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HistoryVP-57 HistoryHistory

Circa 1956

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

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Circa 1955

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News September 1955 "...VP-57 Wins Safety Award - Page 14 - Naval Aviation News - September 1955..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1955/sep55.pdf [05AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News August 1955 "...'Railroad' Docks Neptune - Page 38 - Naval Aviation News - August 1955..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1955/aug55.pdf [05AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News February 1955 "...VADM Martin Lauds VP-57 - Page 33 - Naval Aviation News - February 1955..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1955/feb55.pdf [03AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I was with VP-57 from 1955 until its decommissioning the later part of 1956. I was an AD3 assigned to crew 2 as a second mech and bow turret gunner. VP-57 made its last deployment to NAS Kodiak, Alaska and Adak in January 1956 with P2V-5s (no jets). After the squadron's return to Whidbey Island in June, 1956 we made preparations for decommissioning and being recommissioned as Heavy Attack Squadron 4 (VAH-4), acquiring the A3D Sky-warrior..." Contributed by Ernest L. Grim, AFCM, USN (ret) ernieg@cox-internet.com

Circa 1954

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "... NAS Whidbey Island, Washington Station Book 1954...VP-57 Squadron Roster..." Contributed by Tom Ash tomcat@whidbey.net [02JAN2000]

VP-57 Squadron Roster
Whidby Island

CDR J. P. EDWARDS, Commanding Officer
CDR D. E. Marchand, Executive Officer
LCDR J. H. Nickerson
Lt. A. K. Dame, Tactics Officer
Lt. R. E. Hagemann
LT Frank Kelly, Administrative Officer
Lt. G. J. Nance
Lt. D. Pellettera
Lt. E. A. Scoles, Asst. Maintenance Officer
Lt. P. S. Wennerstrom
Lt. (jg) W. L. Burks
Lt. (jg) J. S. Feneley
Lt. (jg) P. K. Herrick
Lt. (jg) Hoffer
Lt. (jg) A. J. Rubin, Material Division Officer
Lt. (jg) R. L. Smithhart, Jr.
Lt. (jg) J. R. Tommlitz
Lt. (jg) R. Wunderlich
Ensign W. R. Bell, Athletic Officer
Ensign F. L. Bottenberg
Ensign G. I. Canfield
Ensign R. L. Gennette
Ensign Robert K. Harris
Ensign John MacGregor, Asst. Administrative Officer
Ensign A. J. Minnichelli, Inform. and Edu. Officer
Ensign J. H. O'Neill, Jr.
Ensign G. A. Patterson
Ensign Raymond W. Roark, Communications
Engisn Arthur G. Snow, Jr.
Ensign T. A. Stanley

