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Circa 1953

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "01SEP53--KOREA--ARRIVED: 23NOV50 DEPARTED: 01SEP53 TAIL CODE: AIRCRAFT: PBM-5..." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/koreaob.htm

Circa 1952

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FASRON-110, FASRON-112, FASRON-114, FASRON-117, FASRON-118, FASRON-119, FASRON-120, FASRON-885, FASRON-895, VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-6, VP-9, VP-22, VP-28, VP-29, VP-40, VP-42, VP-46, VP-47, VP-731, VP-772, VP-871, VP-892 and VP-931) - Naval Aeronautical Organization OPNAV NOTICE 05400 for Fiscal Year 1953 dated 1 October 1952 is: DECLASSIFIED per Office of Chief of Naval Operations on 1 February 1965 by Op-501..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/a-record/nao53-68/fy1953-oct52.pdf [14MAR2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News December 1952 "...VP Commanding Officers - Page 16 - Naval Aviation News - December 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/dec52.pdf [28JUL2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News January 1952 "...Air Reserves Get Heroes' Welcome - Page 17 - Naval Aviation News - January 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/jan52.pdf [25JUL2004]

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Circa 1951

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The following is a list of some Reserve Squadrons ordered to active duty as of August 13, 1951. The information is in the following order: Station, Squadron, Date Activated, Assignment..." Contributed by Bill Larkins wtl@earthlink.net via KOONTS, AT2 Billy billkoonts@aol.com [11AUG2002]

NAS Minneapolis VP-812 (7-20-50) to FAW-4
NAS Seattle, Washington FASRON-895 (7-20-50) to FAW-4
NAS Seattle, Washington VP-892 (7-20-50) to FAW-4
NAS Willow Grove, Pennsylvania VP-931 (9-1-50) to FAW-4
NAS Los Alamitos, California VP-772 (9-1-50) to FAW-4
NAS Columbus FASRON-691 (9-1-50) to FASRON-691
NAS Norfolk, Virginia VP-861 (9-15-50) to FAW-11
NAS Squantum, Massachusetts FASRON-915 (9-15-50) to FAW-11
NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. VP-661 (9-15-50) to FAW-5
NAS Grosse ILE, Michigan VP-731 (9-29-50) to FAW-14
NAS Dallas, Texas FASRON-701 (2-1-51) to FASRON-701
NAS New Orleans, Louisiana FASRON-821 (2-1-51) to FASRON-821
NAS Jacksonville, Florida VP-741 (3-1-51) to FAW-11
NAS Memphis, Tennessee FASRON-795 (3-1-51) to FAW-5
NAS Oakland, California VP-871 (3-1-51) to FAW-4
NAS Olathe, Kansas FASRON-885 (3-1-51) to FAW-4
NAS Seattle, Washington VS-892 (7-20-50) VS-892
NAS Miami VS-801 (2-1-51) VS-801
NAS Willow Grove, Pennsylvania VS-931 (3-1-51) VS-931
NAS Squantum, Massachusetts VS-913 (4-1-51) VS-913
NAS Oakland, California VS-871 (5-1-51) VS-871
NAS New York, New York VS-831 (6-1-51) VS-831

Circa 1950

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Minutemen of naval aviation: the naval air reserve in Korea - Naval Aviation News, Sept-Oct, 2001 by Hill Goodspeed..." [28MAR2005]

Patrol squadrons (VP) were among the first from the Naval Air Reserve to deploy overseas. Recalled to active duty on 20 July 1950, VP-892 reported to NAS North Island, San Diego, California the following month, and on 18 December logged its first mission, the first by a reserve squadron during the Korean War. Eventually, seven recalled patrol squadrons served during the conflict, flying PBM-5 Mariners, PB4Y/P4Y-2 Privateers and P2V-2/3 Neptunes. The crews flew a variety of missions, including long-range antisubmarine warfare and reconnaissance flights in the Sea of Japan and along the coasts of China and North Korea. This could get dangerous, as evidenced by the experiences of a VP-731 crew operating over the Yellow Sea off the west coast of Korea. On 31 July 1952, two Chinese MiG-15 jets attacked a squadron PBM-5S2, killing two crewmen and wounding two others. The plane's pilot, Lieutenant E. E. Bartlett, Jr., descended to low altitude, weaving in an effort to avoid further attack, and limped to Paengyong, South Korea, where he made an emergency landing. Two squadrons, VP-772 and VP-871, harkened back to the days of the famous "Black Cat" patrol squadrons by operating at night over Korea, dropping flares to support night interdiction and close air support missions by Marine Corps aircraft.

While patrol aircraft were the first elements of the Naval Air Reserve to see service in Korea, the weekend warriors flying fighter and attack aircraft made a sizable contribution as well. Of the 24 deployments by fleet carriers during the Korean War, nearly one-third of them had at least one reserve squadron operating from the flight deck.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Lest We Forget...Proceedings / September 1998 Page 126...Naval Institute U. S. NAVY INSTITUTE Magazine..." [04SEP98]

Patrol Squadron 50 (VP-50) had its beginnings as a reserve squadron, VP-917, flying PBY-5A Catalinas out of NAS Seattle, Washington. The squadron, redesignated VP-892, was called to active duty on 4 August 1950 following the outbreak of the Korean War and moved to NAS San Diego, California. Equipped with PBM-5 Mariner seaplanes, the squadron made three war deployments, and was redesignated VP-50 in 1953.

