VPB-2 OTU History
A BIT OF HISTORY: VPB-2 OTU#4 letter "...VPB-2 OTU#4 Letter sent by Ensign Harold B. Wright 19OCT45..." Contributed by John Lucas JohnLucas@netzero.com [20SEP2005]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VPB-2 OTU#3 Combat Air Crew Certificate "...VPB-2 OTU#3 Combat Air Crew Certificate Awarded 27MAR45 for CAC 56B Waist Gunner MASZAK, Z..." Contributed by MASZTAK, "Ziggie" c/o His Son Don Masztak email@example.com [29AUG2001]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VPB-2 OTU-3 "...Combat Air Crew Certificate - November 6, 1944 - HAUCK, ADR1 John William Jr. Personal Awards..." Contributed by William O'Daniel Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org [10OCT2008]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...When I reported to Jacksonville, after my overseas tour on June 12, 1944, I was assigned to VPB2-OTU2. At that time there were two units of 50 or 60 planes each, the other being VPB2-OTU1. On Nov. 20,1944 the two units were combined into one unit, VPB2-OTU1, and we had a total of about 105 PBY-5's. I was an AMM 1/c and was assigned to the Structures Department as a crew leader. During operational training we sent out about 40 flights in the morning and then beached all planes at noon. We sent out about the same number in the afternoon. That made a lot of work for the beach crews. They had three or four operating for each event. There are less than the 105 planes in the picture as we always had several planes away for overhaul. These pictures were taken in Nov. 1945 which would have been after WWII ended and just prior to the squadron being disestablished. I was transferred from the unit on Dec. 5, 1945..." Contributed by Franklin Schroer, TDCM USN(Ret) email@example.com [15AUG2000]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...I took operational training with VPB-2 at Jacksonville on PBY-3s, and was with the first group to receive aircrew wings upon graduation (Bob Hope did a show for us as a publicity bit). This was in late March, 1944 (See story in Naval Aviation News, April 15, 1944; and the picture shows me, third-row center, with a bit s-eating grin)...." Contributed by William J. Bonville firstname.lastname@example.org WebSite: http://home.cdsnet.net/~bonville/
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Circa 1944..." Contributed by John Lucas email@example.com [11SEP2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...NAS Melbourne was commissioned as Operational Training Unit 2 on October 20, 1942 and closed on February 15, 1946.The Station was used for training newly commissioned Navy and Marine pilots..." http://www.nasmelbourne.freeservers.com/ [15FEB2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: Contributed by Bob Woerner firstname.lastname@example.org[19MAR98]Circa 1941 - 1948
"...It was situated on the barrier island just south of the town of Cocoa-Beach, Florida. After opening on Oct. 1, 1940, the Navy sent the first of 6 training PBMs to the NAS. (Some of the first, as we only had 20 at the time of Pearl Harbor). Training also became ASW combat patrol with the outbreak of WWII (for us) on Dec. 7, 1941. The PBMs were replaced by a scouting squadron of OS2Us (VS-39) in March 1942. This allowed the PBMs to return to a training mission, which actually became dual training/ASW as the Battle of the Atlantic with German submarines continued until May 8, 1945. In 1942, VPB-2 Operational Training Unit 3, was formed. Eventually the squadron had 47 PBM aircraft, and operated as a unit of Fleet Air Wing 12. The overall command was the Naval Air Operational Training Command. PBM operational training continued until Nov. 30, 1945, when the post war organization was set up, and OTU-3 became ATU-3 (Advanced Training Unit). The loss of 2 aircraft, one in July, and one in Dec., 1945 are described elsewhere on the in-memorium page for VP-2. (Also see on-line "The Devil's Triangle","Flight-19", and "NAS Fort Lauderdale").
This base was the major training and operations base for the PBM Martin Mariner in the US. Operations were conducted via Cat Cay, and Great Exhuma, in the Bahamas, and other facilities in the Caribbean, as the PBMs had a great operational range. There were many other training facilities at Banana River: Project Baker- an experimental training unit tested 12 different types of Navy aircraft;- an Air Bomber Training Unit (ABTU) with 57 PBYs and SNJs for training of enlisted Air Bombers and Master Horrizontal Bombers; a supply base for Daytona Beach, Vero Beach and Melbourne, Florida outlying stations;- an Overhaul/Assembly and Repair Unit (O&R);- a Blimp Lighter than Air detachment;- a Loran Aviation Navigation Training Unit;- and a Headqurters squadron of the Fleet Air Wing. It had a full regimental type Navy Band (which doubled as an orchestra)- and a small contingent of German POWs (the bulk of whom were at NAS Melbourne, Florida).
Total aircraft at the base peaked at 278, and complement consisted of 587 civilians, 391 officers and 2492 enlisted men. The base closed on Sept. 4, 1947, reverting to the US Air Force on Sept. 1, 1948. Today it is home to Patrick Air Force Base, and the USAF Eastern Space and Missle Center.
Some information was taken from "United States Naval Air Stations of World War II- Volume 1- Eastern States" by M.L. Shettle, Jr, (http://www.airbasebooks.com/) Schaertel Publishing Co., Bowersville, GA- 1995, as well as data from the writer who was stationed on the base from June to Dec., 1945..."
