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HistoryVP-49 HistoryHistory

Circa 1989

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation November-December 1989 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 29, 31 and 33 - Naval Aviation News - November-December 1989..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1989/nd89.pdf [22OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation July-August 1989 "...Awards - Change-Of-Command - Page 26, 29, and 31 - Naval Aviation News - July-August 1989..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1989/ja89.pdf [22OCT2004]

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Circa 1988

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation September-October 1988 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 28 to 30 - Naval Aviation News - September-October 1988..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1988/so88.pdf [21OCT2004]

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Circa 1987

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation July-August 1987 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 29 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - July-August 1987..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1987/ja87.pdf [20OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March-April 1987 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 31 - Naval Aviation News - March-April 1987..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1987/ma87.pdf [20OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation January-February 1987 "...Tracing Squadron Lineage - Page 22 to 26 - Naval Aviation News - January-February 1987..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1987/jf87.pdf [20OCT2004]

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Circa 1986

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation July-August 1986 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 36 and 39 - Naval Aviation News - May-June 1986..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1986/ja86.pdf [19OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-49 Logo ThumbnailCameraVP-49 Logo "...VP-49 UNITAS XXVII Patch..." Contributed by McCRARY, CDR Jim Retired 17915mcc@mn.state.net [17JAN2003]


Circa 1985

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation May-June 1985 "...Awards - Page 38 - Naval Aviation News - May-June 1985..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1985/mj85.pdf [18OCT2004]

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Circa 1983

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraP-3 Line-up! "...VP-5, VP-16, VP-24, VP-45, VP-49 and VP-56 P-3 aircraft lined up in NAS Jacksonville, Florida Circa 1986..." Contributed by NICKLAW, Jeffrey aswoc88@gmail.com [07JUN2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation November-December 1983 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 29 - Naval Aviation News - November-December 1983..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1983/nd83.pdf [17OCT2004]

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Circa 1982

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation September 1982 "...Records - Change-Of-Command - Page 44 and 46 - Naval Aviation News - September 1982..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1982/sep82.pdf [16OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation August 1982 "...P-3 Orion Twenty Years Young - Page 14 to 18 - Naval Aviation News - August 1982..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1982/aug82.pdf [15OCT2004]

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History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail 

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1982 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 20 and 45 - Naval Aviation News - April 1982..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1982/apr82.pdf [15OCT2004]

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Circa 1981

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1982 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 20 and 45 - Naval Aviation News - April 1982..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1982/apr82.pdf [15OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1981 "...Awards - Records - Change-Of-Command - Page 28 to 30 - Naval Aviation News - December 1981..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1981/dec81.pdf [14OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation November 1981 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 53 to 54 - Naval Aviation News - November 1981..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1981/nov81.pdf [14OCT2004]

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Circa 1980

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-49 History "...December 1980 (returning from NAS Bermuda) VP-49 9 P-3 Plane Formation over NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." Contributed by TEED, Dave dbt1957@gmail.com [05JAN2011]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-64 Deployment - May/June 1980...(Squadrons Mentioned: VP-5, VP-11, VP-45, VP-49, VP-62 and VP-93)..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [03DEC2005]

During May and June, VP-64 conducted Active Duty for Training (ACTDUTRA). It was a complex deployment that was unparalleled in the history of Patrol Squadrons. It involved the deployment site, NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and three detachments: NAS Bermuda; NS Roosevelt Roads, PR; and Howard AFB, Panama. In fact, a review of the deployment schedules of the squadrons that comprise Patrol Wing 5 and Patrol Wing 11 (Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, Volume 2) reveals that none of those squadrons had more than a three-site split deployment. VP-5 (in 1997) and VP-10 (in 1998) deployed to NAS Keflavik, Iceland, NS Roosevelt Roads, PR, and Panama. In 1990, VP-49 deployed to NAS Keflavik, Iceland, NS Roosevelt Roads, PR, and NAS Bermuda.

