VP-5 Squadron Shipmates
VPNAVY Address

ShipmateVP-32 ShipmatesShipmate

Memorial Picture "...FLEMING, CDR Douglas Riley Shipmate Pix...CDR FLEMING passed away January 21, 2016, just four days short of his 94th birthday. CDR FLEMING attended WTS Kalamazoo, Michigan (03FEB43-01MAY43) Pre Flight-Training, commissioned an ENSIGN (01AUG44) and appointed Naval Aviator at NAS Pensacola, Florida, served with VPB-212 (12JUN45-16OCT45), USNAS Ottumwa, Iowa (01NOV43-01FEB44) Priminary Flight Training, NAS Pensacola, Florida (01FEB44-22AUG44) Basic and Advanced Flight Training, NAS Banana River, Florida (12SEP44-21NOV44) Operational Training, COMFAIRLANT (21NOV44-19DEC44), VP-32 and VPB-211 (19DEC44-12JUN45). Flew (pilot) aboard the PBM, PBM and received the American Theater - World War II Victory Medal. Posted with permission of CDR FLEMING's wife Nancy Kincaid nancyk764@verizon.net..." Contributed by Kevin C. Brennan kateandkevin@gmail.com [23MAY2016]

GABBE, ACMM Floyd L. c/o His Daughter Barbara ContentGM@aol.com "...I am trying to find out which PBY squadron my father, ACMM Floyd L. Gabbe, was attached to in NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone. I vaguely remember, as a small child, my father talking fondly about the PBY, the men he served with, and his tour in NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone. My daughter recently found a card belonging to her grandfather from Fleet Air Wing 3 stating that he passed his swimming test on 4/15/44. He also was stationed at Flight Test Division, NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1945 working on PBY's there. If there is anyone out there who remembers dad, I would love to hear from them...Dad, Floyd Louis Gabbe, was an Aviation Machinist Mate Second Class with VP-32 in Panama, September, 1942 - promoted to Aviation Machinist Mate First Class in 1943. He reported to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland August, 1944..." [BIO Updated 05OCT2000 | 03JUL2000]

Memorial Picture "...ISAACS, AMM3 Samuel William...My father, Samuel William Isaacs, passed away August 30th, 1994. Dad served with in the Navy (23JUN1936-03JUL1940) with VP-3F, VP-3 and VP-32..." Contributed by Jim Isaacs gundogjaik@mac.com [21APR2018]

KELLAR, Fred fk1@suddenlink.net "...I served with VPB-111 (03/1945-02/1946) flying with Crew-13 (LT(jg) Peebles Pilot), NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York and NAS Atlantic City, New Jersey. Reenlisted (12/1944) and reassigned to VB-81 (SB2C Squadron) aboard the USS Princeton (CV-37). Right back to the Philippines for their independence day (04JUL1946). I transfered to VP-32 (08/1946) at NAS Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, Marianas Islands until my discharge (04/1948). Went home to Illinois and found a 27 year career with Prudential Insurance in Illinois, Kansas, and Arkansas. Retired as state Manager in Little Rock 1983. Started an independent agency an d another 27 years before finally quitting for good. Still stay in touch with another Peebles crew member, Dewey Rainey, in Jackson, MS. I would like to hear from former Shipmates..." [12NOV2015]

MAYERS, Donald D. c/o His Daugher Jamie Stowe Jamie.Stowe@wcom.com "...I'm looking for any informaion on my Father. His name is Donald D. Mayers he was in the Navy from 2-27-46 till 1-24-53. My father was part of the Beaching Crew on PBM. He was station at the N.A.B. Ebeye VP-32 during Operation Crossroads. Please, if you have any information, please contact me..." [24FEB2000]

