VPNAVY VP-9 Mishap - Soviet Shot Down 22JUN55 - No Loss Of Life
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MishapsMISHAPs: 14 SEP 42 A/C: PBO-1 Location: RI, QUONSET PT NAS QUONSET PT Strike: Yes BUNO:1908 Cause: ON T/O, BURNED Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [16MAR98]


MishapsMISHAPs: 21 JUN 51 A/C: PB4Y-2 PrivateerLocation: WA,SEATTLE 6mi. SE, NAS WHIDBEY ISL, SKAGIT BAY Strike: Yes BUNO: 56263 Cause: FLEW INTO WATER LNDG Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [16MAR98]

Memorial PictureIn Memorial for lost friends June 21st, 1951 [Updated 28OCT99]

MishapsMISHAPs: 12 AUG 51 A/C: P4Y-2 PrivateerLocation: NAS Kodiak, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: 66298 Amak Island, Alaska peninsula.

UPDATE "...Article from Bill Burlin who was a "plank owner" of VP-9..." Forwarded by ALEXANDER, CDR A. G.(ALEX) vo67usn@bresnan.net [12OCT2003]

The Kodiak Bear

U.S. Naval Station, Kodiak,Alaska
September 7, 1951
Rescue Lone VP-9 Survivor On Tanaga

The almost-miraculous survival of Frank W. Mullick, AM1, USN Oakland, Calif. of the crash of the VP-9 plane on Little Tanaga near Adak is a story that is stranger than fiction. He remembers only that he was in the tail compartment of the plane. In spite of explosions which rent the plane asunder, and a fall of some 700 feet down the side of the mountain, suffering from burns and exposure to the inclement weather, Mullick still lives and seems to be in good condition.

The ATF Bagaduce, having removed the bodies of the victims of the crash, was searching all day for the missing member. It was dark when the Skipper was ready to give up the quest. A doctor from Adak, Lt.(jg) Behla, saw a flicker of light ashore and called the Captainıs attention to it. A boat was sent to the beach and the hurt but healthy Airman was brought out to the ship to be taken to the Dispensary at Adak.

31-Aug-51 VP-9 PB4Y-2 Little Tanaga Island, Alaska

LT B. A. Cook
LT W. H. Diana
ENS F. H. Sutley
ADC J. G. Mallard
AD1 G. Y. Jenkins
AM1 F. W. Mullick
ALCA M. P. Huber
AN D. R. McNair
ALAN A. C. Molina
ATAN W. E. Tacie

UPDATE "...Article from Bill Burlin who was a "plank owner" of VP-9..." Forwarded by ALEXANDER, CDR A. G.(ALEX) vo67usn@bresnan.net [11OCT2003]

Tuesday 14 August 1951


Kodiak, Alaska--(UP)--A Navy privateer with 12 men aboard was reported missing yesterday on a flight from Kodiak to Adak Island, bringing to four the number of planes lost in the Northwest in the past three weeks.

Lt. Frank Brink, Public Information Officer at the Naval Operating Base here, said the four-engine plane was last heard from yesterday 9:34 A.M. Alaska time.

The plane reported its position at that time as 285 miles due West of Kodiak and said it had enough fuel to last until 10 P.M. last night.

Search planes covered the overwater flight route of the missing plane yesterday,but were hampered by poor weather. Planes of the 10th Air Rescue Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, stood by to take off as soon as possible.

The plane was a PB4Y-2. It carried nine enlisted men and three officers, Brink said. Their names were withheld.

Since July 21, three other planes have vanished in the Northwest and todayıs report brought to 60 the number of persons aboard the four missing aircraft.

A Korean-airlift Canadian Pacific airliner disappeared July 21 with 38 persons aboard.

Six days later, a ski-equipped Norseman plane vanished carrying Mrs. Foresta Wood, the wife of a New Jersey scientist, her daughter, Valeria, 18, and bush pilot Maurice King.

On Aug. 4, another Norseman with a pilot and six passengers aboard disappeared on a 45 mile flight from Muchalat Arm to Tofino on Vancouver Island. The passengers were from logging camps in the area.

