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

HistoryVP-73 HistoryHistory

Circa 1946 - 1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-73 History "...CDR Harold C. MILLER was VP-73 Commanding Officer (05/1946-08/1947)..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [29DEC2012]


Circa 1946

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Presented to LCDR W. Hundley USN from Crew of VPB-73 May - 1946..." [29AUG99]
VPB-73 Thumbnail VPB-73 Thumbnail

UPDATE "...I am a young man who is eternally grateful to the men and women who fought for our country. It is because of this appreciation that I collect WWII related items. I recently purchased the WWII US Navy Sword presented to Lt. Cmdr. Hundley by the Crew of VPB-73 after the War. I thought it was a shame that this historical item was being sold. So I bought it, to give it a good home. I am now researching its history. I most admit I had not known about the VP service until I began my research. I am asking if anyone can give me any info on VPB-73, its crew, Lt. Cmdr. Hundley, I would greatly appreciate it. Further, I would love to frame the sword with a VPB-73 Patch, if anyone know where to get one? Please e-mail me, so that the history of this sword is not lost forever. Thanks...Robert J. Bollong Sr. Bollong@Aol.Com..." [17SEP99]


Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-15 - History from 01DEC1942-28JUL45 - Submitted April 22nd, 1945. Squadron's Assigned: VP-73, VP-92 and ZP-14..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [06DEC2012]

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Circa 1944

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: VS History ThumbnailCameraAlert exercise 19 February 1944 "...The following squadrons (VS-33, VS-34, VS-36, VS-38, VS-60, VP-73, VP-74, VP-84, VB-126 and VP-214) are mentioned in a Headquarters, Eastern Sea Frontier communique, that is part of the VS-36 Squadron history. This information was provided as part of a package received from the: Naval Historical Center - 805 Kidder Breese Street SW - Washington Navy Yard - District of Columbia 20374-5060..." Contributed by EASTMAN, Jack G. vsnavy.org@westnet.com.au [20MAY2005]


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: "22JAN43--William Lewis Crane completed the Navy Training Course for Radioman Third Class at the University of Chicago on January 22,1943. He subsequently completed VPB Operational Training as Air Crewman in PBY-5 type aircraft and on 17 July 1943 was assigned to patrol Squadron 73 for duty. This duty took him to the Morocco Sea Frontier in Northwest Africa where he flew patrol missions. He was subsequently reassigned to the Navy V-12 unit at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana for training. ..." http://www.in-motion.net/~ben/ben.htm


Circa 1942

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron SEVENTY-THREE (VP-73) - U. S. Action with Enemy on 20AUG42..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [29JAN2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron SEVENTY-THREE (VP-73) - U. S. Action with Enemy on 06FEB42..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [29JAN2013]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Full Text Citations For Award of The Navy Cross - To U.S. Navy Personnel - World War II - (2,889 Awards) - Navy Cross Citations U.S. Navy - World War II..." WebSite: Home of Heros http://www.homeofheroes.com/ valor/ 1_Citations/ 03_wwii-nc/nc_06wwii_navyH.html [19NOV2007]

HOPGOOD, ROBERT BROWN

Citation:

The Navy Cross is presented to Robert Brown Hopgood, Lieutenant (j.g.), U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service as Senior Pilot of a PBY5 Navy Patrol Plane in Patrol Squadron SEVENTY-THREE (VP-73), in action against an enemy submarine in Skerja Fjord, near Reykjavik, Iceland, on 20 August 1942 . The enemy submarine was sighted on the surface while the Navy Patrol Plane was on a regular air coverage flight over a convoy. Lieutenant (j.g.) Hopgood maneuvered his plane skillfully and accurately dropped five depth charges which straddled the submarine and exploded close aboard on each side just abaft the conning tower. In the face of the enemy's anti-aircraft fire Lieutenant (j.g.) Hopgood proceeded to maneuver his plane over the submarine and strafe it with machine gun fire; he then led a destroyer from the convoy to the scene. As the destroyer was approaching, the enemy abandoned the sinking submarine. A large number of prisoners were taken by the destroyer. The initiative and resourcefulness of Lieutenant (j.g.) Hopgood, in the face of enemy anti-aircraft fire and undesirable weather conditions, resulted in the certain destruction of the enemy submarine and capture of many survivors. His conduct throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 345 (December 1945)
Born: June 30, 1919 at Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Home Town: Glen Ridge, New Jersey

