Martin P5M "Marlin"
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13.07.2024 20:27

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12.07.2024 17:49

AAA Vision

12.07.2024 17:47

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11.07.2024 06:35

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09.07.2024 09:21

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08.07.2024 20:45

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07.07.2024 07:11

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06.07.2024 04:18

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05.07.2024 18:29

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02.07.2024 06:18

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01.07.2024 20:15

30.06.2024 20:02

Curtiss F8C-4, -5 / O2C-1 Helldiver

30.06.2024 18:13

30.06.2024 04:18

Douglas C-133 Cargomaster

26.06.2024 16:25

25.06.2024 18:12

25.06.2024 16:04

23.06.2024 13:59

22.06.2024 19:48

22.06.2024 19:48

AJI T-610 Super Pinto

22.06.2024 19:47

22.06.2024 19:40

Abrams Explorer

22.06.2024 10:29

Cessna Model 188

22.06.2024 04:55

21.06.2024 02:31

Roland Nino Martinez, PH1 usnr, e-mail, 20.06.2024 00:28

Hello Gary, Sorry this response is so late. Hey, I knew your brother and as a photographer photographed the members of the squadron. I would be more than at no charge of course! sending you some photos you might want to have. Let me know... I have a cruise book for 1957 where there is a nice portrait I can copy for you... and some original photos just for you... let me know rnm
Just send me your address... I live in the SanDiego area.

Anonymous, 05.01.2024 05:54

Never met you in squadron nor photographed you for the cruise book either in 57 or 58...why is that..?

roland n martinez ph1, e-mail, 05.01.2024 05:25

no respoonse

roland n martinez PH1 retired, 05.01.2024 05:18

I was a photographer and have many photos...send me the specifics iyour e address to and I will furnish you at no cost what i have... I knew your uncle was it Scofield ?

mark satterlee, e-mail, 11.12.2023 00:31

I served with John Bartlett who recently walked on to greener pastures. There are pictures of RB-5 burning near Corigedore on They got out of the plane and rowed safely away from the heat. A Phillipean patrol boat picked them up and returned the crew to Sangley. That night I had a SM with John and he could hardly quit shaking. He had only been part of Crew 5 a short time before this mishap. I had stayed in touch with John even after my release to civilian life and John went on to be an AEC and retiring from the Navy.

Brian N Miller, e-mail, 03.11.2023 17:15

Hi Charles, sorry that I did not see this earlier. I have the squadron book from the '57 WESTPAC that has photos. We are moving, so it's packed away right now, but I would be glad to send photos in the near future. Please email me at to remind me. Brian

Joseph Ashby, e-mail, 28.09.2023 16:31

First assignment out of AT A School at NAS Memphis was to VP-47 which was already deployed to Iwakuni from Alameda NAS. Made a member of Crew 1 flying as radar, ECM or MAD. Two deployments in 1955 & 1956. Deployed to Sangley Point and was part of search and rescue for President Magsaysay plane when it crashed. Trying to reconstruct history for my memoirs. Went to Tokyo Bay with group of Army special forces elite who would bail out at low altitude and we would then land, deploy a 12-man raft on the port side and scoop them up UDT style, take off and do it again.

Charles Morton, e-mail, 25.09.2023 23:42

Hi Gary,

I'm sorry for the loss of your brother. My Great Uncle was the pilot of that aircraft. I'm trying to piece together a little more family history for my children, but I only have a few pictures of him. I'm curious if you might have any photos of him with his crew. Maybe your brother had some pictures of the aircraft as well?

Charles Morton, e-mail, 25.09.2023 23:31

Hi Brian,

LCDR Scofield was my Great Uncle. My mother can still remember the day that her father, my grandfather, received the phone call about the crash. I have a few pictures of him, but mostly stories. Do you possibly have any photos of him, or of the aircraft in their unit? I'd love to keep his memory alive, and pass the history to my children.

OInker8, e-mail, 19.09.2023 20:09

PLease respond to the young lady wanting info on Beaching Crews on Launch and Recovery Her Father was Navy

Peter, e-mail, 01.08.2023 01:49

1960 to August 61 from mid 1960 August 1961 ATS sonar operator and first regiment from VP 31 looking forward to hearing from anybody who served with me at that time.

