A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Smoke on 'Bat" Shows Hits - Page - 33 - Naval Aviation News - December 1949..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1949/dec49 [12JUL2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-25 was designated a "Bat" squadron and received their PB4Y-2B "Privateers" in early 1948 at NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Equipped with Bat racks outboard of numbers 1 and 4 engines, the squadron was able to "attack" shipping and other targets from about 7 miles distant with the 1600 pound ASM-2 glide bomb which directed itself to the target using a small radar in its nose. VP-25 was disestablished in the fall of 1949 by mistake! VP-22, its companion squadron at was supposed to receive the ax but sloughed the blow off on VP-25! I joined the squadron in the fall of ‘48 as a freshly winged Aviation Midshipman and was commissioned in April 1949. We deployed to NAS Agana, Guam, NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan, MCAS Tsingtao, China, and NS Sangley Point, Philippines. CDR Norris A. Johnson was C. O., LCDR George Ghesquirre was Exec, and LCDR Bill Luce was Ops Officer. The squadron won the Pacific VP "Meatball" which recognized its proficiency in all VP missions and, as well, its guided missile role in which the squadron scored in excess of 80% direct hits with inert missiles...." Charles H. Welling Jr. email@example.com [27APR99]
Circa 1945 - 1946
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...In 1948 VP-28 (NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)...Our other sister squadron was VP-25, the "Bat" squadron..." Contributed by James C. Miller, Sr. Patron firstname.lastname@example.org
A BIT OF HISTORY: " CD-ROM: Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol. 2 Stock No. 008-046-00195-2 The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL), and VP(AM) Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C...." [15JUN2000]Circa 1945
CHAPTER 3 Patrol Squadron (VP) Histories VP-25 146KB
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - October 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - August 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - April 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - March 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - February 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - January 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Through January and early February 1945, USS SAN PABLO (AVP-30) made search missions in the South China Sea and along the China coast with VPB-25 and VP-33 squadrons. On 13 February, she was relieved by USS Tangier (AV-8) and returned to Leyte..." WebSite: EBay http://cgi.ebay.com/ USS-SAN-PABLO-AVP-30-NICE-CACHET-CANCEL-NOV-15-1948_W0QQitemZ5631920355QQcategoryZ684QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem [03NOV2005]
Circa 1944 - 1949
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Crew eight - Wings of Gold, Fall 1998 by Schultz, Melvin Ray..." [29MAR2005]
Crew Eight of VPB-25 had already logged 35 "green ink" raids when utter disaster struck on January 26, 1945. The crew had participated in the battles of Leyte Gulf in October, 1944, and Mindora in December, 1944, in the Philippines.
But on January 16, 1945, the crew crashed in their borrowed PBM, 300 miles west of Lyngeyen Gulf. For 12 hours the crew worked feverishly amidst 50-foot waves to keep the flotsam afloat. Five miles away, the cruiser Montpelier picked up a radar blip from Crew Eight's Gibson Girl kite which they had sent aloft and was 100 feet above the water. The destroyer Hopewell was dispatched to rescue the crew. The crew was comprised of LT J.L. Stevenson, ENS D.M. Peterson, ENS Bill Quinn, and combat aircrewmen (CA) AMM2 Frederick C. Barnes; AMM3 Warren H. Daley, AMM3 Donald H. Douglas; AMM3 Thomas J. McGowan, SNl Joseph N. Venditti; AOM3 Gordon H. Yates; ARM3 Vincent M. Grady and ARMS Charles L. Hamilton.
Ten days later, following a forced landing off the coast of French Indochina near Tam Quan Point, the crew salvaged all possible gear from their sinking PBM, paddled ashore in a raft, and hurried into the jungle. Thus began a valiant threemonth saga of escape and evasion to elude Japanese troops who were trying to overthrow the French government. The Japanese planned to use coastal facilities as bases for submarine operations.
The rescue plan for Crew Eight included evacuation by submarine from the vicinity of Sa Huyhn. Only Hamilton was successfully removed via an Australian sub, aboard which he completed a full combat tour. During the deployment, the sub sweated out more than 100 depth charge explosions. Enemy advances precluded further rescue attempts by submarine.