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-464, 20 August 1942
Type: XIV Laid Down: 18 March 1941, DeutscheWerke AG, Kiel
Commissioned: 30 April 1942, Kptlt. Otto Harms
Commander: April 1942 August 1942, Kptlt. Otto Harms
Career: One patrol, assigned: 10th Flotilla (Lorient). U-464 was a Milkcow support vessel. The role of the ten type XIV boats was to support the operating type VII and IX attack boats by delivering their supplies and ammunition. Successes: None, sunk on first deployment

Fate: Set out on first patrol 4 August 1942. Sunk on 20 August 1942, southeast of Iceland at 61°25'N, 14°40'W by a VP-73 PBY-5 Catalina. Lieutenant (jg) Robert B. Hopgood and crew attacked and sank U-464 while on convoy escort in Skerja Fjord, near Reykjavik, Iceland. HMS Castleton rescued 53 survivors (2 dead). While en route back to base Hopgood sent the following message: Sank Sub Open Club.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...On 20 August 1942, Lt(jg) R.B. Hopgood, in an Iceland-based PBY-5A, 73-P-9 / BuNo. 2459, of VP-73 USN, attacked U-464 in position 6125N 1440W (175 NM south of Hofn, Iceland) with 5x325 lb. depth charges. Lethally damaged by the attack, U-464 was scuttled and 52 of its 54-man crew rescued by the Icelandic fishing vessel Skaftfellingur before being transfered to destroyer HMS Castleton.

An interesting sideline to Hopgood's attack on U-464 gave birth to a since-famous U.S. Navy phrase: "Sank sub, open club". The Fleet Air Base and air detachment in Iceland were commanded by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Daniel V. Gallery, Jr., a tough and uncompromising naval officer. Gallery was utterly distressed with VP-73's failure to sink U-boats. The squadron had delivered some seven attacks on U-boats over the past few weeks, all which were ‘muffed' in his opinion. He possibly felt that the poor performance of his crews was caused by too many late nights spent in the Officers Club, so he ordered the club closed until the squadron sank a U-boat. Following Hopgood's attack all ears at Coastal Command headquarters were glued tothe radio listening to Hopgood's reports of the dramatic development taking place out at sea. The reports were all framed in very official languageand coded, of course. Then at the end when the destroyer had taken the Germans off the Icelandic fishing vessel, Hopgood's final report came in to Gallery in plain English, no code, saying: "Sank sub, open club." And they sure did, they damn near blew the roof off the joint.

U-464, a valuable type XIV milchkuh U-tanker, commanded by Kplt. Otto Harms, was on her maiden voyage to replenish U-boats in the North Atlantic, eastof Newfoundland, having sailed from Bergen, Norway, on 14 August. Each of these type XIV supply boats could carry enough fuel oil to replenish twelvetype VIIC boats for 4 weeks. She was the first of the milchkuh tankers to be sunk in the war.

U-464 was the first u-boat destroyed singly by a Catalina and the first of three u-boats to be destroyed by PBY-5A BuNo. 2459, the top-scoring Catalina of World War II. #2459 is presently located in The Netherlands, registered PH-PBY, and undergoing overhaul by the Stichting Neptune Association...." Contributed by Ragnar J. Ragnarsson ragsie@centrum.is via George B. Winter pbycat@bellsouth.net [29OCT99]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...20AUG42--On 20 August 1942, Lt(jg) R.B. Hopgood, in an Iceland-based PBY-5A, 73-P-9 #2459, of VP-73 USN, attacked U-464 in position 6125N 1440W (175 NM south of Hofn, Iceland) with 5x325 lb. depth charges. Lethally damaged by the attack, U-464 was scuttled and 52 of her 54-man crew rescued by the Icelandic fishing vessel Skaftfellingur before being transfered to destroyer HMS Castleton. U-464 was the first u-boat destroyed singly by a PBY Catalina and the first of three u-boats to be destroyed by #2459, the top-scoring Catalina of World War II. #2459 is presently located in The Netherlands, registered PH-PBY, and undergoing overhaul by the Stichting Neptune Association..." Contributed by Ragnar J. Ragnarsson ragsie@centrum.is [18OCT99]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...14NOV42--Patrol Squadron 73 arrived at Port Lyautey from Iceland via Bally Kelly, Ireland, and Lyncham, England. Supported by the Seaplane Tender Barnegat, the squadron began antisubmarine operations from French Morocco over the western Mediterranean, the Strait of Gibraltar, and its approaches. Patrol Squadron 92 also arrived at Port Lyautey on the same day via Cuba, Brazil, Ascension Island, and West Africa..." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/avchr5.htm [05MAR2000]

