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Circa 1969

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation February 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 31 - Naval Aviation News - February 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/feb69.pdf [16SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation January 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - January 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/jan69.pdf [16SEP2004]

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Circa 1968

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP Crew LogoCameraVP-19 Avionics Shop Patch "...CRUZ, AWC Michael Jr. (deceased) personal collection - Avionics (Tweety) Far East 1968..." Forwarded by Michael Cruz cruzter672020@yahoo.com [16JUN2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - December 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/dec68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 28 - Naval Aviation News - March 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/mar68.pdf [14SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation February 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - February 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/feb68.pdf [14SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: P-3 ThumbnailCamera "...Here's the pix of the Bullpup's hanging on the wings...we were in Japan around 1968 after the Pueblo incident when the Navy decided to test this baby. Never could figure out why they thought the P-3 was a weapons platform. We only mangaged to get one hit on the target if I remember right..." Contributed by A03 Bob Bonnell bcbonnell@charter.net Website: http://www.ismswscf.org [01JUL98]

Circa 1967

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1967 "...On Patrol - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - December 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/dec67.pdf [13SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation January 1967 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - January 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/jan67.pdf [08SEP2004]

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Circa 1966

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...August 15, 1966 Torii Teller Iwakuni Weekly..." Contributed by Bill Shoemaker Bill.Shoemaker@ci.seattle.wa.us [17MAY2000]


The first weapon used was the Hudson, an all-purpose bomber which had sunk several subs during coastal patrol missions early in World War II. The Navy bought 20 of the bombers (Navy designation: PBO-I) in 1941 specifically for patrol missions, equipped them with powerful search lights and, for the first time in aviation history, radar. Previously the antisubmarine patrol bombers had been handicapped by their inability to detect their quarry. But with radar they could sneak up on subs surfaced at night to recharge batteries, floodlight the targets and bomb them. Although initially successful, the Germans counteracted this first use of airborne radar by equipping their subs with receivers that gave warning when a U-boat was in an attacking airplane's radar beam.

Decisive Invasion. In late 1943 the Navy got the PV-1, the first aircraft designed specifically for anti-submarine warfare. A long-range bomber, it was capable of patrolling in the mid-Atlantic where convoys of ships had previously been extremely vulnerable to U-boat attacks. The PV-I was also equipped with a new type of radar which was imperceptible to the enemy's equipment. With the new patrol plane, the Allies were finally able to establish command of the Atlantic supply routes, setting the stage for a decisive invasion of Western Europe.

After the war, both submarines and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tactics became more sophisticated. Subs were built that could travel faster under water and stay submerged for longer periods of time. And Lockheed supplied the Navy with the P-2 Neptune, a longer ranged, slower landing and better armed aircraft, equipped with electronic devices to counter any new submarine menace. In the subsequent years all that changed on the P-2 was additions and more additions of electronic equipment. In the same time lapse, however, aircraft design moved into the* jet age, and the performance of the long range ASW aircraft—even a P-2 with jets—could be improved upon. Besides, with all the additions to the basic P-2 airframe, there was very little room left for the crew. "You have to crawl and duck everywhere you go in the plane," lamented one SP-2H crewmember.

Sometimes Boring. So, after 4 yrs. of research, development and testing, Lockheed delivered to the Navy in July 1962 the latest concept in antisubmarine warfare: the P-3A Orion. The P-3 is only slightly larger than the P-2 (the wing span is actually less), but a lot more roomy inside. A man can walk from the pilot's flight station to the galley at the rear of the plane without having to duck one obstacle. Crew members work off cushioned, high-backed chairs in the P-3's pressurized, air conditioned cabin. And the turbo-prop jet, fitted with a revised model of the engine Lockheed puts in its KC-130 Hercules, can get to a target faster and spend more hours in the air than could its predecessor.

