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HistoryVP-9 HistoryHistory

Circa 1959

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-9 History "...CDR E. E. WOOD reported to VP-9 in 1951. In December 1957 he reported to VP-19 as XO and November 1958 assumed command...." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24DEC2012]


Circa 1956

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News October 1956 "...Ice Floes Ahead! - Page 1 to 5 - Naval Aviation News - October 1956..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1956/oct56.pdf [09AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News June 1956 "...VP-9 Plane Limps Home - Page 10 - Naval Aviation News - June 1956..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1956/jun56.pdf [09AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...This my take some time we had many stories on that deployment during 1956-57 at NAS Iwakuni, Japan. I was a tailgunner on crew 3 just a raw recruit from A OA school our first close call came when we were 700 miles out to sea practice bombing some rocks with three other planes from our squadron. The pilot Commander Bush was in the after station with me having a cup of coffee the navigator and copilot were flying the plane and making a low altitude bombing run when we lost an engine. The pilot threw his coffee and jumped over the wing beam to the cockpit that is when we lost the second engine and believe me it gets very quite in a P2V with no engines running. Commander Bush took control of the aircraft and got one engine started but backfiring and one jet running we were still losing altitude. Finally the the one resip. that was running caught on and started running OK. We then got the other jet running and we were able to gain some altitude. The whole crew felt relieved until the pilot ask the navigator to get us back to Iwakuni and he stated we had jettisoned most of our fuel in dropping the wing and bomb bay tanks. He stated he was not sure we had enough fuel to even get 700 miles to the shore line. We headed for a new Japanese Airport on the coast and were followed by our other two planes. We made it to the airport and on landing the aircraft was about to go off the end of the runway when the pilot reversed the one engine this turned us sideways and blew both mains. We slid to a stop ahout 50 feet from going off the runway. I was in my ditching station and the radioman said get out we our on fire. Everyone got out but the pilot the Japanese fire crew arrived the oil in the engine nacelle was burning from the tire. The fire crew could not get water from their truck and the Commander on seeing this this merely revved up the engine and blew the fire out shut the engine down . I have some pictures of the aircraft during this ordeal taken by our other planes..." Contributed by James W. Hathaway (Red Dog) reddog1937@cableone.net [E-Mail Updated 28JAN99 | 11DEC98]


Circa 1955

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-9 History "...CDR R. E. DIMMITT was assigned to VP-14 on October 1941. His PBY squadron deployed to the South Pacific where he was shot down by the Japanese. As an Operations Officer of VP-9 (P2V) in 1955 he got his first taste of Alaskan flying. In 1959 he too over as XO of VP-1 (P2V) and fleeted up to CO...." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24DEC2012]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News June 1955 "...AFROTC Visits With VP-9 - Page 10 - Naval Aviation News - June 1955..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1955/jun55.pdf [04AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...22 JUN 55 - A P2V-5 Neptune of VP-9, while on patrol in the Aleutian area, was attacked by two MiG-15s, which set fire to the starboard engine and forced the Neptune to crash on St. Lawrence Island, near Gambell. There were no fatalities..." http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-1910/PART08.PDF [28MAY2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...22JUN55 - A USN P2V-5 Neptune of VP-9 (BuNo 131515), flying a patrol mission from NAS Kodiak, Alaska, was attacked over the Bering Strait by two Soviet MiG-15s. The aircraft crash-landed on St. Lawrence Island after an engine was set afire. Of the eleven crewmembers, four sustained injuries due to gunfire and six were injuried during the landing. The USA demanded $724,947 in compensation; the USSR finally payed half this amount..." Website: Aircraft Downed During the Cold War and Thereafter http://www.silent-warriors.com/shootdown_list.html [20FEB2003]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...From 1945 to 1969, U.S. Navy aircraft were involved in a number of aerial incidents with forces of the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, North Korea, and Czechoslovakia. These incidents resulted in the loss of eight Navy aircraft and one Coast Guard aircraft, eighty-one Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviators and crewman, and several aircraft damaged and crewmen wounded and injured. The list below, compiled from official and unofficial sources, does not include aircraft lost in direct action in the Korean and Vietnam wars, nor aircraft shot down by Chinese forces in the vicinity of Vietnam in connection with that war..." Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol2.htm [06MAY2001]

  • 22 Jun 1955 P2V-5 VP-9
    While flying a patrol mission from Kodiak, Alaska, this aircraft (BuNo 131515) crash-landed on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea after an engine was set afire during an attack by two Soviet MiG-15s. Of the eleven crewmen, four sustained injuries due to gunfire and six were injured during the landing. (This was the only incident in which the Soviet Union admitted any responsibility.)

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "22JUN55--A P2V-5 Neptune of VP-9, while on patrol in the Aleutian area, was attacked by two MiG-15s, which set fire to the starboard engine and forced the Neptune to crash on St. Lawrence Island, near Gambell. There were no fatalities..." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/avchr5.htm


    Circa 1954

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News June 1954 "...VP-9 Puts Gramp's Advice To Work - Page 20 to 21 - Naval Aviation News - June 1954..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1954/jun54.pdf [02AUG2004]

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    Circa 1953

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News January 1953 "...Flares Light The Way For Fighters - Page 15 - Naval Aviation News - January 1953..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1953/jan53.pdf [29JUL2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-9 ThumbnailCameraVP-9 History "...VP-9 Deployment October 1953...Main gate at NAS Atsugi, Japan..." Contributed by FRANKINA, Ed patron9@webtv.net [08NOV2002]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-9 ThumbnailCameraVP-9 History "...VP-9 Deployment October 1953...VP-9 Barracks prior to December 1953 snowfall..." Contributed by FRANKINA, Ed patron9@webtv.net [08NOV2002]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-9 ThumbnailCameraVP-9 History "...VP-9 Deployment October 1953...VP-9 Barracks December 1953 snowfall. Flight operations were suspended for one day (no snowplows)..." Contributed by FRANKINA, Ed patron9@webtv.net [08NOV2002]


    Circa 1952

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The following are photograph's from a VP-9 Photo Album (NAS Adak, Alaska) I came across - Circa 1952..." Contributed by Michael Varga mikey1010@msn.com [20AUG2010]

