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HistoryVP-83 HistoryHistory

Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83/VPB-107 Letter from James Forrestal "...Letter from James Forrestal to FISHER, Andrew Lewis..." Contributed by Sgt. Brian L. Fisher USMC/RET mburkard@stny.rr.com..." [16JUL2005]


Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-11 - History from 00AUG42-00DEC44 - Submitted December 19th, 1944. Squadron's Assigned: VP-31, VP-32, VP-53, VP-74, VP-81, VP-83, VP-92, VP-94, VP-98, VP-99, VP-130, VP-131, VP-133, VP-141, VP-147, VP-204, VP-205, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214 and VP-215..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [04DEC2012]

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1943-1947
Personal Journal

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...WWII Journal of William C. Roth - April 1943, through November 1947 - Written July 2005..." WebSite: http://wwii.thedance.net/ [13NOV2005]

Joining the Navy

After I received my greetings from the president, an invitation I could not refuse, I took my physical in Phila, Pa.  When I passed the physical they asked me what branch of the military I wished to join. Only gave you a few seconds to decide.  I quickly thought the Army marches too much in mud and sleeps on the ground the Marines are crazy for fighting and really gung-ho, the Coast Guard has no glory, so that left the Navy, which I chose.

At first they would not approve my choice as I had a full set of dentures.  I told them I did not want to bite the enemy, only to fight them.  They finally said okey and put me in the Navy.

On April 2, l943, a second date that will live in infamy, I joined the Navy.

My brother Harry and his wife Evelyn took me to the Reading Railroad Terminal in Philadelphia late that evening.  After an all night train ride to Seneca, New York, we were given a stale cheese sandwich and an orange to eat.  I said to myself, what the h--- am I getting myself into.

The U.S.  Naval Training Station at Sampson, New York was brand new. There was mud everywhere and we had to scrape the paint from the windows.

We graduated from Boot camp on June 5,1943 as Company 330.

Most of the guys were from all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey, also some from Conn.  Harry Polinski and I were both from Lester, Pa.  At the end of Boot camp they asked us what branch of the Navy we wished to continue in.  Harry and I decided to pick Fire Control (Harry) and Aviation Radioman (me) as our number one choices.  That way if one did not get our first choice, we would still be together, as luck would have it we both got our first choices...

They promised me that if would go to Yeoman's training, I would be a Petty Officer 3rd class in 6 weeks, I had a very good background in office studies since I graduated from Ridley Park High School, one of the best commercial courses in the area.

But, being 19 years old, and stupid, I did not want to spend my Navy career behind a desk, so I said No Thanks.  I want to fight the enemy, so naïve at this age.

Radioman Training

So I went to Naval Air Technical Training Center in NAS Memphis, Tennessee from June to November 1943.  We spent many hours learning Morse Code and sending and receiving radio messages.

On Nov 6,1943 I graduated in Class R1 Aviation Radio Man Course...  In that class was a James Henry Mooney, of which you will hear more about later.

Upon graduation from Aviation Radioman School were asked to volunteer for Aviation Gunnery School.  The ones who did not volunteer were shipped out to New Orleans to be assigned to Naval Vessels.

Those that volunteered were sent to Naval Air Gunnery School in Hollywood, Fla.  What great duty.  It was formerly a boys military academy.  We were four to a dorm with our own bath... no fence around the school.  We were free to go as we pleased.  But that did not last long as we graduated Dec 18,1943. 

Next I went to Naval Air Station, Lake City, Fla., where I flew 34 hours in a PV-2 twin engine Navy plane for training.  Then onto Beaufort, S.C. flying 39.4 hours in a PV-2 doing air-to-air gunnery training.

It was while at Lake City our PV-2 flew into the eye of a hurricane to take pictures within the eye, what an experience?

Tape To EnlargeAll this time we were training to be radio/gunners for a TBF Squadron (Torpedo Bomber Fighter).

As fate would have it, about this time a hurricane over NAS Corpus Christi, Texas delayed the training of the TBF pilot.

So we were asked to choose between staying with the TBF training or transferring to a Land Based Anti-Submarine B-24 Bomber Squadron.

I had just read in the paper about an entire squadron of TBF's being wiped out in the Pacific by the Japanese, seeing as how my Mother did not raise any dumb children.  I opted for the B-24 bombers.

Tape To Enlarge

King Sol's Jesters

I was sent to the NAS Chincoteague, Virginia, to be assigned to a flight crew.

Arriving at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia I was assigned to be a Radioman in Lt.  Commander William Soloman's flight crew.  As Lt.  Commander Soloman was not expected until the following week I hitchhiked home to Lester, Pa for the week-end...  However, Lt.  Commander Soloman arrived early.

He wanted to meet his crew, and he was not too happy to be unable to find his radioman.  I received a Captains Mast (similar to a court martial), first of five Captains Mast received in my Navy career, a couple for being A.W.O.L., one for drunk and disorderly, one for gambling aboard ship, and the one that hurt the most of all, shirking duty.

Tape To EnlargeFinally the whole crew got together and took a get acquainted flight.  The pilot was Lt.  Commander William Soloman (Sol), co-pilot was Lt.  Keyhoe, navigator was Ensign Gee.  Ray Purviance was crew chief, William (Bo) Beauchman, mechanic.  Nick Molchan, mechanic, Rudy (Jake) Ramstack, radioman.  William (Tool) Purviance, ordinance man, William (Bill) Miller, mechanic and William (C. Note Charlie) Roth, radioman.  As you can see there were too many William's, so we had to have nicknames for everyone and the fact that I had a C-Note ($100.) bill stashed away in my wallet.  Never did use it.

While at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia, the afore mentioned James (Jim) Mooney and I decided to buy some new Navy Blue Suits (Whipcord) in order to impress the ladies.  I told him I knew just the place, South Street in Philadelphia, where all the Jewish tailors were located.  So we hitchhiked to Lester to buy some new blues.  Unfortunately, it was a Jewish holiday and no shops were open.  We took the trolley back to Lester, bought some beer and sat on the fence at my home watching the ladies come off Westinghouse after their shift.  Then we went to a local bar and we met the Mayor of Tinicum Twp whom I knew quite well.  He drove us around Lester and Essington stopping at each bar.  Sometime in the wee hours of the morning he dumped us out on the street in front of my home.  Was all I could do to reach the door bell.  My parents came down and my Mother said "Poor boys, they are sick".  My Father said "Sick Hell they are drunk." We never did get our dress blues...

One of the other B-24 crews at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia had an old Dodge four door sedan with no plates or ownership papers.  The car was sold or handed down to a new crew when the old crew shipped out.  We bought or received this car.  We drove it to Salisbury, Md., about 20 miles away for Liberty.  I met a nice young lady who was a telephone operator.  After 11:00 P.M. any day I could make free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S.  For gas in the Dodge we used aviation fuel, which was not too good for the car, before we shipped out the car blew it's engine, so pushed it into the weeds and left.

We would fly practice flights at least once a week but the final flight before shipping out was a simulated full bomb load, full gas load and a ten to eleven hour flight.  Some of the planes could not take all this weight.  Several of the crews ahead of us were not too lucky.  One crashed into the woods, all ten or eleven crew were lost.  One crashed at sea also losing all the crew.  One had to ditch in the ocean, losing all but three or four crew.  When it was our turn for the final flight were a little nervous!!!!!!!!!  At the end of the runway the pilot revved up the four engines as much as he could with the brakes on.  When I got off the radio I stood in the cockpit between the pilot and co-pilot.  Old Sol was pulling back on the wheel as hard as he could, he was a large powerful man...  I could see the trees at the end of the runway coming up fast.  We got airborne and the wheels just missed the trees.

South Atlantic Patrol

After that flight we were assigned to a VPB-1 Liberator Squadron, out of NAF Natal, Brazil, flying anti-submarine patrols in the South Atlantic.

Tape To EnlargePart of the squadron were sent to NAS Norfolk, Virginia, to board a ship that would take us to NAF Natal, Brazil...  We got aboard the USS Albemarle (AV-5), a seaplane tender.  There were not enough berths so we slept on the inside hanger deck.  The first morning we awoke to a loud clamor, pipes were piping, bugles were blowing, etc.  We did not know what the H ---- was going on.  Just a normal Navy wake-up call.

We were put to work while at sea, some scraping paint, others painting.  I was lucky (again) as I was assigned to the store where they gave out or sold ice cream, candy, etc...  It was a very nice trip.  Since the ship was due for an Admiral's inspection when it reached port, we did not have a big ceremony, when it crossed the equator...  We landed at NAF Recife, Brazil and were bussed to the NAF Natal, Brazil.  We flew anti-submarine patrol at least once a week in the South Atlantic, between South America and Africa.  The squadron was called VP-83 until we received 24 PB4Y-1 Liberators.  Then we changed to VPB-107.  The PBY's only had four 30 cal. machine guns and the subs would stay on the surface firing at the PBY's.  As the sub had a 20 mm cannon on deck.  When we arrived at NAF Natal, Brazil we could see all the holes in the planes.  Needless to say the subs were surprised to find the PB4Y-1's had eight 50 cal machine guns.  Now they would submerge as soon as possible. 

We flew patrols out of NAF Natal, Brazil until the end of 1944, at which time the South Atlantic had been essentially cleared of German Submarines.  In his book "Galloping Ghosts of the Brazilian Coast" Author Allen Cary writes the entire history of the submarine war in the South Atlantic.  VP-83, VPB-107 was credited with sinking eight German Submarines.

