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VP-5 P-3 Orion BUNO: 158923
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VP-5 P2 Neptune BUNO: 131428
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VP-7 Memorial
VP-7 CREW-3 - In Memorium - CREW-3 VP-7

"Eternal Father Strong To Save"
The Navy Hymn
Sailor Aviators Version

Eternal Father, Strong to Save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its' own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In dark'ning storms or sunlight fair.
O, Hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air.

But when at length our course is run,
Our work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that flew and sailed,
Let not one life in thee be failed,
But hear from heaven our sailors cry,
And grant eternal life on high.

May all our departed shipmates rest in peace.

Eternal Father by the U.S. Navy Band's Sea Chanters (668 kbytes - WAV file)

VP-7 Neptune Crashes at Sea

FOGHORN
VOL 2 No. 94
U. S. Naval Station, Argentia, Newfoundland
December 30, 1960

Contributed by Vito Caruso vitocar@verizon.net

The search for missing crew memebers of the Patrol Squadron SEVEN P2V Neptune that crashed into the sea off Cape Race, Nfld last week has been discontinued, and search units have returned to normal operations. Authorities at the Atlantic Barrier Force headquarters here made the announcement on Tuesday, December 27 after an extensive air and sea search had failed to reveal any futher sign of the missin gplane or its crew. The Neptune disappeared on Wednesday morning, December 21, not long after it had taken off from Argentia to take part in a fleet training exercise.

Two bodies of crewmen and several pieces of the plane were recovered on the first day of the search, but further efforts to locate other crewmen proved fruitless.

In making its announcement that the search had been called off, Barrier Forces headquarters said that there is no longer any hope that any of the nine men might still be alive. Even with the most advanced protective clothing, which the crew had, survival in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic could be measured only in hours.

The men whose bodies were recovered apparently died of exposure. They were Stillman Schulze, Jr., AT1, of Lincoln, Neb. and Don O. Voland, AMS2, of Belleville, Ill. Both bodies have been returned to their homes for burial.

The other victims, members of Crew No. 3 were LTJG Billie M. Wertz, Brunswick, Me., Pilot; LTJG David Hardy, Lynnfield, Mass., Copilot; LTJG William T. Flynn, Orange, N.J., navigator, and crew member George P. Smith, AD2, Brunswick, Me., Daniel R. Carlson, AT2, Beloit, Wis.; Lee Calvin Ashburn, ADR3, Utica, Ohio; and Rocco S. Sallesa, AO1, Waterown, Mass.

Rear Admiral R. B. Moore COMBARLANT expressed his sympathy for the families of the victims, and praised the ships and aircraft that aided in the search operations. He termed their work "outstanding and in the highest traditions of rescue at sea."

The Canadian Dep;artment of Transportation icebreaker WOLF, the United States Lines freighter SS AMERICAN CLIPPER, the Newfoundland trawler BLUE FOAM, the U. S. Coast Guard cutter ESCANABA, and a Lancaster bomber of the RCAF Rescue Coordination Center, Torbay joined Navy and Coast Guard aircraft from Argentia in the search.

Even as the announcement of discontinuation of the search was being made, memorial services for the crash victims were being conducted at the two Naval Station, Argentia chapels.

Early Tuesday morning, Father E. F. Fallon, Catholic Chaplain, celebrated a requiem high mass in the Catholic Chapel, and later in the morning, services were held by Chaplain G. E. Thomas in the Protestant Chapel.


UPDATE History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailCameraAD2 Smith "...I am searching for any information regarding my grandfather, Machinist Mate 2nd class Phillip George Smith, who served at NAS Brunswick, Maine. He was killed in a crash 17 miles off of the coast of Newfoundland in a P2 Neptune when he was 30 years old. My family only has a newspaper article from December 22, 1960 where the crash and his death are mentioned from the Troy Times (Troy, New York). The article does mention that the 9 crew members bodies were recovered by the U.S. freighter American Clipper. Phillip George Smith and I was named after my grandfather. Any additonal information would be appreciated..." Contributed by Phillip George Smith phillipgsmith37@gmail.com [03SEP2017]

UPDATE "...I recall that at one time the incident report on the fatal crash of a VP-7 aircraft in December, 1960 did not have the BUNO of the aircraft. I recall that it was 128335. It stuck in my memory because my crew was flying 128334. We all attended the memorial service. It was a time I will never forget. Those guys were good friends...Paul Edmonds paul_edmonds@hotmail.com..." [19JAN2001]

UPDATE "...VP-7 The crash on 12dec60 could not have been of 128335, as this aircraft flew with the reserves at NAS Alameda in the 1960s until it was retired to MASDC at Davis Monthan on 12nov68. I have no idea which one it could have been, though..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jwaarde@chello.nl, Navy/USMC/USCG/NASA Updates Editor WebSite: http://www.scramble.nl Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble [01DEC2004]

UPDATE "...VP-7 The crash on 12dec60 could not have been of 128335, as this aircraft flew with the reserves at NAS Alameda in the 1960s until it was retired to MASDC at Davis Monthan on 12nov68. I have no idea which one it could have been, though..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jwaarde@chello.nl, Navy/USMC/USCG/NASA Updates Editor WebSite: http://www.scramble.nl Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble [01DEC2004]

UPDATE "...My uncle, Rocco "Roy" Sallesa, was killed on December 21, 1960 as a result of a plane crash off the coast of Argentia (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends "...December 21, 1960 VP-7 Neptune Crashes at Sea..."). I am interested in learning about his life and death from anyone who knew him. Christmas has never been the same. Thank you...Geraldine Brown GBrown2711@aol.com..." [21APR2003]

UPDATE "...I recall that at one time the incident report on the fatal crash of a VP-7 aircraft in December, 1960 did not have the BUNO of the aircraft. I recall that it was 128335. It stuck in my memory because my crew was flying 128334. We all attended the memorial service. It was a time I will never forget. Those guys were good friends...Paul Edmonds paul_edmonds@hotmail.com..." [19JAN2001]

UPDATE Newspaper Account GOTO: Memorial Page. Contributed by Vito Caruso vitocar@verizon.net [26MAY2000]

UPDATE "...I was Ron McLaughlin's 2nd Tech on the crew at the time of the Jan '60 mishap. Thanks to the snow that covered the area,we all survived without a scratch.I also have a few black and white photos of some of the crew that parished on Dec '60. We had had a rating party all that day in Nov '60,complete with all the trappings of King Neptune.It ended with a party at the mess hall that night.That is where I got a few pictures.After our crash in '61 it was generally felt that the crew in Dec '60 my have encountered the same failures we did . One difference was that there crash occured after dark approximately 72 miles off the coast of Argentia, Nfld..." Contributed by AX1 Joe Widell USN (Ret) jdw22@ime.net [17NOV98]


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