VPNAVY VP-9 Mishap - Soviet Shot Down 22JUN55 - No Loss Of Life
VPNAVY Address

MishapVP-40 MishapMishap


MishapsMISHAPs: 31 JAN 49 A/C: PBM-5E Marina Location: GTMO BAY, CUBA Strike: Yes BUNO: 84695 CAUSE: STALLED LANDING Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [02APR98]

UPDATE "...USS Pawcatuck sank PBM by gunfire at 20-34N 69-58W..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [06JAN2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 15 JUN 51 A/C: PBM-5 Marina Location: RAAB IWAKUNI,JA OKUROKAMI Strike: Yes BUNO: 84691 Cause: HIT MTN ON T/O "...Microfilm hard to read some names incomplete. Crew killed. Pilot Lt Flint, Lt(jg) .George C.L.Ryan (PP1P), Lt(jg) Bernard B.????? (PP2P), ADE1 Dwight B.Asby (1st.Mech), AMCA William B.Braaten (Metalsmith), AO1 Wilbur Gray (1st.Ord), ATAN Richard L.Jones (Radar Tech), APC Frederick Owens (Plane Capt), and 3/Killed. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 06JAN2001 | 13MAR98]

UPDATE "...I am a plank owner in VP-40 circa early 50's. Ensign and LTjg. I flew with the 13 crew on our first tour, Bud Trube was the PPC and David Wilson and I were 1PP/Navigators. David was a Midshipman and he and I had gone through training almost joined at the hip. We soloed the same day at Whiting and Qualified on the Cabot the same day. What I wish to do is amplify the details of the crash of the PBM-5 that was the first incident Of our tour (15 JUN 51). Vadym V. Utgoff was ouir Commanding Officer. On the night of the accident, Lloyd LaPlant and his crew had the early launch for the TF 77 ASW patrol. Lyjg Trube, Wilson and I had the 2 or 3AM launch to relieve LaPlant. About 10:30, word came to the duty officer, I think Freddie Wilder, that Lloyd's radar had gone south and due to weather at NAS Iwakuni, Japan, he divweted to Oppama. The standby crew was called out and shortly after takeoff they hit the hill on the island. They used the B-26 climb out, which was all we had at the time and the PBM could not match the performance of the B-26. David and I were roommates and when we woke and it was daylight, wwe knew something had happened. We found out soon enough. The posting on the website was missing a few details regarding the crew. The PPC was Vasmer Flint, LT USN, the co-pilot was George Ryan, LTjg USN nad the Navigator was Bernard Paul Kritzmacher, LTjg USN. Bernie and I had crossed paths in training along with David but he went through as an Ensign and that limited contact. When the squadron was formed, it was my first experience with a courtesy call on the Commanding Officer. David and I along with Freddie Wilder and Bernie with his new wife, made the call on the same evening. Mrs. Kritzmacher smiled at David and I like we were aquainted. It finally dawned on both of us that Bernie had married the WAVE Yeoman who ran the board for "C" stage at Corry. LT Flint was one of the quieter officers and a very professional pilot. George was a good friend to all of the squadron, officers and enlisted and Bernie was bright and knew what he was doing. They were all sorely missed and more than a few tears were shed at the service in NAS Iwakuni, Japan. About the incident with Bert Hillesheim, he was out with Jim Jones and Rod Gaines doing splash and goes in training. Bert always bragged on his PP1P's and with good reason. At this time, he had put Jim in the left seat and Rod was in the right seat. Bert was standing between the seats and doing whatever he thought necessary. Rod was the third member of our room in the BOQ and we got the unvarnished truth. They were in the take-off portion of a touch and go and Bert pulled the starboard engine. In a flash, Jim pulled the Port engine and at the same time, dumped the nose. Doing so, put Bert in Zero G and lifted him off the deck. Then the boat hit the water and bounced airbourne. Bert came down with such force that he broke both ankles. Jim and Rod got the bird around the pattern and on the water, bouncing 8 times before coming to rest. The impact was enough to droop both engines and pull the dzues fastners out of the cowling on both sides. It also pulled the main fuel lines loose and raw 115-145 was pouring out of both engines. A miracle it didn't blow up! I was the duty officer and witnessed the whole episode. Bert was shipped out to the hospital at Yokohama and then home. He recovered and joined us on the second tour at NS Sangley Point, Philippines. On that tour, I pulled duty as PP1P for Miles Whitener, our new Commanding Officer, but that's another story. Beat Army and Fly Navy...OLIVER, James Nighttrap1@comcast.net..." [29JUN2003]