Upottery, England

At this time the squadron was re-assigned to the U.S. Naval Air Base at Upottery, England.  Some flew the planes to England, some went back to NAS Norfolk, Virginia, and then to England.  Twenty-four of us were left to close the base.  We each carried our entire Navy records, we were only ordered to re-join the squadron in England as soon as possible.  While awaiting a commercial flight to Miami, each night we would go into Natal to the Americas Bar and tell them we are leaving.  They would buy all of us beer.  But the next day we did not have a Miami flight...  Back to the Americus Bar and free beer.  After three or four days of this they stopped the free beer.  Finally we got a plane to Miami...  Twenty four of us each with his individual Navy records.

We landed in Miami about 8 or 9 P.M.  There was a 10 P.M. curfew in Miami.  What to do?  Someone said we should turn ourselves in to the Navy shore patrol...  Someone else said lets find a motel, spend a few days in Miami, then turn ourselves over to the Navy S.P.  Guess what we did?  We had a great couple of days in Miami.  Then went to the Navy and showed them our orders.

They put all twenty four of us on a train to New York.  We had a whiskey bottle that we hid in the ice behind the water cooler...  One of the conductors found it and would not give it back to us.  I remember Luther Palmer had that conductor by the neck and seat of his pants ready to throw him off the moving train.  We finally arrived in New York City and were barracked on some pier, to await transport to England.  We spent about a week touring New York City.

We finally were put aboard the French Liner Ile De France, which had been taken over by the British, aboard were 10,000 solders, 2,000 colored WACs and us 24 sailors.  It was quite crowded on board and they only let us topside once a day for an hour or so.  The British only fed us twice a day, midmorning and late afternoon.  There was a place open in the afternoon that sold icecream candy, etc.  But the lines went half way around the ship. 

One of us sailors got a bright idea.  We borrowed leggings from the Army, wrapped a black sock around our arm and went to the head of the line, saying GUN CREW.  This worked for 3 or 4 days until they discovered there were no guns aboard ship.  The ship took a North Atlantic route to avoid the German Subs, so it took us about ten to twelve days to reach Scotland.  We landed in some city in Scotland, took a train down to England and finally arrived Upottery Navy Base.  I found later that this was the same Army base that the 102nd Parachute Army Division used in the June invasion.  We lived in Quonset huts with only a wood stove for heat.  We flew every fourth day for ten to eleven hours, from sunup to sunset.

Here is where I became good friends with Ray Teglia an other radioman who was from Chicago.  We flew many flights together and would go on Liberty together.  The nearest town was Taunton which was not great for Liberty.  So we would take a train up to Bristol.  Much to do in Bristol.  On one such trip we were in the train station waiting for our train back to Taunton when Ray tried to get too friendly with the girlfriend of the Army M.P. at the station.  Anyway this M.P. got us for drunk and disorderly, put us on report and made sure we got on the train.  Another Captain's Mast.

On our first flight Feb 25,1945 out of Upottery patrolling over Lyme Bay, we diverted to Weston Zoyland to an emergency landing field.  The fog was too bad back at Upottery.  After landing we had to walk about a mile to town for food.  The locals must have thought we were aliens from Mars walking down the road in our flying suits and boots.

We flew sub patrol about every fourth day with the rest of the day off after debriefing and also had the next day off.  On the days of our flight we had breakfast in the officers mess, eggs and such, and upon our return we had steak, also in the officers' mess.

We did get time off occasionally and on one occasion Ray Teglia and I went to London for a weekend.  We did all the London sights.  One day we were in a hotel with two friends when the air raid siren sounded.  Everyone had to go down to the basement shelter for protection...  German unmanned V-Bombs were hitting the city.  After two or three alerts had interrupted our meeting we said "To Hell with It", and stayed in the room.  The next morning we looked out the window and saw entire city blocks nearby completely flattened by the V-Bomb...

On May 9, 1945 we were scheduled to fly a patrol.  On May 8, word came down that the war in Europe was over, but we were all restricted to base that day.  However, that evening I went over the hedges and went to Taunton to help the British celebrate. 

The flight on May 9,1945 took us between Scilies and Brest where we encountered German Submarine No. 249.  See Appendix 1 for this story, which has been accepted to be included in the Library of Congress WWII stories.

After the war in Europe ended our squadron VPB 107 crews took turns going to Paris, France for a weekend.  Just before our crews turn we were assigned back to the U.S.A. for deployment to the Pacific. 

We sailed from England on the U.S.S.  Albamarle (remember her).  Being such a clever guy I quickly volunteered to work in the same place as on the voyage from Norfolk.  But I outsmarted myself, they did not put anyone to work. 

End of the War (and After)

After two weeks Liberty I reported to NAS Alameda, California, July 1945.  While we were there the war in the Pacific ended.  I went to San Francisco on Liberty and really partied, helping to turn the cable cars round and round. (As seen on news reels). 

After the war ended the Navy was losing many men, so they provided a two year re-enlistment program.  Since I entered the Navy on the East Coast (Philadelphia) they would to have to pay my way from California to Phila.  Since I was also still drawing 50% flight pay I shipped over to the U.  S.  Regular Navy for two more years. 

I bought a 1941 Hudson car and four of us from the East drove back to Phila.  Arno Laux from North Phila was one of the four.  On the way back to California, another guy was driving and I was in the passenger seat when he attempted to pass another car on a hill outside of Gallup, New Mexico and we smashed in the front of the car.  The car could still be driven and we went into Gallup.  There was no car dealer there to get parts for the car.

So we continued on to Flagstaff, Az where we spent a week getting the car repaired, borrowed $50 from the Red Cross.  We got a motel room and had a glorious week in Flagstaff.

We wired the Navy Base and told them we would be late.  The lady that ran the motel wanted to kick us out because we would bring females to the room but we prevailed and finally made it back to California.

NAAS Crows Landing, California

We were assigned to the NAAS Crows Landing, California, just outside of Modesto, Calif.  We were training in PB4Y-2, the single tail version of the B-24 Liberator.  My buddy Nick Molchan, was from Buzzards Bay, Mass so when he made collect phone calls from Crows Landing to Buzzards Bay the operator thought he was drunk.

The Skipper of our squadron outranked the Skipper of Crows Landing Station.  We had the barracks fixed so that each end third was for sleeping and the middle third was set up with sofas, chairs and tables to play cards.  The base shore patrol would put us on report but our Skipper would throw away the report and saying, "these men were flying every day and needed to relax."  Our Skippers name was Brewer and we would fly thru hell for him...  Modesto was where Bill Miller and I would hang out at the bowling lanes and challenge the locals bowling for money...  I must mention that Bill Miller was a great bowler.  He later was one of the original bowlers that started the Pro Bowlers Assoc. of America (PBA).  Needless to say we did pretty well.  I kept a complete set of civilian clothes in a locker at a bar, the Carlin Club in Modesto.  It was a great Liberty town.

NAS Whidbey Island, Washington

Next we were sent to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.  I drove the Hudson up there, what a beautiful drive thru Northern Calif and Oregon.

NAS Whidbey Island, Washington was connected to the mainland over a deep pass by a huge canterlevered bridge.  One day while just flying around the pilot decided to fly under the bridge.  We all said he was crazy.  But under the bridge we flew.  What a strange sight to be looking up at a bridge.

We would spend six months at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and three months in Alaska.  At NAS Kodiak, Alaska.  I put my Hudson in storage in Seattle, Washington.  In Alaska we would fly patrol along the Aleutians and North Pacific.  On one such flight we crossed the International Dateline.

NAS Adak, Alaska

On another flight we were supposed to land at NAS Adak, Alaska an Island about half way out the Aleutians.  When we arrived at Adak the fog was so bad we could not see the runway.  On one pass we just missed the mountain which was above the runway.  The pilot figured we had enough gas to get to Attu, the last island in the chain.  Still foggy.  Along the way I was on the Radar and we were navigating from island to island.  Running low on gas we proceeded to throw everything but the radio gear overboard.  Finally we made radio contact with an Army base on Shimya Island.  Army said, "Use runway so and so".  Our pilot replied, "I'm coming straight in." At one time when the pilot cross-fed the gas to all engines I had to go off the air with radio because there might be a spark...  People thought we went down.  When we landed at Shimya, rolling down the runway, all four engines died at once!!  Upon exiting the plane the first Army guy I saw, I asked him "Do you have anything to drink."  Alaska was a beautiful place, we went to Fairbanks and other towns. 

While in Alaska one day someone hollered at me, "C-Note you want to go to the NAS Squantum, Massachusetts." I figured I shipped over in Calif and if I got out on the East Coast they would have to pay my way back to Calif.  They needed four or five radiomen at NAS Squantum, Massachusetts, so I said, "Yes".  We got back to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and I got my car out of storage.  Four of us headed east.  One of the guys had married while in Washington and his wife was from Minnesota and she came with us in the car and went to Minn, to her home.

Driving thru the northern tier of states was really rough, sometimes we would drive with our head out the window, due to ice on the windshield.  We stopped at some little town in Minn, where the guys wife was from.  While there we had a shiveree a tradition where the new bride is kidnapped and the groom has to redeem her with beer.  During the procedure shot guns are fired into the air.  They gave me an old shotgun and when I fired it I was not ready for the hard kickback and almost got knocked over.

We finally made it to Mass., the Navy Air Base was used mainly for reserve pilots who had to fly at least ten hours a month to keep up their status.  We made sure the radios were working in the planes.  The planes were Navy SNJ and the movies used them as Jap Zeroes. 

We could fly with the pilots or not.  I would go off with them now and then to keep my air crew status. 

The local police knew my Hudson well.  One day they came to our front gate trying to serve tickets on me for traffic violations...  But they could not set foot on Navy property, so I just laughed at them.  My car had only one headlight working and it would go places where no car should be.

Each month come payday, the base officers would try to not pay us enlisted men flight pay.  But since we had air crew in our records they could not stop from paying us flight pay.

This got to be such a hassle that on Nov 24,1947, when my two years were up I decided to get out of the Navy and went home to Lester, Pa.

They had to pay my way back to California though.

