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Circa 1949

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News March 1948 "...Naval Air Honors Truman - Page 8 - Naval Aviation News - March 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/mar49.pdf [15JUL2004]

Naval Aviation News March 1948

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-7 Crew ThumbnailCameraVP-7 Squadron "...Squadron portrait of VP-7 taken in the Spring of 1949..." Contributed by Jay Slagle Jayhovers@aol.com [21MAY98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-7 Crew ThumbnailCameraVP-7 CO's "...Commanders George Bullard and Robert Slagle, skippers of VP-7 1949-1950..." Contributed by Jay Slagle Jayhovers@aol.com [15JUL98]


Circa 1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Our History June 1947-August 1950..." The Neptunes Squadron Book - August 1950 [15MAY2002]

On 25 June 1947, Patrol Squadron Seven was commissioned at NAS Miramar under the command of CDR H. E. Robinson. Pilot and flight crew check outs began immediately upon the receipt of the new P2V "Neptune" type aircraft. During the early part of the fall of 1947, the squadron began its move to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The squadron's nine aircraft were ferried across the country one at a time with the last plane landing at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island the latter part of October 1947.

Pilot and flight crew training at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island began upon the arrival of the aircraft and crews from NAS Miramar. Since the Neptune was new to most of the pilots, there was particular emphasis on bounce, instrument, gunnery and bombing training. The crews rapidly began to familiarize themselves with the new and different types of equipment in the Neptune.

In July 1948 the squadron sent its first aircraft with an advance detachment to NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada preceeding the movement of the entire squadron to NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada for a four month tour of advanced base operations. The flight crews and ground crews soon became familiar with the new surroundings and its weather peculiarities.

All flight crews were required to make at least one northern circuit of the U. S. air bases in Labrador, Baffin Island, and Greenland to familiarize themselves with the flight conditions in that region. Most of the pilots flew up the fjords of Greenland for their first time. When the North Atlantic fleet exercises began in November, Partol Squadron Seven was ready to assume the missions assigned to it.

The aircraft and crews flew night and day with one hundred percent backing from the ground crews. The net result of the fleet exercises for our squadron was a wealth of experience for all-especially the newcomers to anti-submarine warfare.

Shortly after completion of the fleet exercises the squadron began its movement back to its home base in NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. It remained in NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island during December of 1948. In January of 1949, CDR G. C. Bullard took over the command of the squadron. The latter part of February, VP-7 packed its bags and cruise boxes again and took a southerly heading for NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for extensive rocket, bombing, and gunnery exercises.

Most everyone enjoyed the three or four weeks spent in NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, even though the flight schedule during the stay was heavy. Trips to Guantanamo City and Caimanerra gave all an opportunity to get an insight on Spanish culture and influence in Cuba.

The squadron participated in the Carabean fleet exercises held during March and again came out on top with valuable experience gained in the war-like exercises.

The squadron returned to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island toward the end of March and slowly began to settle down to routine operations. Between April and July, 1949, all pilots of the squadron went through the VP-21 ASW School at Key West, Florida, which gave everyone a thorough course in the latest ASW techniques.

In August the squadron moved again to NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, for advanced base operations, leaving a three plane detachment at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Conditions were about the same as they were on the first move to NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada. By October, VP-7 was back at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island and began making arrangements for the annual November fleet exercises.

During those exercises the entire squadron operated out of the Royal Canadian Navy Air Station at Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a period of about a week, on ASW missions. Then the squadron moved to Goose Bay, Labrador, to continue operations in the northern phases of the exercises. CDR R. J. Slagel (then Executive Orocer) highlighted the routine operations at Goose Bay when he brought back his Neptune after an enigne failure. This occured 153 miles out over the Davis Straights at night and under instrument and icing conditions.

Patrol Squadron Seven returned to its home base the latter part of November to operate during the last phase of the exercises. The squadron remained at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island throughout December, and in January CDR. R. J. Slagle assumed command of the squadron and took it to NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba again for annual winter rocket, bombing, and gunnery exercises. After about ten days in NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the squadron packed up and flew North to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island and made preparation for PORTREX Fleet Exercise. During PORTREX, VP-7 received a profitable three weeks experience in ASW operations, working out of Ramey A.F.B., Puerto Rico, and Cherry Point, North Carolina.