UPDATE "...I was ordered to NAS Norfolk, Virginia and VP-92 in May 1945. Two PBY-5A's had flown to NAS Norfolk, Virginia from NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco for an exchange with two almost brand new PBY-5As that had flown in from the West Coast. Our orders were to ferry the replacement planes back to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco via NAS Miami, Florida; NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; NAAF Atkinson Field, Essequibo, British Guiana; NAF Natal, Brazil; Ascension Island; Monrovia, Liberia; and up the East Coast of Africa to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco..." Contributed by MAYERS, LCDR Jean jeanmayers@aol.com [03JUL2007]

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


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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: "...05OCT42 - PBY (VP-73) sinks German submarine U-582 at 58°52'N, 21°42'W.where°..." HyperWar WebSite: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1942.html [16SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...01SEP42 - PBY (VP-73) bombs and sinks German submarine U-756, 57°30'N, 29°00'W..." HyperWar WebSite: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1942.html [16SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...20AUG42 - PBY-5A (VP-73) sinks German submarine U-464, North Atlantic Area, 61°25'N, 14°40'W..." HyperWar WebSite: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1942.html [16SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...28FEB42 - PBY (VP-73) mistakenly bombs and damages submarine Greenling (SS-213) outside submarine sanctuary off New London, Connecticut..." HyperWar WebSite: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1942.html [16SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...14FEB42 - PBY (VP-73) accidentally bombs submarine Thresher (SS-200), returning from a war patrol, southwest of Oahu, T.H..." HyperWar WebSite: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1942.html [16SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-73(USN) Reykjavik Iceland 02/02/42 PBY-5A. Left 27/10/43..." http://www.rafcommands.currantbun.com/Coastal/VP73C.html [12DEC2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...15 Jan 1942 - Winter in Iceland was the worst enemy of the patrol squadrons sinking three of VP-73's Catalinas and two of VP-74's PBMs... http://home6.inet.tele.dk/ron/greenland/naval_squadrons_flights.htm [18NOV2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: APPENDIX 3 Submarines Sunk by Patrol Squadrons During World War II - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [04MAY2001]

U-582, 5 October 1942
Type: VIIC Laid Down: 25 September 1940, Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Commissioned: 7 August 1941, Kptlt. Werner Schulte
Commander: August 1941 October 1942, Kptlt. Werner Schulte
Career: Assigned: August 1941 December 1941, 5th Flotilla (Kiel); December 1941 October 1942. 1st Flotilla (Brest)
Successes: Six ships sunk for a total of 38,826 tons

Fate: Sunk 5 October 1942, southwest of Iceland, in position 58°41'N, 22°58'W, by a VP-73 PBY-5 Catalina. 46 dead (entire crew lost). Aircraft 73-P-12 of VP-73 attacked and sank U-582 while on convoy escort near Reykjavik, Iceland.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...20AUG42--German submarine sunk: U-464, by naval land-based aircraft (VP-73), North Atlantic Area, 61 d. 25 ' N., 14 d. 40' W...."

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...05OCT42--On 5 OCT 1942, Chief Aviation Pilot M. Luke, in an Iceland-based PBY-5A, 73-P-9 #2459, of VP-73 USN, attacked and sank U-582 in position 5852N 2142W (320 NM south of Reykjavik) with 4x650 lb. depth charges while providing close escort to the eastbound convoy HX.209. There were no survivors from her 46-man crew. This was the second u-boat sunk by #2459...." Contributed by Ragnar J. Ragnarsson ragsie@centrum.is [18OCT99]


Circa 1941-1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-7 - History from 01MAR41-31DEC44 Submitted June 11th, 1945. Squadron's Assigned: VP-31, VP-52, VP-53, VP-63, VP-71, VP-72, VP-73, VP-74, VP-82, VP-84, VP-92, VP-93, VP-103, VP-105, VP-110, VP-111, VP-114, VP-125, VP-126 and VP-128..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [30NOV2012]

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Circa 1941

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USS George B. Badger (AVP-16) (tender for VP-74) and the USS Belknap (AVD-8) (tender for VP-73) were with us in Iceland in 1941..." Contributed by CARTHEN, AVCM Roy B. Retired roycar@outlook.com [02MAY2012]

Most do not know that FDR sent us there after he had met secretly with Churchill in Argentia, Nfld. There is a book titled "Mr Roosevelt Navy" by Patrick Abbazia which explains FDR secret war. It is out of publications but can be bought on the internet for $15 and up depending on the books condition. Now, for my info:

The USS George B. Badger (AVP-16) and the USS Belknap (AVD-8) arrived at Reykjavik, Iceland to tender two squadrons. VP-73 had PBY-5 planes with the Belknap as tender and VP-74 had PBM1 planes tendered bu the George E Badger. I was in VP-74. These two ships were WW1 destroyers which had been converted for aircraft tender service. All of these four units were assigned to operate against the German U boats and all the planes stayed on the water attached to buoys when not flying. The planes were initially armed with bombs, however in September of 1941 we changed to depth charges as we realized the under water advantage of the depth charges.

