BOOKs: Title: "Wings over Bermuda - 100 years of aviation in the West Atlantic" by Ewan Partridge and Tom Singfield. Contributed by Tom Singfield email@example.com [09JUL2015]
The first fixed wing aircraft in Bermuda in 1919 was a USN Curtiss Jenny from the ship SS Elinor. In 1924 the USN sent the first "operational" aircraft to Bermuda in the shape of a Vought UO-1 seaplane from the USS Cincinnati. Visits by the airship Los Angeles commencing in 1925 are detailed as are the much later operations by a variety of US Navy blimps from the airport.
Other pieces in the book that will interest VP Navy readers include the US Navy Naval Operating Base (always known as the NOB) (1939-1965). This massive base (no runway) was built from re-claimed land and housed warships and submarines as well as flying boats and seaplanes. After WW2 the flying boats became the front line force in the Cold War anti submarine "battle". Types operated there included Kingfisher, Goose, PBM Mariner, P5M Marlin and Albatross.
The US Navy was very active in Bermuda during WW2. The book has details of the early neutrality patrols of late 1940 and has extensive coverage of the Battle of the Atlantic and the specialist fleet training operations. The exploits of the Patrol, Scouting and Utility squadrons that were based at Darrell's Island and the NOB are also told.
Post war, the stories continue of the Patrol Squadrons through the cold war and details of support units, accidents, incidents at both the NOB (flying boats and amphibians) and Kindley Field are revealed. The book also includes the never before told story of the Navy Bermuda Flying Club. It also includes details of the many US Navy aircraft carriers that visited Bermuda and the surrounding seas to carry out operations and exercises.
The following US Navy Squadrons are all mentioned in "Wings over Bermuda".
FAW-9, VAQ-141, VB-105,VC-1, VC-13, VC-19, VC-42, VC-58, VC-69, VCS-8, VF-15, VF-41, VF-72, VGF-27, VGF-28, VGS-27, VGS-29, VGS-30, VJ-4, VJ-15, VP-8, VP-10, VP-11, VP-15, VP-16, VP-23, VP-44, VP-45, VP-49, VP-51, VP-52, VP-54, VP-63, VP-74, VP-92, VP-201, VP-204, VP-207, VP-215, VP-661, VP-MS-5, VP-MS-9, VQ-4, VR-1, VR-6, VR-8, VR-44, VRC-40, VS-2D1, VS-32, VS-35, VS-36, VS-41, VS-71, VS-72, VS-201, VS-5D4, VX-1, VX-4. In addition there are stories from FASRON 104, FASRON 111, FASRON 795 and the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS).
US Navy ships mentioned include USS Akron (airship), Bogue, Charger, Chenango, Cincinnati, Cobbler, Core, Croatan, Currituck, Effective, Elinor, Gannet, George E. Badger, Guadalcanal, Hamilton, Hornet, Intrepid, Laffey, Long Island, Mission Bay, Odum, Owl, Patoka (airship), Ray, St. Louis, Sicily, Philadelphia, Ranger, Santee, Savannah, Stansbury, Theodore Roosevelt, Thrush, Timbalier, Valley Forge, Wainwright, Wake Island, Wasp, Yorktown.
Many military bases with US Navy connections are mentioned including Patuxent River, Norfolk VA, Elizabeth City, Keflavik, Azores, Argentia, Charleston, Miami, Newfoundland and San Juan.
The book can be obtained direct from the National Museum of Bermuda for $60 plus P&P. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. The authors (both British) have some signed copies in the UK, contact email@example.com for details of costs etc.
This book was published in 2014 by the National Museum of Bermuda and for the first time ever tells the intriguing story of aviation in and around the British Colony islands of Bermuda. Historians, former Bermuda US Navy servicemen and women, and relatives of USN personnel based there will be delighted to see such a good coverage of all types of US Navy operations
"VR-40 Summary Page"