Crew Eight, now in the hands of a French underground unit, was moved regularly to various locations in the country. They were joined by LTJG Donald A. Henry who had been shot down on January 12, flying with Essex's VT-4. His aircrewman, ARM2C Ellsworth A. Shirley, was killed on impact. Burned and wounded, Henry underwent six weeks of treatment at My Tho before transferring to Catecka plantation near Pleiku.
The plan was to evacuate the crew by air, along with Henry and Michael Purcell, an escaped British POW. However, their situation deteriorated badly when the Japanese did overthrow the French on March 9. French citizens were to be rounded up for imprisonment. A Frenchman named Trocoire, part of the underground unit, and the others fled north into Montegard country, stopping at Ple Tonal, 60 miles from Ttourane (Danang).
On April 8, Stevenson, Peterson, and Tricoire departed for Hue to arrange sea evacuation from Pleiku. Tragically, they were captured and killed. The circumstances of their deaths remain unknown but it was rumored they were buried alive.
Crew Eight joined the French resistance and engaged the Japanese in fire fights. The underground had supplied them weapons and ammunition. While operating from PleTonan on April 27, they were betrayed by an Indochinese sergeant and ambushed by 80 Japanese soldiers. All the villagers had departed the area. The men fought the superior forces until they ran out of ammunition. LTJG Henry was wounded and died in the arms of ENS Quinn who had also been wounded. Purcell was away on a food search. It was later written about the crew, "They put up one helluva fight."
Two hours later, for having the temerity to resist the Japanese, six of the crew were executed gangland style, shot in the back of the head while kneeling, their hands and arms tied behind their backs. These were Barnes, McGowan, Douglas, Daley, Vendeti and Yates. They were eventually interred in a common grave in India.
A few days later, Quinn and Grady were paraded along the main street of Kontum. Leading the procession was a portion of the victorious platoon followed by stretchers bearing six Japanese KIAs. The Americans were bound at hands and elbows, convenient targets for rocks hurled at them by the populace. Both were tortured and questioned for days about the identities of underground members and consigned to a Saigon POW camp.
Following liberation, they were interviewed extensively before returning to the U.S. Sadly, after the horror he had experienced in the war, Grady was killed in an auto accident in October, within a month of repatriation.
Strangely, while French veterans organizations have paid tribute to these intrepid warriors, the U.S. government has provided no recognition of Crew Eight's feats and courageous actions. Quinn was to testify at several war crimes hearings but they were canceled without explanation. One trial was held and resulted in conviction of six Japanese. Inexplicably, these records were sealed for over 50 years. Neither medals, awards nor recognition have been accorded Crew Eight.
The gallant contributions of these men will not be lost to our history. On October 9, 1998, Crew Eight was inducted into the Enlisted Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor aboard USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. Bill Quinn, the sole survivor, represented his valorous Combat Aircrewmen shipmates.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "21AUG45--Operations at Tawi Tawi consisting almost entirely of anti-submarine patrols continued throughout July and August until VPB-17 was relieved of operational duties by VPB-25 on August 21st..." Contributed by Thomas Edwin Russell email@example.com
A BIT OF HISTORY: PB4Y-2 Squadron Assignments "...PB4Y-2 Squadron Assignments 1944 - 1949 by W. T. Larkins 5-11-1984. A review of the aircraft history cards for the 740 aircraft 59350-60009 and 66245-66324 allows the following squadrons with one or more aircraft. Unfortunately the original assignment on many in 1944 is simply "PAC" for Pacific area. No card was found to verify VB-200 as the first squadron delivery or any Marine Corps squadrons. Squadrons listed include VP-12, VP-21, VP-22, VP-23, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-29, VPB-100, VPB-101, VPB-10, VPB-102, VPB-104, VPB-106, VPB-107, VPB-108, VPB-109, VPB-111, VPB-114, VPB-115, VPB-116, VPB-117, VPB-118, VPB-119, VPB-120, VPB-121, VPB-122, VPB-123, VPB-124, VPB-143, VPB-197, VPB-200, VP-HL-1, VP-HL-2, VP-HL-4, VP-HL-6, VP-HL-7, VP-HL-8, VP-HL-9, VP-HL-10, VP-HL-11, VP-HL-12, VP-HL-13, VPM-1, VPW-1, VPW-2, VPW-3, VX-1 and VX-2..." Contributed by Bill Larkins firstname.lastname@example.org [01AUG2010]
