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MishapsMISHAPs: 12 DEC 50 A/C: P2V-2 P NeptuneVP-8 P2 122443 Location: NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island Strike: YES BUNO: 122443 Cause: TAXI ACC,HIT Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net Crash Photo Contributed by BILL HOLBERT bholbert@tyler.net via Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) [22FEB99]

MishapsMISHAPs: 07 JUL 51 A/C: P2V-4 P NeptuneVP-8 P2 124222 Location: NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada Strike: YES BUNO: 124222 Cause: WHLS UP-NO FLAP Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net Crash Photo Contributed by BILL HOLBERT bholbert@tyler.net via Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) [22FEB99]

MishapsMISHAPs: 14 OCT 51 A/C: P2V-3 P Neptune Location: NAS Atsugi, Japan Strike: yes BUNO: 122939 Cause: Single engine landing, overshot; 33-50N 150-57E Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [12JAN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 53 A/C: P2V P2 Neptune
VP-8 P2 VP-8 P2 Location: NAS Keflavik, Iceland "...First, paint out pilot's name. Second, remove tip tanks..." Contributor requested name not be listed. [05SEP2000]


MishapsMISHAPs: 30 JAN 63 LOCATION: Off Cape May, NJ TYPE: Collision Water STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 14 BUNO: 149672 CAUSE: Undetermined

UPDATE "...I was an ATC reporting as Avionics Chief at Test Pilot School NAS Patuxent River, Maryland in Jamuary 1963 and living temprairilly at The California trailor court California Md. I was living next to AT1 Jack Kahler. We both were leaving for work and I said: How are you doing Kahler and he said "we are serching for the Thresher today". I went to work and later that day heard that his aircraft was lost with all hands. His family immediatly left and that is the last that we ever had contact..." Contributed by HOOVER, ATCS Don scpohoover@gmail.com [29FEB2016]

UPDATE "...My name is Casey, I'm nearing 30 years old and for at least half of those years I have always wondered about my grandfather Marvin Gatliff. He served in VP-8 in the late 50-early 60s (I assume). I have done alot of assuming. The only fact I do know is that on the eve of January 30, 1963, his plane went down and himself and 13 other crew mates lost their lives while flying on LC-2 BUNO: 149672. I am just asking that anyone that knows anything to pass it on. I in return will pass it on to my two young sons that have the same questions as I always have had. Thank you so very much and God Bless...Casey Gatliff tdh4200@aol.com..." [28JAN2006]

UPDATE "...I am LCDR Rob Minor from VP-8 in NAS Brunswick, Maine. There will be a dedication of monument commemorating the service of the 14 aircrew who lost their lives on aircraft LC-2 BUNO: 149672, 30 Jan 1963.

Crew list form LC-2 BUNO: 149672:

            AO3 Douglas R. AUTRY
            LTjg Frederick L. BELL
            ADR1 Clifford E. CARPENTER
            LT Robert S. EBERHART
            ADR1 Marvin W. GATLIFF
            ATR3 Jesse GALINDO
            LCDR John R. HART
            AT1 Jack C. KAHLER
            AT2 Dayton S. LESTER
            LT John E. O'CONNER
            AE2 Donald B. ROARK
            LTJG Bernard W. SHEPARD
            ATR3 Edward A. SYLVE
            LT Theodore C. WHITE
The service will be at the NAS Brunswick, Maine Chapel in the Harpswell Gardens on Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 3:00PM. I am trying to locate and surviving relatives of the aircrew to notify them that this event is going to be taking place. Also any fellow shipmates will be welcome to attend. This is an open ceremony. If you could please pass the word I would appreciated it very much.


