Lockheed P-3 "Orion"
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Tipsy Trainer I

Mike Rooney, e-mail, 07.04.2022 07:10

Dave, if you are still out there...I replaced you on Crew 7 in Adak, 1968 as the Julie/ECM operator. Dick Jensen was radar/mad operator, LCDR Bond was PPC, Lt. Wayne Hicks was TACCO. I left VP 46 and Navy in 1971. Long time ago, but great flying in a great plane.

Herb Moore, e-mail, 02.03.2022 02:56

Been trying to get touch with you. Wanted to ask if you remember "Bullet" Or the time we were lucky enough to get a ride back to the base in Pax with the shore patrol.

Gary R. Wertz,, e-mail, 21.01.2022 22:17

I saw a P-3A the first time while striking for AG at NAS Olathe, KS. in April of 1965, a VP-9 aircraft headed to NAS Moffett, CA. Little did I know then in 1977 I would report to VP-6 as an AW2 and the 2P of that VP-9 bird in 1965 would be my XO and CO. I would later work for him when he was the OPs O at CPW-2, cross paths again when I was in VP-1 deployed he was CTF-72 at Kamiseya, Japan and finally he would be CPWP at NAS Moffett, the late RADM Anthony R. Mannes during my last tour and when I retired from CPW-2 in 1991. I served at Barbers Point for 14 years 77-91;VP-6 (77-80), CPW-2 (80-83) Analysis Division, Training PO and LPO, VP-1 (83-87) and back to CPW-2 (87-91) TRAFAC and ASWOC. I flew SS-1/2, & 3 in P3Bs, P3B Mods and SS-1/2 P3C Mods. Briefed and debriefed many crews both USN and USNR also at Barbers Point, I retired as an AWC 7,000+ hours crew P-3s and another 7,000+ as a pilot and flight instructor (civilian). Another irony an uncle of mine by marriage an APH2 deployed with VP-6 to Japan, Korea and Okinawa TAD in 1950. It can be a small world.

Steve weigandt, e-mail, 17.08.2020 16:46

Hi Nick, I was in VP 5 when you were, Crew 12. Cuban Missal Crsis, what crew were you on? Then I was in Brunswick in VP 26 when you were in 23

Bill O’Brien, e-mail, 24.04.2020 00:20

Hi Bill, or should I address you as Master Chief !
That was one hell of a day. Even though we are all just a small footnote to history, thanks for remembering what we went through together that day.
I agree 152168 got us all home safely !
As you may recall, I visited her in the desert 30 years ago. She may be part of the Brazilian Navy’s ASW force by now.
Hope you are safe and healthy !
Bill O’Brien
Capt. USN/Ret.

Arthur E Bowen, e-mail, 09.10.2016 20:06

Stationed with VP-17 Dec 70 thru Sept 73. AWC Sangely Point,U-tapao Naha and Cubi point. Was on patrol when number three engine went into overspeed. Flight Engineer couldn't slow it down. We got the radioman out of his seat. Thought we might lose the propeller. Finally got it shut down. When they removed the prop we found the shoulders holding the prop inplace had expanded 3 inches. We that close to have the prop come off. Spent 2 months as Detachment Chief in U-tapao and was really happy to get back to Cubi.

BILL G. RHOADS, e-mail, 17.06.2016 14:10

Coming from the "Black Shoe" side of the Navy as an enlisted "Radio" operator to the "Airdale" side was a tremendeous change for a 20 year old. I was a Radioman 2nd class and flight comm on LN8 and LN21 of VP-45 NAS Jacksonville from July 1966 to Sept 1968. Was a great experience for travel and life experience. We had P3 A and P3 B models and were converting to C's when I left the Navy

Brent Temple, e-mail, 11.05.2016 12:29

AD-1 John Able? Anti-Aircraft Able? The flight engineer that would write these kind of discrepancies: Bleed Air Valve-Fast to open, slow to close or massive oil leaks-----Ground Pounder Responce-A-799 (Cannot duplicate discrepancy...

Ross Kells, e-mail, 25.11.2015 19:53

I flew the P-3 for US Customs from 87-95. We had slicks with the APG-63 (F-15 radar) and the P-3AEW with the E-2 round radar mounted up top. Excellent airplane with great legs!

mike richardson, e-mail, 19.04.2015 23:26

I was in patrol squadron forty as a aviation metal smith from 72-78. I am looking for cruise books from that time period. all mine were destroyed. thanks...

Rick Smith, e-mail, 03.03.2015 01:53

I was in vp-5 for my first deployment of three in Keflavik Iceland. I was also the fortunate one to have been the ordnanceman to have had the fortune of receiving the only aircraft of nine to not have had cold weather oil seals placed in the engines. We lost most of the oil out of the engines and turned back. I was amazed at hoe we were able to come in on one engine which was also out of oil. I owe my life to the p3 orion. whata gal!

Gerald Lillie, e-mail, 23.01.2015 18:27

80 year old retired ATC. VP-9 (1965-1968). Previous to that I was in the P2V squadrons. Went to NAVPRO,Lockheed, Burbank in 1969 to 1973 where I retired after 4 years of accepting all those beautiful P3's you guys flew in. Had the priviledge of flying on numerous occasions with Chuck Yeager while I was there. Was involved with the S3A also. Attended the first rollout of the S3A and tragically I was there for the first fatality too. Give a salute to LCDR Cunnard for trying to bring it in but failed. In VP-9 did all the usual deployments. 2 tours to Vietnam by way of Okinawa and Sangley Pt. Loved ADAK, AK, That's where I made Chief!

mike, e-mail, 25.03.2014 02:37

Guys and girls
All you P3 people out there, have a look at this and get one. They are great.. web site teespring dot com/P3ASW2

Jim Sigmond, e-mail, 22.12.2013 01:01

Mech on P5-M's, P2V-5's & 7's, P3A, B, & C's. F/E P3 A,B, & C's. Served VP-30, 31, 6, 30, 56, 5, AIMD JAX, and retired from VP-49. I had the honor of serving some of y'all (PooBear) for one, I was lucky enough to fly with Bob Shaw, and Blinky Brennian, the sharpest F/E's I ever knew. The P3 was the best, we were honored to sit center seat.

