VP-5 Squadron Shipmates
VPNAVY Address

ShipmateNaval Air Transport Service ShipmatesShipmate

Memorial Picture "...BLAIR, GENERAL Charles Blair...Charles F. Blair was born in Buffalo, New York on July 19, 1909. He learned to fly at the Ryan Flying School in San Diego, California, and he soloed there in 1928 at the age of 19. In 1931, after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont, young Blair entered the Naval Flying School at NAS Pensacola, Florida. He graduated the following year August 16, 1932 with Naval Aviator designation #4748 and the rank of Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve. Shortly afterward, he was assigned to VP-7F, NAS North Island, San Diego, California. During World War II, Captain Blair flew for both NATS (Naval Air Transport) and the Air Transport Command. He also flew as production test pilot for the Grumman Aircraft Company testing the F6F, F7F and the F8F Navy fighters, and he flew the original Martin Mars flying boat as consulting test pilot..." http://www.speakeasy.org/~beck/blair.html [26MAR2005]

COLLEDGE, John W. wardmaster1@msn.com "...In 1945-1946 was assigned NATS VR-4 NAS Oakland, California and NAS Moffett Field, California..." [04JAN2005]

Memorial Picture "...COX, LCDR Warren M...Warren M. Cox: August 5, 1919 - June 7, 2011 - On December 26, 1944 Mike Cox was flying his VPB-20 PBM Mariner on a night patrol mission when he spotted eight Japanese warships steaming in line. The Japanese raiding force consisted of the cruisers Ashigara and Oyodo and five destroyers. The Japanese force was attempting to shell the landing beach at Mindoro in the Philippines. Mike's bombs would not release and sometime later, after losing an engine, he landed his plane in Mangarin Bay, where he was immediately hit by gunfire from an enemy plane. Mike's plane captain was mortally wounded, the plane sank and the surviving crew members spent the night in the water before being picked up the next morning. As a result of his service in World War II Mike Cox was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals. Warren Michael Cox, Lcdr. USN (Ret) of Coronado went on his final patrol June 7, 2011. He died of natural causes at Coronado Sharp Hospital. He was 91. Mike, as his friends all knew him, was born August 5, 1919 in Silver City, New Mexico to Marie and Warren Cox. His father was an auditor for the United States Forest Service. He attended New Mexico State Teacher's College High School in Silver City, New, Mexico. After graduation he enrolled at Bakersfield Junior College and, while a student there, obtained an appointment to West Point Military Academy. Unfortunately, he did not pass the physical. In 1939 he joined the Army and was stationed with the Eighth Calvary Regiment, First Calvary Division, at Fort Bliss, Texas. After serving one year in the Army Mike enrolled at the University of New Mexico, where he played on the Lobo Tennis Team. Subsequent to the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Mike joined the Navy and was designated a naval aviator on November 13, 1942 at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. Mike served two combat tours during WWII. The first was as navigator of a PBY Catalina in VP-23 operating out of Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. His second tour was as Patrol Plane Commander flying the PBM Mariner in VPB-20 out of the Philippines. In 1946 he married Virginia Day of Winslow, Arizona, a secretary for the Santa Fe Railway. They settled in Monterey, California while he attended navy line school. They had two children. Mike's navy duty assignments included Naval Air Transport Service (NATS), Guam, and NAS North Island, San Diego, California where he flew the P5M Marlin. He was also Ground Control Approach Officer at North Island and Combat Information Officer aboard the Carrier Midway (CVA-41) during the 1958-1959 Quemoy Matsu Taiwan Strait Crisis. His final duty station was as Administrative Officer of VRF-32 Squadron at North Island. Upon retirement from the Navy Mike continued his studies at San Diego State College. There he obtained a Bachelors Degree and teaching credential in mathematics. He then taught math analysis and geometry at the newly opened Castle Park High School in Chula Vista. In addition he taught night mathematics classes at Southwestern College and coached the Castle Park tennis team. While teaching at Castle Park Mike received a National Science Foundation stipend to attend summer sessions at Tulane University where he obtained a Master of Arts in Teaching in mathematics. Following his training in computer programming at Tulane University, Mike started the first computer programming class at Castle Park. During his days at Castle Park Mike enjoyed filming football games, playing tennis at the Hotel del Coronado and programming his TRS80 computer. After retirement from teaching he spent many hours with friends, whether it be on the tennis court, the Coronado Golf Course or at the Burger King Restaurant. He became a familiar sight on his three-wheeled bike around town. He always had a smile. "Mike really knew how to play the game of tennis," said Ben Press, former tennis professional at the Hotel Del Coronado. Press taught Mike's son Rusty when he was a junior tennis player. "Mike and I played many a doubles match together. He was a very smart doubles strategist," said Press. "He played late into life, until he could physically no longer run down the ball. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him." Mike Cox is survived by his son Glenn "Rusty" Cox of Coronado. His wife Virginia and daughter Michele predeceased him. At his request, Mike's ashes will be spread over the Gila National Forest outside of Silver City. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 13, at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course. As published in the online edition of the Coronado Eagle & Journal, Thursday, July 28, 2011..." Contributed by CK Glen F. Pritchett coronadokids@gmail.com [01AUG2011]