CDR Carl A. "Art" Larsen
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Beginning in mid-1941, combat pilot Carl A. "Art" Larsen flew with VB-136, with VP-41 during the Aleutian Islands Campaign for which his commander won a Navy Cross, with VB-142, VPB-2 OTU-4, and FAW-6. He flew throughout the South Pacific including at Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Midway etc. all the way to Naval Seaplane Base Brisbane, Australia. His 160-page intensively detailed LOG BOOK entries chart his entire career from his training days in 1941 before Pearl Harbor through until 1948 when he was flying around occupied Japan. The Log Book is also up for auction along with the corresponding silk maps from his flights. Larsen reached the rank of Commander..." WebSite: EBay http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZairforce1944QQhtZ-1 [07JUL2007]
Can you identify the Month and or Year?
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...NAS Banana River, Florida - Squadron 2 OTU..." Contributed by George R. Hauser email@example.com [22JAN2005]Log Book
Housing for couples at NAS Banana River, Florida was terrible. My wife and I lived in one of the units in an old trailer park. We ate all our meals in restaurants or at the base. And to make matters worse for her I was often gone until long after dark and even for a couple of days at a time. But there were other couples living in the same conditions and the wives banded together and made the best of it.
I met my crew on the first or second day after reporting.
VPB-2 OTU Crew George Ralph Hauser Lieut (jg), Ensign Owen Patrick Moses, Ensign Albert Frederick Esch, Billy Fraylick S1c (AOM), Francis Horan S1c (ARM), Forrest Dale Keith S1c (ARM), William Clement Neumann S1c AOM, James Crighton Thomas AMM3c, Lester Joseph Wainwright AMM3c, George Dewey West - S1c (AOM), Ellery Carter Willis AMM1c and John Thomas Woodward AOM3c
And as always more ground school. Toward the end of our stay at NAS Banana River, Florida we made two over night round trips to San Juan, Puerto Rico using celestial navigating, LORAN, and dead reckoning. On these trips we were accompanied by hitchhikers going and returning.
On completion of the program we were ordered to San Diego. Margaret and I visited my family near Utica, N. Y. and her family near St, Lois and from there we traveled to San Diego by land-grant rail road.
On the way to San Diego we slept in an upper berth. We were awakened one night by an MP who wanted to know who I was sleeping with. I said "my wife" but he wasn't satisfied and wanted proof so I had to get up and rummage through our luggage for our wedding license. Luckily we had been warned earlier that this might happen and kept our proof close at hand.
After two and a half days on the train we moved into our off-base living quarters that Margaret had arranged through an acquaintance and I left for the navy base to check in where I was presented with orders to report immediately to Alameda and Squadron 99 that meant right now. Margaret had already settled in to the nice-little apartment and had even washed our laundry. She was disappointed but had learned by that time to accept the unexpected and move on. We packed, wet clothes and all, and caught the over night train to San Francisco.
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...I recently purchased a flight log for an AMM 2C (Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class) named Andrew J. Fumano and I'm doing some research to find out more about him. The information below was found in my Andrew Fumano flight log and is titled "Schedule of flights." Any information would be appreciated. Lance Tock Lance.Tock@co.hennepin.mn.us..." [21AUG2001]
Schedule of flights (handwritten note found in the back inside cover of the Andrew J. Fumano flight log)
A1 - Dual familiarization
A2 - Dual familiarization
A3 - Dual familiarization
A4 - Check for solo
A5 - Solo
B1 - Check Instruments for solobr>B2 - Solo instruments
C1 - Dual night
C2 - Dual night
C3 - Night check for solo
C4 - Night solo
D1 - Instruments dual
D2 - Instruments solo
D3 - instruments dual
D4 - Instruments solo
D5 - Instruments check
E1 - Day navigation
E2 - Night navigation
F1 - Medium altitude bombing
F2 - Glide bombing
F3 - Glide bombing
F4 - Masthead bombing - strafing
F7 - Low altitude - Radar bombing - day
F10 - Low altitude - Radar bombing - night
F11 - Mine laying exercise
G1 - Sleeve gunnery
G4 - Camera gunnery - V.F.
G9 - Same from formation flight
H1 - Navigation patrol (T.O. day - L. night)
H2 - Navigation patrol (T.O. night - L. day)
H3 - Night Radar patrol
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...The cover has PBM-5 Engineering Syllabus NAMTD PBM Unit No. 305 For Ground Training Department VPB-2 OTU-4 Name Clem. Edwards ens Crew No. 327 NAS Corpus Christi, Texas..." [27NOV2000]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...During WWII VPB-2 was a training squadron on the East Coast that operated 3 OTUs (Operational Training Units). VPB-2 OTU 1 operated out of NAS Jacksonville, Florida and trained pilots and combat aircrewmen in the PBY Catalina. VPB-2 OTU 3 operated out of NAS Banana River, Florida and trained in the PBM Mariners. There was also an OTU-2, and Operational Training Units at 17 other stations units in Florida, Texas and other places...There were OTUs in all types of squadrons: VP, VPB, VB, VF, VTB, VS, LSOs, etc..." Contributed by Robert E. Woerner firstname.lastname@example.org [Updated 23AUG98]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...During WWII VPB-2 was a training squadron on the East Coast that operated 3 OTUs (Operational Training Units). VPB-2 OTU 1 operated out of NAS Jacksonville, Florida and trained pilots and combat aircrewmen in the PBY Catalina. VPB-2 OTU 3 operated out of NAS Banana River, Florida and trained in the PBM Mariners. There was also an OTU 2, and a total of 17 operational training units in Florida, Texas and other places..." Contributed by Robert E. Woerner email@example.com [22AUG98]
"VPB-2 OTU Summary Page"