23 and VP-24

    VP-31, VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

    VP-41, VP-42, VP-43 and VP-44

    VP-51, VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

    VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

    VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

    VP-81, VP-82, VP-83 and VP-84

    VP-91, VP-92VP-93, and VP-94

    VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

    VP-110

    VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

    VP-131, VP-132, VP-133 and VP-134

    VP-200, VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

    VP-210, VP-211, VP-210, and VP-216


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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 09 Nov 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [01OCT2006]

    VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

    CASU and PATSU

    VD-1, VD-2, VD-3 and VD-4

    VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-4, VJ-5, VJ-15, and VJ-16

    VP-6 Coast Guard

    VP-1

    VP-11, VP-12, VP-13, VP-14, VP-15 and VP-16

    VP-23 and VP-24

    VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

    VP-43, VP-44 and VP-45

    VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

    VP-61, VP-62 and VP-63

    VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

    VP-81 and VP-84

    VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

    VP-101, VP-102, VP-103, VP-104, VP-105, VP-106, VP-107, VP-108 and VP-109

    VP-110, VP-111, VP-112, VP-113, VP-114, VP-115 and VP-116

    VP-125, VP-126, VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

    VP-130, VP-131, VP-132, VP-133, VP-134, VP-135, VP-136, VP-137, VP-138 and VP-139

    VP-140, VP-141, VP-142, VP-143, VP-144, VP-145, VP-146, VP-147, VP-148 and VP-149

    VP-150

    VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209

    VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216


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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft - Dated 09 Feb 1943..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [28SEP2006]

    VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

    VJ-1, VJ-2, VJ-3, VJ-7 and VJ-8

    VP-11, VP-12, VP-13 and VP-14

    VP-23 and VP-24

    VP-31, VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

    VP-41, VP-42, VP-43 and VP-44

    VP-61, VP-62, and VP-63

    VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

    VP-81, VP-82, VP-83 and VP-84

    VP-91, VP-92, VP-93 and VP-94

    VP-101

    VP-127, VP-128 and VP-129

    VP-130, VP-132, VP-133 and VP-134

    VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208 and VP-209,

    VP-210, VP-211 and VP-212
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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-33 - Funafuti Island fall of '43..." Contributed by CDR Harvey Teagle Retired wwiivs@aol.com [31MAY2005]

    Here it is. VP-33, Funafuti Island fall of '43. Most of their PBY's were tied to buoys in the lagoon. A bad storm blew up in the afternoon, possibly the beginning of a Typhoon. Rain horizontal, no place to keep dry, a bunch of us were looking out into the lagoon. We were about 2-3 hundred yards north of the seaplane ramp, when we noticed that one of the PBY's looked to be moving. In fact it had slipped it's mooring and was drifting right towards us. We didn't know what we could do but try to keep it from beaching and damaging it's hull. As it neared the shore we saw a crewman in the port blister holding up the engine crank. Having been experienced with SBD's and hand cranking starters, three of us knew what had to be done. Arthur Oswald, AMM3, Frank Tyler AMM3 and me. We grabbed the crank, climbed up on the wing and Frank & I started to crank the Stbd. Engine. Arthur was between the engines communicating with the crewmember who was in the cockpit. Our first effort was successful and we powered the plane off the beach. The Port engine started using the electrical power from the Stbd, engine. We then taxied the plane aft of the stem of a large ship and remained there for the rest of the night.

    About 3AM the storm abated enough, we took the plane back to the buoy and tied it up.

    At that time I used the Aldus lamp to signal the beach to send a boat. Got a O.K. so we waited, the boat didn't arrive until after dawn and we didn't get back to the beach until after muster and the chief chewed us out for being late.

    More than the three of us climbed aboard the plane, one of them got seasick. I can't imagine what they came aboard for anyway I often wondered what was the rating of the crewman, he did a good job. I also heard that he saw the plane moving and SWAM out to save it. Anyone remember this incident?? After we were told that the presidential candidate got the silver star for turning his boat around to pick up the Army guy that fell off?? Or something like that and we got a chewing out for missing muster. Different war, different situations, Right ..

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "23JUN43...USS Wright embarked passengers and loaded bombs and 170 bundles of cots for transportation to New Guinea. Reaching Humboldt Bay on 23 June, the ship tended the planes and housed he 30 officers and 54 men of VP-33 until 16 July, when she put to sea for Mios Woendi, in the Padiado Islands, Dutch New Guinea, arriving on the 17th.." http://namopdc.nawcad.navy.mil/talps/tapxo.htm


    Circa 1942 - 1945

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [28APR2001]
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    Open VP History Adobe FileVP-12F 165KB


    Circa 1942 - 1943

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The following are photograph's and letters my Uncle (CHAMBERLIN, LCDR Robert M. "Bob") sent to me over the years...." Contributed by Guy Chamberlin ten_r_sax@hotmail.com [15SEP2013]

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-33 History "...NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone..."
    History ThumbnailCameraVP-33 History "...LT CHAMBERLIN being decorated for action in New Guinea..."
    History ThumbnailCameraVP-33 History "...NAF Biak Atoll, Schouten Islands, Dutch New Guinea: LEFT to RIGHT: McDonald, Jack Thurman, Dick Wilson and Bob Chamberlin. SITTING: Chick Aldridge..."
    History ThumbnailCameraVP-33 History "...Circa May 1942 - NAS Norfolk, Virginia: CPOs Jerry Fitzgerald and McCracken..."
    History ThumbnailCameraVP-33 History "...NAF Biak Atoll, Schouten Islands, Dutch New Guinea: BACK ROW - LEFT to RIGHT: Jimm Merrit (our new XO), Swede Johnson, Jack Thurman, Jack Warner, Jack Hetherington, Ferd Brand, Ed Hurley, Jere Snyder, Al Wilcox (new pilot), Bob Hendrie (flew with me) and Chan Manning. 2ND ROW: Jean Hoffman, John Zubler, Bill Beach, Ed Carel and Floyd Peck. KNEELING: Bob Chamberlin, Jack Jones and Jack Thorme..."
    History ThumbnailCameraVP-33 History "...Circa 1945 - Bob and Jane (Pope) Chamberlin..."

    LETTER ONE (MEMORIES) - DEAR GUY,

      It is amazing how garbled and inaccurate war stories become with the passing of years. Jack Ramsey had been Jack Hetherington’s First Pilot and as a newly designated PPC, assumed command of Hetherington’s plane when the latter was rotated stateside. He was based on the USS Tangier (AV-8) not the San Pablo, taking off on Seadler Harbor. A squall moved through while he was still on the water and instead of aborting the takeoff, he continued and was heading downwind! He crashed and was killed.

      Re Russ Childs: Russ, Hetherington, and I were assigned the first flight as far west as Hollandia and Humboldt Bay. We were based on an island in east Milne Bay. We drew straws to see who would venture into the bay first. If that pilot found no ships, he was to radio us on CW and we would proceed north and west. Russ Childs got the short straw. I flew around outside the bay and Hetherington proceeded west. There was a full moon and it was almost like daylight. A few minutes after Russ entered Humboldt, I saw 12.7 fire from the east side of the bay. No word from Russ, nothing on the radio, and no change of signal on IFF. A few minutes later my radioman noticed a CW transmission from Childs: “Forced down, Humbo…” He didn’t get the transmission off before he went down. Immediately, I entered the bay and began a search at 200 feet. I turned on my landing light in an effort to assist us in sighting the downed PBY. For 2 hours we searched and I used CW repeatedly, calling to Russ. No answer. It was now 4:30 a.m., increasing daylight, and on the shores of Lake Sintanis, just off the bay, was an airstrip with an estimated 200 Zeros. Also, it was questionable that I had enough fuel to get home. I radioed home base that the search was negative, noted my fuel situation, and got the hell out of there. Hetherington did not aid in the search and Bob Gates was back at the base scheduled to fly the following night. I might add that we were under constant fire (23 holes in my PBY) while in Humboldt and the Navy shoce to award me an Air Medal for my efforts. To further document my account: This was early in our tour on Milne Bay and part of the squadron was still at Perth. Childs was Russell M., same initials as mine. A message received at Perth, relating the loss, was garbled and they read it as RM Ch… Thus the word around Perth was that Chamberlin’s crew was the one lost. It was months before the mistake was corrected. Four members of Child’s crew survived and Dutch missionaries, caputured in Feb. 1942, witnessed their execution and reported that fact to the Navy after the Army captured Hollandia just a few months later. There were even photos, a fact we did not reveal to the men’s families.