The first patrol squadron deployed to Iwakuni flying the new aircraft arrived late last month. VP-19's commanding officer, Cmdr. Albert P. Lesperance, led a three-plane advance flight into lwakuni July 30 as the squadron (nicknamed "Big Red" by ground forces in Korea because of the powerful red-tinged flares it dropped to illuminate positions) 6-mo. Far East Deployment relieving Whidbey Island, Wash.,-bound VP-1.

No more crawling and ducking between stations.

By the end of her first week here, VP-19 had settled into an operational status, began taking her turn patrolling the waters in the Western Pacific. It is a tiresome and sometimes boring watch-and-wait type game, but a necessary one. VP-19, or her sister squadron here, VP-2, which flies the SP-2H Neptune, keeps at least one plane patrolling 24 hrs. a day the waters stretching from Siberia to Southeast Asia. Some individual flights last as long as 15 hrs.

MAD Gear. For the long missions, VP-19 is best equipped. They can fly further faster and stay up as long as 18 hrs. Equally important is crew comfort. An ASW crew consists of highly trained specialists working with extremely complicated electronic equipment, and alert teamwork is essential to the success of a patrol mission. VP-19 still has at her disposal the old radar and searchlight method of hunting subs at night. With merely the snorkel (a large tube that takes in air and allows the submarine to charge its batteries without completely surfacing) of a sub showing, a VP-19 radar operator can set the patrol plane commander on the right course.

Then, about 2 miles out, the co-pilot flicks on a 70 million candle power searchlight located on the P-3's right wing, and scans the ocean for his target.

A more sophisticated method is the use of sonobuoys—sound seeking devices—since radar is readily detected and would give the sub a chance to submerge before it could be sighted. Buoys pick up the sound of the submarine's diesel engines while it is near the surface recharging its batteries. Several sonobuoys, dropped in different areas around the sub, and a few quick calculations by the tactical coordinator, who runs the show during a tactical situation, can pinpoint the sub, sometimes without it even knowing they are around. "He wouldn't be likely to have his radar on looking for us," says one VP-19 tactical coordinator, Ens. James Meier, "because it would tip his position off to every aircraft that flew by." Another device VP-19 uses in sub-hunting is laconically called "MAD gear"—a long, pipe-like extension at the tail of the P-3 aircraft records changes in the magnetic field of the earth that objects as large as a submarine cause.

Like a Baby. There are many other sub-hunting subtleties which the P-3 can perform (most of the others are classified), all of which require the skills of a well-oiled ASW team. "Our sticcess depends on everyone in the crew," says Meier's patrol plane commander, LtCmdr. Richard White. The P-3 carries a 12-man crew: the pilot, co-pilot and an enlisted plane captain up front in the flight station; a radio operator and forward observer just back of the flight station; a five-man panel of elctronic equipment operators (two officers—a navigator and a tactical coordinator—-and three enlisted men who operate the radar set and two other complex ASW instruments); an ordnance man, who readies the sonobuoys and all other ordnance for launching; and an aft observer.

Most of the subtleties ore classified.

In addition to ASW patrols, the P-3 flies reconnaissance missions, is capable of taking photos both during the day and at night. It is also ideal for search and rescue work because of its long flying time and ability to drop large illuminating flares during night hunts. At the end of a flight the VP-19 crew isn't finished. Theycheckandrecheck their equipment to make sure it is in proper working order. Each man is capable of performing maintenance on the instruments he operates. He is required to learn all the ins and outs of his machine before he is ever assigned to a crew. "All of them take pride in having their equipment in topnotch shape" says a VP-19 officer. "They pamper it like a baby."

5,000 Hrs. The man who commands VP-19's complex operation is Cmdr. Albert P. Lesperance. A native of New Jersey, Lesperance entered naval aviation in 1945 through the V-5 program by completing three terms at Drew University. He was designated a naval aviator in July 1947 after training tours at NASs Pensacola, Fla., Corpus Christi, Tex., and Glenview, III. A year later he was commissioned an ensign while serving his first sea duty assignment with VP-4.