McCAFFREE, CAPTAIN Burnham C. (Deceased) http://www.history.navy.mil/ar/mike/mccaffree.htm "...Burnham Clough McCaffree was born on 25 April 1903 in Canova, South Dakota. He was the eldest of four children of Charles David McCaffree and Ethel Clough McCaffree. He attended Sioux Falls College in South Dakota for two years before entering the United States Naval Academy in the summer of 1922. He graduated four years later in the Class of 1926. Ensign McCaffree served in USS Idaho (BB-24) and on the staff of Commander, Battle Force, and as an officer on board USS Nokomis, assigned to survey the coast of Cuba. He next attended flight training at NAS Pensacola, Florida, where he received his wings as a naval aviator in 1931. His initial aviation assignment was to Fighter Squadron Five (VF-5) on board aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2). In 1933, he returned to NAS Pensacola, Florida as a flight instructor for three years. During that time, his students included Captain (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey and Captain (later Admiral) John S. McCain, who were earning their wings prior to commanding new aircraft carriers that the nation was constructing. While at NAS Pensacola, Florida, he flew several experimental aircraft for the Navy, including the autogryo. Upon completion of that tour, Lieutenant McCaffree was assigned as Operations Officer to Bombing Squadron Five (VB-5) on board aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) in the Atlantic Fleet and later in the Pacific Fleet. In 1938, McCaffree was ordered to be the first commanding officer of Observation Squadron Five (VO-5) at NAS Norfolk, Virginia. This squadron consisted of nine SOC two-seat seaplanes that were embarked in three battleships of the U.S. Fleet Atlantic Squadron and Battleship Division Five: USS Arkansas (BB-33), USS New York (BB-34), and USS Texas (BB-35). Rear Admiral Hayne Ellis, USN, commanded the Battleship Division. In 1940, Lieutenant Commander McCaffree was reassigned as the Executive Officer of VP-32, composed of PBY-3 Catalina seaplanes at NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone. In 1941, McCaffree became the commanding officer of the squadron, which conducted anti-submarine operations against German submarines operating in the Caribbean after the outbreak of World War II. Commander McCaffree's next assignment, in 1942, was as Operations Officer and Chief Staff Officer of a new Fleet Air Wing of PBYs and PBMs in Key West, Florida. He then was detailed as the Head Sea Frontier Section, the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet's staff, and also Air Operations Officer of the Tenth Fleet in Washington, D.C. Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) Ernest J. King was Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet and Commander, Tenth Fleet. Promoted to Captain in 1944, McCaffree assumed command of USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60), whose task group conducted ASW hunter-killer operations in the Atlantic Ocean. In early 1945, McCaffree became the U.S. Navy Liaison Officer to the Commander, 29th Air Force (Major General Curtis LeMay, U.S. Army) on Guam. Following the end of hostilities, he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations on the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas. That was followed by his assignment to the Aviation Distribution Office of the Navy Department, and by his attending the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. In 1951, Captain McCaffree was the recommissioning commanding officer of aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18), which then operated in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. On 26 April 1952, during maneuvers in the middle of the night, Wasp collided with one of her escorts, destroyer minesweeper USS Hobson (DMS-26). Hobson sank in less than four minutes, taking 176 of her crew with her. McCaffree was absolved of any blame in the resulting court of inquiry. From 1952 to 1954, Captain McCaffree commanded NAS Jacksonville, Florida, with additional duty as Commander, Naval Air Bases, Sixth Naval District. His final assignment was as Vice Deputy Commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Following his retirement from the Navy in 1956, Captain McCaffree was the Executive Director of the Committee of 100 for the Jacksonville (Florida) Chamber of Commerce. In that capacity, he was instrumental in bringing a number of industries and corporation headquarters into Duval County and Jacksonville. He died in 1966..." [24JUN2003]

Memorial Picture Shipmate Pix "...McMICHAEL, CPO Pelham Jackson "Jack" Retired...Sadly - I must report that my Dad, CPO Pelham Jackson McMICHAEL, passed away this morning around 8:30 a.m. Dad served with VP-81, attended school at NAS Banana River, Florida, VP-32, additional training at NAS Norman, Oklahoma, FAW-6, VS-32, FASRON-821, VC-9, FASRON-41, back to school at NAS Memphis, Tennessee, VA(HM)-13, VP-24 and back to school at NAS Memphis, Tennessee. Dad will be missed. Additional information on my Dad's services can be found on In Loving Memory - Pelham Jackson "Jack" McMichael - 5/1/1924 - 4/16/2011. My sister, Margaret, created a slide show on Daddy at: Pelham Jackson McMichael Video.." Contributed by Leila McMichael keela001@gmail.com [BIO Updated 15AUG2011 | 16APR2011]

