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Circa 1939

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...14SEP39 - Atlantic Squadron Neutrality Patrol assets deployed this date: destroyers Davis (DD-395), Jouett (DD-396), Benham (DD-397) and Ellet (DD-398) operate between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Placentia Bay, Newfoundland (Grand Banks Patrol); destroyers Hamilton (DD-141) and Leary (DD-158) operate off Georges Shoals; Goff (DD 247) and Hopkins (DD-249) and PBY-2s (VP-54), supported by minesweeper [small seaplane tender] Owl (AM-2) operate out of Narragansett Bay; destroyers Decatur (DD-341), Barry (DD-248), Reuben James (DD-245) and auxiliary [high speed transport] Manley (AG-28), with shore-based VP-52 and VP-53 (P2Y-2s) operate out of Chesapeake Bay; destroyers Babbitt (DD-128) and Claxton (DD-140) patrol the Florida Straits; heavy cruisers San Francisco (CA-38) and Tuscaloosa (CA-37), destroyers Truxtun (DD-229), Simpson (DD-221), Broome (DD-220) and Borie (DD-215) and patrol squadrons VP-33 (PBY-3s) and VP-51 (PBY-1s), supported by small seaplane tenders Lapwing (AVP-1), Thrush (AVP-3) and Gannet (AVP-8) watch the Caribbean and the Atlantic side of the Lesser Antilles; heavy cruisers Quincy (CA-39) and Vincennes (CA-44) operate off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; held in reserve in Hampton Roads is a striking force consisting of carrier Ranger (CV-4) (her embarked air group consisting of squadrons VB-4, VF-4, VS-41 and VS-42) and battleships New York (BB-34) and Texas (BB-35). Arkansas (BB-33) and gunnery training ship (ex- battleship) Wyoming (AG-17) are carrying out training cruise for USNR midshipmen. The destroyers find the going rough on the Grand Banks; they will be replaced by 327-foot Coast Guard cutters that will be administratively assigned to Destroyer Division 18..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1939.html [14SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. VIII, pp. 480-83..." http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/auxil/az1.htm [25JUN2000]

Waiting for permission to post entire article.

Circa 1937

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...There are many gaps in this work, I hope others can help me with info such as date and base of commissioning, bases and dates of moves toward SWPac area, how the squadron returned to the US - dates of main personnel moves, what ship, did any fly their PBYs back to US? All information will be gladly received and acknowledged. Regards, Wynnum B Graham wbg@bigpond.com [31AUG98]


01Oct37...USN Patrol Wings were formed. VP-3 came under PatWing 3. In the Jul39 wing/squadron number realignments VP-3 was re-designated to VP-32. Then about mid 1941 VP-32 was transferred to PatWing 5 and re-designated to VP-52. [The previous VP-52 had just been transferred to PatWing 7 as VP-72, and carried that number into WWII.]

The lineage VP-3/VP-32/VP-52 carried forward the "Standing Elephant" insignia, and continued into WWII as VP-52.

Much is said about the two VP-52s, usually in the one breath, so to speak, as if they were the one and only entity. I've put a few extra lines here to help sort one from the other.

THE PREVIOUS VP-52 which became VP-72.

13FEB41...For air cover of northern Atlantic convoys, a new US base was constructed at Argentia, Newfoundland.

15MAY41...Tender Albermarle AV-5 arrived Argentia for VP-52 operations, which commenced within a few days.

30MAY41...VP-52 begins operating from tender Albemarle, located at Argentia, Newfoundland, using PBY-5. Is the first US Sqn to operate patrols over the North Atlantic convoy routes.

01JUL41...VP-52 became VP-72, in a change which affected all PatWing 5 squadrons.


00AUG41...Pilot Ensign Lahodney joined VP-52 at Breezy Point, Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia.

10DEC41...VP-52 initiated anti-submarine patrols for the US over south Atlantic. They used widespread bases, Trinidad, Panama, Bermuda, etc.

11DEC41...Six PBY of VP-52 reach Natal, Brazil.

AUG42-MAY43...VP-52 operated out of Bermuda.

07APR43...VP-52 was relieved from Brazil duty by VP-83, which began arriving this date.

09JUN43...VP-52 was departing San Diego with 15 PBYs, then was held at Hawaii, diverted to Midway flying patrols; They later flew from Hawaii via Palmyra, Canton , Fiji and New Caledonia and then to Perth, Western Australia.

06AUG43...VP-52 pilot Lahodney says - nine PBYs departed Noumea, to Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia. They flew in loose formations. From Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia, via Adelaide to Perth, Western Australia. Lahodney spent 10 weeks flying out of Perth.

15SEP43...Fleet Air Wing 17 is formed at Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia. Controls VPs -33, -34, and -52.

Late 1943...VP-52 is at Perth, replacing VP-101 during its tour of duty based Namoia Bay, New Guinea Aug-Oct43.

09SEP43...VP-52 is operating out of Perth, doing seaward searches and patrols

06OCT43...VP-101 is relieved in New Guinea by VP-11; VP-101 returns to Perth, allowing VP-52 to move via Adelaide and Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia to Palm Island, offshore Townsville in North Queensland. At Palm Island, which was being developed as a PBY major maintenance base, Lt Lahodney modifies machine guns into the PBY nose.

20NOV43...VP-52 arrives Namoia Bay, Samarai Bay, New Guinea, relieves VP-11. Does not return to Australia, remains New Guinea and areas further forward. VP-52 Commander is Lt Cdr Harold Summer. They perform 'Black Cat' missions, and support amphibious landings at New Britain. After six weeks they will rotate to Port Moresby for less demanding duties.

Late DEC43...VP-34 arrived New Guinea, based at Samarai, relieves VP-52. VP-34 has PBY-5, not the amphibian PBY-5A. A related matter is that a new advanced base is at Samarai, not far from Namoia Bay. It has a ramp and shore base. All repairs except overhaul are now done there.

31DEC43 - VP-34 does first ops, CO is Lt Cmdr T A Christopher.

16DEC43... VP-52 is credited with sinking a Japanese submarine off New Britain.

01JAN44...VP-52 relieves VP-11 at Port Moresby after six weeks of intensive ops from Samarai base, as part of the rotation schedule.

29FEB44...Allied forces land at Admiralty Islands ; Soon after, VP-33 and VP-52 begin ops from Seeadler Harbour, Admiralties, with tenders Tangier and San Pablo. They do ops to Truk, and Woleai in the Carolines.

00JUN44... VP-52 ceased tour of duty in SWPac about this time, returned US.

HELP! Somebody out there must be able to help fill all the information gaps. Does any one remember VP-52 at Townsville requesting all those condoms - genuine request - they were used to cover the muzzle of the newly fitted nose machine guns!

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