During these pre Pearl Harbor days the enemy subs were causing much damage and at one time we were running out of food due to the ship being sunk. On 28 August 1941 German U boat U570 commanded by Kapitasnleutant Hans Joaachim Rahmlow was captured. At this time we were told that a PBY from VP-73 and a PBM from VP-74 caused this capture, however since we were not at war, two British planes took the credit, but it has been reported that "two of our planes were "nearby circling" as recorded in the book "Search, Find and Kill" by Norman Franks page 182. I note that this book says the sub was brought to the coast of Iceland and changed to a British sub, however in the past years I have been able to convince some historians that the sub was actually brought well into Iceland and in a fjord where many of our ships were... I was on a plane that flew to this place and we saw the sub well up into the fjord into Iceland.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Reflections on the Early History of Airborne Radar - By Dave Trojan, Aviation Historian, 27 Mar 2007...Squadrons/Patrol Wings (only part of file containing VP related information) Mentioned: VP-54, VP-71, VP-72, VP-73, VP-74, CPW-5 and CPW-7..." http://www.exreps.com/ [11MAY2011]

MIT radar receiver laboratory 1941

In mid 1941, a PBY-2 aircraft 54-P-10, BuNo 0456 belonging to VP-54, was equipped with the first operational radar aboard a US Navy aircraft. The ASV radar equipment used long separate transmitting and receiving antennas mounted on insulated stub supports along the forward hull of the PBY.

The British had already put ASV Mark II on their Consolidated Catalina flying boat patrol aircraft, so it was straightforward to mount it on US Navy Catalina's. The installation was completed at NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. was the site of the Fleet Air Tactical Unit.

They conducted experiments with new aircraft and equipment in order to determine their practical application and tactical employment. NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. was a primary training base for naval aviation and the home of all Navy flight test operations until overcrowding caused that mission to be moved in 1943 to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. At the time of the radar installation, VP-54 was assigned to CPW-5, stationed at NAS Norfolk, Virginia.

The VP-54 aircraft was most likely selected because the squadron had aircraft available in the area and was also experienced with working with the British RAF. VP-54 had conducted neutrality patrols in the Atlantic daily, weather permitting, from Newport to Nova Scotia in June 1939 to February 1941, and also from Bermuda, B.W.I. in September 1940 to January 1941.

VP-54 PBY BUNO 54-P-10. The first operational radar on a U. S. Navy PBY-2 is shown 9 June 1941 at NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

Commander J. V. Carney, Senior Support Force Staff Officer, reported on 18 July 1941 that British type ASV radar has been installed in one PBY-5 Catalina each of VP-71, VP-72, and VP-73 and two PBM-1's of VP-74. Initial installation of identification equipment (IFF) was made about the same time. In mid-September, radar was issued for five additional PBM-1's of VP-74 and one PBY-5 of VP-71, and shortly thereafter for other aircraft in CPW-7 squadrons. Thereby CPW-7 became the first operational Wing of the U.S. Navy to be supplied with radar-equipped aircraft. Its squadrons operated from NAS Norfolk, Virginia, NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island and advanced bases on Greenland, NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada and NAS Keflavik, Iceland during the last months of the neutrality patrol. Radar introduced both aircrew and ground personnel to a whole new capability for Navy airborne operations. The early installations were awkward due to their long separate transmitting and receiving antennas mounted on insulated stub supports along the forward hull of the PBYs.

