A BIT OF HISTORY: "00XXX84--This information is taken from a cruise book from an Iceland cruise in 1984... Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN, known as the "War Eagles," has the primary mission of detecting, tracking and if necessary, destroying hostile submarines. Secondary missions include mine laying, shipping surveillance, reconnaissance, and search and rescue. The squadron was commissioned in May 1946 at NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida, as VP-ML-56operating six amphibious PBY "Catalinas." Redesignated Patrol Squadron 741 in 1949, the squadron continued to operate in reserve status until the commencement of hostilities in Korea in 1951. At that time the "Catalinas" were replaced with Lockheed P2A-2 "Neptune" patrol bombers. In February 1953, VP-741 was made part of the regular Navy with the new designation of Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN. During their colorful history, the Eagles have participated in activities and exercises on both the east and west coasts, and throughout the world including Springboard Operations, UNITAS XI, XIII, and XX(exercises around the South American continent). In 1961, VP-16 commenced "Project Mercury" as part of the space capsule recovery force. The first aircraft over the "Friendship Seven" capsule of LTCOL JOHN H. GLENN belonged to Patron SIXTEEN. During their deployment to Sicily in 1973 the Eagles were awarded the Battle "E" for outstanding performance with the new P3C in the Mediterranean theater and in 1974 received the Battle "E" for the second consecutive year. In 1976, the Eagles completed their third highly successful deployment to Sicily in one of the most active operational environments in the world, and received the Navy Unit Commendation for this outstanding deployment. Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN deployed to Keflavik, Iceland in November 1977, and returned to NAS Jacksonville, Florida in April 1978. The squadron deployed to Sigonella, Sicily until May of 1979 and once again had an outstanding operation in the Mediterranean theater. Returning from deployment the Eagles kept alive the 20 year tradition of Patrol Squadron involvement in the annual joint North/South American exercise, UNITAS. 1980 found Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN back in Sigonella for yet another Mediterranean deployment. On returning in 1981, the Eagles received the ISBELL Trophy for ASW Excellence. The squadron deployed in August 1981 to Bermuda with two detachments to Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines. The squadron returned to the Eagle's Nest in Jacksonville in late February 1982 and received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for ASW excellence. In November 1982, in preparation for a split deployment to Lajes, Azores and Rota, Spain, Patron SIXTEEN won the Top Bloodhound Award for torpedo placement accuracy and set new Wing records in the Operational Readiness Evaluation. In addition to achieving the highest overall grade in WING ELEVEN history, individual records were set in seven of the ten graded categories. Setting a standard for retention excellence, PATRON SIXTEEN also won the COMPATWING ELEVEN Retention Cup for both halves of FY-82; the COMPATWING ELEVEN Bronze Anchor Award; and the COMNAVAIRLANT Silver Anchor Award. The Squadron also received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for ASW prosecutions conducted in the Lajes ASW sector, and the Navy Expeditionary Medal for support of U.S. forces in Lebanon. Returning to Jacksonville in June of 1983, VP-16 had accumulated over 134,000 hours in 18 years of accident free flying. The return also marked a first at NAS Jacksonville, Florida with the transition to the P-3C UPDATE 11.5 aircraft. Completing two of the most successful ASW operations ever against forward deployed Soviet nuclear submarines during the at-home Ready Alert Cycle, Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN was nominated by COMPATAWING ELEVEN and received the Battle Efficiency "E" for excellence during CY 1983. Other awards received during 1983 include the Golden Wrench Award for Maintenance Excellence, the COMINEWARCOM "Miner of the Year" designation, the COMPATWING ELEVEN "Top Gun" award for all the facets of weapon loading and delivery excellence, and the Combined Federal Campaign "Silver Award" for achieving over 180 percent of assigned goal...Lance Collins..."