Appendix 1

Tape To Enlarge

The story of what happened on the Patrol Flight on May 9, 1945.

VPB-107 was flying submarine patrol out of England, patrolling the North Sea, English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, etc.  Every fourth day we would go on a 10-11 hr patrol.  I was a Second Class Radio-gunner in the squadron.

May 9, 1945 was our day to fly patrol.  One day earlier, May 8, the word came down of the surrender, but May 9 was the official day.  We were all restricted to base on May 8, but I went back over the hedges to a small English town. 

The people were so happy they insisted that I party with them... I staggered back to the base about 3 A.M., had an hour or so sleep, before we had breakfast, got briefed, checked our equipment and took off at dawn.  I told my second radio radioman, Ray Teglia, that I was going to the rear and to wake me if anything happened...

Some time later, Ray awoke me shouting Charlie, Charlie [my nickname] SUB, SUB.  I jumped up and looked out the side port and saw a sub. 

I grabbed a 50 cal. machine gun, put it in its holder and was priming it when Ray hollered don't shoot, they're surrendering...

Sure enough, they were flying a black flag. 

Wow, I almost had my 15 minutes of infamous glory and an international incident... I got on the radio and the first one I raised was a British destroyer. 

They came and towed the sub to a port... I still have the picture of the sub taken from our plane. 

It is certified by the pilot, Lt. JG W.F. Brewer, USN. 

I don't know if any museum, or such would like this photo. 

I would gladly donate this item if anyone is interested.

Appendix 11

I have mentioned Jim Mooney in this journal.  In 1968 or 1969, while working at RCA Research Labs, Princeton, N.J., and having suffered from back pain for years I made an appointment with a Neurosurgeon in New Brunswick, N.J.  Arriving at his office, I noticed his diplomas James Mooney from Pittsburgh, Pa.  Could it be?  He turned to me and said, "C-Note Charlie."  He was the same Jim Mooney.  I told him I was not going to let a drunken sailor operate on me!  But he did and he did a great job.  Made me stay off work for three months.  We visited him and his family that Christmas.  Had a big lovely home in Princeton, N.J.  Unfortunately he passed away a few years later from a heart attack.  Only a young man, what a shame...


Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-16 - History from 16FEB43-20DEC43 - Submitted December 29th, 1944. Squadron's Assigned: VP-45, VP-74, VP-83, VP-94, VP-107, VP-127, VP-129, VP-130, VP-134, VP-143, VP-145, VP-203 and VP-211..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [08DEC2012]

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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]

Archimede (Italy), 15 April 1943
Type: Archimede Class Laid Down: Cant. Nav. F. Tosi, Taranto, December 1937
Commissioned: 18 April 1939
Commander: February 1943 April 1943, Tenente di Vascello Guido Saccardo
Career: Assigned: April 1939 April 1943, La Verdun Flotilla
Successes: 3 Allied vessels sunk, tonnage not listed
Fate: Ensign T. E. Robertson and Lieutenant G. Bradford, Jr., flying VP-83 PBY-5A Catalinas, attacked a surfaced submarine off the coast of Brazil, position 03°23'S, 30°28'W. Ensign Robertson made the first bomb run, droppingfour depth charges that damaged the boat. Lieutenant Bradford attacked minutes later, dropping four more depth charges from an altitude of 50 feet. The submarine sank six minutes later. Thirty survivors exited the boat and boarded three rafts. One raft was found 27 days later by Brazilian fishermen. It contained two bodies and one survivor who later confirmed the sinking of Archimede, a 913-ton Italian submarine.

UPDATE "...KLOSS, Earl Joseph (passed away at age 51) Personal Collection and forwarded by his daughter Elizabeth J. Kloss pontiac_no2@comcast.net..." [21JUL2009]

Left to Right:

    Minneapolis Morning Tribune - Thursday, May 27, 1943 - Two Royalton Sailors Aboard Plane That Sank Submarine
    Two Planes Sink U-boat After Battle in Atlantic - Royalton, Minn., Lookout Is First to Sight Enemy Craft
    Mrs. Roosevelt Presents Navy Awards to Earl J. Kloss - March 23, 1944
    My dad is the one on the left.
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UPDATE "...Italian submarine Archimede was attacked by two Catalinas of VP-83 on April 15, 1943 - Archimede emerges from the depth-charge slick as spray from LT Gerrard Bradford's attack subsides - this was the second of two attacks by PBY's of VP-83 - All the photos below were taken from LT Gerrard Bradford's aircraft during the second attack by PBY's of VP-83..." WebSite: UBoat Archives http://www.uboatarchive.net/Archimede.htm [20JUL2009]
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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-83 History ThumbnailCamera1st Kill! "...First Kill by Billie N. Goodell..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [29NOV2006]

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 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: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83 Distinguished Flying Cross "...Distinguished Flying Cross presented to Billie Goodell, Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class..." Forwarded by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [20MAR2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83 Distinguished Flying Cross "...Distinguished Flying Cross presented to Billie Goodell, Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class..." Forwarded by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [20MAR2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83 Distinguished Flying Cross "...Distinguished Flying Cross presented to Billie Goodell, Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class by Admiral Ingram - January 6, 1943..." Forwarded by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [20MAR2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...German attempts to interdict South Atlantic cargo bound for the Allies caused the sinking of serveral ships including some Brazilian merchantmen. This brought Brazil into the war on the side of the Allies and hastened the basing of U. S. Navy ASW units there. On 6 Jan '43 a Catalina of VP-83 (Lt. William Ford commanding) sunk U-164 in the South Atlantic then threw a life raft to a handful of survivors. Two of them reached the north coast of Brazil and were made POWs. VP-83 transported the Germans (center foreground) to Natal. Note the pair of depth charges under each wing...." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [10MAR2005]

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UPDATE "...First Kill..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [09MAR2006]

YOU HAVE READ DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS ABOUT THE SQUADRONS FIRST KILL.WELL SINCE IT WAS MY PLANE HERE IS THE WAY IT WAS.WE WERE COVERING A NORTHBOUND CONVOY OF ABOUT FIFTY SHIPS.WHEN WE GOT OFF THE COAST OF BELEM WE WERE RELIEVED BY ANOTHER SQUADRON.SO WE WENT INTO BELEM FOR GAS AND SPENT THE NIGHT.THE PILOT WAS LT.FORD AND THE COPILOT WAS LTJG DAWKINS.WE MET AT THE PLANE THE NEXT MORNING AND MR.FORD ASK US IF WE WANTED TO FLY BACK OVER THE JUNGLES OR THE OCEAN.NO ONE KNEW SO HE SAID HE WOULD FLIP A COIN.THE RESULTS WERE THAT WE WOULD GO THE OCEAN ROUTE.WE TOOK OFF AND HEADED SOUTH.THE CREW WAS TIRED FROM ALL OF THE HOURS WE HAD SPENT IN THE AIR THE DAYS BEFORE SO WE TOLD THEM TO SLEEP AND GET SOME REST.MEANWHILE I WAS ALONE IN THE AFTERSTATION SEATED NEXT TO THE PORT FIFTY CALIBER.WE WERE FLYING ABOUT THREE THOUSAND FEET OUT AT SEA.I HAD A PAIR OF BINOCULARS AND WAS SEEING IF I COULD MAKE OUT WHERE THE WATER AND SKY MET.THERE WERE QUIET A FEW CLOUDS BUT I COULD SEE PATCHES OF BLUE WATER EVER SO OFTEN.IN ONE OF THE OPENINGS I SPOTTED A WHITE WAKE AND A U BOAT OFF THE PORT SIDE.I CALLED LT.FORD AND TOLD HIM THERE WAS A SUB ABOUT ELEVEN O'CLOCK.HE TOLD ME THAT HE HADN;T SPOTTED IT YET.I HAD ALREADY UNSTRAPPED THE PORT GUN WHEN WE MADE A SHARP LEFT BANK AND PUT OLE 83 P 2 IN A STEEP DIVE.HE HAD SPOTTED IT AND WAS GOING IN FOR THE KILL.I BEGIN TO STRAFE THE SUB AND TRACERS WERE FLYING UNDER THE PORT WING.WE COULD SEE THE CREW ON DECK MOST IN BATHING TRUNKS.THEY TRIED TO PULL COVERS OFF THEIR DECK GUNS BUT NEVER MADE IT.LT.FORD STRADDLED IT WITH TWO DEPTH CHARGES ON EACH SIDE.I CONTINUED FIRING AS THE BOMBS EXPLODED AND THE SUB ROSE AND BROKE IN HALF.WE MADE A SHARP TURN TO THE PORT AND I KEPTED ON FIRING.ALL OF A SUDDEN A HAND ON MY SHOULDER PULLED ME BACK AND SAID BILL YOU ARE KILLING ALL THE SURVIVORS.MR.FORD WENT DOWN TO ABOUT A HUNDRED FEET AND BEGAN TO CIRCLE.ONE GUY WAS STRADDLED ON A TANK OF SOME SORT AND ANOTHER WAS SWIMMING TOWARD HI.THERE WERE A FEW BODIES IN THE WATER AND LOTS OF OIL AND DEBRIES.WATER BEGAN TO GET ROUGH.WE MADE A PASS AND I THREW A LIFE RAFT OVER THE SIDE.THE CURRENTS CARRIED IT AWAY FROM THEM SO WE WENT UPWIND AND THREW OUR LAST RAFT OUT.IT INFLATED AND BOTH MEN GOT ABOARD.I TOOK A CANISTER OF WATER.WRAPPED A LIFE VEST AROUND IT AND THREW IT TO THEM.IT GOT ROUGH AND WE LOST SIGHT OF THE RAFT.WE RADIOED THEIR POSITION AND HEADED FOR FORTALEZA.WE LANDED WITH ABOUT EIGHTY GALLONS OF GAS.I HAD SHOT THE ANTENNA OFF UNDER THE PORT WING AND WE HAD TO FIX IT.LT.FORD MADE RESERVATIONS IN TOWN AND WE ALL CHECKED IN.WE WERE ALL SEATED AT A LARGE TABLE EATING A VICTORY DINNER.ABOUT THE END OF THE MEAL I LOOKED UP AND NEVER SAW SO MUCH BRASS.I HOLLERED ATTENTION AND WE ALL STOOD UP.AT EASE AND PLEASE BE SEATED.IT WAS ADMIRAL INGRAM AND HIS STAFF THAT GOT THE WORD AND FLEW ALL THE WAY TO FORTALEZA.FIRST THING HE SAID WAS.WHICH ONE OF YOU IS GOODELL AND FORDAFTER SHAKING HANDS WITH EVERYONE THEY LEFT.WE TOOK OFF REAL EARLY THE NEXT MORNING FOR NATAL.THE MEN WERE STILL IN THEIR TENTS.LT.FORD SAID LETS WAKE THEM UP.HE CALLED THE TOWER AND GOT PERMISSION TO MAKE A VICTORY RUN.HE CAME DOWN TO FIFTY FEET POURED ON THE COAL AND WENT OVER THE TENTS WIGGLING HIS WINGS.BOY WHAT A THRILL.GUYS RAN OUT IN SKIVIES WONDERING WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS GOING ON.WE FOUND OUT LATER THE TWO SURVIVORS WERE PICKED UP AND WERE IN FORTALEZA.WE SENT A PLANE UP AND BROUGHT THEM BACK TO NATAL.YOU HAVE A PHOTO OF THEM BOARDING THE PBY.WE FOUND OUT FROM THEM THAT WE HAD SUNK U-164.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83/VPB-107 Presidential Citation "...Presidential Unit Citation to FISHER, Andrew Lewis..." Contributed by Sgt. Brian L. Fisher USMC/RET mburkard@stny.rr.com..." [16JUL2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-83 PBY5-A "...Consolidated PBY5-A - Side Number 83-P-2 - VP-83..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [08APR2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News Magazine "...VP-83 U. S. Atlantic Fleet - Naval Aviation News - February 1943.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1943/1feb43.pdf [08NOV2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraPresidential Unit Citation "...January through April 1943, July through February 1944, and September 1944. This Citation was included in my Grandfather's folder. His name was Aviation Redioman 3rd Class Harold Francis McGOWAN. Looking for any information. Thanks...Jeff Parino farmerjeff69@yahoo.com..." [24NOV2001]