ASV Mark II Antennas installed by General Electric on a PBY-5A Catalina at the Consolidated Aircraft Factory, 11 Feb 1942.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...17OCT41 - Iceland-based PBYs (VP-73) arrive to provide air coverage for SC 48..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1941.html [15SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...18OCT41 - PBY (VP-73) drops package containing blood plasma and transfusion gear for use in treating the wounded on board Kearny (DD-432); Monssen (DD-435) retrieves the package but the gear becomes disengaged and sinks. PBM (VP-74) repeats the operation a few hours later; this time the drop is successful and Monssen retrieves the medical supplies intact..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1941.html [15SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...20OCT41 - PBY (VP-73) provide air coverage for convoy ON 26..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1941.html [15SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...01NOV41 - PBY (VP-73) provide air coverage for convoy ON 30..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1941.html [15SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...03NOV41 - PBY (VP-73) provide air coverage for convoy ON 31..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1941.html [15SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...04NOV41 - PBY (VP-73) provide air coverage for convoy ON 31..." WebSite: HyperWar http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1941.html [15SEP2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Chronicles of PBY-5A #2459 - The U.S. Navy's top-scoring antisubmarine bomber in WWII - Compiled by Ragnar J. Ragnarsson ragsie@centrum.is - 23 DEC 1941 - PBY-5As are first mentioned in VP-73's War Diary on this date when three planes drawn from VP-83 were test-flown at NAS Norfolk, Virginia. On 25 December they were loaded onboard the USS Albemarle (AV-5) at NOB Norfolk for shipment to Iceland. On 27 December a further two PBY-5As were drawn from VP-83 at NAS Norfolk, Virginia and flown to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, where they were loaded onboard the USS Albemarle on 30 December...Note: At the outbreak of war on 7 December 1941, VP-73 was operating as part of PatWing 7 with divisions of PBY-5 seaplanes based at Reykjavik, Argentia and NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Replacing the divisions at Reykjavik and Argentia with landplanes was a matter of considerable urgency as winter operations of seaplanes from these bases was considered "extremely hazardous" as concluded in a study made by the Bureau of Aeronautics. The first 5 PBY-5As went to replace the PBY-5s of the Iceland division, thereby becoming the first to be equipped with the amphibian version of the PBY, while the Argentia division was withdrawn to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island on 2 January 1942 having been replaced by PBO-1s (Lockheed Hudsons) of VP-82...The BuAer's concern in regard to seaplane winter operations in Iceland became all too evident on 15 January 1942 when, during a hurricane-force storm at Iceland with winds of 90 kts, gusting to 120 kts, three PBY-5s of VP-73 and two PBM-1s of VP-74 were lost at anchor in Skerjafjordur (the seaplane anchorage adjacent to Reykjavik airfield). When the storm hit, four PBY-5As were already at Reykjavik airfield, the fifth being still onboard the USS Albemarle at Hvalfjord. The planes at the airfield were tied down, but it took all hands to secure the planes on the field with all available lines and weights...OCT 1942: October saw the arrival of VP-84 in Iceland to replace VP-73. About half of VP-73's planes en-route back to the United States when the squadron received orders to return to Iceland and thence to the United Kingdom and North Africa, once an airfield had been secured there following the `Torch' landings. Some of VP-73's planes were presumably quite battered and in need for overhaul so seven of these were exchanged for newer planes brought to Iceland by VP-84. One of the planes passed to VP-84 was #2459, to become 84-P-7...PLUS MUCH MUCH MORE!" Contributed by JOHN B OUBRE VP84@WEBTV.NET via WebSite: Stichting Cat Air http://www.vliegtuigen.com [URL Change 18JUN2000 | 19JAN98]

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)

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Hearings Before The Joint Committee On The Investigation Of The Pearl Harbor Attack - Congress Of The United States - Seventy-Ninth Congress...Squadrons mentioned: VP-11, VP-13, VP-14, VP-21, VP-22, VP-23, VP-24, VP-31, VP-32, VP-41, VP-42, VP-43, VP-44, VP-51, VP-52, VP-71, VP-72, VP-73, VP-74, VP-81, VP-82, VP-83, VP-84, VP-91, VP-92, VP-93, VP-94, VP-101, VP-102, CPW-1, CPW-2, CPW-3, CPW-4, CPW-5, CPW-7, CPW-8 and CPW-9..." WebSite: The public's library and digital archive http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/misc/rainbow5.html [01APR2005]
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Open VP History Adobe FileHearings Before The Joint Committee On the Investigation Of The Pearl Harbor Attack 333KB

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...6 Aug 1941 – Oct 1942 - Denmark Strait Patrol - Six PBY Catalina's of VP-73 and five PBM Mariner's of VP-74 arrived at Skerjafjördur, near Reykjavik – Camp Snafu !!. USS Goldsborough (AVD 5), USS Belknap (AVD 8) and USS Barnegat (AVP 10) provided tender support to the squadrons. Convoys were covered up to 500-miles from base and ASW coverage of the Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland was provided. VP-73 reaching Greenland on occasion. Crews operating in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Circle became known as blue noses... http://home6.inet.tele.dk/ron/greenland/naval_squadrons_flights.htm [18NOV2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...18JUL41--Commander J. V. Carney, Senior Support Force Staff Officer, reported that British type ASV radar has been installed in one PBY-5 each of VP-71, VP-72, and VP-73 and two PBM-1's of VP-74. Initial installation of identification equipment (IFF) was made about the same time. In mid-September radar was issued for five additional PBM-1's of VP-74 and one PBY-5 of VP-71, and shortly thereafter for other aircraft in Patrol Wing 7 squadrons. Thereby the Wing became the first operational unit of the U.S. Navy to be supplied with radar-equipped aircraft. Its squadrons operated from Norfolk, Quonset Point and advanced bases on Greenland, Newfoundland and Iceland during the last months of the neutrality patrol..." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/avchr5.htm

