VB-136, 1st tour. Aircrafts BuNo and movement


Format: BuNo, Squadron Code, Date moved out of the Squadron, Destination, Remarks


Click on thumbnail to expand the photo

Pat by _Pip Squeak_.jpg
This a/c remained with Hedron until October 1944. Dubbed "Pip Squeak", on 23 October it was flown from Attu to Whidbey Island by Lt (jg) L. Patteson of VPB-135 arriving October 26
33140/3V 11/9/43
Starboard engine failure after takeoff, crash-landed in tundra on Shemya, one man received slight abrasion. A/c stricken off the record (Lt.Samuel Dinsmore)
11/17/43, flown from Adak by Comdr Haines.
29736/5V(R1) 5/11-11/1/43 MIS A 12/26/43 while flying with FAW-6 at NAS Whidbey Island.
Former VB-135, water-looped on 6/28/43; repaired.
The first PV-1 to fly "Empire Express" mission: 11/16/43, Lt. H. K. Mantius flew from Attu within 30 miles of Paramushiro
33133/8V 9/25/43
Lt (jg) H. Throckmorton crashed on take-off into Sweepers Cove, Adak. Survivors
Second Pilot Lt (jg) McKinney, ARM1c Rogers
As of 10/21/43, former VB-135

Water-looped June 10 (W. G. King)


Written off 12-Apr-44 NAS Whidbey Isl., while flying under Hedron FAW-6.   Spun-in on take-off 3 killed.


10/26/43: complete failure of port engine, landed successfully

33118/4V 10/11/43
wheels-up landing on Shemya, hydraulic system failure (Lt. Brooks). Indefinitely out of commission as of 11/1/43, repaired by 11/9, and flown back to Attu with the crew of stricken 3V. Flown by Comdr. Haines to Adak for overhaul on 11/13/43. As of Dec 1943- X12 of Hedron
29794/9V 5/10/43
Did not return from operational search
Lt (jg) Owen L. Parmenter
6V poss VB-136.jpg
The aircraft on the photo may be from a different PV-1 squadron
Landing accident, collided with ground. (John J. Connors). NAF Adak, no casualties. A/c is repaired and flown.
As of 10/11/43, transfer from VB-135. Flown to Adak for major repairs 10/16.
29847/5V 5/10/43
Crashed in Kuluk Bay, Adak, while returning from the search for missing 9V 
Lt (jg) Robert J. Molloy
22-24 Apr

VB-136 CO Lt. Comdr. Haines, departed NAS Whidbey for Kodiak with 8 PV-1s:

29736 to Hedron 5/8/43; VB-136/5R2 as of 5/13
29772 to Hedron 5/8/43
29794/9V lost on 5/10/43
29803 to Hedron 5/8/43; 9R as of 5/13, ACC C (water- looped) 6/10/43
33140/3, LACMF A  (one- engine landing) 11/19/43

Arrived to Kodiak 4/23/43
From 4/30 supported invasion of Kiska (old Ventura's )

2 May: Remaining 7 Ventura's of VB-136 departed for Kodiak:

29775/2 (flown by Pat at Whidbey 3/8 and 9)
29847/5V, lost 5/10/43
33118/4V, damaged 10/11/43
33133/8V, lost 9/25/43

May- August 1943:

4 May VB-136 moved to Adak. Searches and missions against Kiska

8 May: three PV-1s transferred to Hedron, 12 planes in custody. Most probable a/c:
29736, 29772, 29803

10 May 1943: 29794/9V (Lt (jg) Parmenter) and 29847/5V (Lt (jg) Molloy) lost

18 May: X3 (Hedron) participated in search for Catalina 59V.
Another Catalina, 43V, set new record, while searching the Sector 5. It flew to Long. 157*30', that included portion of Kamchatka south of Petropavlovsk.