McMICHAEL, CPO Pelham Jackson "Jack" Retired c/o Leila McMichael... Shipmate Pix...keela001@gmail.com "...7-9-41: Dad joined the Navy in Montgomery, AL. He was in Platoon 185 in boot camp under Chief P. E. Stein. He was in AMM School Class 16 under Chief Sweeney. He graduated circa 8-19-41 and went to A School to become an aircraft mechanic at AD3 rank. 12-7-41: Pearl Harbor was attacked and WWII began while he was still in school. 1-3-42: Dad joined VP-81 at NAS Key West, Florida working on PBY's. He had traveled by train 3-4 days to Homestead, FL, then by bus to Key West. His first job was with AP First Class Red Schiebler in the oxygen lab. 8-14-42: Dad went to NAS Banana River, Florida to train as a flight engineer on PBM's. Some pilots were training at the same time their crew was, but the crew assumed they already knew what they were doing. 11-10-42: Dad went by bus to NAS Norfolk, Virginia then to NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by transport plane. He joined VP-32 in NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba working on PBM aircraft. He bought a horse named Specks while there. From there he was sent to NAS Trinidad, British West Indies as a maintenance man in VP-53. They flew mostly PBY's instead of PBM's. Jack sailed on a destroyer from NAS Trinidad, British West Indies to Miami, FL through Torpedo Alley. Then he traveled by train to San Francisco by way of Chicago. 4-12-43: Dad was with VP-53 working on PBY 5 A's that could land on sea or land. Went to San Diego for flight to Hawaii, but he was taken off the plane to let a yeoman get on board to pay those there. Unfortunately the plane blew up on the trip, killing everyone on board. Jack did not find out what had happened until he was assigned to another crew, under LT Henry P. Gausman. Jack was a second class mechanic. Hank Gausman was a good pilot and saved his crew's lives more than once through his piloting skills. Jack also had high praise for the Plane Captain, M. P. Martin, who always made sure the fuel line clamp from the pump was tightened down before every flight. [My father wanted to add a excerpt from his autobiography at this point. He wrote: We flew [from Heilo] to Kaneohe and landed in the bay there. The pilot brought the plane up to the beach and the beach crew put temporary wheels on it and pulled us up on the ramp. We left the plane and found a place to stay in the barracks. The next day when we came down, we found they'd taken the wheels out of the plane and put them on, so now we could take off and touch down on either land or water. They issued each of us a pistol with a shoulder holster. I got a 38 pistol with 5 rounds. I said, "Man, 5 rounds ain't much to go fight a war with." He said that was all they had. They couldn't send regular ball ammunition out there, it had to be metal jacketed because that was international law of warfare. The ordinance man got a machine gun. The next day we took off for Johnson Island. When we landed there, they gassed us up. I noticed they had lots of mosquitoes there. I said to the man gassing us up, "You've got some big mosquitoes here." He said, "Yes, one of them landed yesterday and I put 180 gallons in it before I found out that it was a mosquito!" I said, "Oh NO!!" We took off from Johnston Island and flew for a good while before we got to Palmyra Island (Atoll) where we landed and were gassed up again and took off for Kanton Island. From Kanton Island we gassed up and flew to Funafuti Island. We were there for three days. I dug myself a fox hole as soon as I could. Some laughed at me, but as stated earlier, my mother didn't raise a fool. They told us to go flying and we took off and were gone a long time on patrol. It was after dark when we got back and while landing, I noticed that there was a military jeep running alongside of us. I raised the hatch and asked, "What's the matter?" "He said, "Were under attack! Put that plane into revetment and get into your fox hole!" I told the pilot and he quickly guided the plane into a revetment, and we all jumped out and ran for our fox holes. I couldn't get into mine because it was full of people! I said, "This is my damn fox hole, get the hell out or move over or something!" I had dug the fox hole 6 feet long and 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide. I had intended lying down in it. There were about 5 or 6 men squatting in it, and I wiggled down in there beside them. The Japanese came over and started bombing. One plane dropped 4 bombs and scored on 4 planes including ours which we had just gotten out of moments before. Our plane was blown to pieces. The Japanese bomber knew just how far apart those revetments were and he set his invelometer to drop a bomb exactly in the center of each one of them. All he had to do was hit the center of the first one and the other bombs automatically fell in the right place. It scared the devil out of me and when it was all over, we went back around the revetment to survey the damage. Our plane was just a pile of metal. The gas tank had blown up and burned everything. I picked up a piece of the propeller, put it in my pocket. I still have it today. The ordinance man said, "Boy I wish I had thought about grabbing that machine gun." He was like the rest of us and got out so fast that he didn't think about it.] Daddy added