LCDR Rob Minor robert.w.minor@navy.mil 207/921-2108..." [24MAR2005]

UPDATE "...My husband's Dad, AE2 Donald B. Roark, was one of the crew on this flight. My husband was only 9 months old when the incident occurred and has no memory of his Dad. I know he'd like to hear from any VP-8 members who may have served with Don. Thanks!...Becky Roark roarkr@helenachemical.com..." [25SEP2004]

UPDATE "...Hi. I am the son of ADR1 Marvin W. Gatliff. He was a crew member [VP-8] on an aircraft that went down in January of 1963 [30 JAN 63]. I was only about 2 at the time, but remember him. Is there anyone else here that remembers him, his life, or anything that might be helpful to my understanding of who my father was? I have heard a lot of good things from my family members. By the way, I now teach in a junior high school and love working with kids. I also have two of my own. God bless...Ricky Gatliff trwy_gatliff@tccsa.ohio.gov..." [16FEB99]

UPDATE "...I posted a request for information about my father, ADR1 Gatliff (VP-8), who had been lost in a mishap in 1963. Your responses were thoughtful, quick and very helpful. Thanks again and God bless. Sincerely, Ricky Gatliff...Ricky Gatliff trwy_gatliff@tccsa.ohio.gov..." [30APR99]

UPDATE "...I just heard from a Shipmates that was on duty the night of my father's crash...Thanks!...Ricky Gatliff trwy_gatliff@tccsa.ohio.gov" [16FEB99]

UPDATE "...One of our new members wrote the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk and using the Freedom of Information Act, acquired the names of those men killed in P-3 mishap BUNO: 149672 off Cape May NJ on Jan 30, 1963. He still says there are 3 more which he's going to write again and try to find out, but they weren't listed on the very dark copy of the accident report. The are: Lt. Robert S. Eberhart/PPC, Lt. Theodore C. White/ Co-pilot, Lt(jg) Bernard W. Shepard/ Nav., Lt.(jg) Frederick L. Bell/ Tacco, ADR1 Clifford E. Carpenter/FE, ADR1 Marvin W. Gatliff/2nd Mech, AT1 Jack C. Kahler/1st Tech, AO2 Douglas Autry/Ord, Jesse Galindo/?..." Beth Perry (E-Mail Removed By Request) NEWSLETTER: "VP-8 Alumni Association" World War II Stories, and more!!! [29NOV98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 66 A/C: P3P3 Orion LOCATION: Kinley Field, Bermuda TYPE: Crashed into top of Ferry Reach SRIKE: Yes DEATHS: All BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Unknown Contributed by Tom Webster ezflowwebster [09MAR2000]

UPDATE "...There was NO fatal accident to a VP-8 Orion in the Bermudas in 1966. The only thing that would come close is the crash of VP-16 P-3A 151380 at NAS Bermuda on 27jul65..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jwaarde@chello.nl, Navy/USMC/USCG/NASA Updates Editor WebSite: http://www.scramble.nl Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble [01DEC2004]


MishapsMISHAPs: 22 SEP 78 A/C: P3P3 Orion LOCATION: Poland, Maine TYPE: Wing Separation SRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 08 BUNO: 152757 CAUSE: Material Failure

UPDATE "...I was reading about the VP-8 Mishap (September 22nd, 1978) that took place in Poland, Maine. My brother, Jim Piepkorn, was one of the lost members of that crew. I appreciated all the comments and additional information on that flight..." Contributed by Major Dwight Curtis, Retired dcurtis@ci.moscow.id.us [PIX Added 20MAR2014 | 28FEB2014]

History ThumbnailCameraJim Piepkorn

UPDATE "...Poland, P-3 Orion - The ultimate sacrifice; wreck sites a reminder of military plane disasters By M. Dirk Langeveld, Staff Writer Published Sep 12, 2010 12:00 am..." WebSite: SunJournal http://www.sunjournal.com/ [12SEP2010]

The loss of a P-3 Orion over Poland did not occur in a remote area. The four-engine, anti-submarine aircraft, part of Patrol Squadron Eight, left the Brunswick Naval Air Station on Sept. 22, 1978. The eight-man crew was taking the plane to Trenton, Ontario, where it would be put on display for an air show.