Charles Doran, e-mail, 12.02.2013 06:23

Flew 6,000 hours as a TAR FE and only had one true engine in flight emergency shut down. Flew all kinds of missions from ASW to serfops to SAR and many IUT flights from '76 to '94 with Vp-64, 66 and 93. Never felt unsafe in the mighty Orion. Most of my time was in A and B mods. Loved the tube design. Worked great for crew coordination. Never cared for the Charlie tube design. My takeoffs and landings are equal speaking well for the aircraft. Not sure the P8 will ever be able to meet the standard set by the P3. It was and still is a very versatile platform. History speaks loudly for the mighty P3 Orion.

John T. steele Lcdr Ret., e-mail, 18.01.2013 22:01

What about the EP-3A(RB-32&31) of VQ-1. Flew that plane 1969-1971 in and out of Vietnam(Atsugi to Danang). Even made a two engine flight from Taiwan to Guam. Great plane outstanding in bad weather and good.

Steb, e-mail, 04.01.2013 00:24

I was in VP-44 (73-74) and later VP-60 (79-89). I recently started building 1/25 scale custom 22ga flat stock brass aircraft weather vanes for people. My first project was a P-3 since having been a tin bender I can still remember every inch of A and B models.

Kevin, e-mail, 09.11.2012 22:06

Where all the VQ-1 guys? 1981-84 in Guam?

Ron Severson, e-mail, 08.10.2012 07:38

P3A Flight Engineer 1963 VP-46. VP-46 was first west coast squadrons to bring P3's to Moffett and first to deploy to Alaska (1964).

Steb, e-mail, 16.08.2012 02:16

George the Crook? VP-44(73-74),(VP-60 79-89).


"Swede" Swanson ATC ret, e-mail, 01.08.2012 07:08

I enjoyed the P3A and B from '63 and '64 in VP-31 det Alpha,'65-67 in VP-22, the B in VP-40, then the Charlie in VP-40 came in and took my radio seat away from me. Lovedthat window seat!!!!
I recognize quite a few names on here. They should all register on VP NAVY website and find good buddies.I did.I've been retired since Dec '78. My crew 7 had Buno 151391 in Vp-22, and it is still fighting fires today with a big 00 on its nose and tail. Wonderful bird!!!!

Gene Caldwell, e-mail, 18.07.2012 21:09

VP-49 1963-1966. I was an AX and flew with Cmdr. Campbell on crew one. Went to the Paris airshow in 1965. The Cmdr. flew a P3 full of men to my wedding near NAS Willow Grove PA. I met a lot of great guys and had a lot of fun. Caught a Soviet sub on the suface while flying with the alert crew when their jez operator was grounded. That Adak deployment left a lot to be desired.

Chris Stanley, e-mail, 21.06.2012 01:55

My son is finishing up training at NAS JAX (VP-30) in August 2012. Going to be stationed in Hawaii. As you know the P3 is to be phased out, making room for the P-8. If this happens, and he gets booted, what career options does he have in the civilan realm with FE skills? What are his options?

Johnny Marshall, e-mail, 31.05.2012 22:29

VP - 10 Brunswick Maine. 68 to 72 Go Red Lancers
Was an AW Radar, Ecm, and Jez. Live now in Florida where
VP-10 now lives Jax. Love the plane and went almost everywhere on it. Love the 2am sun in Iceland, the volcanos in Sicily, the short runways and girls in "Bermuda and the wine in the Azores. Spent my 21st birthday in Barcelona with 5 women. And of course there was Rosey and Gitmo Live by Don Joulian now and keep in contact with Dennis Morrison both AT's

Charlie Maher, e-mail, 22.05.2012 19:41

As one of your customers for m any years, I showed my Podiatry
Physician your catalog with the great selection and low pricing

of walking shoes. He was greatly impressed!

I told him that I would contact you, for him, to have you send
copies of your current catalog for him to give to his patients, who
need special wide shoes.

Was assigned to WST at Patuxent River during the development of the the P3. The YP3A had no bomb bay, as the luggage compartment was still in place. Then engines and props where still of the Electra. It was a daily grid to get all the test done on the YP3A, before the arrival of the 1st P3A and the establishment of things like the NATOPS manual and weight and balance establishment. One flight was from Patuxent River, New York, to the west coast over the Worlds Fair, to Burbank, to Jacksonville Fl then back to Pax River. 4 souls on board, and rubber water tank inside the fuselage to simulate, weapons, electronics and a full crew. Another flight went around the world, testing Horizontal Discharge wicks in place of the standard nylon carbon impregnated type. I could go on, but it was a great tour with P3's in VP-44, Iceland and VP-45.