Peter Fuller, e-mail, 01.08.2023 01:47

1960 to August 61 from mid 1960 August 1961 ATS sonar operator and first regiment from VP 31 looking forward to hearing from anybody who served with me at that time.

Peter Fuller, e-mail, 01.08.2023 01:47

1960 to August 61 from mid 1960 August 1961 ATS sonar operator and first regiment from VP 31 looking forward to hearing from anybody who served with me at that time.

JAMES WHITAKER JR, e-mail, 22.07.2023 03:16

I was a crew leader on the beaching and line crew NAS Corpus Christi, VT-31 1963-1964. I had many crazy stories about launching and recovery of the Boat. Any old shipmates who remember those days contact me.

JAMES WHITAKER JR, e-mail, 22.07.2023 03:09

Brian N Miller, e-mail, 07.05.2023 22:15

Hi Gary, the pilot of that aircraft, LCDR. Scofield, was a good friend of my father's. They both commanded crews in VP-46 around that time. My parents kept in touch with his widow, I remember visiting her and her daughters when I was a kid, they lived in Coronado.

Brian N Miller, e-mail, 07.05.2023 22:11

Hi Roland, my father was PPC of crew 11 around that time, I still have the 1957 westpac book, his flight jacket, and his squadron patch. Our family also lived in C.V.

Gary Renn, e-mail, 09.03.2023 22:53

David Pope

My brother, Carl Renn was killed in a P5M Marlin crash in Corpus Christi TX Dec 9, 1957. I have a plaque of his that says "Patrol Squadron 46". I'm wondering if you you might have any info to share. My understanding is he was stationed in San Diego, but was flying with a crew that was making a cross country trip. They had stopped to refuel in Tx and an engine caught fire shortly after take off and the plane went down.
Any further info you might have would be appreciated.

Gary Renn

Roland N Martinez PH1, e-mail, 03.03.2023 07:53

Ron, I was a photomate with 46 in 57 and 58. I have a beautiful black and white 8x10 just for you free of course...send me your address and I will mail it to is a sunset view of a p5 being pulled out of the is gorgeous and I am looking at a framed print right now.. e me at: the e address listed...I live in Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego.. call me Nno.

Roland N. Martinez PH1, e-mail, 03.03.2023 07:41

Made the 57 and 58 cruises; photographed all personnel for the cruise books yet you are not pictured anywhere..and not mentioned in the page of those not in the book. You are also not picdtured with either Crew 3 or Crew 12 on the 58 cruise... our last names are the same yet I never met you. why is that?

Roland Nino Martinez, e-mail, 03.03.2023 07:27

LTJG Garfield T. Byrd... he was in Navigation during the two times in 57 and 58 I was with VP46 at North Island and Sangley Point. He is in the 1957 cruise book that I was involved in making since i was a photo mate striker at the time and then PH3 on the second 1958 cruise. Garfield was in Administration during the 58 cruise to PI for your sez the 58 cruise book.

Andrew Key, e-mail, 15.02.2023 04:54

I flew the same position as an AL3 when stationed at CGAS St. Petersburg, FL in 1958. Once was flying the panel when we did an off shore in the Gulf of Mexico to pick up an injured crewman from a merchant vessel. Good thing the seas were only 3-4. Retired as an LCDR in 1986. Flew aircrew in the P5 and HU-16e for 8 years before moving up.

Al Martinez, e-mail, 08.01.2023 19:13

Bob, where can I get a VP-46 "58-'59 cruise book?

Al Martinez

949 939-0470

Al Martinez, e-mail, 08.01.2023 19:10

Hi Dan,

I was an AT radioman with VP-46 in 1958 and participated in the 2nd Taiwan Straits Crisis. Our boat crashed on top of a coral reef when attempting takeoff. Do you remember the name of the seaplane tender that was in the area? I am writing my story of that time in my life. Any photos would be appreciated..

Al Martinez
949 939-0470

Al Martinez, e-mail, 08.01.2023 02:39

Hi David,

I was an AT with VP-46 in 1958 during the Formosa Crisis. Stationed in Sangley in 1958. Would love the photos. P5M radioman.

