Circa 1952 "...ANDERSON, CAPTAIN F. P...Regret to report death of my father, Capt. F.P. Anderson, USN (Ret.), CO VP/VPB-33, on 2 January 2005 at age 89. 27 AUG 1915 - 2 JAN 2005 - Fernald P. (Flip) Anderson, 89, a decorated Navy captain whose flying squadron amassed a distinguished World War II record, died January 2 of cardiac arrest at his home in Arlington. Deployed to the Southwest Pacific from September 1943 to February 1944, Capt. Anderson held several leadership positions in VPB-33, a squadron that flew PBY-5 Catalina seaplanes referred to as "Black Cats" for their black non-reflective paint and the ability to attack Japanese strongholds and ships at night deep behind enemy lines. During September 1944 while Capt. Anderson was the Commanding Officer, VPB-33 sank or destroyed 103,500 tons of valuable enemy shipping and damaged an additional 53,000 tons. This was the highest one-month total achieved by any WW II flying unit. For this feat, the squadron received the Presidential Unit Citation and Capt. Anderson was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat "V". It was also during this period that Captain Anderson earned personally the Distinguished Flying Cross for attacking and sinking a Japanese tanker and its escort despite intense antiaircraft fire damaging his aircraft. A longtime Arlington resident, Fernald Philip Anderson was born in New Sweden, Maine. He was the first young man from this Swedish community in northern Maine to attend the U.S. Naval Academy graduating in 1939. For the next two years, Capt. Anderson served in the surface Navy as a gunnery officer. In September 1941, he was detached from the battleship, USS ARKANSAS, with orders to report to NAS Pensacola, Florida, for flight training. Designated a Naval Aviator on May 8, 1942, Capt. Anderson was assigned to VP-33 as it was forming in NAS Norfolk, Virginia. In August 1942, VP-33 was ordered to the Panama Canal Zone and participated in anti-submarine operations protecting the Panama Canal. For his conduct during this deployment, Capt. Anderson was awarded the Cross of Boyaca by the Government of Columbia. Now re-designated VPB-33, the squadron deployed to the Southwest Pacific via Hawaii and Australia in August 1943. The squadron participated in every campaign in this combat theater of operations until February 1945 following the liberation of the Philippines. In addition to the combat sorties deep into enemy territory, these operations included regular daytime patrols and rescue missions As reported in the 1992 book, Black Cats with Wings of Gold by A. J. Mueller, VPB-33 "became the most highly decorated squadron in the Pacific Area of Operations". The exploits of VPB-33 were the subject of a 1999 Birds of a Feather video production entitled "Black Cats" that has been aired on various cable television channels. Following his return to the United States in March 1945, Capt. Anderson served in several aviation training assignments, most notably as Executive Officer, NAS Brunswick, Maine. In February 1948 he reported for duty at Air (sic) Early Warning Squadron One (VPW-1), NAS North Island, San Diego, California, as the Executive Officer. VPW-1 was the Navy's first dedicated land-based airborne early warning (AEW) squadron flying the Navy's variant of the Army Air Forces radar-equipped EB-17G or PB-1W. After a tour of shore duty at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., as Program Officer and Atomic Energy Commission Liaison, Capt. Anderson returned to flying in June 1952 when he became the first Commanding Officer of the new AEW Squadron One (VW-1). During Capt. Anderson's tour, VW-1 participated in combat operations in Korea and transitioned from the PB-1W to the Lockheed Constellation (WV-2) in December 1952. Capt. Anderson returned to Washington, D. C., in July 1954 and was assigned to the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. From August 1956 to July 1957, he was a student at the National War College, Fort Leslie J. McNair. After tours in Norfolk, Virginia, on the staff of the Commander, Naval Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, and Commander-in-Chief, NATO's Atlantic Command, Capt. Anderson returned to Washington when he was appointed the Director of the Navy's Astronautics Operations Division serving as the Navy's liaison with NASA's Project Mercury and the original 7 astronauts.. This office was instrumental in the early days of the U.S. space program. From 1962 to 1965, Capt. Anderson served on the staff