      Left to Right: Plankowners Certificate, PB4Y Privateer from VP-9 and PB4Y Liberator VP-61, PB4Y Privateer, Unknown Shipmate and Crew 8 Circa Jan 1, 1952. Front Row - Left to Right: LT(jg) H.E. Graham (Copilot) - LT(jg) W.P. Vosseler (Navigator) - LT K.M.E Miller (Pilot) - ENS P.B. Clapp (Navigator) - Unknown and H.C. Blalock First (Radioman). Back Row - Left to Right: R.J. Bies (Second Mechanic), - D.H. Brown (First Mechanic) - Dean D. Cruze (Radar Operator) - D.H. Davis (Second Radioman) - H.L. Morgan (Second Ordnanceman) and J.D. Moran (First Ordnanceman)..."
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    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: "...FAW-1, FAW-2, FAW-4, FAW-6, FAW-14, VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-6, VP-9, VP-22, VP-28, VP-40, VP-42, VP-46, VP-47 and VP-871) - 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 August 1952 "...They Ride Rough In Texas - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - August 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/aug52.pdf [26JUL2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "29JUN52--KOREA--ARRIVED: 29JUN52 DEPARTED: 16NOV52 TAIL CODE: CB AIRCRAFT: P4Y-2/2S" http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/koreaob.htm

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FLARES LIGHT THE WAY FOR FIGHTERS Naval Aviation News Date/Issue Unknown..." Contributed by CDR. A.G.(ALEX) ALEXANDER vo67usn@bresnan.net [02OCT98]

    FLARES LIGHT THE WAY FOR FIGHTERS

    THE TASK of tearing the dark cover of night off he Communist supply lines in Korea is the mission of Navy patrol bombers who fly far behind enemy lines every night to drop brilliant flares that light the target for fast Marine fighter pilots. With night turned into sudden day as the flares fall, the Marine fliers zip in and spread destruction on the aggressor's line of supply.

    The North Koreans can't fight a war without supplies. A large hole in the enemy's rocky supply system has been put there by Navy officers and men who risk their necks night after night to keep the Communists from stockpiling guns and ammunition. Marine pilots had pasted the routes iii daylight, even on foggy days when they use their radar equipment. That had caused the enemy to start running the roads at night, thinking himself safe in the dark, especially since he was a good ways behind the lines. After all, no cannon fire could reach him there.

    And then one night a lone Navy World War II patrol bomber was lazily flying back and forth at high altitude, and down lower a Marine pilot in a modern fighter was checking his guns and ammunition. Then suddenly there were lights, as if daylight itself laid the main route bare, and the fighter plane ripped into the line of trucks and had a field day chewing up the road with 20 mm. shells. Night no longer protected the enemy.

    The route to such a decisive Strike begins a long way from the battle-ripped paddy fields of Korea. It depends upon long, careful training of pilots and crew-men, for it is no easy task to take off in darkness and turn the night into day.

    The pilot must first find his target in the blackest part of the night. (From personal experience, this reporter can assure you that until you have spent the night in Korea, black is just another word.) Thoroughly taken up with the complicated job of handling a four-engine bomber and dodging the ever-present flak, the pilot would find his mission more tough if he did not have the assistance of a perfectly trained crew. It's nothing at all like handling a light plane on a Sunday afternoon.

    Navigation must be perfect. To miss the target only slightly would be to waste flares and cause the fighter pilot to burn precious gasoline on a dry run. Wasted flares would give the enemy gun crews a good chance to take their time and search out the patrol plane with heavy AA fire which, to the patrol bomber, ranks with the plague.

    Under the guidance of the navigator riding in the nose of the plane, the man at the flare tube knows when to drop his flares. He may be any member of the crew who happens to be in the after station at that time. All hands turn to for the exhausting task of passing flares from the bomb bay to the tube. It is the high altitude that makes the task hard and increases fatigue. At the end of a six-hour flight in which over 130 flares have been dropped, all hands are ready to "hit the sack."

    Both members of the team, the patrol flare plane and the Marine fighter, are constantly on the lockout for signs of trucks on the roads below. Whenever a row of lights is seen, the word is exchanged and the flare plane navigator quickly fires instructions to the pilot and begins the run against the enemy.

    "Easy port-more pore-easy starboard....Straighten her out a little....Steady, steady....After Station stand by to drop."
    "After Station standing by, sir."
    "Drop one, after station."
    "One away, sir."
    "Drop two."
    "Two away, sir."
    "Drop three and four away, sir. Flak bursting aft!"
    "Hard port! Let's get the hell away from here. They're mad at us." The flares are set to ignite at whatever altitude the fighter pilot believes best. From high above in the flareplane, it's like looking directly into a photographers flash. The country lights up brighter than day.

    You wait to hear the report from the fighter below the flares. If the drop has been successful and there are targets on the road, the report runs something like this: "Good drop! There's three of the &^&^'s right under me. Watch for hits. I'm going in!"

    Then silence. Then a few remarks by the flareplane crew questioning the family background of those below about to meet their ancestors. Then a flash down there, and the happy cry, "We got 'cm! Keep it lit up. I see three more!"

    The flareplane encores the run, following the instructions of the fighter pilot and using the previous flares as markers. By this time the enemy gun crews have you pretty well in their sights, and it makes the run a little more exciting. The performance is repeated until the fighter pilot is satisfied that there are no more targets, and then you pick another section of the road and start over again.

    When the fighter runs out of ammunition and heads for home base, another is on its way to rendezvous for the second half of the operation that night. The evening flights are run in two shifts, keeping the Navy crews over the target areas anywhere from four to eight hours, longer than any other crews fly in the "hot zones."

    After this continuous pasting in the middle of the night, the trucks have become a little leary, and there are times when targets- are hard to find. This trick of attacking at night under flares has proved very effective, but the fact remains that in order for the enemy to continue the fight, he must have supplies. He must drive trucks down the only available roads at all times of the day and night. So the Navy cakes off every night with a load of flares and ^he Marine fighter pilots do likewise a short time later.

    The enemy does not take the dual attack lying down. He's mad as a hornet and just as active. The way he throws radar-controlled AA fire skyward, aided by our own flares, shows he means business. The fighter is vulnerable-he is flying low under the flares. The flareplane is vulnerable-he is flying slow and over the flares.

    It is a ticklish situation at either level, and all hands win gray hairs honestly in this type of night warfare.

    The parachute flares used by the night marauders look a little like sono-buoys, being long and pencil-like. Two types are in use in Korea today, the Mk 5 flare which turns out 730,000 candlepower and the larger Mk 6 with a million candlepower. A new Mk 3 Mod 10 is just reaching the field. It burns for two minutes instead of three and turns out 1,230,000 candlepower.