that the PBY's had to go out at night because they flew so slow that sometimes they could get shot down. To avoid being shot down at night, they ran the right engine 200 rpms slower than other. That would throw the Japanese "big ears" off and they would miss on the right. He said that they eventually lost 9 aircraft of the 15 they had. They lost so many planes his squadron was replaced with another. They flew back to Kaneohe Island in Hawaii and turned in their guns. He returned the same 5 rounds of ammo he was issued and was really glad he didn't have to use them. 7-2-44: From MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii Jack was put on U.S.S. Barnes, an aircraft carrier to NAS Alameda, California. From there took a train, then a bus to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington where the squadron was reforming. Transferred to FASRON. 4-15-45: Dad was a student in NAS Norman, Oklahoma, for Combat Air Crew (CAC) "B" school. 7-4-45: Dad went to Naval Air Gunnery School at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. He was trained on 3 different machine guns: 30, 50 caliber and 20 millimeter. 8-4-45: Dad was transferred to the NAS Jacksonville, Florida where he joined FAW-6. He was put on the PBY planes. Successfully tested for and became first class. Because of illness, he was made Master of Arms in the barracks. 12-31-46: WWII officially ended. 5-10-47: Jack's time was up and he left to try civilian life. 7-4-49: Dad re-entered the Navy in Montgomery, AL. Would not let him come back in as first class, so he re-entered as second class. Sent to Naval Operating Base in Charleston, SC on permanent shore patrol. 8-30-49: Dad transferred to VS-32 at NAS Norfolk, Virginia working on TBM's (torpedo bomber by Martin). He had only worked on seaplanes, but he had to learn about this carrier plane fast. Became first class again and the Commander's Plane Captain. Met Gene Manken from Washington state. While there he met Lavelle Estes, his future wife. He married her on August 4, 1950. April 1951 the squadron transferred to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. From 9-51 to 11-51 his squadron, VS-32 went on a Mediterranean cruise with the 6th Fleet. He was hanger deck Petty Officer. They visited Gibraltar. 2-19-52: They went on a cruise to Puerto Rico which lasted to March of the same year. Then the U.S.S. Oriskany had to go around the Horn because it was too wide for the Panama Canal. They offered the men to serve on board during the journey, but warned them it would be hazardous. They stopped at Guantanamo Bay, where he found out that his horse Specks had died. On 6-16-52: Dad was initiated into the reign of Neptune Rex. The trip around the Horn was dangerous. They had welders working night and day repairing the ship. After they made it around the horn safely, he got his Mossback card on 6-29-52. 10-31-52: Dad was in FASRON-821 in NAS Sanford, Florida. 1-5-53: Dad's first child was born, daughter, Leila Melinda, in Orlando, FL at the Air Force Base. 6-10-53: Dad was in VC-9 in NAS Sanford, Florida, AJ Squadron working on atomic bombers. They used reciprocating engines to deliver payload and jet engine to escape. They went on a cruise to the Azores. 3-15-54: During that trip second daughter, Rebecca Ann, was born in Orlando, FL at the Air Force Base. 6-28-54: Dad was in FASRON-41 (formerly FASRON-821) NAS Sanford, Florida. 12-5-54: Dad was in VS-26 working on S2F's at NAS Norfolk, Virginia. These were carrier-based submarine hunter/killer aircraft by Grumman. 11-31-55: Dad went to Electronics "A" school at NAS Memphis, Tennessee. Afterwards he transferred to Mech "B" School. 3-10-56: Dad's third daughter, Margaret Jean, was born in Memphis, TN. Afterwards Dad was transferred to NAS Chincoteague, Virginia where VA(HM)-13 became VP-24. 10-17-56: Dad was in VP-24 working on P2V's These were land-based aircraft with both reciprocating and jet engines by Lockheed. Some were adapted for flight off carriers. VP-24 went on a cruise to Malta for 5 months. 5-3-59: Dad was deployed to NAS Keflavik, Iceland. 8-28-59: Dad's fourth child, a son, Philip Jackson, born in Blowing Rock, NC. 10-4-59: Dad went back to NAS Chincoteague, Virginia. 1-5-60: Dad went to AD "B" Instructor's School at NAS Memphis, Tennessee. From 2-12-60 he taught airplane mechanics on both jet and reciprocating engines. January 1961 he took the test to be a Chief Petty Officer. Went to Chief leadership school 3-1-61 in Pensacola, FL. He remembers James A. Mann, an officer. 6-1-61: Dad returned to NAS Memphis, Tennessee as an instructor. Taught until 4-1-63 when he retired and went into the U.S. Naval Reserve where he served 10 years. Served as Caldwell County's Veterans Service Officer (in Lenoir, North Carolina) from 1966 to 1977. 3-22-82: Dad's first wife "Val" died of pancreatic cancer. 2-28-87: Dad married second wife, Billie Sue Barlow McMichael. She takes good care of him. Jack McMichael is a member of the American Legion Post 29; VFW Post 5381; Disabled Veterans of America, Chapter 6; Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 60; The Retired Enlisted Association; Nat'l Association for Uniformed Services; The National Chief Petty Officers Association; and the PBY Catalina International Association, to name a few..." [UPDATED 14AUG2020 | 19SEP2010]

