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Circa 1948

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: UNIT: VP-8 PREVIOUS DES: VP-ML-8 NAME: Tigers TAIL CODE: EP/HD/LB ACTIVATED: 9-1-48 DEACTIVATED: TYPICAL LOCATION(S): NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island / NAS Chincoteague, Virginia / NAS Patuxent River, Maryland
Books"Title: Lockheed P2V Neptune An Illustrated History by Wayne Mutza wmutza@wi.rr.com...A Schiffer Military History Book...ISBN: 0-7643-0151-9...286 pages full of pictures and history!


Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "1943-1944--On May 25, 1943, six aircraft and crews were sent to Bermuda to extend their protective cover to the central Atlantic. Day and night patrols, sometimes reaching 800 miles from home base and lasting 12 to 18 hours, were flown. Normally, convoys were covered in a radius of 500 miles from Bermuda. On 12 June 1943, these aircraft were relieved by six others of VP-201 and the original six returned to Norfolk. First action against the enemy came on 8 July 1943. A submarine was sighted at a distance of about twelve miles and in the ensuing attack the aircraft was hit in the bomb bay, making it impossible to drop depth charges. The hit was severe enough to require jettisoning of all dispensable equipment and the plane was forced to leave the area before reinforcements arrived. In August the entire squadron moved to Bermuda under the administrative control of the Commander Bermuda Air Group. Because most of the original crew was replaced by inexperienced personnel, an intensive training period followed. In September the squadron transferred to the command of Fleet Air Wing Nine for training in night operations and in January 1944 returned to anti-submarine operations flying from 35 to 40% of their patrols during the hours of darkness. One year later, VP-201 returned to Norfolk after flying approximately 15,235 hours. After a two week refresher course in Anti-Submarine Warfare in Key West, and one month rehabilitation leave, VP-201 was sent to the Canal Zone for temporary duty with Fleet Air Wing Three under Commander Panama Sea Frontier. There, routine patrols were conducted northeast of the Isthmus of Panama. A short time later it was returned to Key West. By January 1, 1945, 27,873 hours were flown. On 1 October 1944 the designation of the squadron was changed to Patrol Bombing Squadron 201 (VPB-201) and in May of 1945 the squadron was returned to the Canal Zone, arriving at NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone on 2 June 1945 where it remained until 15 May 1946 when it was reverted back to VP-201 on 1 October 1946. At that time it was shifted to San Juan, Puerto Rico. VPB-201 was redesignated Medium Seaplane Squadron One (VP-MS-1) on 15 Nov 1946. 2 June 1947 found the squadron at NAS Norfolk, Virginia, and then at Quonset Point with no aircraft until 1948. It was now a land based unit so its designation was chanaged to VPML-8 on 5 June 1947. Consequently, with no aircraft, the men were "kidnapped" for duty on the three carriers homeported there at the time. Meanwhile, the new Lockheed P2V (P-2) was being tested to its fullest and on 29 September 1946, one of the aircraft named "The Turtle" and its crew boldly took off to set a flight distance record that would stand for 16 years..." Contributed by Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) NEWSLETTER: "VP-8 Alumni Association" World War II Stories, and more!!!


Circa 1942

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-8 History ThumbnailCameraVP-8 History "...My grandfather, HORRIGAN, LCDR Clement V., and his aircraft are mentioned in Track of the Gray Wolf: U-Boat Warfare on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, 1942-1945 about their interaction with German U-Boat 85..." Contributed by HORRIGAN, LCDR Clement V. c/o His Grandson David H. Kowalskidavid.kowalski2@verizon.net [19FEB2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "01SEP42--On 1 September 1942, an antisubmarine patrol squadron equipped with PBM-3 Mariner Type aircraft was formed at NAS Norfolk, Virginia to combat the submarine menace to Allied shipping in the Atlantic Ocean. The squadron was designated Patrol Squadron 201 and attached to Fleet Air Wing FIVE. Its insignia during World War II was that of a flying whale with a Nazi sub crushed within its jaws created by a yeoman by the name of C.E. Charevin...." Contributed by Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) NEWSLETTER: "VP-8 Alumni Association" World War II Stories, and more!!!