Gary Bishop, e-mail, 10.05.2012 21:59

I flew as Plane Capt. on SP2H, something over 1,000 hrs VP24 based at NAS Norfolk we transitioned to P3Bs and moved to Pax River. I was FE on crew 8 LR8 2,000 hrs with deployments to RR Puerto Rico, Lajes AFB Azores and Keflavik Iceland. 1966-1969

Marcus Hill, e-mail, 21.03.2012 20:48

AWC (in the end) VP-31 staff(70,72), VP-17(72-73), VP-9(73-77), VP-94(77-90) 4000 hrs. I can't imagine a better job or a better airplane to do it in. Talk about search lights. So back in '74 we are about 3 hours into a pilot trainer flight. I'm sitting in the strbd aft bubble when the FE comes back and peers out my window. Asking me if I remember if there was a search light there when we took off! No I didn't recall one way or the other so we finished the flight wondering where the damn thing had fallen off. It seems that after the '73 gas crunch they took the search lights off of our P-3B's but didn't really tell anybody about it. Scary thing was that none us noticed on preflight that it was missing!
Or the time I made a twenty mile radar run in on what turned out to be a floating palm tree on the IO-1 track.
Or on my last cruise in '90 we had a Soviet SSBN cut the sonobouy cable. Closest CPA I ever had. What a trip.
Cubie/U-Tapao '73, break off my legs rip out my arms but don't send me back to U-Tapoa.
Naha '72 got left behind in the barracks for Typhoon Rita.
Started out as a Julie operator and switched to JEZ when I got to VP-17 and then they traded their A's for B's in the fall of '72 and I upgraded to SSII with George Lyons as my SSI and moved up to SSI the next year.

Anybody remember the FLIR kit for the B model. An A-4 droptank with a bucket hanging down and the scope for it was at the Stbrd fwrd observer station. The drive for the bucket was underpowered, if you tracked around to look aft and you were making more than 180knts it didn't have enough power to turn the bucket around to the front. Flight deck had to slow down before you could look forward again.
Lots of fun, I'd do it all again if they asked. As much as we pissed and moaned I can honestly say those were the best years of my life.

Nick Cercone, e-mail, 08.03.2012 18:45

My intro to aviation....26 years in the USN/USNR and 22 of those years where in the FE seat, 5000+ hrs and I remember alot of it!! Dear friends made and lost.... P3A/B/C update III's. Was fotunate to go out to the West Coast and pick up the "New" ones in 88. I still remember taking the plastic off the seat!!

Mike Swan(Australia), e-mail, 24.02.2012 05:32

I did three tours on P3,s. 11sqn with P3B 1970,s and 492 sqn P3C,s 1980,s. Went all over the world from Australia. Still think it was the best I ever worked on. A real armourers airplane.

John Abel, e-mail, 23.01.2012 08:08

William Clark,Barbers Point is where I bought the 80 plus searchlights and the actual Carbon arc elements were made by Union Carbide.

John Abel, e-mail, 23.01.2012 07:54

The carbon arc searchlight was an AN/AVQ2C.It was also used on the S2 with a different housing.In the early 80's our company bought over 80 of them from a Navy surplus auction.We sold parts from them for a good ten years mostly to the Turkish navy but the UK'S Nimrod jet also had it and we sold parts to them also.

Barnie Burns AO1 (Ret), e-mail, 23.10.2011 02:54

A friend turned me on to this site and I was really impressed. The max alt. number is a little off but other than that I like it. Did over 8000 hours in the plane and she always brought me home, sometimes on 3 engines, but I did get back. Started out as an inflight ordie and ended up in the centerseat as an engineer. What a view and I got to run the systems.The pilots kept us in the air and did a great job of it. All of my time was out of Nas Jax in hanger 1000. Always interested in swapping lies,I mean sea stories, so drop me a line.

William Wadlington, e-mail, 18.10.2011 04:15

VP-17 Radio Operator/IFT 1973-1976 Crew 12 When You Care Enough, Send the Very Best We're Always at the Top. Deployed to Cubi point - 1973; Naha/Kadena - 1975.

P-3 always brought us home.

Pete Landon, e-mail, 30.07.2011 17:09

VP-47 Storekeeper Material Control,Began my tour with VP-47 Sept 1965 thru May 1969 at Nas Moffett Field went to Nas Naha Okinawa,Sangley Pt.PI,Camhran Bay Viet.Utapao Tieland,Aguna Guam.Them P-3s are tuff birds.I was never on a crew but had quite a few hours in them going on different deployments and Market times over Vietnam in the 60s.Great plane and a great bunch of guys.I sure miss it now

Michael (Sarky) Sarkisian, e-mail, 06.07.2011 02:39

10,000 hours as a FE. 12 deployments, 1 UNITAS, and uncountable DETS. VP-30 1975 (Second Mech School @ PAX River) VP-8 1975-1977, VP-30 1977-1978 (FE school, JAX) VP-44 1978-1984, VP-26 1984-1986, VP-8 1986-1989, FASO SERE 1989-1994. Started out flying the oldest Alphas in the Navy then trading them in for the oldest Bravos. Finally got new update IIs in VP-44. It brought me home every time and that says it all!

Zane Pulliam retired USNR LDO, e-mail, 25.05.2011 02:24

saw many names I recognized in the notes, my brother and I both flew in the P-3 Orion.. My brother John Henry Pulliam AWCS... at the time he made chief (at that time- 1972) was the youngest chief in the Navy (26 years old) when he made AWC. He was in VP-5, VP-16, VP-24 and I think one other .. I was in VP-46 and reserves in VP-62. Sadly we lost John Henry to a heart attack in 1991.

RC Craemer, e-mail, 04.05.2011 00:15

2400hrs in P2V7s 1963-67 VP-23. 3000hrs + in P3A/P3Bs 1971-77 VP8. Great airplane - the A model needed the -14 engines. What a change - pressurization, APU, 320kt cruise. I don't think you CAN ice up a P-3! Not as much fun at 500' without a bubble in the nose to look out,but a lot more plane. Lockheed did it right.

William Clark, e-mail, 01.05.2011 21:24

Flew as a P-3 Flight Engineer with VP-22 Blue Geese out of Barbers Point H.I. 1988 thru 1991.

shawn, e-mail, 23.04.2011 03:41

my father CPO Jack D. Kelly flew on these planes, dont remember what squadrons he was in, but reading all the stories sounds like him taliking. And it reminds me of taking tours of his planes as a child. always remember the sound of the orion flying out of Moffett Field. thanks for the memories.

