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Circa 1951

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I had these pictures labled "Kwajalein Atomic Test" which would date them to possibly 1951. Anyone have additional information on these photograph's?..." Contributed by John Ezzo j.ezzo@verizon.net [09OCT2011]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVPB-931 History"...VPB-931 Squadron Inspection at NAS Kwajalein, Marshall Islands - Circa 1951. Private collection of LT Brad Bradbury (deceased)..." Contributed by Curtis Deal dealc@comcast.net [31OCT2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVPB-931 History"....No. 9...LT Bradbury and Crew at NAS Kwajalein, Marshall Islands Circa 1951. Private collection of LT Brad Bradbury (deceased)..." Contributed by Curtis Deal dealc@comcast.net [31OCT2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-931 "On Patrol" during Operation Greenhouse at Kwajalen Apr 4-5, 1951, courtesy of Tom Freund who flew patrol during atomic bomb tests..." Forwarded by Charles V. Gray charles.gray43@gmail.com [21NOV2007]

Left to Right:

    Crew #7 Tom Freund 2nd Row Right, Kwajalien Atoll - APL-27- Berthing, Kwajalien Atoll, Kwajalien Atoll, P2 Flown by CDR Payson and Kwajalien Atoll and P2
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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News March 1951 "...Stars Over The Atlantic - Page 30 - Naval Aviation News - March 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/mar51.pdf [23JUL2004]

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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

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Greetings from a fellow VP-931/VP-57 crew member. I began my affiliation with VP-931/VP-57 in June 1951 at good ole NAS Whidbey Island, Washington after a 6-month adventure as a General Service Radar operator on the USS Sicily (CVE-118) followed by fam training with FASRON-112.

Our June 1950 AT graduation class at Millington, TN was "honored" by a quick flight to San Diego where most of us boarded the USS Sicily or USS Philippine Sea (CV). On July 4, 1950, we set sail for Korea. After the Kwar was "over" (Nov 1950- before Chinese intervention) we were given our GS release and dispersed to our Naval Aviation responsibilities. A few of us were assigned to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington for re-training in FASRON-112.

After FASRON-112 most of us were assigned billets with VP-772 (PB4Y2), VP-9 (PB4Y2), and VP-931. VP-772 was assigned to Sand Point (Seattle) and VP-9 was sent to NAS Kodiak, Alaska. I was assigned to fly with Crew 6, Plane BUNO 39363 (P2V-2), as the radar operator and 2nd radio. Bill Rittman, Geo Baldwin, and Ens. Springer were the pilot, co-pilot and navigator, respectively. Most of VP-931 were from Philla as was the squadron thus the Philla Eagle football insignia. Commander Payson was our skipper.)

According to my Aviators Flight Log VP-931 left NAS Whidbey Island, Washington for NAS Kodiak, Alaska on 12/27/1951. We were sent there as an emergency replacement for VP-9 which had lost several aircraft. As I remember, an AT3 named Witherspoon (a Millington classmate) was the only survivor from two crashes. Two other AT School classmates, Will Tacie (an All-state Mich wrestler) and Busby, were also lost in crashes. In the beginning I had reservations about being billeted to VP-931 and not VP-9, but now I consider it a blessing. I believe that VP-9 lost 7 planes while flying in Alaska.

While stationed at NAS Kodiak, Alaska (until 7/12/1952) our crew sometimes averaged 100 hours a month. On the only flight that I missed while assigned to Crew 6, they took a P2V-3W to Adak and on departure in horrible weather the next morning an alcohol line broke in the cockpit and the pilots were blinded. GCA brought them back to the right of the runway (refer to 18 Feb 52 mishp summary). Lt. Rittman attempted a correction to the runway after clearing weather but couldn't make it. The nosewheel collapsed and the plane skidded to the end of the runway. One crew member was injured when he jumped on another crew member as the crew was escaping from the after hatch. During these exciting hours, I was flying in plane 8 (a P2V-2) to Pt. Barrow, AK.

Shortly after we returned from NAS Kodiak, Alaska, VP-931 was de-activated and most non-reservists were transitioned to VP-57 and into P2V-5's, approx 8/9/1952. I was assigned to Plane #1 which was piloted by Commander Coley. The new planes were a great improvement over the P2V-2's. I continued flying with VP-57 until Feb 1953. During this time, I was very busy trying to qualify for pilot training. Tom Fruend, Milt La Liberte and I (all AT2's) took the exams and after several weeks we learned that I was the only one who completed qualifications for Pensacola. In early Mar 1953, Commander Coley sent me to Seattle to meet with the FAW Commander to seek an early appointment to Pensacola as VP-57 was heading for Japan. The request was denied and Tom, Milt and I took our discharges (Mar 20).

Our story could end here, but I must add that Tom Fruend decided that chem was too tough at Tenn. Tech and he joined the AFROTC Pilot training program. He completed AF pilot training and transitioned to the F-2 Delta Dagger after a stint as AT flight instructor. Our family visited his while he was assigned to Truax AF Base in Madison, WS. After Truax, he was assigned to Elmendorf, AK and was there when the large earthquake shook the area. At that time, I was working on the Apollo Program in Huntsville, AL. He stopped in Huntsville while on a cross country flight and visited us for a few hours. The F-2 parked at the Huntsville airport brought much attention to say the least. The last letter that we received from Tom had him transitioning to F-4 Phantoms and the inevitable assignment to Vietnam (approx 1964). We lost track of Tom after that letter, but we never could forget him. In 1991, we visited the Black Wall in DC and looked for his name but it was not listed.