    THE FLARES have static lines attached to the plane which activate the fuse as the flare drops away from the aircraft. The delay in firing can be set so the flare will fall from 300 feet to 12.000 feet before igniting. A 13-foot parachute with asbestos shrouds keeps it from falling too fast, giving night fighters a chance to get plenty of "look-see" time as it floats downward. A slow-burning magnesium compound pressed into cakes somewhat like a rocket motor furnishes the "light" which turns the Korean countryside into day.

    Because the light of the flare is so blinding to night-adapted eyes of pilots, the Navy experimented with putting an opaque parachute-like screen immediately above the flaming magnesium. This, however, did not operate too well and tended to catch tire from the intense heat of the flare.

    Preceding these missions every evening, the crews of both ships, the bomber's crew and the fighter plane radar operator, undergo intensive briefing.

    Questions from new crews-such as "Skipper, what if the 'goonies' knock us down? What do we do then?"-are all carefully answered until the proper procedure and recognition signals are learned. These signals have saved many men who otherwise would have been lost without the proper identification.

    VP-9 men, old hands at flare dropping, are shown in the picture below: front row: J. G. Fuller, C. E. Jones, Patrick Spinella, Thaddeus Maziarz, A. J. Fremer; second row: D. A. Guth-miller, Ens. Joe Walker, Jr., Lt. (jg) Jackson, Jr., LCdr. W. C. Gammon, Ens. R. R. Ward, E. L Baker and J. E. Mile. They conquer the foe at night. Contributed by CDR. A.G.(ALEX) ALEXANDER vo67usn@bresnan.net [02OCT98]

    VP-9 Misc
    Picture Contributed by Robert G. Phillips [E-Mail Removed 16DEC2002 | 15AUG2001]

    Circa 1951

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News July 1951 History ThumbnailCameraVP-9 History "...VP-9 Readies Its Privateers - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - July 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/jul51.pdf [24JUL2004]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraCDR Max P. Bailey, Jr "...This is the first Commanding Officer of VP-9, Cdr. Max P. Bailey, Jr..." Contributed by CDR. A.G.(ALEX) ALEXANDER vo67usn@bresnan.net [17SEP2001]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-9 Circa 1951..." Contributed by Robert F. Phillips C/O His Son Robert G. Phillips [E-Mail Removed 16DEC2002 | 15AUG2001]

    VP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer Thumbnail
    VP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer ThumbnailVP-9 PB4Y-2 Privateer Thumbnail
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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Circa 1970...Patrol Squadron 9 was commissioned in March ot 1951 at NAS, Whidbey Island, Washington. In April of 1952, a detachment ol VP-9 aircraft, then based at lwakuni, Japan, was sent to Korea to aid in the United Nations operations there. VP-9 P4Y2's operated in conjunction with Marine corps Night Fighter F7F's and F4U's. The P4Y's dropped parachute flares to light North Korea roads, bridges, supply dumps, and convoys for the attacking F7F's. During a 1958 deployment to Alaska, tlie Squadron aided USS Nautilus in her historic passage under tlie polar ice cap. In 1963, the Squadron sent its first personnel into training for the eventual transition to the P-3 Orion. In December of 1963 the first P-3 was accepted. In January, 1964, the Squadron changed duty station to Moffett F ield, completed its transition lo tlie P-3, and by November had been deployed to Okinawa as a fully operational unit of tlie Seventh Fleet and the first squadron lo operate tlie P-3A Orion in the Far East. VP-9 later became tlie first Pacific Fleet squadron to be equipped witli the new P-3B. ...." Contributed by Jan Hartman [23MAY2000]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: UNIT: VP-9 PREVIOUS DES: NAME: Golden Eagles TAIL CODE: CB/PD ACTIVATED: 3-15-51 DEACTIVATED: TYPICAL LOCATION(S): NAS Whidbey Island, Washington / NAS Alameda, California
    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!

    HistoryHISTORY: "Patrol Squadron Nine (VP-9) was established at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, on 15 March 1951. Equipped with the P4Y-2 Privateer, VP-9 deployed to NAS Kodiak, Alaska, only four months later. By 1952, the squadron was home-based at NAS Alameda, California. In June 1952, VP-9 deployed to Iwakuni, Japan, from where it patrolled the seas around Korea. The squadron detached several P4Y's to Korea to drop parachute flares to illuminate North Korean roads, bridges, supply depots, and convoys for attacking Marine Corps aircraft. Returning to Alameda in January 1953, VP-9 transitioned to the P2V-5 Neptune. During the 1950's, VP-9 deployed to Atsugi and Iwakunik, Japan, and twice to NAS Kodiak, Alaska. During the 1955 NAS Kodiak, Alaska deployment, one of the squadron's P2V's was shot up off Siberia by a Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter and crash-landed on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea; several crew members were wounded, but none was killed. Transition to the P2V-7 version followed later that year. During the 1958 NAS Kodiak, Alaska deployment, VP-9 crews assisted the Nautilus (SSN-571) on its historic passage under the polar ice cap. From 1958 until 1963, VP-9 operated mostly in the Eastern Pacific. In December 1963, VP-9 changed home base to NAS Moffett Field, California, and transitioned to the P-3A Orion. In November 1964, the squadron became the first to operate the P-3 in the Western Pacific, deploying to Naha, Okinawa, and Sangley Point in the Philippines. During this time, VP-9 crews flew missions in support of Seventh Fleet units off Vietnam. Upgrading to the P-3B in 1966, VP-9 made two deployments to NAS Adak, Alaska, and five more to the Western Pacific by 1973, supporting Market Time and Yankee Team operations off Vietnam. In 1974, the squadron's reach included Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. After transition to the Update I version of the P-3C in 1976, VP-9 became the first Update I squadron to deploy to the Western Pacific, and the first to operate P-3Cs in the Indian Ocean. Over the next 20 years, the VP-9 Golden Eagles operated regularly from such sites as NAS Adak, Alaska; Guam; NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan and Misaffa, Japan; Diego Garcia and Masirah in the Indian Ocean; and Cubi Point in the Philippines, tracking Soviet submarines and shipping and supporting carrier battle group operations. The 1979 western Pacific deployment involved the squadron in several successful rescues of Vietnamese boat people. VP-9 also deployed to Keflavik, Iceland, in 1980 to fill in for an Atlantic Fleet squadron that deployed to the Pacific. VP-9 upgraded to the Update III version of the P-3C in 1991 and changed home base to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, in 1992. VP-9 is scheduled to move to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, when Barbers Point is closed before the end of the century...Lieutenant Commander Rick Burgess, U. S. Navy (Retired)...(Proceedings/April 1997 Lest We Forget)..." Contributed by George Winter pbycat@bellsouth.net

