VPNAVY VP-5 Mercury Capsule Recovery
VPNAVY Address

HistoryVP-47 HistoryHistory

Circa 1948

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...re: Kaneohe Klipper Vol XI NO.11 Dated Nov 12 1948 (and personal knowledge)...Our squadron has had 4 designations since our return to Fleet Air Wing Two, VPB-27, VP-27, VP-MS 7 and currently VP-47...Our proficiency in training and various competitions in patrol squadron operations contributed to our being awarded the Battle Efficiency Pennant for the competative year of 1948...and we're planning to hang on to it! Not the fastest squadron in the Fleet, but one of the fightin'-est!...per (Kaneohe Klipper)..." Contributed by George L. Stuart lithouse@norfolk.infi.net [27FEB98]

Circa 1945

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...FAW-2, VPB-15, VPB-47, VPB-53, VPB-100, VPB-109, VPB-123, VPB-124, VPB-142, VPB-144, VPB-152, VPB-153, VPB-200 and VPB-205 - FAW-2 War Diary 1 APRIL to 30 APRIL 1945..." Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [17OCT2012]

History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail

Circa 1944

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...History of Patrol Squadron FORTY-SEVEN..." http://www.navy.mil/homepages/vp-47/vp47hist.htm

Patrol Squadron FORTY-SEVEN, came into existence with the commissioning of VPB-27 at NAAS Harvey Point, North Carolina, on 1 June 1944. Its initial deployment was to Hawaii in the PBM "MARINER" aircraft. In World War II, VPB-27 actively participated in the Okinawa Campaign. After the war, the squadron remained in the Western Pacific to fly courier missions. The need for military forces in the Western Pacific soon diminished and VPB-27 returned to Hawaii and was ultimately redesignated VP-47.

In 1949, VP-47's PBM aircraft could be seen on patrols from Alaska to Mexico, flying out of their new home port in San Diego. The squadron deployed to Saipan, Sangley Point in the Philippines, and Oppama, Japan in January 1950. With the advent of the Korean conflict, VP-47 extended its deployment to Japan for thirteen months where the "Golden Swordsmen" played a supportive role flying patrol missions and courier routes in the Western Pacific. By the end of the conflict, VP-47 had made three deployments in support of United Nations forces in Korea and changed home ports to NAS Alameda, California. Here the squadron acquired the new P5M-2 seaplane. Adopting as their motto, "The Best in the West", VP-47 flew the Navy's most modern seaplanes on four deployments to Iwakuni, Japan.

The next five years were highlighted by winning the Dual Pilot Aircraft Safety Award in 1955, the Commander Naval Air Pacific Forces "Fleet Battle Efficiency" Award in 1956 and the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award for seaplanes in 1957 with over 7,000 accident-free hours flown. The squadron again was awarded the Safety Award in 1960 for flying over 8,000 accident free hours. As the new decade began, VP-47 retrained in SP-5B seaplanes at their new home port, NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. In 1962, the squadron deployed with the USS Currituck to NAS Kodiak, Alaska and Cold Bay, Alaska, to set yet another standard in seaplane operations. Subsequently "Golden Swordsmen" joined the USS Salisbury Sound in 1964 for another challenging deployment in Cold Bay.

VP-47 saw a great change in climate and operations in 1964 when they departed for Sangley Point to support Seventh Fleet operations. During this tour, Patrol Squadron FORTY-SEVEN distinguished itself as the first full patrol squadron to be deployed to Vietnam.

In March 1965, VP-47 moved to NAS Moffett Field, California. Here the squadron transitioned from the SP-5B to Lockheed's new P-3A "Orion", thus entering the modern era of Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Operations. By January 1966, the newly-trained "Golden Swordsmen" were flying in WESTPAC out of NAF Naha, Okinawa, Japan and Sangley Point. Adding the Bullpup missile to its weapon inventory, VP-47 returned to NAF Naha in June 1967, becoming one of the first missile-equipped squadrons in WESTPAC. VP-47 continued to prove the worth of the P-3A during its next two deployments to Sangley Point and NAF Naha in 1968 and 1970. The squadron received a Meritorious Unit Commendation from the Philippine Air Group for its actions against enemy supply lines in the South China Sea from April 1970 to April 1971.

Upon returning to NAS Moffett Field, California, the squadron transitioned to the P- 3C, the Navy's more advanced, computerized ASW aircraft. In early 1971, VP- 47 was once again fully operational, as the first P-3C squadron in the Pacific Fleet. By June of the same year, VP-47 was operating out of NAS Adak, Alaska.

A second Meritorious Unit Commendation followed in 1972 for the squadron's outstanding 1971 deployment to NAS Adak, Alaska, and the squadron's invaluable support of the Cannakin Project in Amchitka.

VP-47 began operating a tri-site deployment that stretched across the Pacific in NAS Adak, Alaska, Guam and Moffett Field. In August, with the entire squadron back at Moffett Field, VP-47 received the Royal Canadian Air Force Coastal Command Trophy for achieving the highest ASW proficiency during the previous Battle Efficiency competition cycle. Upon returning to NAS Moffett Field, California in January 1975, the squadron was selected as winner of the Isabell Trophy in April and the Coastal Command Trophy in May 1975. The squadron completed a remarkable 24 months of continuous "Alpha" crew status maintaining the highest possible standards in ASW performance.