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...00JUL41--Patrol Wing Support Force re-designated Patrol Wing 7. Its = four squadrons VP-71, VP-72, VP 73, and VP-74 fly patrol out of Norfolk, = Quonset, R.I, Newfoundland, Iceland, and Greenland..." http://www.halisp.net/listserv/pacwar/1314.html

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...00DEC41--Order of Battle December 1941 Patrol Wing Seven - Argentia, Newfoundland VP-71 Catalinas PBY5 Argentia=B9, VP-72 Catalinas PBY5 Argentia=B9, VP-73 Catalinas PBY5 Reykjavik, Iceland, and VP-74 PBM-3D Mariner Reykjavik, Iceland..." http://www.halisp.net/listserv/pacwar/1314.html

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The Official History of VP-34 (formerly VP-15F, VP-15, VP-53, VP-73, etc.) as summarized by the Navy Historical Center Aviation Divsion..." Contributed by David R. Reilly, Jr., DPC, USNR-R Dave_Reilly@nps.gov[14JUL99]

Second VP-34


Established as Patrol Squadron FIFTEEN-F (VP-15F) on 1 September 1936.

Redesignated Patrol Squadron FIFTEEN (VP15) on 1 October 1937.

Redesignated Patrol Squadron FIFTY THREE (VP-53) on 1 July 1939.

Redesignated Patrol Squadron SEVENTY THREE (VP-73) on 1 July 1941.

Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY THREE (VPB-73) on 1 October 1944.

Redesignated Patrol Squadron SEVENTY THREE (VP-73) on 15 May 1946.

Redesignated Amphibian Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-AM-4) on 15 November 1946.

Redesignated Patrol Squadron THIRTY FOUR (VP-34) on 1 September 1948, the second squadron to be assigned the VP-34 designation.

Disestablished on 30 June 1956.

Squadron Insignia and Nickname


Patrol Squadron Fifteen-F devised an insignia of a kneeling Indian with his hand shading his eyes as he looked off into the distance. The Indian was representative of the native population of the early Virginia Commonwealth, and Norfolk was the home of VP-15. The figure was a scout, like the aircraft of the patrol squadron, and was armed with arrows just as the seaplanes were armed with bombs and machine guns. Colors: circumference of insignia, red with thin black border; Indian, reddish brown; accouterments, yellow: loin cloth, feathers in headdress and war paint, red hair, black; squadron designation, black. This designed was used by the squadron throughout all of its redesignations up to 1951.

The original designed was changed in 1951 during VP-34's deployment to Trinidad, B.W.I., and replaced by a design featuring a scowling vulture at rest, with a broken submarine in its claws and a mooring line around its neck. The significance was questionable, but it may be safe to infer that the vulture was a big winged bird with keen eyesight, always on the search for prey - the submarine. The mooring line and mooring buoy are the hallmark of a seaplane at rest. Colors: vulture, black body, white crest, neck and top of head read, with yellow beak; sky, blue, cloud, white; rope, yellow, mooring buoy, back and yellow.

Nickname: None known.

Chronology of Significant Events


1 Sep 1936: VP-15F was established at NAF Annapolis, Maryland, under the operational control of Base Force with six P3M-2 aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the squadron was relocated to NAF Norfolk, VA. Owl (AM2) provided tender support. Over the next three years, the squadron flew to Annapolis in June and remained over the summer months, provided midshipman aviation training. The squadron returned to its permanent home base at NAF Norfolk each September.

1 Oct 1937: VP-15F was redesignated VP-15 when the Patrol Wing concept was established. Under this concept patrol squadrons were organized under Patrol Wings and VP-15 came under the operational control of PatWing-5.

October 1938: VP-15 received twelve P2Y-2 aircraft from VP-10 when the latter was refitted with newer replacement aircraft.

Apr 1939: The squadron received the upgraded P2Y-3 in April 1939.

4 Sep 1939: President Roosevelt inaugurated the Neutrality Patrols in response to the German invasion of Poland in August. The patrol line extended east from Boston to latitude 42-30, longitude 65 then south to latitude 19, then around the seaward outline of Windward and Leeward Islands to the British island of Trinidad, near the short of South America. Patrol squadrons VP-51, VP-52, VP-53 and VP-54 of Patwing-5 and VP-33 of PatWing-3 supported Battleship Division 5, Cruiser Division 7, 40 destroyers and 15 submarines in conducting the Neutrality Patrol. VP-53 teamed up with VP-52 and a group of destroyers to cover the waters adjacent to Norfolk.