    HistoryHISTORY: "On March 15, 1951, Patrol Squadron Nine (VP-9) was commissioned at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, under the command of CDR M. B. Bailey. The maiden flight of the new squadron was flown in a P4Y-2 "Privateer." Within a few months the "Golden Eagles" embarked upon their first deployment to NAVSTA NAS Kodiak, Alaska. Since that time the squadron has participated in a variety of missions throughout the world. In June 1952, VP-9 deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. The squadron conducted numerous missions including combined operations with Marine Corps night fighters in which it dropped flares to illuminate significant North Korean targets for attack aircraft. In January 1953, VP-9 returned to the United States, and was based at NAS Alameda, California. The squadron transitioned to the P2V "Neptune" and subsequently deployed to NAS Atsugi, Japan in September. This deployment was followed by assignment to NAS Kodiak, Alaska in 1955 and Iwakuni, Japan in 1956. The "Golden Eagles" high degree of professionalism and mission readiness displayed during these deployments was recognized with consecutive Battle "E" awards in 1955 and 1956. After an extended at home period, the squadron departed again for NAS Kodiak, Alaska in May 1958. During its Arctic tour, VP-9 assisted the world's first nuclear powered submarine, the USS NAUTILUS, in her historic passage under the polar ice cap. From 1958 to 1963, VP-9 continued its distinguished ASW efforts in the Eastern Pacific as evidenced by the receipt of their third Battle "E" award in 1960. In December of 1963, VP-9 received its first P-3A "Orion," and NAS Moffett Field, California became its new homeport. The squadron deployed to Naha AB, Okinawa in November 1964. Here it supported SEVENTH Fleet operations and achieved the distinction as the first unit to operate the newly introduced P-3's in the Western Pacific. In the spring of 1966, the "Golden Eagles" became the first Pacific Fleet squadron to receive the P-3B "Orion." The squadron returned to Okinawa where it conducted missions in support of military operations in Vietnam. Many hours were flown in the combat zone as the squadron participated in "MARKET TIME" AND "YANKEE TEAM" operations. In April 1967, a three plane detachment operated from NAS Guam, providing ASW coverage and island surveillance to US Naval Forces in the Marianas. VP-9 was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its efforts. In November, the "Golden Eagles" embarked upon its first deployment to NAVSTA Adak, Alaska. Its sustained outstanding performance during this period resulted in its receiving the first COMNAVAIRPAC Royal Air Force Coastal Command Trophy, as well as the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. In early 1969, the "Golden Eagles" returned to Southeast Asia where it aided the interdiction of enemy troops and supplies into South Vietnam. A total of 90 Air Medals were presented to the aircrew members who participated in these operations. For its performance during this period, VP-9 was awarded a second Coastal Command Trophy and Meritorious Unit Commendation. During 1970, while deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, VP-9 achieved its third Meritorious Unit Commendation for patrolling more than nine million square miles of ocean ranging from the Arctic Ocean to the Philippine Sea. In late 1971, the "Golden Eagles" returned to Iwakuni where it demonstrated VP mobility and flexibility by simultaneously operating detachments from NAF Misawa, Japan and three thousand miles to the south in U-Taphao, Thailand. VP-9 returned to NAS Moffett Field, California in January 1972. The ensuing four years were highlighted by deployments to Cubi Point, Guam and Okinawa. In 1976, VP-9 began a new era, with the squadron's transition to the computerized and upgraded P-3C (Update I). In early 1977, the "Golden Eagles" completed a highly successful deployment to NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan. For its demonstrated ASW excellence, VP-9 was awarded the distinguished Captain Arnold J. Isbell Trophy. In 1978, VP-9 maintained a six month detachment at NAS Adak, Alaska. The year ended with the "Golden Eagles" playing a significant role in a major exercise; FLEETEX 1-79. In 1979, VP-9 deployed to NAF Misawa, Japan. During this time, extensive Vietnamese refugee assistance operations were conducted in the South China Sea in addition to surveillance and ASW missions from Guam, Okinawa and the Philippines. In late 1980, VP-9 became the second West Coast Patrol Squadron to deploy to NAVSTA Keflavik, Iceland. Extensive ASW operations were conducted throughout the North Atlantic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea. VP-9 returned to NAS Adak, Alaska in October 1981 for a four month detachment where it conducted ASW and reconnaissance operations throughout the Northern Pacific. Also during this month, an additional three plane detachment was deployed on short notice to NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan for two months of intensive ASW operations in support of SEVENTH Fleet requirements in the Western Pacific. All Pacific theaters saw the P-3C "Orion" utilized to its full extent in 1982 and 1983. VP-9 was the first squadron to be deployed for six months at Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territories (B.I.O.T.). In January 1984, the "Golden Eagles" deployed to Diego Garcia and maintained a detachment in NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan. It broke new ground on deployment by becoming the first Patrol Squadron to conduct operational detachments out of Berbera, Somalia and Al-Masirah, Oman. In June of 1985, VP-9 became the first full squadron to deploy to NAS Adak, Alaska in over 15 years. Another successful deployment ensued which included numerous operational missions, training evolutions, and several SAR and MEDEVAC flights. After VP-9 returned to NAS Moffett Field, California in December, a fast-paced training cycle ensued, combined with four months as the operational ready alert squadron. Successful participation in exercise COMPTUEX 86-3 resulted in commendatory correspondence from COMCARGRU ONE. In November 1986, VP-9 became the first squadron to deploy to the Western Pacific with the APS-137 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR). During a successful two-site deployment to NAF Misawa, Japan and Cubi Point, the squadron completed numerous anti-submarine and surface warfare missions throughout the SEVENTH Fleet area of responsibility. In addition to several ASW prosecutions, VP-9 participated in SEA OF SIAM 87-1 and TEAM SPIRIT 2-87 exercises, and returned home in May 1987. While at home, it participated in FLEETEX 87-4B and 88-1, COMPTUEX 88-1-A and 88-3, and Operational Test Launch (OTL)-24, and successfully completed a multitude of aircraft maintenance inspections and modifications. In July 1988, VP-9 deployed once again to Diego Garcia where it operated detachments at NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan and in the Arabian Gulf region. During this time, extensive ASW, ASUW, search and rescue, and joint service operations were conducted throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf. VP-9 was selected as the winner of the CNO Safety Award for 1988 and received its fourth Meritorious Unit Commendation for actions completed while forward deployed to the Persian Gulf Region. Returning to NAS Moffett Field, California in January 1989, it completed a comprehensive at-home training cycle, which included the introduction of the "OUTLAW HUNTER" avionics suite, an over-the-horizon targeting enhancement prototype that added a new dimension to MPA battle group support. From February to August 1990, the "Golden Eagles" completed a very successful deployment to NAF Misawa, Japan which included a record-setting ASW performance and a flawless coordinated missile shot in HARPOONEX-90. The "Golden Eagles" received the 1990 SEVENTH Fleet ASW Excellence Award as well as the FY90 Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy. VP-9 returned to Moffett in August 1990 where it smoothly transitioned to the Update III aircraft while undertaking an ambitious aircrew training program. The "Golden Eagles" sustained exemplary performance was once again evidenced by its receipt of a fourth Battle Efficiency "E" Award, distinguishing Patrol Squadron NINE as the best Pacific Fleet Patrol Squadron. During 1991 the "Golden Eagles" made three one-month detachments to Panama to assist the CJTF-5 drug interdiction effort. VP-9 also detached to NAS Adak, Alaska in June for a three month period, and flew several missions in conjunction with UNDER ICE TRANSFER 91. In December, VP-9 conducted a detachment to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington to fly data collection missions for the Air Defense Initiative Critical Sea Test 6 projects. During this time, VP-9 participated in the second "ROCKEYE INVITATIONAL" where it was the only Patrol Squadron to score a direct hit during the bombing derby. Other Fleet exercises that VP-9 participated in during the year were READIEX 91-1B, READIEX 91-2B, READIEX BGE, FALLING VANTAGE 91-3, COMPTUEX 91-3, ASWOP 92-01 and the AIREM exercise in November. January of 1992 found the "Golden Eagles" gearing up for tri-site operations from Panama, NAS Adak, Alaska, and Moffett Field. In addition, VP-9 received orders to make its third homeport change, this time from NAS Moffett Field, California to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. In June of 1992, VP-9 began a series of detachments to Howard Air Force Base, Panama to assist in the drug interdiction effort. Concurrently, VP-9 also operated a six month detachment in NAS Adak, Alaska. During this period VP-9 sent aircrews to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and NAS North Island, San Diego, California in support of drug interdiction efforts. In November, VP-9 completed its homeport change by setting up its new nest in NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. In October of 1993, the Golden Eagles completed another demanding but highly successful at-home training cycle in preparation for a six month WESTPAC deployment to Diego Garcia. In addition to operations out of Diego Garcia, the Golden Eagles maintained detachments in NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan and Masirah, Oman. While in Masirah, VP-9 crews played a vital role in Operations Southern Watch, Restore Hope, and Desert Storm. VP-9 returned to their Hawaii nest in May 1994 to begin their Inter-Deployment Training Cycle. In July, Patrol Squadron NINE was declared the winner of the COMPATWINGSPAC Tactics Bowl award for tactical excellence and innovation. The training cycle proved to be challenging with at-home inspections and detachments to Eilson AFB, Alaska and to NAS North Island, San Diego, California for Battle Group Support. In March, the "Golden Eagles" were awarded the 1994 Coastal Command Trophy for the highest level of airborne ASW proficiency. In May of 1995, following a challenging at-home training cycle, VP-9 began a dual site deployment to NAF Misawa, Japan and NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan. Once again placing itself on the leading edge of the expanding role of maritime patrol aviation, VP-9 was the first WESTPAC squadron to deploy with Maverick missile capability. While operating from dual sites, VP-9 safely flew in support of the USS Independence and USS Lincoln Battle Groups. In addition, VP-9 helped to strengthen maritime patrol connectivity throughout the Pacific by conducting 34 bi-lateral exercises including operation FOAL EAGLE."http://www.ncts.navy.mil/homepages/vp9/pages/history.htm