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]

Type: IXC Laid Down: 20 June 1940, Seebeck, Bremen
Commissioned: 28 November 1941, Korvkpt. Otto Fechner
Commander: November 1941 January 1943, Korvkpt. Otto Fechner
Career: Assigned: November 1941 July 1942, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); July 1942 January 1943, 10th Flotilla (Lorient)
Successes: Three ships sunk for a total of 8,133 tons

Fate: Sunk 6 January 1943, northwest of Pernambuco, in position 01°58'S, 39°22'W, by U.S. bombs from a PBY-5A Catalina of VP-83. 54 dead (entire crew lost). Lieutenant W. Ford attacked the surfaced U-boat 80 miles northeast of Fortaleza, Brazil. The submarine's identity was confirmed by rescued survivors as U-164.

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-507, 13 January 1943

Type: IXC Laid Down: 11 September 1940, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Commissioned: 8 October 1941, Korvkpt. Harro Schacht (Knights Cross)
Commander: October 1941 January 1943, Korvkpt. Harro Schacht
Career: Assigned: October 1941 February 1942, 4th Flotilla (Stettin); March 1942 January 1943, 2nd Flotilla (Lorient)
Successes: 19 ships sunk for a total of 77,144 tons.
Fate: Sunk 13 January 1943, northwest of Natal, in position 01°38'S, 39°52'W, by a PBY-5ACatalina of VP-83. 54 dead (entire crew lost). Lieutenant L. Ludwig attacked the surfaced U-boat off the coast of Brazil. This submarine's large number of sinkings in 1942 was responsible for Brazil entering the war on the side of the Allies.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Squadron Awards..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [23APR2001]

  • Presidential Unit Citation
    01 Jan 43 – 30 Apr 43
    01 Jul 43 – 29 Feb 44
    01 Sep 44 – 30 Sep 44

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...1943-1944--VP Squadrons Win Citations - Five Outfits Given World War Honors...Five patrol bombing squadrons of the Navy have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation or Navy Unit Commendation on the basis of their heroic actions during World War II. those granted the PUC were VP-84, VP-83, later renamed VB-107, and VP-84. VP-83 won the citation for heroism against German submarines in the Atlantic between January and April 1943, July through February 1944 and the month of September 1944. Any personnel attached then can wear the PUC ribbon. Squadrons winning the Navy Unit Commendation were VP-32, VP-83, later renamed VB-100, and VB-103, later renamed VBP-103. VP-32's honor was won off Cuba from July 1 to 31, 1943, VP-82 won its award in the Atlantic from 15 January to 10 June 1942 and during April 1943. VB-103's period covered 1 November 1943 to 31 January 1944 and from 1 March to 30 April 1945, in Atlantic waters off England..." Bill O'Neil [AB4FK- HAM RADIO Call] ab4fk@norfolk.infi.net WebSite: Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society http://www.qsl.net/ab4fk/fbars/[15FEB98]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "06DEC43--On 6 December 1943, Lt. W.R. Ford, in a Brazilian based PBY-5A, 83-P-2 #2472 of VP-83 USN, attacked and sank U-164 in position 0158S 3922W (approx. 65 NM northeast of Parnaiba, Brazil) with 4x325 lb. depth charges..." Contributed by Ragnar J. Ragnarsson ragsie@centrum.is [31OCT99]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "00JAN43--To counter the menace of the U-boat offensive in the South Atlantic, the USA deployed air groups to Brazilian bases in the Northeast. In January 1943, the US Navy VP-74, VP-83 and VP-94 were based at Natal - by mid-1943 there were five USN groups and by the end of the year five others arrived. These began to be replaced by Brazilian units as soon as the FAB personnel had completed their training and more aircraft were received..."http://www.mat.ufrgs.br/~rudnei/FAB/eng/patrulha.html

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "06JAN43--Sunk 6 Jan, 1943 northwest of Pernambuco, in position 01.58S 39.22W, by US bombs (aircraft from VP-83). 54 dead (all crew lost)..."http://rvik.ismennt.is/~gummihe/Uboats/boats/u164.htm http://www.mat.ufrgs.br/~rudnei/FAB/eng/u-boote.html

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "06JAN43--United States naval damaged: Light cruiser SAN JUAN (CL-54), by dive bomber, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 30' S., 166 d. 40' E. German submarine sunk: U-164, by naval land-based aircraft (VP-83) off Brazil, 01 d. 58' S., 39 d. 23' W. http://www.cyberplus.ca/~chrism/chr43.txt


    Circa 1942

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Disappointment - Circa 1942..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [20OCT2006]

    When VP-83 deployed to NAF Natal, Brazil in 1942 there were quite a few enlisted pilots known as Naval Aviation Pilots (NAP). They were some of the best PBY pilots in the Navy. They were dedicated to their role in antisubmarine warfare and got along great with the crews that they flew with them. As the war progressed the NAP 's began to get commissions and became officers. Soon most of them began transferring back to the states to become instructors. Their replacements were usually LT(jg)'s and Ensigns.

    My crew and did not fare so well with two of them on our first antisubmarine patrol. Previously I had sighted U-Boat 164 off the coast of Fortaleza that was sunk by LT Ford. I was eager to get another one. We took off early flying northeast at about three thousand feet. After about three hours in the flight I began to get bored sitting in the tower so I called my second mechanic, who was on watch in the bow, and ask him to change places with me. After trading places I started my watch in the bow. When in the bow you slide the top hatch back and stand up with half of you outside the plane. You also have to wear a helmet with goggles to keep the wind from burning your eyes. Our only armament in the bow is a thirty-caliber machine gun. I had been on watch scanning the water for about a hour when low and behold I saw a long white wake and a periscope. I pointed and told the pilot that there was a sub dead ahead. The sub had spotted us before we spotted him and he was in a steep dive. As we passed over the wake I looked down and saw this large green cigar shape under the water. I turned and pointed the shape to the pilot and all he did was to tell the radioman that a sub had been sighted and gave the position. After what seemed like eternity he did a 180-degree turn and all we could see was the bright sun and sparkling water. He finally dove down to about three hundred feet and began to circle the area. No further contact was made. We were soon relieved by another PBY and we returned to NAF Natal, Brazil because we were low on fuel. After the debriefing they let the crew go back to the barracks but kept the pilots. Thank goodness we never had to fly with them again. They had let one big fish get away.