      Regards, Bob

      Note my PS on following page.

      An interesting post script to the Childs incident: While we were in Perth my First Pilot, Chick Aldridge, became friends with an Aussie commander who was Exec Officer on an Aussie cruiser. He even had us aboard and for dinner, as they were based at Perth’s port. He heard that we had been shot down and shortly thereafter sailed for sea duty. In 1948 Chick was a LtCmdr based in D.C. as pilot for Gold Braids. Jane and I were in D.C. and visited Chick at his apartment. Shortly before, he was attending an embassy reception when whom should he see but Cmdr now Capt Ross (the Aussie). Our old friend nearly collapsed when he saw Chick. He had never heard the real story of Humboldt Bay.
    LETTER TWO (MEMORIES) - JULY 9TH, 1997 - DEAR GUY,
      I can add a postscript to the reference to Nate Gordon’s rescue mission at Kavieng. He was in VP-34 and our squadrons were together from Norfolk to Panama to New Guinea. We shared common quarters and my Cat was next to Nate’s. When he returned that evening, we sat on our Cats and he told me about his mission. On his last landing, the starboard engine starter failed and a crew member climbed atop the wing and used a hand crank, difficult enough when you are not under fire.

      I told Nate he should receive the Medal of Honor. He discounted that possibility and indeed the Navy recommended the Navy Cross. When the gold braid learned that the Army Air Corps, whose pilots he had saved, was asking for the Medal of Honor for Gordon, the Navy recanted, recommended the highest honor. In less than two months Nate flew to Sydney where ViceAdm Kinkaid, Cmdr 7th Fleet, personally made the award.

      PS #2: Nate became Lt.Gov. of Arkansas under 3 Govs., including Orville Faubus. Later Gordon was indicted for diverting state funds for the construction of a road to his hillside home outside Little Rock.

      I’ve just returned from a visit to Raleigh and Rocky Mount. I spent 2 weeks there and had a great time with my girls and with friends in RM.

      Regards, Bob
    LETTER THREE (MEMORIES) - JANUARY 15TH, 1999 - DEAR GUY,
      The name Wm Miller is not familiar to me, but I recall John McIntire very well. VP-33’s first reunion was in Aug. 1980 at North Island San Diego, and John was there. He moved about so well on the artificial leg that the uninformed would not know of his disability. He died shortly thereafter.

      He was the plane captain for Dick Haase when we were based aboard the seaplane tender USS Tangier (AV-8), at Manus Island. On that fateful mission Haase and a pilot from VP-34, Buskirk, were sent to patrol on station south of Truk, the best fortified of Jap bases. The Navy bypassed it, rather than risk heavy losses. The mission that day was to stand by and attempt to rescue any Air Corps pilots and crew downed during a B-24 attack on Truk. It is a risky assignment, because the PBY, nor any other so-called seaplane, is meant for open water operation, with the takeoff more hazardous than the landing.

      Haase received a message on CW that a B-24 was in trouble and that the pilot was going to order a bail out. Haase tried to convince him that it was better to ditch; parachuting would scatter the crew so badly that rescue would be difficult. They hit the silk and Haase negotiated a successful landing and rescued 2 airmen. Then the trouble began. On take-off just as they were air born, the starboard engine quit—it had sucked water through the air intake. Haase had to fall stall and when they hit, the hull split at the chine in the plane captain’s compartment, and water began to pour in. McIntire descended from his position, grabbed a mattress off a bunk, jammed it into the hole and told Haase he could hold it during take-off. They got the engine started, began their run and were just off the water when the same engine quit and the plane hit the water. McIntire went out through the hole and his leg was severed by the jagged metal. What occurred after was remarkable. VP-34’s pilot landed, rescued Haase’s crew, for his PBY was sinking fast, and somehow they got to McIntire, pulled him aboard and Buskirk got his heavily loaded PBY into the air and returned to base.

      I was standing at the rail on the USS Tangier (AV-8) when they brought McIntire up the ladder on a stretcher. He was in shock, despite the crew’s efforts to minister to him. We didn’t expect him to survive. The USS Tangier (AV-8) had a doctor aboard and he and the corpsman saved John. He was flown some time later to Australia and after several weeks to the States.

      I cannot confirm this but I heard that he was bitter that at no time did Haase even attempt to learn of his condition or to contact him. I do know that at that reunion in San Diego Haase did not speak to John until he went up to Dick just as Haase was leaving the club on the naval base. Haase was one of several pilots who stayed in the service and retired as a Captain. His family was more affluent than most of ours and Haase always had a glorified opinion of himself. Add to that the fact that even the squadron’s Romeo. It is obvious that I didn’t like him, and was not alone in that respect.

      This is the longest missive I have attempted in years and my handwriting reflects that and my age. I have lived far longer than I anticipated and there are times when I think it is too long. At 78 I am a tired old man.

      Regard, Bob

      P.S. It has been along time (28 yrs) since I have experienced weather such as we have now. 14 inches of snow and more falling. O0 and windy and some ice. I’m considering a one way ticket to Miami and then a drive to Key West.
    LETTER THREE (MEMORIES) - FEBRUARY 16TH, 1999 - DEAR GUY,
      A thorough search of dresser drawers, boxes, etc. failed to produce the cadet manual to which I referred. Worse yet, many of the snapshots I had from Panama, New Guinea, Norfolk, seem to have disappeared.

      I carried a collection of photos to the 1980 San Diego reunion, where they were laid out on a table, or tacked to a bulletin board. I knew some had been pilfered, presumably by those pilots who appeared in the pictures. Fine group of pals! I have no idea what has happened to the rest of them.

      The enclosed three are of limited value. The one, taken in Norfolk of my chiefs in May, 1942, shows clearly the location of the homing loop. The other two I enclose to emphasize that indeed there was a time when I was young, and a hell of a long way from Hecla, South Dakota!

    Squadron History:  VPB-33

    Lineage

    Established as Patrol Squadron THIRTY THREE (VP-33) on 1 April 1942.
    Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron THIRTY THREE (VPB-33) on 1 October 1944.
    Disestablished on 7 April 1945.

    Squadron Insignia and Nickname

    VP-33 was destined to become one of ten well-known Black Cat squadrons operating in the South Pacific during WWII. After reaching the combat zone and being assigned its unique mission, the squadron submitted a new design to CNO. This insignia was approved on 17 April 1944. The black cat, the central character of the design, was shown armed with a telescope and depth charge and superimposed on an enlarged cat’s eye. Colors: background, black; eye, orange and lemon yellow; cat, black with yellow outlines; eyeball, yellow; pupil, green; telescope, blue and white; depth charge, light blue with black markings. This insignia was used by the squadron until its disestablishment in 1945.

    Nickname: Black Cats, 1943–1945.

    Chronology of Significant Events

    1 Apr–Jul 1942: VP-33 was established at NAS Norfolk, Va., under the operational control of FAW-5, as a seaplane squadron flying the PBY-5A Catalina. Squadron training was conducted at NAS Quonset Point, R.I., until mid-July.

