VP-91 Alumni Association
Contributed by George B. Winter email@example.com
VP-91 History 1941 through 1943
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...THIS HISTORY OF VP-91 COULD NOT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN WITHOUT THE HELP OF MANY FRIENDS AND SHIPMATES.
First---THE MOST IMPORTANT, IS JAMES SAWRUK, WHOM I CONSIDER A MASTER HISTORIAN. HE HAS SUPPLIED ME WITH WAR DIARIES, RESCUE INFORMATION AND OTHER DOCUMENTS.
"This is the story of one squadron-VP-91. But the same story could be assigned to any one of the patrol squadrons."
Second---FORMER MEMBERS OF VP-91 OF THE FIRST AND SECOND TOUR, FOR SENDING ME COPIES OF THEIR FLIGHT LOGS AND ALSO THOSE THAT SENT STORIES AND MAIL. THOSE ARE FRANK MOORE, BOB WEBER, FILL SCARBOROUGH, J.G.EVANS, JACK PORTER, DAVE WALKINSHAW, TOM JOUGANOTOS, DICK TEICH, DAVE McLAREN, JOHNNY TODD, MARLIN CRIDE: CHARLES MUNSEY, AND GEORGE MOAT. THESE FLIGHT LOGS GAVE VALUABLE: INFORMATION FOR OCT, NOV AND DEC 1942. THE WAR DAIRIES FOR THESE MONTHS ARE MISSING FROM THE ARCHIVES AT THE NAVY DEFT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Personnel began to assemble at Quonset Pt. RI, in Sept, Oct, and Nov 1941. In the latter part of Nov. 1941 we were transferred to Norfolk, Va. On Dec. 1, 1941 Patrol Squadron (VP-91 was established December 7, 1941) everything was changed and on Dec 17, 1941, VP-91 entrained with other personnel and on Dec 23, 1941, we arrived in Alameda, Ca. LCDR Paschal, Commanding Officer.
Late December and January we received our Aircraft, PBY5A'S. One of the first squadrons to received the new PBY5A'S with landing gear, the amphibians. The squadron trained until late Feb and on the first of March departed from San Diego for the Hawaiian Islands, then to Kaneohe.
The rest of the squadron left 7 March 1942 on the USS Pyre, an ammunition ship to Pearl Harbor and arriving Pearl it was a sad sight to see. Our final destination was Kanoehe Bay.
March 1942Training and Patrol.
April 1942Training and Patrol.
April 5 1942BUNO 2476 flown by VP-14 water-looped on landing at Pearl Harbor.
May 1942Squadron Transferred to Barking Sands, Kauai For Patrol. (BATTLE OF MIDWAY)
June 194214 A/C Barking Sands/Kaneohe Patrol
June 5,19422 planes ordered to Midway, 91-P-7 PPC Lt Odgen, crew not known. 91-P-9 PPC LT Hoffman, LTjg Doyle,LTjg Evans, NAP probably H. Speakman, H. Epperson AMM2c, A.G. Trombley AMM3c, G.C.Roem ARM3c, and H.E.James ARM3c.
June 7, 1942Lt Odgen in 91-P7 rescued two Marine survivors, Richard Blain and PFC Gordon McFeeley attached to VMSB-241. Planes from Barking Sands Search negative.
June 8, 1942Lt Odgen, 91-P-7 engaged twin Mitsabishi 96 bomber damaged, but not shot down. Sands search negative.
June 17, 1942Planes returned to Kaneohe Bay from Barking Sands.
July 1942Training and Patrol.
August 1942Training and Patrol. Traded PBY5A'S For PBY -5'5
September 1942Squadron ordered to South Pacific
September 2, 1942LCDR Rice, Ex. Officer departed for So Pac
September 5, 1942Lt Hoffman, 3 PBY'S departed for So Pac
September 9, 1942Lt Feddern, 4 PBY'S Departed for So Pac
September 11, 1942Lt Teich, PBY'S departed for So Pac
September 14, 1942Lt Hoffman, First Patrol for VP-91, made contact with Jap Fleet and 2 Jap A/C.
September 15, 1942LTjg Doyle sighted 4 Jap Zeros. ENS Speakman Attacked by 2 Jap planes, escaped into clouds.
SEPT 22, 1942LTjg DOYLE MADE TWO ATTACKS ON LARGE JAPANESE SUBMARINE. NO DAMAGE NOTED.
September 24, 1942LCDR Paschal rescued 3 marines, 2nd Lt John Zuber, Cpl D L Rhodes and Pvt F.W. Thiessen.
October 1942Patrol excepted as noted. All hell broke loose.