of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. On July 1, 1965, he retired from the Navy after 26 years commissioned service. Effective September 1, 1970, after working as a research and systems analyst with a defense contractor, Capt. Anderson was recalled to active duty as Director, Navy Council of Personnel Boards. In this position, he served also as the President, Navy Discharge Review Board and Navy Clemency and Parole Board. His duties were expanded in 1975 to include Director, Office of Naval Disability Evaluation. Retiring for the second time in 1976, Capt. Anderson was awarded his second Legion of Merit for his performance of duty during this period. In retirement, finally, Capt. Anderson remained in Arlington, Virginia, where he was active in community and business affairs for many years. He was a deacon in the Memorial Baptist Church and was church clerk for 36 years. Capt. Anderson also was a member of the church choir and served as the interim choir director for a period during the 1970's. An active member of the Arlington Host Lions Club, he was also the secretary of U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1939 and served as class president from 1980 to 1986. Beginning in 1976, Capt. Anderson was a tax consultant affiliated with the Executive Tax Service of H&R Block. In 1981, he was appointed the Director of H&R Block's Premium Tax Service for Arlington, a post he held until 2002. Capt. Anderson was very proud of his Swedish heritage. In 1959, he was awarded the Royal Order of the Sword (Knight Commander) by the King of Sweden in appreciation of services rendered as escort officer for Admiral Stig Ericsson, Commander-in-Chief, Royal Swedish Navy, during a visit to the United States in 1958. In addition, Capt. Anderson was deeply touched and honored when the citizen's committee from New Sweden, Maine, asked him to be the Grand Marshall in the community's centennial parade in 1970 as his grandfather was one of the founders of the town. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Carolyn R. Anderson, of Arlington; two sons, Philip R. Anderson M.D., of South Berwick, Maine, and Colonel William T. Anderson USMC (Ret.), of Casteau, Belgium; a sister, Enid Olivenbaum, of Clermont, Florida; and five grandchildren...Earlier, Dad and Mom were interviewed for video, Birds of a Feather, by Wings Production Group, a couple of years ago. Dad and spouse were interviewed for video, Birds of a Feather, by Wings Production Group, a couple of years ago. Colonel Bill Anderson, Retired email@example.com..." [PIX Added 19SEP2007 | Memorial Listing 17FEB2005 | 11MAY2003]
ANDERSON, W. A. WAWAA@alltel.net "...I was a member of a PBY5a crew assigned to VPB-33. On June 16, 1944 we picked up a F4U pilot down at sea off of Midway. Our Plane Commander was LT(jg) Brown. I also flew in a PBY5a with LT(jg) Ben. I served out with FAW-2 from 1942 through 1944. I remember a Shipmate by the name of H. J. Hanson. Is anyone still around?..." [18MAR2001]
"...CAREL, ENSIGN Walter Leo...My Father, Walter L. Carel, served with VP-33 until his PBY was involved in a Mishap in the south pacific on September 8th, 1944 (Dad was seriously injured). It is with a great degree of sadness that I inform you of his passing on December 24th, 2009. He was part of that greatest generation that is regrettably losing its members. At his memorial service I bid farewell with the following: And the old men still answer the call, But as year follows year, more old men disappear. Someday no one will march there at all..." Contributed by Michael W. Carel firstname.lastname@example.org [07AUG2010]
"...CHAMBERLIN, LCDR Robert M. "Bob"...LCDR Robert (Bob) M. Chamberlin (1920-2013) of VP-33 is rotated home. Bob served as pilot of plane 67 in VP-33 from NAS Norfolk, Virginia to NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone to NAF Biak Atoll, Schouten Islands, Dutch New Guinea to Perth from 1942-1943. Hew flew 37 missions. He served in the SD state legislature from 1955-1961. He ran for Governor in 1966 and 1968. Above all else he was a loving family man. Full throttles, pull the yoke, and up to the sky..." Contributed by Guy Chamberlin email@example.com [12SEP2013]
CHAMBERLIN, LT Robert M. c/o nephew Guy Chamberlin firstname.lastname@example.org