Lloyd, e-mail, 18.04.2011 13:22

Attended P3A flight radio school NAS Pax River Maryland October through mid December in 1967. Due to shortage of Radiomen i graduated early and left for Rota Spain to meet with my squadron VP-16. I was on Captain's crew and we deployed to Bermuda, back to Jax, our home base, North to Argentia New Foundland for 3 months starting in mid Deember of 68. I recall how cold and how much snow there was since it reminded me of my home state Idaho with the exception of dealing with the humidity and cold. I did my two year tour and was discharged in November of 1969. I felt a deep sense of concern for each member of our crew. They were the best and at last count i could only find 3 of us still kicking. The P3A is just a safe, productive plane that is still in use today some 54 years after it left the Lockheed grounds for the Navy Air Bases around the world. What a great time and what a great ride.

Gordon Helm, e-mail, 15.04.2011 04:54

I was an AW3 in VP-46, the Grey Knights, from 1968-71. I was the Jez operator in Crew 7A during our deployment to Cam Ranh Bay, RVN, and to Adak twice. The P3B was a tough, but forgiving airplane, able to carry us and all the gear we needed to track subs, patrol coasts and shipping lanes, and even survey the Arctic ice flow. We broke a couple engines, lost the flaps once, and even took some pretty severe lightning strikes in heavy weather, and came home each time. A sad sight is the hundreds of P3s awaiting their fate in desert storage at the aircraft boneyard next to Tucson's Davis Monthan AFB.

Charles CJ Jones, e-mail, 18.03.2011 09:28

retired ADC,I work maintenance and quality assurance, maintaining propulsion systems and related systems, outstanding aircraft,dependable,reliable in all situations,made various deployment to misawa, okinawa,cubi pt,adak, keflavek,from 1978-1990. one of the best aircraft in the navys inventory.

Walt Johnson, e-mail, 04.03.2011 02:36

I was with Comfairwing 5 / Comfairwingslant from 1964 to 1967 as a radioman and we held comm for some of the VP's out of Norfolk (24 & 56) / Pax River (44 - 49) and loved the P3A. What a great sight.....would loved to gone up in one...

Doug Mitchell, e-mail, 01.03.2011 18:58

Beautiful Aircraft...I was a 15 year P3A/B/C Flight Engineer 1968 - 1983 and 12 year CWO/LDO Maintenance Officer 1983 - 1994 on P-3 Aircraft. 10,000 Hour Certificate signed by Lockheed's Finest Jay Beasley (RIP). Made 14 Deployments Total to Keflavik, Rota Spain/Lajes Azores, Sigonella, Bermuda, Adak Alaska, Phillipines, Kadena/Misawa Japan and many many Detachments around the world.

mike peterson, e-mail, 23.02.2011 06:38

1976 with vp30 then vp49 to kef back to jax then bermuda sig jax bermuda not a bad way to go miss it except for the mad comp flights great few years now in florida fishing

Vic Calderon, e-mail, 18.02.2011 05:53

I was a P-3B/B Mod Flight Technician with VP-31, VP-91 and VP-62 I transitioned VP-91 & VP-62 to the TAC/NAV Mod avionics package. Flew with some great engineers, dubs and PPC's. Great systems, great aircraft. Low and slow got the job done.

C.Phillip Daspit, M.D., e-mail, 17.02.2011 22:34

Flight Surgeon for VP-19 1970-72 and VP 91 1972-1984. Met many wonderful individuals both O's and E's. Most memorable flight was on an airlift from NAS Moffett to PHX to pick me up for drill weekend in August, 1984. Ran into severe hail outside Yuma on way to NAS, NI. Destroyed nose, cracked outside wind screen and dented all leading edge surfaces. The two pilots saved our keisters. Made emergency landing at MCAS, Yuma.

No question, Lockheed built great aircraft! I really thought we were going to buy the desert.

Don Freitas, e-mail, 14.02.2011 19:42

I was a Jezebel operator in VP-19, Crrew 4 from 1968-70. Our deployment in Iwakuni Japan in January '68 saw us set the record for monthly flight hours as we had 2 planes on-station off Korea 24 hours a day during the Pueblo crisis. That year we won the Battle Efficiency E, the Isbell Trophy for ASW Excellence, and the CNO Maintenance Award. Lotsa good memories! Actually flew a pilot-trainer one day with only one engine for a few minutes.

John Williams, e-mail, 29.01.2011 23:54

Not counting VP-30 time I flew in the P3C out of Jacksonville from about Feb '72 to May '75, with deployments to Sunny Sig in '73 ( covering the October War ) and Keflavik in '74 ( covering the little known Cod War )as an AWAN to AWA2. On one of my first flights the plane hit Clear Air Turbulence about 1 hour out, injuring everyone not strapped in ( most of the crew ) and the pilot ( a fresh cup of hot coffee was in his yoke, the coffee went behind the instruments when we dropped down, and came back out, scalding his face, when he pulled back up ). We landed without further incident. Lockheed sent out a tech-rep who determined the aircraft had been bent 7 degrees fore and aft.

I'd be happy to come out of retirement and resume my enlisted rating ( AWV1 ) to fly again.

Hans Waagen, e-mail, 09.01.2011 22:14

I was an AT on Night Check with VP-11 from 1953 to 1956, and on occasion flew radar as a fill-in when we had ops with the fleet. Sometimes I was nervous flying, but I went on an "unusual attitudes" flight where the pilot feathered one engine, and took the ship to maximum attack angle. Never any problems after that. It was a great plane and I had the pleasure of flying with the skipper (Commander Hodges) when we went overseas to Malta and Roosevelt Roads.

Steve "Kid"Cannan, e-mail, 06.01.2011 01:44

Flew the P-3 from 73-76 in VP 10 and from 78-87 in the reserves VP-64.
In over 4500 hours only declared an emergency once for minor engine glitch. One of the most reliable planes ever built. Many fond memories of onboard antics. S.