    Circa 1950 - 1953
    Korean War

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron Korean War Deployments - 1950 Deployments - 1951 Deployments - 1952 Deployments - 1953 Deployments..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/a-korea/vp-deploy.htm [26MAY2007]

        VP-1

          Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Date In: 19 Aug 1950
          Date Out: 13 Nov 1950
          Patrol Area: Formosa Straits
          Aircraft: P2V-3/3W
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

          Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Date In: Apr 1951
          Date Out: 29 Aug 1951
          Patrol Area: Korean coast
          Aircraft: P2V-3
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

          Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Date In: 29 Mar 1952
          Date Out: 5 Oct 1952
          Patrol Area: Korean coast
          Aircraft: P2V-3
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

          Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Date In: 27 May 1953
          Date Out: 1 Dec 1953
          Patrol Area: Korean coast
          Aircraft: P2V-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-2

          Deployed to: Detachment only
          Detachment Location: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Detachment Date In: 1 Aug 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 2 Dec 1951
          Patrol Area: East China Sea; Yellow Sea
          Aircraft: P2V-3W
          Losses: None

        VP-6

          Deployed to: Johnson AFB
          Date In: 7 Jul 1950
          Date Out: 6 Aug 1950
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea

          Deployed to: Tachikawa AFB
          Date In: 7 Aug 1950
          Date Out: 12 Feb 1951
          Patrol Area: Korean coastline; Sea of Japan
          Aircraft: P2V-3/3Wbr>Losses: None
          Detachment Location: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Detachment In: 5 Jan 1951
          Detachment Out: 12 Feb 1951
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Korean coastline

          Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Date In: 1 Aug 1951
          Date Out: 14 Jan 1952
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Sea of Japan; Tsushima Straits
          Aircraft: P2V-3/3W
          Losses: P2V-3 on 16 Aug 1951, crew rescued P2V on 6 Nov 1951, 10 KIA (combat)
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-7

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Date In: 28 Jun 1953
          Date Out: 27 Jul 1953
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Yellow Sea
          Aircraft: P2V-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-9

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Date In: 27 Jun 1952
          Date Out: 16 Nov 1952
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan
          Aircraft: P4Y-2S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Pusan
          Detachment Date In: Jul 1952
          Detachment Date Out: 3 Jan 1953
          Patrol Area: Inland Korea

        VP-17

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Date In: 1 Feb 1953
          Date Out: 30 Jun 1953
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Yellow Sea
          Aircraft: P4Y-2/2s
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-22

          Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Date In: 4 Nov 1950
          Date Out: 1 May 1951
          Patrol Area: Chinese mainland; Formosa
          Aircraft: P2V-4
          Losses: P2V, 21 Jan 1951 (non-combat)
          Detachment Location: None
          VP-22

          Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Date In: 1 Dec 1951
          Date Out: 31 May 1952
          Patrol Area: Tsushima Straits; Sea of Japan
          Aircraft: P4Y-2S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None
          VP-22

          Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Date In: 30 Nov 1952
          Date Out: 31 May 1953
          Patrol Area: North and South China Sea
          Aircraft: P2V-5
          Losses: P2V-5, 18 Jan 1953 (combat), 7 rescued, 4 KIA and 2 POW (combat related)
          P2V-5, 31 Jan 1953 (non-combat)
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-28

          Deployed to: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Date In: 16 Jul 1950
          Date Out: 7 Aug 1950
          Patrol Area: Foochow; Shanghai
          Aircraft: PB4Y-2S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: NAF Agana
          Detachment Date In: Jan 1950
          Detachment Date Out: 7 Aug 1950
          VP-28

          Deployed to: Tachikawa AFB
          Date In: 1 Apr 1951
          Date Out: 9 Oct 1951
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Tsushima Straits
          Aircraft: PB4Y-2S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Itami AFB
          Detachment Date In: 24 Apr 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 30 Apr 1951
          Patrol Area: Japanese coast, ASW ops.
          Detachment Location: Kimpo AFB
          Detachment Date In: 1 Oct 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 13 Dec 1951
          Patrol Area: Inland Korea
          VP-28

          Deployed to: NAF Itami
          Date In: 1 Jun 1952
          Date Out: 2 Dec 1952
          Patrol Area: North Korean coast; China coast
          Aircraft: P2V-3/P4Y-2/2S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-29

          Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Date In: 27 Sep 1952
          Date Out: 1 Apr 1953
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Korean coast
          Aircraft: P2V-5/6
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-40

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Suisun (AVP 53), 11 Apr 1951–late 1951
          Date In: 9 Jun 1951
          Date Out: 13 Dec 1951
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Tsushima Straits
          Aircraft: PBM-5/5S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None
          VP-40

          Deployed to: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
          Date In: 2 Sep 1952
          Date Out: 28 Mar 1953
          Patrol Area: South China Sea; Formosa Straits
          Aircraft: PBM-5/5S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Pescadores
          Detachment Date In: 2 Sep 1952
          Detachment Date Out: 28 Mar 1953
          Patrol Area: South China Sea and East China Sea
          Detachment Location: NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan
          Detachment Date In: 2 Sep 1952
          Detachment Date Out: 28 Mar 1953
          Patrol Area: East China Sea; Yellow Sea

        VP-42

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Date In: 19 Jul 1950
          Date Out: 10 Aug 1950
          Patrol Area: Korean coast

          Deployed to: NAS Yokosuka
          Date In: 11–31 Aug 1950
          Date Out: 1 Sep 1950
          Patrol Area: Tsushima Straits; Sea of Japan

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Pine Island (AV 13), Aug 1950–Dec 1950
          Curtiss (AV 4), 1 Nov 1950–1 Dec 1950
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 18 Oct 1950–27 Feb 1951
          Suisun (AVP 53), 11 Apr 1951–15 Jul 1951
          Date In: 1 Sep 1950
          Date Out: 9 Apr 1951
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea
          Aircraft: PBM-5
          Losses: PBM-5, 7 Jan 1951 (non-combat)
          Detachment Location: Inchon
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 3–13 Oct 1950
          Detachment Date In: 3 Oct 1950
          Detachment Date Out: 17 Oct 1950
          Patrol Area: Korean waters
          Detachment Location: Chinhae
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 13–18 Oct 1950
          Detachment Date In: 14 Oct 1950
          Detachment Date Out: 18 Oct 1950
          Patrol Area: Korean waters; Yellow Sea

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Date In: 7 Dec 1951
          Date Out: 6 Jun 1952
          Patrol Area: Korean coast
          Aircraft: P4Y-2
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Chinhae
          Detachment Date In: 15 Mar 52
          Detachment Date Out: Apr 1952
          Patrol Area: Inland Korea

        VP-46

          Deployed to: Pescadores Islands
          Suisun (AVP 53) 30 Jul 1950–6 Mar 1951
          Date In: 31 Jul 1950
          Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
          Patrol Area: Formosa Straits; China

          Deployed to: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
          Date In: 1 Dec 1950
          Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
          Patrol Area: Night sector searches
          Aircraft: PBM-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Buckner Bay
          USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13), 1 Nov 1950–6 Mar 1951
          Detachment Date In: 1 Nov 1950
          Detachment Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
          Detachment Location: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
          Detachment Date In: 31 Jul 1950
          Detachment Date Out: 6 Feb 1951
          Patrol Area: Courier flights to Okinawa

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Floyds Bay (AVP 40), 26 Sep 1951–early 1952
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 26 Sep 1951–early 1952
          Date In: 30 Sep 1951
          Date Out: 2 Apr 1952
          Patrol Area: Korean coast
          Aircraft: PBM-5S/5S2
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Chinhae
          Suisun (AVP 53)
          Detachment Date In: Sep 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 2 Apr 1952
          Patrol Area: Korean coast

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
          Date In: 1 Mar 1953
          Date Out: 27 Jul 1953
          Patrol Area: Formosa Straits; east coast of Korea
          Aircraft: PBM-5S2
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-47

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), Jul 1950–1 Oct 1950
          Date In: 31 Jul 1950
          Date Out: 16 Oct 1950
          Patrol Area: Chosin Straits

          Deployed to: Chinhae/Inchon
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 3–13 Oct 1950
          Patrol Area: Korean waters
          Date In: 16 Oct 1950
          Date Out: 15 Nov 1950

          Deployed to: NAF Yokosuka
          Date In: 16 Nov 1950
          Date Out: 1 Jan 1951
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; eastern Korean coast
          Aircraft: PBM-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

          Deployed to: Pescadores Island
          Pine Island (AVP 12)
          Date In: 1 Aug 1951
          Date Out: 4 Mar 1952
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea
          Aircraft: PBM-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
          USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13)
          Detachment Date In: 26 Jul 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 4 Mar 1952
          Patrol Area: China Sea
          Detachment Location: Buckner Bay
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
          Corson (AVP 37)
          Detachment In: 26 Jul 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 4 Mar 1952
          Patrol Area: China Sea
          1952 Deployments
          VP-47