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "NAS Brunswick, Maine's Patrol Squadron Eight (VP-8) was initially established as VP-201 at NAS Norfolk, Virginia on 1 Sep 1942. Assigned to Fleet Air Wing Five (FAW-5) the squadron was equipped with Martin PBM-3S Mariners. VP-201 moved to NAS Banana River, FL on 6 Oct to undergo training until it returned to Norfolk on 6 Feb 1943 as a unit of Task Force 28 to provide antisubmarine warfare cover for Allied shipping convoys crossing the Atlantic. On 8 July 1943, the squadron's first-sighted enemy submarine struck the VP-201 PBM in the bomb-bay with anti-aircraft fire. The Mariner was forced home to Bermuda without dropping its depth charges. However, in the 28 month period from establishment to 1 Jan 1945, the squadron flew 27,873 hours without loss of an aircraft or serious injury to personnel. Beginning the Navy's quick-switch designation program of the 1940s, VP-201 was redesignated VPB-201 on 1 Oct 1944, only to be reverted to VP-201 on 15 May 1946 when it was moved to San Juan PR, returning to Norfolk on 2 June 1947 where it was then designated VP-MS-1 on 15 Nov 1946. It next became VP-ML-8 on 5 June 1947 and became a land-based unit at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. It briefly flew Lockheed PV-2 Harpoons before transitioning to Lockheed's P2V-2 Neptune between 1947 and February 1948 before finally becoming VP-8 on 1 Sept. 1948, homebased at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. During its wartime service, the squadron flew antisubmarine warfare missions from Norfolk, Bermuda, Coco Solo and Canal Zone. The squdron flew a variety of the P2V from NAS Chincoteague, Virginia where it moved in March 1958 and then to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland in July 1961. During August 1962, VP-8 became the first operational squadron to get the Lockheed P3V-1 (P3A) Orion. The unit finally moved to Brunswick in July 1971. For more than 50 years, Tiger air crews have flown a variety of missions throughout the Eastern Hemisphere, inluding combat missions in World War II, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. The squadron also monitored Soviet ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. VP-8's performance has netted the squadron several Battle Efficiency "Es," the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Captain Jay Isbell Trophy as the Navy's best anti-submarine warfare squadron. VP-8 is still in commission and now flies the P-3C. It recently returned from a deployment to Signorella." Contributed by Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) NEWSLETTER: "VP-8 Alumni Association" World War II Stories, and more!!!

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "01SEP42--On 1 September 1942, an antisubmarine patrol squadron equipped with PBM-3 Mariner Type aircraft was formed at NAS Norfolk, Virginia to combat the submarine menace to Allied shipping in the Atlantic Ocean. The squadron was designated Patrol Squadron 201 and attached to Fleet Air Wing FIVE. Its insignia during World War II was that of a flying whale with a Nazi sub crushed within its jaws created by a yeoman by the name of C.E. Charevin...." Contributed by Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) NEWSLETTER: "VP-8 Alumni Association" World War II Stories, and more!!!

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "06SEP42--6 October 1942, VP-201 moved to NAS Banana River (Fla.) where it engaged in training operations until 6 February 1943 when it returned to Norfolk and became part of Task Force 28 in the Eastern Sea Frontier. Its mission was to provide air coverage and anti-submarine sweeps for shipping and convoys to the European Theater. On flying days, VP-201 maintained 75% aircraft availability for these coverage and sweeps....." Contributed by Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) NEWSLETTER: "VP-8 Alumni Association" World War II Stories, and more!!!