In May 1980, the CO of the squadron was CDR Ken Wall, a legend in the VP Navy. The initial planning called for the squadron deployment at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and a detachment at NAS Bermuda. The primary purpose was to conduct ASW operations. The first echelon of VP-64 (even numbered crews) was deployed on May 2 to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and supported the VP-11 Bandits (which itself was on a split deployment between NS Rota, Spain (CTG-84.3) and NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal (CTG-84.2)). A detachment was sent to NAS Bermuda to support Patron Bermuda which was the VP-49 Woodpeckers. Later in the deployment, a detachment was sent to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and another detachment was sent to Panama via NS Roosevelt Roads, PR.

At the time of the deployment, CTG-84.2 and Patron Bermuda were primarily conducting ASW operations against Soviet Union Yankee-class SSBNs in their Atlantic patrol box east of Bermuda. The ASWOCs in both NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and NAS Bermuda coordinated the ASW operations to ensure that patrol aircraft of the various squadrons were "on top" of the Soviet Union SSBNs constantly.

I was in Crew 6 and was in the initial NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal echelon. One of the first things we did was to go to Praia and check on George the Crook to see if he sustained any damage from the earthquake that struck the island of Terceira several months earlier. The Cafe Azores was not damaged and George the Crook was fine.

During this deployment, Crew 6 consisted of the following:

      PPC CDR Joe Gareffa       SS1 AWCS Larry Robideau
      PPC LCDR Ken Giacin       SS2 AW1 Jim Wilkinson
      TC CDR Lou DiLullo       SS3 AW2 Joe Dolan
      NAV LCDR Jim Neve       Ord AO1 Pete McCaughley
      FE AD1 Dave Fuchs       FCO AT1 Walt Eife IFT AT2 Al Bunting
Operating out of NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, Crew 6 flew ASW sorties, some beginning and terminating at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, and one sortie beginning at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and terminating at NAS Bermuda; another sortie took us back to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal after a RON in Bermuda.

During the deployment at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, Crew 6 got some time off between flights that allowed us to check out island. We met an Air Force Sgt. Henry Carpenter who had a pickup truck and he took us on a tour of the island to survey the earthquake damage.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History USAF Sgt. Henry Carpenter (driving) with AD1 Dave Fuchs and AO1 Pete McCaughley and the rest of us in the back.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Earthquake Damage Tour (1980). Left-to-Right: AW1 Jim Wilkinson, AO1 Pete McCaughley, AWCS Larry Robideau, AD1 Dave Fuchs, AW2 Joe Dolan, AW2 Delgado and AT1 Walt Eife.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Sr. Jose Teolonis de Azlvedo and His Extended Family - We rescued the grandfather (on crutches in the back) when his power cart broke down on the road far from his home. We took him and his cart home and his family showed their appreciation by serving us wine.

Later in May, the squadron received an additional assignment that required deployment of an aircraft and support personnel to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR. The NS Roosevelt Roads, PR detachment (with Crew 6) was given the task of providing support (sweeping operations) for the USS Nimitz task group. The task group was returning to the US after an extended deployment to the Persian Gulf after the abortive attempt to rescue the hostages the Iranians were holding after their capture of the US Embassy. Crew 6 and the VP-64 detachment flew directly to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal.

We joined up with aircraft from VP-45, VP-62, and VP-93 to form "Patron Roosevelt Roads". Together, we provided continuous sweeping in advance of the task group as it made its way from the South Atlantic towards its home port of Norfolk, VA. With the four aircraft from the four different squadrons for the operation, we managed a lot of time off to enjoy Puerto Rico and beach and fishing/boating using equipment available at the base marina.

The day before the detachment was to return to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, another VP-64 aircraft arrived from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal stopped over at NS Roosevelt Roads, PR and picked up part of our detachment (ground support personnel) and continued on to Howard AFB, Panama where they set up another detachment for operations out of Panama.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "Patron Roosevelt Roads" May-1980 with P-33s from VP-62, VP-45, and VP-93 Lined Up on the Tarmac - The shadow of the VP-64 aircraft is shown in the foreground.z

History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Roosevelt Roads Detachment Enjoying the Ambiance of the Enlisted Beach. Note AD1 Dave Fuchs Prominently in the Foreground.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Crew 6 Enjoyed a Day of Fishing and Swimming at Green Beach, Vieques.