F. A. Bishop ACC
J. H. Bratina ADC
E. A. Buscaglia ADC
P. H. Byrne ALC
C. H. Church ATC
W. G. Dickinson AOC
L. Domanski ADC
F. A. Ephrom AEC
J. C. Farris ATC
J. Fauner ADC
R. E. Frissell ATC
H. C. Helm ADC
S. J. Hill AMC
R. M. Johnson AOC
G. T. Matthews ADC
Lester Mayer ADC
C. W. Meacham ATC
H. E. Meininger ADC
B. R. Ness ATC
Ray Rigmaiden AOC
David H. Schauss ADC
H. W. Sisler ADC
Frank Stacknik AMC
R. D. Swaney ADC
A. H. Truxler AMC
H. E. York AOC
C. E. Brown AD1
J. R. Cooper AD1
Deiotte AD1
R. S. Grove AOl
Norman Howard SD1
G. T. Johnson AEl
H. L. Miles AD1
C. E. Stillwell AD1
T. J. Wright AD1
C. E. Anderson AD2
J. D. Barber AOT2
R. G. Barkly AB2
L. D. Berry AD2
L. R. Brost AE2
T. M. Gate AT2
D. T. dark AD2
F. S. DiPrima AT2
L. W. Durden AT2
W. C. Eicholz AT2
E. R. Elfstrom AE2
Mario Forte AM2
H. M. Fredine AM2
J. R. Fuller AT2
R. R. Guthridge AK2
G. A. King AL2
C. H. Kinloch AM2
J. T. Kiphart AE2
M. R. Kochi A02
J. F. Lawrence AM2
John Link AE2
Robert Litchfield AM2
Sherman Marein SD2
E. A. Norman RM2
J. B. Phillips AD2
J. W. Rickel A02
C. D. Shiflett PN2
B. E. Spence AT2
B. D. Smith AT2
V. D. Tankersley AM2
W. R. Wilding AM2
W. L. Wilson AT2
F. A. Barnett AD3
D. E. Bateman A03
K. W. Bearss AO3
E. E. Berke A03
G. R. Berry AE3
P. A. Boice AD3
G. D. Brock A03
R. M. Caldwell AT3
W. C. Callas AT3
E. A. Campbell AO3
D. G. Coplan AD3
L. L. Grain A03
W. B. Davidson AD3
K. H. Davis AL3
J. Dombeck AD3
K. R. Durmon AD3
D. H. Engman AD3
C. W. Everson AO3
B. R. Farm YN3
K. 1. Finkel AT3
T. E. Furze AD3
W. E. Gill AB3
L. A. Gendron AM3
Z. W. Gernhart AD3
W. Gomes AE3
D. R. Greenwalt AL3
H. K. Grove AE3
A. H. lrwin A03
J. E. Jamar AK3
J. H. Kantner AD3
A. 0. Kohn AO3
D. Q. Krebs AT3
A. E. Lane AL3
P. S. Lapcevic AT3
C. Lavor A03
L. L. Ledford AL3
R. M. Logan AM3
G. A. Love AE3
C. H. Lowery AD3
H. A. MacCarty AM3
W. R. MacDonald AO3
D. H. Maloy AE3
R. M. McDevitt AO3
L. A. Mills SD3
G. E. Mitchell AT3
J. A. Mullins AD3
W. G. Murphy AD3
F. P. Neely PN3
F. Olechoski AM3
M. W. Owens A03
J. P. Paquette AT3
E. E. Paris AD3
H. E Raga AT3
R. A. Renza AD3
W. T. Robokoff AD3
L. G. Rosenthal AL3
C. W. Saulsberry AT3
J. G. Schloegel AD3
R. E. Scrivner YN3
G. Shiftan AT3
G. C. Shoffstall AT3
J. K. Simpson AO3
D. S. Swanson AT3
W. K. Syren AT3
H. L. Tanner AO3
W. L. Thomas AE3
F. Vandenberg AK3
D. A. Volgas AT3
L. A. Yaggi AT3
K. Young AT3
M. Ashmore SN
L. Bernal AKAN
B. E. Best AOAN
G. W. Bowling AEAN
J. A. Bredereck ADAN
D. E. Brown ATAN
C. L. Brummett AN
F. W. Chambers AKAN
W. E. Connelly AN
C. L. Creighton AEAN
W. DeRoche AOAN
F. D. Dobing ADAN
D. E. Fisher ADAN
H. W. Frisbie AOAN
T. R. Furnish AN
J. C. Garrison AOAN
W. L. Gibbs AKAN
W. B. Gintz AN
R. E. Green AN
C. D. Hannah AN
C. J. Hehn AMAN
J. 0. Henderson AKAN
C. E. Howell AMAN
H. L. Huffman AOAN
G. E. Huitt AN
J. L. Hurst AOAN
M. E. Ingram AMAN
B. R. Ivie ADAN
T. Jamroz AOAN
D. E. Johnson AEAN
B. Kaufenberg ADAN
L. Y. Loveridge AN
R. R. MacLennan AN
T. P. Mann AMAN
R. L. Martin ABAN
A. L. Mason ADAN
D. E. McGinnis ATAN
R. McNamara ADAN
R. J. Merrick ATAN
L. Misakian ABAN
E. L. Mitchell AN
C. L. Mock AN
D. L. Montgomery SN
M. Nelson ATAN
N. L. Nikolai AMAN
J. C. Nix ATAN
J. E. O'Neill AEAN
E. S. Orozco AOAN
R. L. Peelman AN
T. L. Peterson ADAN
K. C. Phillips ADAN
M. G. Pickner AMAN
R. J. Pollard ADAN
K. J. Poison ADAN
T. A. Pulley ADAN
E. J. Rahberger AN
J. L. Rhew AOAN
D. K. Ripley AN
E. J. Rosenthal AOAN
D. C. Schafer AN
E. R. Schultz ATAN
O. H. Showalter AN
R. M. Silliman AEAN
R. B. Stefani ABAN
R. A. Stevens ADAN
D. H. Stiles ATAN
W. H. Tatu ATAN
J. A. Thorne PRAN
E. M. Todd AOAN
J. R. Toncray ATAN
B. C. Travis AN
W. A. Warr AN
D. Watziawick ADAN
T. L. West ATAN
R. L. White AN
R. W. Wilkinson SA
J. W. Woods ADAN
R. J. Zach AN
D. Zetterwall ADAN