Crew list:

LT R. W. Conklin
LT R. E. Park
ENS H. H. Wood
AD1 L. W. Sexton
AL1 B. A. Williams
AOM2 C. W. Elkins
AT3 E. F. Busby
AM3 R. L. Hunt
ALAN B. Enloe
ADAN E. E. Flinkfedt
AOAN W. S. Wagener
ATAN J. D. Witherspoon

UPDATE "...Crew Killed: Pilot Roy Edwin Park USNR, C-P Lt(jg) Robert Wilfred Conklin USN, Ens Henry Howard Wood USNR, AD1 Leonard Walter Sexton, ADAN Elnord Ellis Flinkfeld, AM3 Ronald Lee Hunt, AL1 Brooks Alton Williams, ALAN Bobby Enloe, ATAN Joseph Dale Witherspoon, AT3 Edwen Francis Busbi, Jr., AOU3 Charles Wyllie Elkins, and AOAN William Stuart Wagener. Lt R. E. Park departed NAS Kodiak, Alaska in a P4Y-2 type aircraft assigned to VP-9 at 0735 local time on 12 Aug 1951 for routine operational patrol to Adak, Aleutian Islands. Weather conditions at time of take-off from NAS Kodiak, Alaska were indefinite 300-ft ceiling, one mile visibility, with light drizzle and fog. Flight proceeded without incident for first two hours during which time routine position reports were received. At end of third hour no position report was received by NAS Kodiak, Alaska or NAS Adak, Alaska. Search and Rescue was alerted and intensive search of the Aleutian area was conducted. Wreckage was found 15 Aug 1951 at 900-ft level on Amak Island, which is located approximately twenty miles NW, of Cold Bay, Alaska peninsula. Analysis: Due to fact there were no survivors, it is impossible to determine exact cause of accident. However, since there was no evidence of material failure or malfunction, most probable assumption is the pilot was investigating radar contact by letting down through the overcast in order to make visual contact with radar target. In so doing, pilot either received erroneous information or misunderstood instructions given by radar operator, which resulted in aircraft striking island. Its is the opinion of the AAs that had there been a material failure or malfunction, pilot would have contacted either Thornbourgh Airways at Cold Bay via voice radio or base radio via CW radio..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [10FEB2002]

UPDATE "...Looking for any information on my brother ALAN Bobby Enloe, assigned to VP-9 in 1951 when a/c # PB4Y-2 crashed on 12 Aug 51 on Amak Island, AK. Would like to hear from anyone who has knowledge of the crash or served with my brother. Please include copy to any replies to my son as well Robert Enloe at krusty@brooksdata.net. Thanks...Russell Enloe, Jr. renloe@quik.com..." [14APR2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 31 AUG 51 A/C: PB4Y-2 PrivateerLocation: 16mi. ESE NAS ADAK, AK Strike: Yes BUNO: 66280