    9 Jul 1942: Patrol Squadron 52 was withdrawn from NAS Coco Solo, C.Z., and replaced by VP-33. During this period the squadron came under the operational control of FAW-3 and was assigned duties of patrolling convoy routes, ASW patrols and ferrying supplies to advanced bases in the Caribbean.

    10 Jul 1943: VP-33 was relieved at NAS Coco Solo for return to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, and 15 days home leave with orders to report to NAS San Diego, Calif.

    15 Aug 1943: After a brief two-week period of refit with new aircraft and equipment, the squadron departed NAS San Diego, Calif., for transpac to NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii. Upon arrival the squadron came under the operational control of FAW-2 and quickly deployed to Canton Island. VP-33 conducted day searches toward the Gilberts covering the occupation of Baker Island.

    26 Sep 1943: VP-33 was relocated to Funafuti, conducting day searches toward Tarawa.

    26 Oct 1943: VP-33 moved to Perth, Australia, under the operational control of FAW-10. The squadron conducted day searches and night bombing missions to Koepang and Amboina, officially becoming a member of the Black Cat club.

    15 Feb 1944: VP-33 was relocated to Samarai, New Guinea, under the operational control of FAW-17. The squadron was assigned night search patrols and attack missions against enemy shipping in the Bismarck Sea.

    25 Mar 1944: VP-33 was relocated to Manus, in the Admiralty Island chain. There it conducted daylight searches toward Turk and Woleai; bombing missions against Woleai and Wakde; air-sea rescue missions around Truk, Woleai and Yap; and coverage for the invasion of Hollandia.

    19 May 1944: After the occupation of Hollandia, the squadron moved aboard Heron (AVP 2) in Humboldt Bay. With VP-52, the squadron conducted VP-33 was destined to become one of ten well-known Black Cat squadrons operating in the South Pacific during WWII. After reaching the combat zone and being assigned its unique mission, the squadron air-sea rescue for Army strikes on Wewak, Wakde, Biak, Noemfoor, Manokwari, Babo, Jefman and Sagan.

    17 Jul 1944: VP-33 was relocated to Manus to conduct daylight searches and air-sea rescue missions for downed aircrews.

    1 Sep 1944: VP-33 moved to Middleburg Island to conduct night search and attack missions against enemy shipping in the Netherlands East Indies and southern Philippine islands area.

    19 Sep 1944: The squadron was relocated to Morotai with no change in its assigned missions.

    26 Sep 1944: Lieutenant James F. Merritt, Jr., led his Catalina in an attack against two enemy transports and their five armed escorts. The attack was conducted off the southwest coast of Mindanao, Philippines, in hazardous night conditions of bright moonlight and heavy concentrations of antiaircraft fire from the armed escort ships. During his mast head bombing attack his bombs failed to release. He returned, despite the heavy AA fire, and made a successful attack resulting in probable damage to one large transport and the destruction of the other transport. For his actions he was awarded the Navy Cross.

    3 Oct 1944: While patrolling the Toli Toli Bay, Northern Celebes, on a Black Cat mission the night of 3 October, Lieutenant (jg) William B. Sumpter led his PBY Catalina in an attack against a 6,000-ton Katori-class light cruiser. His attack was made during the hazardous conditions of bright moonlight and against constant and intense antiaircraft fire from the cruiser. He scored eight bomb hits resulting in explosions and the burning of the cruiser and its sinking. For his actions he was awarded the Navy Cross.

    23 Oct 1944: VPB-33 was relocated to Leyte to conduct daylight searches for the enemy in the Philippine Sea. The squadron at this time came under the operational control of FAW-10.

    1 Dec 1944: A detachment of four aircraft remained under FAW-10 at Woendi Lagoon. The remainder of the squadron relocated to Los Negros under FAW-17. This group with seven aircraft operated from Emirau and the Green and Treasury islands to conduct ASW patrols and air-sea rescue missions.

    20 Dec 1944: The Woendi detachment returned to Leyte aboard the tender San Carlos (AVP 51). There they were reunited with the rest of the squadron on 10 January 1945, with additional support from USS Tangier (AV-8). Antishipping patrols and Dumbo missions were the order of the day.

    4 Feb–Mar 1945: VPB-33 was relieved for return to the U.S. The squadron flew to Los Negros Island and boarded HMS Tracker on 27 February for return to San Diego, Calif. Upon arrival on 19 March the squadron was assigned temporary quarters and given leave on the 24th.

    10 Apr 1945: VPB-33 was disestablished.

     

    Home Port Assignments

    LocationDate of Assignment
    NAS Quonset Point, R.I.1 Apr 1942
    NAS Coco Solo, C.Z.9 Jul 1942
    NAS San Diego, Calif. Jul 1943
    NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii15 Aug 1943
    NAS San Diego, Calif.19 Mar 1945

     

    Commanding Officers

    NameDate Assumed Command
    LCDR H. D. Hale1 Apr 1942
    LCDR R. C. Bengston22 Dec 1942
    LCDR F. P. Anderson15 Aug 1943

     

    Aircraft Assignment

    Type of Aircraft Date Type First Received
    PBY-5A 1 Apr 1942

     

    Major Overseas Deployments

    Date of DepartureDate of Return WingBase of  Operations Type of Aircraft Area of Operations
    9 Jul 194210 Jul 1943 FAW-3 Coco SoloPBY-5ACarib
    15 Aug 1943*FAW-2 KaneohePBY-5AWestPac
    26 Sep 1943*FAW-2 FunafutiPBY-5ASoPac
    26 Oct 1943*FAW-10 PerthPBY-5ASoPac
    15 Feb 1944*FAW-17 SamaraiPBY-5ASoPac
    25 Mar 1944*FAW-17 ManusPBY-5ASoPac
    19 May 1944*FAW-17 Humboldt BayPBY-5ASoPac
    Heron (AVP 2)
    17 Jul 1944*FAW-17 ManusPBY-5ASoPac
    1 Sep 1944*FAW-17 Middleburg Is.PBY-5ASoPac
    19 Sep 1944*FAW-17 Morotai PBY-5ASoPac
    23 Oct 1944*FAW-10LeytePBY-5ASoPac
    1 Dec 1944 *FAW-10 WoendiPBY-5ASoPac
    1 Dec 1944 *FAW-17 Los NegrosPBY-5ASoPac
    20 Dec 194419 Mar 1945FAW-10 LeytePBY-5ASoPac
    San Carlos (AVP 51)
    USS Tangier (AV-8)
    • Continued combat deployment in the Pacific, moving from base to base.

     

    Wing Assignments

    WingTail CodeAssignment Date
    PatWing-51 Apr 1942
    PatWing-3/FAW-3 *9 Jul 1942
    FAW-14Jul 1943
    FAW-215 Aug 1943
    FAW-1026 Oct 1943
    FAW-1715 Feb 1944
    FAW-1023 Oct 1944
    FAW-17/10 1 Dec 1944
    FAW-1427 Feb 1945

    * PatWing-3 was redesignated Fleet Air Wing-3 (FAW-3) on 1 November 1942.
    † A squadron detachment remained under FAW-10s operational control while the remainder of the squadron was assigned to FAW-17 on 1 December 1944. The detachment returned to the main squadron in late December 1944 and then came under FAW-17’s control.