Circa 1940

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "1940/1950--During the late 1940s the squadron was without planes for quite a while, and the Navy was even shipping the poor enlisted men to sea on the home-ported ships there to make sure they earned their wonderful pay, I guess. Paul Hartmann was CO at the time - now a retired RADM in McLean, VA. Then the XO, Hank Lloyd (now deceased) took the helm. VP-8, under the command of Cdr. Hank Lloyd, was officially presented with the Battle Efficiency Pennant in August 1950 for their outstanding performance during the fiscal year. This same year the insignia of King Neptune riding the Earth and dropping a bomb was approved. With the squadron riding high on the laurels of their 1950 accomplishment, they carried out their assigned operational training and deployment commitments in true VP-8 style and in the fall of 1952 were once again cited for their outstanding participation in Operations GANNET in the Azores. Commendations from the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Commander Air Force. U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Commander Fleet Air Wings, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and Commander Fleet Air Wing Three were received for this operation. For ten and one-half years the squadron was home-ported at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, during that time having its share of both warm and cold weather operations consisting of lengthy tours in Argentia, Newfoundland, the Mediterranean, Iceland, and the Caribbean areas. Although the primary mission of the squadron was Anti-Submarine Warfare, the squadron had numerous opportunities to prove that patrol squadrons, and theirs in particular, are well suited to carry out related tasks such as Search and Rescue. Plus they were also busy in the Northland with ice reconnaissance flights to obtain data for the Hydrographic Office in Washington D.C., and supplied tactical support for ships carrying supplies to the DEW Line sites. Their main site of deployment was Argentia, Newfoundland and occasionally to Iceland. In April 1954 the squadron left for five month deployment to Port Lyautey, French Morocco. CDR L.R. Burnett relieved CDR Bookout as C.O. on 16 June, 1954 in Port Lyauty. The squadron was temporarily based on the island of Crete in August 1954 while participating in NATO exercises. While on Crete it flew twelve to fifteen hour mining and convoy escort missions. Other operations and deployments were Operation SPRINGBOARD in NS Roosevelt Roads, PR ; Goose Bay, Labrador, Frobisher Bay, N.W.T., and Thule, Greenland. The first rescue of VP-8 took place off the east coast of Greenland and involved a Danish freighter restricted by ice drifts. The second was in search of several Air Force scientists stranded on a floating island in Baffin Bay. Another rescue involved the Norwegian sealing vessel "Jopeter," with 16 crewman and 19 passengers. The ship was caught in an ice pack. CDR Louis R. Brunee, C.O. assigned Lt. Edward M. Dassler and his crew to do the job. Navigator was LtJG Curtis G. McDowell; co-pilot was Lt. John H. McCalla, and 2nd navigator was Ens. Vincent A. DiCarlo. The enlisted crew were: George Brantley, AD1; Herbert F. Willis, AD2; Wm. A. Cross, AT1; Leon M. Magill, AT2; James E. Sjogren, AT3; John J. Daley, ATAN; and Harry W. Gaspar, AO1. The plane iced up from a severe storm and after more than five hours the vessel was finally sighted. Lt. Dassler made a pass at the vessel at 50 ft. above the water, and with bomb bay doors open, Lt. Dassler salvoed the emergency equipment, but only two packs blossomed down to the ship. The third hung up on an inoperative bomb shackle. The release device would not work. Disregarding his own safety, Harry Gaspar crawled back into the open bomb bay and clinging to rack supports, prepared to manually release the pack on the next pass. Once directly over the ship, he released the last rescue pack. With help from the Air Force, the ship's crew were eventually evacuated. As a result of these rescue flights, CDR Burnett, the squadron commander, recommended that Lt. Dassler, Lt. Huffman, and Harry Gaspar, AO1, be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the remaining personnel in Crews 3 and 10 be awarded the Air Medal. These were Crew 10: Lt. J.E. McCalla, LtJg, C.G. McDowell; Ens. V.A. DiCarlo; George M. Brantley, AD1, W.A. Cross, AT1, L.M. Magill, AT1; H.F. Willis, AD2; J.E. Sjogren, AT3, and J.J. Daley, ATAN. Crew 3: LtJG R.W. Bowers; LtJG L.J. Skomsky; H.R. Eaton, ALC; R.F. Lussier, AT3; W.R. Patterson, AO2, and G.H. Nugent, ADAN..." Contributed by Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) NEWSLETTER: "VP-8 Alumni Association" World War II Stories, and more!!!


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