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-57 was used as a hurricane hunter temporarily in the Phillipeans in 1954 to fly inside a "typhoon" originating in the South China Sea. I had the dubious distinction of being a crewman on that plane. What a ride in a Neptune. We tracked it for two weeks as it followed us all the way back to Okinawa. Then it damaged several of our a/c on the ground..." Contributed by Harold Tanner htanner@tampabay.rr.com

Circa 1953

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The Naval Historical Center has entered a huge error in its web site regarding dates that VP-57 was deployed in the Korean area during the Korean war. I contacted them many months ago regarding this obvious large error but they have not corrected it. Unfortunately, that significant error is repeated in your excellent web site as it is in many others. In the name of accurate history, I would like to contribute the following facts from my log book. In March of 1953, the P2V-5's of VP-57 flew from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington to NAS Alameda, California on the 20th, from NAS Alameda, California to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii on the 22nd, from NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii to Kwajelein on the 24th, from Kawajelein to Guam on the 26th and from Guam to NAS Atsugi, Japan on the 28th. VP-57 began tactical flights in the Korean area on the 29th of March 1953, and continued them for six months until the last part of September 1953. The P2V-5's of VP-57 departed NAS Atsugi, Japan on 29 September 1953 stopping at NAS Midway Island and then NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. On the 3rd of October, 1953, the squadron flew from NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. In summary, VP-57 was deployed to the Korean area from 29 March 1953 to 29 September 1953 (not from 29 Mar to 27 Jul as shown erroneously in the Naval Historical Center web site)..." Contributed by Daniel E. Jessup ebbyj@attbi.com [28MAR2002]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "29MAR53--KOREA--ARRIVED: 29MAR53 DEPARTED: 27JUL53 TAIL CODE: BI AIRCRAFT: P2V-5" http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/koreaob.htm

Circa 1951

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Greetings from a fellow VP-931/VP-57 crew member. I began my affiliation with VP-931/VP-57 in June 1951 at good ole NAS Whidbey Island, Washington after a 6-month adventure as a General Service Radar operator on the USS Sicily (CVE-118) followed by fam training with FASRON-112.

Our June 1950 AT graduation class at Millington, TN was "honored" by a quick flight to San Diego where most of us boarded the USS Sicily or USS Philippine Sea (CV). On July 4, 1950, we set sail for Korea. After the Kwar was "over" (Nov 1950- before Chinese intervention) we were given our GS release and dispersed to our Naval Aviation responsibilities. A few of us were assigned to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington for re-training in FASRON-112.

After FASRON-112 most of us were assigned billets with VP-772 (PB4Y2), VP-9 (PB4Y2), and VP-931. VP-772 was assigned to Sand Point (Seattle) and VP-9 was sent to NAS Kodiak, Alaska. I was assigned to fly with Crew 6, Plane BUNO 39363 (P2V-2), as the radar operator and 2nd radio. Bill Rittman, Geo Baldwin, and Ens. Springer were the pilot, co-pilot and navigator, respectively. Most of VP-931 were from Philla as was the squadron thus the Philla Eagle football insignia. Commander Payson was our skipper.)