Circa 1944 - 1945
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - 1944-1945..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - December 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VPB-25) - War Diary - November 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [24OCT2013]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-5 - VP-25 War Diary - October 1944 - War Diary..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [03NOV2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-5 - VP-25 War Diary - September 1944 - War Diary..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [03NOV2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-5 - VP-25 War Diary - August 1944 - War Diary..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [03NOV2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-5 - VP-25 War Diary - July 1944 - War Diary..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [03NOV2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-5 - VP-25 War Diary - June 1944 - Establishment..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [03NOV2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: FAW-2 VP Aircraft and Location "...FAW-2, VPB-4, VPB-13, VPB-19, VPB-25, VPB-26, VPB-28, VPB-71, VPB-100, VPB-111 and VPB-115 - FAW-2/A12-1 01 NOVEMBER to 30 NOVEMBER 1944..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [16OCT2012]
United States Naval Patrol Bombing Squadron VPB-25
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...My Dad (SYDNEY HARDY PRINCE) compiled the following history of VP-25...I hope you can make this available to all - it was compiled from actual navy records he still has..." Contributed by SYDNEY HARDY PRINCE c/o his son Jeff Prince JPRINCE800@AOL.COM [05SEP98]
History of WW2 activity condensed to major events
Transcribed by S. Hardy Prince, (O.K.A. Sydney H. Prince)
Beverly MA July 1998
20APR44 Sqdn. formed and shakedown at NAS Harvey Point, Hertford, North Carolina Aircraft: Martin "Mariner", PBM-3d (later PBM-5) flying boat. Captain: Lt.Cmdr. James C. Skorcz, Exec.: Lt. William J. Scammon, and later Lt. Frank M. Screws, with aprox. 58 officers and 173 enlisted men.
26JUN44 - 04JUL44 at Key West NAS, FL for low altitude bombing practice. Plane no. 45315, diamond 13, struck seawall at start-up but did not sink. Cause: broken throttle cable.20-22AUG44 Sqdn. enroute from NAS Harvey Point, Hertford, North Carolina to NAS Alameda, California
15SEP44 Sqdn. enroute from NAS Alameda, California to NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Flight duration 15.6 hrs. 13 of our 15 planes made a new mass flight record. Two remaining planes arrived later Various training exercises carried out during our stay in HI.
14-31OCT44 Sqdn. Temp duty at Hilo Bay, Hawaii,HI aboard the AVP BEARING STRAIT. Purpose: tender-ship indoctrination.
18-25NOV44 Sqdn. enroute from NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii to LEYTE GULF, San Pedro Bay, P.I. via Johnston I., Ebeye I. at Kwajalein Atoll, and Woendi Island (Biak group). We were based aboard Seaplane Tenders HALF MOON and SAN PABLO under orders from flag ship tender CURRITUCK. During most of our tour at the PHILIPINE ISLANDS our task was Anti submarine warfare (ASW) and medium and low altitude bombing. Most if not all of our pie-shaped- sector patrols took place over waters where enemy craft were expected.
18DEC44 [NOTE: our nose designation was a diamond with the plane number inside it. Thus, for ex., crew 12 became diamond 12]. Crew 12 on this date flew through a typhoon some 200 miles N.E. of Leyte. We met a large convoy steaming toward Leyte Bay and the storm broke the backs of U. S. destroyers MONAGHAN, SPENCE, and HULL.
22NOV44 Nov. 22 Lt. D.O. Miles in diamond 15 was forced down at sea 300 miles East of Manus---- towed to Emirau I. and repaired. Took off for Manus and, upon arrival, caught fire while taxiing to ramp. Sank with no casualties. Several days later Capt. Skorcz' aircraft struck an LCT while taxiing at Woendi I. and was surveyed.
25DEC44 Huge Kamikaze attack at night upon the PT tenders moored in Leyte Bay. One of our Sqdn. members was injured by a bomb fragment.
30DEC44 Sqdn. departs Leyte and arrives at MANGARIN BAY, Mindoro,P.I. aboard Seaplane Tenders HALF MOON and SAN PABLO.
