15 Jul 1943: Bombing Squadron One Hundred Forty-Six VB-146 established at Naval Air Station NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The squadron was assigned to fly theLockheed PV-1 Ventura.
On 5 December 1943, the squadron moved to NAS Alameda, California, for
final training prior to combat deployment. On
22 December 1943 all squadron aircraft,
equipment and personnel were embarked aboard USS Coral Sea (CVE 57) for
conveyance to Naval Air Station NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii.
1943: Lieutenant Commander Ralph R.
Beacham and his crew of five were lost
between Bellingham and Everett, Washington, in inclement weather during a
routine instrument training flight in a Lockheed PV-1 (BuNo. 34637). A
search for the aircraft was
begun when it became overdue, but the
dense tree cover in the mountains and poor visibility due to bad weather
conditions prevented the search teams from finding the aircraft or
28 Dec 1943: VB-146
commenced combat training while
conducting actual wartime patrols off the coasts of the Hawaiian
islands, convoy patrol duties in the Central Pacific and advanced base
patrols from Midway and Johnston Island.
9 Apr 1944: VB-146 aircrews received
training in air-to-ground rocket firing and advanced ASW techniques.
8 Jun 1944: With 15 PV-1 aircraft, the squadron was
deployed to the South Pacific area of the Admiralty Islands, conducting
combat operations from Palmyra, Canton, Funafuti. Espiritu Santo and
Pityilu. On 24 June, while based at Pityilu Island, the squadron was
placed under Task Force 70.2 for operational control.
19 Oct 1944: Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Forty-Six VPB-146 deployed to Morotoi to conduct sector searches and strikes on Japanese shipping.
1 Dec 1944: VPB-146 deployed to
Mokerang airdrome, Los Negros Island. Duties included 800-mile search
sectors, ASW patrol and anti-shipping missions in support of the Morotoi
landings and the Leyte,
Philippines occupation. Upon arrival at
Mokerang one half of the squadron personnel were given R&R to
Australia. The squadron won two battle stars for the Morotal landings
and the Leyte occupation.
1945: VPB-146 departed the combat zone
for return to NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii, and on to NAS San Diego, California
for further training in preparation for a second combat tour.
15 Apr 1945: VPB-146 was reformed
and commenced familiarization training on the new Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon at Naval Air Station NAS Moffett Field, California.
1946: Orders were received for
deployment to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The
squadron arrived on 2 October 1946 aboard the aircraft carrier Point
Cruz, and was stationed at Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii.
Over the next several months, duties
consisted of search and anti-submarine warfare ASW exercises with the
7 Nov 1946: A detachment of squadron aircraft was sent to
Naval Air Station NAS Alameda,
California, for deployment to Mexico
City to participate in an air demonstration for the presidential
inauguration ceremonies. Upon completion of the detail, the detachment
ferried PV-2s to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode
Island, before returning to NAS Barbers
Point, Hawaii on 13 December 1946.
12 Dec 1947: VP-ML-6 was notified of a change in permanent home base to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The first elements of
squadron personnel boarded USS Suisun (AVP 53) for return to the continental United States on 12 January 1948. The squadron officially detached from FAW-2 on 30 January 1948.
30 Jan 1948: VP-ML-6 began
transition training to the Lockheed P2V-2 Neptune at NMS Miramar,
California. Between its transition to the P2V-2 at Miramar in 1948 and
1950, the squadron conducted training
operations at NAS Whidbey Island and
deployed for a period of six months to the Naval Air Facility at Adak in
the Aleutian Islands.
Sep 1948. The squadron was designated VP-6 (Patrol Squadron SIX).
Apr 1950: New Lockheed P2V-3 and P2V-3N
aircraft were received as replacements for the older P2V-2 aircraft
flown by the squadron.
28 Jun 1950-12 Feb 1951: VP-6 deployed to
Korea as the first patrol squadron
in the theater of operations after the
outbreak of hostilities and the first to fly the Lockheed P2V Neptune in
combat. During this tour the squadron operated from Johnson AFB, Japan 7
July-6 August 1950: Tachikawa
AFB, Japan, 6 August 1950-12 February
1951: and a detachment at Atsugi Japan,
5 January-12 February 1951. Combat patrols were flown over the
Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan from bases
in the north of Japan. Special assignments included reconnaissance
flights, cover for the Inchon landings and the evacuations of Hamhung
and the Chosen reservoir.
Jul 1950: Two PATRON SIX P2V-3s, piloted
by Lieutenant Commander R. L. Ettinger and Lieutenant William J.
Pressler, sighted a train along the Korean coast near Chongjin. The two
crews destroyed the train with 5-inch
rockets and 20-mm bow guns.
Aug 1950: Two Patrol Squadron SIX Neptunes, led by Lieutenant Commander
E. B. Rogers, attacked several boats and barges engaged in mine laying
near Chinnampo. Three boats and
two barges were sunk. Roger's P-2
Neptune was holed six times by enemy fire. On the same day, other VP-6
aircraft damaged two surface craft near Wonson, Korea.
1950: A VP-6 P2V-3 Buno 122940 piloted by
Ensign William F. Goodman, attacked an
enemy patrol vessel near Chinnampo, Korea. The starboard engine of his
aircraft was damaged by enemy AAA fire and was ditched 6 miles west of
Paeng Nylong-do. The entire crew was rescued by the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Kenya. As a result of this loss, patrol aircraft were no longer assigned attack missions in Korea.