Al Martinez

David Pope, e-mail, 23.11.2022 20:48

I was an AT in VP-46 from late 1958-1961. I joined the squadron in August 1958 at Sangley Point Philippines for 6 months. I was a member of the night crew and later a flight crew member of Crew 5 on the P5M. In 1961, I was transitioned to the P2V Neptune in 1961 where I continued as a flight crew member. On both aircraft. I was the radar operator and backup radioman. Our P5M lost an engine returning from R&R and we jettisoned most of the equipment to lighten our load. We were able to keep our personal effects once we leveled out at about 100 ft off the water for 3 hours to return to Sangley. I have a few photos. If interested contact me.

Bob Bunderson, e-mail, 28.06.2022 03:47

Rich, if you get give me a call, 970-532-0327, hope to hear from you.

Bob Bunderson, e-mail, 28.06.2022 03:41

Mike, I saw your post wanting LTjg Byrd's first name, per my '58-'59. VP-46, cruise book his first name is Garfield T. (Gary)

RL Brant, e-mail, 27.06.2022 18:20

Hey Al I tried to send a message on email but it wouldn't go through.


RL Brant, e-mail, 27.06.2022 18:15

Hi Bob, glad I saw your post. Been a long time since I saw you.


Al Martinez, e-mail, 27.06.2022 00:32

hey Ernie, I transpaced to Sangley in 58. Sent to give Chicoms pause when they threatened to invade Formosa in 58. Was 1st radioman on the P5. Would love to hear from you: 949 939-0470.

Al Martinez, e-mail, 27.06.2022 00:23

Hey RL, I was in Sangley Pt. in 58 with VP-46. I was in crew three and later crew 12. First radioman on the P5M-1. We may have met at one time. Lot's of fun in Cavite, yes? Phone: 949 939-0470

Al Martinez, e-mail, 27.06.2022 00:13

Hi Jess, I was in VP-46 58 and 59. Was also an AT2. Send me an email

Al Martinez, e-mail, 26.06.2022 18:06

I served during that time and same stations. Give me a call and we can chat. 949 939-0470

Al Martinez, e-mail, 26.06.2022 18:03

I was in VP-46 during 58-59, so may have missed you. Stationed at North Island and Sangley Pt. as well. Wonderful memories.

Al Martinez, e-mail, 26.06.2022 17:57

John, I was a radioman in VP-46 from 1958 to 1959. Served during the Quemoy/Matsu crisis.

Al Martinez, e-mail, 26.06.2022 17:48

Yes, I was a crewman on the P5M and familiar with the attaching and removal of the beaching gear.

Al Martinez, e-mail, 26.06.2022 17:44

Dan, I was a radioman with VP-46 the same time you were. Your experience was so much the same as mine. Survived a single engine, and during the Quemoy Matsu time my pilot managed to tear off the bottom of our plane (12 Boat) on a coral reef. The plane later sunk in the straights of Taiwan. My contact info is 949-939-0470.

Ron Jackman, e-mail, 21.06.2022 01:55

Re "beaching" a P5M. After the flight crew catches the buoy, a "line handing" boat takes a heavy Manila line to hook on the stern. A "wader" replaces the line w/a cable. The boat takes the 2 float mounted main gear out to either side of the seaplane to be hooked to the plane by the flight crew. After the wader helps a crew member hook on the tail gear, the P5M is pulled up the ramp tail first by a heavy tractor. After a "complete" fresh water wash down, the plane/boat is moved to a parking spot.

Ron Jackman, e-mail, 21.06.2022 00:31

Got to VP50 at Whitby Island. 1959. Went to N Island (comp cleaning) during J J inst. On to Iwakuni for beach crew. (Cmd Koenig.) Was in Iwakuni during Cuban crisis. Flew with flight crews whenever I could. Back to N Island in 62-63 to VP31. Discharged. Flew 2 yrs out of Los Alamitos on P2V's. Anyone out there still kicking around?

Bud Walters, e-mail, 11.06.2022 22:33

I did two tours with vp-46 flew in crew #3 Had a couple single engine experiences I should know you I was in squadron till 11/5/56
Bud Walters may we could talk

Mike killingswort, e-mail, 31.03.2022 09:56

Monte was my father he passed in 2013. Always have fond memories of VP 47

Michael Stuart, e-mail, 24.03.2022 01:36

Mr. Eaton,

I hope this finds you in good spirit. I was asked by my uncle on behalf of a Mr. Ed King who was also in VP-46 around the same time you were. He has been asking if anyone remembers the first name of a LTjg Byrd from the deployment in '57. I cannot find any records from then (not even a cruise book). I offered to help since I myself was in VP-46 (1992-1996). If you have any information, I will gladly pass it along.