    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: "...CHARLESTON, S.C. - Circa 1942..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [09MAR2006]

    BEFORE PATROL SQUADRON EIGHTY THREE DEPLOYED TO NATA,BRAZIL. WE WERE DOING ANTI SUBMARINE DUTY OFF THE ATLANTIC COAST. THAT WAS WHEN THE GERMANS WERE SINKING SHIPS OFF THE COAST. WE PICKED UP A CONVOY GOING SOUTH AND SINCE WE WERE SO FAR OUT AND SHORT ON GAS WE WENT IN TO CHARLESTON FOR THE NIGHT. IT HAD A SMALL AIRFIELD CALLED HAWTHORN. A JEEP MET US AND PARKED US IN A GROVE OF PINE TREES. WE DEPLANED AND THE PILOT ASK FOR ONE TO REMAIN AND GUARD THE PLANE. I HAD TO GAS AND GET THE PLANE READY FOR THE NEXT DAY SO I TOLD HIM I WOULD REMAIN WITH THE PLANE. HE SAID FINE AND HE WOULD SEND A GAS TRUCK OUT FOR ME. WELL ABOUT THIRTY MINUTES LATER A ARMY FUEL TRUCK ARRIVED. THEY HAD BEGUN A ARMY BASE THERE AND WHEN THE MEN GOT WORD ABOUT OUR PLANE THEY BEGUN TO MASS AROUND. THEY HAD NEVER SEEN A PLANE LIKE THIS ONE. QUESTIONS BEGGAN POURING IN WHILE I WAS GASSING UP. AFTER I FINISHED THE MEN WANTED TO KNOW IF THEY COULD LOOK INSIDE. I TOLD THEM I WOULD TAKE FIIVE AT A TIME SO IT WOULD NOT BE CROWDED. IT WENT WELL UNTIL ONE OF THE GUYS ASK ME HOW THE GUN WORKED. I HAD BOTH BLISTERS OPEN AT THE TIME. IT'S EASY I SAID. YOU UNDO THE STRAP HOLDING THE FIFTY CALIBER IN PLACE. SWING IT OUT THE BLISTER WHICH I DID. JUST PULL THE SLIDE BACK AND PRESS THE TRIGGER. I DID AND ALL I COULD SEE WAS A LINE OF TRACERS FLOATING OVER THE PINES. WELL LET ME TELL YOU. THE GUYS IN THE PLANE LIKED TO HAVE KILLED THEMSELVES GETTING OUT. THE GAS TRUCK DRIVERS AND ALL GROUND PERSONAL DISSAPPEARED LEAVING THE TRUCK BEHIND. THE ORDNACEMAN FORGOT TO UNLOAD THE GUN WHEN WE CAMME IN FROM PATROL. WELL I WAS SCARED TO DEATH. I HID THE FEW ROUNDS THAT HAD FIRED AND WAITED FOR THEM TO COME AND TAKE ME AWAY. ABOUT THIRTY MINUTES LATER I SAW TWO ARMY MEN COMMING. ALL THEY SAID WAS. WE CAME TO GET OUR TRUCK. NEVER SAW ANYONE ELSE UNTIL THE CREW ARRIVED THE NEXT MORNING. TO THIS DAY I HAVE NEVER TOLD ANYONE. LUCKY ME THE GUN WAS POINTED UPWARD.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...BARRIER SWEEPS - VP-83 / VPB-107 - Circa 1942-1944..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [09MAR2006]

    PATROL EIGHTY THREE WAS HAVING GREAT SUCCESS WITH THE CATALINA DOING CONVOY DUTY AND SUBMARINE SWEEPS. SOON THE U BOATS BECAME DESPERATE AND INSTEAD OF SUBMERGING. THEY WOULD STAY ON THE SURFACE AND THROW UP A LOT OF FIRE POWER. THE COMMANDING OFFICER DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO RETURN THE PBY'S BACK TO THE STATES AND PICK UP PB4Y-1'S. THEY WERE FASTER AND COULD CARRY A LARGER BOMB LOAD. THE GERMANS WERE CARRYING SUPPLIES THROUGH THE SOUTH ATLANTIC NORTH FOR THEIR WAR EFFORT. THEY BEGAN TO DISGUISE THEIR MERCHANT SHIPS AS RAIDERS. WHEN YOU STARTED A RUN ON ONE ALL OF THE FALSE DECKING WOULD DROP AND ALL YOU MET WAS A BARRAGE OF FIRE POWER. ADMIRAL INGRAM CAME UP WITH A IDEA THAT WE WOULD PATROL A BARRIER THAT WOULD TAKE A U BOAT OR RAIDER TWENTY FOUR HOURS TO GET THROUGH BEFORE BEING SPOTTED. TO DO THIS WE HAD ASCENSION ISLAND AS THE MIDWAY POINT AND WE KEPT TWO PB4Y-1'S BETWEEN NATAL AND ASCENSION AND TWO BETWEEN ASCENSION AND AFRICA. ON THE WATER WE HAD TWO DESTROYERS AND A CRUISER. THIS TURNED OUT TO BE A REAL SUCCESSSFUL OPERATION. WE STILL MAINTAINED OUR ANTI SUBMARINE PATROLS AND CONVOY DUTY.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Christmas in Natal..." Contributed by GOODELL, Billie N. goodkemp@aol.com [08MAR2006]

    Christmas of 1942 VP-83 received a plane load of gifts from the USO club in Rio. Wwhen I opened mine there was a sweet letter from a girl named Billie Jean Beattie along with her address. I thought it appropiate to write and thank her. We corresponded a few times and I found out she was a part time helper at the USO. We found out later that our crew had been granted a seven days leave in Rio. When we landed they checked us into the Luxor Hotel on Cocabanna Beach after settling down I caught a taxi to the USO. I walked in and asked if Billie Jean was there. They pointed her out and we introduced ourselves. After chatting a while she ask me if I would like to be introduced to her Father nearby. We caught a taxi and pulled up in fron of a large bank. We caught a elevator and went up several floors. We walked down the hall to a door marked president with Beatties name on it. She walked right in hugged her dads neck and said. Dad I want you to meet someone. He shook my hand and said for us to be seated. Came to find out that he was the president of the City Bank of New York and they all were from Texas. Before we left he ask me if I would like to come out to their Villa and have dinner the next day. Of course I said yes sir. He said good Billie will pick you at the USO at four tomorrow. I was there and this big limo pulled up and I got in and we headed for the country. Pulled into the driveway of this luxry villa and the valet opened the door. She introduced me to her mother and she said welcome I have heard a lot about you last night from Billie and her Dad. I have prepared a real southern meal for you. When her Dad got in we washed up sat down and said the grace. A neatly dressed maid began bringing out the food. What a meal. Cornbread, blackeyed peas, beef, roast, salad, turnip greens and all kinds of desserts. What a feast. Sure beat the spam we were use to. Before I left her Dad wanted to know if there was anything he could do for me. I told him how hard kodak fim was to get and he said before I left for Natal to stop by the USO and Billie would have some for me. After dinner they dropped me off at the Luxor Hotel. I thanked them with all my heart and went back to the USO one more time. I received her package and could not thank her enough.

    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: "...18MAY42 - Brazilian steamship Commandante Lyra is torpedoed by Italian submarine Barbarigo at 02°59'S, 34°10'W; light cruisers Milwaukee (CL-5) and Cincinnati (CL-4) rescue survivors. Small seaplane tender Thrush (AVP-3) tows the damaged ship to Fortaleza, Brazil, while PBYs (VP-83) provide cover..." HyperWar WebSite: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron/USN-Chron-1942.html [16SEP2005]


    Circa 1941-1944

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-8 - History from 08JUL41-31DEC44 Submitted April 12th, 1945. Squadron's Assigned: VP-16, VP-18, VP-19, VP-20, VP-21, VP-22, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-43, VP-61, VP-62, VP-63, VP-72, VP-81, VP-82, VP-83, VP-84, VP-92, VP-118, VP-123, VP-133, VP-137, VP-140, VP-142, VP-144, VP-148, VP-150, VP-153, VP-198, VP-205, VP-208 and VP-216..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [01DEC2012]

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    Circa 1941 - 1943

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-83 (1941-1943) and VP-107 (1943-1945)..." Contributed by Warren Watson buddybarb39@yahoo.com [19JUL2007]

    Chronology

    VP-83
    1941


    15 SEP
    VP-83 Established at NAS Norfolk, Virginia with (CO) LCDR R. Sparry Clarke and (XO) LT R. W. Mackert.

    00 NOVCPR-8 assigned one OS2U to the squadron as its first plane.

    15 NOV
    Six crews under the skipper left for NAS North Island, San Diego, California to pick up PBY-5A's at the consolidated factory.

    7 DEC
    The skeleton squadron was alerted at NAS Norfolk, Virginia under command of XO LT Mackert. They still only had the one OS2O. The west coast detachment began submarine and interceptor patrol from NAS North Island, San Diego, California through December, January and February. At least six crews were always on the west coast ferrying planes east. Thirty PBY-5A's were delivered during this period.

    20 DEC
    The only records available show the first patrol flown by the squadron in the Atlantic area.

    1942


    11 JAN
    The squadron, temporarily based ashore with the Fleet Air Detachment, Norfolk, Va., began conducting operations in accordance with Com. Task Force Four operational plan 1-42.

    23 JAN
    At 0448, plane 2483, LT(jg) H. M. Gottschall and eight crew members took off on a routine patrol from East Field, Norfolk. At 0545, the Coast Guard reported the crash of this plane a short distance off Oregon Inlet. All hands were lost, with the exception of one seaman, whose name is not available. They were on temporary duty with VP-83, in connection with ferrying of new aircraft.

    30 Jan.-Three planes engaged in search in connection with the sinking of the S>S>Rochester.The ship sank five minutes after the first plane arrived on the scene of the torpedoing.The USS Roe picked up two life boats of the survivors one hour later ;a search of the area was continued for four and a half hours.The bombs were dropped on an oil slick, but there was no evidence of damage.

    05 FEB
    The squadron began conducting operations in accordance with Com.Task Force 8 operational plan 2-42.

    09 FEB
    83-P-3 ENS Smyle sighted a lifeboat with seven survivors aboard and circled until a destroyer arrived to pick them up.