According to my Aviators Flight Log VP-931 left NAS Whidbey Island, Washington for NAS Kodiak, Alaska on 12/27/1951. We were sent there as an emergency replacement for VP-9 which had lost several aircraft. As I remember, an AT3 named Witherspoon (a Millington classmate) was the only survivor from two crashes. Two other AT School classmates, Will Tacie (an All-state Mich wrestler) and Busby, were also lost in crashes. In the beginning I had reservations about being billeted to VP-931 and not VP-9, but now I consider it a blessing. I believe that VP-9 lost 7 planes while flying in Alaska.

While stationed at NAS Kodiak, Alaska (until 7/12/1952) our crew sometimes averaged 100 hours a month. On the only flight that I missed while assigned to Crew 6, they took a P2V-3W to Adak and on departure in horrible weather the next morning an alcohol line broke in the cockpit and the pilots were blinded. GCA brought them back to the right of the runway (refer to 18 Feb 52 mishp summary). Lt. Rittman attempted a correction to the runway after clearing weather but couldn't make it. The nosewheel collapsed and the plane skidded to the end of the runway. One crew member was injured when he jumped on another crew member as the crew was escaping from the after hatch. During these exciting hours, I was flying in plane 8 (a P2V-2) to Pt. Barrow, AK.

Shortly after we returned from NAS Kodiak, Alaska, VP-931 was de-activated and most non-reservists were transitioned to VP-57 and into P2V-5's, approx 8/9/1952. I was assigned to Plane #1 which was piloted by Commander Coley. The new planes were a great improvement over the P2V-2's. I continued flying with VP-57 until Feb 1953. During this time, I was very busy trying to qualify for pilot training. Tom Fruend, Milt La Liberte and I (all AT2's) took the exams and after several weeks we learned that I was the only one who completed qualifications for Pensacola. In early Mar 1953, Commander Coley sent me to Seattle to meet with the FAW Commander to seek an early appointment to Pensacola as VP-57 was heading for Japan. The request was denied and Tom, Milt and I took our discharges (Mar 20).

Our story could end here, but I must add that Tom Fruend decided that chem was too tough at Tenn. Tech and he joined the AFROTC Pilot training program. He completed AF pilot training and transitioned to the F-2 Delta Dagger after a stint as AT flight instructor. Our family visited his while he was assigned to Truax AF Base in Madison, WS. After Truax, he was assigned to Elmendorf, AK and was there when the large earthquake shook the area. At that time, I was working on the Apollo Program in Huntsville, AL. He stopped in Huntsville while on a cross country flight and visited us for a few hours. The F-2 parked at the Huntsville airport brought much attention to say the least. The last letter that we received from Tom had him transitioning to F-4 Phantoms and the inevitable assignment to Vietnam (approx 1964). We lost track of Tom after that letter, but we never could forget him. In 1991, we visited the Black Wall in DC and looked for his name but it was not listed.

A couple of years later, I saw an ad in a navy mag giving and address where I could make an inquiry about military personnel. As a result. I was given a telephone number to call and we located him in Ft. Worth, TX. We communicated by letter/phone until my family and I were in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, then we dropped in for a wonderful reunion. He is currently the senior MD-80 flight instructor for Amer. Airlines and near a second retirement. He didn't talk much about his Vietnam experiences but when I saw a photo of an F-4 Wild Weasel on his mantle, I inquired about his work there. He was a Wild Weasel and flew 150 missions over Vietnam. He has four children- three girls and a boy. His son, Charles (named after me) is a Marine reserve pilot (F-4) who flies for an express company. It's ironic that my youngest son, Tom (named after Tom Freund) was at that time working for TI in Dallas, TX. My Tom flew in the Navy for seven years as an ECMO in E6B Prowlers off the USS Kittyhawk. Believe it or not, my Tom was stationed at Whidbey (VAQ-130) in the same hangar and office space as our VP-57 some 40 years later- small world!..." Contributed by Charles V. Gray charles.gray43@gmail.com ..." [06JUN2000]

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