From April through August (at the time of this writing) the squadron has remained at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island for routine training. During that period the squadron operated with submarines, destroyers, blimps, and other units of the Atlantic Fleet in an effort to acquire ever increasing experience in anti-submarine warfare.

On 22 July, 1950, CDR R. J. Slagle was superceeded by CDR Robert H. Wood as Commanding Grocer of Patrol Squadron Seven. The squadron now looks forward to new horizons in ASW with the latest Neptune P2V-4 as its pew weapon, and its new skipper to chart the course.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...OUR HISTORY June 1947 - Augst 1950 - Cruisebook...." Contributed by Jay Slagle Jayhovers@aol.com [12FEB2001]

On 25 June 1947, Patrol Squadron Seven was commisioned at Miramar, California under the command of CDR. H. E. Robinson. Pilot and flight crew check outs began immediately upon receipt of the new P2V "Neptune" type aircraft. During the early part of the fall of 1947, the squadron began its move to N.A.S. Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The squadrons's nine aircraft were ferried across the country one at a time with the last plane landing at Quonset the latter part of October 1947.

Pilot and flight crew training at Quonset began upon arrival of the aircraft and crews from Miramar. Since the Neptune was new to most of the pilots, there was particular emphasis on bounce, instrument, gunnery and bombing training. The crews rapidly began to familiarize themselves with the new and different types of equipment in the Neptune.

In July 1948 the squadron sent its first aircraft with an advance detachment to Argentia, Newfoundland preceeding the movement of the entire squadron to Argentia for a four month tour of advanced base operations. The flight crews and ground crews soon became familiar with the new surroundings and its weather peculiarities.

All flight crews were required to make at least one northern circuit of the U.S. air bases in Labrador, Baffin Island and Greenland to familiarize themselves with the flight conditions in that region. Most of the pilots flew up the fjords of Greenland for the first time. When the North Atlantic fleet excercises began in November, Patrol Squadron Seven was ready to assume the missions assigned to it.

The aircraft and crews flew night and day with one hundred percent backing from the ground crews. The net result of the fleet excercises for our squadron was a wealth of experience for all - especially the newcomers to anti-submarine warfare.

Shortly after completion of the fleet excercises the squadron began its movement back to its home base in Rhode Island. It remained in Quonset during December of 1948. In January of 1949, CDR. G.C. Bullard took over command of the squadron. The latter part of February, VP-7 packed its bags and cruise boxes again and took a southerly heading for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for extensive rocket, bombing, and gunnery exercises.

Most everyone enjoyed the three or four weeks spent in Cuba, even though the flight schedual during the stay was heavy. Trips to Guantanamo City and Caimanerra gave all an opportunity to get insight on Spanish culture and influence in Cuba.

The squadron participated in Carribean fleet excercises held during March and again came out on top with valuable experience gained in the war-like excercises.

The squadron returned to Quonset toward the end of March and slowly began to settle down to routine operations. Between April and July, 1949, all pilots of the squadron went through the VP-21 ASW School at Kew West, Florida, which gave everyone a thorough course in the latest ASW techniques.

In August the squadron moved again to Argentia, Newfoundland, for advanced base operations, leaving a three plane detachment at Quonset. Conditions were about the same as they were on the first move to Argentia. By October, VP-7 was back at Quonset and began making arrangements for the annual November fleet excercises.

During those excercises the entire squadron operated out of the Royal Canadian Navy Air Station at Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a period of about a week, on ASW missions. Then the squadron moved to Goose Bay, Labrador, to continue operations in the northern phases of the excercises. CDR. R.J. Slagle highlighted the routine operations at Goose Bay when he brought back his Neptune after an engine failure. This occured 153 miles out over the Davis Straights at night and under instrument and icing conditions.

