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HistoryVP-ML-1 HistoryHistory

Circa 1948

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News September 1943 "...Neptune, Workhorse Of Fleet - Page 20 and 21 (VP-ML-1, VP-ML-2, and VP-ML-4 featured) - Naval Aviation News - September 1948..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1948/sep48.pdf [09JUL2004]

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Books"Title: Lockheed P2V Neptune An Illustrated History by Wayne Mutza wmutza@wi.rr.com...A Schiffer Military History Book...ISBN: 0-7643-0151-9...286 pages full of pictures and history!

Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...PATROL SQUADRON ONE COMMAND HISTORY..." http://www.naswi.navy.mil/vp-1/comhist.html [04JUL98]


Patrol Squadron ONE has over half a century of proud service as a premier patrol and surveillance squadron. Born in the fire and fury of World War II, the squadron was originally commissioned as Bombing Squadron 128 (VB-128) in Deland, Florida on February 15th, 1943, and represented a key component in the U.S. efforts to turn the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic, in which German U-boats challenged the passage of convoys carrying desperately-needed supplies to U.S. and Allied forces fighting in Europe and Africa. Flying the twin-engine PV-1 "VEGA VENTURA", the squadron flew missions out of NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York, and beginning in August 1943, out of Iceland to protect heavily-laden cargo ships braving the gauntlet of hostile submarines. During this period VB-128 drew its first combat blood, sinking one U-boat and severely damaging another. When the convoy lanes moved south to avoid the fierce North Atlantic winter storms, the squadron shifted its base of operations to Puerto Rico and continued to be an important factor in curtailing the German submarines' activities.

In the summer of 1944, successes in allied anti-submarine operations had significantly reduced the threat posed by the deadly U-boats. Redesignated as VPB-128, the squadron was transferred to the Philippines to provide bombing, anti-shipping, and anti-submarine support in the Pacific theatre until "VJ" Day, September 1, 1945. After the Japanese surrender aboard the USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay, the squadron continued flying patrol missions from the island of Okinawa for the next two years.

By 1947 the squadron had transitioned to the then-new P2V-2 "NEPTUNE" aircraft. Along with the new aircraft came another squadron redesignation. Newly christened as VP-ML-1, the squadron changed home ports again, this time to San Diego, California. The next year opened with yet another move, to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, and in September of 1948 the present designation of VP-1 and the name "Screaming Eagles" was assigned to the squadron.

The years between 1948 and 1966 were filled with frequent deployments to Alaska, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In 1955 the squadron upgraded its aircraft to the P2V-5, and in May of that year became the first patrol squadron to make an "around the world" cruise.

UPDATE "...My flight log shows that we started flying P2V5's in Nov 1951 and deployed to NAS Atsugi, Japan in March 1952. The squadron may have upgraded to 5F' in 1955 - just to keep the record straight..." Contributed by ADRC Eugene Hilvers, Retired navycpo1@siscom.net [15SEP99]

The Screaming Eagles were busy during the years of the Vietnam War. During deployments to overseas bases such as Iwakuni, Japan and Sangley Point, Republic of the Philippines, VP-1 supported U.S. operations--including Operation MARKET TIME--with detachments in the Republic of Vietnam at Tan Son Nhut and Cam Ranh Bay. In April 1966, VP-1 became the first patrol squadron to incur casualties, including one fatality, during a Vietnamese attack on Tan Son Nhut Air Base.

VP-1 transitioned to the P-3 "ORION" in 1969. Widely recognized as the world's premier patrol aircraft, the P-3 provided greater range, improved avionics, and enhanced anti-submarine warfare capability for the maritime patrol community. As the Screaming Eagles made another homeport change to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii in February 1970, they continued to serve as a front-line "Cold War" deterrent force against the strategic missile threat posed by the submarine fleet of the USSR, and until the dissolution of the Soviet Union logged thousands of hours tracking Soviet submarines throughout the world's seas. The Screaming Eagles gained specific acclaim in September 1977, when they received the Coastal Command Trophy for sustaining a high degree of effectiveness in airborne anti-submarine warfare.