     

    Unit Awards Received

    Unit AwardInclusive Date Covering Unit Award
    PUC1 Sep 19444 Oct 1944

    Circa 1942

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Op-40-A-KB - (SC)A6-4/VZ - January 6, 1942 - Location of U. S. Naval Aircraft..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/ [23SEP2006]

    VP SQUADRONS MENTIONED

    VP-11, VP-12 and VP-14

    VP-23 and VP-24

    VP-31, VP-32, VP-33 and VP-34

    VP-41, VP-42, VP-43 and VP-44

    VP-51, VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54

    VP-61, VP-62, VP-63

    VP-71, VP-72, VP-73 and VP-74

    VP-81 and VP-83

    VP-91, VP-92 and VP-94

    VP-101

    VP-201, VP-202, VP-203, VP-204, VP-205, VP-206, VP-207, VP-208, VP-209, VP-210, VP-211 and VP-212


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

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Wings - Rear Admiral A. D. Bernhard - August 1942..." Contributed by John Lucas JohnLucas@netzero.com [28DEC2005]

    PATROL WINGCOMMANDING OFFICER
    CPW-3CDR G. L. Compo
    CPW-5CDR G. R. Owen
    CPW-7CDR F. L. Baker
    CPW-9CDR O. A. Weller
    CPW-11CDR S. J. Michael
    SQUADRON
    TENDER
    COMMANDING OFFICER
    VP-31LCDR A. Smith
    VP-32LCDR B. C. McCaffree
    VP-33LCDR H. D. Hale
    VP-34LCDR R. S. Calderhead
    VP-52LCDR F. M. Hammitt
    VP-53LCDR F. M. Nichols
    VP-73LCDR J. E. Leeper
    VP-74LCDR W. A. Thorn
    VP-81LCDR T. B. Haley
    VP-82LCDR J. D. Greer
    VP-83LCDR R. S. Clarke
    VP-84LCDR J. J. Underhill
    VP-92LCDR C. M. Heberton
    VP-93LCDR C. W. Harman
    VP-94LCDR D. W. Shafer
    TENDERCOMMANDING OFFICER
    USS Albemarle (AV-5) 
    USS Pocomoke (AV-9) 
    USS Chandeleur (AV-10) 
    USS Clemson (AVP-17) 
    USS Goldsborough (AVP-18) 
    USS Lapwing (AVP-1) 
    USS Sandpiper (AVP-9) 
    USS Barnegat (AVP-10) 
    USS Biscayne (AVP-11) 
    USS Humboldt (AVP-21) 
    USS Matagorda (AVP-22) 
    USS Rockaway (AVP-29) 
    USS San Pablo (AVP-30) 
    USS Unimak (AVP-31) 

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...San Pablo - A shallow, northern extension of San Francisco Bay in California. (AVP-30: dp. 2,619; l. 310'9"; b. 41'2"; dr. 12'7"; s. 18.5 k.; cpl. 367; a. 2 5", 8 40mm., 8 20mm.; cl. Barnegat) (Squadrons Mentioned: VP-11, VPB-25, VP-33, VP-34, VP-52, VP-101..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s4/san_pablo.htm [25DEC2005]

    San Pablo (AVP-30) was laid down on 2 July 1941 302 by the Associated Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Wash.; launched on 31 March 1942; sponsored by Mrs. W. A. Hall; and commissioned on 15 March 1943, Comdr. R. R. Darron in command.

    Following commissioning and outfitting, San Pablo conducted shakedown in the Puget Sound area and then steamed to San Diego for readiness training. On 15 June, the small seaplane tender departed the west coast and headed for the South Pacific. At Espiritu Santo, San Pablo embarked marines and deck cargo; then proceeded to Noumea, New Caledonia. After offloading there, she went to Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia, to pick up the flight crews and aviation supplies, including spare parts and fuel, of patrol squadron VP-101; then returned to Noumea to commence operations as tender and base for "Black-Cat" (night-fighting, air-search, and reconnaissance) PBM's and PBY's.

    With VP-101 and assigned crash boats, San Pablo formed Task Group 73.1 and established their seaplane base by charting the bay, setting out mooring and marker bouys, and constructing quarters for squadron personnel at nearby Honey Hollow. They also built an advanced base at Samarai, Papua, New Guinea. For the next several months, the "Black Cats" operated from these bases, preying on enemy shipping along the coasts of New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland, and in the Bismarck Sea. They inflicted great losses on inter-island barge traffic as well as to heavy shipping; harassed enemy troops with night bombing and strafing missions; conducted photo intelligence operations; provided at-sea search and rescue support for downed Army fliers and sailors of sunken vessels; and carried high ranking officers, friendly coast watchers, and native guerrilla units.

    While continuously on the alert for enemy air attack, San Pablo sailors worked around the clock to fuel, repair, arm, and control the seaplanes; and to feed and care for their crews. On 9 October, she was relieved by Half Moon (AVP-26) and sailed to Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia for long needed repair, replenishment, and shore leave. She returned to Noumea on 20 December and resumed operations with VP-52. During January 1944, she gave direct support to the force which occupied Finschhafen, New Guinea, and helped to establish a new advance base at Langemak Bay. At times, she also tended the planes of VP-34, then flying rescue missions for the 5th AAF from Port Moresby. She once temporarily based two OS2U scout planes from Boise (CL-47).

    From Langemak Bay, San Pablo's planes helped to prevent the Japanese from supplying garrisons on Rabaul and Kavieng. On 25 February, relieved again by Half Moon, San Pablo returned to Noumea for repairs alongside Dobbin (AD-3). During the work, she assisted in removing a screw from Aaron Ward (DM-34) using her seaplane winch. This speeded repairs to the destroyer-minelayer and allowed her to reach Ulithi in time to prepare for the forthcoming Okinawa campaign.

    By 24 March, San Pablo was conducting operations at Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, with VP-33 and VP-52 planes. They carried out night bombing missions in the Carolines and search flights by day. The pace had so quickened by the end of March that USS Tangier (AV-8) was brought in to help carry the load. On 13 May, they moved to Hollandia to patrol the approaches to Wakde Island prior to Allied landings there. Relieved by Orca (AVP-49) on 26 May, San Pablo then refueled PT boats at Humboldt Bay and transported personnel and cargo between Manus, Seeadler, Emirau, and Wpendi. On 19 August, she commenced ASW patrols with VP-11 planes at Woendi and, during October and November, conducted ASW operations off Morotai and Hollandia. Later relieved by Saw Carlos (AVP-51), she moved to Anibong on Bay, Leyte, to support planes conducting search missions in the Philippines.

    On 8 December, San Pablo received survivors of Mahan (DD-364) who had been picked up by one of her PBM's after that destroyer had suffered three kamikaze hits and sank in Ormoc Bay. She then joined a convoy en route to Mindoro and came under severe attack by suicide planes for ten consecutive days. Most of the kamikazes were beaten off by AA fire from the convoy screen or by CAP planes. However, one hit an ammunition ship which completely disintegrated in a tremendous explosion, and another crashed into a Liberty ship and caused severe damage. On 30 December at Mindoro, a Val barely passed astern of San Pablo and crashed into Orestes (AGP-10), wounding four San Pablo men with shrapnel. On the 31st, a Betty bombed nearby Porcupine (IX-126) and then crashed into Gansevoort (DD-608). Through January and early February 1945, San Pablo made search missions in the South China Sea and along the China coast with VPB-25 and VP-33 squadrons. On 13 February, she was relieved by USS Tangier (AV-8) and returned to Leyte.

    Through April, she escorted LST-777, Chestatee (AOG-49), and various merchant transports between Leyte and Palawan. She then steamed, via Morotai, to Manus. At the end of June, she moved to Samar and the Lingayen Gulf area for air search and rescue operations in the South China Sea-Formosa area. These lasted until 15 August when she received orders to cease offensive operations. On 2 September, the day of Japan's formal surrender ceremony, San Pablo was in Lingayen Gulf providing ASW patrols to cover occupation convoys bound for Japan.

    San Pablo returned to Bremerton, Wash., on 17 November to prepare for inactivation. She moved to Alameda, Calif., on 25 March 1946 and remained idle until placed out of commission, in reserve, on 13 January 1947.