1 Nov 1939: VP-53 replaced its P2Y-3s with a mixed bag of spare PBY-1, PBY-2 and PBY-3 seaplanes from other squadrons for commencement of the Neutrality Patrols. There were not enough PBYs to replace all of the P2Ys, so two of the P2Y-3 seaplanes were retained and flown alongside the PBYs.

Feb 1940: VP-53 was replaced to NAS Key West, Fla. The squadron remained there until April 1941, when it returned to NAS Norfolk and exchanged its older model aircraft for the new model PBY-5.

24 May 1941: VP-53 was relocated to NAS Quonset Point, R.I., to await the completion of the base under constructions at Argentia, Newfoundland. On 9 June 1941, a detachment of six aircraft deployed to Argentia, supported by tender Albemarle (AV 5). The detachment returned 25 June, after VP-52 had moved ashore and assumed responsibility for patrols.

1 July 1941: VP-53 was redesignated VP-73 after the reorganization of the fleet patrol squadrons, and placed under PatWing-7, Support Force. Detachments of VP-71, 72, &3 and 74 began a rotation program to exchange deployed aircrews at Argentia and Reykjavik back to their home ports at Quonset Point, R.I., and Norfolk, VA.

6 Aug 1941: Six aircraft of VP-73 and five PBMs of VP-74 arrived a Skerja Fjord, near Reykjavik, Iceland. Goldsborough (AVD 5) provided tender support to the squadrons operating out of Reykajavik. Convoys were covered up to 500-miles from base and ASW coverage of the Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland was provided. The combined air strength of the British and U.S. forces in Iceland consisted of 48 British aircraft and 42 American planes. Crews operating in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Circle became known as "blue noses."

15 Jan 1942: Winter in Iceland was the worst enemy of the patrol squadrons. The British withdrew their PBY squadron, feeling that the weather was too extreme for operation of the slow patrol aircraft. On the 15th gales reaching 133 mph struck the area, sinking thee of VP-73 Catalinas and two of VP-74's PBMs.

20 Aug 1942: While on convoy escort in Skerja Fjord, near Reykjavik, Iceland, Lieutenant (jg) Robert B. Hopgood and crew attacked and sank U-464, Korvettenkapitan Otto Harris commanding. Hopgood and his crew pressed home the attack even though the crew of the submarine elected to remain on the surface and fight it out with the lightly armed Catalina. HMS Castleton rescued 53 survivors. Returning to base, Hopgood sent the following message: "Sank Sub Open Club." Lieutenant (jg) Hopgood was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic action.

28 Aug 1942: Lieutenant (jg) John E. Odell and crew claimed a U-boat kill while on convoy escort near Reykjavik, Iceland. Postwar examination of German records does not indicate any losses on that date.

25 Oct - Nov 1942: VP-73 was transferred to French Morocco, based at Craw Field, Port Lyautey. The squadron was operational by 11 November. During its operational patrols the squadron encountered Italian Fiat CR-32 aircraft over the Canary Islands and German Focke-Wulf 200Cs near Gibraltar. Convoys were escorted by the southern route, earning crew members the sobriquet of "shellbacks" for crossing the equator. During this period a detachment was maintained at Ben Sergao Field, Agadir, French Morocco. Crews at this location rotated with VP-92.

16 Aug 1943: VP-73 was relocated to Ben Sergao Field, Agadir, French Morocco.

4 Dec 1943: Orders were received relieving VP-73 of duty in French Morocco. The squadron arrived at NAS Norfolk, VA., on 25 December.

16 Jan 1944: After a brief home leave, the squadron was based at Floyd Bennett Field, NY. Convoys from England were provided coverage in the approaches to the eastern seaboard of the U.S., and ASW patrols were conducted off the coastline of the East Coast.

30 May 1945: VPB-73 deployed to NS San Juan, P.R. While assigned to NS San Juan the squadron came under the operational control of FAW-11, Caribbean Sea Frontier.

1 June 1945: VPB-73 deployed a three aircraft detachment to Port Lyautey, F.M.. A second detachment with one aircraft was sent to Guantanamo, Cuba.

Nov 1946: The squadron changed homeports to San Juan, P.R., to NAS Norfolk, VA.

1 Sep 1948: Following its redesignation from VP-AM-4 to VP-34, the squadron began conversion training for the Martin PBM-5S at Norfolk, VA. The squadron's complement was nine PBMs, with 44 officers and 244 enlisted personnel.