He reported to VP-19 as executive officer during December 1964 while the unit was deployed to Adak, Alaska, and assumed command of the squadron in November 1965. Throughout his varied aviation tours he has amassed over 5,000 flight hours.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron NINETEEN Iwakuni, Japan Cruise Book August 1966 - February 1967..." Contributed by Bill Shoemaker Bill.Shoemaker@ci.seattle.wa.us [18MAY2000]

Patrol Squadron Nineteen History

Patrol Squadron NINETEEN was commissioned as Reserve Unit VPB-907 at Livermore, California in 1946.

In March 1951, the squadron was activated to participate in the Korean conflict. Flying the famed P4Y-2 aircraft, the squadron illuminated enemy positions with powerful red tinged flares and became known as "BIG RED" to ground forces.

Upon the conclusion of the Korean conflict and until 1961, the squadron participated in five Western Pacific Deployments and two Alaskan Area deployments. During this same period, the squadron transitioned in P2V-2, P2V-5, and P2V-7 aircraft. The earning of the Captain Arnold Jay lsbell Trophy for Excellence in Anti-Submarine Warfare in 1959 was the highlight of this era.

Routine ASW operations continued to occupy the squadron during 1962, and in 1963 the squadron deployed a detachment of aircraft to the Alaskan Area to supplement ASW Surveillance Forces in the Northern Pacific.

It was during 1963 that Patrol Squadron NINETEEN took on its present look. The squadron transitioned to the P3A Orion aircraft and moved homeport from NAS Alameda, California to NAS Moffett Field.

Patrol Squadron NINETEEN was deployed to the Naval Station Adak, Alaska from October 1964 until July 1965 at which time it returned to NAS Moffett Field to operate under the Operational and Administrative Control of Commander Fleet Air Wing EIGHT.

Patrol Squadron NINETEEN was deployed to MCAS lwakuni, Japan in August 1966 returning to Moffett Field in February 1967. the cruise marked the first time a P3 equipped squadron has been headquartered on the Japanese mainland.

Circa 1965

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation November 1965 "...Atlantic Air Wings On Patrol - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - November 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/nov65.pdf [03SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation October 1965 "...Pacific Air Wings On Patrol - Page 26 - Naval Aviation News - October 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/oct65.pdf [02SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation October 1965 "...Orions In Williwaw Land - Page 17 to 19 - Naval Aviation News - October 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/oct65.pdf [02SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation August 1965 "...Pacific Air Wings On Patrol - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - August 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/aug65.pdf [01SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation June 1965 "...On Patrol With Pacific Air Wings - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - June 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/jun65.pdf [01SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1965 "...On Patrol With Pacific Air Wings - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - April 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/apr65.pdf [31AUG2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Squadron Awards..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [23APR2001]

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
    01 Oct 66 – 31 Jan 67
    01 Feb 68 – 31 Jul 68
    29 Apr 75 – 30 Apr 75

  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
    01 Jun 69 – 30 Nov 69
    01 Aug 70 – 31 Jan 71
    01 Jun 71 – 20 Jul 71
    02 Mar 72 – 15 Dec 72
    22 Apr 75 – 07 May 75
    01 Apr 84 – 01 Jul 86
    03 Oct 87 – 15 Oct 88

  • Navy "E" Ribbon (Battle "E")
    01 Jan 76 – 30 Jun 77
    01 Jul 83 – 31 Dec 84

  • Navy Unit Commendation
    01 Jan 67 – 18 Mar 67
    19 Mar 67 – 01 Apr 67
    02 Apr 67 – 31 May 68
    17 Jan 91 – 07 Feb 91

  • Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry)
    01 Aug 70 – 30 Sep 70

  • Southwest Asia Service Medal
    28 Aug 90 – 02 Feb 91

  • Vietnam Service Medal
    04 Nov 65

    VP-19 Det OF
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
    Winter 69

    VP-19 Participating Elements
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
    29 Apr 75 – 30 Apr 75