VP-1 deployed to Cubi Point, Philippines in May 1980, and simultaneously held a three aircraft detachment in Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT)--a period marked by regional tensions due to the Iranian hostage crisis. Squadron operations during this period earned Navy Expeditionary Medals for squadron members who were directly involved in Iranian/Afghanistan contingency operations, and Humanitarian Service Medals for crews which employed the P-3's superb Search and Rescue (SAR) abilities to locate, and assist in rescuing more than 4,000 Vietnamese refugees fleeing their homeland aboard 35 rickety vessels.

The 1980's found the Screaming Eagles flying missions from such wide-spread places as Oman, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Thailand, Pakistan, Japan, Guam, Diego Garcia, and Australia. VP-1 flight crews demonstrated their expertise in the areas of anti-submarine warfare, surface surveillance, mining, and search and rescue operations. February 1983 marked an important milestone for VP-1 as 14 years and 100,000 hours of accident-free flight operations was surpassed, and that year also brought the squadron the Donald Neal "Golden Wrench" award for the best P-3 maintenance in the Pacific Fleet. Just one year later, in February 1984, the Screaming Eagles won the prestigious Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for ASW Excellence, and were nominated by Commander, Patrol Wings U.S. Pacific Fleet to receive the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for battle efficiency.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the concomitant fracturing of the Warsaw Treaty Organization, invited navies throughout the world to take a fresh look at naval tactics in the twilight of the Cold War. The likelihood of large naval forces grappling over control of the open sea gave way to the reality of regional disputes. The proliferation of effective cruise missiles launched from maneuverable small boats mandated an increased importance on aerial surveillance which had the stamina, flexibility, and weapons to extend a protective umbrella over surface ships operating close to a hostile nation's shores. The Screaming Eagles of VP-1 became experts at supporting this type of operation through long hours spent patrolling littoral and enclosed seas with both standard, and specially-equipped, P-3s.

Operations other than war (OOTW) also provided new challenges for the squadron's crews. Maritime interdiction, United Nations Security Council resolutions enforcement, and counter-narcotics operations all found great value in an airborne surveillance platform which was able to linger in an area for hours, or could search many thousands of square miles of ocean, while maintaining constant communications with home bases through satellite communications, HF radios, and computer data exchange systems.

When Sadam Hussein's Republican Guard crossed the Kuwaiti border in 1989, the Navy again turned to VP-1, and the squadron fully re-deployed to Diego Garcia to support joint maritime interdiction forces in conjunction with Operation DESERT SHIELD. VP-1 also maintained detachments in Masirah, Omanand Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and was the first patrol squadron to make such a short-notice surge into the desert theater; the extraordinary operational and logistical effort by all hands enabled the squadron to answer the challenge of over 200 surface surveillance missions scheduled with an astounding 100 percent completion rate.

As a result of the squadron's performance throughout 1993, the prestigious Coastal Command Trophy again found its way to the squadron's trophy chest, along with the Commander, U.S. SEVENTH Fleet Anti-surface Warfare Excellence Award, and a nomination for a second Arleigh Burke Award.

After completing a successful deployment to NAS Misawa, Japan and NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan in May of 1995, VP-1 completed another homeport change, returning to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The squadron truly showed its professionalism and dedication to duty by meeting all scheduled events and missions during the move, and by compressing what would normally be a year-long inter-deployment training cycle into a mere nine months.

From May to November 1996, VP-1 once again conducted a successful tri-site deployment based in Diego Garcia, during which the Screaming Eagles became the first maritime patrol squadron to conduct armed surveillance missions in the Arabian Gulf with the AGM-65 MAVERICK missile. The squadron also maintained a constant presence in NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan with frequent detachments to U-Tapao, Thailand and many other countries bordering the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean while patrolling the politically-charged Arabian Gulf.