15 Dec 1949: VP-34 conducted one week of cold weather exercises at Halifax, Nova Scotia, supported by the tender USS Duxbury Bay (AVP-38). VP-34 was the first seaplane squadron to operate from Halifax harbor.

1 Sep 1952: VP-34 and VP-3 were the only two patrol squadrons to complete FY 1952 with 100 percent safety marks. VP-34 broke all previous records by flying 3,6143 accident-free hours in just six months.

Jul 1953: Twelve VP-34 aircraft were employed in patrols and long-distance flights between Trinidad and NAS Corpus Christi, Tex., for six weeks of training exercises.

30 Jun 1956: NAS Coco Solo was selected for reversion to caretaker status during the rounds of base cutbacks after the Korean War. VP-34 departed NAS Coco Solo., C.Z., and returned to NAS Norfolk, VA, for formal disestablishment ceremonies.

Home Port Assignments


Location Date of Assignment

NAF Annapolis, MD 1 Sep 1936

NAS Norfolk, Virginia Oct 1936

NAS Key West, Fla. Feb 1940

NAS Norfolk, Virginia April 1941

NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island 24 May 1941

NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco 25 Oct 1942

Ben Sergao Field, Agadir, French Morocco 16 Aug 1943

NAS Norfolk, Virginia 25 Dec 1943

NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York 16 Jan 1944

NS San Juan, P.R. 30 May 1945

NAS Norfolk, Virginia Nov 1946

NAS Trinidad, British West Indies Oct 1950

NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone Jun 1955

NAS Norfolk, Virginia Jun 1956

Commanding Officers


LCDR George T. Owen 1 Sep 1936

LCDR Lester T. Hundt 12 Oct 1937

LCDR Steven W. Callaway May 1938

LCDR Arron P. Storrs, III 23 Sep 1939

LCDR James E. Leeper 1 Jul 1941

LCDR Alexander S. Heyward 13 Aug 1942

LCDR J.E. Odell, Jr. 5 Sep 1943

LCDR W. H. McRee 29 Jul 1944

LCDR Dryden W. Hundley 11 Jul 1945

LCDR H. C. Miller 23 May 1946

LCDR C.F. Vossler 30 Sept 1947

CDR J Sinkankas 19 Jun 1948

LCDR J. F. Schrefer 31 Dec 1949

CDR J. A. Gage, Jr. 30 Jun 1950

CDR C. S. Walloon 30 June 1951

CDR C.A. Lenz 8 Mar 1952

CDR Frank L. DeLorenzo Apr 1953

CDR Randall T. Boyd June 1954

CDR Charles J. Alley Aug 1955

Aircraft Assignment


Type of Aircraft Date Type First Arrived

P3M-2 Sep 1936

P2Y-2 Oct 1938

P2Y-3 Apr 1939

PBY-1/2/3 Dec 1939

PBY-5 Jul 1941

PBY-5A 1942

PBY-6A 1945

PBM-5A SEP 1948

PBM-5S JUN 1949

Major Overseas Deployments


Date of Date of Base of Type of Area of

Departure Return Wing Operations Aircraft Operations

9 Jun 1941 25 Jun 1941 PatWing-5 Argentia PBY-5 NorLant

1 Jul 1941 Oct 1942 PatWing-7 Reykjavik PBY-5A NorLant

Goldsborough (AVD 5)

25 Oct 1942 * FAW-15 Port Lyautey PBY-5A Med

11 Nov 1942 25 Dec 1943 FAW-15 Agadir PBY-5A Med

May 1945 Nov 1946 FAW-11 San Juan PBY-5A Carib

1 Jun 1945 Nov 1946 FAW-5 Port Lyautey PBY-5A Med

15 Dec 1949 21 Dec 1949 FAW-5 Halifax PBM-5S NorLant

USS Duxbury Bay (AVP-38)

* The squadron relocated to another base without returning to its homeport.

Wing Assignments


Wing Tail Code Assignment Date

Base Force, Norfolk 1 Sep 1936

PatWing-5 1 Oct 1937

PatWing-7 1 Jul 1941

FAW-15** 5 Oct 1942

FAW-5 16 Jan 1943

FAW-11 30 May 1945

FAW-5 EC*** Nov 1946

FAW-11 EC Oct 1950

** FAW-15 was not officially established until 1 December 1942

*** The Squadron remained part of FAW-5 but was assigned the tail code EC on 7 November 1946

Unit Awards Received


Unit Award Inclusive Date Covering Unit Award

ADSM 22 Jun 1941 20 Jul 1941

21 Jul 1941 9 Sep 1941

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