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Note NOTICE: "...VP-4 The Neptune Years Booklet..." Contributed by ZAFRAN, Bob vpfourever@gmail.com [11OCT2008]

1998 VP-4 Neptune Era History Again Available...

VP Vets,

At the 1998 Reno Reunion, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of VP-ML-4, later VP-4. To commemorate that accomplishment, Richard Douglass, AX2 61-63, interviewed a large number of VP-4 veterans (including Captains Thomas Pollock and Dale Hilton, the 1st and 2nd CO's of VP-4) to obtain accurate information about VP-4's Neptune years. Richard then authored a 34 page, chronological history of VP-4 that was distributed to attendees at the Reno Reunion. Only 100 copies of this history were printed.

Following the Reno Reunion, we have received numerous queries from VP-4 veterans as to how they could obtain a copy of this history. Prompted by some recent inquiries, I discussed the possibility of a Reprint with Richard and we decided that a Reprint was doable at this time. The VP-4 Veterans Association will fund the Reprint which is now in production here in Salem Oregon.

We will advertise the availability of this Second Printing in several ways: Email notification using the VP-4 P2V Officers Group, the VP-4 Veterans Association, and Yahoo! Group vp4ever'. Availability will also be posted on VP-4 Veterans Association. The Second Printing will also be available for purchase on site at the VP-4 P2V Officers Group Reunion at NAS Jacksonville, Florida this coming October and the VP-4 Veterans Association All Hands Reunion next October in Ft. Worth TX. Details of the Ft. Worth All Hands Reunion will be posted on the Association web site as they become available.

Best, Bob Zafran vpfourever@gmail.com, ATR3 Aircrewman 59-62 and Lt. Tacco 71-74

To order your VP-4 Neptune Years Reprint, send an Email to:

    Robert Zafran
    vpfourever@gmail.com

    Subject Line: X' VP-4 Neptune Years (Note: X' is number of copies wanted)

    Message Body:

    Full Name
    Address
    City/State/Zip

    Enclose $10 per copy (Includes Packaging/Postage)

    Make check payable to: VP-4 Association'

    Mail to:
      LCDR Robert Zafran USN (Ret)
      4011 Alderbrook Ave SE
      Salem, OR 97302-3819
God Bless America & Our Troops in Harm's Way!!!

Note NOTICE: "...VP-2 Memorial Project for NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. We are looking for Maintenance and Structural Manuals for the P2V7. The Memorial is going to be for all the Squadrons who were at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and the Shipmates who Died in the Operation of the Squadrons. So if you know or if you hear of Manuals please let me know so we can get bird to Nas Whidbey. SEXTON, Guy Capecod2443@aol.com..." [10FEB2002]

UPDATE "...Patrol squadrons finally recognized - By Jessie Stensland - Sep 16 2006 - Whidbey News Times http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/..." Forwarded by Jim Campbell blandjcampbell@aol.com [26NOV2006]

Hundreds of people traveled thousands of miles to be in Oak Harbor Thursday morning.

The first-of-its-kind Patrol Squadron Memorial was dedicated to aircrews past and present, and presented to the Oak Harbor community, in a dignified and emotional ceremony at the Veterans Park on East Pioneer Way. It began with a flyover by a P-3 Orion.

Linda MacDonald and her husband, Bob, flew to Oak Harbor from California to be at the ceremony with their two daughters. Linda said they came to the event in memory of her brother Dale Armour, whose name is engraved in a granite wall of the memorial along with the 84 other servicemen who lost their lives in Whidbey-based patrol squadron operations.

The memorial has deep meaning for the family.

"It's a culmination," Linda said. "It's closure. It gives us a place to come now to remember him."

Armour, a 22-year-old member of VP-42, was in a VP-2 Neptune aircraft that disappeared while on patrol in Alaska in 1967. The site of the crash wasn't found until 16 years later.

The MacDonald family was among more than 600 people who attended the ceremony. It coincided with a Reunion of Patrol Squadron Two Association, which is the group behind the memorial.

Capt. David Taylor, Commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10, spoke passionately during the ceremony about the history of the Navy's patrol and reconnaissance squadrons, which is a history inextricably linked to Oak Harbor. The first patrol squadron at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station flew PBY Catalinas in the 1940s.

Taylor spoke about how patrol squadrons helped to win the Cold War by "playing a cat-and-mouse game" with Soviet submarines and planes.

"Anywhere we could chase the enemy bear, we wore the enemy down," he said.

Yet Taylor said the patrol mission is still valid today, even with the end of the Cold War.

"This is a time of great challenge and change to the patrol and reconnaissance squadrons," he said, "our Navy and our nation."

Taylor also spoke about the bronze statue of a 1960s era airman, which is the centerpiece of the memorial.

"I see a proud warrior of the past," he said, "but I also see in his face the warrior of the present."

Floyd Palmer, president of the Patrol Squadron Two Association, turned over ownership of the memorial to the citizens of Oak Harbor with an official presentation to Mayor Patty Cohen.

Afterward, Palmer explained that the effort to build a memorial started when he took a tour of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station more than six years ago and realized that there was nothing to recognize patrol squadrons. It took the work of many members of the association and money from many generous donors to finally make his dream a reality.

During her speech, Cohen said the patrol squadrons didn't receive as much recognition as others in the military because "their missions were always classified," but she said they were definitely "so deserving of a permanent place in town."

The Northwest Navy Ceremonial Band ended the ceremony by playing Taps. Afterward, the audience got the chance to look at the memorial close up.

Robert Lenson, a member of the VP-2 Association, attended the event with his wife, Raye. He was the skipper of VP-17 in 1964.