UPDATE "...Pilot departed NS Adak on routine operational patrol flight, destination Adak at 0616 on 31 Aug. Weather conditions at Adak at time of take-off were ceiling indefinite, 500-ft overcast, visibility two miles with fog, wind NNE at 7kts. Pilot made GCA take-off on runway 5, continuing on northeasterly course to point 18mi ENE of station. Aircraft then started a right turn, and pilot informed GCA that he was in the clear and proceeding on his patrol. At 0914, two hours after first position report was due, Search & Rescue was alerted, and a search of his intended track was started. Wreckage was found at 1215 at about the 800-ft level on the NW side of Little Tanaga Island, which is about 16mi ESE of NS Adak. Investigation: brought forth the following facts: A) An out report on CW, was received from 66280 at 0626. B) Pilot had made previous patrols of this same area. C) GCA lost radar contact with 66280 at four miles NE of station because of plane's insufficient altitude and requested pilot to climb which he did because radar contact was regained at six miles. D) When aircraft was 18mi. NNE, GCA heard pilot ask plane's radar operator if he had the pass on radar. It was at this time GCA control was released by pilot and plane observed, by GCA, to turn to a heading of about south. It was at this time (0625) GCA equipment was completely secured. E) With present radar repeater scope installation in cockpit of P4Y it is practically impossible for pilot to fly airplane and view radar scope. F) When proceeding through Little Tanaga Strait at low altitude on radar, the radar return from Bilak Island at time obscures the pass making it appear as a dead end. G) Marks on sidehill made by the propellers and starboard aileron indicate the plane was in a left turn, and on a easterly heading when it hit. H) There is no evidence to indicate either engine or structural failure. I) Pilot was overheard by survivor to say that he was going to turn and climb just prior to crash. J) Pilot stated the night prior to the accident that he was going to fly through Little Tanaga Strait on his south bound patrol leg. Analysis: No definite analysis can be arrived at due to insufficient evidence. However, Board thinks it is quite possible that the pilot tried to remain below the overcast and proceed contact through Little Tanaga Strait with the aid of radar pilotage. If this assumption is true, it is also possible that he was unable to maintain contact and the radar operator was confused by the radar return from Bilak Island. It is assumed then that, the pilot decided to turn into a clear area and climb to a safe altitude, but lacked sufficient space to complete the maneuver and collided with the mountain. Crew: Pilot Lt.Berdel A. Cook (PPC) USN VP-9/Killed, Lt(jg) William H. Diana (pilot/navigator) USN/Killed, Ens Frank H. Sudley (pilot/navigator) USNRA/Killed, AD1 George Y. jenkins (plane capt) USN/Killed, ADC james G. Mallard (2nd mech) USN/Killed, AM1 Frank W. Mullick (3rd mech) USN/Seriously inj, ALCA Marvin P. Huber (1st rad) USNRA/Killed, ALAN Anthony C. Molina (2nd rad) USN/Killed, ATAN Wilford E. Tacie (radar opr) USN/Killed, and AN Don R. McNair (ord) USN/Killed..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 10FEB2002 | 16MAR98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 28 JAN 53 A/C: PB4Y-2 Privateer Location: Black Peak, WA Strike: Yes BUNO: 59937 Cause: Hit mountain at 5000 ft, bad weather, wreckage found in July 53 [14NOV2010]

UPDATE "...On 28 January 1953, four officers and six crewmen, flying in VP-9 P4Y BUNO: 59937, were lost while making an approach to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. There were no survivors and the wreckage on Black Peak, WA, was not found until snow melted in April. The plane commander was LT(jg) Leland R. Stegmerten and the co-pilot LT(jg) David Jarvis. They were transporting the Commander of FAW-6, CAPT Julian David (Judy) Greer (USNA-1927) and a member of his staff, LT(jg) O.C. Everhart, from NAS Alameda, California to attend a meeting at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. Crew members were: ADC C.C. Longacre, AT1 T.W. Huffman, AO3 J.A. Kerrigan, AO3 J.L. McDonnell, AD3 H.L. Ziemba and ADAN T.J. Whitehead..." Contributed by BAUR, Fred G. fgbaur@aol.com [14NOV2010]

MishapsMISHAPs: 22 JUN 55 A/C: P2V-5 neptune.gif LOCATION: St Lawrence Island, Alaska DEATHS: 00 CAUSE: Shot down by Russian fighter aircraft

UPDATE "...On 28 January 1953, four officers and six crewmen, flying in VP-9 P4Y BUNO: 59937, were lost while making an approach to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. There were no survivors and the wreckage on Black Peak, WA, was not found until snow melted in April. The plane commander was LT(jg) Leland R. Stegmerten and the co-pilot LT(jg) David Jarvis. They were transporting the Commander of FAW-6, CAPT Julian David (Judy) Greer (USNA-1927) and a member of his staff, LT(jg) O.C. Everhart, from NAS Alameda, California to attend a meeting at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. Crew members were: ADC C.C. Longacre, AT1 T.W. Huffman, AO3 J.A. Kerrigan, AO3 J.L. McDonnell, AD3 H.L. Ziemba and ADAN T.J. Whitehead..." Contributed by BAUR, Fred G. fgbaur@aol.com [14NOV2010]

MishapsMISHAPs: 22 JUN 55 A/C: P2V-5 neptune.gif LOCATION: St Lawrence Island, Alaska DEATHS: 00 CAUSE: Shot down by Russian fighter aircraft

UPDATE "...I am a grandson of one of the crew on the P-2 shootdown from 22 JUN 1955. I am currently active duty Navy flying E-2C Hawkeyes. I located the aircraft on St. Lawrence Island, AK on satellite view and captured a picture. Also, I pinpointed the lat/long on skyvector.com. Some of the crew returned to the wreckage in 1994 and took video of the plane still sitting there. That's what gave me the idea to look on my iPhone’s map app and find it. I think it'd be a great addition..." Contributed by Brian Berg brianjberg@hotmail.com [03APR2017]