James R Clark, e-mail, 29.12.2010 20:37

Flight Engineer in VP-5, 1966 through 1973. We flew some of the Navy's first P3-A's, I was on Crew 10 and flew Bureau Number 148884 over a year with no major discrepancies. The P3 was a low maintenace per flight hour aircraft and also very forgiving aircraft for oops!'s The P3 is still is a multi task aircraft with platform updates to preform various missions. It has a replacement, the P8A Poseidon, but the P3 will still be around for awhile. The P3 is a Great aircraft.

Rex Lake, e-mail, 18.12.2010 21:48

The mighty P-3 was my other wife - almost cost me my first one because I was gone so much! I flew 23 years as a Flight Engineer in VP-68 at Pax River, MD and Andrews Air Force Base. Nearly 7,000 hours in the A, B and C models only served to make me love it even more. My heart still beats faster when I hear those mighty Allison turboprops and smell the sweet odor of JP-5. VP-68 1970 - 1993.

Russ Adams, e-mail, 11.12.2010 18:10

I did my AMS2 tour working and flying in those P-3s during 68-72. First in VP-30 for a little training, and then off to VP-24 for the remainder of my 4 years. I took 3 every-summer trips to Sunny Keflavik which was not a whole lot of fun since we were promised a woman behind every tree! As only a 4 year man with an A&P license I got the opportunity for 2nd mech flight crew duty during the deployments and sometimes at back at home in Pax River.

Our crew was the Bear Trap crew so we were certain to be sent out after some suspicous Ruskies. I remember one event while on a liberty run to Denmark when we tried to return to Keflavik. One of our engine start valves would
not operate so we tried to remove a good one from a running engine. We kept the running engine in "Low RPM" but unknown to us was the fact that bleed air would still be supplied to that duct in that condition. It was a
dangerous failure so we spent the night back at the hotel in AAlborg waiting for the replacement parts.

Another "fun" time was when we lifted off from Stavanger Norway and immediately had an inflight fire. We went
through the first few items on the checklist and our AW1 got it controlled quickly to our relief. On another back
home trip up to Maine to pick up some lobsters for the officer's planned feast, about halfway up the coast we got a couple of prop pump 1 lights on #3 and #4. If that wasn't bad enough, we also only had one Engine Driven
Compressor for pressurization and that was on #3. We shut them down, dove for below 10,000 feet, and made a landing in a Massachusetts base. Oops! the problematic prop pump caps popped open. Refilled with 5606 and then we went back home with our tail between our legs.

The best part about being in a P3 squadron was during Christmas when we would sign a list indicating what airbase
we would like to be picked up at after our Christmas leave. Pretty neat. Sit in a military terminal waiting for your own personal 4 engine airplane to arrive just to pick you up! They would leave the two right-hand engines running, lower the ladder, scoop you up and off they would go to the next stop. Very nice.

I've had a few aprehensive moments during my time in the middle seat, but overall it was an excellent experience that gave me some good insight into my civilian airline mechanic career. Can any of you ex flight engineers still
repeat the little engineer speal we had to go thru before an inflight engine start? Also, how about a little in the head math and give me the "landing weights and speeds"? Ha Ha! Also I believe the max speed listed in the aircraft specs is a bit off. From my memory it was 402 knots, which converts to 462, not 473 mph.

E.Dallas Grimsley, e-mail, 08.12.2010 19:11

What an honor to have flown the P-3 as a Flight Engineer. I had 13,860 flight hours in most models A,B,C,update 2,s,3s and early version of the LSRS. Many deployments a lot of shipmates. Great tours of duty VP,VQ,VX and PEP Canada.

E.Dallas Grimsley, e-mail, 08.12.2010 19:09

What an honor to have flown the P-3 as a Flight Engineer. I had 13,860 flight hours in most models A,B,C,update 2,s,3s and early version of the LSRS. Many deployments a lot of shipmates. Great tours of duty VP,VQ,VX and PEP Canada.

Mike Ford, e-mail, 02.12.2010 23:37

I spent 2500 hours and three deployments( two Sigs and a Bermuda)as a sensor three with VP-45. Great plane, lotsa' time spent down at 150' rigging ships and doing MAD work. Flew on a 14.6 hour Ready-1 alert launch out of Sigonella once... a real "eye burner". I was in in the early 80's and we tracked and saw Charlies, Victors,Foxtrots, Echo 2's and Juliets in the Med as well as tracking Yankees, Deltas and even an Alpha while flying out of Bermuda, Rota and the Azores. Great times, important work. P-3C ASW forever!

John "Tank" Weber, e-mail, 29.11.2010 01:16

I am a retired AW1. I was fortunate enough to have tours in VP-8 from 1973-77 and VP-10 from 1981-85. When in VP-8 we flew the old Alphas. The squadron converted after I transferred to Cecil Fld. 3 yrs later I "Guarded" back to Brunswick to VP-10. Flew SS-1 on Crew 10. I was there for the conversion from P-3C to P-3C Update II. I survived the "Icelandic Hostage Crisis" and enjoyed flying as a Naval Air Crewman. Because of my tours< I've seen a lot of the world I would not have seen otherwise, and I could not have seen it in a better aircraft.

Wade Renstrom, e-mail, 25.11.2010 20:17

I was a AW with VP-19 1971-73 with lots of hours in the Gulf of Tonkin. I wonder how many cases of San Miguel a P-3 would really hold.

Emerson, D.B. Lt., e-mail, 07.11.2010 23:00

VP-24 1965-1968. 65-67 in Norfolk in P2V then transitioned to P3B and relocated to Pax River in 67. Deployed to Sigonella, Rota, Keflavik. Detachments to GTMO, Lajes, Key West. After flying P2Vs (135550 was the oldest) the transition was like going from go carts to NASCAR. I flew 152721 in VP31 and 152722 in VP24. Really a great airplane to fly. Stall procedure- Add power.

