VPB-120

 

3/28/45 15 new PB4Y-2 were assigned to the squadron with 6 used PB4Y-2 for training purposes. The 6 used planes were transferred to VPB-115 by the end of May.

 

59745, 7/19/45- emergency landing at Yakatat en route to Shemya from Whidbey Island via Anchorage and Adak.

 

August 1945: 18 crews and 14 Privateers. As of 8/3/45: 2 a/c transferred to HEDRON,12 planes in custody.

 

VPB-120 squadron call codes (tail codes) assigned by the Fleet Air Wing Four: 81-100.

The codes of the aircraft flown by the Squadron in August: 81- 95. The 93V (BuNo 59710) remained with Hedron through the month of August and did not participate in Kurile missions. 

BuNos and known corresponding tail codes (squadron call codes):

59646           6-8/45, wrecked in Atsugi, Japan 1/14/1952

59704  95V   6-8/45 wrecked in Atsugi, Japan 1/14/1952

59710  93V   6-12/45 Hedron; no Kurile missions flown. 6-12/45

59716  92V   6-12/45

59741  91V   6-12/45 filmed as “Bouncing Betty” in 1958 movie “The Lady Takes A Flyer” 

59745  90V   “Black Sheep” 6-12/45

59807  89V    6-11/45

59809  87V?  6-11/45

59816  86V  1-11/45

59819           6-12/45 restored in VPB-120 colors, on display at Pima Air & Space Museum, Tuscon, AZ

59821 84V    6-12/45 wrecked at NAS Kodiak 7/22/1947 

59823           6-12/45

59827           6-12/45

59838 81V    6-12/45 

All BuNos and corresponding squadron codes were confirmed by the photographs. Analyzing their sequence it is logical to propose that

59827 was 82V

59823 was 83V

59819 was 85V

59646 was 96V

I am in continuous search for the photos of the Aleutian Privateers to prove this hypothesis!

Six bombing and strafing missions were flown before the end of the hostilities:

8/3: 82V Davis, 83V Marlin, 81V (59838) Reynolds, 84V Doyle

8/5: 83V Marlin, 86V (59816) Noyer, 91V (59741) Chandler, 92V Hofheimer 

8/7: 84V Doyle, 88V MacLean, 94V Edwards, 95V Kisssling 

8/12: 81V(59838) Reynolds, 82V Davis, 83V Cook, 84V Doyle, 87V(59809?) Courtney, 88V Chandler, 92V Hefferman, 94V McElnea. Two bombed Kurabu Zaki, three were diverted from mission to cover Task Force and provide anti-snooper patrol, two were recalled back to base

8/13: 83V Marlin, 89V(59807) Trust

 

8/14: Four Privateers flew the final Kurile mission, an anti-shipping sweep. 94V Edwards was over the target at 1300W, 84V Doyle- at 1312W, and 81V (59838) Reynolds- at 1338W. It is unclear whether any targets were attacked, since all planes were recalled to base due to the surrender of Japan at 1340W. The fourth plane, 87V (59809) Chandler, did not make it to his target area before receiving the call to return.

 

8/17: Sector searches

86V Courtney

89V Cook (initially scheduled to fly 85V)

92V Hefferman

8/18: Sector searches (VPB-122)

61V Jennings

63V Hartley

64V Ranney

8/21: Sector searches

61V Warren

72V McGerry (VPB-122)

83V Chandler

90V Trust

8/22: Sector searches

65V McMillan

67V Daves (VPB-122)

88V McLean

89V Reyner

8/23: Sector searches

64V Fowler

68V Curtin (VPB-122)

82V Boyle 

84V McElnea

8/24: Sector searches

66V Johnston

69V Little (VPB-122)

82V Phillips

85V Marlin

Two successful photo missions to the Kurils were flown by VPB-120 in August after the surrender of Japan:

8/24 86V Trust

8/25 92V Doyle

Both missions were flown from Onekotan south to the limit of range. On the first mission, approximately 400 vertical and oblique photos of Onekotan, and oblique photos of Shasukotan, and Harumkotan were obtained with 20" and 8 1/4" focal lens F-56 cameras. Additional 50 oblique photos were made with K-20 camera, all from the altitude between 200 and 1,000 feet.

Two small surface crafts were sighted in the bay north of Otomari Zaki during both missions. Another DD or DE making estimated 25 knots was sighted by 86V crew. No attempts were made to contact or identify the shipping due to the nature of the missions. 

 

Two more photo missions were flown in September. Excellent vertical pictures of Kurile chain from Paramushiru to Shimushiru were obtained during September 3 mission.

 

8/25: Sector searches

61V Morgan

63V Nazarenus

65V Bruneau (VPB-122)

88V Edwards

90V Kissling

8/26: Sector searches

64V Jennings

67V Boche

68V Word (VPB-122)

82V Davis

85V Cook

91V Courtney

8/30: Sector searches

62V Curtin

63V Fowler

65V McCrery (VPB-122)

83V Chandler

86V Trust (originally scheduled to fly 85V)

89V Phillips

On September 27 six Privateers were stripped off armament, bomb bay tanks and armor for the purpose of transferring of the Staff of Commander North Pacific Force from Adak to Kodiak. On September 29 the squadron was flown from Shemya to Casco field, Attu. 30 September five disarmed aircraft, carrying 52 Navy personnel as passengers, departed Attu for Adak arriving the same day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early aircraft of VPB-120:

 