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-16 NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco Cruisebook July - December 1955..." Contributed by Ray Jobes RAYJOBES@AOL.COM [28FEB2000]
"...In your history of VP-16 showing the early days and the planes that we had you state that in our " Week End Warrior " days we had PBY-5A 'S which is true. We had two of them, but we also had six PV-2 "Harpoons". Both planes of WWII ventage. I joined VP-741 in May of 1948 as a seaman recruit. Was called to active duty in March 1951 with VP-741. VP-741 became VP-16 on Feb. 4, 1953. I was mustered out with a complete discharge as AOF-2 on Feb. 27, 1953..." Contributed by DUNGAN, AOF2 John JOHNDUNGAN3@aol.com [26JAN2002]
The history of Patrol Squadron Sixteen has its beginning in May of 1946. At that time a group of patriotic and Navy-minded reserve personnel were organized to form a squadron in the Naval Air Reserve Training Command. This squadron was designated VP-ML-56 and utilized six PBY's one week-end each month at Cecil Field, thereby retaining the know how tha+ these individuals had acquired during the recent great struggle. World War II. In this day of high horsepower reciprocating engines, high thrust jet engines and complicated electronics equipment, it may appear ludicrous that any semblance of combat efficiency could be maintained in such antiquated aircraft. That such was not the case is exemplified by the winning of the Noel Davis Trophy by VP-ML-56 in 1948. This trophy is awarded annually to the outstanding squadron of each type in* the Naval Air Reserve Training Command and by winning it the antecedents of Patrol Squadron Sixteen proved again that individual spirit, a desire for excellence, and good teamwork applied to proven procedures can indeed maintain a high readiness in spite of many handicaps.
A static condition has never been typical of this squadron. Shortly after winning the Noel Davis Trophy the organization of the Naval Air Reserve Training Command was .modernized and the squadron was redesignated Patrol Squadron Seven Hundred and Forty-One and it remained in the reserve status from 1949 until 1951 when the entire squadron was recalled to active duty as a result of the expansion incident to the Korean conflict. The personnel complement was increased, P2V-2 aircraft were assigned and an intensive training program was pursued to ready the squadron for the first deployment to Malta in March of 1952.
The United States had embarked upon a courageous policy of containing Communism within its current boundaries by the utilization of armed forces in many foreign lands assuring freedom loving countries that their freedoms would be protected. VP-741 fulfilled a portion of the U. S. Navy commitment in the Mediterranean in this regard and tasted the first international flavor in its operations during this deployment to Malta. Following the return of the squadron to NAS Jacksonville, Commander J. W. Hardy relieved Commander C. W. Rogers of command of VP-741 and although many of the personnel returned to inactive duty, there were many of the original members of VP-ML-56 in the ranks on 16 February, 1953, when VP-741 was commissioned a squadron of the Regular Navy and redesignated Patrol Squadron Sixteen.
More regular navy personnel were integrated into the squadron and intensified training activities culminated in a deployment to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco. VP-16 again augmented the forces protecting Freedom's boundaries and the officers and men worked with armed forces of other nations to achieve this common goal. At the completion of this cruise the squadron again returned to Jacksonville, where, in February of 1954, Commander Paul J. Bruneau assumed command.
Following intensive preparation, VP-16 was deployed to Iceland in May of 1954 and operated under the direct control of Commander Iceland Defense Force, a U. S. Air Force Command. That aircraft operations from this bleak and cold isle posed new maintenance and operating problems needs no mention. By aggressiveness and the application of good old American ingenuity all problems met were conquered and VP-16 added its name and ability to those of other squadrons who had patrolled and protected those northern boundaries.
At the conclusion of the deployment to Iceland, NAS Jacksonville again found that VP-16 was one of its tenant activities; however, there was a new look to the squadron. New P2V-5 aircraft had been received and under the capable leadership of Commander Bruneau, operating doctrines and techniques were established and perfected; those techniques proving entirely adequatein subsequent operations. Incorporated in the P2V-5 was the most modern of airborne ASW equipment which required new concepts of operations, schooling at various locations, and improved maintenance procedures.
Patrol Squadron Sixteen paused in these activities long enough to observe change of Command ceremonies in late March of 1955. Commander Paul S. Bazler relieved Commander Bruneau, and it was with heavy hearts that his many friends said, "Bon Voyage" to Commander Bruneau who look up his new post with the Military Assistance and Aid Group, England.
In July of 1955, Patrol Squadron Sixteen again said goodbye to wives and sweethearts and left the U. S. for another deployment to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco. This deployment was marked by an intensive pilot training program in order to qualify many new pilots in type, by repeated ASW exercises with national, foreign, and NATO forces, and by familiarization flights to the capitals of the free countries of Europe and the Middle East. The techniques developed and practiced in Jacksonville were put to the test many times under strange operating conditions and under the critical eye of foreign observers and were not found wanting in any respect.