Bill Maikai, e-mail, 23.10.2010 21:42

P-3 F/E 8,500 21 YEARS. 1973-77 VP-17, ZE-6 took 3 hits in the tail last battle of Vietnam. She/we flew another 7 hours dodging tracers we were young and dumb ZE-6 brought us all home safely. She sits in the desert of Arizona looking proud and humble what an aircraft lockheed got this one right thanks RIP Mr. Beasly Bill Maikai AFCM/RET.

Nick Mulich, e-mail, 21.10.2010 06:35

AE-2 First VP tour 61-63 NAS JAX VP-5, (Cuban Crsis) P2V=5FS ECM.
67-69 VP-50, AX-2 P5M-2 San Diego/AX-1 P3A Deltic, Moffett Field, Julie/ECM.
AW-1 70-73 VP-23 Brunswick P3B, Julie/ECM, DIFAR NATOPS. AWC 75-78 NAS JAX VP-49 SS3 NATOPS, DIFAR OPR, P3C, I, II. Many great hours of on top USSR boats. Read "Blind Man Bluff" for the Russian's respect for the P3 Orion, the remarks are in the back, in the writers interviews with the Ruski Admiral.
Last tour at the Naval Training Equipment Center, Orlando. Team leader on the acceptance of the P3 WST Update III 14B44 JEZ and the 14B40 RADAR trainers.
One particular flight from Adak to Moffett in a P3A we were logging 555 ground. The beginning of that flight we departed Atsugi, Japan and was unable to climb above 1700' due to the excessive weight. We managed to get up to 17K before reaching Adak. There were about 20 Orental Rugs in the tube and 11, 143 pound hibachi Pots in compartment 'E'. Both bombay racks were full of aircraft parts which were left in Adak.
Would go back today if called up for duty. Have a son-in-law in TSC Sig and he says that ASW is a lost art. We need to retrain our crews for the future threat from Russia and China.

Nick Mulich, e-mail, 21.10.2010 06:34

AE-2 First VP tour 61-63 NAS JAX VP-5, (Cuban Crsis) P2V=5FS ECM.
67-69 VP-50, AX-2 P5M-2 San Diego/AX-1 P3A Deltic, Moffett Field, Julie/ECM.
AW-1 70-73 VP-23 Brunswick P3B, Julie/ECM, DIFAR NATOPS. AWC 75-78 NAS JAX VP-49 SS3 NATOPS, DIFAR OPR, P3C, I, II. Many great hours of on top USSR boats. Read "Blind Man Bluff" for the Russian's respect for the P3 Orion, the remarks are in the back, in the writers interviews with the Ruski Admiral.
Last tour at the Naval Training Equipment Center, Orlando. Team leader on the acceptance of the P3 WST Update III 14B44 JEZ and the 14B40 RADAR trainers.
One particular flight from Adak to Moffett in a P3A we were logging 555 ground. The beginning of that flight we departed Atsugi, Japan and was unable to climb above 1700' due to the excessive weight. We managed to get up to 17K before reaching Adak. There were about 20 Orental Rugs in the tube and 11, 143 pound hibachi Pots in compartment 'E'. Both bombay racks were full of aircraft parts which were left in Adak.
Would go back today if called up for duty. Have a son-in-law in TSC Sig and he says that ASW is a lost art. We need to retrain our crews for the future threat from Russia and China.

Dave Kukuk, e-mail, 17.10.2010 00:45

I had the privilege of flying Julie, and backup radio and radar in VP46 from 1966-68, in B models, plus some training time in VP31 before that in some of the first As with APUs. During that time we went to Midway, and on the way back the cockpit crew, radio and I had to go on Oxygen for about 15 minutes, because we took it to just over 36,000 to get between thunderclouds.
I always felt safe with those four big T56s, because it seemed we never needed more than 3 of them even with a full 127,000 pound load. The articles that talk about its ceiling and speed being limited by power don't know what they are talking about. Someone mentioned differential cabin pressure, which was the altitude limiter. And they or someone else mention the airframe speed limit, which was where the vector of propeller tip rotation and forward velocity hit mach I.
An operational ceiling of Angels 54 is wrong, though it might have the power to get there, but they;d need to carry more than the standard amount of O2, as the cabin pressure would be around 30,000 feet, ( or more )
At Utapao, Thailand, I was checking radios, and remember seeing one stripped of equipment and with only a small fuel loads going to Bangkok for a wash down, rotate into a 45 or better degree climb right off the runway. The tower called to ask where they were, because they were above the approach radars coverage.

Ken Bacheller, e-mail, 15.10.2010 23:18

I crewed the "Orion" for 21 years as a Flight Engineer, 1980-2000. VP-16,24,62.
what a fantastic airplane. The highest I ever took her was FL310, as a/an Update 2.5.

Bob Azbell, e-mail, 15.10.2010 21:10

I flew many hours in P3A/B/C & F's in VP-19 VP-31, VP-6 and VP-50 at NAS Barbers Point Hi. and NAS Moffett Field CA. It's a great airplane.

Monte Clark, e-mail, 02.10.2010 07:18

The candlepower rating of the searchlight is approximately 70 million(uncased). It was bright......

Chuck Raybon AO2, e-mail, 01.10.2010 13:51

I was the inflight ordinanceman on crew 6 for VP-5 out of jacksonville,Florida I flew many missions out of Iceland, Sicily, and Bermuda. It was a great aircraft to fly on and to work on. I did this back in 1975-1980. Wish I could fly on one again just for the fun of it.I have a lot of good memories of flying on these aircraft.

Tommy Johns, e-mail, 27.09.2010 16:33

Great duty for blackshoe RM coming from DD. VP-10 Brunswick. Tracked Russian sub for 3 weeks out of Bermuda in 68. Good crews, great experience. Stood behind flight engineer demoing P3 during airshow in Bermuda. Love those short field landings. Could have done without post flights sliding out on engines to cover them up in January.