    UPDATE "...My Dad, then Ens. Bernard Fleck was with Ens. Smyle and both received Commendations for remaining on station after S.S. Ocean Venture was torpedoed and sank near Cape Hatteras. The ships Captain Reginald Craston and 13 crew members were rescued by US destroyer ROE. Twenty-nine crew and 2 gunners were lost. Both pilots commendation is on file with US Atlantic Fleet Patrol file # FF13-16/p15, series (312)..." Contributed by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [01JAN2008]

    UPDATE "...The highlighted area states Commendation. The action of Ensign R. S. Smyle, A-V(N), USNR, Ensign B.A. Fleck, A-V(n), USNR and the crews of 83-P-3 on February 9, 1942, in locating a lifeboat with survivors of the S.S. Ocean Venture and subsequent radio transmission leading a surface vessel to the rescue was in keeping with leading a tradition of the naval service. Also attached is facts about the S.S. Ocean Venture. It should be noted that this is the second of two commendation..." Contributed by Lee Fleck ljfleck@bellsouth.net [18DEC2007]
    History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail


    15 FEB
    83-P-8 LT(jg) George, sighted a lifeboat at 1645 hrs. and circled, sendingMO's,untilhe reached PLE. 83-P-5, Lt.Commdr.Clarke,relieved an Army plane circling two lifeboats and circled them for eight hours until a Coast Guard boat arrived.

    16 FEB
    83-P-2,Ens.Charles Daum,crashed into a mountainside in the vicinity of Buena Vista,Va. The following personnel died in the crash. Ens.Charles Daum,A-V (N),USNR;Ens.Donald Gordon Hall,A-V (N) USNR;Edward Thomas Shaw,AMM2c,USN;John Edward King,AMM3c,USN;George Edward Clancy,AMM3c,USN;Edward Fielding Clarke,ARM2c,USN.

    05 MAR
    The squadron was relieved of anti-sub patrol and began a period of intensive training.

    30 MAR
    The first division,Lt.Comdr.Clarke and six planes departed NAS Norfolk for advance base operations at Natal,Brazil.

    07 APR
    The first division landed at Natal,Brazil.

    10 APR
    the second division began temporary duty operations with Com. Fifth Navel District at Norfolk,Va.

    11 APR
    83-PLL,LT(jg)Skidmore,proceeded to the scene of the sinking of the S>S>Ulysses and circled eleven lifeboats and a raft until a destroyer and three more planes arrived on the scene. The first division began patrol and search operations at Natal,Brazil.

    13 APR
    83-P-11,Lt.Horrigan,worked with the USS Roper on aco-ordinated night submarine search at Norfolk. At 0052 the Roper informed the plane that she had sunk a submarine by gunfire and that there 25 of the survivors swimming.

    30 APR
    83-P-11,Lt.R>Turner,attacked a submerging submarine at 1525 hrs.,posaition34-02 N.,76-11 W.two bombs were dropped,but there was no evidence of damage.

    07 MAY
    83-P-11,Ens.Smyle and 83-P-9,Ens.Andretta,departed for NAS Banana River to operate in coastal patrol under Commander Gulf Sea Frontier.

    09 MAY
    83-P-11,Ens.Andretta,made an attackon a surface submarine off the coast of Florida;two runs were made and three bombs released,but two failed to explode and the third hung in the rack. The contact was lost.

    10 MAY
    83-P-11,Ens.Smyle,made an attack on a submerging submarine off the coast of Florida,there were no apparent results.

    14 MAY
    The second division began convoy and search operations from Jacksonville,Fla.and Charleston,S.C.

    19 MAY
    83-P-5,LT(jg)Cooper,83-P-4,Lt.Prueher and 83-P-8,Lt.Comdr.Clarke,covered the rescue of the survivors from the torpedoed and burning Commandante Lyra bythe USS Milwaukee and Uss Cincinnati off the coast of Brazil. The planes relieved each other and were at the scane for 15 hours.

    23 MAY
    83-P-2,LT(jg)Waggoner made an unsuccessful attack on a submarine off theBrazilian coast.It made in conjunction with a VOS plane from the USS Milwaukee.

    08 JUN
    All six planes of the second division departed NAS Norfolk for Natal.

    11 JUN
    83-p-7,Lt(jg) Callan en route with the second made an attack on a submerging submarine between Trinidad,B.W.I. and Georgrtown,B.C. there was no indication of damage to the submarine.

    13 JUN
    83-P-2,LT(jg) Skidmore,en route with the second division to Natal,encountered a severe strom and crashed into the sea five miles northeast of Natal lights. The following officers and men were killed;LT(jg) C.H.Skidmore,A-V(N), USNR,Ens.Sherman F.Dixon,A-V(N),USNR;Ens.John A.Madden,A-V(N),USNR;Overburg,John Albert;Storkson,Julian Almer;Jordan,Rudolph F.;Hladilek,Charles,Andrew; The remainder of the second division,5 planes,landed at Natal,making the squadron complement 11 planes.

    14 JUN
    All VP-83 planes took off at 0500 hrs. to search for 83-P-12.83-P-5,LT(jg)Cooper found the wreckage and circled while three enlisted men survivors were taken aboard by a Brazilian fishing boat.

    02 JUL
    The squadron,operating with full strength,began systematic patrols of shipping lanes alonf the entire 3800 miles of Brazilian coast-line from Rio de Janerio to Brazil. It was necessary to provide coverage for all convoys along the two thousand mile route from Bahis to Cape Orange,in addition to the anti-submarine searches.Operations were under Com.Task Force 44 and Commander 4th Fleet.

    18 AUG
    83-P-6,LT(jg)Lacey,attacked a surfaced U-Boat at 13-52 S,38-00 W.The four bombs stern first. It was not however assessed as a definite kill.

    20 AUG
    83-P-1,LT(jg)Smith attacked a submerging sub at 15-15 S,38-00 W. A heavy oil slick was rhe only evidence of damage.

    00 SEP
    Lt.Comdr.Almon E.Loomis relieved Lt.Comdr.R.Sperry as Commanding officer,Patrol Squadron 83.

    03 NOV
    83-P-10,LT(jg)Waugh,attacked a submarine at 00-47 S.31-38 W.,An oil slick and boiling air bubbles were observed.

    13 DEC
    83-P-2, Lt.Adams,sighted,but was unable to attack a submerging submarine at 12-55 S.,32-35 W at 1005 hrs local time. A three and a half hour gambit produced no results.

    83-P-5, LT(jg)Bradford,relieved 83-P-2 on gambit and attacked a submerging submarine at 02-42 S,32-12 S at 1604 hrs.local time.There was no evidence of damage.

    14 DEC
    83-P-12-Lt.Wall,attacked a fully surfaced U-Boat at 03-55 S. and 33-44 W. The target submerged immediately after the bombs were dropped and no damage was observed.

    83-P-7,Lt.CDR> Prucher,attacked a fully surfaced submarine at 04-52-S.,34-14 W. There was evidence of considerable damage,but it did not result in a definite kill.

    15 DEC
    83-P-9,Lt.Andretta,attacked a submarine at 03-13 S.,34-14 W. The sub had completely submerged before the bombs drop was made and there was no evidence of damage.

    17 DEC
    83-P-1,Lt. Smith sighted a U-Boat at 01-38 S,32-11 W.,which submerge before an attack could be made.A gambit was carried out for two hrs.,but weather prevented futher effort.

    22 DEC
    83-P-8,Ens.MacKay sighted a submarine at 00-20 S.,29-34 W. which submerge before the plane could bomb it. Lack of sufficient fuel prevented gambiting more than one hour.

    1943


    06 JAN
    83-P-2,LT(jg) Ford,attacked and definitely sank a submarine at 01-58 S.,39-23 W.

    13 JAN
    83-P-10,LT(jg) Ludwig,attacked a submerging U-Boat at 01-38-S,39-52 W. Four bombs were dropped and a large oil slick was observed after the target submerged.

    January- Lt. Cdr. Bertram J.Prueher relieved Lt.Cdr.Almon E. Loomis as commanding officer,VP 83

    15 MAR
    Pan American Airways reported a surface submarine at 0935 local time.83-P-12 sighted the enemy craft at 1035 hrs.,but she submerge before an attack could be pressed home.

    83-P-4, Lt Cdr. Prucher made a night attack on the U-Boat at 1910 hrs. at 04-28 S.,33-38 W.;results,probable damage.

    15 APR
    83-P-5, Ens.Robertson,attacked a submarine at 1500 hrs at 03-23 S.,30-28 W. Four bombs were dropped in a sixty degree dive from 2000 feet,245 K indicated airspeed. The enemy was badly damage and unable to submerge.

    83-P-12.,Lt. Bradford,arrived on station at 1610 hrs,local time and finished the job, dropping four bombs and getting a definite kill. There were about 30 survivors swimming in the water,to whom life rafts were dropped.

    22 APR
    83-P-3,LT(jg) Krug sighted a U-Boat which submerged before he could attack,at 05-42 S.,28-44 W.

    10 MAY
    The other squadron aircraft having departed for Norfolk in the past three weeks, the last five planes and crews took off fromNatal for Norfolk this morning.

    15 MAY
    The last five planes landed at NAS Norfolk;VP 83 was decommissioned and Bombing Squadron 107 was commissioned with 15 PB4Y-1 type aircraft and the same personnel.

    Chronology

    VP-107
    1943


    15 MAY
    The last five planes landed at NAS Norfolk;VP 83 was decommissioned and Bombing Squadron 107 was commissioned with 15 PB4Y-1 type aircraft and the same personnel.

    15 MAY
    All hands were given up to 15 days leave.The pilots and crews went through a training period in the new planes at NAS Norfolk,NAAS Elizabeth City and MCAS Cherry Point.

    15 JUN
    Six planes ,led by Lt.Cdr.Renfro Turner,Jr. ;the squadron executive officer,departed NAS,Norfolk for Natal,Brazil.

    20 JUN
    The second division ,four planes,led by the skipper;Lt.Cdr.B>J>Prucher,departed NAS Norfolk for Natal,Brazil. The first six planes landed at Natal.

    21 JUN
    Two more planes departed Norfolk for Natal.

    24 JUN
    The second division landed at Natal.

    26-JUN
    Two more planes reached Natal from Norfolk,bringing the squadron strength to 12 PB4Y's.The last three planes were still in Norfolk.