JOHNSON, Lloyd (Swede) [Deceased] c/o His Daughter Jane Martin email@example.com "...My dad, Lloyd (Swede) Johnson, served in the United States Navy as a pilot with VP-33 during WW II from 1941-1946. He married my mom Susuan Hayes. She was a navy nurse on the hospital ship USS Tranquility (AH-14) in the south pacific. I would like information regarding my dad during the war. He died in 1977 and I would like to give information to my sons..." [22SEP2002]
LEWELLYN, CAPT Richard F. https://naval-air.org/flightlog/moreinfo.asp?UID=320 "...CAPT Richard F. Lewellyn, USNR - NFL Number: 320 - Date of Birth: 6/1/1920 - Date In: 1/1/1942 - Date Out: 1/1/1965 - City, State: Marietta, GA - School Attended: Allegheny College - Aircraft Flown: PBY-5, P2V-5F, R5D - Ship or Unit: VPB-33 1/1/1943, VP-7, XO 1/1/1956 and OPNAV (OP-01R) 1/1/1962 - Pilot Desg.: Patrol Plane Cdr - Theaters, Campaigns, etc.: S.Pac.,Philippines - Associations/Service Organizations: Ret. Officers Assn Assn of Nav Aviation Nav Av Museum Fdn - Highest personal decoration or award: Air Medal w/4 Goldstars - In Memoriam? No..." [10DEC2005]
LOFTUS, CDR Edson G. https://naval-air.org/flightlog/moreinfo.asp?UID=817 "...CDR Edson G. Loftus, USN - NFL Number: 817 - Date of Birth: 6/27/1920 - Date In: 1/13/1941 - Date Out: 6/1/1962 - City, State: Pensacola, FL - Aircraft Flown: PBM, PBM-5A, R4D, SNB, TBM - Ship or Unit: VPB-211, USS Saipan and VP-33 - Pilot Desg.: Patrol Plane Cdr - Theaters, Campaigns, etc.: South Atlantic - Associations/Service Organizations: Ret. Officers Assn - Mariner-Marlin Assn - Significant Achievements: Approximately 4,500 hours of flight time; 6 arrested landings. In Memoriam? No..." [11DEC2005]
McINTIRE, John Fred c/o His Son Jim McIntire JFMcINTIRE@aol.com "...I'm looking for information about my father, John Fred McIntire, who served in the Pacific in VP-33 during WWII. He had graduated from NTS, Norfolk in 1941. His plane, a PBY 5 or 5A, crashed in the ocean during a rescue mission attempt (perhaps 25 April 1944). He was critically injured and ended up in Naval Hospital in Philadelphia where he stayed and where I still live. Any info would be helpful..." [16MAR98]
MILLER, William G. (Bill) Jr. c/o His Son Bill Miller firstname.lastname@example.org "...My father, William G.(Bill) Miller, Jr., was a PBY5 plane captain with VP-33 in the Pacific. I am eager to hear from anyone having information on either VP-33 or my dad. His home state was Illinois, in case that helps..." [05NOV98]
"...I recently requested help in obtaining information about my father (VP-33--William G. "Jaybird" Miller) and received good info from Guy Chamberlin...Thanks!...Bill Miller email@example.com" [15FEB99]
"...NEEDHAM, William O. (Deceased)...I am the son of William O. Needham. He served in VP-5, VP-33, and VP-54. He was killed when I was only seven yers old. If anyone served with him could you please get in touch with me. I just would like to find out more about him. Thanks for this great site...His Son William O. Needham firstname.lastname@example.org..." [E-Mail Updated 26MAR2004 | 17OCT2002]
"...Just to let you know that I received a letter from an old Navy pilot that flew a DC 3 with my dad down to south America. He even sent me a copy of the log book. Just today I received a email from a Tim Smith who thinks he might know where my dad's plane wreck if located. He is in the process of obtaining permission from the government because the wreck lies on government property. God bless all those that have been helped and comforted. Bill Needham..." [26MAR2004]
"...Papers of Lieutenant William O. Needham, 1930-1988..." http://www.history.navy.mil/ar/nov.htm [02OCT2001]
William O. Needham was born on 20 July 1911 in Ivor, Virginia. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the Navy and attended basic training at Hampton Roads Naval Training Station in Virginia. Aviation General Utility training followed at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and in February 1931 he was assigned to Hampton Roads Naval Air Station for duty. From August 1931 to January 1932 Needham attended the Parachute Material School at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey before returning to Hampton Roads.
In April 1932, he completed the Bureau of Navigation's Aviation Machinist's Mate training course. The following year he was reassigned to USS Memphis. Except for a temporary duty assignment at San Diego Naval Air Stationin June 1933, Needham served on Memphis until August 1934. While onboard, he was advanced to the rating of Aviation Machinist's Mate Third Class (AMM3). From August 1934 until December 1935, Needham was assigned to USS Marblehead. He was again promoted on 18 November 1935, being appointed AMM2.
