A BIT OF HISTORY: "...MARS - Naval Aviation News - March 1973..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1970s/1973/mar73.pdf [28SEP2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...VR-2 R3Y at NAS Alameda, California in 1957. Note men standing in front..." Contributed by WIESER, Ray email@example.com [29SEP2009}
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-2 Photograph's. Left to Right: Squadron Christmas Card, R3Y's flying over Alcatraz and R3Y #446 on land at NAS Alameda, California after crash on sea wall..." Contributed by WIESER, Ray firstname.lastname@example.org [25SEP2009}
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Savings 20 Grand A Stand - Page 35 - Naval Aviation News - June 1957..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1957/jun57.pdf [11AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...This Bow Loader - Page 31 - Naval Aviation News - August 1956..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1956/aug56.pdf [09AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...In honor of my Dad, ETC James Vincenti Retired, whom recently passed away. I would like to get information on a picture found in his belongings. It is a color picture from the mid 1950's of my Dad (Corpsman 2nd Class at that time) with wife and three young kids awaiting to board a VR-2 Glenn Martin MARS flying boat in Hawaii heading to NAS Alameda, California. He had told me was the very last Glenn Martin MARS flight from Hawaii to NAS Alameda, California. I have always wanted to find more info or even a flight manifest of the flight. I had found the photo after my Dad's passing away last month and have a renewed interest. Can anyone help me? My Dad was quite the character and worked at NAS Willow Grove, Pennsylvania RESASWTAC for many years in the 1970's to 1980's. Thank you. John S. Vincenti email@example.com..." [16OCT2009]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Members Of Air Explorer Scout Squadron 123 and Members Of VR-21 - Page 39 - Naval Aviation News - August 1955..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1955/aug55.pdf [05AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Trained Men Make MARS Record Possible - Page 27 - Naval Aviation News - March 1955..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1955/mar55.pdf [03AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Emergency Landing Stations For Mars - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - July 1954..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1954/jul54.pdf [02AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-2 Designs Engine Stand - Page 36 - Naval Aviation News - May 1954..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1954/may54.pdf [02AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Winds Shorten Mars Hops - Page 21 - Naval Aviation News - May 1953..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1953/may53.pdf [29JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-2 Athletes Set Pace - Page 33 - Naval Aviation News - May 1953..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1953/may53.pdf [29JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Nurse Leads In Mars Time - Page 22 - Naval Aviation News - April 1953..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1953/apr53.pdf [29JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Famed VR-2 Sets Record - Page 37 - Naval Aviation News - November 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/nov52.pdf [28JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...10 Years Of Service - Page 14 to 15 - Naval Aviation News - April 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/apr52.pdf [26JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Two Hugh Planes - Page 34 - Naval Aviation News - February 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/feb52.pdf [25JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-2 Serves Hawaii Music - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - January 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/jan52.pdf [25JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Caroline Mars Back On Job - Page 32 - Naval Aviation News - May 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/jun51.pdf [24JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Wrench Ends Prop Squawks - Page 36 - Naval Aviation News - April 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/apr51.pdf [23JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-2 Keeps Its Mars Busy - Page 32 - Naval Aviation News - February 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/feb51.pdf [22JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Fuel Tanks Fill In Flight - Page 20 - Naval Aviation News - January 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/jan51.pdf [22JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Mars Flies On 2 Engines - Page 13 - Naval Aviation News - September 1950..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1950/sep50.pdf [21JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Marshall Mars Burns - Page 13 - Naval Aviation News - June 1950..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1950/jun50.pdf [20JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Gremlins Haunt Alameda - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - April 1950..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1950/apr50.pdf [19JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...We Aim To Please - Page - 173 - Naval Aviation News - January 1950..