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
          Date In: 22 Nov 1952
          Date Out: 31 May 1953
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea; Sea of Japan
          Aircraft: PBM-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Fukuoka
          Corson (AVP 37)
          Detachment Date In: Dec 1952
          Detachment Date Out: 31 May 1953
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan

        VP-48

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
          Date In: Jul 1953
          Date Out: Dec 1953
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea
          Aircraft: PBM-5S2
          Losses: PBM-5 on 30 Jul 1953 (non-combat), 5 rescued, 10 killed in the crash
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-50

        VP-57

          Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Date In: 28 Mar 1953
          Date Out: 27 Jul 1953
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan; Yellow Sea
          Aircraft: P2V-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-731

          Deployed to: Buckner Bay
          USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13), 1 Nov 1950–6 Mar 1951
          Suisun (AVP 53), 6 Mar 1951–13 Aug 1951
          Date In: 7 Feb 1951
          Date Out: 13 Aug 1951
          Patrol Area: Formosa Straits; China coast
          Aircraft: PBM-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
          USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13), 13 Mar 1951–18 Oct 1951
          Detachment Date In: 7 Feb 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 13 Aug 1951
          Patrol Area: Formosa coast; China coast
          Detachment Location: Hong Kong
          Detachment Date In: 7 Feb 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 13 Aug 1951
          Patrol Area: Courier Flights

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Kenneth Whiting (AV 14)
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39)
          Date In: 1 Jun 1952
          Date Out: 8 Dec 1952
          Patrol Area: Korean coast; Formosa Straits
          Aircraft: PBM-5S2
          Losses: PBM damaged on 31 Jul 1952, 2 KIA and 2 WIA (combat related)
          Detachment Location: None

        VP-772

          Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Date In: 31 Jan 51
          Date Out: 3 Aug 1951
          Sea Patrol Area: Yellow; Tsushima Straits
          Aircraft: P4Y-2
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: K-1, Pusan
          Detachment Date In: 12 Jun 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 3 Aug 1951
          Patrol Area: Inland Korea

        VP-871

          Deployed to: NAS Atsugi, Japan
          Date In: 1 Dec 1951
          Date Out: 7 Jul 1952
          Patrol Area: Sea of Japan
          Aircraft: P4Y-2S
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: Kimpo AFB
          Detachment Date In: 12 Dec 1951
          Detachment Date Out: 7 Jul 1952
          Patrol Area: Inland Korea

        VP-892

          Deployed to: NAS Iwakuni, Japan
          Curtiss (AV 4) thru 30 Dec 1950
          Pine Island (AV 12), Dec 1950–mid-1951
          USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), 18 Oct 1950–13 Apr 1951
          Suisun (AVP 53), 11 Apr 1951 – Late 1951
          Date In: 13 Dec 1950
          Date Out: 9 Jun 1951
          Patrol Area: Yellow Sea, night patrols
          Aircraft: PBM-5
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None
          1951 Deployments

          Deployed to: NS Sangley Point, Philippines
          USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13)
          Date In: 1 Mar 1952
          Date Out: 12 Sep 1952
          Patrol Area: China Sea
          Aircraft: PBM-5S/S2
          Losses: None
          Detachment Location: None
          1953 Deployments

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol squadrons in the Korean War - Naval Aviation News, July-August, 2002 by Rick Burgess..." http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IAX/is_5_84/ai_90332255 [29MAR2005]

    Because most of the combat action of the KOREAN WAR took place over the Korean peninsula, the bulk of the Navy's aerial contribution to the war took the form of carrier-based tactical aircraft. For Navy patrol squadrons (VP), the war was fought primarily on the peripheries of the main front, mostly in sea-control and sea-denial missions, and other roles such as mine hunting.

    The Korean War was one hot spot of many along the Asian landmass attracting the attention of VP squadrons in the early 1950s. The broader Cold War was in full chill. The Soviet Union had tested its first nuclear weapons in 1949, and its large submarine fleet presented a credible threat to the Navy's carrier and amphibious task forces. Also in 1949, the Communist Chinese People's Liberation Army forces had pushed the Chinese Nationalist forces off the Asian mainland across the Formosa Strait onto Formosa (now Taiwan). French colonial forces in Indochina were embattled by an increasingly strong Viet Minh force led by Ho Chi Minh. From the Bering Strait to Singapore, Navy patrol planes had much to monitor.

    Although the U.S. Seventh Fleet's carrier task forces were committed to the Korean area of operations, the fleet still was charged with the protection of Formosa. The fleet was able to maintain routine surveillance of the Formosa Strait with patrol aircraft, which made it impossible for the Communist Chinese to launch a surprise invasion of the island.

    In the Korean area of operations, VP squadrons participated in the blockade of North Korea, keeping merchant shipping and fishing fleets under surveillance and deterring hostile submarine activity. In addition, patrol aircraft hunted and destroyed mines, dropped flares for air strikes, and conducted weather reconnaissance and search-and-rescue operations.

    At the beginning of the Korean War, Pacific Fleet VP squadrons were equipped with three heavily armed aircraft types. Martin PBM-5/5S/5S2 Mariners were the only flying boats in active patrol squadrons (the P5M Marlin had not yet entered service.) Seaplanes were increasingly being displaced by land-based patrol bombers, such as the four-engine Consolidated Privateer P4Y-2/2S/2B, a holdover from WW II; and versions of the new twin-engine Lockheed Neptune (P2V2/3/3W/4/5), successor to the post-WWII PV-2 Harpoon patrol bomber.

    The Pacific Fleet was equipped with only nine VP squadrons in June 1950, having disestablished four squadrons in the first half of the year. VP squadrons were based at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington; NAS North Island, San Diego, California; and NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. They deployed to NAF Yokosuka, Japan; NS Sangley Point, Philippines, Philippines.; NAS Kodiak, Alaska; and NAS Agana, Guam. By the end of 1950, seven reserve VP squadrons were activated, five of which were assigned to the Pacific Fleet. By the end of 1951, two more active duty VP squadrons were established in the Pacific Fleet, and two more reserve squadrons were activated to augment them. NAS Alameda, California, and NAS Seattle, Washington, accommodated some of the new squadrons. Only one Atlantic Fleet patrol squadron, VP-7 at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, was deployed to the war zone, arriving less than one month before the truce on 30 June 1953.