Needham returned to shore duty in 1936, first at the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, Rhode Island. From March 1936 until May 1937, he was assigned to Pensacola Naval Air Station in Floridafor Naval Aviation Pilot training. While at Pensacola, his next promotion was approved, and Needham was appointed Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class in March 1937.
Having completed his training and been designated a Naval Aviation Pilot, Needham departed Pensacola in May 1937. He arrived at the San Diego Receiving Ship the following month, en route to duty with Patrol Squadron Five in the Panama Canal Zone.
Needham spent nearly four years with various patrol squadrons, serving in Patrol Squadron 33 and Patrol Squadron 54 after leaving Patrol Squadron Five in July 1939. In June 1940, while assigned to Patrol Squadron 33, he was advanced to the rating of Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate.
Beginning in 1941, Needham had duty with Support Force, Atlantic Fleet. Now an Acting Warrant Machinist, he was ordered to USS Prairie in May. Reassigned to Task Force 24 in March 1942, his appointment as a warrant officer was confirmed in June of that year. The following month, he was promoted to the rank of Ensign for temporary service.
His assignment to USS Prairie ended in December 1942, and Needham reported to Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington, DC. On 1 May 1943 he was appointed Lieutenant (jg) for temporary service, and just 17 days later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Well thought-of by his superiors, Needham was recommended for a permanent commission and continued service as an officer. His career was cut unfortunately short when he was killed in a plane crash near Beltsville, Maryland on 17 May 1945.
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains copies of official documents, clippings, and some personal correspondence regarding Lieutenant William O. Needham. It is arranged into three series.
Series I, Service Record, contains copies of official documents from Needham's service record. Included are documents relating to his training, duty assignments, promotions, and summaries of his service. The documents are arranged chronologically.
In Series II, Correspondence, are letters to his wife, Therese, from a family friend and the Department of the Navy following her husband's death. Also in this series are letters from Needham's son, William Needham Jr., seeking information about his father's death. They are arranged in chronological order. The originals of these letters are fragile. Reference copies have been made and are to be used by researchers.
Series III, Miscellaneous, contains clippings about the crash in which Lieutenant Needham died and two quarterly reports from Anacostia Naval Air Station for 1945.
PERKINS, ARM3 A. L. email@example.com "...Spent 28 months in South Pacific (WW2) with VP-33 at NAS Seattle, Washington in 1941. At that time VP-33 was a PBY patrol squadron. Flights from NAS Seattle, Washington to Dutch Harbor, Alutians, etc. Instructor at NAS Hutchinson, Kansas on return from duty in South Pacific. 1944. PB4Y1 (Navy Version of B-24. Love to hear from Shipmates..." [15AUG2001]
RAGSDALE, Homer C. c/o His Sons Harry Ragsdale DRags65860@aol.com or Randy Ragsdale firstname.lastname@example.org "...My dad (Homer C. Ragsdale) was CO of VP-2 around 1966. We lived off the third tee of the naval golf course a NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. If any one remembers my dad, please email...also served with VPB-11 and 33 in the late 1940's amd 50's, VPB-100, VP-AM-4 and VP-741..." [E-Mail Updated 11JAN2011 | E-Mail Updated 07JUL2002 | E-Mail Updated 26MAY2001 | BIO Updated 11JUN2000 | 08JUN2000]
TWEDT, AT Lloyd email@example.com "...I served with VP-33 NAS Norfolk, Virginia from September 1948 to September 1949. From September 1949 to February 1950, I was sent to AT School in Millington, TN at which time VP-33 was disestablished and I was transferred to VP-49 NAS Norfolk, Virginia. The squadron was moved to NAS Bermuda in 1951. I served as Radar Operator on Nine Boat (EA-9) until I left in September 1952. I used to hear from Ken Schroder but lost contact several years ago. I was in contact and visited with Don (D.E.) Tucker in GA until he paassed away a couple of years ago. Would like to hear from old Shipmates..." [05JAN2004]
"...THOMPSON, Edson B...My father, Lt. Edson B. Thompson served in VPB-33 in the Pacific in World War II. He passed away on January 28th, 2002. He wanted me to notify those who still remain from his old squadron..." Contributed by Jim Thompson JThompson@riverton.com [31JAN2002]