    Following conversion to a hydrographic-survey vessel, San Pablo was reconunissioned on 17 September 1948 at San Francisco, Comdr. T. E. Chambers in command. She conducted shakedown training off San Diego from 29 October to 15 November and was then ordered to report to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. San Pablo reached Portsmouth, Va., on 14 December and completed outfitting prior to sailing on 3 February 1949, in company with Rehoboth (AVP-50) for oceanographic work in the western approaches to the Mediterrannean. Calling at Ponta Delgada, Azores; Plymouth, England; Gibraltar; and Bermuda; she returned to Philadelphia on 18 April. During the remainder of the year, she conducted two similar cruises to survey and measure ocean currents; and, during the last, made a study of the North Atlantic Drift. She included in her ports of call Scapa Flow; the Orkney Islands; Oslo, Norway; and Copenhagen, Denmark. San Pablo was redesignated AGS-30, effective 25 August 1949.

    Beginning 18 January 1950, she conducted a survey of the Gulf Stream; and, from 5 to 26 June, served as Survey Headquarters Ship for a group of American and Canadian vessels engaged in broad coverage behavioral studies of that massive current. After a cruise to Casablanca, French Morocco, in July and August, she returned to the east coast of the United States to conduct survey operations between New London and Key West for the remainder of the year.

    During 1951, San Pablo conducted oceanographic studies during various cruises, ranging from Scotland to the Mediterranean and along the coast in the Narragansett Bay operating area. Her tasks included making accurate profile studies of the ocean bottom for the purpose of evaluating new sonar devices. In 1952, she spent the majority of her time in the North Atlantic, and devoted the latter part of the year to training operations out of Norfolk. From 1953 through 1968, San Pablo alternated between the North Atlantic and the Caribbean conducting studies on salinity, sound reflectivity, underwater photography techniques, deep bottom core sampling, bottom profile mapping, subsurface wave phenomena, and other topics still classified. For several months during 1965, she utilized the port and docking facilities at Rosyth, Scotland, as a temporary home port, courtesy of the British Royal Navy. From 1 January to 29 May 1969, she underwent inactivation at Philadelphia.

    San Pablo was decommissioned on 29 May 1969 and struck from the Navy list on 1 June. After being used by the Ocean Science Center of the Atlantic Commission, Savannah, Georgia, she was sold on 14 September 1971 to Mrs. Margo Zahardis of Vancouver, Wash.

    San Pablo earned four battle stars for World War II service.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Albemarle - DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a5/albemarle-iii.htm [09APR2005]

    Albemarle

    A town and a sound in North Carolina and a county in Virginia. All three were named for General George Monck, the first Duke of Albemarle and one of the original Carolina proprietors

    III

    (AV-5: dp. 8,761; 1. 527'4"; b. 69'3"; dr. 21'11"; s. 19.7 k.; cpl. 1,195; a. 4 5", 8 .50-cal. mg.; cl. Curtiss

    The third USS Albemarle (AV-5) was laid down on 12 June 1939 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 13 July 1940; sponsored by Mrs. Beatrice C. Compton, the wife of the Honorable Lewis Compton, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 20 December 1940, Comdr. Henry M. Mullinnix in command.

    Albemarle remained at Philadelphia, fitting out, through mid-January, 1941. Underway for Newport, R.I., on the morning of 28 January, the seaplane tender arrived at her destination on the 30th, and loaded torpedoes. She sailed the following day for Norfolk, arriving on 1 February, and over the ensuing days remained in that area, loading bombs and pyrotechnics and calibrating her degaussing gear, before she sailed on her shakedown cruise on the afternoon of 6 February, setting course for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    The seaplane tender shifted thence to Havana on the morning of 18 February, and over the days which followed her captain made the usual formal calls dictated by diplomatic protocol. In Havana harbor, Albemarle dressed ship for Washington's Birthday, her 21-gun salute to the American national holiday returned gun-for-gun by the Cuban gunboat Yarn. On the morning of 24 February, the ship got underway for the Canal Zone.

    Diverted while en route, Albemarle anchored in the harbor at San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the morning of 28 February, and that afternoon received the official call of Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, Commandant of the 10th Naval District. That same day, she embarked 91 men from VP-51 and VP-61 from VP-52 for temporary duty and transportation, and sailed for Norfolk, Virginia on the morning of 2 March. While en route, Comdr. Mullinnix was relieved as commanding officer by Comdr. H. B. Sallada.

    Albemarle moored at Pier 7, Naval Operating Base (NOB) Norfolk, Virginia, on the afternoon of 5 March, but lingered there for less than a day, getting underway the following afternoon for Philadelphia. She returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and spent the rest of March there, undergoing post-shakedown repairs.

    The seaplane tender departed Philadelphia on 6 April, and arrived back at Norfolk, Virginia the following afternoon; there she took on board depth charges and depth bombs. She sailed for Newport on the morning of 10 April, and soon after standing out into international waters past the Virginia capes, met her escort for the trip—six "flush-deck" destroyers, one of which was the ill-fated Reuben James (DD-245). That afternoon she fueled two of her escorts, Sturtevant (DD-240) and MacLeish (DD-220) at the same time, the former to starboard, the latter to port.

    Albemarle then anchored in the harbor of refuge, off Block Island, late on the afternoon of 11 April and, accompanied by the destroyer Truxtun (DD-229), calibrated her radio direction finders. She then set out to finish her voyage up the eastern seaboard to Newport, arriving at her destination late on the afternoon of 13 April. She there joined a host of warships, ranging from the battleship Texan (BB-35) and the heavy cruisers Tuncaloosa (CA-37) and Wichita (CA^IS) to old and new-type destroyers and the destroyer tender Prairie (AD-15).

    While Albemarle had been on her shakedown, the United States determination to aid the British in the Battle of the Atlantic had resulted in the establishment, on 1 March, of the Support Force, commanded by Rear Admiral Arthur LeRoy Bristol, to protect the vital lifeline between the United States and Great Britain in the North Atlantic. It was formed around destroyers and patrol plane squadrons; the latter would be tended by small seaplane tenders (ex-destroyers and ex-minesweepers) and Albemarle.

    Over the next few days, the seaplane tender operated in local waters, at Narragansett Bay, off Martha's Vineyard and Quonset Point, Rhode Island, running drills of various kinds and conducting target practices. Rear Admiral Bristol came on board briefly on 28 April and wore his flag in Albemarle; that same day, she embarked her former commanding officer, now Capt. Mullinnix, who was now Commander, Patrol Wing, Support Force; men of VP-56 reported on board in connection with advanced base operations, as did men from VP-55. The following day, the planes from those two squadrons commenced night-flying operations.

    Albemarle, after again wearing Rear Admiral Bristol's flag on 2 May, departed Newport for Norfolk, Virginia on 4 May, arriving the following day. The seaplane tender then cleared the Virginia capes on the morning of 9 May for Newport, and arrived there the following morning. She embarked officers and men of VP-52 on 12 May and then sailed the following morning (13 May) for Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada. Ultimately anchoring in Little Placentia Bay, Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, on the morning of 18 May, Albemarle was soon laying 13 seaplane moorings and gathering data on the weather of the region, establishing the advanced base for VP-52's operations from Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada.

    Over the days that followed, in addition to tending the planes assigned to her, she also fueled a succession of destroyers. On 20 May, she received a visit from not only Rear Admiral Bristol— his first visit to Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, which he later made his headmarters— but Rear Admiral John H. Towers, the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, who both arrived separately in planes from VP-56. Both flag officers departed the following morning.

    Twelve PBYs of VP-52 arrived at Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada from Quonset Point, Rhode Island on 18 May, and immediately commenced familiarization flights in the region—activities which were suddenly cancelled on 24 May. On that day, the German battleship Bismarck, which had left Norwegian waters shortly before in company with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eiu/en on what was to be a raiding cruise into the Atlantic, encountered and destroyed the British battle cruiser HMS Hood. An anxious Prime Minister Winston Churchill, concerned over the convoy routes that lay open to the powerful German battleship, immediately cabled President Roosevelt and requested American help.