01JAN45 Diamond 12 with E.D. Crocker, D.A.Riedl and S.H.Prince piloting returned from near Hainan, China on single-engine! A single engine record of 660 miles. Fifty gallons of fuel drained from tanks after making the mooring buoy. About this time an ammo ship was hit by a Kamikaze. It was probably about three miles away from us. The smoke rose to 5000` and the fire could be seen for days. We took on injured.
14JAN45 Diamond 12 , Bu # 45266, crashed and burned upon hitting a coral reef during a pre dawn takeoff. Two men killed: Co-pilot Lt(jg) Donald A. Riedl, and Henry Rockwell Shaffer, AMM3c. ADDENDA to this incident from crash survivor, Co-pilot Ens. S.H.Prince:----- Our pick-up- boat rescuers were unknown until 1998 when, through a series of unusual circumstances, we were made known to each other.---Let me now quote from ADVENTURES OF LST-708. "It so happened that Robert Madden and Richard Wroblewski were in one of the LCVPs with the engine running at the time of the crash.---[they shoved off without orders and headed toward the crash-site]---They were able to rescue the entire crew by dragging the members out of the burning plane while explosives were going off all around them".--------Ray Danty was the third member of the boat crew. In April of 1998 , George Miller, another crash survivor and I, met Bob Madden and Ski Wroblewski at a VPB-25 Reunion at Charleston, S.C. After 53 YEARS we met the men who saved our lives-----at risk of their own!
16JAN45 Lt. Stevenson in diamond 8 made a forced landing 185 miles W. of Manila. All crew members rescued by destroyer USS HOPEWELL which sunk the badly disabled plane with gunfire.
26JAN45 Again diamond 8, captained by Lt. Stevenson lost the starbhoard engine and radioed that he was heading for the Indo-China coast. No further news until Feb. 5th when an Australian submarine SHORR was sighted by Lt. Crocker and it eventually picked up Charles L. Hamilton, ARM 2c. Others were unable to be rescued due to Japanese opposition. Of the remaining ten men of crew 8, Ens. William A. Quinn, Pilot, and Vincent M. Grady, ARM 3c were POWs in Saigon and liberated after the war. Lt. James L. Stevenson, PPC and Ens. Dwaine M. Peterson, Pilot, were captured by the Japanese and made POWs at Hue. They were believed executed and their bodies destroyed. Frederick C. Barnes, AMM2c;Thomas J. McGowan, AMM3c; Donald H. Douglas, AMM3c; Warren H. Daley, AMM3c; Joseph N. Venditti, S1c; Gordon H. Yates, AOM3c were captured by the Japanese at Tanang and executed. The bodies of these six men were reinterred in the U.S. military cemetery at Barrackpore, India in July of 1947.
03FEB45 Lt. Coston forced down 500 miles from Mangarin Bay. Next day Lt. Cmdr. Screws took off, met the disabled plane, taxied to side, and skillfully transferred fuel from his plane to Lt. Coston's plane. Both planes eventually returned intact to Mindoro.
09FEB45 Sqdn. departs Mangarin Bay for Jinamoc Island, Leyte Gulf, P.I.
25-27FEB45 Detachment leaves Jinamoc and returns to Mangarin Bay.
07MAR45 Mindoro detachment shifts base to Manila Bay aboard sea plane tender SAN CARLOS.
11MAR45 C. L. Hamilton of ill-fated diamond 8 returns to squadron. The only member heard from until the end of the war.
24-28JUN45 Detachment at Cavite departs and arrives @ Lingayen Gulf aboard Seaplane Tender CURRITUCK. Jinamoc detachment departs for Cavite (Sangley Pnt. NAS) and bases aboard AVP SAN CARLOS. Relief crews arriving.
09JUL45 Cavite det. moves to Puerta Princessa, Palawan, P.I. with some men berthed aboard AVP BARATARIA.
24JUL45 Lt. Cmdr. C.M. Kohr replaces Lt. Cmdr. J.C.Skorcz as Sqdn. Cmdr.and Lt. Cmdr. F.M. Screws is replaced by Lt. J.W. Whitt as Exec.
20AUG45 AVP SAN PABLO relieves AV CURRITUCK in Lingayen Gulf. One half of the sqdn. is headquartering aboard, the other half to Tavi Tawi, P.I. based aboard AV POCOMOKE.
28AUG45 AVP ORCA relieves AV POCOMOKE at TaviTawi and Southern det. moves aboard. "Black Cat" operations nightly along China coast.
