VP-5 Squadron Shipmates
VPNAVY Address

ShipmateVH-3 ShipmatesShipmate

DOBER, John "Dombroski" c/o Daughter klm4zlm@consolidated.net "...I am trying to locate some of the flight crew that my father John Dober (Dombroski) flew with in WWII VH-3 PBM Mariner Rescue Squandron 3. My father is 84 and his short term memory is going bad but he remembers his WWII days. I would love to locate and reunite my dad with any of his crew before he dies. Can you help me or point me in the right direction? The names of the crew members are: (Pilot) Earl Lofgren, (Co-Pilot) James Farley, (Navigator) Kurt Jordahl, (Radioman) Len Drabant and (Radioman) Mike Blake. Sincerely, John Dober's Daughter..." [05NOV2009]

DOTTER, ARM2C Joseph ws2ba@friendlycity.net "...Looking for some of the men I served with in VH-3 in Mr. Lofgren's crew. I don't remember the crew number. F/E was Karl Trollinger. If any of my guys are around, please drop me a line..." [E-Mail Updated 09AUG2007 | E-Mail Updated 28FEB2006 | 26JUN2005]

HEMPHILL, Orville hemphil7@bellsouth.net "...I was a plank owner in VH-3. I volunteered for the squadron from Hedron 8. I enlisted in June 1941, went to mech school at the "Trade School" NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Graduated as one of the top ten of the class so I got a real good deal. Had a choice of stations-- NAS Banana River, Florida, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, Air Group Nine to put USS Essex in commission--or stay at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. I ended up in the prop shop at A&R--not even a squadron. Finally, in 43 I was transferred to Hedron 9-2 for my introduction to PBMs. A few months later transferred to Hedron 5-2 under CDR Isadore Schwartz. Does anyone remember him? Went to flight engineer school and gunnery school at Dam Neck. Then the big trek across country to sunny NAS Alameda, California. This was in June and as soon as I got off the train I went straight to the telegraph office and told my mother in Kansas, "please send me my peacoat." Stayed in Hedron 8 a few weeks doing maintenance, trying to keep the mechs from finding out I came from that outfit in NAS Norfolk, Virginia who peened over the holes in the cylinders that was supposed to keep the exhaust valve seat from backing out. The guys in Hedron 8 had to change all those cylinders. Anyway, there was a notice on the board they wanted volunteers for a new squadron. I did and a day or so later a chief marched all the volunteers to the next hangar. Whoever had been in those spaces had cleaned the place out and there wasn't even a roll of toilet paper. One day we were goofing off, sitting down on the seawall and the dirtiest, nastiest looking dirty white looking PBM3R came in the breakwater, made the buoy and got hauled up on the ramp. The crew got off and said "where is this VH-3 outfit?" We said what the h___ is that. They said you're going to paint red crosses on it and evacuate casualties. "Where's the guns?" No guns on hospital planes--Remember, VH? There is so much more to the story and my 30+ years in the Navy. I'm still working for the Chief of Naval Air Training. I went from AS to E-9 to 0-3 LDO and have loved every minute of it. I was in Crew Six, W. D. Eddy PPC. Our crew was the first to land at Kerama Retto, got shot down by our fleet around Okinawa, susrvived a crash between Saipan and Iwo Jima, got rescued by a destroyer and missed out on the beer call at Tanapag. Lordee! What a great time!..." [E-Mail Updated 18OCT2001 | 11FEB99]

LAVINGHOUSEZ, William E. "Bill" WillEvanSr@aol.com "...Combat Air Crew Flight Engineer/Plane Captain-Squadron VH-3, Rate ACMMF, flew PBM 5's. Tender: The Pine Island at Okinawa until the Atomic Bombs ended the 24 hour attack on us by Kamikazis knocked down by our Picket Planes and guns from ships. When needed made open sea landings to bring back survivors for Hospitals. Geo R Darcey PPC and crew Rocketed. PBM OFF ROUGH SEAS...After Boot camp at San Diego, I attended AMM School at Great Lakes Nav Training Center. Then I was sent to Ford Motor Co School at Dearborn, Mich where they were making R2800 Pratt & Whitney Engines. On Dec 25, 1942 I was sent to Aerial Gunnery School at Purcel, Oklahoma. At each graduation the Navy continued preparing me for Combat Air Crew duty. I realized this when we were sent to NAS Norfolk, Virginia and put in TTSA (Transition Training Squadron Atlantic). More training at NAS Norfolk, Virginia and then to NAS Banana River, Florida. Training and duty as a PBM Flight Engineer instructor. We flew the Atlantic Coast and Great Exuma Bahama and Guantanamo, Cuba, including the Bermuda Triangle...Late in 1944, we were sent to San Diego NAS and put in a pool. All of us that were PBM Flight Engineers were pulled out and sent to Oakland, Cal NAS and put in a pool there. From the Pool, one afternoon I was called to replace a Plane Captain (FE) in a crew leaving for "overseas duty," leaving NOW. The PPC was Lt. Geo Darcey...I WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT OUR CREW if any are living.." [E-Mail Updated 30SEP2001 | 10JUL98]

McBRIDE, Dale dmcbrideb@aol.com "...I volentered for VH-3 in early 1944. I was an ARM 3/C in E. J. Manseuto s crew. Crew 3 was replaced with another crew and we returned to the States the last week of July 1945. I have many memories, some good and some not so good. I hope to hear from any other surviving members of Crew 3 or VH-3..." [14MAR2000]

McGILL, Jim jimdjeanb460@aol.com "...I was a pilot in VH-3. Looking for anyone from that era..." [01JUN2002]

PETERSEN, Gordon C. (Deceased) c/o His Son Gordon B. Petersen mpandgp@msn.com "...I am looking for anyone who knew my father, Gordon C. Petersen. He flew with VH-3, Crew 5 in the spring and summer of 1945. I have 100's of photos, patches, and his logbook..." [28AUG2002]

REYNOSO, Ray jamesreynoso@hotmail.com "...My dad served in VH-3 from late 1944 until end of war. He would like to know any living members of this squadron. Please contact me. Have several old pictures to show!..." [23FEB2000]

WAY, Lee LEEWAY104@aol.com "...Like OA Hemphill, I volunteered for duty in VH-3 in August 44. He was our Flt. Eng. in crew #6 and Lt. WD Eddy was our PPC. Mr Eddy had been an NAP in VP-102 in 1941-42 in defense of the Philippines. He had finished AP school in 36 winning his wings and was a Lt. when he became our PPC. Mr. Eddy was one of the best pilots I served under and by the grace of God and his leadership we all survived the remainder of the war. Our tour of duty included Tanapag, Saipan, flights to Iwo Jima, and then arrived at Kerama Retto, Nansi Shoto on 29 March 1945. Three days before the invasion of Okinawa. Rescue Squadron-THREE was the only ASR unit at Okinawa until VH-4 & VH-5 arrived around 4 June. The VP squadrons not only performed their missions of patrol, bombing, and ASW, but also made some spectacular rescues when the need arose. Rescue Squadron-THREE made 77 open-sea landings in all sea conditions rescuing 185 survivors. Without losing an a/c, crewman, or survivor during a rescue. In 1949 I also served as a Flt. Eng./Plane Capt. in 1948-49 in VP-32 as well as in VR-23 Det. at NS Sangley Point, Philippines in 1949..." [BIO Updated 02MAR2000 | 02MAR2000]

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