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UPDATE "...VP-9 Aircraft Shot Down By Migs. Sent to me by Captain John Rump (member on the flight)..." Forwarded by ALEXANDER, CDR A. G.(ALEX) vo67usn@bresnan.net [19JUL2007]
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UPDATE "...June 22, 1955: US Navy Aircraft Attacked Over Bering Sea..." WebSite: POW-MIA http://www.aiipowmia.com/koreacw/cw1.html [23MAR2005]

Date: 06/22/55
Aircraft: US Navy P2V Neptune
Crew: 11 (3 wounded by Soviet fire; 4 injured in crash; all rescued)

Description: - #19

This aircraft was attacked by two Soviet fighters in international waters over the Bering Straits between Siberia and Alaska. It crashed on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, where the crew was rescued.

The Soviet Government, in response to a US diplomatic protest, was unusually conciliatory, stating that:

There was an exchange of shots after a Societ fighter advised the US plane that it was over Soviet territory and should leave (the US denied that the US plane fired at all).

The incident took place under heavy cloud cover and poor visibility, although the allged violation of Soviet airspace could be the responsibility of US commanders not interested in preventing such violations.

The Soviet military was under strict orders to "avoid any action beyond the limits of the Soviet state frontiers."

The Soviet Government "expressed regret in regard to the incident."

The Soviet Government, "taking into account... conditions which do not exclude the possibility of a mistake from one side or the other," was willing to compensate the US for 50% of damages sustained (this was the first such offer ever made by the Soviets for any Cold War shootdown incident.)

The US Government stated that it was satisfied with teh Soviet expression of regret and the offer of partial compensation, although it said that the Soviet statement also fell short of what the available information indicated.

UPDATE "...Found a special edition of the VP-Niner, squadron news paper, concerning the VP-9 mishap in Alaska. The paper is very fragile at this point..." Contributed Gene Whinnen ewhinnen@wildblue.net..." [21FEB2003]
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UPDATE "...22JUN55 - A USN P2V-5 Neptune of VP-9 (BuNo 131515), flying a patrol mission from NAS Kodiak, Alaska, was attacked over the Bering Strait by two Soviet MiG-15s. The aircraft crash-landed on St. Lawrence Island after an engine was set afire. Of the eleven crewmembers, four sustained injuries due to gunfire and six were injuried during the landing. The USA demanded $724,947 in compensation; the USSR finally payed half this amount..." Website: Aircraft Downed During the Cold War and Thereafter http://www.silent-warriors.com/shootdown_list.html [20FEB2003]

UPDATE VP Mishap ThumbnailCameraVP-9 Mishap Photo "...Photo of VP-9 flight crew that crashed on St Laurence Island in June 1955. Photo taken in August 1955 when VP-9 returned from Alaska. Chief Radioman Jenke has the head bandage. The others faces are familar but I can't put a name to the face..." Contributed Gene Whinnen ewhinnen@wildblue.net..." [01OCT2001]

UPDATE VP Mishap ThumbnailCameraVP-9 Mishap Photo "...Photo of VP-9 flight that crashed on St Laurence Island in June of 1955. This photo was taken in August 1955 at NAS Alameda, California when VP-9 arrived from Alaska. Chief Radioman Jenke has the head bandage..." Contributed Gene Whinnen ewhinnen@wildblue.net..." [01OCT2001]

UPDATE "...I served in VP-9 from 52 to 55. The photograph of Charlie Baker 3 on St Laurence Island is the first I have found of the wreckage. I helped preflight the plane before it left on patrol..." Contributed Gene Whinnen ewhinnen@wildblue.net [30SEP2001]

UPDATE VP Mishap ThumbnailCameraVP-9 Mishap Photo "...Found one... a shot of the VP-9 P2V Buno 131515 shot down by Soviets in June 55. I don't know the date of this picture but, when I flew over it in 1970, it looked much the same - even to the skid marks. I have some colored shots somewhere but haven't tracked 'em down ye..." Contributed by Tom Bigley, Cdr, USNR-TAR (ret) bigleytl@earthlink.net [03OCT99]