    VP-19 Participating Aircrew
  • Navy Expeditionary Service Medal
    10 Aug 81 – 20 Oct 81

    Circa 1964

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron NINETEEN Adak, Alaska Cruise Book 1964-1965..." Contributed by Bill Shoemaker Bill.Shoemaker@ci.seattle.wa.us [17MAY2000]

    Patrol Squadron Nineteen History

    Patrol Squadron Nineteen originated in 1946 as an organized reserve unit VPB-90 at NAAS Livermore, California. la December, 1946 tfis squadron was redesignated VP-871 and moved to NAS Oakland, California.

    In March, 1951, the squadron was recalled to active duty and assigned P4Y-2's. Deployment to Japan began in October. During this tour the squadron participated in the Korean action by flying patrols west of Japan and flare illumination for Marine night fighters. Results of which were: 750 vehicles, ninety buildings, five bridges, twenty box cars and miscellaneous targets destroyed or damaged beneath squadron flares.

    In January, 1953, the squadron was sent on a five month deployment to Guam and designated VP-19. In March of the following year it was off to a six month stay in Atsugi, Japan.

    Patrol Squadron Nineteen received 12, P2F-7's in May 1955 in preperation for a six month tour beginning in November to NAS lwakuni, Japan. After a much needed rest it was called upon to send 10 of its aircraft to Guam for four months In May of 1957, VP-19 deployed to NS Kodiak and returned to NAS Alameda in November of that year.

    February of 1959 VP-19 commenced its seventh deployment to lwakuni, Japan, to return to NAS Alameda in August. September 26th RADM Arnold, Commander Fleet Air Alameda, presented VP'19 with the new Captain Arnold Jay lsbell Trophy for excellance in Air Anti-Submarine carfare.

    VP-19 deployed to Kodiak in May 1960. A total of 3,681 accident free hours were flown during this deployment which ended in August.

    During April 1963, Patrol Squadron Nineteen started training for their new P3V aircraft. In November the last ^V»7 was phased out of squadron use. From that time until November, 1964, the Squadron prepared for its tsent deployment to Adak, Alaska.

    Circa 1962

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I'm the guy that had 145901 on patrol out of Alameda on a Sunday evening, September 8, 1962, rigging ships to the north and then proceeding due west. Two hours into this flight I got a sump warning light on the Starboard engine and watched the port engine disintegrate before my eyes. With cowl flaps fully open, oil cooler doors fully open, cylinder head temp was 260 C, oil temp was 110 C, oil pressure was falling to 50 psi, horsepower was falling (Torque oil pressure). It was late afternoon, flying over an undercast, no clouds above. The closest land was Cape Mendocino Airport, unlighted, not manned. I turned for home, Called MAYDAY, lit off the jets and put them to 96% and let the port engine run a little longer. When it started to "dig in" I feathered it and the prop stopped very quickly. The starboard engine, with the sump light on, I didn't screw with it. I left it alone. With the three engines at their power settings we were indicating 210 knots at 5,000 feet. Coast Guard launched a UF Albatross and I continued towards the Bay area. As my anxieties were eased with time as things seemed to be going OK, I aimed the plane for Alameda. I never saw the UF. Over Alameda at 5,000 feet, I closed the throttles and circled to land. On roll out my seat cushion reappeared. After taxiing in, my plane captain went out a shorted the sump light for the starboard engine and the left hand light illuminated in the cockpit. The lights were in the wrong holes! This event made Naval Approach Magazine...Upon DIR (disassembly, inspection and report) of the engine I found out that the front main bearing had failed, 3/8 inch clearance was ground between the throw and the master rod, all pistons were now going beyond top dead center and hit all the valves until one broke off. That's when I had feathered it. They gave me the master rod and several articulating rods and I had them on my desk for quite a while. They were an eerie blue color. And now I'll tell you the "Rest of the Story." Here in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a retired Coast Guard officer retired from Northwest Airlines. He is the guy who launched on me 36 years ago! We checked our log books..." Contributed by C. David Hamilton, Commander USNR-Ret chamil@centuryinter.net [26JUL98]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...During the the Cubian Missle crisis, our crew was sent to NAS Norfolk, Virginia. They took 6 crews from the Pacific Fleet and 6 from the Atlantic Fleet. They combined us together (all P2V-Neptunes) and called us "Task Group Delta." (I have a patch around here somewhere). We went prowling along the Cuban coast and came up with a strange reading on our gear. Our crew, believe it was VP-19 Crew 1 at the time, made the first contact and readouts of the first Russian Nucelar submarine. It was in the newspapers approx. 6 months later. This was when the Pentagon and Rickover were saying the soviets were 2+ years behind us. Also, VP-19 changed over to the P-3A's during this time...' Contributed by Et Baker etbaker@netscape.net [21FEB99]