As in the Newry crash, hundreds of people heard an explosion and saw the aircraft plummeting to the ground in pieces. Some factors, including an apparent radar track and several witness statements, suggested that the Orion had collided with a second plane. Even a week after the incident, a Navy spokesman said that he could not discount the possibility, though no conclusive evidence of a second aircraft ever materialized.

Much of the debris came down near the intersection of Route 11 and Megquier Hill Road, but pieces were scattered in a wide area around the site. No homes were hit, but the nearest residences to the wreckage were only a few hundred feet away. The blast blew out some of the windows in a nearby house.

Volunteer firefighters immediately raced to the scene. Ernest Fitts recalled that he was working at the Poland Town Hall when the explosion shook the building. He was one of the first two people at the scene with a fire engine.

"It was just a ball of fire," he said. "There was one body lying there, I remember, and the rest were inside the plane."

Harold Bartlett, a dentist and New Gloucester deputy fire chief, was finishing work on a patient when he witnessed the crash. He said a crash truck from the Auburn airport was brought in to pour foam on the burning wreckage.

"We were kind of waiting for the military to get there," he said.

The Auburn fire chief circled the area in a plane commandeered from the Auburn airport to point out woods fires sparked by the crash. Military investigators roped off the site and later removed the debris to Brunswick for examination. Most of the wreckage was subsequently taken to a Navy facility in Alameda, Calif., for further investigation.

The crash was especially troubling because it was the third Brunswick-based Orion to go down in a 10-month period, with the lost crew bringing to 28 the number of people killed in the accidents. One plane had crashed into a mountain in the Canary Islands in December 1977, killing 13; another had plunged into the Atlantic off the Azores in April 1978, killing seven.

"There's a feeling that the wing has been hexed, jinxed or is under some supernatural spell, and it's almost impossible to fight because we don't know why our planes have crashed," Rear Adm. Ralph R. Hedges said at the time.

Another Orion ditched in the Pacific Ocean off Alaska about a month after the Poland crash, bringing to 33 the number of aviators killed in P-3 crashes in a year. Ten men were rescued by a Soviet trawler in that crash.

Navy officials kept the planes flying, pointing out that even with the crashes, the Orion logged more miles and had fewer incidents than any other aircraft in the branch. In the end, the crashes appeared to be unrelated. The cause of the Canary Islands crash was determined to be poor visibility and a navigational error, while the Azores crash remained a mystery because most of the plane sank in deep water. The Poland and Alaska crashes were blamed on engine trouble.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, the Orion that crashed in Poland broke apart because one engine failed in turbulence and separated from the plane, along with 11 feet of the left wing. The pieces tore off the left stabilizer, and the other engines and wings separated because of aerodynamic forces.

No memorial exists in the area where the Orion crashed. A group is seeking to incorporate a chapel and nearby memorial garden into a museum following the closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station. A plaque bearing the names of the crew in the Poland crash is included in the garden, and the chapel is where a memorial to honor the deceased was held in 1978.

"They were all dedicated to their work, intent on doing their part to preserve the peace of the world while serving in the highest traditions of the Navy," the base chaplain, Capt. William B. O'Connor, declared at the service.


UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraNewspaper Article "...Hello fellow Vets! I was a PH assigned to NAS Brunswick, Maine photo lab when the call came in for the VP-8 P-3 crash that went down in Poland, Maine September 22, 1978. I rushed out with the cameras and spent several days documenting the site for further studies and investigations. I am pleased to see that your website shows cause and documentation of the accident, all this time later. It was a tragic accident and having photographed it, I can assure you, its very much etched in my memory. I have a newspaper clipping of the accident with a photo that I will be glad to email to anyone that would like to see it. My heart goes out to anyone that loses a loved one in a plane crash!...SMITH, PH Jim A. slapshifter06@yahoo.com..." [Newsletter Article Added 19MAY2006 | 18MAY2006]