MishapsMISHAPs: 11 JUL 51 A/C: PBM-5 Marina Location: RAAF BASE, IWAKUNI SEADROME, SEPLANE AREA #22, JA,IWAKUNI Strike: Yes BUNO: 84537 Cause: LNDG ACC Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [13MAR98]

UPDATE "...Pilot Ens James E Jones & 6/No inj Lt Hubert J.Hillesheim (PPC) /Seriously inj..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [06JAN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: Mishap "...Iwakuni, Japan after typhoon 1951..." Contributed by Dick Ferguson [07MAR2000]


MishapsMISHAPs: 26 JUN 60 A/C: PBM-5 Marina Location: NAS Iwakuni, Japan Strike: Yes BUNO: 127718 Cause: The aircraft broke up and sank upon landing and noe of the personenel effects were salvaged. The crew involved was crew #5 of Patrol Squadron FORTY, and the aircraft was involved in a typhoon evacuation and was scheduled for idefinite stay in Iwakuni, Japan. My father was a Lt.JG aboard the aircraft. I'd be curious to learn more about this incident from crewman who where there, as my mother has never spoke of it, and my father died as a result of an aircraft accident while participating in 1968 WESTPAC aboard the USS Yorktown (CVS-10), as a pilot in VS-23. I'd be grateful to hear from anyone who knew him while at VP-40 (7/59 to 9/61), VP-42 (12/61 to 3/63) , TRARON 1 & NABTC (3/63 to 3/66, or VS-23 (9/66 to 1/68). Contributed by STEBBINS, LCDR Donald J. c/o His Son Craig Stebbins castebbins@hotmail.com [25MAR2000]

UPDATEVP-40 Mishap ThumbnailCameraVP-42 Mishap Article Contributed by STEBBINS, LCDR Donald J. c/o His Son Craig Stebbins castebbins@hotmail.com [25OCT2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 SEP 62 A/C: P5M-2P5M LOCATION: Philippines TYPE: Collided with mountain SRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 12 BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Weather Contributed by AWC Ken Jackson (Ret) Ken@score.com [15DEC97]

UPDATE "...AMH3 J. R. Cruz was also lost during the mishap..." Contributed by AFCM Leonard PUNCOCHAR p3bvp19@yahoo.com [26MAR2012]

UPDATE To any SP5B Crewmamber: My name is Joseph B. "Bernie" Daugherty and I served in VP-40 1960-1962 at Sangley Point, R.P. At the time I was the 1st Julie and electrician on QE-1 when we got lost and hit the side of a mountain while returning to Sangley from a night anti submarine excercise. I was the only survivor when they finally found me three days following the crash. Contrary to the U.S. Navy accident report and other printed matter on the crash there was one other survivor after initial impact besides myself. >From the details contained in the accident report the positions of the rest of the crew members support that one other person survived the initial crash. He finally died on the second day from loss of blood from a missing arm. As for myself I had two broken arms, a broken cheek and jaw, teeth knocked out 1st., 2nd. & 3rd degree burns over 1/3 of my body and a hugh cut on the back of my left leg that is about three feet long and 3-4 inches deep and wide. I have been trying for over 30 years to get the Navy to talk to me so that the real reason of the accident could be told, and it was not due to pilot and/or navigator error that we crashed into the mountain side. Wheather anyone choses to believe me or not the cause of the accident was a lightening strike which fried almost all of our instruments plus putting a hugh hole in the nose of the aircraft. Over the thirty odd years that I have thought about the accident on a daily basis I can say that the lightening strike, and loss of instruments were the main cause of the accident, if anyone remembers the accident and the preflight investigation we already had a known malfunctioning radar altimeter. For anyone that is interested the Ordanceman and myself asked for permission to unstrap to tie down some smokes that had been thrown out of the smoke bin before they ignited, everyone else was strapped in with chest pack chutes on. Our plan, I should say Cdr. Vegeland's ,was to climb to altitude and jump because we knew we were lost and was very low on fuel. We were in the processof climbing to altitude when the initial hit occurred. When the ordanceman and my self was trying to tie down the smokes we hit the top of the trees, the skipper tublocked the throttles and pulled the nose of the plane up very sharpely so we initially hit on our tail by the hydrofoils which split the plan open leaving a large tail section intact. When this happened it threw myself and the ordanceman out of the aircraft onto the ground. As it was the raining season we did not die from dehidration and the mud sealed most of our cuts and covered our burns. There are some graphic details that I remember about myself and the other survivor and would not like to have to tell any of his family that might be still alive because it is not a pretty story, but it is a true one. No way was it pilot and or navigator error that caused the crash of QE-1. I hope someday to set the record straight not for myself but for the rest of the crew and Cdr. Vegeland's son Pete Vegeland who writes to me once in awhile. Bernie Daugherty, ex AE-1 . Even after all these years I still have some fond memories of the squadronand the personnel who served in it with me. What I do not miss was that x@31lvcjn Sunstrand that the electricians always had to change, almost every flight. If anyone wishes to correspond with me my e-mail is Daugherty@charter.net and I live in Granite City, Illinois just across the river from St. Louis, Missouri. Thanks for listening to my story...Joseph B. "Bernie" Daugherty daugherty@charter.net..." [14NOV2002]