Currently, Patrol Squadron ONE is back at NAS Whidbey Island preparing for its November deployment to NAS Misawa, Japan and NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan. Daily training continues with routine flights off the coasts of Washington and California, practicing the skills necessary to continue to be a pre-eminent anti-submarine warfare, mining, and surface surveillance squadron, proving why VP-1 is, "Number ONE for a reason!" http://www.naswi.navy.mil/vp-1/comhist.html

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Parol Squadron One, home ported at the Naval Air Station, Barbers Point, Hawaii, is a land-based anti-submarine patrol squadron currently flying the P-3B(D) "Orion". The squadron has an average complement of 65 officers and 255 enlisted personnel. Patrol Squadron One was commissioned in Deland, Florida on 15 February, 1943 as Bombing Squadron 128 (VB-128). The squadron first flew the twin engine PV-1 on ASW missions out of NAS Floyd Bennett, Brooklyn, NY. In August, 1943, the squadron deployed to Iceland to support the antisubmarine operations in the North Atlantic convoy lanes. While flying out of Iceland, the unit was credited with sinking one German U-Boat and damaging another. In December, 1943, the convoy lanes were moved south, out of range of the "Venturas" and VB-128 was moved to Puerto Rico where it remained until the summer of 1944. The squadron's designation was then changed to VPB-128 and was moved to the Philippines where it carried out bombing, anti-shipping and antisubmarine mission until the end of the war. Shortly after VJ day, the squadron moved to Okinawa where it remained until 1947. During this period its designation changed to VP-ML-1 and the unit transitioned to the new PV-1 "Harpoon". VP-ML-1 returned to San Diego, California in March, 1947 and received the new P2V-2 "Neptune", a longer range twin engine patrol aircraft. On 13 January 1948 the squadron moved to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, Washington. In September of that year the squadron was given it present name. After reporting to Whidbey Island, VP-1 made frequent deployments to Alaska, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. In May, 1955, Patrol Squadron One, then flying the P2V-5, became the first squadron to make an around-the-world cruise. The chain encircling the globe on the squadron patch is symbolic of this feat. In February, 1966, VP-1 deployed to Iwakuni, Japan and also maintained a seven-plane detachment at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam in support of Operation Market Time. VP-1 became the first patrol squadron to suffer casualties in the Vietnam conflict when the air base was attacked on 13 April, 1966. During this attack, one VP-1 man was killed five others wounded, and five detachment aircraft were damaged. During this deployment, the squadron achieved an unprecedented readiness figure of 100% and returned to Whidbey Island with all twelve crews having achieved "Alpha" status, the highest readiness that can be achieved by a crew. In May 1967 and again in August 1968 Patrol Squadron One deployed to Sangley Point, Republic of the Philippines, and concurrently maintained a detachment of aircraft and personnel at Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam. VP-1 became the first squadron to operate full-time in support of Operation Market Time from the new facility at Cam Ranh Bay. Patrol Squadron One became the last fleet squadron to transition to the P-3 "Orion" with the first new aircraft arriving at Whidbey Island on 1 July 1969. Suring the squadron's next deployment to MCAS Iwakuni, which began in February 1970, their homeport was changed to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. In October 1971, VP-1 deployed to Sangley Point, Republic of the Philippines, and maintained a detachment at Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam. They completed the deployment operating out of Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines, becoming the first patrol squadron to operate out of that facility. When the squadron again deployed to Cubi Point in October 1972 they were operating the new DIFAR equipped P-3B retrofit aircraft. During this deployment they maintained a detachment at U-Tapao, Thailand. After returning to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, Patrol Squadron One received the Coastal Command Trophy on June 1973. This award was presented to the squadron for displaying the highest degree of airborne ASW proficiency during the previous 18 month competitive cycle among the various Pacific Fleet patrol Squadrons. Patrols Squadron one deployed to Naha, Okinawa in May 1974 for six months. Following that, the squadron enjoyed a highly productive at-home period at Barbers Point. Concerted effort and close attention to detail during that period resulted in the squadron being nominated for the Arleigh Burke Trophy by COMPATWINGSPAC as the most improved Pacific Fleet patrol squadron. In November 1975, Patrol Squadron one deployed to Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines and maintained detachments at U-Tapao, Thailand and Diego Garcia, Indian Ocean. The squadron returned in May and in December under took six months of detachments operations at NAS Agana Guam. In September 1977 Patrol Squadron One was presented the Coastal Command Trophy for the competitive cycle ending in June. An achievement which reflects the intense professional and total dedication of all hands in the sustained high degree of effectiveness in airborne ASW. I joined the squadron in December 1977 on deployment to Cubi Point. What a first cruise that was!...Michael E. Thompson (VP-1, Crew 1, 1977-1979)" Contributed by Michael E. Thompson Michaelt@AUSVMR.VNET.IBM.COM

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