Husband and wife agreed that such a memorial was long overdue.

"It means a great deal," Raye said. "We mourn the loss of crewmates. This recognition is important."

Copyright 2005 Whidbey News Times

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UPDATE "...LEFT PICTURE: Appeared on page 2 of the 9-27 issue of the Northwest Navigator, NAS Whidbey Edition. This is the Northwest Navy newspaper for the region. RIGHT PICTURE: Win Stites..." Forwarded by McLAUGHLIN, LT Bob banddmcl1964@msn.com [04OCT2006]

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UPDATE "...On 9-14-2006 a Patrol Squadron Memorial dedication ceremony was held in Oak Harbor, WA. In attendance were approximately 600 past and present members of the VP community that had served at NAS Whidbey Island and the speakers were a mix of community and military leaders as well as those who had served. If you would like further info for your website I'll be glad to send what I have. Attached are a few photos..." Contributed by GOODMAN, AWCS Edward E. (Ed) Retired edusnret@gmail.com [25SEP2006]

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UPDATE "...If you don't get the "Wings" magazine, there is an article in it about a new Patrol Squadron memorial being built. Here are the highlights...Contributed by LARSON, LCDR John Retired oriondriver1975@yahoo.com..." [01NOV2005]

In 2004 the city of Oak Harbor approved the placement of the memorial in the city's Veterans Memorial Park.

VP squadrons have served at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington since 1942. In the Cold War periods, when most other active duty military forces were limited to exercises, simulators and war games to train for their various warfare specialties, VP aircraft and crews flew all-weather missions around the clock keeping track of the growing fleet of Soviet submarines in our waters and in theirs. VP crews did much of their training against live Soviet submarines. In addition to the ASW mission, VP crews were responsible for ocean reconnaissance, surveillance, mining and electronic warfare operations.

The Memorial has a single, simple purpose: the recognition of the contribution to freedom that the men and women of the NAS Whidbey Island, Washington patrol squadron community have made in over 60 years of service. Hundreds of Whidbey Is personnel have been lost in the VP operations since 1942. Among them are those whose names will appear on this Memorial from the Whidbey Is. P2V community.

The Whidbey Patrol Squadron Memorial is dedicated to all USN personnel who served in Navy patrol squadrons at NAS Whidbey Is. and to those Whidbey P2V airmen who lost their lives in the line of duty in VP operations.

The Memorial design consists of a life-size bronze statue of an airman in flight gear standing in front of a 3-section granite wall. Featured on the wall are an outline of a P2V, the Memorial dedication, a map depicting deployment sites, a list of Whidbey VP units and the names of those who perished in P2V flight ops.

Surrounding the walls are bricks inscribed in accordance with the wishes of donors who purchase the bricks. Brick purchases form the primary means of fund-raising for the Memorial which is scheduled for dedication in mid 2006. See http://www.patron2.com/files/wpsm.html for info on the Memorial, a listing of the 59 VP squadrons that served at Whidbey, the history of Whidbey VP operations and info on the Catalinas, Venturas, Mariners, Privateers, Neptunes, Marlins, and Orions involved.

Widespread support and donations for this memorial are encouraged. Brick orders and donations should be sent to Vic Gulliver, 1900 Franklin Dr, Glenview, IL 60026. Inquires including requests for brick-order-forms by mail should be sent to the VPSM Committee, 1376 West Beach Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 or via email: wpsm@comcast.net.

UPDATE "...The following squadrons are all listed on the wall of the forthcoming Whidbey Patrol Squadron Memorial. The memorial, to be built in Oak Harbor, WA and dedicated in September 2006 includes a comemorative wall and a lifesize bronze statue of a typical VP aircrewman ready for flight.

If you are, or know any members of these squadrons, please contact us so we can keep everyone informed of the memorial progress. More information is available at http://www.patron2.com/files/wpsm.html.

VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-6, VP-12, VP-17, VP-20, VP-27, VP-29, VP-32, VP-40, VP-42, VP-43/VPB-43, VP-46, VP-47, VP-50, VP-53/VPB-53, VP-57, VP-61/VPB-61, VP-62/VPB-62, VP-69, VPB-91, VP-107, VPB-112, VPB-115, VP-120/VPB-120, VP-122/VPB-122, VP-130/VPB-130, VP-131/VPB-131, VPB-135, VP-136/VPB-136, VPB-138, VPB-139, VPB-144, VPB-148, VPB-199, VPB-212, VP-772, VP-812, VP-931, VP-AM-1, VP-AM-2, VP-AM-5, VP-ML-1, VP-ML-2, VP-ML-4, VP-ML-61, VP-HL-7, VP-HL-10 and VP-HL-12.

It is a great Memorial, honoring all who served with NAS Whidbey Island, Washington Patrol Squadrons.

Al Hall, WPSM Committee, VP-2 1950-1952...Al Hall alandmarylou@comcast.net..." [24MAY2005]

UPDATE "...A project is underway to create a Memorial recognizing the contributions of all Whidbey-based VP personnel. Please advise your friends, and consider supporting this worthwhile effort to honor our Shipmates. Whidbey Patrol Squadron Memorial - Veteran's Memorial Park - Oak Harbor, WA. Completion scheduled for Summer 2006. This memorial is dedicated to all United States Naval personnel who served in Navy Patrol Squadrons based at NAS Whidbey Island, to their families, and to those Whidbey P2V airmen who lost their lives in the line of duty in VP operations. For more info: http://www.patron2.com/files/wpsm.html..." Contributed by Doug Donohue nvsoar@charter.net [24DEC2004]

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