    27 JUN
    Training and indoctrination was resumed.

    05 JUL
    107-B-2,Lt.Tobin made a night attack on a sub at position 05-23 S;35-35 W.It was not confirmed kill. The plane was shot at by AA fire from the enemy and returned to base on three engines with a propeller windmilling.

    22 JUL
    0925 hrs…107-B-7,Lt.Cdr.Turner, while on a training flight attack a U-Boat at 04-23 S.30-17 W. There was no apparent damage;the target submerging as six bombs were dropped.

    1058hrs…107-B-8,LT(jg) Burton made a run on the same enemy but, due to personnel error,no bombs were released.

    1059 hrs…107-B-7,LtCdr.Turner,dropped his three remaining depth charges on the same submarine,which again submerge with no visible evidence of damage. A three plane "hold down" was maintained until the next morning,when six planes took off to seek out and destroy the enemy craft.

    23 JUL
    0640 hrs…107-B-12,LT(jg) Baldwin attacked and damage the sub so that it was unable .to submerge.

    0828 hrs…107-B-6,LT(jg) Waugh,attacked and in coordination with 107-B-8,Lt.Ford,who dropped his bombs on the enemy a few seconds later,sank the U-Boat.Immediately after the arrack,1070B-6 plunged into the ocean.The plane and all hands were lost.

    Those aboard were the following;LT(jg) G>E>Waugh,A-V(N)Va.;LT(jg) R>S>Swan,A-V(N)G>Maierhofer,A-V(N),USNR.-Walkerton,Ind.-Chapman,E.L.-ACRM,USN-Norfolk,Va.-Edwards,J.D.-AMN2c-Tamaqua,Pa.-Ford,D.J.-AMN2c-Hartford,Conn.-McLatchie,D.W.-S2c-Reading,Pa.-Petaccio,A.J.-ARM2c-Norristown,Pa.;Scidel,W.G.-ARM3c-Philadelphia,Pa.;Seymour,S.F.AMM2c,Minneapolis,Minn.;Zukiewicz,G.J.-ACM3c,Muskegon,Mich.

    LT(jg) Waugh and his crew in company with another plane had just arrived in Natal from Norfolk three days before.The squadron complement in Natal was now 13 planes,with one in Norfolk; the latter was never delivered to Natal but was kept by Fleet Air Wing 5 for experimental and test purposes.

    03 AUG
    At 0722 hrs.,107-B-1,Lt.Cdr.Prueher,attacked a submerging submarine at 09-33 S,30-37 W.There was no indication of damage.Immediately after the attack a second U-Boat was sighted 10-12 miles away, but it promptly crash dived.B-1 returned to re-arm. Re-armed,107-B-1,took off at 1345 hrs. and made an attack on another U-Boat at 1735 hrs.,just as darkness was setting in. Two attacks and several strafing runs were made. Both drops were observed to very accurate.AA fire from the the enemy hit the plane in the #3 engine and 23 perforations holes

    .were found in the starboard wing. The plane returned to base safely.

    12 AUG
    107-B-1,Lt.Cdr Prueher,took off from Natal at 0900 hrs.with an unprecedented gas load for this squadron (3400 gallons), intending to stay out for 15 hrs. and sweep the estimated positions of two German U-Boats,which had been obtained by D/F bearings,which showed them to be at extreme range. Some time in the afternoon (no communications were ever received from the plane after take-off.),A submarine was attacked and the plane was shot down on the second bombing run. The attack was assessed as a definite kill. The aircraft and the following crew members were lost; Lt.Cdr.Bertram J.Prueher,USN;-Blommer,Wisc.;LT(jg) Grover C.Hannever,A-V(N) USNR-Providence,R.I.;Ens.Robert Tehan,A-V(N) USNR-St.Louis,Mo.;Ens.Eugene L.Coupe,A-V(S) USNR-Nebraska City,Neb.;Brandon,H.C.-ACRM,USN-Lithonia,Ga.;Gardner,D.W.-ARM2cUSNR-Huron,S.D.;Merrick,G.G.-AOM1c USNR-Memphis,Mich.;Mihalsky,J.S2c,USN-Whiting,Ind.;Smith,C.A.-ACMM,USN-Howard,Ida.;VanHorn,J.R.-AMM1c,USNR-Spokane,Wa.

    13 AUG
    01 SEP
    During this period,from 3 to 6 planes of VB 107 searched daily for 107-B-1,without success.

    28-AUG
    Lt.Cdr.Renfro Turner,Jr.,USN,relieved Lt.Cdr.Prueher,USN,as Commanding officer of VB 107

    30 SEP
    On orders from CTF 44, the VB 107 Ascension Island Detachment was created to facilitate anti-submarine barriers and sweeps in the narrows of the South Atlantic between Africa and the "hump" of Brazil. The first two planes landed at the island today.

    15 OCT
    1`07-B-11,Lt.Shirley,taking off from Natal for Ascension,crashed on take off.There were no injuries to the crew,but the plane was a total lost.This reduced the squadron to 11 planes.

    27 OCT
    (Ascension Island Detachment) 107-B-6,Lt.Haverty,attacked a submerging submarine at 06-30 S.,23-45 W. There was no evidence of damage.

    05 NOV
    (Ascension Island Detachment) 107-B-12,Lt.Baldwin,on an anti-submarine sweep southwest of Ascension,attacked an enemy submarine at 10-09 S.18-00 W. and crippled the sub so that it was unable to submerge.The plane remained in the area, homing in other planes and making strafing runs coordinated with the attacks of 107-B-8 and 107-B-4.Lt.Ford in 107-B-4; on a parallel sweep,proceeded to the scene of action and made two runs,dropping nine bombs, but no damafe was claimed. The enemy was a 1200 ton German and the anti-aircraft fire was intense on both attacks. 107-B-8,Lt.Hill,took off from ascension and proceeded to the position. The attack was made and five depth charges dropped,all short. The #2 engine was hit by AA fire and put out of commission. The plane returned to base .The sub wasn't able to submerge and there was other planes in the area…107-B-4,Lt.S.K.Taylor,took off with the same crew that had been out previously with the exception of himself and the co-pilot. Upon reaching the scene,made two runs,dropping five and four depth charges respectively. Both drops were very accurate;the sud blew up and sank within five minutes.Survivors were seen in the water and life rafts dropped. The battle lasted for five and one half hours.;four Navy PB4Y's and 3 Army B-25's had attacked the enemy submarine.

    25 NOV
    107-B-6,LT(jg) Dawkins,Ascension Island Detachment,attacked and sank an enemy submarine at 06-30 S.,05-40 W. Survivors were seen in the water.

    01 DEC
    Orders for Ascension Island Detachment from Com.Fourth Fleet;"To maintain a barrier air patrol each day in the South Atlantic narrows".

    01-15 DEC
    the purpose of intercepting certain blockade runners believed to be bound north from the far east.Three planes of 107 and one B-25 from First Composite Squadron Force 8012 USSAF.

    08 DEC
    (Ascension Island Det.) 107-B-8,LT(jg) Gentilini,sighted a suspicious ship,position 05-22 S.,25-18 W. The vessel refused to authenticate. The plane stayed until PLE and radioed the USS Memphis its position before returning to base. 107-B-9,Lt.M.G.Taylor,took off from Asecension and attempted to renew contact,but was unable to. Three special searches were flown for this ship,in addition to the regular patrols,but contact was not re-established.

    10 DEC
    (Ascension Unit) 107-B-5,Lt Burton,sighted an enemy U-Boat at 04-47 S.23-54 W.. The target submerge before the plane could attack.

    16 DEC
    Blockade runner barrier concluded today.

    24 DEC
    Blockade runner barrier resumed today.

    1944


    01 JAN
    107-B-9,Lt.M.G. Taylor,on barrier patrol,Investigated a suspicious ship at 1500 hrs.,position 09-35 S.23-45 W. Ship would not identify itself and open fire on the plane ,knocking out the #3 engine,registering several hits in the fuselage and wounding the ordnanceman. 107-B-4,Lt Ford,took off and re-contacted the ship at 2030 hrs.position 10-19 S.,22-38 W. The ship was on a northerly course when first sighted by B-9,but had turned south in the interim and was still on a southerly course when sighted by B-4 The task group had been advised and was in pursuit of the suspicious vessel. 107-B-7,Lt(jg) walker, contacted the ship at 0230 hrs. and relieved B-4. The ship was left at 0630 hrs.,position 12-40 S.;23-16 W.

    107_B-5,Lt. Krug,departed on mission to relieve B-7. Contact not re-established before B-5 reached PLR. Suspicious ship not located.

    02 JAN
    107-B-12,Lt. Johnson,re-established contact with the ship at 1620 hrs. The ship opened fired causing what appeared to be a minor gas leak in the starboard wing tank. The plane remained with the contact until 1825 hrs., when relieved by B-1. Plane 107-B-12, ditched en route to the base after three engines were lost.Position 70 miles off Ascension,bearing 215 T. The plane and following crew members were lost ;Lt.Robert T.Johnson,A-V (n),USNR-Fredrickstown,Ohio;Ens.Eugene Bowers,A-V(N),USNR-Chehalis,Wash. ;Ens.John D.Cowan,A-V(N) USNR-Mineola,Tx. ;Ens.James H.Wells,A-V(N),USNR-Batavia.N.Y. ;Carpenter,D.W.-AMM3c,USN-Grand Rapide,Mich. ;Fisher,E.J.-AOM3c,USNR-Buffalo,N.Y. ;Hamilton,R.AMM2c,USN-Whitter,N.C. :Roper,G.E.-S2c,USNR-Social Circle,Ga..;Simpson,J.-ARM3c,USNR-Athel,Mass. ;Winter,W.E.-ARM2c,USNR-Ypsilanti,Mich.