Michael Stuart

Judy Dudley, e-mail, 12.03.2022 19:45

Ken, would like to be in touch with you about VP-49, Bermuda and October 1962. Married to Jim Dudley and in touch with Bob Bentley both of Crew 7 during Cuban Crisis. Judy Dudley

frank kennedy, e-mail, 05.03.2022 21:16

was ad1 couch in vp45? in the 60's ?

Fred Belke, e-mail, 08.01.2022 02:07

Do have pictures of the p5m in 1958 at Corpus Cristie my father in law was a on the flight crew as a mechanic, building a model of the p5m .

Mark, e-mail, 25.10.2021 22:31

John Bartlett was part of that crew. It was a -1 and crew 5 from VP-42. The whole plane burned and sank. This could have been a separate incident but you can see some pictures on

Anonymous, 17.09.2021 20:46

I was there at the same time Mark. Still live just outside of Pax. Hope you are well.


Floyd D. Owens, e-mail, 17.09.2021 20:44


I remember you well. Hope you are doing great. I still live in St Mary's county in Leonardtown ( a few miles from Pax.) met my late wife here and never left. Didn't the metal smiths paint Ensign Benson's car or was it a pick up truck?


Floyd D. Owens, e-mail, 17.09.2021 20:38


I also was on crew 3 Radio from 62-65 (Remember the Beret's) My memory isn't as good as it use to be and I honestly don't remember you. Bill Couch broke me in on radio and the big bad electrical panel. I only messed up the generators once but learned quickly how to switch them on in phase.


Floyd D. Owens, e-mail, 17.09.2021 20:22


I also served in VP-49 from 1962-1965. I Was Radio and second tech on Crew 3. I have very fond memories of our time in BDA/Cuba and Pax River where I still live. My nick name is Buddy. Some of my crew mates were Bill Couch, AD1 Richardson, ? Tilly, ? Zigler, And Tony Anzivito.


Mac Merrell, e-mail, 09.08.2021 23:54

as a 19yr old USN seaman, my job was as a "line handler boat coxswain"at NAS Jacksonville. i would drag giant attachable wheels out to the plane off the ramp, throughj a line to crew, them leaning out of a door, and they would attach the wheel and use props to beach it.
boat was a 17' open boat with a hand throttle and rudder stick. very primitive. fun to work withl

Fred Howard, e-mail, 23.06.2021 21:57

Well Tom, I was in VP-40 the same as you, I flew in a few crews also...was in crew-4 when Hite landed at sea on the SAR mission when the civilian airliner when down. I stayed in the Navy and retired as ATC. That was a long time ago, and yes I do remember you from then. Do you remember me?

david bishton, e-mail, 09.05.2021 08:47

John. Hope this finds you still kicking 10 years late. I was in VP-40 (crew 3) waiting for the winds to die down enough to transpac. It was really rough duty! All our equipment, spares and ground guys already in the PI. So we mustered every other day, preflighted, and went back to the barracks. It was hard I tell you. Finally we transpac'd by VR and took over your tired birds. But I loved every minute, still love the P-5's and even extended a year to get over there again since I was a kiddie cruiser and would run out of enlistment. Thank you for your service!!

Robert Bunderson, e-mail, 14.04.2020 01:57

Dan, if you get this come back to me and we can swap some pictures and tales.

Ken Walling, e-mail, 13.03.2018 23:45

Radioman in VP-49 1962 to 1964. Flew with a number of crews. Went single engine twice on consecutive Fridays while flying out of Gitmo during the missile crisis. Transitioned with VP-49 to P-3s at Pax River. (Became a PPC with VP-23 in Brunswick. The Second Tech in VP-49 became my Tech when I was PPC.)