23 May: 16 Betty’s attacked by P-38s, 5 or more lost for 2 lost Lightnings. Bombs and torpedoes were jettisoned.


31 May 1943: As a result of the operating experience of the past month and conferences with the Commanders of Bombing Squadrons One Thirty-Five and One Thirty-Six, Commander Fleet Air Wing Four reported by dispatch to Commander Air Forces, Pacific Fleet, Commander Fleet Air, Seattle, Commander Fleet Air, West Coast and Bureau of Aeronautics that the PV-1 airplane was not suitable for employment in the operations of FAW4 in the Aleutians, due to their lack of effective range, dangerous take off characteristics resulting in inability to take off under average conditions and other technical defects.

6/10/43 29803 (W. G. King, VB-136, NAS Whidbey Isl) ACC C Weather recon flight. This accident was described in War History of VB-136 as a demonstration of Ventura's rugged construction:

"During instrument approach to Adak, flying at 35 ft, the radar suddenly gave an indication. The pilot executed sharp pull-up over the water, and caught one wing in the water. The plane was badly shaken up, but came through and landed safely. Inspection showed, that the entire empennage was severely damaged, all the rivets have been sheared, and the fairing alone held the structure in place".

First attacks of Northern Kuriles
7/10/43 the first attack to Northern Kuriles (at night), by eight B-25s and four Catalina's.

B-25s reached the target, but all Cats returned to base due to the weather. Similar attempt on 7/18, also abortive.

9/11/43 the first Army daylight attack: eight B-24s (two failed to return), and 12 B-25s (six failed to return)

8/11: 8 a/c on Adak, 4 a/c on Amchitka (VB-135 moved from Amchitka to Attu on 8/10)

8/13- all back to Adak, 10 of 12 are operable.

8/15/-8/17/43: air support for Kiska invasion

8/24 29770/7 LAGC, no casualties

9/25/43 33133/8V crashed on takeoff from Sweeper’s Cove, Adak.  The following were killed: Lt. (jg) Hobert H. Throckmorton, Aviation Machinist’s Mate Second Class Albert G. Toth, Aviation Radioman Mate Third Class Stanley C. Eftimoff and Aviation Machinist’s Mate Franklin H. Bohannan.  A crash recovery boat picked up the copilot and radioman, Lt. (jg) Claude E. McKinney and Aviation Radio Mate First Class John A. Robers. Both were seriously injured.  The other bodies were not recovered.

9/27/43 only 6 out of 11 planes are operable

10/1/43 all 11 planes flown from Adak to Attu; heavy maintenance until 11/16/43. All eight planes of VB-135 were flown to Adak.

Squadron Codes/ BuNos as of 1 October 1943 (11 Venturas):

1V 33110
2V 29775
3V 33140
4V 33118
5VR 29736
6V 29809
7V 29770
9VR 29803
10V 33141
11V 33121
12V 29814

10/1:  VB-136 from Adak to Attu, VB-135 from Attu to Adak
10/5: 15 PV-1s of VB-139 arrived to Adak from Kodiak and join 8 PV-1s of VB-135

VB-136 squadron codes : 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12 (BuNos as above)



10/7/43 Lt (jg) Connors in 9V attempted to intercept "Betty", but desisted due to lack of fuel. 52*13'N 170*30'E

10/10/43 VP-43 with PBY-5A's relieved VP-45 (with PBY-5s)

10/11/43 29744/8R1, from VB-135. 12 Venturas are in custody of VB-136, 7- of VB-135.

10/13/43 Twin- engine single-tail bomber dropped bombs on shore installations and Alexai Point runway. NAS or AWS did not notify the FAW-4 about impending raid. The Army radar detected the bomber 25 min prior to arrival, but only one P-40 got in position to make one attack. FAW-4 Diary:
13 Oct 1943: ten Betty's at 1950W make a high level bombing attack on the Massacre Bay area of Attu. No damage to Wing equipment or personnel, since most of the bombs fall in the bay. 11 AF fighters airborne, but failed to intercept.