    Albemarle quickly refueled the aircraft that had been flying training missions that morning and readied others for the urgent mission. At 1440 the first group of four PBYs lifted off, followed a little less than three hours later, at 1720, by a second flight of seven. The pilots of the "Catalinas" were briefed for a long reconnaissance mission that would take them some 500 miles southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland. They encountered foul weather and very dangerous flying conditions in the course of their extensive searches, did not find their quarry in the murk, and were compelled by the fog and darkness to seek haven at various bays in Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec, and adjoining islands.

    Albemarle remained at Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada until 12 June, when she sailed for Norfolk, Virginia, arriving on the 15th. There she loaded supplies, stores, ammunition and gasoline, before getting underway to return to Newfoundland on 20 June. Escorted there by the destroyer MacLeish, Albemarle touched at Halifax en route (22 June), and then proceeded on to Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, screened by MacLeish and Cole (DD-155), arriving on 24 June. The seaplane tender supported the operations of VP-71, VP-72 and VP-73 until she sailed again for Norfolk, Virginia on 19 July, in company with Dallas (DD-199). Mooring at Pier 7, NOB Norfolk, Virginia on the morning of the 25th, she shifted to the Norfolk, Virginia Navy Yard later that same day and remained there, undergoing an availability, until 12 August.

    Underway on the day, Albemarle, screened by the destroyer Broome(DD-210), sailed for Angentia once more, and reach her destination on the 16th, resuming her support of VP-73. She provided support for seaplane and flying boat operations out of Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada through October, 1941. Clearing Little Placentia Harbor on 1 November, Albemarle sailed for Casco Bay, Maine, arriving there on the 3d; she then pushed on for Norfolk, Virginia, arriving there on the 7th.

    On the day that Japanese planes attacked the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 7 December 1941, Albemarle lay at NOB Norfolk, Virginia, embarking passengers before she was scheduled to get underway for anchorage at Lynnhaven Roads. On Christmas Day, 1941, the seaplane tender got underway for Newport and Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada.

    Ultimately, the ship proceeded to Reykjavik, Iceland, where she would encounter the most severe weather she would see in her career. One particular day, 15 January 1942, was memorable. She set her special sea, anchor and steaming watches and put out both anchors with 120 fathoms of chain on the starboard and 60 to port, with her main engines turning over and steam up on all boilers. The winds were clocked at 71 knots, with occasional gusts of 95, forcing the tender to drag anchor.

    The gale lasted until 19 January, and caused heavy damage among the ship's patrol planes. The ship nearly collided with Wichita on one occasion, and was in danger of fouling several other ships during that time. Her starboard anchor was fouled once, and she lost the port anchor. She ultimately left Reykjavik on 19 January, steaming initially at greatly reduced speed because of the tempest, shaping course for Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, where she would embark passengers for transportation to Norfolk, Virginia.

    Reaching Norfolk, Virginia on 29 January, Albemarle then proceeded to Narraganasett Bay, and there provided tender services to VP-73 as that squadron worked with torpedoes there. On 5 March, Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, made an unofficial call and inspected the ship informally. Albemarle completed her work with VP-73 and remained at anchor in Narragansett Bay until 3 April, when she proceeded to the Boston Navy Yard South Annex for an availability. Her overhaul lasted until 1 May 1942.

    Upon completion of her refit, Albemarle got underway for Newport, on 5 May, and there, over the next few days, degaussed, calibrated her direction finders, and loaded aircraft for transportation to Bermuda. Underway on 15 May with Mayo (DD-422) and Benson (DD-421) as escorts, the seaplane tender reached her destination on the 17th, unloaded the planes she had brought, and immediately set sail for Narragansett Bay.

    Relieving USS Pocomoke (AV-9) in connection with aircraft torpedo and submarine familiarization training, on the 19th, Albemarle remained anchored in Narragansett Bay until 12 August, providing torpedo services for a succession of squadrons: VP-94, VP-34, VP-33 and Torpedo Squadron 4. Underway on 12 August and escorted by the destroyers Livermore (DD-430), Kearny (DD-432) and Rowan (DD-405), the submarine tender sailed for Norfolk, Virginia. After her arrival there, Albemarle conducted gunnery exercises in the Chesapeake Bay operating area.

    Shortly thereafter, escorted by Fletcher (DD-445) and O'Bannon (DD-450), Albemarle sailed for the Canal Zone on 5 September 1942. Damaging her starboard screw at Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone, the seaplane tender was ordered drydocked for repairs; after transiting the Panama Canal for the first time on 15 September, she entered dry dock at Balboa on the following day. Upon completion of repairs, she transported Army troops and marines to Rio Hato, Panama, for two days of joint Army-Navy maneuvers.

    Over the next several months, Albemarle acted as fast transport of aeronautical material and men to naval air bases in the Caribbean and the Pacific coast of South America, as well as in the northern South Atlantic. During this time (September-November 1942), she visited Salinas, Ecuador; the air base at Seymour Island, in the Galapagos Islands; San Juan and Bermuda, primarily operating out of Colon and Balboa and escorted by the seaplane tender Goldsboroygh (AVD-5).

    Relieved on station by the seaplane tender USS Pocomoke (AV-9), Albemarle sailed from the Canal Zone on 13 November 1942, escorted by Goldsborough and the small seaplane tender Matagorda (AVP-22). Proceeding via San Juan, Trinidad and Bermuda, the seaplane tender reached Hampton Roads on 30 November having completed her longest sustained tour of duty outside the continental limits of the United States.

    Over the next seven months, Albemarle shuttled between Norfolk, Virginia and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Trinidad, British West Indies, San Juan, and Bermuda, on eight round-trip voyages. She varied this routine only slightly on the sixth and eighth of these, visiting Recife, Brazil for the first time (17 to 21 April 1943) on the sixth cruise and putting into the Canal Zone on the eighth. Her cargo included aviation gasoline and ammunition. Upon completion of that cycle of operations, she underwent repairs and alterations at the Boston Navy Yard between 15 June and 23 July 1943, departing on the latter date for Norfolk, Virginia, whence she resumed her cargo-carrying and transport run to Trinidad, Recife, San Juan and Guantanamo Bay. On this voyage, her last on this run, she brought back 27 German prisoners of war, survivors of a sunken U-boat.

    Underway from Norfolk, Virginia on 16 September 1943, Albemarle sailed for the British Isles, escorted by the destroyers Bulmer (DD-222) and Barker (DD-213). Proceeding via Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, the seaplane tender reached Swansea, Wales, with aeronautical cargo and passengers on 28 September, the men and freight she carried to support the newly inaugurated antisubmarine operations by patrol squadrons operating from the British Isles. Underway from Swansea on 4 October, she scraped a screw while leaving the harbor, and, after sailing via Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, reached Boston on 15 October. She was drydocked the following day, and the damaged propeller was repaired. Albemarle returned thence to Norfolk, Virginia via the Cape Cod Canal, arriving at Norfolk, Virginia on 18 October.

    Underway on 22 October as part of a task group formed around the escort carrier Croatan (CVE-25) and three destroyers, Albemarle sailed for Casablanca. Routed via Bermuda, the group reached its destination on 3 November. After discharging her cargo and disembarking her passengers, the seaplane tender then sailed for the United States on 10 November with another convoy, this one larger and formed around Croatan and the light cruiser Philadelphia (CL-41), escorted by seven destroyers, and containing Matagorda and three transports.

    Albemarle made a second cruise to Casablanca before the year 1943 was out, underway on 28 November and escorted by the destroyers Barry (DD-248) and Goff (DD-247), and arriving on 7 December. She sailed on the 13th for Reykjavik, and reached that Icelandic port on the 19th. There she embarked men from VB-128 for transportation back to the United States, and proceeded out of Reykjavik on 22 December for Norfolk, Virginia. Battling heavy seas on the return voyage (making only five knots on Christmas Day), Albemarle returned to NOB, Norfolk, Virginia, on the last day of the year 1943.