UPDATE [19NOV2001] Gentleman,

I am hoping that you can help me in this or at least point me in the right direction.

I visited the VP 40 mishap website and discovered that the lone survivor of the August 2, 1962 plane crash, Bernie Daugherty, was still alive.

His e-mail back to me is shown below.

The official US Navy records of the crash indicate that it was navigator error.

It is apparent that the actual cause of the crash was that the plane was hit by lightning causing the instruments to go out.

I am hoping that you know someone that will help me correct the record for my father and the men in his crew that lost their lives that night.

Please let me know.


Pete Vegelahn petevegelahn@waltoncci.com

CDR. Norbert Paul Vegelahn, CDR USN

E-mail from Bernie Daugherty:


I just received your e-mail and will be happy to send you the information on the crash and all the details as I remember them. Also I have a photograph of your father and three other crewmembers who died in the crash. I had the

Cdr. sign the back of the photo and he signed it as Cdr. Norbert Vegelahn (student pilot) Milwaukee, Wis. I made a copy of it and will send you the original if you will send me your address. Also I plan to set down and write you a lengthy letter giving you not only the details of the crash but other things that happened with you father. He was a real hero and I will explain this in my next letter to you. At the present time my computer is broken but I hope to have it fixed by next week.

For the first two years after the crash I had total amnesia about the preflight, flight, things that happened during the flight and the actual happenings/events that led up to the crash. Over the years I have total recall of everything that happened, I guess my mind just blocked it out for those first two years? For over twenty years I have been trying to get the Navy to change the official cause of the crash and give them the details of what really happened (they list the official cause of the accident as navigator error which means that Lt. locke was supposed to have been at fault for the accident, not so). Another reason that I want to talk to the Navy about is that under the circumstances your dad deserves a medal, even after 30 years. I will explain the details to you when I write you next. Maybe between the two of us we can get the Navy to make things right for the CDR. and the crewmembers?

I have been waiting all this time to be able to tell some relative of the crew what really happened before, during and after the fatal flight of SP5B Bureau #135478, QE-1, Crew One of VP-40. Pete send me e-mail if you want to because one of my four son's can retrieve it for me, I just cannot receive or send e-mail yet. Hope to hear from you real soon. Thanks for writing me. Joseph Bernard "Bernie" Daugherty..." [19NOV2001]

UPDATE "...My father, Norbert Paul Vegelahn, was CO of VP-40 in 1961 and 1962. He was killed in a plane crash on August 2, 1962 in the mountains of the Phillipines. I have tried in vain to get any information regarding this crash from the Navy. If anyone has information on this please contact me. Thanks...Pete Vegelahn petevegelahn@waltoncci.com..." [06NOV2001]