Don C. East, e-mail, 20.09.2010 16:36

You did not include the VQ squadron's EP-3E or the VPU squadron's Ep-3. As an NFO, I was a Junior officer and C.O. of both V Q-2 and VPU-1 and got buckets of hours in the Orion. After flying for years in the EC-121M shuddering shithouse, the Orion was a Mercedes Benz!

Bill Gerow, e-mail, 05.09.2010 18:48

Great Aircraft, enjoyed several thousand hours Via VP 19, VP 31, VP 40 1963 thru 1978, instructed many good men from the USA, Australia, and New Zealand Flight Engineers all. Loved the Bird, the crew's and the pilots a better bunch of sailors will never be found!!

W Stokes, e-mail, 02.09.2010 03:10

VP-19 1964-68 NAS Moffett Field. Was ADJ started as mech on check-line. Flew with crew 2 then crew 1 as 2nd F/E out of Iwakuni 1966-67. Did a 17 hr Gulf of Tonkin late 67, out of Sangley PT. PI, thought we'd never get back on the ground. Great tour of duty for me with lots of fond memories. Awesome a/c.

SCPO Cecil Ogilvie, e-mail, 01.09.2010 05:38

VP-50 from 1969 to 1974 flew in P3's as an anti-sub combine sensor operator from Moffet Field down the Alaska Chain Japan, PI and Viet Nam enjoyed the ride very much.

al walker, e-mail, 03.08.2010 05:55

10years,3 sqdrns enjoyed every flt, well almost every flt,
hated mad comps. anybody go over 25000ft? great a/c, great

Jepp, e-mail, 01.08.2010 17:46

The airframe was great but let's not forget the mission. Fifteen years of flying with VP60 as an NFO was one of the highlights of my life. Even after 20 years of being retired, if they asked me to come back and fly a ASW mission, I would be there in a heartbeat. Great friends, great times, great memories.

Chip Bulkeley, e-mail, 22.07.2010 18:12

Flew P-3A/B/C's as an FEC/FE from 1986-2000.
Does anyone know the candle power rating of the P-3A search light? It was gone by the time I started my training.

Tj McCormick, e-mail, 17.05.2010 22:39

Any info on the best procedure to defuel this aircraft ?

Steve S, e-mail, 26.04.2010 06:31

Flew P-3Bs with VP-40 as a Julie op and then SS-1 and SS-2 out of Moffett and points west from 1970-1973. I recall taking off for the journey home from Naha and not being able to get to 18,000 ft because of the load. Six motorcycles, a bunch of furniture and enough stereo equipment to put on an AC/DC concert might have had a bit to do with it! I still wonder what our gross was that day...140K? I know that we used ALL of the runway at Naha, then again at Midway. 154587 was our "crew" bird (QE-6) and she's still on duty out there with the NRL. VERY reliable, very durable and very uncomfortable in rough air. It's surprising how you can learn to sleep on the deck of a P-3 in stormy skys!!

IRBY FANNING JR., e-mail, 26.03.2010 19:17


Fran Haupt, e-mail, 24.03.2010 04:05

1963-64, ADR2, VP-31 Det Alphla, NAS Moffett Field, P3A/B gound school/inflight, flight enginneer instructor. 1964-68. Crewmember (A/C#150520) on frist nonstop flight 4577 NM, 14.5 Hrs, Nas Moffett Field to Atsugi Japan. Return flight Atsugi to Nas North Island 4950 NM/14.2 Hrs. F/E, VP-10 NAS Brunswick Maine. 2500 Hrs of F/E seat time. This aircraft was really great. 1968-1971 instructor NAMTD Pax River. Instructor pilots/flight engineers and maintenance personnel. Really enjoyed the aircraft and the personnel who I came in contact with.

Larry Huddle, e-mail, 12.03.2010 22:01

VP-47 made the transition to the P-3A during the summer of 1965 prior to it's second 'Nam tour. I flew as a substitute radar operator after having had lower back surgery in July, 1965. It was a fine flying experience compared to the Martin Marlin.

Jim Franklin, e-mail, 12.03.2010 05:03

flew radio in 152165 RD7 patron47. wonderful a/c

Bud Smith, e-mail, 08.03.2010 20:22

Was crewchief on SP2H with VP-4 "Skinny Dragons"
Transitioned to P-3 and flew as F/E with both VP-4 out
of Barber's Point, HI. and the "BIG RED" VP-19 from
Moffett Field,CA. Most forgiving A/C I ever flew on as crewman. Bored holes in the sky all over the Pacific and numerous "westpac" tours flying out of Naha,Iwakuni,and
Cubi Point. The P-3 was not the most comfortable of birds in turbulent air,as evidenced by a low level flight through the Molakai Channel, but she always brought us home. Retired in Sept. 75 as SCPOC of VP-19 after 20 years of service in Naval Aviation.

Bill Biggs, e-mail, 03.03.2010 22:47

Started Navy career 1958 in Lockheed EC121, VW-11 Argentia, NFLD. Went back to VW-11 1962 to 1965 and then went west with everyone else during Viet Nam to P3-B's in VP-40 NAS Moffett Field. After a FAETUPAC tour finished Navy career in VP-50 at Moffett. After retirement in 1977 went to work for Lockheed as a P-3 Tech Rep. until retired from Lockheed. Over 35 years and 8500 flight hours Lockheed aircraft with over 30 years total , including Lockheed techrep time, in P-3's. Nothing bad to say,enjoyed all of it, including all those boring Nam market time flight hours.