00SEP45 Lingayen primary mission is now air-sea rescue.
12OCT45 SAN PABLO at Lingayan relieved by Seaplane Tender HALF MOON.
00OCT45 Tavi Tawi det. (Southern) now based at NS Sangley Point, Philippines (Manila Bay), engaged in utility missions.
30OCT45 HALF MOON relieved by POCOMOKE.
08-09NOV45 Fourteen survivors from a crashed R5D were evacuated by PBM.
20DEC45 Six PBM-5 aircraft and crews reported aboard USS Duxbury Bay (AVP-38) at Tsingtao, China and assigned courier flights. The remaining six PBM-5 came aboard AV CURTISS at Shanghai and also assigned courier work. On the day of arrival at Shanghai, one plane crashed upon landing and sank ---with no injuries.
01JAN46 Lt. Cmdr. W.P.Tanner relieved Lt. Cmdr. C.M.Kohr as skipper with Lt. Cmdr. R.M.Wallace becoming temporary exec. Crews aboard AV CURTISS moved to AVP GREENWICH BAY at Shanghai. Crews aboard USS Duxbury Bay (AVP-38) at Tsingtao moved to tender CHINCOTEAGUE.
15JAN46 Shanghai crews moved from AV GREENWICH BAY to AV FLOYDS BAY. A week later they moved to AV PINE ISLAND.
25JAN46 VPB-25 began exchanging stations with VPB-26 --------Sqdn. now based aboard NORTON SOUND near Yokohama.
24FEB46 Lt. Cmdr. H. G. Tomlin relieves Lt. Cmdr. R. M. Wallace as Exec.
00MAR46 VPB-21 left area and VPB-25 courier flights extended to OKINAWA.
00APR46 VPB-25 prepares for decommissioning. On APRIL 30 VPB-25 was relieved of duties by VPB-21.
30MAY46 First plane arrives at NAS Alameda, California.
27JUN46 Last plane arrives at NAS Alameda, California.
28JUN46 VPB-25 decommissioned. Contributed by SYDNEY HARDY PRINCE c/o his son Jeff Prince JPRINCE800@AOL.COM [05SEP98]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-5 - History of Headquarters Squadron Fleet Air Wing Five - 01SEP42 through 01JAN45. Squadron's Assigned: VP-15, VP-16, VP-17, VP-18, VP-21, VP-22, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-31, VP-52, VP-63, VP-81, VP-92, VP-94, VPB-105, VPB-107, VPB-110, VPB-111, VPB-112, VPB-113, VPB-114, VPB-126, VPB-134, VPB-147, VPB-149, VP-201, VP-205, VP-208, VP-209, VP-210, VP-211, VP-212, VP-213, VP-214, VP-215 and VP-216 - Submitted Feburary 1, 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [27NOV2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VP-25 History "...CAPTAIN J. L. CHITTENDEN was serving with VP-25 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor..." Official U. S. Navy Documention [22DEC2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...San Pablo - A shallow, northern extension of San Francisco Bay in California. (AVP-30: dp. 2,619; l. 310'9"; b. 41'2"; dr. 12'7"; s. 18.5 k.; cpl. 367; a. 2 5", 8 40mm., 8 20mm.; cl. Barnegat) (Squadrons Mentioned: VP-11, VPB-25, VP-33, VP-34, VP-52, VP-101..." WebSite: Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s4/san_pablo.htm [25DEC2005]
San Pablo (AVP-30) was laid down on 2 July 1941 302 by the Associated Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Wash.; launched on 31 March 1942; sponsored by Mrs. W. A. Hall; and commissioned on 15 March 1943, Comdr. R. R. Darron in command.
Following commissioning and outfitting, San Pablo conducted shakedown in the Puget Sound area and then steamed to San Diego for readiness training. On 15 June, the small seaplane tender departed the west coast and headed for the South Pacific. At Espiritu Santo, San Pablo embarked marines and deck cargo; then proceeded to Noumea, New Caledonia. After offloading there, she went to Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia, to pick up the flight crews and aviation supplies, including spare parts and fuel, of patrol squadron VP-101; then returned to Noumea to commence operations as tender and base for "Black-Cat" (night-fighting, air-search, and reconnaissance) PBM's and PBY's.