MOON, James L. jlmoon@bitwisesystems.com "...I served in the VPB-32 squadron as an ARM from July, 1944 to December, 1945 and presently hold the ham call sign W9NS. This is the first I've heard of the outfit since being discharged in January 1946..." [04AUG99]

Memorial Picture "...OMERNICK, ENSIGN Greg...My grandfather, Ensign Greg Omernick served VP-32 from approximately 1944 to 1946. He passed on in 1997 and his records are scant. I'm not acquainted with tracing lineage like this, but perhaps someone in VP-32 back then may have known him. I'd appreciate a note from anyone who did. Thanks...Brady Kiel herrforce1@gimail.af.mil..." [22SEP2004]

PAGETT, Douglas H. pagettdh@kingcon.com "...I served with VP-32 on Saipan, Ebeye (with the Bikini Able and Baker tests) AOM3C. Retired from the telephone industry now living in Vermont. Only found one person who had served in PBM5 since l948. Looking for any Reunion info. Enjoyed Pensacola Reunion two or three years ago. Oddity - found a neighbor last week who has done diving from Truk where we were stationed many timnes in 1945 and 1946. Small world..." [BIO Updated 22AUG2001 | 20FEB99]

PINHOLSTER, David C. C/O His Son D. C. Pinholster Jr xcoach1@mac.com "...My father was in VP-32 in 1943 and sunk U boat U159 near Haiti. He also flew submarine patrols in England. His name is David C. Pinholster. I would like to contact or hear from anyone who knew him during this time. I also have a very dramatic picture of this sub right before it the DC's exploded and sank it. Thanks..." [E-Mail Updated 07MAY2008 | 08NOV2001]

POPE, AOM2 Jack F. jackforbespope@yahoo.com "...AOM2 Jack Forbes Pope, USN - NFL Number: 2707 - Date of Birth: 6/6/1927 - Date In: 7/15/1943 - Date Out: 6/7/1947 - City, State: Stone Mountain, GA - School Attended: BS Biochemistry - Aircraft Flown: PBM5, PBY - Ship or Unit: VPB-32, VP-MS-6 and AROU-1 - Pilot Desg.: CAC Bombadeer - Theaters, Campaigns, etc.: Asiatic Pac. WWII Associations/Service Organizations: American Legion NAMF - Highest personal decoration or award: Air Medal - Participated in Operation Crossroads 1946. In Memoriam? No..." [BIO Updated 04DEC2005 | 11MAY2004]

Memorial Picture "...RODGERS, Ernest A.Shipmate Pix...My Dad, Ernest A Rodgers, passed away from cancer in 1978. Dad served with both VPB-32 and VPB-214 (1943-1946) flying as a Tail Gunner. Dad seldom spoke of his WW2 experiences and I would love to hear from Dad's former Shipmates. Thanks!..." Contributed by Jenny Rodgers Hanahan jenny@jennyhanahan.com [PIX Updated 25MAY2016 | 23MAY2016]

SHUART, AT1 Jerry M. c/o his son David R. Shuart d16940shua@aol.com "...My father AT1 Jerry M. Shuart served from 1947 to 1968 in various squadrons. VP-112 NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, VP-9 Cecil Field, VP-32 NAS Norfolk, Virginia, VP-176 NAS Jacksonville, Florida, VP-109 NAS Jacksonville, Florida, VP-6 NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, VP-10 NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, and VP-9 Sanford, Fl. If you know him please let me know..." [20APR99]

WALLACE, Jackie Conway shawnpwallace@aol.com "...I served with VPB-32 from 1943 to 1945. I'm looking for old Shipmates..." [20OCT2006]

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]

Memorial Picture "...WHISTLER, Jack...CDR Jack Whistler (VP-32 during WW II) passed away January 7th, 2007. The service was held in Glendale, CA...Bruce Whistler whistler@infionline.net..." [08JAN2007]

WOLFARTH c/o His Son Mike Wolfarth mwolfarth@msn.com "...My Father served as a pilot in VP-32 during WWII. My parents have lost touch with a couple of other members of the squadron (J. Whistler & T.R. Perry) and I am sure that my Father would love to hear from someone in his old unit..." [12DEC2000]

WRIGHT, AZCM Jim Sr. Retired jewsr@msn.com "...Joined the Navy September 1958 and retired August 1983. I throughly enjoyed all 25 years. My first duty station was with VS-23 from 1959 to 1962, NWEF Albuquerque, NM from 1962 to 1966, VP-46 from 1966 to 1969, NAS Albany, Georgia from 1969 to 1974, VP-23 from 1974-1977, and last NTEC Orlando, FL from 1977 to 1983. I became a AZ with first group in 1964 and advanced to AZCM before retiring. I would like to hear from any of my old Shipmates..." [02SEP2004]

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