After the USS Nimitz had finished transiting our area, we disbanded our detachment and returned to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal where we continued ASW operations until the end of our deployment. For Crew 6, it was one cruise, at three diverse places, and many interesting missions.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History A Flyby by Crew 3 of the USS Nimitz Returning from the Persian Gulf - May 1980. Photo by AT1 Walt Eife.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation September 1980 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 3, 29, and 31 - Naval Aviation News - September 1980..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1980/sep80.pdf [12OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation August 1980 "...Change-Of-Command - Page 30 - Naval Aviation News - August 1980..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1980/aug80.pdf [11OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation May 1980 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 30 and 31 - Naval Aviation News - May 1980..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1980/may80.pdf [11OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Patrol Squdron Forty-Nine Bermuda 80 Cruisebook" [04AUG99]

History of Patrol Squadron Forty-Nine
VP-49 P3

Patrol Squadron FORTY-NINE, known as the "World Famous Woodpeckers", and presently home based at the NAS Jacksonville, Florida, was initially designated Patrol Squadron NINETEEN when commissioned in February 1944. The original squadron consisted of twelve men and no planes. Today, the husky offspring consist of over 370 officers and men flying the sophisticated computerized P-3C "Orion" aircraft.

One month after commissioning the squadron was conducting missions within 10 miles of the Japanese mainland. Shortly thereafter, in support of the lwo Jima Campaign, the squadron's flying boats, P-5 Marlin, conducted a series of operations in the South Pacific including assistance in "Operation Crossroads" at Bikini Atoll, In 1946, the squadron was ordered to report to Norfolk, Virginia, where it operated for two years as Medium Sea Plane Squadron NINE. On I September, 1948, PATRON FOUR NINE received its present designation. In July 1959, the squadron moved to the island paradise of NAS Bermuda which was home until September 1963. VP-49 assisted with the evaluation trials of our first nuclear submarine, NAUTILUS, as well as successfully vectoring surface units to the splash point of "ENOS", America's space ape. In 1962, the squadron took part in the historic blockade of Cuba.

VP-49 moved from NAS Bermuda to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, for transition to P3A Orion in August 1963. Following the transition, the squadron participated in recovery operations during various flights of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space program. Operational deployments have taken the squadron to NAS Bermuda, NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada; NAS Adak, Alaska; NAS Keflavik, Iceland, Iceland; Sangley Point, Philippines; and Sigonella, Sicily. In addition, Vp-49 has participated in ASW exercises in such places as Puerto Rico, Okinawa, the NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, Sardinia, Nimes Garon, France and Londonderry, Ireland. From 7 June 1968 to 14 December 1968, VP-49 was deployed to NS Sangley Point, Philippines where they flew Market Time and Yankee Team patrols off the coast of Vietnam and routine VP operations in the Western Pacific. Additionally, three aircraft and six combat aircrews were attached to the Royal Thai Air Force Base U-Tapao, Thialand. This was a "First" as the Woodpeckers became the initial East Coast P-3 squadron to make two WESTPAC deployments.

The Woodpeckers transition to the computerized P-3C in March of 1970, and in July scored another "First" with the initial operational deployment of the P-3C. The deployment to NAS Keflavik, Iceland resulted in a personal "Well Done" from CNO, and a nomination for the Navy Unit Commendation from the Commander Iceland ASW Group. The squadron returned from Iceland in November 1970 and was assigned duty with the Patrol Antisubmarine Development Group under Commander Fleet Air Wings Atlantic. In May 1971, presentation of the Navy Unit Commendation to VP-49 was confirmed and the squadron was congratulated for it's ASW excellence.

In October 1971, VP-49 was announced the winner o Captain Arnold Jay ISBELL ASW Trophy, awarded for overall excellence, superior performance in Air ASW, and outstanding achievements in ASW readiness for the competitive period January 1970 to June 1971.

