A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Marks 23 Years Active Duty - Page 18 - Naval Aviation News - August 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/aug65.pdf [01SEP2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Global Airlift Unit Flies C-130's - Page 14 to 15 - Naval Aviation News - September 1964..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1964/sep64.pdf [29AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Reports Its Progress - Page 25 - Naval Aviation News - December 1962..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1962/dec62.pdf [24AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Moves To McGuire - Page 11 - Naval Aviation News - November 1957..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1957/nov57.pdf [11AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...10 VR-3 Men Ship Over - Page 37 - Naval Aviation News - April 1957..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1957/apr57.pdf [10AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...NROTC Students Airborne - Page 18 - Naval Aviation News - June 1955..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1955/jun55.pdf [04AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Kilt-Wearers Ride In Style - Page 24 - Naval Aviation News - March 1954..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1954/mar54.pdf [02AUG2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Engine Time Increased - Page 37 - Naval Aviation News - May 1953..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1953/may53.pdf [29JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Capt L. W. Parrish, New CO Of VR-21 - Page 30 - Naval Aviation News - March 1953..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1953/mar53.pdf [29JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Keeps Its Men Flying - Page 24 - Naval Aviation News - November 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/nov52.pdf [28JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Flying With MATS - Page 22 - Naval Aviation News - June 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/jun52.pdf [26JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Drops Hay For Cattle - Page 28 - Naval Aviation News - May 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/may52.pdf [26JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...R5D Makes Special Flight - Page 19 - Naval Aviation News - April 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/apr52.pdf [26JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Fast Rescue Saves Tot 2 - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - February 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/feb52.pdf [25JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Designs 'Escape Slide' - Page 28 - Naval Aviation News - January 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/jan52.pdf [25JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Uses Running Status Board - Page 25 - Naval Aviation News - January 1952..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1952/jan52.pdf [25JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 Receives Safety Award - Page 12 - Naval Aviation News - September 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/sep51.pdf [25JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Gala Weekend For Veterans and VR-3 Wins Kudos From AF - Page 13 - Naval Aviation News - July 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/jul51.pdf [24JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-3 History "...24OCT50 - Report of Submarine Sighting - Air Transport Squadron VR-3 - Publication Number: T1206 - Publication Title: Project Blue Book, 1947-1969 - Publisher: NARA - WebSite: http://www.footnote.com/..." Forwarded by Stephen Miller firstname.lastname@example.org [28AUG2008]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Stud Drill Idea Saves Time - Page 35 - Naval Aviation News - May 1948..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1948/may48.pdf [11JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Sounds Like Early Days - Page 39 - Naval Aviation News - October 1947..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1947/oct47.pdf [18JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...St. Elmo Haunts NATS Transport - Page 13 - Naval Aviation News - May 1947..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1947/may47.pdf [17JUL2004]
Circa 1946 - 1958
A BIT OF HISTORY: VR-3 History "...CAPTAIN Paul MASTERTON was Commanding Officer VPB-151 (12/1943-06/1945) and Commanding Officer VR-3 (10/1946-06/1948)..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [29DEC2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...NATS Packet - Naval Air Transport Service Command - Pacific Fleet - Sptember 1945. VR-1 photo 5, VR-2 photo's 12, 14, 15 and 16, VR-3 photo 12, VR-4 photo's 8, 9, 12, 13 and 14, VR-5 photo's 9, 13 and 14, VR-6 photo 5, VR-11 photo's 9, 14 and 15, and VR-13 photo's 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18..." 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: "...Success in battle depends heavily on adequate logistic support which many times provides the thin thread on which hangs the victory. Throughout its history, NAS Moffett Field, California has been home for one or more of these all-important air logistics units. Dating back to 1945 with the arrival of Transport Squadron Four (VR-4) and Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) headquarters, such squadrons as Transport Squadron Forty-four (VR-44), Transport Squadron Five (VR-5) and Transport Squadron Three (VR-3) have played an important role as one of NAS Moffett Field, California's tenant units. R4Ds (DC-3s), R5D (DC-5s) and R6D (DC-6s) were familiar sights in Bay Area skies. With the decommissioning of Fleet Logistic Air Wings in the summer of 1957, two Military Air Transport Squadrons, VR-7 and VR-8, began the move from their Hawaiian base to NAS Moffett Field, California. Flying the sleek R7V Super Constellation, these squadrons operate from here to the far reaches of the Pacific to provide a supply line of men and equipment to the Pacific Fleet..." http://www.moffettfieldmuseum.org/history/postwar/fleet-units.html [17JAN2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VR-3 History..." http://navymats.com/VR-3.html [01JUN2002]Circa 1943
On Dec. 12, 1941 the NAVAL AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE was established uner the Chief of Naval Operations to "Provide rapid delivery of critical equipment, spare parts and specialists to Naval activities and Fleet forces through out the U.S. This was followed by the establishment of VR-3 on December 29, 1941 and it's formal commissioning in April 1942 at the Naval Air Facility Fairfax KS under the command of LT. Vernon A. Doyle, USN. This squadrons area of coverage was the continental U.S. with the R4D Skytrain aircraft (DC-3). On April 1, 1943 the squadron flew the first sched- duled flight between Washington DC and March AFB CA.
In Dec. 1943 Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox visited the newly commissioned Naval Air Rewerve Base at Olathe KS. The following Jan. he ordered VR-3 to be moved to the new Naval Air Station Olathe KS to begin full operation with their aircraft. This resulted in the inauguration of scheduled round trip flights to the west coast Naval facilities. VR-3 was the first military unit to operated "Air Evacuation" flights carrying wounded or ill servicemen from Washington DC to Burbank CA. It was then followed in December with once a week scheduled flights to Toronto Canada with a flag stop in Ottawa Canada.. That same month they inaugurated four daily flights between the east and west coasts. At that time (1944) VR-3 was the first naval unit to have a WAVE (female sailor) assigned when Link trainers were obtained.
In 1946 the squadron was relocated from NAS Olathe KS to NAS Patuxent River MD, and in 1948 was the original Naval Air Transport Squadron to be incorporated into the newly formed Military Air Transport Service MATS( a combined air transport force of the USAAF and US Navy). At that time the squadron was flying the Douglas R5D Skymaster. Again the squadron was relocated in Dec. 1948 to NAS Moffett Fld CA.
During their west coast duty the squadron received and transitioned to the new Douglas R6D Liftmaster (DC-6). The squadron suffered its first fatal accident when a squadron aircraft impacted the Pali Kea Peak in the Hawaiian Islands just 15 miles northwest of its scheduled destionation in Hawaii. The squadron remained at NAS Moffett until 1957 when it relocated to McGuire AFB, still operating within MATS under the command of the Naval Air Transport Wing Atlantic.
In June of 1963 the squadron retired their Liftmasters for the newly acquired Lockheed C-130E heavy haul transport It continued its operation from McGuire AFB until July 1967 where it was dis-establihed, becoming the last Naval Airt Transport Squadron in MATS This ended the inter-service partnership that had begun in 1948 and lasted just short of 20 years. It was only fitting that the oldest of these navy squadrons should be the last to participate in this highly successful joint command.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History - by M.L. Shettle, Jr. - http://www.militarymuseum.org/NASTeminalIsland.html..." Contributed by EASTMAN, Jack G. email@example.com [17MAY2005]
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.
"VR-3 Summary Page"