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HistoryVP-ML-66 HistoryHistory

Circa 1950

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-772 History "...VP-772 A History - September, 1950 through February 1953 - illegitimus non carborundum - Frank Tatu...All (many!) pictures have been removed. Contact Mr. Tatu to obtain complete booklet..." Contributed by Frank Tatu seagoing@erols.com [02OCT2000]


US Navy Reserve VP-772 evolved from VP-ML-66 in February, 1950, when it was established at NAS Los Alamitos, California. It was "augmented" into the regular Navy in February, 1953, as VP-17.

During its two and one-half years of existence, VP-772 served two tours in the Korean War combat zone. It established a number of fIrsts. It was one of the first reserve patrol squadrons mobilized by President Truman after the outbreak of the Korean War on June 25, 1950 it was one of the first land-based reserve patrol squadrons to fly combat missions in the Korean theater, eventually completing 435 such missions. It was the first to undertake flare drops in support of Marine air operations in Korea. And it was among the first to deliver military assistance to anti-communist forces in Indochina.

During the 50 years since VP-772 was called to active duty , there have been four squadron Reunions. This history was prepared for the fifth Reunion: Seattle, September 1-3,2000, and for the commemoration of the Korean War. It is hoped it will help jog memories, pleasant and otherwise. Readers are enjoined to charitably consider that 50 years is a heck of a long time, and material for efforts such as this rather sparse. I ask that errors and omissions be called to my attention and perhaps a better edition can be produced for the next Reunion.

Thanks to those shipmates who contributed: Sandy Sandstrom, John Gilbertson, Byron Morgan, Dick Smith, and Larry Jenkins. Special thanks are due also to LCDR Jeffrey A. Bender, USNR, of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, for his assistance and encouragement, and to Linda Sandstrom. Frank Tatu, July, 2000.

    VP-ML-66 redesignated VP-772, not to take effect until February 1950 (during reorganization of Naval Aviation reserve units).

1950 FEB
    VP-772 established, LCDR D.D. Nittinger, USNR, commanding, LCDR James F. Hayward, USNR, Executive Officer

1950 JUN 25
    North Korean forces invade South Korea.

AUG 18
    Ready Reserves to staff squadron receive orders.

    VP-772 activated by President Harry S. Truman, among first reserve squadrons called up.

    Secret orders instruct squadron to break training cycle and assist in ferrying PB4Y's to French forces in Saigon, Indochina.

1951 JAN 15
JAN 26
    VP-772 elements proceeding to Japan by sea, cross International Date Line at 23 34/N, 178 40'. At this juncture, VP-772 consists of 280 enlisted men and 46 officers.

JAN 31
    VP-772 arrrives NAS Atsugi, Japan, with detachment of RAAF Iwakuni, becoming among the first land-based reserve squadrons in combat zone, and begins primary operations.

    Sea draft arrives after 16 days afloat.

April 16
    Dimissed by President Truman, Gen. Douglas MacArthur leaves Japan from Atsugi. Multitudes of Japanese line his route from Tokyo.

JUN 12
    Two VP-772 PB4Ys deployed to K-1, Pusan, Korea, begin pioneering flare drops in support of close air support and ground troop night operations.

    PB4Y-2 designation changed to P4Y-2, suggesting aircraft no longer has bombing, "B" mission (new designation, however, rarely used).

JUL 27
    Squadron personnel proceeding CONLUS by sea board USNS M. M. Patrick at Yokohama.

    VP-772 aircraft arrive NAS Seattle (Sand Point).

1952 JAN 28
    VP-772 relieves VP-9 as Ready Mining Squadron, Pacific Fleet, under operational control of FAW-2 and administrative control of Fleet Air, Hawaii. CDR D. D. Nittinger, USNR, Commanding, 46 officers, 313 enlisted.

    LCDR Jim Hayward, USNR, replaces CDR D. D. Nittinger, USNR, as CO, VP-772.

JUN 27
    VP-772 arrives at NAS Seattle, Washington for operations, regrouping and retraining under operational control of FAW-4, administrative control of Fleet Air, Seattle. 43 officers and 279 enlisted. Planning for turnover of about 50 percent of personnel.

AUG 11
    CO James F. Hayward, USNR, relieved by CDR Robert L. Dahllof and LCDR W. S. Dunham.

NOV 12
    Aircraft BUNO: 59923 crashes in Olympic mountains of Washington, all 11 aboard perish, including observer, Commander of FAW-4.

DEC 22
DEC 30
    Under logistical control of Fleet Air, Japan, and administrative and operational control of Fleet Air Wing FOURTEEN, squadron begins operations from Iwakuni, with maintenance detachment of one officer and 60 enlisted also at NAS Atsugi, Japan.

1953 FEB 4
    VP-772 augmented into regular Navy as VP-17. For period before returns to CONLUS, however, squadron frequently used "VP-772/VP-17."

JUL 27
    Armistice signed, effectively ending war.

    Fleet Air Seattle redesignated Fleet Air Whidbey.

1956 NOV
    VP-17 changes Tail Code from "BH" to "ZE."

MAR 31
1998 April
2000 SEP 3
    US Secretary of Defense Wm. S. Cohen designates VP-772 as a "Commemorative Community" of the Korean War during squadron's 50 year anniversary Reunion at Seattle.

Circa 1947

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News December 1947 "...Reserve Squadrons - Page 18 - Naval Aviation News - December 1947..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1940s/1947/dec47.pdf [18JUL2004]

Naval Aviation News

Circa 1946 - 1950

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons 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]
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Circa Unknown
Can you identify the Month and or Year?

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VPML-66 became VP-772 then VP-17. As far as nose markings for PB4Ys we had some dandys. All nine were different and looked like Disney cartoon centipeeds. I am now searching for pics to create a photo montage for our 50th Reunion in 2000..." Contributed by William H Sandstrom ofudge@msn.com [11JUL99]

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