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1950/jan50.pdf [19JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...US NAVY PILOT ID PB2Y AIRPLANE PHOTO TRAINING GUIDE - 1946 - All these items were owned and used by the same individual; he also was a WWII pilot. This lot contains United States Navy and Marine Corps ID card issued for Air Transport Eight VR-8, at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland dated 1946. Wallet size photo of what I believe is a "PB2Y". Orders, dated February, 1949 from 11th Naval District, San Diego. Air Transport Squadron Two (VR-2), Pilot Training Syllabus, dated April, 1945. This booklet is primarily training instructions for PB2Y. Also included is a business card when this pilot left service, and worked for United Airlines..." Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ US-NAVY-PILOT-ID-PB2Y-AIRPLANE-PHOTO-TRAINING-GUIDE_W0QQitemZ6574781096QQcategoryZ13981QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem [31OCT2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Mars Loses Engine Over Sea - Page - 13 - Naval Aviation News - December 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/dec49 [12JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Xmas Tough on VR-2's Men - Page 10 - Naval Aviation News - March 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/mar49.pdf [15JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-2 Aids Starving Elephants - Page 16 - Naval Aviation News - February 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/feb49.pdf [16JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...04MAR49--The Caroline Mars, a JRM-2 flying boat of Transport Squadron 2 (VR-2), set a new record for persons carried aloft by transporting 263 passengers and a crew of six on a Fleet Logistic Air Wings flight from San Diego to Alameda. The flight was of 2 hours 41 minutes duration and the passengers were the officers and men of Air Group 15 on a routine transfer of station..." http://www.vrc-50.org/historyNATS.htm [01JUN2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Latest Mars Joins The Rest - Page 11 - Naval Aviation News - May 1948..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1948/aug48.pdf [11JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Gas Blast Rips NATS Mars - Page 32 - Naval Aviation News - May 1948..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1948/may48.pdf [11JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...28AUG48--The JRM-2 Caroline Mars of VR-2, landed at Chicago with 42 persons on board and a 14,000 lb payload, after a record nonstop flight from Honolulu of 4,748 miles in 24 hours, 12 minutes..." http://www.vrc-50.org/historyNATS.htm [01JUN2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...05SEP48--The JRM-2 Caroline Mars of VR-2, on a 390 mile flight from Patuxent River, MD, to Cleveland, OH, carried a 68,282 lb cargo, the heaviest payload ever lifted in an aircraft..." http://www.vrc-50.org/historyNATS.htm [01JUN2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Vapor Blast May Halt Corrosion - Page 28 - Naval Aviation News - May 1947..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1947/may47.pdf [17JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...VR-2 Naval Air Transport Service - Ed Callen - Saipan - Flight Engineer - Circa 1946-1947..." Contributed by Ed Callen firstname.lastname@example.org [22NOV2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...VR-2 Naval Air Transport Service - "Hawaii Mars" at service and loading dock - Saipan 1946..." Contributed by Ed Callen email@example.com [22NOV2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...VR-2 Naval Air Transport Service - AMM1C Ed Callen MARS Engineer Panel September 1946..." Contributed by Ed Callen firstname.lastname@example.org [22NOV2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...VR-2 Naval Air Transport Service - Loading Chief Johnson, F. E. - Saipan October 1946..." Contributed by Ed Callen email@example.com [22NOV2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...VR-2 Naval Air Transport Service - Bob Mobley on watch with the "Great Speckled Bird" in the background. Saipan October 1946..." Contributed by Ed Callen firstname.lastname@example.org [22NOV2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 MARS BUNO: Unknown "..."Naval Air Transport Service"...When Ted photographed the Mars Flying Boat at NS Sangley Point, Philippines, they were loading it up with monkeys! Could they have been medical research monkeys as that was a time when polio was rampant in the USA?..." Contributed by Ted Shireman email@example.com
"...This is in reference to the "Hawaii Mars" the giant JRM flying boat that operated between NS Sangley Point, Philippines and NAS Alameda, California circa 1946, and rumors of monkeys transported from the Philippines for research...Yes you guessed right. One of the many special tasks performed using the Mars was to fly 200+ Rhesus monjkeys from the Phillipines to the States for experiments on polio. Its interesting that the flight left Cavite with 200 monkeys and landed in NAS Alameda, California with 212. Had 12 births on the way. I was a crew member on that flight. Howard Bowman..." Contributed by Ted Shireman firstname.lastname@example.org[31OCT98]