UPDATE "...While flying a patrol mission from Kodiak, Alaska, this aircraft (BuNo 131515) crash-landed on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea after an engine was set afire during an attack by two Soviet MiG-15s. Of the eleven crewmen, four sustained injuries due to gunfire and six were injured during the landing. (This was the only incident in which the Soviet Union admitted any responsibility.)..." APPENDIX 34 Cold War Incidents Involving U.S. Navy Aircraft http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/org4-3.htm [29MAR98]

UPDATE "...My squadron, VP-2 relieved VP-9 in August '55. It was one of VP-9's planes that was shot down sometime in the summer of'55. When we relieved the squadron, as OPS officer, I talked to the PPC to find out what really happened. He indicated he was flying down the date line in the Bearing Straits, on instruments. He evidently scooted over the date line into the Russian side and the MIG's were waiting for him. There was extensive damage to his aircraft and he headed for St Lawrence Isl. He landed there belly-up with his plane on fire. Some of his crew were badly burned, but everyone got out. I flew over the island later, and observed his skid marks started at the water edge and he ended up on the tundra. They were very lucky! I flew that same route, afterwards, and always stayed on the US side of the date line. However, we often had radar contact at our six o'clock that seemed to follow us, but I never saw any Russian aircraft. So that's what I know about it. However, if you want the accurate skinny, VP-9 flying P2V-5's will have to tell you. But the US did lose an aircraft up in the Bearing Straits..." Contributed by Ken Sanford ksanford@olypen.com

UPDATE "29JUN55--A P2V-5 Neptune of VP-9, while on patrol in the Aleutian area, was attacked by two MiG-15s, which set fire to the starboard engine and forced the Neptune to crash on St. Lawrence Island, near Gambell. There were no fatalities..." http://history.navy.mil/branches/avchr8.htm [11DEC98]

UPDATE "...22 Jun. 1955--P2V from VP-9 shot down by Soviet aircraft, St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea..." http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq56-1.htm[26DEC97]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 56 A/C: P2V-7 neptune.gif BUNO: 135606

UPDATE "...These pictures are from VP-9 while we deployed to NAS Iwakuni, Japan in 1956. The pictures show what started out as an emergency on a practice mission using water filled bombs on a rock 900 miles out to sea from Iwakuni. The Pilot Commander Bush was in the after station with me drinking a cup of coffee. When the starboard engine quit at an altitude of 1,000 feet. The Navigator who was flying the plane threw the throttles and mixtures ahead for the port engine and flooded it out. This is when the fun began. By the time Commander Bush got back up to the cockpit, things were screwed up. We were down to 100 feet one port engine was trying to start and he tried to start the jet assist engines. Our jet caught and with the rough running port engine we held that altitude for many a mile. Finally we got back up to 1,000 feet. Cammander Bush asked the Navigator to plot a direct route back to NAS Iwakuni, Japan the Navigator answered that that since we had jetisioned our wing tip tanks and bomb bay tanks and we had been flying on main tanks and didn't have enough fuel to make land. Well, as you can see by the picture, we just made it before running out of fuel. We blew both main gear tires after the Commander reversed the one running engine trying to stop the aircraft before we ran off the runway. After stopping, the wheels were on fire which caught the grease in the wheel wells on fire. The Commander calmly blew out the fires with the port engine. This man is what I call a real pro and one hell of a navy pilot..." Contributed by James W. Hathaway reddog1937@cableone.net [05SEP2000]

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MishapsMISHAPs: SUMMER 58 A/C: P2V-5 neptune.gif LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska TYPE: Collapsed nose gear in snow bank STRIKE: No DEATHS: 00 BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Unknown. Return for overhaul with nose gear extended and bolted in place. Contributed by James H. Waggoner jhwagg@ipns.com [28AUG99]

MishapsMISHAPs: SUMMER 59 A/C: P2V-5 neptune.gif LOCATION: NAS Alameda, California TYPE: While on a search and rescue mission flew up a blind canyon STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: Yes BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Unknown. Contributed by James H. Waggoner jhwagg@ipns.com [28AUG99]

UPDATE "...I was supposed to be on this one but an eager new kid begged to go instead..." Contributed by James H. Waggoner jhwagg@ipns.com [28AUG99]


MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 61 A/C: P2V-5 neptune.gif LOCATION: San Francisco Bay, CA TYPE: Crash STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: Unkonwn BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Fire

UPDATE"....At Alameda, VP-9 lived across the hangar from us. They had the seawall side, we had the street side Hangar 39.