    Proceeding thence to Bayonne, N.J., on 4 January 1944, for upkeep and availability, Albemarle returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 17 January, and prepared for a voyage to San Juan. While outward-bound, however, on 18 January 1944, the seaplane tender fouled a buoy in a thick fog and put about for repairs. Drydocked on 20 January, Albemarle sailed again for her original destination, San Juan, the following day.

    Subsequently touching at Trinidad, British West Indies and Recife, Brazil, and retracing her path calling at Trinidad, British West Indies and San Juan on the return leg of the passage, Albemarle returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 23 February for availability. She then steamed to Casablanca in company with the amphibious command ship Catoctin (AGC-5) and two destroyers, and, among her passengers on the westward bound trip, were 20 German U-boat sailors, prisoners of war. She arrived back at Norfolk, Virginia on 1 April 1944.

    After upkeep at NOB, Norfolk, Virginia, Albemarle proceeded up to the Naval Supply Depot at Bayonne, where she loaded aviation cargo, between 7 and 13 April. She then sailed, via Norfolk, Virginia, to Guantanamo Bay, Trinidad, the Brazilian ports of Recife and Bahia, and San Juan, ultimately making arrival back at Norfolk, Virginia on 27 May for voyage repairs and upkeep. Loading cargo at the end of that period, including 29 dive bombers, Albemarle again shaped a course for North African waters, the seaplane tender making arrival at Casablanca on 20 June. She proceeded thence to Avonmouth, England, where she loaded cargo and embarked passengers for return to the United States. Underway for Boston on 6 July, she reached her destination on the 13th.

    Albemarle spent the next month undergoing a 30-day availability for repairs and alterations at the Boston Navy Yard. Emerging from the yard on 15 August, the seaplane tender proceeded to Bayonne, to load cargo. Sailing via Norfolk, Virginia, the ship visited the familiar bases at San Juan, Trinidad, British West Indies, Recife, Brazil and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before returning to NOB, Norfolk, Virginia, on 29 September.

    After loading cargo at Bayonne (12 to 17 October), Albemarle headed south for the supply run to San Juan, Trinidad and Recife. Outward-bound the voyage proved uneventful; however, while loading ammunition and cargo at San Juan for the return leg of the voyage, an electrical fire damaged the ship's main distribution board, putting Albemarle's lighting and ventilation systems out of commission. Underway for Hampton Roads on 22 November, the seaplane tender reached Hampton Roads on the 25th, and moored at NOB, Norfolk, Virginia, on the 26th to commence an availability.

    Underway for Guantanamo Bay on the last day of 1944, Albemarle dropped anchor there on 4 January 1945. Reporting to Commander, FAW-11, for temporary duty, she tended VPB-201 and VPB-210 at "Gitmo" until 17 January, when the seaplane tender sailed for Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone, arriving at her destination on the 19th. Thence she sailed for Trinidad, British West Indies where she tended VPB-213 from 1 to 11 February.

    Shifting back to the Canal Zone soon thereafter, Atbemarle commenced tending operations for VPB-214 at Almirante Bay, Panama, on 18 February, and remained engaged in that duty until Washington's Birthday. On 25 February, the ship was designated as flagship for Commander, Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, the day after she cleared Limon Bay for the Galapagos group.

    There, Albemarle tended VPB-74 and VPB-209 from 27 February to 6 March, when the seaplane tender got underway to return to the Canal Zone. She steamed thence to Guantanamo Bay and Norfolk, Virginia, arriving at the latter place on 17 March for an availability that lasted through mid-May 1945.

    Albemarle cleared Norfolk, Virginia on 18 May for New York, laden with cargo, escorted by the destroyers Bernadou (DD-153) and Dallas. Two days later, the seaplane tender sailed for the British Isles in CU-71, a convoy formed around the venerable USAT George Washington. Albemarle's mission was to bring back to the United States those patrol squadrons whose task in the Atlantic had been completed with the end of the war in Europe, and whose presence was required in the still-active Pacific theater. Ultimately, Albemarle reached her destination, Avonmouth, on 30 May, and brought her passengers—men of FAW-7 — back to Norfolk, Virginia on 14 June.

    Albemarle made a second voyage to Avonmouth, sailing from Hampton Roads on Independence Day 1945 and reaching her destination on 13 July. There she embarked 772 sailors and soldiers, the majority of the latter repatriated prisoners of war. Underway on the 17th, the seaplane tender arrived back at Norfolk, Virginia on the 26th.

    Entering the Norfolk, Virginia Navy Yard on 28 July for repairs and alterations to fit her out for duty in the Pacific, Albemarle was in the midst of this availability when the war in the Pacific ended in mid-August, 1945. The Japanese capitulation suspended the work; and, soon thereafter, the orders to the Pacific to tend seaplanes were cancelled.

    Shortly thereafter, however, Albemarle underwent alterations of a different kind, to fit her out for different duty. With repairs carried out to the ventilation and berthing arrangements, the seaplane tender departed Norfolk, Virginia on 25 September with 2,000 Navy replacements embarked, bound for the Canal Zone. She soon reported for duty as a transport under the Naval Transport Service.

    Albemarle cleared Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone, for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but while transiting the Panama Canal suffered damage to her port screw. Reduced to proceeding with a single propeller, the seaplane tender put into San Francisco for repairs. Assigned to the "Magic Carpet" fleet—the ships given the job of returning American veterans home for rotation or discharge—upon completion of her repairs, Albemarle sailed westward, arriving at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 1 November before pushing on for New Caledonia, arriving there on 13 November, eventually arriving at NAS Alameda, California, on 28 November.

    Following a second round-trip voyage to Samar, in the Philippines, and back, Albemarle underwent a three-month overhaul at the Naval Shipyard, Terminal Island, Calif., in preparation for her participation in Operation "Crossroads." The seaplane tender arrived at the Marshall Islands on 4 May 1946, to provide laboratory and base facilities for the technical staff for the operation. On the date of the first test (Able), an air detonation of an atomic device, Albemarle lay 155 miles to the southeast, moored in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands lagoon. Departing there on 3 July, the ship reached Bikini Atoll the following day, and, except for a rehearsal exercise on 19 July, remained moored at Bikini until she departed the lagoon there on the 25th. She observed the second test (Baker) on that day, and after spending a brief period at Bikini departed Kwajalein, Marshall Islands Atoll for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, reaching her destination on 5 August 1946, her part in "Crossroads" completed. She continued on to the west coast, reaching San Pedro on 12 August, and remained there until she sailed for Norfolk, Virginia on 29 October.

    Arriving at Norfolk, Virginia via the Panama Canal on 15 November, Albemarle underwent a six-week overhaul at the Norfolk, Virginia Naval Shipyard. She remained in the Norfolk, Virginia area until she sailed on 3 March 1947 with Commander, Training Command, Atlantic, embarked. Stopping briefly at Key West, Fla., from 6 to 8 March, Albemarle proceeded on down to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, reaching her destination on 10 March for a week's operations there. Clearing "Gitmo" on 18 March, the seaplane tender returned to Norfolk, Virginia on the 21st.

    Departing the Hampton Roads area on 9 April, Albemarle sailed for Boston, arriving at the naval shipyard there on the llth. She remained there until the 21 April, at which time she sailed for Newport, making arrival the same day. Departing Newport on the 23d with ComTraComdLant embarked, Albemarle returned to Norfolk, Virginia on the 24th, remaining in that vicinity, conducting refresher training and routine upkeep, until 30 June, when she sailed for Boston.

    Spending the 4th of July at Boston, Albemarle remained at that port for over a month, shifting to Newport on 5 August and then back to Boston on the 14th, remaining until 2 September, when she sailed for Norfolk, Virginia. She then conducted one more trip to Newport (22 to 31 October 1947) before coming back to Norfolk, Virginia on 1 November. She then underwent a restricted availability at the Norfolk, Virginia Naval Shipyard from 1 December 1947 to 15 January 1948, for "special temporary alterations" in connection with her next operation.