    107-B-1,Lt.Hill, relieved B-12 at 1825 hrs. and remained on station with suspicious ship homing USS Somers until the DD made contact at 2200 hrs. The Somers sank the runner by gunfire and the enemy revealed to be the German "Wesserland", loaded with crude rubber for the German war effort.

    28 JAN
    Lts.Krug, Taylor and Hill departed Natal for Norfolk to deliver the old planes to Norfolk and ferry new ones back to the squadron.

    06 FEB
    (Ascension Island Det.),107-B-3,Lt(jg) Pinnel,made two bombing runs on, and definitely sank an enemy U-Boat at 1025 hrs at position 10-35 S.,23-12 W.

    20 FEB
    Lt. Comdr.Paul K.Blesh,A-V(N),USNR,relieved LT.Comdr.R.Turner,Jr.,USN,as commanding officer of Bombing Squadron 107.

    02-MAR
    107-B-1,Lt.Baldwin,on a search mission located two survivors of USAAF A-20.He was assisted on this mission by 107-B-2,Lt (jg) Pinnel and 107-B-3,Lt.S.K.Taylor. The later plane remained on station until the survivors were picked up by the Ascension Army crash boat.

    14-24 MAR
    Nine new PB4Y-1's ,aircraft with nose turrets ,were delivered from the states by ferry crews.

    21 MAR
    Three old planes departed Natal for Norfolk to be turned in for the new planes.

    30 MAR
    the last four old planes left Natal for Norfolk.

    09 APR
    107-B-4,Lt.Shirley,and 107-B-6,Lt Hill, located lifeboat with ten men aboard and dropped rations,etc. The SS "Imperial Monarch" was notified,but rescue was not effected.

    10 APR
    (Ascension Det.),107-B-8,Lt.Krug,attacked a surface U-Boat at 15-37 S.;17-00 W. The enemy appeared to sink,but it was later found that she proceeded slowly to the Indian Ocean,where she was scuttled.

    12 MAY
    107-B-6,Lt.Hill,107-B-1,Lt(jg) Norris, and 107-B-3,Lt.M.G. Taylor,circled survivirs of a missing PV-1 until a crash boat was homed to the scene.

    19 MAY
    The last two squadron planes reached Natal from Norfolk.

    15 AUG
    107-B-8,Lt.Burton and 107-B-7,Lt.Foster,relieved an Army plane on station over an RAF life raft and circled until relieved by a crash boat which picked up survivors.

    29 SEP
    107-B-9,Lt.Burton,sighted a U-Boat at 0720 hrs.,position, 10-45 S. 25-30 W. Five depth charges were dropped on the first run. The enemy was damaged and unable to submerge. Plane remained in area making strafing runs in co-ordination with 107-B-7. 107-B-7,Lt.Krug,flying a parallel sweep, saw AA fire on Lt. Burton's attack and homed in by Lt.Burton,made three runs dropping six and three depth charges respectively,on the second and third runs. The plane was damage by the sub's AA fire.The sub was seen to sink after the third run. Life rafts were dropped to the fifteen or twenty survivors seen in the water.

    01 OCT
    Squadron designation was changed to Patrol Bombing Squadron 107.

    01 OCT-01 JAN
    1945-Anti-sub sweeps were flown from Ascension Island and Natal through the month of Oct., The 1st. of November being the date of the last operation against the enemy to the present. Since Nov.1st.,VPB 107 has been engaged in an extensive training program,except for the occasional lost plane searches.

    Circa 1941

    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]
    Get Adobe Reader
    Open VP History Adobe FileHearings Before The Joint Committee On the Investigation Of The Pearl Harbor Attack 333KB

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-83 & VPB-107 ABRIDGED NARRATIVE By Richard A. Wilson..." WebSite: National Museum of Naval Aviation http://63.66.1.190/flightlog/squadrons.asp [14MAY2001]

    VP-83 & VPB-107 ABRIDGED NARRATIVE

    Patrol Squadron Eighty-Three (VP-83) was commissioned September 15, 1941 with LCDR Ralph S. Clarke, USN as Commanding Officer and LT Ralph W. Mackert, USN as Executive Officer. From November 15 until December 7 crews were assigned ferrying duties from the Consolidated Plant to designated delivery points. Thirty planes were delivered prior to the squadron becoming operational on December 20, 1941. At this time operations were varied from strict ASW; they included barrier patrols, S & R plus intensified advanced training. On February 16, 1942 the squadron suffered the first tragedy when 83-P-2 crashed at Buena Vista, VA with the loss of eight crewmen. The first division departed Norfolk VA for Natal, Brazil, arriving April 7 at which time full combat operations were commenced. Search & Rescue missions were flown by four aircraft on April 11 and also at Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC on May 14 and again on May 19. ASW sweeps were conducted from April 13 to May 23, 1942 The second division departed NAS Norfolk, Virginia for Natal on June 8 and arrived June 13 with the exception of 83-P-12 which crased during severe weather while approaching Natal on final touchdown. Seven members were lost as a result of this unfortunate mishap.

    The squadron, operating with eleven aircraft, began systematic patrols along the entire 3800 miles of Brazilian coastal waters. It was necessary to provide convoy coverage along the two thousand mile route from Bahia to Cape Orange. These operations were under CTF-44 and Commander FOURTH Fleet. During September, LCDR Almon E. Loomis, USN relieved Ralph S. Clarke, USN as Commanding Officer. ASW results during this period were: One assisted sinking in conjunction with USS Roper; Eight attacks with no evident results. On 3 November an aircraft attached a submerging sub. Increased activity during December produced two attacks on the 14th, one on the 15th, followed by attacks on 17 and 22 December. On 6 January 1943, an aircraft attacked and completed a confirmed sinking followed by another successful attack on 13 January 1943. During January, LCDR Bertran J. Prueher, USN relieved LCDR Loomis as Commanding Officer of VP-83. ASW results during this period: Two confirmed sinkings; Eight attacks with no evident results. March and April were marked by increased activity with 2 sightings, 3 attacks with 1 confirmed sinking. During this period Dr. Steinhardt of the Navy Office of Research implemented the "Steinhardt Square," a tactical maneuver against submarines. During May, drews delivered the PBY-5A's to NAS Norfolk, Virginia and on May 15 VP-83 was redesignated as VB-107 with 15 PB4Y-1 aircraft. June was devoted to indoctrination and training with the new aircraft and returning to Natal, Brazil. July marked a return to full operational capability with seven attacks resulting in one sinking and the loss of 107-B-6 with all hands.

    Increased activity during the month of August resulted in four attacks on subs, one sighting and one definite sinking of a submarine with the resultant loss of 107-B-1 during the second bombing run.

    On August 28 1943, LCDR Renfro Turner, Jr., USN assumed command of Bombing Squadron One Hundred Seven. ASW results during this period were: Three sightings, fourteen attacks, three sinkings.

    CTF-44 created a 107 detachment at Ascension Island with two aircraft taking station on 30 September. During October and November, the Ascension Island Detachment carried out ten sub attacks that resulted in two sinkings.

    COMFOURTHFLT ordered a barrier patrol for 1-15 December to intercept enemy blockade runners. Results proved to be inconclusive and routine was terminated December 16. Blockade runner barrier resumed on 12/24. A suspected ship was spotted ship was spotted on January 1, 1944 and after refusing identity, opened fire on the aircraft. Another aircraft continued tracking. A third aircraft attempting to relieve the aircraft on station failed to re-establish contact of the whip. The following day another aircraft relocated suspicious ship. This aircraft sustained what appeared to be minor damage, but after being relieved on station by another, the aircraft (107-B-12) had to be ditched. The remaining aircraft continued tracking the block ade runner while also homing for Destroyer, USS SOMERS, which in turn sank the German WASSERLAND with its surface main battery.

    On February 6, 1944 two runs were made by an Ascension based aircraft on a U-Boat which was definitely sunk.

    LCDR Paul K. Blesh, A-V(N), USNR relieved LCDR Renfro Turner, Jr., USN as Commanding Officer of Bombing Squadron 107 on February 20, 1944. Action results during this period were: ASW Attacks - 12; ASW Sinkings - 3; Barrier Patrol Missions - 5.

    One attack on a U-Boat was made in April, indications were that the sub was damaged to the extent that it was later scuttled. The squadron conducted a number of S & R missions through the summer months.

    Two aircraft made four attacks on September 29 sustaining the loss of a U-Boat after dropping life rafts to survivors. On 1 October the squadron was redesignated as Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED SEVEN. Intensive training and occasional searches for downed planes in the Belem, Brazil area made up the schedule for the balance of the year. Early January 1945 marked the departure of the squadron from Natal, Brazil to Dunkeswell, England, arriving on January 21. LCDR William F. Brewer, USN relieved LCDR Paul K. Blesh, AV(N), USNR as Commanding Officer, Patrol Bombing Squadron 107, January 25, 1945. ASW results were as follows: 5 Attack runs; 1 severely damaged, later scuttled; 1 definitely sunk.

    On 18 March, one aircraft made two attack runs in the English Channel on a U-Boat with undetermined results. One plane later reconned the area with negative results.

    Early June 1945 the squadron was moved to NAS Norfolk, Virginia. and thence to NAS Seattle, Washington on July 21. Transitional training commenced with new PB4Y-2 aircraft at NAS Alameda, California and Crows Landing, California.

    VP-83 & VPB-107 History By Richard A. Wilson

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "00DEC41--Order of Battle December 1941 Patrol Wing Eight, Norfolk VP-81 PBY5 n/a South Pacific '43-44, VP-82 POB-1 Argentia, VP-83 PBY5 n/a 1/43 Natal, Brazil, and VP-84 PBY5 Argentia=B9..." http://www.halisp.net/listserv/pacwar/1314.html

    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]


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