Circa 1948 - 1966
History with P2 Neptunes
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-5 History with P2 Neptunes..." WebSite: http://www.verslo.is/baldur/p2/VP5_history.htm [05MAR2006]
Jun 1948: VP-ML-5 received the first P2V Neptune, and changed its nickname to the "Mad Foxes."
Jun 1958: The squadron deployed to NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada. "Ice reccos" and shipping patrols were flown without incident. "Ice reccos" were patrols over shipping lanes on the lookout for icebergs that might endanger surface vessels in the area. In July, half of the squadron deployed to NS Rota, Spain, to become the first patrol squadron based there.
Apr 1959: VP-5 deployed to Keflavik, Iceland. Two other squadrons were stationed there during this period, participating in exercises with the fleet. A Soviet submarine was tracked for 24 hours at one point in the exercise, but finally surfaced and proceeded on its way after failing to shake the trackers.
Jul 1960: The squadron was scheduled for a five month deployment to NS Rota, Spain, for duties with the Sixth Fleet, but in September the deployment was rescheduled. VP-5 became the first full squadron to be deployed to NAS Sigonella, Sicily, after the base became operational.
Apr–May 1961: VP-5 participated in exercises in the Caribbean as well as aiding in the recovery of America's first astronaut, Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., on 5 May 1961.
Jul 1961: As part of the Project Mercury recovery team, VP-5 aided in the recovery of Captain Virgil I. Grissom, USAF.
1 Sep 1962: The squadron was again called upon to assist in the recovery of astronauts, participating in the spotting of Commander Wally M. Shirra after his famous flight on 3 October 1962, orbiting six times around the earth.
Oct 1962: The squadron was one of the first called up for the Cuban Quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. VP-5 staged patrols from NAS Jacksonville, Florida; NS Roosevelt Roads, PR; and NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It was the first squadron to spot and photograph a Soviet ship, Bucharest, carrying missiles, and later the first to locate and track the first Soviet ship departing Cuba with dismantled missiles aboard.
1 Jul 1966: VP-5 received its first three P-3A Orions. The squadron was the last fleet operational unit to fly the SP2E.
Neptune variants assigned.
P2V-1 Jun 1948
SP2E 1964 - 1 Jul 1966
Major Overseas Deployments
"VP-5 History Summary Page"