With VP-101 and assigned crash boats, San Pablo formed Task Group 73.1 and established their seaplane base by charting the bay, setting out mooring and marker bouys, and constructing quarters for squadron personnel at nearby Honey Hollow. They also built an advanced base at Samarai, Papua, New Guinea. For the next several months, the "Black Cats" operated from these bases, preying on enemy shipping along the coasts of New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland, and in the Bismarck Sea. They inflicted great losses on inter-island barge traffic as well as to heavy shipping; harassed enemy troops with night bombing and strafing missions; conducted photo intelligence operations; provided at-sea search and rescue support for downed Army fliers and sailors of sunken vessels; and carried high ranking officers, friendly coast watchers, and native guerrilla units.
While continuously on the alert for enemy air attack, San Pablo sailors worked around the clock to fuel, repair, arm, and control the seaplanes; and to feed and care for their crews. On 9 October, she was relieved by Half Moon (AVP-26) and sailed to Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia for long needed repair, replenishment, and shore leave. She returned to Noumea on 20 December and resumed operations with VP-52. During January 1944, she gave direct support to the force which occupied Finschhafen, New Guinea, and helped to establish a new advance base at Langemak Bay. At times, she also tended the planes of VP-34, then flying rescue missions for the 5th AAF from Port Moresby. She once temporarily based two OS2U scout planes from Boise (CL-47).
From Langemak Bay, San Pablo's planes helped to prevent the Japanese from supplying garrisons on Rabaul and Kavieng. On 25 February, relieved again by Half Moon, San Pablo returned to Noumea for repairs alongside Dobbin (AD-3). During the work, she assisted in removing a screw from Aaron Ward (DM-34) using her seaplane winch. This speeded repairs to the destroyer-minelayer and allowed her to reach Ulithi in time to prepare for the forthcoming Okinawa campaign.
By 24 March, San Pablo was conducting operations at Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, with VP-33 and VP-52 planes. They carried out night bombing missions in the Carolines and search flights by day. The pace had so quickened by the end of March that USS Tangier (AV-8) was brought in to help carry the load. On 13 May, they moved to Hollandia to patrol the approaches to Wakde Island prior to Allied landings there. Relieved by Orca (AVP-49) on 26 May, San Pablo then refueled PT boats at Humboldt Bay and transported personnel and cargo between Manus, Seeadler, Emirau, and Wpendi. On 19 August, she commenced ASW patrols with VP-11 planes at Woendi and, during October and November, conducted ASW operations off Morotai and Hollandia. Later relieved by Saw Carlos (AVP-51), she moved to Anibong on Bay, Leyte, to support planes conducting search missions in the Philippines.
On 8 December, San Pablo received survivors of Mahan (DD-364) who had been picked up by one of her PBM's after that destroyer had suffered three kamikaze hits and sank in Ormoc Bay. She then joined a convoy en route to Mindoro and came under severe attack by suicide planes for ten consecutive days. Most of the kamikazes were beaten off by AA fire from the convoy screen or by CAP planes. However, one hit an ammunition ship which completely disintegrated in a tremendous explosion, and another crashed into a Liberty ship and caused severe damage. On 30 December at Mindoro, a Val barely passed astern of San Pablo and crashed into Orestes (AGP-10), wounding four San Pablo men with shrapnel. On the 31st, a Betty bombed nearby Porcupine (IX-126) and then crashed into Gansevoort (DD-608). Through January and early February 1945, San Pablo made search missions in the South China Sea and along the China coast with VPB-25 and VP-33 squadrons. On 13 February, she was relieved by USS Tangier (AV-8) and returned to Leyte.
Through April, she escorted LST-777, Chestatee (AOG-49), and various merchant transports between Leyte and Palawan. She then steamed, via Morotai, to Manus. At the end of June, she moved to Samar and the Lingayen Gulf area for air search and rescue operations in the South China Sea-Formosa area. These lasted until 15 August when she received orders to cease offensive operations. On 2 September, the day of Japan's formal surrender ceremony, San Pablo was in Lingayen Gulf providing ASW patrols to cover occupation convoys bound for Japan.
San Pablo returned to Bremerton, Wash., on 17 November to prepare for inactivation. She moved to Alameda, Calif., on 25 March 1946 and remained idle until placed out of commission, in reserve, on 13 January 1947.