In 1961, I think, VP-9 had a requirement to have a crew at Johnston Island to do radar sweeps prior to nuclear testing. The VP aircraft would search a good part of the ocean around the blast site to clear it of any merchant shipping. The flights were typically the night before the blast. One of their crews was on routine patrol. The starboard engine would wake them up each hour with a bark to say "relean me." Completing their rounds, they begin their approach to the island. At 10 miles out they are at 1,000 feet. As they near the island at about 3 miles, gear goes down, flaps to 20 degrees. (Jets are not running) At about two miles the starboard engine gives up ;and the pilot taps the jet throttles indicating to the copilot to put them in standby, opening up the doors and letting the ram air pressure start to spin the turbines. Well at 135 knots, that's never going to be able to get the required 10% and jet start is impossible in this manner. The pilot puts full power on the port engine and the plane starts to slew to starboard and descend. With the gear down and flaps at 20 degrees, the plane will not maintain altitude on one engine. It sinks and lands about a mile from the approach end of the runway and hits a reef. The cockpit is broken from the fuselage by the extended nose gear and the pilot and copilot are face down in the water. The crew was not at full ditching stations but none were seriously injured. The plane was supported by the reef with waist deep water in the fuselage.

Later, a month or so, this same crew is back at Alameda. They take off with an above landing weight fuel load. I think they took off on Rwy 31 towards the Bay Bridge. Climbing to about 3,000 feet near Richmond, the port jet disintegrates and shreds the under side of the port wing with turbine blades puncturing 20 or so hole in the fuel tanks. Pilot sees the port jet fire warning light illuminate and shuts it down. Afterstation reports a wall of flame to port. Pilot sees the port recip fire warning light illuminate and they feather. They turn back for Alameda and are descending. They call MAYDAY and Alameda Tower sees them. They just make it over the Bay Bridge but can't make it to Rwy 13. They plan on a ditching. Pilot drops full flaps at 150 knots indicated and lands flat on the water. The plane stops moving and the crew exits quickly. With the port wing on fire, it burned up the 15 man life raft in the wing root. There were a number of fishing and pleasure boats around so they got picked up quickly. The plane sank and Alameda Tower marked the spot.

The salvage crew went out to raise the plane but it took several days to locate it. It was some 400 yards from the spot marked by the Tower. They found the fuselage and wing, no tail section, jets, or tip tanks. The salvage was complicated by the strong tides and currents in that part of San Francisco Bay. The divers could only work for one hour each side of slack water. They raised the fuselage and set it on one of the carrier piers to the south. I saw it and all the holes into the port wing. I saw the melted port flap. It was gone! The flaps didn't deploy for some very fortunate reason. Had only the starboard one extended at 150 knots, I think they would have rolled over. The aft part of the rear wing beam was melted through exposing the bladder fuel tanks. The port recip was OK, the fire had been sucked into the wheel well and the recip fire detector has a loop around the wheel area. I heard that several of the crew went into the skipper's office and laid their wings on his desk. Two months and two accidents is enough for some..." Contributed by C. David Hamilton, Commander USNR-Ret chamil@centuryinter.net [26JUL98]

UPDATE VP-9 P2CameraMishap Photograph "...This may be the aircraft Crew 7 was flying when it went down in the San Francisco Bay. Taken at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington 1962..." Contributed by Howard Wissmiller via Dalton C. Carr dcjacarr@chartermi.net

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 JAN 63 A/C: P2V-7 neptune.gif LOCATION: San Francisco Bay TYPE: Fire STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 00 BUNO: 140966 CAUSE: Mechanical

UPDATE "...VP-9 The crash of P2V-7 140966 in San Francisco Bay occurred on 07jan63. The airplane was struck from the Navy inventory books on 01feb63..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jwaarde@chello.nl, Navy/USMC/USCG/NASA Updates Editor WebSite: http://www.scramble.nl Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble [01DEC2004]