"...My name is Dan D'Urso. I was the plane commander on the JRM that flew the little critters to Honolulu. My co-pilot was F.C.Riley, now living in Kansas. I was also piloting the Mars that lost No. 1 engine (completely that is) inflight. It happened again on another Mars after I left VR-2. Honolulu Star Bulletin headlined both events..." Contributed by Daniel L. D'Urso email@example.com [25FEB2000]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Circa 28DEC42 - 'Salvaging of PB2Y-2 #21 in San Francisco Bay Port Bow'..." Contributed by John Lucas JohnLucas@netzero.com [26AUG2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...In August 1945 I flew on PB2Y-5 BUNO: 7241 with VR-2 (left) and BUNO: 7241 (center and right) in NATS Packet September 1945..." Contributed by COX, Douglas C. COXMARINEINS@AOL.COM [26FEB2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...NATS Packet - Naval Air Transport Service Command - Pacific Fleet - July 1945..A few squadrons mentioned include: VR-2 Page 7, 10, 12, 14 and 15, VR-3 Page 14, VR-4 Page 7, 8 and 14, VR-5 Page 7, VR-11 Page 1 and 2 and VR-13 Page 7..." [06FEB2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Just to keep the record straight, there were two different configurations of the MARS. The first was designed like a PBM ,with twin rudders and a dihederal horizontal stablizer. there were two built. The first crashed in NAS Patuxent River, Maryland in the early 1940's the second was assigned to VR-2. I remember working on the second in the summer of 1944. I was part of a workcrew that did a 60 hour check. I changed the spark plugs on #3 engine working on a engine platform hooked to the nacelle. The plane was afloat in the basin near the fire station at NAS Alameda, California. I know the plane was still attached to the Squadron when I was discharged on 12/15/45. The next six MARS built were designed with a single verticle stablizer and rudder. These are the ones shown in your MARS site..." Contributed by Douglas C. Cox firstname.lastname@example.org [16NOV2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...A. D. Tucker Jr. ARM1/C USNR - VR-2 and VCS-12 Biography..." Contributed by EASTMAN, Jack G. email@example.com [16JUL2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...In November 1944 I flew on PB2Y-3 BUNO: 02745 with VR-2 (left) and BUNO: 02745 (right) in "The NATS - Pacific Fleet - PB2Y-R" - NATS Packet July 1945 Page 5..." Contributed by COX, Douglas C. COXMARINEINS@AOL.COM [26FEB2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR's Lead In Utilization - Naval Aviation News - December 1943.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1943/1dec43.pdf [08NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History - by M.L. Shettle, Jr. - http://www.militarymuseum.org/NASTeminalIsland.html..." Contributed by EASTMAN, Jack G. firstname.lastname@example.org [17MAY2005]Circa 1941
Long Beach and San Pedro serve as the harbor for the greater Los Angeles area. During World War I, the Navy established an operating base at San Pedro that remained in use through the 1920s and 30s. In 1935, a need arose for an aviation facility to support the floatplanes of battleships and cruisers. The harbor's sand-filled Terminal Island was leased for no charge from the City of Los Angeles. The WPA provided initial construction of the break water, a seaplane ramp, a concrete parking mat, and three runways that reached completion in June 1937. Work continued with the addition of hangars, barracks, and other facilities in the fall. The station commissioned on March 1, 1938, as NAS San Pedro, California, and went through a series of name changes before finally settling on Terminal Island.
In early 1939, the Navy began construction of a training facility nearby, named Roosevelt Base, and a shipyard. On October 1, 1941, the Navy formed an Aircraft Delivery Unit (ADU) at the air station. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Army stationed P-40 and P-38 interceptors at the airfield with the permission of the Navy. In January 1942, VS-46 began operating the inshore patrol mission from the base with 12 OS2U Kingfishers. The same month, the Army built eight concrete revetments on the airfield to protect its aircraft. The primary mission of the air station became the major West Coast Aircraft Delivery Unit. In the last six months of 1942, the ADU commissioned 200 aircraft a month from the Douglas and Lockheed factories in the area including the SBD, SNV, PV, and the A-24 (SBDs for the Army). Meanwhile NATS's VR-2, began three flights a week.
During 1943, activity continued to rise. VR-2's ser vice increased to daily with VR-3 beginning two daily transcontinental flights. Scouting squadrons continued operating from the station and from August to December of the year, VS-52 conducted operational training with SBDs. During the year, the ADU's deliveries averaged 434 aircraft a month including Culver TD2C drones, PB2Bs, PB2Y-3R transports, Canadian produced SB2Cs, and PBYs from Consolidated's new plant in New Orleans. NAS Terminal Island, California reached the limit of its capacity; therefore, an Auxiliary Aircraft Acceptance Unit opened at Litchfield Park, Arizona, to accept the PB4Ys Liberators from San Diego. On December 1, the ferry squadron, VRF-3, commissioned at NAS Terminal Island, California. Army continued to operate interceptors and added antiaircraft guns plus barrage balloons. During 1944, the station started performing aircraft modifications. At the end of 1944, the ADU began receiving the new Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon. VJ-12 also arrived and remained to war's end.
NAS Terminal Island, California had three asphalt runways with the longest 4900 ft. In March 1944, personnel totaled 341 officers, 1274 enlisted men, and 420 civilians. Billeting was available for 171 officers and 1054 men. Peak utilization of the station occurred in the spring of 1945, with over 300 aircraft on board. VRF-3 operated 18 aircraft -- mostly light transports. The station proper had approximately 20 aircraft assigned. An Assembly and Repair Department maintained an aircraft pool that reached over 100.