Patrol Squadron FORTY-NINE completed its second five month deployment to Iceland in December 1971, and in January 1972, moved to the NAS Jacksonville, Florida to become a permanent member of the ASW community under Commander Fleet Air Wing ELEVEN. The squadror completed deployments three and four to Keflavik ir February 1973 and August 1974. VP-49 completed its first Mediterranean deployment to the NAS Sigonella, Sicily in August 1975. While deployed to NAS Sigonella, Sicily, the Woodpeckers took part in one vital coordinated operation for which they received a Meritorious Unit Commendation.

The squadron's scheduled ten month stay in NAS Jacksonville, Florida was interrupted by a short deployment to Ascension Island in the Southern Atlantic in January of 1976. There, as part of Task Unit 84.2.5, VP-49 flew surveillance flights on high interest units off the west coast of Africa. For it's part in the operation, Patrol Squadron FORTY-NINE was awarded another Meritorious Unit Commendation.

VP-49 completed its fifth P-3C deployment to Keflavik, Iceland in December 1976 and was awarded yet another Meritorious Unit Commendation for exemplary performance in a critical ASW operation.

Upon their return to NAS Jacksonville, Florida, VP-49 proved themselves, for the second consecutive year, to be the Atlantic Fleet leader in torpedo attack accuracy, and as such was again awarded both the COMPATWING ELEVEN "Top Gunner Award" and the COMPATWINGSLANT "Top Bloodhound Award".

After eight months in NAS Jacksonville, Florida, the squadron departed on its second Mediterranean deployment to Sigonella, Sicily where it accumulated over 4,000 operational flight hours in the Mediterranean theatre. During this time the Woodpeckers distinguished themselves as ambassadors of American good will, and as acknowledged leaders in maritime air operations. They were awarded the Commander, Sixth Fleet Hook-ern Award for ASW excellence. They returned home to NAS Jacksonville, Florida in February, 1978.

While in NAS Jacksonville, Florida, Patrol Squadron FORTY-NINE engaged in training and operational missions in the Western Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. The squadron had detachments to NAS Bermuda and Lajes where they participated in the large scale NATO exercise, Northern Wedding, The Woodpeckers received the Silver Anchor for their excellent retention rate and received the COMPATWING ELEVEN' "Top Gunner" Award for the third consecutive year.

In February 1979, the World Famous Woodpeckers deployed to NAS Bermuda to undertake Western Atlantic ASW operations. In addition to flying over 4,000 hours, VP-49 participated in detachments to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, Panama City, and Curacao Islands.

Successful ASW operational flights became the norm for the entire deployment. The Woodpeckers increased their world fame by participating in

Marcot 1-79, a joint U.S. and Canadian surface and subsurface surveillance exercise. On the 22nd of March 1979, VP-49 reached the milestone of 17 years of accident free flying, and on 2 April 1979, surpassed 125,000 accident free flight hours. Both records establish VP-49 as one of the safest aviation squadrons in the world.

The end of June, the World Famous Woodpeckers returned to NAS Jacksonville, Florida for an at home training period in preparation for another extended deployment in early 1980.

In February 1980, VP-49 exceeded the 130,000 accident free flight hours mark. On April 22, 1980, the squadron was awarded both the AIRLANT Silver Anchor Award and also the CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for having the top record in the area of retention for the deploying squadron category.

The CNO, in May 1980, announced that the Woodpeckers had won the Arnold J. lsbell Trophy for excellence in antisubmarine warfare for the fiscal year 1979.

VP-49 departed for its second 5 month deployment to NAS Bermuda in mid-May 1980, to undertake Western Atlantic ASW operations. In addition to flying over 4,000 hours, VP-49 participated in detachments to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, NS Roosevelt Roads, PR, and Barbados. VP-49 was selected to participate in UNITAS XXI, a joint U.S. and South American Naval exercise from May to November 1980. The Woodpeckers visited several Caribbean and South American countries such as Puerto Rico, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Uruguary, and Argentina. Displaying excellence in ASW and promoting goodwill from the United States was the norm for the entire UNITAS exercise. In mid-October the World Famous Woodpeckers returned home to NAS Jacksonville, Florida for an at home training period in preparation for its next extended deployment in mid-1981.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-49 Logo Thumbnail [30OCT99]


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