VPNAVY VP-5 Mercury Capsule Recovery
VPNAVY Address

HistoryVA(HM)-13 HistoryHistory

Circa 1959

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraVA(HM)-13 Post Card "...Attack Mining Squadron Thirteen FPO New York rubber stamped return address, carried on U.S. Navy P2V aircraft Arctic airmail flight from Keflavik, Iceland by air drop to Jan Mayen Island, delivered on 27 May 1959 by Navy VAHM Squadron 13, signed by pilot, with US 4c flag stamp tied US APO 81 Iceland, May 14 1959 machine cancel, red oval Keflavik, Iceland airport cachet, four Norway definitive stamps tied "001/Jan Mayen/8-28 W/71-01 N" handstamps + Bodo Norway transit machine cancel on 4c US flag stamp. Jan Mayen Island lies in the Arctic Ocean 600 km north of Iceland and 500 km east of Greenland. It is of volcanic origin and is covered by glaciers. It has no natural resources and activity there is limited to a Norwegian radio, LORAN-C and meteorological stations located at a place nicknamed Olonkinbyen. VF cond..." WebSite: EBay http://www.ebay.com/ [26DEC2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News September 1959 "...Summary Of Air Changes - Page 2 to 3 - Naval Aviation News - September 1959..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1959/sep59.pdf [15AUG2004]

VP History ThumbnailCamera

Circa 1958

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraP2V BUNO: 131522 "...P2V BUNO: 131522 at VFW-3761 Post Home (http://www.freewebs.com/vfw3761/p2vneptuneaircraft.htm. Don Bates provided aircraft data and gray and the blue photographs. Assignments: FASRON-108 (07JAN55), VP-11 (15FEB55), VP-16 (19MAR56), NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. (28FEB57), VA(HM)-13 (22MAR58), VP-24 (31JAN59), VP-8 (14OCT59),l VP-16 (12SEP60), VP-7 (26FEB62)..." Contributed by Don Bates debat41@gmail.com [03AUG2009]

Department of The Navy
AIR:00D3:WJA:mw dated 5 March 1982
Mr Wyatt McFarland.

Dear Mr McFarland,

The Curator for the Navy forwarded your 22 January letter to my office for reply to you.

You asked for information on your SP-2E.

The distance from the ground to top of fuselange is 14' 4"; from center to center of landing gears left/right it is 25' 11"; and from center to center of main to nose landing gear is 24' 9". Weight and connecting points are items too complex to explain in a letter.

You need copies of the Flight Handbook and the Erection and Maintenance Manual for the P2V-5F, which was the aircraft's designation before being changed to P-2E.

The Air Force may have copies of these books. We have retired ours to the National Archives. I suggest that you ask at Rickenbacker.

If the Air Force does not have the books, all you can do is write the National Archives, Printed Archives Branch, 4205 Suitland Road, Washington, D.C. 20409. Ask for the books by aircraft designation.

The histoty of Bureau Number: 131522 is as follows:

     29JUL54 - accepted by Navy BAR, Burbank, CA
     05AUG54 - Went to O & R, NAS Jacksonville, Florida
     07JAN55 - Went to FASRON-108, Burbank, CA
     15FEB55 - Went to VP-11, NAS Brunswick, Maine
     19MAR56 - Went to VP-16, NAS Jacksonville, Florida
     28FEB57 - Went to NARTU (Naval Air Rescue Training Unit) NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C.
     03MAR57 - Went to BAR Burbank for rework
     25MAR57 - Went to O & R NAS Alameda, California
     22FEB58 - Went to O & R NAS Norfolk, Virginia
     22MAR58 - Went to VA(HM)-13, Malta
     30NOV58 - Went to NAS Chincoteague, Virginia
     31JAN59 - Went to VP-24 NAS Keflavik, Iceland
     14OCT59 - Went to VP-8 NAS Norfolk, Virginia
     04JAN60 - Went to O & R BUWEP at NAS Alameda, California
     26APR60 - Went to VWRFR Burbank, CA
     12SEP60 - Went to VP-16 NAS Jacksonville, Florida
     26FEB62 - Went to VP-7  NAS Jacksonville, Florida 
     00APR64 - Went to NS Rota, Spain for 6 month tour
     16MAR65 - went into storage at Litchfield Park, a Navy Storage facility in Arizona.
     00DEC65 - Still in storage, Litchfield Park was disestablished and a tri-service storage facility Military Aircraft 
               Storage & Disposition Center, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucon, AZ, became a storage site.  This aircraft 
               transferred there in Dec 1965.
     15JAN71 - Out of storage, went to NARTD North Island
     05MAR72 - Aircraft struck administratively from active inventory with 6,179 flying hours total service for training 
               purposes at NARDET Training at NARDET Columbus, Lockbourne AFB, Ohio
     09FEB79 - Lockbourne AFB requested this aircraft as training device in fire/crash rescue.
     28FEB79 - Aircraft transferred to Air Force Custody.