On 10 December, 1955, Patrol Squadron Sixteen again took up residence at NAS Jacksonville. The squadron returned in a group, flew over the Air Station in parade formation and taxied to the line flying the traditional pennants denoting a Navy Homecoming. Wives and friends were thrilled to see the squadron return in this manner, but the thrill of the day was experienced by the members of VP-16 who were reunited with their loved ones.
The subject of this book is the last deployment to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco. That the squadron performed well is a matter of record; the following message from Admiral E. C. Ewen, the Commander, Fleet Air Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean is quoted: "During Mod Deployment Patron 16 has displayed excellent teamwork, cooperation, and initiative. Well done." Things not a matter of record were also gained during this deployment. New friendships were formed which will last a lifetime, men achieved new horizons due to their effort and thinking, greater understanding of foreign nations and compassion for those less fortunate were found, but most important, a pride in accomplishment has been experienced. A pride that within each person knows no limits, that men will not speak of but will feel deeply, that others not in VP-16 will know exists by the actions and performance of this squadron in the future.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Reserve Squadrons - Page - 25 - Naval Aviation News - July 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/jul49 [12JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...CO's Of Winning Squadrons - Page - 24 - Naval Aviation News - December 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/dec49 [12JUL2004]
Circa 1946 - 1950
A BIT OF HISTORY: " CD-ROM: Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol. 2 Stock No. 008-046-00195-2 The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL), and VP(AM) Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C...." [15JUN2000]Circa 1946
CHAPTER 3 Patrol Squadron (VP) Histories VP-ML-56 326KB
A BIT OF HISTORY: "Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN, known as the "War Eagles", has the primary mission of detecting, tracking, and if necessary, destroying hostile submarines. Secondary missions include Anti-surface Warfare, mine laying, shipping surveillance, reconnaissance and search and rescue. The squadron was commissioned in May 1946 at NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida, as VP-ML-56operating six amphibious PBY "Catalinas". Redesignated VP-741 in 1949, the squadron continued to operate in reserve status until the commencement of hostilities in Korea in 1951. At which time, the "Catalinas" were replaced with Lockheed P2 "Neptune" patrol bombers. In February 1953, VP-741 was made part of the regular Navy with the new designation of VP-16. During their colorful history, the "War Eagles" have participated in activities and exercises on both the east and west coasts, and throughout the world including Springboard Operations and UNITAS XI, XIII, XX, XXII, XXVII, XXIX, and XXXIV (exercises around the South American continent). In 1961, VP-16 commenced Project Mercury participation as a part of the Space Capsule Recovery Force. The first aircraft over the "Friendship Seven" capsule of LTCOL John H. Glenn belonged to VP-16. In the more recent past, VP-16 has deployed to NAS Bermuda, NAS Keflavik, Iceland, NS Rota, Spain, NAS Sigonella, Sicily, and the Caribbean. The "Eagles" were awarded the Battle "E" for Battle Readiness in 1973, 1974 and 1983. In November 1982 in preparation for a split deployment to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and NS Rota, Spain, VP-16 won the Top Bloodhound Award for torpedo placement accuracy and set new Wing records in the Operational Readiness Evaluation. Setting a standard for retention excellence, VP-16 also won the CPW-11 Retention Cup for both halves of FY-82; the CPW-11 Bronze Anchor Award; and the COMNAVAIRLANT Silver Anchor Award. While deployed, the "War Eagles" again established their reputation as leaders in ASW. Aggressive ASW was demonstrated time and again, and the squadron won two COMSSIXTHFLT "Hook-Em" Awards for ASW excellence in the Mediterranean. The squadron also received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for ASW prosecutions conducted in the Lajes ASW sector, and the Navy Expeditionary Medal for support of U.S. forces in Lebanon. VP-16's return to NAS Jacksonville, Florida in June 1983 marked a first at NAS Jacksonville, Florida with the transition to the P-3 Update III aircraft. Awards received during 1983 included the "Golden Wrench" Award for Maintenance Excellence, the COMINEWARCOM "Miner of the Year" designation and the CPW-11 "Top Gun" Award for all facets of weapon loading and delivery excellence.." Contributed by Paul Waeghe, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
"VP-ML-56 Summary Page"