Hank DeBerry AO1 USN (Ret), e-mail, 24.01.2010 21:24

Spent 18 1/2 years flying on these birds and fell in love the first time I flew on one. As an aircrewman/instructor I logged over 5,000 hours in A/B/Bmod/SuperB/C/CI/CII/CIII and I can safely say that the girls all brought me back in one piece. Not to say there weren't some scary times but there were some great times also chasing the Soviets and others. Had the privelege of helping out in the Straights of Hormuz when it was needed and who can forget their first up close look at St Elmo's fire. Flew all over the world and wouldn't trade anything for the memories.

Orion FE, e-mail, 22.01.2010 13:45

.........as far as "410 kias on the deck", not happening. It might have indicated that on the VNE needle, which is normal, unless you leave the static ports plugs in. The 473 MPH indicated in the specifications above, equates to 405 kts, which is VNE for the airframe. Besides, the max ground speed for the MLG tires is 174 kts.

OrionFE, e-mail, 22.01.2010 13:36

Flew the all-mighty Orion as an FE for over 6,000 flight hours, in all 3 models (A/B/C) and a few flights in the EP version. She's was the mistress that almost never talked back. I had a love afiar with her for 26 years and would still take her anywhere in the world. Her endurance is amazing, if you know what you're doing (logged a 12.7 in an AIP version of the C model, with AFC-517 inc.) I don't know if I would agree with the ceiling on the "specifications" at the top of this page, as at 34,000 ft, she's just about at max differntial cabin pressure, and she gets real quiet! (Gotta watch them when they get quiet). The best aircraft in the world as far as I'm concerned!

Barry Woodruff, e-mail, 20.01.2010 02:34

We had 2 of our new B models that we took to S.E. Asia that I can honestly say would indicate just over 410kts on the deck!

I never tried it in the 747-400, DC-10, or 727, but I have my doubts.

Chuck, e-mail, 17.01.2010 17:11

Was Radio Operator on P3 in Pax River, MD. Flew in P5M in Bermuda until squadron transitioned over to P3 and moved to Maryland. I remember coming back to Bermuda from patrol and we had very severe winds. Pilot got us down safely with severe crosswinds.

Lewis Lefevre, e-mail, 13.01.2010 04:02

I am a retired P-3 Flight Engineer and flew over 7000 hours in the great P-3. Most of my hours were in the P-3C but I have a couple hundred in the P-3A. What an incredible Aircraft!

Harry G. Sharp, e-mail, 11.01.2010 22:10

Pilot, VP9 1968-1971, VP91 1971-1976.
Loved the aircraft, but...
the 54,000 ft. ceiling is greatly exaggerated.
The stated 473 "miles per hour" max speed is approximately the equivalent of the NATOPS 405 "knot" max.

Randy Hotton, e-mail, 09.01.2010 15:52

Awesome airplane, got orders to VP-45 out of flt training. Went through P-3 Rag at Pax River VP-31, coming out of S-F's at Corpus Christi. I remember my first take off, 210 Kts climbing 4,000' per minute, WOW! Kept one in the air 17 hours, which a lot of time flying on 2 engines. We did not even have a topped off fuel on departure. It one those "Can you stay out there a litle longer mission, we are having trouble with your relief" I think if we had topped off we could have done 20 hours. Still give tours in my last squadron's P-3B VP-93 at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mt Clements Michigan.

Marian Bruce, e-mail, 07.01.2010 23:50

Flew the P3A in VP28 1959 until squadron decommissioned then transfered to VP22 until Dec 1971. Became OINC of VP66 where we transitioned to the P3A from the SP2H. Became the OINC of NARDET Pax River where I continued to fly the P3 until 1977. All total about 3500 hours of pilot time in the A with a very little time in the B model.

Dave Smith, e-mail, 11.12.2009 20:17

Great airplane!! I was a crewman on Crew 9 Alpha VP46 out of NAS Moffett Field. Flew all over SE Asia in this airplane and she never failed to get us home. Great times and even better memories. INT QRK

Frode Bergfldt, e-mail, 01.02.2009 17:12

Worked as Crew-Chief on the B-model for 3 years in the Royal Norwegian Aiforce. Fantastic and reliable machinery, both to work on and to travel with.

Mandy Bayles, e-mail, 09.11.2008 05:28

My dad was an AT in the VP-24 squadron based in Jacksonville in the 80's. I actually had the pleasure walking around on one of these when I was about 4 years old. I'll never forget that; wish I could take my daughter on a tour of one. Anyone remember "Hay" Bayles?

AOC(AW) USN Ret. Doug Kirk, e-mail, 12.07.2008 04:55

got over 4,00 in p3a,b,c, instuctor duty in all 3. good old days. VP24,22,30

Mike Mazurczak, e-mail, 31.05.2008 16:10

Great airplane! Great commercial airline pilot trainer. I flew it for 19 years and 5,500 hours. Chanced the bad guys all over the world. Great liberty! Great flying! Incredibly reliable aircraft.

Jim Medley, e-mail, 27.05.2008 02:51

VP 49 1963-66 PAX Rv MD bored holes in the air all over the Atlantic and Caribbean. Very reliable aircraft even in the Bermuda triangle.

bill, e-mail, 22.05.2008 15:25

I was a crewman and flew all over in the B-Mod; I had a few rides in the C's as well. When things went wrong, engines or weather this plane got you home. We lost one and our sister Sq lost one some survivors on ours tragically all lost on the island of Kauai HI.
Chased a lot of Russian and ROC subs had some great on station time. This baby can do a lot, lying mines, torpedoes, even was able to carry the old MK-101 Nuclear Depth Charge as I recall had a few of them at Barbers Point HI. 101s that is.

George Bleyle, e-mail, 22.05.2008 02:20

An operational(?) ceiling of 54,000 ft for the P-3C is impossible! This is an obvious error.

Jon Moore, e-mail, 30.04.2008 17:57

Crew is 12 for the C. Max speed is 405 as I remember, ceiling is probably 34K ft not 54kft.

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