    When the war broke out in 1950, Fleet Air Wing FAW-1 at Guam controlled squadrons deployed to the western Pacific. In July 1950 FAW-1 moved to Naha, Okinawa, to control patrols over the Formosa Strait using one land-based and one flying boat squadron. FAW-6 was established at Atsugi, Japan, to coordinate patrols in the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan. Eventually the typical strength of FAW-6 included three land-plane squadrons and two flying boat squadrons, as well as two squadrons of Royal Air Force Sunderland flying boats. These command structures remained in place throughout the war, except during a short period when they were relieved by FAW-2 and FAW-14, respectively.

    Only eight patrol planes--PBMs assigned to VP-46 and the squadron it was relieving, VP-47--patrolled the Far East when the North Korean invasion began, while VP-28's PB4Ys were deployed to NAS Agana, Guam. Soon, VP-47 was regrouped and retained on deployment, VP-6's P2V-3s arrived at Johnson Air Base near Tokyo, Japan, and VP-42's PBMs staged at Iwakuni, Japan. VP-28 staged to NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan and began daily patrols of the Formosa Strait and the coast of China. Other squadrons rotated in turn, and also deployed to far-flung bases and anchorages such as Hong Kong; the Pescadores, Buckner Bay and NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan; Tachikawa and Itami in Japan; and NAS Kodiak, Alaska and Shemya in the Aleutians.

    As the North Korean invasion pushed south, VP-6's Neptunes were used on three occasions to provide naval gunfire spotting for United Nations warships on the western coast of South Korea. The squadron's P2V-3s, armed with 20mm cannon, bombs and rockets, also launched many attacks themselves against North Korean targets along the northeast shore.

    On 29 July 1950, two crews destroyed a railroad train with their rockets and guns. On 13 August, crews sank three boats and two barges engaged in minelaying near Chinnampo, and damaged two surface craft near Wonsan. One VP-6 Neptune was damaged in the attack. An attack on a patrol boat near Chinnampo on 16 August was fatal to another VP-6 aircraft, which ditched after taking fire. The crew was rescued by the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Kenya. Patrol planes were prohibited thereafter from undertaking attack missions over Korea. VP-6 became the only patrol squadron awarded the Navy Unit Citation during the Korean War.

    Patrol planes--PBMs, P2Vs and Sunderlands--were used extensively in mine hunting, particularly in the harbors of Inchon and Wonsan. This tedious activity required the PBMs to fly low and slow, close enough to detonate a moored mine with machine gunfire, but high enough to avoid the mine's explosion. P2Vs dropped depth charges to wipe out magnetic mines.

    In 1951 VP squadrons were pressed into another role, this time over land, dropping illumination flares in support of air strikes. Known as Firefly missions, they helped deny the night to enemy supply movements. Admiral Arthur W. Radford suggested the use of P4Y-2 Privateers as flare ships to replace the more vulnerable R4D Skytrains in illuminating targets for Marine Corps F4U-5N Corsair and F7F-3N Tigercat night hecklers. One P4Y from VP-772 was modified For the mission and proved highly successful, and three more P4Ys from VP-772 and VP-28 were assigned as "Lamp Lighters" (later operated by successive squadrons). During a typical mission, the P4Y would rendezvous with four attack aircraft, search for truck convoys and illuminate the targets for the attack aircraft.

    Although United Nations forces were successful in maintaining air superiority over most of the Korean peninsula, lumbering patrol aircraft had a few encounters with enemy aircraft. A VP-42 Mariner was damaged on 11 May 1952 by a MiG-15 fighter over the Yellow Sea, and on 31 July 1952 a VP-731 PBM was seriously damaged by gunfire from a MiG-15, which killed two crewmen and injured two others.

    Flights off China and the Soviet Union, far from protective cover, were more dangerous. VP-28 P4Ys were attacked over the Formosa Strait on 26 July by an F-51 Mustang in North Korean markings, and on 20 September and 22 November 1950 by MiG-15s, all without result. A VP-42 PBM was lost to unknown causes in the southern Formosa Strait on 5 November. On 6 November 1951 a VP-6 P2V-3W was shot down, with no survivors, by Soviet fighters near Vladivostok. On 18 January 1953 Chinese antiaircraft batteries shot down a VP-22 P2V off Swatow. A Coast Guard PBM-5G picked up the survivors but crashed on takeoff, resulting in the loss of 11 fliers, including 7 from the P2V. The survivors were rescued by a Navy ship. Further such aircraft incidents and losses occurred in the years after the Korean truce.

    One daring P2V crew amazingly survived a series of eight or nine intentional overflights of the Soviet Union's Kamchatka peninsula between April and June 1952. A VP-931 P2V-3W--modified with special electronic intelligence equipment in its nose and flown by a handpicked crew--flew in radio silence over the peninsula at 15,000 feet in search of military installations. When military sites were detected, an Air Force RB-50 flying above and behind the P2V photographed the sites. The snoopers were intercepted on two missions by Soviet MiG fighters but apparently never were fired upon. Fortunately, the recently declassified operations never required the services of the Air Force SB-17 rescue plane assigned to the missions. This VP-931 (later VP-57) crew also performed a daring search and rescue flight in July 1953 over Vladivostok harbor for the crew of an RB-50 that was shot down by Soviet fighters. A U.S. destroyer rescued one of the crewmen.

    Land-based patrol planes saw greater use than flying boats in the Korean War, proving to be more efficient. In Korea, land-based patrol planes flew 12 sorties for every 9 flown by flying boats.

    As with U.S. forces in general, patrol aviation maintained a high level of presence in the Far East after the Korean War. Its operations increasingly focused on peripheral reconnaissance of the Soviet Union and China, particularly surveillance of the growing Soviet submarine force and vigilance against Chinese sabre-rattling against Formosa.

    U.S. Navy Patrol Squadrons in the Korean War

    Squadron    Aircraft    Tail Code    Home Port


    Circa 1950

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadrons In The Korean War By LCDR Rick Burgess, USN (Retired) - Naval Aviation News July-August 2002..." Contributed by Mike Yared mikeyared@yahoo.com [25JAN2003]
    VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4
    VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4
    VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4
    VP History ThumbnailCameraPatrol Squadrons In The Korean War Page 1 of 4

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Anything on another VP Squadron, VP-9, out of PA?? They were activated after us and where flying 4Y's. They were stationed by Seattle. One day when we were up on a training flight, they were working with the GREENFISH, and guess what, a sona-bouy hit the subs periscope!! In the mid 50's, when I was in flight test at Douglas, A3D's, I got talking with a friend - he was on the sub when it got hit..." Contributed by William H. R. "Bill" Clark whrclark@juno.com [02OCT98]


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