October 8, 1942ENS Speakman Sighted enemy plane
October 11, 1942ENS Speakman Sighted enemy plane
October 13 1942LT Atwell fired on by two Jap DD'S
October 14 1942Ltjg Snyder fired on by Jap Plane and contacted Jap Task Force, Battleships, Heavy and Light Cruisers and Destroyers. Ltjg Butler contacted Jap Fleet---shot down by Jap Zero's. Information received from Japan by Jim Sawruk firstname.lastname@example.org
The 14th of October 1942, a PBY located the task force containing carriers SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, AND ZUIHO. 3 A6M ZEROs from the ZUIKAKU intercepted it and shot it down. At least some of the crew must have survived the initial downing as the ZEROs then strafed it on the water. The ZERO's pilot's names are given and I have looked up what happened to them. None of them survived the war with 2 lost in combat and 1 in a flying accident. The one lost in the accident is the same fellow who shot down, Tom Moorer and his crew in the Java Campaign. Tom Moore later became CNO
October 15,1942Ltjg Polan and Ltjg Snyder were shot down by Jap Zeros. One survivor, from Lt jg Snyder's plane 3rd pilot (enlisted pilot) and bow gunner, Bill Pugh. Information received from Japan by Jim Sawruk email@example.com.
For the 15th of October 1942, the Japanese claimed to have shot down (3) three PBY's if viewed individually but as we know only 2 were lost. It appears that 2 ZUIHO Zeros started the action at 0655 (TOKYO time) and they claimed 1 PBY. They were joined by 4 SHOKAKU ZERO'S who claimed the action was over by 0715. As was the case in the Indian Ocean, I am sure this is a duplicate claim for the same aircraft. This is not unusual in Japanese records as well as our own. Some but not all of the ZERO's pilot's names are given in the records for the 15th. At 0810' 3 HIYO ZERO's in a different Task Force claimed 1 PBY. A later Combat Air Patrol also sighted a Patrol Bomber but was unable to intercept it. Lt Teich flying in the next sector spotted smoke, went over to investigate and rescued PUGH. Lt Walkinshaw contacted and tracked a Jap Task Force and was fired upon by Anti-Aircraft fire.
October 16, 1942ENS Speakman spotted Jap Plane LTjg Doyle spotted four Jap Zero's
October 17, 1942LTjg Walkinshaw spotted Mitsubisni Bomber
October 23, 194291-P-3 BUNO 04513 Sights a Japanese Task Force. This is the first sighting in what will become the Battle of Santa Cruz. PPC unidentified, probably from VP-11 or VP-51
October 25/26, 1942LT Atwell Night Dive Bombed Jap Crusier, two near misses and two direct hits. Left sinking LT Hoffman Night Attack on large Jap Aircraft Carrier, One near miss and spotted two Jap Task Forces--Heavy Anti-Aircraft Fire
October 25/26, 1942LT HOFFMAN NIGHT ATTACK O LARGE JAP AIRCRAFT CARRIER, ONE NEAR MISS AND SPOTTED TWO JAP TASK FORCES --HEAVY ANTI-AIRCRAFT FIRE. This information was emailed by Jim Sawruk firstname.lastname@example.org.
INFORMATION IS FROM JAPANESE OFFICIAL HISTORY.
IT IS FOR THE NIGHT OF 25TO 26 OCTOBER 1942 WHEN LT GLEN E HOFFMAN LOCATED AND ATTACKED ADMIRAL NAGUMO'S CARRIERS AT THE BATTLE OF SANTA CRUZ. DURING THIS MOONLIGHT ATTACK, GLEN AND HIS CREW DROPPED 4 BOMBS AGAINST NAGUMO'S FLAGSHIP, THE ZUIKAKU, WHICH WAS NEAR MISSED BY ONE OF THEM. HE SUCCESSFULLY ESCAPED BY DROPPING AN ILLUMINATION FLARE TO BLIND THE GUNNERS.
BECAUSE OF THIS ATTACK, ADMIRAL NAGUMO PERSONALLY TURNED THE FLEET AROUND AND HAD THE CARRIER AIRCRAFT DEFUELED AS HE THOUGHT HE WAS FALLING INTO A TRAP. THIS IS AN EXTREMELY UNUSUAL ACTION BY A JAPANESE ADMIRAL AND IT IS NOTED AS SUCH.
October 27, 1942ENS Speakman --Bombed Jap Submarine- no luck
November 1942LCDR J.O.Cobb relieved CDR Pascal of CO VP-91
November 18, 1942LTjg Doyle crashes on take off. BUNO 04513.
November 20, 1942LTjg Mansueto crashed on take off in cross wind. Injured Lt Manuseto, V.H. Osborn NAP, and G.E.McVane radioman. Uninjured ENS J.E. Porter, F.N. Moore AMM2c, R.J. Bennington, AMMc, N.A. Einhorn ARM3c, A.T. Lindquist AMM3c, and L.M. Hyde AM3c. BUNO 04491 lost in 35 fathoms at Vanikoro.