Signed: Wm. J. Armstrong, Historian Naval Air Systems Command.

From The Department of Defense, Rickenbacker, AFB, Aircraft SP2E No. 131522 transferred to VFW Post 3761 Baltimore, Ohio 6 May 1982
Signed: H.W. Wickline, Colonel USAF, Commander.

Letter From Wyatt McFarland


This is for you, not a memorial, monument, or a donation, but a piece of American Heritage from yesteryear, not so long ago but yet tucked away in the past. She was to die a death not befitting so many of her kind, to be burned, but somewhere down the road of her military career fate played a hand. Her career is above reproach, her destiny is now yours, for her final landing and resting place will be Liberty Union VFW Post 3761. Where else can American Heritage stop, be revived and begin a new career of American Heritage, but in the hands of the Veterans.
     Lockheed Aircraft Corporation		P2V-5  Model 526
     Lockheed Factory S/N		426-5403
     Patrol & Anti-Submarine Search	SP-2E # 131522
     Wing Span			        103'  10 "
     Length				81'    7 "
     Length with stinger			91'    2"
     Height				28'    1"
     Weight Empty			41,754 Lbs.
     Gross Weight			67,500 Lbs.
     Max-Gross			        76,152 Lbs.
     Fuel				2800 to 3900 Gals.
     Tip Tanks			        350 Gals.
     Range				4,750 Miles
     Service Ceiling			23,200 Ft.
     Power Plants			(2) R-3350-30WA's
     Power Plants Aux			(2) J34-WE-34
     Armament  (Nose)			(2) 20mm Cannon
     Armament  (Top)			(2) 50 Cal.
     Armament  (Tail)			(2) 20mm Cannon
     Cruise Speed			207 MPH
     Top Speed			        323 MPH at 17,400 ft.
     Landing Speed			109 MPH
     Rate of Climb			1820 Feet per minute
     Crew				9
     Number A/C Built			424

The P2V-5 first flew on 29 Dec 1950, it had a search light to illuminate the target for the nose guns. The light is housed in the nose of the starboard wing tank. The P2V-5FS (SP-2E) has a magnetic anomaly detection gear in the stinger tail, it also carried the Julie/Jezebel active and passive detection systems. The Navy updated the P2V-5 to the P2V-6 on 16 Oct 1952, this plane was built under the P2V-5 plans in 1953. She has been called "The Old Man of The Sea", but the Navy called her the "Neptune". Navy Neptune, "Truculent Turtle" set a world distance record of 11,236 miles. The Navy "Neptune" have seen service in Viet Nam.

Written By: Wyatt McFarland, Updated 11AUG92

Moving From Rickenbacker to Post 3761

A real big thank you to Paul Wooster for the many hours of his own time and hard work for getting the "Neptune" moved from Rickenbacker to the VFW Post Home.

Crew of the Neptune in 1965

It should be noted that three (3) comrades of our Post were members of the aircrew when this aircraft was on active duty.

They are, Don Bates, Herb Jung and Richard Woody.

The crewmembers when 131522 was taken out of active service in 1965 was as follows, Lcdr. Bob Byerg (pilot), Lt. Bob Harris (co-pilot), Lt. Larry Johnson (navigator), Lt. Bob Crabtree (tacco), ADJ2 Don Bates (plane captin), ATR2 Howard Hollweg (radar), AX2 John Delconte (juli/jez), AE3 Wayne Des Rosiers (electrician), ATN3 Henry Rustmann (radio), ADR3 Richard Woody (2nd mech), and AO1 Herb Jung (ordance) This is per Don Bates e-mail Dec. 7, 2008.

Another thank you to all those who helped Paul with the move. I don't know if anyone kept a list of those who helped and I don't want to miss anyone, if there is a list please let the Post know and we will add it .

We have a book at the Post with letters and picture of the A/C and the move of the aircraft if you at the Post and would like to see it, please ask.