UPDATE "...As Mark Twain said "The Notice of my death was greatly exaggerated", I am still alive and kicking. I say this because I recently read your story "A Bit of History" about VP-40. I was the only survivor of the crash into the mountain that killed the rest of the flight crew. Your story said that the entire crew was killed. Not so. My name is Joseph B. Daugherty, and at the time (August, 1962) I was the Julie operator and an AE-2 Electrician on Crew One...I can tell you some of the things that I remember about the crash. Initially, I had amnesia about the events before, during and after the crash, but as time went on I now have total recall. The flight that we crashed on was a submarine exercise with a nuclear submarine (Don't recall the name), after we left NS Sangley Point, Philippines the weather closed in and our relief crew could not get off so we elected to stay on station and practice for four more hours as submarine time was hard to come by. At the end of the four hours we started back to NS Sangley Point, Philippines but ran into a very bad storm, as I recall we took a lightning strike and lost most of our instruments. Realizing we were lost and getting low on fuel Cdr. Vegeland was going to climb to altitude and let the crew bail out, that way at least some of us might make it. While climbing to altitude everyone was strapped in because the plane was all over the place because of the storm. Everything not tied down was flying all over, there were some smokes that we had been using to mark our sonobouys loose and flying about in the smoke bin, afraid they were going to ignite George Bettis (AO-2) and I asked permission to unstrap and try to tie them down, and it was while we were doing this that we hit the top of the trees. At that instant the skipper tublocked the throttles and pulled the nose up, the tail hit the ground and threw George and I out on the ground. The next thing I remember is waking up and talking to George with the rain falling on my face. Also remember the BU number of the aircraft on the tail over part of me (135478 I think, but only the 35478 was painted on the tail as I recall?). For the next two days George and I talked several times when both of us was conscious, he had his right arm missing at the elbow and both my arms were broke so I could not place a tourniquet on it tight enough for the bleeding to stop. He eventually bled to death just prior to the hospital corpsman rappelling from the helicopter to start checking the bodies of the rest of the crew. Following the crash I spent nine months in various Naval Hospitals and was returned to full duty. Did another seven years making AE1 and then elected to get out. I am now retired but still have good and bad memories of my time spend in VP-40..." Contributed by Joseph "Bernie" Daugherty jbd@accessus.net [16DEC98]

UPDATE "...The names of the crewmembers on that VP40 mishap is as follows: CDR N. P. Vegelahn (C.O.), LTJG w. l. Locke, LTJG J. L. Criscoe, ENS B. B. Burton, TDC T. E. Bowman, AT1 B. G. Clarke, ADR2 R. T. Bluford, AO2 G. C. Bettis, ATR3 P. A. Waterhouse, ATN3 J. G. Faulkner, and ATN3 H. B. Brown..." Contributed by AWC Ken Jackson (Ret) Ken@score.com [17DEC97]

UPDATE "...It was 1962 when one of the P5M's crashed on manuevers at night. The electrician who was on board the plane that fateful night survived in the most extraordinary way. He was ejected from the aircraft on impact into a field of mud. It was the mud that clogged the wounds in his legs which kept him from bleeding to death. He was later transferred to San Diego for medical treatment..." Contributed by Norm Sell NormSell@sprintmail.com [13AUG98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 62/63 A/C: P5M-2P5M LOCATION: White Beach, Buckner Bay, Okinawa TYPE: Unknown SRIKE: No DEATHS: 00 BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Unknown [03JUN2009

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVP-40 Mishap "...1962-63 WESTPAC Cruise - USS Currituck (AV-7) - Rescue work - VP-40 aircraft - White Beach, Buckner Bay, Okinawa AV7P112A ..." WebSite: USS Currituck (AV-7) http://www.usscurrituck.org/ [03JUN2009]


MishapsMISHAPs: 00 OCT 70 A/C: P3P3 Orion Location: U-Tapao Royal Thailand Air Force Base, Thailand Strike: No BUNO: Unknown Cause: The A/C involved was QE-07 but I donít have the Buno. The plane was returning to U-Tapao Royal Thailand Air Force Base, Thailand at night and was on a visual approach when it struck a teak tree on top of a hill while turning base leg. Photograph's by Rick Arluck. Contributed by STITH, AW Steve "Leroy" t_s_stith@yahoo.com [20JUN2013]

History - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail History - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail History - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail


MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 00 A/C: PBM-5Marina "...We helped save a couple P5s in the 2 year period I served on Piney Maru. The most memorable is the VP-40 plane that made an open sea landing as a result of an engine fire while on a search and rescue mission. The fire was put out, by the crew on the water, with hand-held fire extinguishers. They were able to taxi on the water for a day or so, on the one good engine. We were dispatched, while on our way to the Philipines,to retrieve the plane and crew. We supposedly made the first night-time pick up of a P5M on the high seas. I was on the Pine Island V1 Division boat crew towing the plane to the ship for the aft crane lift to the ships deck..." Contributed by Frank Notarnicola franknotar@yahoo.com [06AUG99]

"VP-40 Summary Page"