December 12, 1942CDR Paschal on special mission to Rennell Is with crew #14.
December 13, 1942LCDR Cobb, LTjg Walkinshaw and crew with Chief Payne and Chief Wade, made special mission to bombing mission to Munda Point Airfield.
December 16, 1942LTjg Doyle On Anti-sub around USS Minnapolis and landed at sea and pick up the ships Executive Officer. ENS Frazier, special test for refueling from Submarine (Argonaut)-then continued patrol
December 19, 1942Cdr Paschal and LT Atwell made specila flight to Ringbolt.
December 30, 1942LT Teich---Landed Supplies for Coast Watchers on Rennell Is.
January 19, 1943Assigned DUMBO MISSION--- Two crews--LT Hoffman, LTjg Porter and NAP Cook. Second crew, LT Teich, LTjg Ryerson and LTjg Keating. LT Hoffman rescued two P-40 Pilots, off Shortland Is Spotted two DD'S, one AK and seven Zeros
January 31, 1943LT Hoffman/Ens Porter (From Jack Porter's Log book) Rescued ten men from VP-12
February 1, 1943LT Ogden and LT Feddern (two aircraft) rescued LtGen Nathan F. Twining, Brigadier General Glen C. Jamison and 13 crew members of a B17.
February 5, 1943Lt Hoffman and LT Teich and crews returned to Espiritu Santo
FEB. 5, 1943LT PAUL KIMBALL WAS ATTACKED BY MITSUBISHI 96 TWIN ENGINE BOMBER. BOMBER BROKE OFF ATTACKED WHEN HIT BY 50 CAL WAIST GUN.
March 1, 1943LT McLaren, LTjg Evans, NAP Cook and crew? had 30 minute fight with Japanese Kawanishi 96-Emily
March 4, 1943LT Scarborough and LT Weber and crews assigned DUMBO MISSIONS at Tulagi, Fla. Is. LT Weber, ENS Hayes, LTjg Evans and PC Gaughen and crew rescued 5 Army survivors. Lunga Pt. Six planes relieved and headed home. On the flight from Kaneohe to San Diego, LT Odgen, LT Atwell and crew crash and lost at sea.
March 10, 1943LT Scarborough to Segi and return with Jap prisoner.
March 11, 1943LT Weber, LTjg Evans, ENS Hayes rescued 3 TBF and two natives from Santa Ana. LT Weber and crew rescued one Coast Watcher and two natives Segi, New Georgia Is.
March 14, 1943LT Scarborough , LT Weber and crews return to Expiritu Santo.
March 24, 1943LTjg Hardy and crew and two planes and crews from VP-72 assigned DUMBO AT TULAGI
March 26, 1943LTjg Hardy rescued P-40 pilot at Munda
MAR. 27, 1943LT R.B. MARTIN WAS ATTACKED BY A NELL 96 MITSUBISHI BOMBER. THE BOMBER UNABLE TO FIRE ITS TAIL CANNON ON THE PBY, BROKE OFF THE ATTACKED.
April 4, 1943LT Scarborough and LT Weber made the last Patrol for VP-91 before being relieved.
April 6, 1943LTjg Hardy and crew returned to Espiritu Santo
April 10, 1943Last planes from VP-91 left So Pac (Noumea) for Kaneohe. The rest of VP-91 Personnel left on the Rochambeau, for the states.
BLACK CATSThis operation, probably began with Patrol Wing 10 in Australia at the begining of the war. At the battle of Midway, three planes from VP-24 and one plane from VP-51 made a night torpedo attack on Japanese ships. In the South Pacific on the night of Oct-15-16 LTjg ~aber of VP-24, LTjg Muckenthaler of VP-11, were search planes for LCdr Cobb of VP-11 and LTjg Rothenburg of VP-51 with torpodes. Torpodes run nade with one hit. Late Oct 1942 on a night flight around Guadalcanal LCdr Cobb sent a message to General Geiger on Guadalcanal "THE BLACK CAT FLIES TONIGHT." Oct 26/27 1942 LT Atwell made a night bombing run on Japanese Crusier, two hits. (Read BLACK CAT RAIDERS OF WW11 by Richard c. Knott for more information.) Oct 26/27 LT Hoffman made night attack on large Japanese Aircraft Carrier One near miss.
DUMBODon't have information if other squadrons had been assigned to rescue missions before VP-91 was assigned Jan 19,1943. Later in 1943 a squadron was assigned strickly for Dumbo.
"VP-91 Up-Float Stories Summary Page"