Memorial Picture "...DeLORENZO, CAPTAIN Frank L...1914-2011 VPB-4 1945 - Captain DeLorenzo passed away on May 27, 2011. He was 96 Years old. Known as "DeLo" to his many friends, he was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 1 August, 1914. He graduated from Marquette University with B.S. and J.D. degrees in 1939. While in Law School there he was a contributor to, and on the staff of, the Marquette Law Review. He came to NAS Pensacola, Florida later in 1939 and entered flight training as an Aviation Cadet in class 130-C. He received his wings from Adm. A.C. Read, the first man to fly the Atlantic Ocean. DeLo was commissioned as an Ensign in May of 1940. He was designated Naval Aviator Number 6449. His first assignment was to VP-12, flying PBY CATALINA's out of NAS North Island, San Diego, California. He was later ordered to VP-13 and flew the four engine PB2Y CORONADO seaplane throughout the Pacific during WW II. He was extremely proud to have been one of the pilots that flew Admiral Chester Nimitz to Honolulu on Christmas Day, 1941 in order for him to become the new Chief of all Naval Forces in the Pacific, early in WW II. DeLo was the last surviving pilot of that crew. Captain DeLorenzo also flew in the strikes on Wake Island, Kwajalein, Eniwetok and Saipan during the Marshall and Gilbert campaigns and was awarded the Air Medal with four gold stars. Later during WW II he flew patrols out of NAS Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, Eniwetok and NAS Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, Marianas Islands and his squadron finally returned to the U.S. in December of 1944. After the cessation of WWII hostilities he was assigned to the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) and was a plane commander in R5D aircraft while attached to VR-12 and VR-8 in Honolulu. VR-8 flew the route from NAS Oakland, California. To NAS Agana, Guam in the Marianas. He returned to NAS Pensacola, Florida in 1948 and was assigned as Senior Aircraft Engines Instructor in the Naval School of Pre-Flight. It was during this tour that he and his wife, Helen, met many prominent and "old" NAS Pensacola, Florida families that would bring them back to Pensacola where they would happily retire!! After that he was assigned to the Staff of the Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet in NAS Norfolk, Virginia where he was associated with various NATO Naval exercises that took him to England, Scotland and Norway. In 1953 and 1954 he commanded VP-34, flying PBM-5's out of NAS Trinidad, British West Indies. Under his command, the squadron won the Fleet Battle Efficiency Pennant marking it as the best patrol squadron in the Atlantic Fleet! He returned to NAS Pensacola, Florida once again, later in 1954 and served as the Administrative Officer of the Naval Air Station until 1956 when he was ordered to the attack carrier USS KEARSARGE (CVA-33) as Operations Officer and later as Executive Officer, with the carrier operating in the Western Pacific. Prior to reporting to the KEARSARGE he carrier qualified in SNJ's aboard USS SAIPAN. He was next assigned to the Senior Naval War College in Newport, R.I. where he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1959. Upon graduation from War College he was assigned as the Missile and Satellite Range Operations Officer of the Pacific Missile Range at NAS Point Mugu, California where he was associated with numerous early space projects. His next assignment was to recommission and Command a ship, the fleet oiler, USS KENNEBEC (AO-36) in Brooklyn, NY. After transiting the Panama Canal and operating in the Pacific Fleet, he was detached from KENNEBEC in 1962 and reported as Chief of Staff to the Commander Middle East Force operating out of Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf. In that capacity he traveled all throughout the Middle East in several small seaplane tender known as the "LITTLE WHITE FLEET" and met many Heads of State including the late Shah of Iran and the Rulers of Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Dubai. His next two assignments were as Commanding Officer of the NAS Corpus Christi, Texas from 1964 to 1966 and Commanding Officer of the Headquarters Support Activity, Taipei, Taiwan in the Republic of China from 1966 to 1968. He was also Chief of Staff to the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District in San Francisco where he and His family lived in beautiful Government Quarters on the top of Yerba Buena Island in the center of San Francisco Bay where the two sections of the Bay Bridge are anchored. He was an avid golfer and a long time member of the Pensacola Country Club and a past member of the Board of Directors of the PCC. During his golfing career DeLo was credited with four "holes in one". He was one of the original founders of the Ex-Aviation Cadet Organization and EMCEE'd many of its Reunions. He was an active and ardent supporter of the National Museum of Naval Aviation and Alzheimer's research and support activities. In addition to his Air Medals, he was awarded numerous Campaign Medals as well as the Army Commendation Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He retired in 1970 after accumulating 6000 plus flight hours and completing 31 continuous years of active duty in the Navy. He was pre-deceased by his dear and lovely wife of 60 years, Helen Baker DeLorenzo. He is survived by his son, Tony, and daughter in law, Linda Binion DeLorenzo, a grandson, Tony, Jr. and wife, Faith, and great granddaughters, Lily and Ceili. Memorials may be made to the Nat'l Museum of Naval Aviation, 1750 Radford Blvd, Ste C, NAS Pensacola, FL 32508 or Covenant Hospice, 5401 N 12th Ave, Pensacola, FL 32504 or to St. John Catholic Church, 303 So. Navy Blvd. Pensacola, Fl. 32507. He was buried at Barrancas National Cemetery. Oak Lawn Funeral Home was in charge of funeral arrangements..." Contributed by Larry Hames (VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager) database@vp4association.com [15AUG2011]

ECHEAGARAY, George jandj8947@aol.com "...I flew out of NAS Patuxent River, Maryland with NATS VR-1 squadron 1942-1944. Would love to contact anyone that can relate anything about same & am also trying to find a picture or drawing of our insignia. Please 'e' mail at the address mentioned. Thanks for any feedback from anyone on the above..." [21APR2001]

REEVES, Joseph S. josephreeves@ymail.com "...I was a NATS/MATS Pilot (1947-1961) and retired in 1967. I was on the Berlin Airlift with VR-8. I flew R5Ds, R6Ds and R7Vs. I spent 23 years on active duty as a USNR..." [30APR2012]

SILANO, AEM2 Alfred A. asilano@uark.edu "...I served with VR-1 and Naval Air Transport (NATS) (07/1944-05/1946) . I would like to hear from former Shipmates..." [24JAN2015]

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