UPDATE "...As a first tour LTJG, I was the pilot in command of the P2V-7 that ditched in San Francisco Bay in January 1963. Although most of the facts previously listed are correct, this is what happened as I remember it. After returning from Christmas vacation, I was assigned as an instructor pilot for an instrument hop for a newly arrived second tour pilot (Lt. Kirk Bosworth). The X.O. of the squadron was instructing a bounce hop that day and I was assigned his aircraft because it was fully fueled across the wings and over landing weight. We also were assigned the enlisted crew that was involved in the accident at Johnson Island in Nov. 1962 since both pilots of that crew sustained back injuries in the crash. We took off on runway 31 to proceed to Sacremento to shoot some approaches. At 7000 ft. over Richmond the aicraft shuttered badly and a crew member in the after station announced that the left wing was on fire. I couldn't see the fire from the right seat, but observed the port engine fire warning light come on. I immediately emergency feathered the port engine and cut off the port jet. While I handled the emergency and the radio, Lt. Bosworth did a 180 degree turn back toward Alameda and started diving for the deck. I considered having the crew bail out, but by then the plane was passing through 3000 ft. so we ordered ditching stations. We continued to lose altitude rapidly and passed between two of the towers of the Bay Bridge in a descending left turn. When I went to roll the wings level the yoke went to the right but nothing happened. The control push rods in the left wing had burned through so we were getting no lift from the left aileron. Lt. Bosworth and I shouted at each other at the same time to stand on the right rudder. At about 100 ft. above the water the left wing slowly came to the horizontal position. What a feeling of releif! At the time the proper Natops configuration for ditching was with full flaps; so I lowered the flap handle with no results (thank God). Just above the water I glanced at the air speed and it it was 180kts. I eased back on the yoke but there was little flair and the plane settled into the water. Fortunately there was very little wind and the water was calm. The aircraft stopped as if it were an arrested landing, both pilots were pushed hard against their sholder harnesses. All the crew, seven total, exited the aircraft without injury into 58 degree water. A striped bass fisherman was nearby and pulled us out of the water just as the crash boat from Alameda arrived. When the aircraft was finally raised three or four days later there wasn't much left. The tail section had broken off at the aft windows (never recovered), everything below the flight deck was wiped clean i.e. radar, radardome,and bomb bays, both jet pods were gone, wing tip tanks were gone, the port flap was burned away,the life raft was melted rubber and all eight prop blades were about six inches long. Both the fuselage and port wing were riddled with holes from turbine and compressor blades. The reason the flaps didn't deploy was that one of the turbine blades had severed the hydrolic lines to the flaps. Three of the enlisted crewmen did turn in their wings. The good Lord was really watching over us that day. CDR. J. Robert Bliss,USN Ret jrjlbliss@prodigy.net..." Contributed by CDR. J. Robert Bliss,USN Ret jrjlbliss@prodigy.net via om Bigley, Cdr, USNR-TAR (ret) bigleytl@earthlink.net[28APR2000]

UPDATE "...The cause of the accident to Buno 140966 was the failure of a retaining ring on one stage of the compressor blades in the port jet engine. The engine then immediately disintgrated causing turbine blades to rupture the fuel tank in the port wing. Leaking gasoline ignited resulting an uncontrolable wing fire. Subsequent to this accident all retaining rings in all P2V jets were replaced with better steel alloy ones..." Contributed by CDR. J. Robert Bliss,USN Ret jrjlbliss@prodigy.net[29APR2000]

MishapsMISHAPs: 04 DEC 64 A/C: P3 P3 Orion LOCATION: NAS Cubi Point, Philippines TYPE: Fire (Flares) STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 13 BUNO: 150508 CAUSE: Pilot

UPDATE "...I was a AOC classmate of LT(jg) Roy F. Mack, who was lost in a mishap while flying with VP-9 (December 4th, 1964). What happened? 4 other classmates died in crashes that year, one more in 1965, and roommate POW in 1965. Almost 75 now and just looking back. Thanks..." Contributed by LT(jg) Don Ward donward38@gmail.com [07MAR2013]

UPDATE "...I served in VP-9 when accidents happen to BUNO 150508 and 150506. Here are the names of the crewmembers who died on 150508. John H. Haley AEC, LTjg Smith W. Murray, LT Harold V. Messervy, LT(jg) Roy F. Mack, LT(jg) Robert C. Thayer, ATN3 Caren A. Poe, ADR2 Raymond Smith, ATR2 William H. Darden, ADJ3 Gary H. Dowell, AX3 John L. Donohue, AO3 Ralph H. Green, ADR1 William K. Pursell and Howard J. Gero...." Contributed by Ed (HAP) Easter eeaster@racc2000.com [22JUN98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 07 APR 65 A/C: P3 P3 Orion LOCATION: Sangley TYPE: Ran Off Runway STRIKE: No DEATHS: 01 BUNO: 150506 CAUSE: Pilot