Patrol Squadron Seven returned to its home base the latter part of November to operate during the last phase of the excercises. The squadron remained at Quonset throughout December, and in January CDR. R.J. Slagle assumed command of the squadron and took it to Cuba again for annual winter rocket, bombing, and gunnery excercises. After about ten days in Cuba, the squadron packed up and flew north to Quonset and made preparation for PORTREX Fleet Excercises. During PORTREX, VP-7 received a profitable three weeks experience in ASW operations, working out of Ramey A.F.B., Puerto Rico, and Cherry Point, North Carolina.

From April through August (at the time of this writing) the squadron remained at Quonset for routine training. During that period the squadron the squadron operated with submarines, destroyers, blimps and other units of the Atlantic Fleet in the effort to acquire ever increasing experience in anti-submarine warfare.

On July 22, 1950, CDR. R. J. Slagle was superceeded by CDR. Robert H. Wood as Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadon Seven. The squadron now looks forward to new horizons in ASW with the latest Neptune P2V-4 as its new weapon, and its new skipper to chart the course.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-44 was in NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone from July 1947 to October 1949. At that time we flew PBM Martin Mariners. We were there in Panama with VP-40 which also flew PBM aircraft and VP-7 which had P2V aircraft. VP-44 and VP-40 shared airsea rescue duty in NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We were there three months and then switched for three months...We did Seaplane Tender operations with the tender based in Panama, but I can't remember the name of it...." Contributed by Edwin D. Sayre pbmpilot@home.com [07NOV2000]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: UNIT: VP-7 PREVIOUS DES: VP-ML-7 NAME: Black Falcons TAIL CODE: EM/HE/LB ACTIVATED: 1947 DEACTIVATED: 10-8-69 TYPICAL LOCATION(S): NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island / NAS Brunswick, Maine / NAS Jacksonville, Florida
Books"Title: Lockheed P2V Neptune An Illustrated History by Wayne Mutza wmutza@wi.rr.com...A Schiffer Military History Book...ISBN: 0-7643-0151-9...286 pages full of pictures and history!


Circa 1946 - 1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons CD-ROM: Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol. 2 Stock No. 008-046-00195-2 The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL), and VP(AM) Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C...." [15JUN2000]
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Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-7 History..." Contributed by THOMPSON, HM2 Richard rich_t@direcway.com [25AUG2003]

History reference is the VP-7 Black Falcons CruiseBook, printed in 1969.

In August 1944, at NAAS Camp Kearny, California Patrol Squadron SEVEN was commissioned as VP-119. During WWII the squadron operated out of MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and Clark Field in the Philippines. In 1947 the sqaudron was renamed VP-ML-7 and moved to MCAS Miramar during which it transitiioned to P2V aircraft. That same year it moved again to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. In 1948 the designation of Patrol Squadron Seven was given to the command.

During the Koean Conflict VP-7 operated out of NAS Iwakuni, Japan under FAW-3 (1953-1954). After supporting Task Force 77 it returned to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. In 1955, VP-7 transitioned to P2V-5 aircraft and moved to NAS Brunswick, Maine. For the next seven years under Commander FAW-3 it operated out of NAS Brunswick, Maine and numerous oversea bases.

NAS Jacksonville, Florida became VP-7's home in September 1961. In 1962 under Commander FAW-11 the sqaudron deployed to NAS Sigonella, Sicily. VP-7 was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal for its involvment in the Cuban Quarantine late in 1962.

In 1964, VP-7 commenced a 5 month split rotaion to NS Rota, Spain and NAS Keflavik, Iceland, After the sqaudron returned to NAS Jacksonville, Florida it transitioned to the SP-2H aircraft in October of 1964. In 1965 the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was awarded to VP-7 for the Dominican Republic Operation while deployed out of NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

VP-7 deployed again to NAS Sigonella, Sicily, from December 1965 to May 66 and then returned to NAS Jacksonville, Florida with detachments to Key West, FL and Puerto Rico. The sqaudron returned to NAS Sigonella, Sicily during the Mid-East crisis, daily the flight crews patroled thousands of sqaure miles of the Mediterranean in support of Fleet Operations.

After returning to homeport in Jacksonville, VP-7 deployed for the last time in October 1968 to NAS Sigonella, Sicily. VP-7 returned to NAS Jacksonville, Florida in February 1969. Later that year Patrol Sqaudron SEVEN was decommissioned.


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