UPDATE "...In 1978 we, VP-8, were deployed to NAS Bermuda / NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, while on the leave cycle crew 5 was called back to NAS Bermuda because of world situation. On arriving in NAS Bermuda aboard a VP-26 aircraft, CDR Tom Hall, XO, met us and explained what was going on and that the squardon would try to make it up to us later on. We completed the deployment and returned to NAS Brunswick, Maine in late August and early September. When the request for crew to go to Canada came in I went to the XO, CDR Hall, and asked if Crew 5 could take the mission. I was told yes but only a few could get paid for it and if the crew wanted to they could go. We agreed and the wheels were set in motion for a Crew 5 event. As the time got closer a number of things occured that had crewmembers asking to be excused. The 2 Pilot LT R. J. Gladden asked to be excused as his Father had open heart surgery and he wanted to go visit him in Mo. The radio operator, AT1 Terry Dahlke, had a chance to fly home to OK to see his family. My son was being confirmed in Church so I asked. The deployment PPC had already transfered. As this was 4 of the members of Crew 5, those that couldn't be paid asked to not go. LT Smith took LT Gladdens place, he was not the PPC. Bob Place originally said he would take my place but backed out for reasons stated in his update, so Larry Miller said he would take my place. Larry came to my house to borrow something on Wednesday night and told me he would take the flight for me. As to what happened to cause the accident, it was an overpressurization of the tank 4. This happened a some point during a refueling, when no one knows. This caused the wing to fail and the rest is history, as they say. A sanitized version of the accident report is available at VP-8. ADCS(AW)(NAC) Ret Edward W. Rohr pmsnborn@inc-net.com..." [16SEP2004]

UPDATE "...On a personal note the VP-8 P-3 that crashed in the summer of 78 my father was going to be the FE but I was getting comfirmed that sunday. The accident report is on file with the Brunswick Libary, its about 4000 pages. Sincerely yours...Robert Rohr..." [11OCT2000]

UPDATE "...I served with VP-8 from 1977-1978. Not only was I in the squadron for the 78 accident, I too was scheduled to be on the crew. I still have the flight schedule for the day. I had a sinus block and was replaced by "Red" Phillips. Red wasn't a radio operator, but the flight was only going to an air show. It was good to discover the cause after all these years. I was told by a friend that it had been a defective engine mount bolt (years afterward). I was told it was "high detergent" hydraulic fluid in the prop...long story short, causing an overspeed. Initially, they thought it was a mid-air collision with a Cessna. I was taken to the secondary crash site to find the Cessna, but only found the wing. We got it dragged to the main crash site, and while there, I learned a lot about what happens in a plane crash. In the process of touring the wreckage with an "O" from Washington, we discovered some remains of one of my crew mates...enough to let me recognize who it was. I'll never forget that accident...the smells...eye witness accounts...my flight station after the crash..." Contributed by John D. john3339@bellatlantic.net [12JUL2000]

UPDATE "...The VP-8 accident at Brunwick in 1978 should have taken me with it since I was a very good friend of Ernie Smith who was taking his first PPC flight to a static display in Canada. The Navy investigation tried to pin the blame on "whirl mode" phenomenon - but that prblem had been eliminated with the Electra, long before the P-3 wing was designed. It WAS material failure of the wing, possibly caused by over-pressurization of the (wet) wing tank. There was a redesign of the wing fuel vents as a follow-up. The mechs who did most of the fueling can testify as to the ease of over-pressurization of fuel tanks with a particularly strong (high pressure) fueler..." Dick Zeisel (Capt, USN, ret) eldoz@msn.com [E-Mail Updated 05FEB99]

UPDATE "...I was the FE scheduled to fly the aircraft that went down in Poland Springs ME, in Sept '78, but I asked to be replaced so I could take pictures of my SS II's wedding who was getting married that weekend..." Contributed by AEC Robert "Bob" Place (RET) bobplace2003@yahoo.com [04FEB98]