P2V Story From Don Bates 12/08/2008

On the evening of July 2, 1963 we left Jax, Fl. on a routine 10 hour flight, due east over the Atlantic Ocean, to monitor shipping in the area. We did this by checking for screw sounds, getting a fix, then honing in on the ships, clicking on the search light to get it's name and port of registry. We would chart this along with the ship's heading. About 6 hours into the flight we picked up screw sounds that were identical to a Russian conventional sub. We honed in on it to find that it was submerged. So we dropped 3 consecutive practice depth charge s, which was at the time a warning to surface and be recognized. Nothing! We did it several more times and no response. We were told by the higher-ups to stay with it till they could get another crew launched to relieve us as we were now low on fuel. We idled back as slow as we could go and still stay airborne. By the time our relief plane arrived we didn't have enough fuel to return to Jax, so we were diverted to Nassau Airport in the Bahamas to get fuel. Nassau told us to buzz the field when we got there and they would turn on the runway lights for us to land. I guess they were saving energy way back then. We had to wait till they could locate a driver for the fuel truck. We could see the truck on the other side of the fence where they parked old 522. 2 hours later, 5am, the driver showed up and was so drunk that we ended up driving the truck and fueling the plane ourselves. It ended up being a long and hungry flight, but worth it. At daybreak the Russian sub had to surface to charge his batteries, because they normally charge them at night under the cover of darkness, but we foiled that by staying with them and the other crew got some great daylight pictures.

Each aircraft had a log book that records were kept in. Inside the log book for 131522 was a newspaper clipping from Shreveport,La. that told the story about ADR2 Swain(Plane Captain) flying 131522 by himself from Burbank,Ca. to Shreveport,La. which would have been 1960 when it was scheduled to leave VWRFR Burbank to Jax, Fl. From what I can remember, the article told how the Navy was going to court-marshall him and the Airforce stated anyone who could fly that bomber that distance by himself they wanted on their team. It was quite an interesting article. I tried several years ago to find the article from the Shreveport news but they couldn't find it as I didn't have an approximate date. All I could tell them was that it was sometime late 50's early 60's. From your info we now know it was probably Sept 1960. If you have the time you might be able to research the article, explaining that it is important information needed to complete the history of your aircraft. To my knowledge it's the only Neptune to have been flown by one man. You have a piece of history there.

This is what I can tell you about special tours etc. of 131522 while I was Plane Captain. It spent 3 tours out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the Cuban crisis doing reconnaissance around the Island 1962,1963,and 1964. It was on T.A.D.(temporary additional duty) out of Boca Chico Naval air station in the Florida Keys doing reconnaissance between Cuba and the Keys 1963. It went to Puerto Rico for 2 weeks every January for Maneuvers with the Atlantic Fleet to brush up on our skills while it was in VP-7. It was picked by our Commanding Officer, while we were in Rota, Spain, to be displayed in an air show at Lajes Air-Force Base in the Azores Islands. It was on T.A.D. to the Island of Crete, while in Rota, Spain, working the Mediterranean Sea. The "Skipper" picked it and our crew to take him to London, England to meet with his Executive officer, who was in charge of the other half of the squadron in Keflavik, Iceland. It wasn't that he liked "us", he only liked the way we kept the aircraft clean and and in the "up" status and that made "him" look good!

VP 131522

As you can see the color of the plane changed from charcoal grey to light gray between Rota in 1964 and storage 1965. It was repainted in Norfolk, Va. November 1964 and a memo followed that nothing was to applied to the paint of any aircraft but soap and water. Unknown by others, our crew had applied Johnson's one step glo-coat which helped us keep old 522 clean and shining. Don

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News April 1958 "...'Springboard' 1958 Opens - Page 30 - Naval Aviation News - April 1958..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1958/apr58.pdf [12AUG2004]

VP History Thumbnail

Circa 1956 - 1959

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons CD-ROM: Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol. 2 Stock No. 008-046-00195-2 The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL), and VP(AM) Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C...." [15JUN2000]
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Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VA(HM)-13 - Established as VB-104 10APR43, VB-104 redesignated VPB-104 10OCT44, VPB-104 redesignated VP-104 15MAY46, VP-104 redesignated VP-HL-4 15NOV46, VP-HL-4 redesignated VP-24 01SEP48, VP-24 redesignated VA(HM)-13 01JUL56, VA(HM)-13 redesignated VP-24 01JUL59..." http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/dictvol1.htm [29DEC98]

"VA(HM)-13 Summary Page"