10/14/43 12 PV's of VB-136 and 7 Cats of VP-43 are dispersed to Shemya in anticipation of further enemy raids on Attu. PV's remain on Shemya until 11/13/43

10/16/43 29744/8V was flown to Adak for major repairs

10/17 six planes back to Attu

10/20 all back to Attu

10/21/43: 29740 to VB-136 from VB-135, now called 8V (replacement for 29744)

10/24/43 29775/2 (Lt.(jg) Dinsmore) made contact with "Betty" Lat 52*20'N Long 167*50'E course 260*. Five passes were made, several hits scored, but no damage appraised

10/28/43: VB-135 relieved of duty with 4 planes, 3 PV-1s transferred to Hedron

11/1/43: planes codes 1 trough 12, BuNos as above, except 5V (now is 29737/5R2)


1 Cmdr Haines
6 Lt Arnold
10 Lt(jg) Hart
11 Lt Dinsmore
12 Lt Nelson

2 Lt(jg) Garlick
3 Lt(jg) Larson
6 Lt Nelson
8 Lt Mantius
10 Lt(jg) Lindell

1 Lt Brooks
3 Lt(jg) Connors
6 Lt Reynolds
9 Lt(jg) Walker
10 Lt Morrison

1 Lt Redwine
2 Lt Arnold
9 Cmdr Haines
11 Lt Dinsmore
12 Lt C. B. Nelson

11/7: 1,2,3,5,9
11/8: 1,2,5,8,10
11/9: 1,2,5,10,11. 33140/3V(Lt Dinsmore) was destroyed in one- engine crash landing in tundra at Shemya, one man received slight abrasion, a/c stricken off the record.

11/10/43: 1,2,5,6,8. Only 10 operable planes (33118/4V is indefinitely out of commission at Shemya; requiring major overhaul)
11/11: 1,2,8,10,11

11/12: 2,5,6,10,12

11/13: 1,5,8,9,10

11/14: al flights were cancelled due to the weather

11/15: 1,5,6,10,12
11/16: 2,5,8,9,10. Lt. H. K. Mantius in 29737/5R2 (former VB-135) flew from Attu within 30 miles of Paramushiro; beginning of Empire Express.
11/17: 1,2,5,9,10 
11/18: 33118/4 substituted by 29806/4R. The next day 29806 was flown by Lt C.B. Nelson on the search mission
11/25: 7V flown the first time in November

11/26: 1,2,4,5,6,9,11

11/27: 2,4,6,7,9


12/6/43 11 Venturas in custody (down from 12). It appears that 33110/1V had some accident or simply was written off, since it did not return to Seattle four days later.

12/10/43 Squadron was relieved of duty by VB-139 and moves from Attu to Adak.

2 Lt Brooks
4 Cdr Haines
5 Lt Morrison
6 Lt Mantius
7 Lt Arnold
8 Lt Reynolds
9 Lt C. B. Nelson
10 Lt (jg) Connors
11 Lt (jg) Larson
12 Lt R. K. Nelson

All aircrafts were transferred to Hedron, FAW 4 upon arrival

12/13/43 Adak-Seattle via Umnak, Kodiak, Annette: 2,4,5,7,8,9,10,11,12,X10V (BuNo 29795), X12V (BuNo 33118), and 50V ( PBY-5A BuNo 33968)

Lt. Mantius in 6 detained in Adak due to mechanical failure till 12/16/43

9 and 7 both made single engine landing immediately after take-off from Umnak, following starboard engine failure on each plane. Both planes must have engine change before they can be flown again. Due to the limited facilities of the NAF, Umnak, new engines and mechanics must be sent from Adak.

12 (Lt. R. K. Nelson) detained in Kodiak due to damaged stabilizer

12/16: X11 added to the unit to be transferred to Seattle
X11 was flown from Adak to Umnak for Lt. Arnold for ferry to Seattle.
Lt. C. B. Nelson and crew ordered to proceed from Umnak to Seattle via Naval Air Transport Service.

12/18/43 Lt Mantius in 6V detained in Cordova due to weather.

12/20/43 the first time two Catalina's (Lt. Comdr. Horton and Lt. (jg) Reidel, VP-43) flew over Kuriles, one plane over Kurabu Zaki, and the other- over Kashiwabara.