NAS Terminal Island, California closed in 1947, and its property assigned to the Bureau of Yards and Docks. Growth of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard eventually obliterated the former airfield's runways. The 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended closing the shipyard.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...01APR42--VR-2 established at NAS Alameda, California..." http://www.vrc-50.org/historyNATS.htm [01JUN2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...15MAY42--A VR-2 flight from NAS Alameda, California to Honolulu, the first transoceanic flight by NATS aircraft, initiated air transport service in the Pacific..." http://www.vrc-50.org/historyNATS.htm [01JUN2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...16JUN42--Scheduled Naval Air Transport Service operations between the West coast and Alaska were initiated by VR-2..." http://www.vrc-50.org/historyNATS.htm [01JUN2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...07SEP42--Air Transport Squadron 2 (VR-2), based at NAS Alameda, California, established a detachment at Pearl Harbor and began a survey flight to the South Pacific as a preliminary to establishing routes between San Francisco and Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia..." http://www.vrc-50.org/historyNATS.htm [01JUN2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-2 History..." http://navymats.com/ [01JUN2002]Circa Unknown
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, a driving need was foreseen by Capt. C.H. "Dutch" Schildhauer for the transport of vital equipment and personnel to various far flung naval commands to keep up with and support the needs of our fighting naval personnel. This would bolster the United States growing ability to stop the spread onaziizsm and the imperialistic desires of the Jap-Naziism and the imperialistic ideas of the Japanese. Plans were formulated to procure the necessary aircraft and personnel to support the plan for the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS). Having no cadre of qualified personnel for such an undertaking, this initial influx of aircraft and equipment was necessarily drawn from the commercial airlines. The first NATS squadron - VR-1 - was commissioned on Mar. 9, 1942 at NAS Norfolk with the DC-3 aircraft designated R4D by the Navy. It's complement consisted of 5 aircraft, 27 Officers, and 150 men. This initial complement grew to a total of 431 aircraft and 13 squadrons whose principal task was delivering vital cargo, personnel, and mail to the fleet and the ground forces in forwared areas in hours, instead of weeks by surface transportation.
In the formative stages, three squadrons were commissioned. These were VR-1 at NAS Norfolk VA. for service across the Atlantic, VR-2 at NAS Alameda CA. serving the West Coast and Pacific area, and VR-3 at NAS Olathe, KS. to join the training centers and supply depots together, linking with their East and West Coast counterparts. These units then began expanding their operations to provide this high speed transportation system access to far flung regions of the world such as Alaska, the Caribbean, and South Pacific including Australia. By the end of 1943 it had expanded to include four wings, ten transport squadrons, and three ferry squadrons. The fleet of aircraft grew to 200 aircraft, including the land based Douglas Skytrain R4D and Skymaster R5D's, and flying boats Martin Mariner JRM and Consolidated Coronados PB2Y.
Seven squadrons had been commissioned by 1943: VR-4 (Maintenance) Oakland CA.; VR-5 (Operational) West Coast and Alaska; VR-6 (Operational) Miami FL; VR-7 (Operational) South America; VR-8 (Operational and Training) Patuxent River MD; VR-10 (Maintenance) Honolulu HI; and VR-11 (Operational) Honolulu TransPacific. In 1944 three more squadrons were added: VR-9 (Maintenance) Olathe KS; VR-12 (Headquarters Squadron) Pacific; and VR-13, (Operational) Manus Island.
In 1944, equiped with the four engined Douglas Skymaster R5D, the Navy squadrons from the far out Pacific were called upon to support the invasion of France. This required a hugh airlift of mine-sweeping equipment to the U.K. The flight crews were drawn from all NATS squadrons. In the Pacific, as the Japanese were driven deeper and deeper back into the Pacific Ocean, a major organizational change was made, with the establishment of NATS as a flag command of the U.S. fleet.
At war's end, NATS personnel numbered 26,000. Officers and men were working around the clock to carry the burden of rush cargo, key military personnel and emergency operations. Aircraft and men were being utilized to their utmost while maintaining a spirit of "can do" that would match any organization of the military.
Can you identify the Month and or Year?
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-2 History "...VR-2 Naval Air Transport Service - MARS at service and loading dock - Saipan..." Contributed by Ed Callen email@example.com [22NOV2002]
"VR-2 Summary Page"