A couple of years later, I saw an ad in a navy mag giving and address where I could make an inquiry about military personnel. As a result. I was given a telephone number to call and we located him in Ft. Worth, TX. We communicated by letter/phone until my family and I were in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, then we dropped in for a wonderful reunion. He is currently the senior MD-80 flight instructor for Amer. Airlines and near a second retirement. He didn't talk much about his Vietnam experiences but when I saw a photo of an F-4 Wild Weasel on his mantle, I inquired about his work there. He was a Wild Weasel and flew 150 missions over Vietnam. He has four children- three girls and a boy. His son, Charles (named after me) is a Marine reserve pilot (F-4) who flies for an express company. It's ironic that my youngest son, Tom (named after Tom Freund) was at that time working for TI in Dallas, TX. My Tom flew in the Navy for seven years as an ECMO in E6B Prowlers off the USS Kittyhawk. Believe it or not, my Tom was stationed at Whidbey (VAQ-130) in the same hangar and office space as our VP-57 some 40 years later- small world!..." Contributed by Charles V. Gray charles.gray43@gmail.com ..." [06JUN2000]


Circa 1952

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "..."The Flying Eagles of VP-931 Keep Busy In NAS Kodiak, Alaska - The Editor Visits With a NAS Whidbey Island, Washington Squadron. Oak Harbor News, Oak Harbor, Washington - Thursday, March 20, 1952 - Page 5 and 8..." Contributed by ANDERSON, AD2 Chuck E. Retired MSGT USAF chuckernestanderson@yahoo.com [01MAY2008]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-931 History "...Circa 1952 - VP-931 Mascot - NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." Contributed by FURNISH, Thomas Richard tfurnish@insightbb.com [14OCT2007]

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: History ThumbnailCameraVP-931 History "...Circa 1952 - Jerry Ringo - NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." Contributed by GRAY, Charles V. charles.gray43@gmail.com [09JUL2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-931 History "...Circa 1952 - Charles Gray - NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." Contributed by GRAY, Charles V. charles.gray43@gmail.com [09JUL2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-931 History "...Circa 1952 - Laliberte - Tom Freund - NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." Contributed by GRAY, Charles V. charles.gray43@gmail.com [09JUL2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-931 History "...Circa 1952 - LT Bill Rittman - NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." Contributed by GRAY, Charles V. charles.gray43@gmail.com [09JUL2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-931 History "...Circa 1952 - Mack MaGuire - NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." Contributed by GRAY, Charles V. charles.gray43@gmail.com [09JUL2005]

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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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: NAS Kodiak ThumbnailCameraNAS Kodiak "...I probably came by these photo's when I was flying out of Kodiak (P2V's in Navy) in 1952, but don't remember for sure how I got them. They might have been used for training as they include approach shots to each runway taken from 2000 feet. Kodiak Naval Air Station VP-931 Hanger (Taken in 1952)..." Contributed by Daniel E. Jessup pipepurr@hotmail.com [18AUG2001]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-931 Baseball Team ThumbnailCameraVP-931 Baseball Team "...softball team fielded at Kodiak during baseball season 1952. I don't remember how our team did, but I do remember we had a lot of fun. Names, from left to right, are as follows: Kneeling in first row: P. A. Ansaldo (AL3), J. B. Phillips (AD2), C. F. Sharp (PN3). Second row: D. E. Jessup (ENS), W. A. Warr (AN), E. C. Oswald (PNSN), A. P. Yetter (ALC). Third row: R. C. Kinlock (AMAN), B. W. Lombard (AN), C. Hudson (AN), L. Canagallo (AMs3), I.Dorman (AT3). Team members not pictured: J. Sullivan, P. A. Yetter. Chief A. P. (pappy) Yetter, was our manager (as well as one our most respected squadron members)..." Contributed by Daniel E. Jessup pipepurr@hotmail.com [21AUG2000]


Circa 1950 - 1952

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVPB-931 History"...VPB-931 1950 - 1952. Private collection of LT Brad Bradbury (deceased)..." Contributed by Curtis Deal dealc@comcast.net [31OCT2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVPB-931 History"...VPB-931 1950 - 1952. Private collection of LT Brad Bradbury (deceased)..." Contributed by Curtis Deal dealc@comcast.net [31OCT2008]


Circa 1950

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVPB-931"...VPB-931 - NAS Kwajalein, Marshall Islands BOQ Fire - Circa 1950. Private collection of LT Brad Bradbury (deceased)..." Contributed by Curtis Deal dealc@comcast.net [31OCT2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVPB-931"...VPB-931 - NAS Kwajalein, Marshall Islands Circa 1950. Private collection of LT Brad Bradbury (deceased)..." Contributed by Curtis Deal dealc@comcast.net [31OCT2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraBill Rittman "...1950 deployment to NAS Kodiak, Alaska..." Contributed by Charles V. Gray charles.gray43@gmail.com [01JUL2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-931 was activated in 1950 (I think) from a reserve squadron in Willow Grove, PA. The squadron was assigned to NAS Whidbey and deployed to Kodiak for patrol of the Aleutian Islands and over to Siberia. I joined the squadron in June of 1952. Sometime in 1952 it was redisignated VP-57 and ordered to deploy to NAS Atsugi, Japan, patroling the Korean waters. Returned to NAS Whidbey after six months with no losses. The squadron was then ordered to deploy to Okinawa for patrol duty of SE Asia, Formosan straits, and the China coast for an invasion alert by Communist China on the Island of Formosa (Taiwan) which was expected at any time. This was in 53 and 54..." Contributed by Harold Tanner htanner@tampabay.rr.com


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