    Albemarle sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on 16 January 1948 for the Canal Zone, and upon completing the transit of the isthmian waterway reported for duty with Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, for temporary duty with Joint Task Force "Switchman." Steaming thence to Terminal Island for final fitting out for her next task at hand, and arriving there on 4 February 1948, Albemarle sailed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 1 March, in company with the radar picket destroyer Rogers (DDR-876), proceeding thence to the Marshall Islands, arriving at Eniwetok on 16 March, to take part in Operation "Sandstone." Specially altered for the task, Albemarle served as the laboratory ship during "Sandstone"—a three-detonation nuclear atmospheric test series— shots "X-Ray" (15 April 1948), "Yoke" (1 May 1948) and "Zebra" (15 May 1948). Departing Eniwetok on 21 May 1948, Albemarle arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the 27th, en route to Oakland, Calif., which she reached on 4 June. Sailing for Norfolk, Virginia on 11 June, she transited the Panama Canal on 20-21 June, and reached her ultimate destination on the 26th. She remained there undergoing overhaul at the Norfolk, Virginia Naval Shipyard until 23 August, when she sailed for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, reaching "Gitmo" on the 27th for a three-day stay. Over the two weeks following her departure from Cuban waters, Albemarle visited Key West, Boston, and Newport before returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 14 September.

    Following an overhaul at Norfolk, Virginia Naval Shipyard, Albemarle stood out of Hampton Roads on 8 February, and over the ensuing weeks visited a succession of ports and operating areas: Key West; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Kingston, Jamaica; and Bermuda, interspersing these port visits with training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Returning to the Norfolk, Virginia Naval Base on 19 March, she remained there into the summer, ultimately sailing for Boston on 13 July for a port visit. Subsequently visiting Newport and New York, Albemarle returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 27 July, and worked in the local operating areas into September. Further operations late in the summer and early fall of 1949 took the ship to Newport, New York, and the Norfolk, Virginia local operating areas. Standing out of Lynnhaven Roads on 2 March 1950, Albemarle subsequently worked out of Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Roosevelt Roads before she visited Martinique'\15-17 March 1950), Grenada (17-19 March), Willemstad, Curacao (20-22 March), and Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic (23-25 March). Stopping briefly at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the ship returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 31 March and remained there until 11 May, when she got underway for the New York Naval Shipyard, arriving there the following day. Attached to the New York Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, the ship was decommissioned on 14 August 1950 and berthed at Brooklyn.

    Shifted to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in February 1956, Albemarle was earmarked for conversion to tend Martin P6M "Seamaster" jet flying boats. She was reassigned from the Atlantic Reserve Fleet to the Commandant, 4th Naval District, for conversion, effective 6 February 1956. Equipped with stern ramps and servicing booms to handle the "Seamaster," as well as a semi-sheltered area and a service drydock, the ship emerged from the conversion possessing the capability to serve as a highly mobile seadrome capable of supporting jet seaplanes anywhere. Albemarle was recommissioned at Philadelphia on 21 October 1957, Capt. William A. Dean in command. After fitting out, she sailed for Norfolk, Virginia on 7 December, and arrived there on the 10th. The ship then sailed for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on 3 January 1958, made port there on the 7th, remaining there for ten days and carrying out shakedown training, before dropping down to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Proceeding thence back to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concluding her shakedown on 21 January, Albemarle steamed thence to San Juan and Trinidad, carrying out tending operations with four squadrons of Martin P5M "Marlin" flying boats and participating in "Springboard" exercises. Albemarle arrived back at Norfolk, Virginia on 9 April, remaining there only five days before proceeding back to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where she remained under overhaul through mid-July. Returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 20 July, the ship got underway for operations in the North Atlantic on 14 August, and ranged as far as the Azores before returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 16 September. Over the next two months, Albemarle operated between Norfolk, Virginia and Bermuda; she rounded out the year at Norfolk, Virginia, arriving there on 19 November and remaining until 2 March 1959.

    Albemarle continued to operate out of Norfolk, Virginia through 1959 and into 1960, although the cancellation of the "Seamaster" program meant that the ship would never service the aircraft for which she had been reconfigured. Her ports and places visited in 1959 encompassed the naval air facility at Patuxent River, Maryland; Pillsbury Sound, in the Virgin Islands; San Juan, and Savannah, Ga.; Halifax and Nova Scotia, Canada; New York City; York-town, Va., Port-au-Prince; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Bermuda. The ship commenced the year, 1960, operating out of San Juan, then moved in succession to Bermuda, back to San Juan, thence to Pillsbury Sound and Grand Turk Island, in the West Indies, thence to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Pillsbury Sound again; thence to San Juan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into March.

    Unloading ammunition at the Naval Weapons Station at York-town, between 12 and 15 July, Albemarle moored at Norfolk, Virginia, commencing preparations for inactivation, from 15 to 18 July, before she proceeded to Philadelphia to unload material. Returning thence to Norfolk, Virginia on 30 July, she continued inactivation preparations through the summer.

    Placed out of commission, in reserve, on 21 October 1960, Albemarle was initially berthed with the Norfolk, Virginia group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet pending her transfer to the Maritime Administration (MarAd) James River Fleet. Placed in the custodial care of MarAd, Albemarle was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 September 1962.

    On 7 August 1964, however, MarAd transferred the ship— earmarked for conversion to a floating aeronautical maintenance facility for helicopters—back to the Navy. On 27 March 1965, the ship received the new name and classification Corpus Christi Bay (T-ARVH-1), and was transferred to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on 11 January 1966.

    Converted at the Charleston (S.C.) Naval Shipyard, the ship emerged from the yard only faintly resembling her former self. Gone was the prominent seaplane ramp, aft, replaced by a built-up superstructure topped by a helicopter landing pad measuring 50 by 150 feet. Previously, damaged helicopters had had to be transported back to the United States for refit; with the advent of this "new" ship type, repairs could be accomplished near the forward areas, damaged helos barged out to the ship and lifted on board by two 20-ton capacity cranes.

    Accepted by MSC in January 1966, Corpus Christi Bay's first commander was Capt. Harry Anderson, who had a crew of 129 men, a fraction of the ship's original complement, under him. Accompanying the ship on her first deployment in support of forces in Vietnam was the Army's 1st Transportation Corps Battalion (Seaborne), 308 aircraft technicians and specialists under the command of Lt. Col. Harry 0. Davis, USA. The ship operated out of Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, during 1966.

    Ultimately determined by MSC to be "in excess of current and future requirements," Corpus Christi Bay was taken out of service and berthed in ready reserve status at Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi Bay (T-ARVH-1) was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 31 December 1974. On 17 July 1975, the ship was sold to Brownsville (Texas) Steel and Salvage, Inc., and was scrapped subsequently.

    VP History ThumbnailCameraUSS Albemarle USS Albemarle (AV-5), 30 July 1943, in what is probably Measure 21 (Navy blue/haze gray) camouflage. (80-G-76629)

    VP History ThumbnailCameraUSS Albemarle USS Albemarle (AV-5), her stem showing the extensive modifications made to enable her to handle the projected Martin PGM "Seamaster" flying boats, in the Azores, 21 August 1958, in this photograph taken by Chief Photographer Leuko. (USN 1044231)


    Circa 1941

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "00DEC41--Patrol Wing Three - NAS Coc Solo, Panama: VP-31 n/a, VP-32 n/a Caribbean, and W. Indies, VP-33 n/a Arrived in the New Guinea in 6/43..."

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "00DEC41--Order of Battle December 1941 Patrol Wing Three - NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone VP-31 n/a, VP-32 n/a Caribbean, and W. Indies, and VP-33 n/a Arrived in the New Guinea in 6/43..."


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