"...WALSH, Joseph A...South Side 'Black Cat' dies - Sunday, October 9, 2005 - By William Lee - Staff writer. If you were in a Japanese warship roaming the Pacific Ocean during World War II, you didn't want these "Black Cats" crossing your path. On dark nights during the war, Navy radioman and South Sider Joseph A. Walsh, along with members of his VPB-33 — known as the Black Cats — blasted enemy ships. During their first five weeks of duty, the squad flying big, clunky patrol bombers sank 43 Japanese ships, including a destroyer, and damaged 20 more. At the end of the war, Mr. Walsh got married, started a family and began his 25-year career as an engineer at WBBM-TV studios in Chicago. On Sept. 25, Mr. Walsh died at his Beverly home after a yearlong battle with prostate cancer. He was 83. Family members say the South Side boy who grew up in St. Laurence parish always was ready to share stories of his night patrols where he risked life and limb. "He was proud of the things he did," said his son Joseph Jr. "I can remember him telling about him patrolling at night and the stuff that happened." Born and raised in the Grand Crossing community, the Mount Carmel High School graduate, spurred by the attack on Pearl Harbor, enlisted in the Navy. After attending a radio training school at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Mr. Walsh was sent to the Squad 33, nicknamed the Black Cats. His squad patrolled the night skies in their black flying boats that Mr. Walsh called "flying boxes" because of their bulky appearance. The unit patrolled hundreds of miles of the Pacific in the Philippines and Solomon islands, doing reconnaissance and bombing runs. There was much danger with flying in the unit. "The PBY was very slow-moving, and they were sitting ducks for Japanese fighters," Joseph Jr. said. Unit flyers also sometimes had to land their planes on the water in pitch black conditions to receive fuel and supplies from seaplane tender ships. The squad sank or damaged an estimated 157,000 tons of enemy shipping. This caught the notice of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who reportedly noted their "brilliance." For his exploits with the Black Cats, Mr. Walsh won five medals, including three air medals and a Presidential Unit citation, awarded for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. Mr. Walsh married his sweetheart, Jeanette O'Hara, in 1946. Just before buying a house in the Avalon Park community where his seven children would eventually live, Mr. Walsh got a job as a stationery engineer at CBS Studios. For at least 25 years, Mr. Walsh handled air conditioning, heating and plumbing projects for the company before retiring in 1985. He also was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399. After his retirement, Mr. Walsh became active in his church choir at Christ the King parish. He also spent his days reading book after book, many that documented the war in which he fought. Mr. Walsh also kept in touch with his Black Cat buddies, attending reunions in Florida and reading a regular newsletter. Mr. Walsh is survived by his three daughters, Mary Pat, Jean Marie and Maggie Walsh; four sons, Joseph Jr., Thomas, Philip and Michael; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a brother and sister. His wife died in 1997. Funeral arrangements were handled by Brady-Gill-Heeney Funeral Home..." WebSite: Daily Southtown Newspaper http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsnews/093nd1.htm [07NOV2005]
"...WOODEN, CDR William W...My Father, William W. Wooden, passed away December, 29, 2011. Dad enlisted in the U.S. Navy at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia in 1939 as apprentice seaman and served in each enlisted grade. He served aboard the USS Arkansas (BB-33) and USS Wyoming (BB-32). Dad graduated from Lighter than Air Maintenance School, NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey and NAS Pensacola, Florida as a Naval Aviation Pilot on May 1942. Dad then reported for duty with the VP-33 Black Cat Squadron. Dad commanded rescue missions, patrolling the battlefield and witnessing ground action during the Biak campaign. During this campaign, he landed and rescued downed pilots from the ocean. He was promoted from Ensign to LT(jg). He then served at NAS Jacksonville, Florida as flight Instructor in patrol type aircraft from October 1944 to February 1947. He then served with VR-24 as a plane commander supporting Commander Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean 1947-1949, then promoted to LT and transferred to NAS Jacksonville, Florida in 1951. He was assigned to USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) and completed three Mediterranean cruises and ordered back to NAS Jacksonville, Florida as Special Services Officer, then ordered to NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he served as Deputy Commander for Security Forces during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He retired in July 1966..." Contributed by Family firstname.lastname@example.org [04FEB2012]
"VP-33 Summary Page"