UPDATE "...I was in VP-8, NAS Patuxent River, Maryland when we became the first squadron to receive the P-3. CDR Creighton W. Cook, USN, later CAPT Cook, was the skipper. The transition period included our annual ORI Inspection coupled with the Cuban Crisis in which the squadron flew around the clock survillenance over Cuban waters. During the ORI, we lost PC-2 off Cape May, NJ with all hands including the ORI team members..." Contributed by Arnold Turner aturner@1st.net [29JUL98]


MishapsMISHAPs: 15 FEB 85 A/C: P3 P3 Orion LOCATION: NS Rota, Spain TYPE: Landing gear damage SRIKE: No DEATHS: 00 BUNO: 131526 LC-81 CAUSE: Touch and Go! "...The aircraft was LC-81 (our C.O.'s plane) and it suffered extensive damage during touch-and-go's as the crew lost it on the runway. The accident occurred during the first couple of weeks into our deployment and it was repaired in NS Rota, Spain and was the last plane to return home..." Contributed by Kevin Cobb kcobb@erols.com[21AUG99]

UPDATE "...I'd like to comment on the crash with VP-8's LC-81 in NS Rota, Spain on February 15th, 1985. It was absolutely BUNO: 161338. BUNO 131526 (P-2 Neptune) wasn't assigned to VP-8 during that period. BTW, the BUNO’s were 161338, 161339, 161340 (LC81-83), and 161404 – 161409 (LC84-89)..." Contributed by DANE, AT2 Bill billdane@hotmail.com [Updated 02MAY2023 | 17APR2009]

UPDATE "...I am writng to comment on the VP-8 Mishap that occured at NS Rota, Spain in 1985. The aircraft involved was LC-81, BUNO: 161338. It was (at that time) a new update II.5 (5 years old) P-3. The rest of the BUNO's at that time were 161339, 161340, 161404, 161405, 161406, 161407, 161408, and 161409; LC-82 thru LC-89. I have flown on LC-81 many more times after leaving VP-8 on that tour. It was selected to receive the APS-137 ISAR and became a hot item in the P-3 anti-drug efforts. We borrowed one of VP-11's aircraft for the balance of the deployment, (LE-07 - I think) and flew with VP-11 tailfeathers on that aircraft for the entire deployment. That may have been our punishment for wrecking LC-81. LC-81 was stuck in the mud on the side of the runway for a while. It's tough to unstick an airplane, I guess. It did fly just prior to the end of that deployment and went home with us. Those aircraft were well cared for. Hand scrubbed and polished. Touch-up paint was carefully mixed to ensure that the paint matched and blended with the aircraft paint well. Ahhhh, the good ole' days...CHANCY, ATC Howard kchancy@hotmail.com..." [17JUN2003]

UPDATE "...I was on LC-81 on 15FEB85 when it crashed in Rota Spain. I was in the starbord observer set when it crashed. A fellow Shipmate AW2 Philbrick was in the port observer seat. I could plainly see the #3 engine bounce over the wing..." Contributed by BRZEG, AW1 Victor vshoreline@netscape.net [05DEC2002]

UPDATE "...I was in VP-26 deployed to NAS Sigonella, Sicily. We were in Rota flying the operations with VP-8. My crew (LK-2) was scheduled to fly that flight but were sent back to NAS Sigonella, Sicily the morning of the crash. As a matter of fact, we took off about the same time and were in the air to home base when radio operator picked up the message of the crash. I believe they were investigating a USSR trawler whan they went in. I still have the flight schedule. It was VP-8 LB1 BUNO: 131526..." Contributed by ADR1 Ralph E Lindsley, Retired judyralph@stx.rr.com [E-Mail Updated 27JAN2001 | 07JAN2000]

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