59357 4/45, 6-7/45 crashed 8/13/45 while with Hedron FAW6

59365 5/45

59366 3/45, 6-7/45

59372 3-4/45, 6/45

59373 5/45

59374 5/45

59555 4-5/45

59578 4-5/45

59585 4-5/45

59589 4-5/45

59591 4-5/45

59596 4-5/45

59601 4-5/45

59604 4-5/45

59605 4-5/45

59606 4-5/45

59608 4-5/45

59612 4-5/45

596144-5/45

59615 4-5/45

59617 4-5/45 Miss Milovin (while with VPB-116/121)

59620 4-5/45

59701 6-7/45

59704 6-7/45 wrecked in Atsugi, Japan 1/14/1952

59813 6/45

 

Flown by Donald Barker's crew in 1946 (per Malcolm Barker's flight log):

59646

59701

59704

59710

59716

59745

59805

59809

59813

59816

59819         

59821 

59827  

 

 

 

8-7-1945_5

8-7-1945_5

Attack on Torishima Retto, small group of islands east of Paramushiro. Photo courtesy of Allen Ford

8-7-1945 pic by 94V Edwards_6 note 84V

8-7-1945 pic by 94V Edwards_6 note 84V

Attack on Torishima Retto, small group of islands east of Paramushiro. Photo courtesy of Allen Ford.

8-7-1945 pic by 94V Edwards_7

8-7-1945 pic by 94V Edwards_7

Attack on Torishima Retto, small group of islands east of Paramushiro. Photo courtesy of Allen Ford.

8-7-1945 pic by 84V Doyle-2

8-7-1945 pic by 84V Doyle-2

Attack on Torishima Retto, small group of islands east of Paramushiro. Photo courtesy of Allen Ford.

VPB-120 group Whidbey

VPB-120 group Whidbey

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Veronico

PB4Y2 Kodiak

PB4Y2 Kodiak

Whidbey Island 1945 or 46

Whidbey Island 1945 or 46

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Barker, USN (Ret).

59585, 59612

59585, 59612

Early aircraft of VPB-120. Summer 1945, Whidbey Island

59357

59357

Early plane of VPB-120, used for training. This aircraft crashed 8/13/45 while assigned with Hedron FAW6. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Veronico

From Malcolm Barker's collection

From Malcolm Barker's collection

Taken on navy day flights in 1946. Either Zeke's 59819 or Skipper Swenson's plane over Ault Field of NAS Whidbey Island.

59710 93V

59710 93V

Photo courtesy of Ted Spencer, Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum

59710 93V

59710 93V

59710 93V

59710 93V

59710 93V

59710 93V

Donald Barker Crew by 59710

Donald Barker Crew by 59710

We carried a full crew of twelve. Do not know where the other three were. Center in rear is Lt jg Donald W Barker USN PPC. On his left is Ensign Haldean E Frances USNR. On Don's right is Ensign Malcolm E Barker USNR. (Don and I were not related) Front row center is our crew Chief Petty Officer Gillis. Names for remainder of crew have "fled" during the past 70 years!

59745 90V in 1946, Attu

59745 90V in 1946, Attu

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Barker.

59745

59745

Part of Donald Barker Crew. 1946, Attu. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Barker

59745 90V

59745 90V

Photo courtesy of Ted Spencer, Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum

59745 90V The Black Sheep

59745 90V The Black Sheep

Photo courtesy of Ted Spencer, Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum

59745 90V  The Black  Sheep VPB-120 Shemya Aleutian Islands 08-1945

59745 90V The Black Sheep VPB-120 Shemya Aleutian Islands 08-1945

Photo courtesy of Todd Hackbarth

59807

59807

59807

59807

59807

59807

59807

59807

59809 possibly 87V

59809 possibly 87V

59809 possibly 87V

59809 possibly 87V

59816 86V

59816 86V

59819

59819

The photo was taken 8/1/45 during celebration of Army Air Force Day at Shemya. Image courtesy of Joe Orr, Elmendorf AB.

59819 VPB-120 AAF Day 8_1_45

59819 VPB-120 AAF Day 8_1_45

Photo courtesy of Ted Spencer, Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum

59819 VPB-120 Shemya 08-01-45 AAF Day

59819 VPB-120 Shemya 08-01-45 AAF Day

59819 in 1946

59819 in 1946

Image is courtesy of Malcolm Barker, USN (Ret).

59819 Shemya

59819 Shemya

Photo courtesy of Joe Orr, Elmendorf AB.

59819 LSFM

59819 LSFM

PB4Y-2 59819 18 March 2016 in Hgr 5

PB4Y-2 59819 18 March 2016 in Hgr 5

Photo courtesy of Bruce DeWald, USN Lt. Cmdr (Ret.), Pima Air & Space Museum

PB4Y-2 59819 18 March 2016

PB4Y-2 59819 18 March 2016

Photo courtesy of Bruce DeWald, USN Lt. Cmdr (Ret.), Pima Air & Space Museum

59821

59821

This aircraft wrecked at NAS Kodiak 7/22/1947

Unknown BuNo, VPB-120

Unknown BuNo, VPB-120

Unknown BuNo, VPB-120

Unknown BuNo, VPB-120

Unknown BuNo, VPB-120, "R..."

Unknown BuNo, VPB-120, "R..."

PB4Y-2

PB4Y-2

Japanese vessel strafing

Japanese vessel strafing

First mission of VPB-120, 8/3/1945

Bombing of Paramushiro

Bombing of Paramushiro

First mission of VPB-120, 8/3/1945

Japanese vessel strafing

Japanese vessel strafing

First mission of VPB-120, 8/3/1945

VPB-120

VPB-120

2-3-46 navigational chart

2-3-46 navigational chart

Photo is courtesy of Malcolm Barker, VPB-120

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