12/24/43 with 6V (Lt. Mantius), VB-136 delivered all the planes to Hedron/Seattle, and now in the process of reorganization. All officers and men of the former personnel have been detached and ordered to new billets, except for 5 patrol plane commanders and 5 co- pilots, who will be retained in the squadron. Most of the detached VB-136 personnel include those who participated in the joined Army- Navy B-24 training program at Adak, who have been ordered to further B-24 training.

12/30/43 successful Kurile raid by four Cats of VP-43

Squadron Codes/ BuNos

1 33110
2 29775 10/26/43: complete failure of port engine, landed successfully
3 33140 11/9/43: engine failure after takeoff at Shemya, crash-landed in tundra, stricken off the record (Samuel Dinsmore) Wetterhahn, p. 49

4 33118 wheels-up landing on Shemya on 10/11, hydraulic system failure (Lt. Brooks). Indefinitely out of commission as of 11/1/43, repaired by 11/9, and flown back to Attu with the crew of stricken 3V. Flown by Comdr. Haines to Adak for overhaul on 11/13/43. As of Dec 1943- X12 of Hedron

4R 29806 as of 11/17/43, flown from Adak by Comdr Haines.

5 29794 5/10/43 Lt (j.g.) Robert J. Molloy, crashed into Kuluk Bay, Adak, in bad weather while returning from rescue search for Parmenter's a/c.
Ens Ralph G. Wingfield, John Renzow ARM3c, Robert D. Rickey AMM3c, Benedict J. Boruch AMM3c.

5R1 29736 replacement from Hedron 5/13. MIS A 12/26/43 while flying with FAW-6 at NAS Whidbey Island.

5R2 29737 as of 11/1/43. This a/c, previously flown as VB-135/2, water-looped on 6/28/43 and was repaired.

6 29809

7 29770 8/24/43 Landing accident, collided with ground. (John J. Connors). NAF Adak, no casualties. A/c is repaired and flown.

8 33133 9/25/43 Lt (j.g.) Hobert H. Throckmorton (the cartoonist) crashed on take-off for a local training flight into Sweeper's Cave, Adak. Crewmembers killed: Albert “G” Toth AMM2c, Stanley C. Eftimoff ARM3c, Franklin H. Bohannan ACMM (PA). Survivors: Lt. (j.g.) Claude E. McKinney, John A. Rogers ARM1c.

8R1 29744, as of 10/11, transfer from VB-135. It was flown to Adak for major repairs on 10/16/43

8R2 29740, as of 10/21/43 (VB-135)

9 29847 5/10/43 Lt (j.g) Owen L. Permenter, VB-136) did not return from operational search. Crew: Ens. Elton W. Cooke, Robert S. Matthews AMM3c, Ray W. McClellan S2c, Frank S. Tall AMM3c.

9R 29803, as of 5/13/43, transfer from Hedron. Water-looped June 10 (W. G. King)

10 33141
11 33121
12 29814

BuNo's in order:

29735  4/1/43 TOAEF A, engine failure (NAS Whidbey)
29736/5R1 5/13/43-11/1/43
29737/5R2 11/1/43, former VB-135/2.
29740/8R2 10/21/43
29744/8R1 10/11/43, former VB-135.
29749/14 to Hedron on 5/5/43
29803/9R 5/13/43
29806/4R 11/19/43
29847/9 MIS A 5/10/43
33133/8 lost 9/25/43
33140/3 lost 11/9/43

Hedron planes, 7 as of 12/15:
X2, X3, X7, X9, X10 (29795), X11, X12 (33118)

Another PV-1, possibly VB-136
Another PV-1, possibly VB-136

2 colored camouflage and early "Star in Circle" national insignia in 8 positions

VB-136 2V 29775
VB-136 2V 29775

Logo, Empire Express.jpeg
Logo, Empire Express.jpeg

Another PV-1, possibly VB-136
Another PV-1, possibly VB-136

2 colored camouflage and early "Star in Circle" national insignia in 8 positions