Following conversion to a hydrographic-survey vessel, San Pablo was reconunissioned on 17 September 1948 at San Francisco, Comdr. T. E. Chambers in command. She conducted shakedown training off San Diego from 29 October to 15 November and was then ordered to report to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. San Pablo reached Portsmouth, Va., on 14 December and completed outfitting prior to sailing on 3 February 1949, in company with Rehoboth (AVP-50) for oceanographic work in the western approaches to the Mediterrannean. Calling at Ponta Delgada, Azores; Plymouth, England; Gibraltar; and Bermuda; she returned to Philadelphia on 18 April. During the remainder of the year, she conducted two similar cruises to survey and measure ocean currents; and, during the last, made a study of the North Atlantic Drift. She included in her ports of call Scapa Flow; the Orkney Islands; Oslo, Norway; and Copenhagen, Denmark. San Pablo was redesignated AGS-30, effective 25 August 1949.
Beginning 18 January 1950, she conducted a survey of the Gulf Stream; and, from 5 to 26 June, served as Survey Headquarters Ship for a group of American and Canadian vessels engaged in broad coverage behavioral studies of that massive current. After a cruise to Casablanca, French Morocco, in July and August, she returned to the east coast of the United States to conduct survey operations between New London and Key West for the remainder of the year.
During 1951, San Pablo conducted oceanographic studies during various cruises, ranging from Scotland to the Mediterranean and along the coast in the Narragansett Bay operating area. Her tasks included making accurate profile studies of the ocean bottom for the purpose of evaluating new sonar devices. In 1952, she spent the majority of her time in the North Atlantic, and devoted the latter part of the year to training operations out of Norfolk. From 1953 through 1968, San Pablo alternated between the North Atlantic and the Caribbean conducting studies on salinity, sound reflectivity, underwater photography techniques, deep bottom core sampling, bottom profile mapping, subsurface wave phenomena, and other topics still classified. For several months during 1965, she utilized the port and docking facilities at Rosyth, Scotland, as a temporary home port, courtesy of the British Royal Navy. From 1 January to 29 May 1969, she underwent inactivation at Philadelphia.
San Pablo was decommissioned on 29 May 1969 and struck from the Navy list on 1 June. After being used by the Ocean Science Center of the Atlantic Commission, Savannah, Georgia, she was sold on 14 September 1971 to Mrs. Margo Zahardis of Vancouver, Wash.
San Pablo earned four battle stars for World War II service.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of FAW-8 - History from 08JUL41-31DEC44 Submitted April 12th, 1945. Squadron's Assigned: VP-16, VP-18, VP-19, VP-20, VP-21, VP-22, VP-25, VP-26, VP-27, VP-28, VP-43, VP-61, VP-62, VP-63, VP-72, VP-81, VP-82, VP-83, VP-84, VP-92, VP-118, VP-123, VP-133, VP-137, VP-140, VP-142, VP-144, VP-148, VP-150, VP-153, VP-198, VP-205, VP-208 and VP-216..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [01DEC2012]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Circa 1940 AIRCRAFT SCOUTING FORCE - Rear Admiral Arthur L. Bristol - HULBERT (AVD-6) - LCDR J. V. Carney..." Contributed by John Lucas email@example.com [15DEC98]
PATROL WING ONE - CDR W. K. Harrill
USS HULBERT (AVD-6) - LCDR J. V. Carney
USS PELICAN (AVP-6) - LT H. J. Dyson
USS AVOCET (AVP-4) - LT R. E. Dixon
VP-11 - LCDR J. W. Harris
VP-12 - LCDR C. W. Oexle
VP-13 - LCDR S. B. Cooke
VP-14 - LCDR W. T. Rassieur
PATROL WING TWO - CAPTAIN Patrick N. L. Bellinger
USS WRIGHT (AV-1) - CDR J. M. Shoemaker,
USS WILLIAM B. PRESTON (AVD-7) - LCDR F. J. Bridget
USS SWAN (AVP-7) - and LT A. R. Truslow, Jr.
VP-22 - LCDR W. P. Cogswell
VP-23 - LCDR G. Van Deurs
VP-24 - LCDR D. C. Allen
VP-25 - LCDR A. R. Brady
VP-26 - LCDR A. N. Perkins
"VP-25 History Summary Page"