    Circa 1961

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News October 1961 "...Neptunes Act As Mailmen - Page 40 - Naval Aviation News - October 1961..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1961/oct61.pdf [20AUG2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News March 1961 "...VP-19 - Naval Aviation News - March 1961..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1961/mar61.pdf [19AUG2004]

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    Circa 1960

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...(FAETU (PACific/AtLANtic), VP-9, VP-19 and VP-47) - Naval Aeronautical Organization OPNAV NOTICE 05400 for Fiscal Year 1960 dated 1 February 1960 is: DECLASSIFIED per Office of Chief of Naval Operations on 1 February 1965 by Op-501 - Atlantic Fleet Support Stations..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/a-record/nao53-68/fy1960-feb60.pdf [11MAR2007]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News January 1960 "...Arnold J. Isbell Trophy - Page 3 - Naval Aviation News - January 1960..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1960/jan60.pdf [17AUG2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-19 NAS Kodiak, Alaska Deployment 1960 Cruisebook..." [21MAR2001]

    CDR E. E. Wood assumed command in November 1958 with LCDR B. B. Smith assigned as Executive Officer. The training cycle was concluded after several over water training flights and anti-submarine tracks originating from NAS Alameda, California.

    An early February morning saw Patrol Squadron Nineteen commencing their seventh deployment, destination NAS Iwakuni, Japan via: Hawaii, Kwajalin, and Guam.

    During the seven month deployment, Patrol Squadron Nineteen crews flew a total of 5212.4 accident free hours of which 1908 consisted of actual instrument time. After returning to NAS Alameda, California to begin a new training cycle CDR B. B. Smith, USN, assumed command on December 30th with CDR R. E. Anglemyer, USN, as Executive Officer.

    As the crews trained, over-all squadron proficiency progressed. The squadron made ready for administrative-material inspection. COMFAIRALAMEDA administered the inspection on April 12, 1960 with a final over-all grade of 84.46%, high excellent. On April 25 the ORI, with assistance of the officres of VP-9 was administered by COMFAIRALAMEDA. An over-all grade of 88.43%, good, was awarded the squadron as we prepared to depart for NAS Kodiak, Alaska for four months' deployment.

    Patrol Squadron Nineteen relieved VP-2 May 14, 1960. A detachment ws maintained as NAS Adak, Alaska and several ice patrols were flown out of Ladd AFB in Fairbanks. A total of 3681 accident free hours of which 1500 hours consisted of actual instrument time was flown during the deployment.

    Designed primarily for anti-submarine warfare, the squadron has carried on routine patrol duty over the Bering sea, the Aleutian islands, and particpated in bombing ice-covered Alaskan rivers to relieve flooded conditions.

    VP-19 was relieved by VP-17 at NAS Kodiak, Alaska on August 18, 1960. After a non-stop flight to NAS Alameda, California, Patron Nineteen will begin a new training cycle to qualify new pilots and crew members.

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