Squadron Returns Home To Enthusiastic Greeting (1954)
Leis, happy hearts and wild cheers of the families and friends of Patrol Squadron SIX greeted the first two planes of the "Blue Sharks" squadron on their return to NAS, Barber's Point, Feb. 4 after a six months tour of patrol duty in the Far East. Five proud fathers among the plane crews met babies born while the squadron has been in the Far East. Commander George J. Coleman, executive officer of the squadron, led the first pair of planes to their home base and was the first to set his plane on the runway. Cdr. Phillip F. Bankhardt, commanding officer, remained behind with the rest of the aircraft at Naval Station Sangley Point, Philippine Islands and is expected to return in the near future.
Captain F. R. Jones, Commander Fleet Air Wing TWO, and members of his staff greeted the squadron on its return. VP-6 will operate under ComFairWing TWO while in the Hawaiian area.
Dubbed the "can do" squadron, VP-6 after leaving Barber's Point July 28, 1953, operated their P2V-3 aircraft at Naval air station, Agana, Guam and Sangley Point, Philippine Islands.
The squadron while stationed at Barber's Point last year, was top on the totem pole during the Fleet Air Hawaii cost conscious drive for three consecutive months.
During their stay in Guam, they were presented Commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet's quarterly safety award for July, August and September of 1953.
Awaiting VP-6 on their arrival were 12 new P2V-5 "Neptune" patrol bombers which will replace their old P2V-3's. These P2V-5's are recognized by their elongated tail and plexiglass noses.
Operating out of bases in Japan in July, 1950, VP-6 flew the first combat missions in P2V type aircraft. Extensive combat patrols were flown during this period by the squadron in and around the war zone in support of the United Nations Forces.
The squadron covered the Inchon landing and the evacuation of Hamhung and the Chosin Reservoir area.
Since the start of the Korean war VP-6 has completed three tours of duty in the Far East and one tour in Alaska. Barber's Point has been the squadron's home base since May, 1950.
An advance party of VP-6 men arrived here four weeks ago via air transport. The two-hundred man group made the squadron's hangar spaces and barracks ship-shape and were on hand with their families to meet the returning planes.