UPDATE "...I was the Radar Operator aboard VP-9 Crew 5 (Call sign Campfire 5) sitting in the observer seat for the landing across from the radio operator when we crashed the morning of April 7, 1965 following a long overnight hop. It was all routine until we touched down and the pilot(s) reversed the props at full engine speed for braking which was a common practice. When this action was initiated the props on one side of the plane reversed and the other side did not. This resulted in the plane going down the runway like a spinning top. As we were careening down the runway and the scenes out the view port were flying past I was hanging on for dear life. The plane veered off the runway headed for the seawall when the landing gear sunk into the soft sand/soil adjacent to the runway. This resulted in the props hitting the ground and being ripped off. The gash in the side of the plane happened as the still spinning prop on the port side (#2) went across the fuselage. The radioman, Frank Vega, was sitting there directly in line with this prop cutting thru the fuselage. He was struck by the tip of the prop. It barely hit him but went right across the top of his helmet into his skull killing him instantly. The plane came to stop and was filled with smoke. The area Frank above and around Frank was a tangled mess of wiring and insulation. The co-pilot and flight engineer left the plane thru the escape hatch in the cockpit. The plane commander came aft and he and I carried Frank back thru the smoke filled plane and made our exit over the wing. Once on the ground and away from the plane the plane commander tried to give Frank mouth to mouth resuscitation to no avail. The Marine security detail had the plane surrounded by armed guards before the airfield rescue crews arrived. The ambulance took Frank away, the enlisted crewmen were taken to the barracks and the officers went their own way. The crew were told to tell no one of this experience. We never flew again as an aircrew. We were returned to Naha, Okinawa where we remained for the remainder of the deployment.

I was nominated to escort Frank back to the States and to the funeral but that never happened. To my knowledge no one from our squadron performed that duty. As far as I know none of the enlisted crew but the flight engineer were ever questioned about this event. The rest of us just went back to normal service duties. It has been almost 60 years since this experience and it still haunts my memories.

Garry Remington AX2/AC - VP-9 Crew Five..." Contributed by REMINGTON, AX2 Garry R. gremington.1@gmail.com [08DEC2022]

UPDATE "...My Father, ATN3 Francisco "Frank" VEGA, was lost during the VP-9 Mishap on April 7th, 1965. I was only 9 months old when he died and have always wanted to know about him. I would like to hear from anyone that may have known my Father. Thank you..." Contributed by Frank Vega, Jr. frankvega@ymail.com [20FEB2013]

UPDATE "...Few more shots of PD-5. Bird was about 13 months old when this happened - CENTERSEAT FORUM - P-3 PICTURES - Aircraft Mishaps..." WebSite: CenterSeat.Net http://www.centerseat.net/ [27JUL2008]

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

UPDATE VP Mishap ThumbnailCameraVP-9 Mishap Photo Contributed by Tom Bigley, Cdr, USNR-TAR (ret) bigleytl@earthlink.net Website: http://home.earthlink.net/~bigleytl/ [31JAN99]

UPDATE "...I served in VP-9 when accidents happen to BUNO 150508 and 150506. Here is the name of the crewmember who died on 150506: Frank T. Vega ATN3...." Contributed by Ed (HAP) Easter eeaster@racc2000.com [22JUN98]

UPDATE "...Almost fell off my couch went I saw the picture of "Bent In Sangley." I was a crewmember on PD5 (150506) when we crashed on the morning of April 7, 1965..." Contributed by John Crowell JohnCrowell@webtv.net [11MAR99]


MishapsMISHAPs: 26 OCT 78 A/C: P3 P3 Orion LOCATION: Adak TYPE: Overspeed Prop SRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 05 BUNO: 159892 CAUSE: Pilot Ditch

Memorial PictureIn Memorial for lost friends Alfa Foxtrot 586 [Updated 22NOV2023]

"VP-9 Summary Page"