Oct 1950: While on deployment in
Japan, Patrol Squadron SIX acquired the name "Blue Sharks" as a result
of a feature story in Collier's magazine entitled "Blue Sharks off the Red Coast." The article described the Lockheed P2V "Neptune" as a "Blue Shark."
Aug 1951: During VP-6's second combat
deployment to Korea it moved to Naval Air Facility NAF Naha, Okinawa, to
conduct aerial reconnaissance off the China Coast under the operational
control of FAW-1. In the Korean
Theater, PATRON SIX was awarded the Navy
Unit Commendation, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and six
engagement stars for operations under Fleet Air Wing Six. VP-6 became
the only patrol squadron awarded the
Navy Unit Citation during the Korean
Nov 1951: In November, VP-6 participated in the search for
Pan-American Flight 944, lost in the western Pacific. The futile search
for survivors was the largest
air-sea rescue operation ever conducted
in the Pacific.
6 Nov 1951: A Crew 12 Patrol Squadron SIX Lockheed P2V-3W was shot down with the loss of all hands (10 aircrewmen) by
Soviet La-11 fighter aircraft (piloted by I. Ya. Lukashyev and M.K.
Shchukin) while on patrol in the Sea of Japan off Vladivostok, Siberia.
BuNo 124283 was conducting a weather reconnaissance mission under United
Nations command. The attack occurred over international waters, but the
Russians claimed the aircraft had violated Soviet airspace over Cape
Ostrovnaya. The Soviet pilots reported that they intercepted the VP-6
aircraft near Cape Ostrovnoy approximately 7-8 miles from the shore.
After firing upon the P-2 Neptune, the aircraft burned, fell into the
water, and exploded 18 miles from the shore killing the entire crew:
LT Judd C. Hodgson
LT Sam Rosenfeld
ENS A. Smith
AO1 Reuben S. Baggett
AD1 Paul R. Foster
AT1 Erwin D. Raglin
AL2 Paul G. Juric
AT2 William S. Meyer
AL2 Ralph A. Wiger, Jr.
AD3 Jack Lively
Honolulu Advertiser article on VP-6 squadronmate Charles Pomeroy's annual
remembrance of Crew 12.
26 Dec 1951: A VP-6 Lockheed P2V-3 Neptune, buno 122972 ditched at night, at sea off Atsugi, Japan (3905N 13011E) in bad weather during a night weather reconnaissance mission due to a runaway prop. Two crew members were lost:
CDR R.J. Perkinson PPC
ALCA K.K. Hathorn
A list of Korean War Personnel Missing
1952 The first half of 1952 was spent in a training cycle at Barber's Point.
Jul 1952: VP-6 departed Hawaii for NAS Kodiak, Alaska.
Detachments were maintained at Ladd Air
Force Base AFB from 14 August -17 September and at Naval Air Station NAS
Adak from 10-20 December 1952, in support of the Cold Weather Advance
Base exercise (Beaufort Sea
1953 Another extensive training program at Barber's Point was followed by a temporary move to NAS Agana, Guam from which the squadron deployed to NAS Sangley Point in the Philippine Islands to fly protective missions over shipping lanes.
22 Dec 1953: A VP-6 Lockheed P2V-3 Neptune, buno 122964, landed long at Kaitak, Airport,
Hong Kong and caught fire. There were no fatalities.
1954 PATRON SIX was equipped with P2V-5F's and shortly thereafter
deployed again to Kodiak for a period of five months. It was on this
to Kodiak that one of VP-6's aircraft was credited with the longest single-engine flight by a multi-engine aircraft The incident occurred in the squadron's number three aircraft piloted
by LTJG Combs and LTJG Schultz. Three minutes prior to reaching ocean
station November, midway between Hawaii and Alameda, the number one
engine caught fire. The fire was extinguished but the engine was
secured. The flight continued on toward Alameda, still a distance of
1200 miles. Just west of the coast the starboard engine began to run
rough under the heavy strain, but LTJG Combs was able to execute an
emergency landing at Half Moon Bay, 25 miles south of San Francisco.
Several months later an official report of this flight appeared in Naval
17 Feb 1955: A VP-6 P2V-5
Neptune buno 128399 flying out of Kodiak, Alaska impacted a mountain at
2000 feet, 30 nautical miles northwest of Elmendorf AFB. The aircraft
was lost with all hands:
LTJG J.H. Hempen PPC
ENS M.P. Brown Navigator
ENS G.H. Greig Co-pilot
AOC J.C. Coon Jr. Ordnanceman
ADC E.A. Crawford 2nd mechanic
ATC C.A. Trostel Passenger
AT1 I.R. Raburn Radioman
AE2 J.C. Baze Jr. Passenger
AT2 D.P. Bissett Radar Operator
AD2 D.L. Morgan
AT3 L.R. Ripoll 2nd Radioman
07 Dec 1955 VP-6 P2V-5 buno 124899 was
lost off Kauai. 7 crewmembers were lost:
AOC Roger Lewis Serafine
AE1 Billy Cunningham
AD1 William Stephen Lewandowski
AT2 Milford Roy Dobrenz
AO2 Bernard Goldmark
AN Richard Lee Chubbuck
AN Don Michael McMillan
Mar 1956: Patrol Squadron SIX departed Barber's Point for a six-month tour in Iwakuni, Japan.
One of the highlights of this deployment was the adoption of an
orphaned Japanese-American boy by LCDR
George Seibengartner. Sponsorship of an
orphanage in the Iwakuni area was undertaken by the squadron, climaxed
by an open house on the base for the children of the orphanage.