Based at NAS Alameda, California, VP-50 joined in the regular rotation of patrol squadrons to the western Pacific. In 1956, the squadron moved to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and retired the Pacific Fleet's last operational

PBM-5s, receiving P5M-1 Marlin seaplanes as replacements. In May 1960, after upgrading to the P5M-2S (SP-5B), VP-50 moved to MCAS lwakuni, Japan. In 1964, the Blue Dragons moved to NAS North Island, San Diego, California.

VP-50 took its Martins on two combat deployments to NS Sangley Point, Philippines and operated in support of Operation Market Time, the coastal interdiction effort off Vietnam. In 1967, the squadron ended its seaplane era by moving to NAS Moffett Field, California, and upgrading to the P-3A Orion patrol plane. VP-50 made three more deployments to the Vietnam war zone, operating out of Naha, Okinawa, and Sangley Point, and maintaining detachments at Naval Air Field Cam Ranh Bay in South Vietnam.

In 1971, VP-50 upgraded to the P-3C version and took this aircraft on 12 major deployments over the next 16 years-including tracking Soviet submarines, supporting battle-group operations) and rescuing Vietnamese refugees fleeing their homeland.

In 1987, VP-50 became the first squadron to transition to the Update III retrofit version of the P-3C and flew the aircraft on three more Pacific deployments. During its final deployment to NAS Adak, Alaska, the Blue Dragons conducted the Navy's last airborne prosecution of submarines belonging to the former Soviet Union. VP-50 was disbanded as part of the post-Cold War drawdown. The squadron was disestablished on 30 June 1992...Lieutenant Commander Rick Burgess, U.S. Navy (Retired)..." [04SEP98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...How VP-50 Became The Blue Dragon Squadron..." Contributed by Captain Richard A. Hoffman, USN (Ret) dickdot@san.rr.com [E-Mail Updated 03JAN2001 | 28MAY98]

In early 1952 I joined VP-892 at NAS Alameda, California about a week before it deployed to WESPAC.

VP-892 had been a Naval Reserve squadron from the Seattle area which was called to active duty in August 1950. Although it still retained it's Reserve Designator, by 1952 VP-892 squadron personnel were a mix of regular navy types and individually recalled reservists. At that time we did not have a squadron insignia, but during the deployment we were just too busy to worry about it, flying the Formosa Straits Patrol out of NS Sangley Point, Philippines and tenders in the Pescadores, Hong Kong and Okinawa.

Late in the deployment the squadron was told that it would be redesignated VP-50 in February 1953. The CO, Commander Bill Chester, decided we should have a new logo to go with our new designation and appointed me "Officer-in-Charge of Getting a New Logo". First I researched the subject and found that official squadron insignia were governed by an OPNAV Instruction with very specific criteria. The OPNAV Instruction recommended obtaining the assistance of the Army Heraldic Service, an organization which performed insignia design for all the Armed Forces. However, first we tried to do a design in house, so I held a contest, and although we had some talented artists in the squadron, we couldn't seem to come up with anything that was motivating and morale-enhancing while still meeting the strict and specific requirements of the OPNAV Instruction.

We returned to NAS Alameda, California in October 1952 and after we moved into the spaces vacated by VP-47, I found a number of professionally-drawn squadron insignia in my inherited desk. Apparently they had been done at the request of VP-47 by the Army Heraldic Service and they met all of the requirements of the OPNAV Instruction. Although the insignia I found were designs that were not selected by VP-47, I thought one in particular, which depicted a heraldic blue dragon attacking a submarine, to be quite attractive. I took it to our new skipper, LCDR N.D. "Nate" McClure. He liked it and said to post it for squadron comments. Most of the squadron liked it, so we submitted it and The Blue Dragon became VP-50's logo in 1953.

The original design lasted for nearly 30 years. Even after the logo was modernized, it retained the Blue Dragon theme, and VP-50 remained the Blue Dragon Squadron until it was decommissioned in June 1992. Even though it may have been a concept discovered in an empty desk, the Blue Dragon was a proud symbol of VP-50 for nearly forty years!

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...18 DEC 50 - VP-892, the first all-Reserve squadron to operate in the Korean war zone, began operations from Iwakuni, Japan..." http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-1910/PART07.PDF [28MAY2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-892 was the first Reserve Squadron called back to the korean war . We operated out of Iwakuni Japan from around december 50 to june of 51. Two weeks before our return to the USA we had an opreational readiness inspection..." Contributed by Ed Swanson edswanson@email.msn.com [18NOV98]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Based in NAS Seattle, Washington, VP-892 was activated in 1950. Comprised of members with a variety of individual talents, Crew Eight deemed themselves a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker, as shown in their 1951 crew patch...Bruce D. Barth, Author of: "The Martin P5M Marlin," P.O. Box 654, Belmont, California 94002-0654"

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