VP-47 deployed to Seventh Fleet in Misawa, Japan in February 1976. Another Battle "E" was awarded to the squadron three months into the deployment. The squadron returned from its successful WESTPAC tour to resume training and EASTPAC operations out of Moffett Field.

In December 1976, the "Golden Swordsmen" received the Tactics Bowl Trophy for their noteworthy contributions to the annual Commander, Patrol Wings, U.S. Pacific Fleet Tactics Bowl Competition.

The squadron deployed to NAF Misawa again in July 1977 as Task Group 72.4 under the command of Commander, Seventh Fleet. VP-47 operated detachments at NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan, NAF Atsugi, Japan, NAS Cubi Point, Philippines, and NAS Agana, Guam. The squadron conducted another successful deployment to NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan in 1979. The "Golden Swordsmen" detached to NAS Adak, Alaska from 10 May 1979 to 10 May 1980, assuming the duties of Task Unit 32.3.1 The squadron was nominated as Naval Weapons Proficiency unit of the year, and was runner up in the Pacific Fleet in Mining Readiness in 1980. VP-47 returned to NAF Misawa, Japan on 10 January 1981, to serve under Commander Task Force 72. VP-47 returned to Moffett Field in June 1981. Over the next twelve months, the "Golden Swordsmen" passed every major inspection with outstanding marks.

On 10 June 1982, the "Golden Swordsmen" of VP-47 deployed to Japan. During this period the squadron received accolades from Commander Seventh Fleet, Commander Task Group 72, and Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Seventh Fleet. In August 1984, the squadron deployed to NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan, to assume the duties of Task Group 72.2. During this time, VP-47 supported Commander, Seventh Fleet with detached operations to NAF Misawa, Japan, NAF Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines, U-Tapao, Thailand, NAS Agana, Guam and NAS Adak, Alaska. On 10 January 1986, VP-47 made its first deployment to NAF Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and assumed responsibilities as Task Group 72.8. VP-47 completed the challenging deployment by "showing the flag" in many countries surrounding the Indian Ocean whilemaintaining detachments to NAF Misawa, Japan, NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan, NAF Agana, Guam, and Masirah, Oman. Squadron personnel detached to CTG 72.4, NAF Misawa, Japan earning the Meritorious Unit Commendation for operations in support of Seventh Fleet tasking.

In July 1986, the squadron returned to NAS Moffett Field, California and transitioned to the new P-3C Update III until January 1987.

In June 1987, VP-47 was presented with the Donald M. Neal Aircraft Maintenance Award for maintenance excellence. On 10 August 1987, VP-47 assumed the duties of Task Force 72.4 at NAF Misawa, Japan and also maintained a detachment at NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan.

VP-47 returned to NAS Moffett Field, California and commenced an at-home training cycle, in February 1988. In May 1988, the Squadron surpassed 15 years and 100,000 hours of accident-free flying. The squadron maintained a split deployment at NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan AFB, Japan, Task Group 72.2, and NAS Moffett Field, California from January 1989 to July 1989. Upon return, VP-47 was awarded the 1988 Donald M. Neal Award for excellence in aircraft maintenance, marking the second time in 3 years the "Golden Swordsmen" earned the prestigious award. VP-47 deployed to NAS Adak, Alaska from June 1990 to December 1990. The squadron distinguished itself by conducting high interest ASW operations, as well as flying 3,443 flight hours without mishap. In June 1992, the squadron returned from an outstanding WESTPAC deployment while attached to CTF 72. Based out of NAS Misawa, Japan, VP-47 conducted highly successful detachments to locations such as NAS Cubi Point, Philippines, NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan, NAF Diego Garcia, RAAFB Townsville, and Masirah in Oman.

The squadron flew over 3,500 mishap-free flight hours while performing numerous operational missions as well as assorted littoral visits. "Golden Swordsmen" aircrews were awarded the "Golden Lens" award and rew of the Month each month while on deployment. VP-47 began its at-home training cycle in July 1992. During this period, the "Golden Swordsmen" achieved the highest wing score for the Mine Readiness Certification Inspection and highest on- station effectiveness averages in Patrol Wing TEN during an Encounterex Operational Readiness Evaluation. All of this hard work resulted in a trio of prestigious awards: Tactics Bowl Championship, CNO Safety Award and Battle "E" Award. On June 21, 1993 the squadron commenced a Change of Homeport to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. While conducting their move, VP-47 began their deployment cycle and held concurrent detachments to NAS Adak, Alaska, NAF Diego Garcia, Misawa, Japan and NAS North Island, San Diego, California.

1994 saw the "Golden Swordsmen" complete a highly successful at home training cycle, where they participated in numerous exercises, including RIMPAC and an Encounterex with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. The highlights of the year arose from their history making score on the command Mining Readiness Certification Inspection (MRCI), as well as their highly acclaimed Tactics Bowl submission.

In May 1995, VP-47 returned from a WESTPAC deployment to NAF Diego Garcia, where it proudly assumed the duties of Task Group 72.8. VP-47 conducted demanding but rewarding detachments in Masirah, Oman, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan. During this deployment, the "Golden Swordsmen" were awarded the 1994 Donald M. Neal "Golden Wrench" Award for maintenance excellence, their third such award in six years.

"VP-47 History Summary Page"

Selection Page

VPNAVY Copyrighted  1996 - 2012