Tom Hale, e-mail, 11.03.2018 22:57

Hi guys. Checked into VP-48 in February 1960. Went mess cooking for three months. Then went to help decommission FASRON 110 in the VP Hanger. Went back to the Squadron in August 1960 and started flying as ECM/Julie operator, sat starboard lookout on take offs and landings. Got my A/C wings a year later. Made AE3 and AE2 there and got out in March 1963. Was on the test crew that bought off on the Singer Link P5M-2 trainer made by ACF ( American Car and Foundry) in Baltimore. LCDR Waller, Bud Webb, Ed Casey, to name a few of the other folks. Came back in in May of 1963 and was sent to VS-21 after training in Sept 1963 aboard the USS Kearsarge. Made two more cruises on the Kearsarge in 64 and 66. Did a short tour in Yuma, 66 and 67 and terminated my shore duty and went to VS-38 in Nov. 1967. Was picked up to be on the S-3A FIT (Fleet Introduction Team) in August 1971. Spent the next three and a half years until April 1975 when I made Warrant Officer. Shipped out on the Kitty Hawk cruise and returned from Westpac in Dec. 1975. Put the Hawk through the Puget Sound Ship Yard for a 13 month Overhaul from March 76 to April 1 77. I transferred to the NORIS ASWOC on that date and retired from ther in August 1978.
My email is:

larry r. mickle, e-mail, 06.06.2017 01:51

I was a radio operator on C-12 in VP-44 stationed at Norfolk 55-57. I was shipmates to the crew that was lost in the Azores in 56 and attended their base funeral. I could fill a book with the details of the hundreds of flying hours in the P5M-2's. We were short radio operators and flew on more than one crew. I did not recall any survivors from the Azores crash. They fired the JATO and a wave forced the nose under, and she went on down. Finished my career in the Air Force and retired with 23 yrs in Jun 78.

Britt Burton, e-mail, 30.12.2016 18:29

Rick Dombrowski,can you contact me? I am the son of ENS Burt Burton, one who died in the 2 Aug 1962 VP-40 P5M crash out of Sangley Point. CDR Vegelahn was pilot, my dad was aboard that aircraft.

Bill Bethard AE-2, e-mail, 31.10.2016 04:53

I was attached to VP-46 from Jan 1960 to August 1961, while the attached to VP-46 they were flying The Martin P5M-1 until made we made the transition to the Neptune Aviation's P2V. Never made it into a fliht crew ut did electrical maintenance, and worked in the engine build shop fo a few month. I was relesed from active duty just before President Kennedy extended everyone due to the Cuban Mistle Situation. I olny remember the name of one other sqyadron member whose name was Jim Turley, AM-4

Bruce, e-mail, 23.07.2016 15:04

To; AWCS ken Stephenson - I am a Naval Aviation Historian and can help you with information on the VP-50 SG13 crash in 1967. Please contact me - my contact information can be found on my website at www vpmma org or on linkedin.

Rick Dombrowski, e-mail, 02.04.2016 23:55

To Bill Clarke's comment: No, I was never bald and in fact, still have a head of hair at 82 years of age. Thanks for asking....

AWCS ken stephenson, e-mail, 06.03.2016 21:53

Looking for any info on crash of SG13 off sangley in jan 1967. Wife of only two info has questions.

fair winds AWCS

Carl Klinger, e-mail, 01.01.2016 05:08

I was the radioman on the P5M that crashed on takeoff in the Azores on 11/11/1956 and as of this date am the only living crewman from that crew. Am especially interested in contacting Jerry Neves who lived in the Azores when the crash occurred and has some pictures he is willing to share and I would greatly appreciate having. Would appreciate any input as to Jerry Neves whereabouts or contact info.

Marlin Martin, e-mail, 31.12.2015 14:43

Martin My Dad, same name, served at Iwakuni in 1958. Who built this plane?

Jerry H. Neves, e-mail, 26.11.2015 01:08

Hello. I am originally from the Azores Islands, born in Faial island. Came to Ca in 1957. I recall a Martin P5M Marlin crashing on takeoff outside the arbor in Faial. On November 11, 1956.This aircraft had the T tail. It was in Azores along with several other planes and the USS Currituck, AV7. Never forgot witnessing that crash which William Johnson refers to,above. I was 17 at the time. Have photos of the Martin P5Ms in the harbor at Faial that I can email to anyone who might have been crewman of these planes. Regards to all,Jerry

Carl Stuart, e-mail, 10.07.2015 16:45

I was an AO3 stationed in Norfolk Va. Squadron VP44 from 1958 to 1961 In 1961 we received P3V which was a Plane that had to land on a runway instead of landing in the water I always enjoyed both planes but I like the P5M better because of the room and the view when looking out for other aircraft it wa a great experience

Bill Clarke, e-mail, 01.07.2015 19:06

Hey Dombrowski were you bald at 19?

Al Fowler, e-mail, 15.05.2015 01:12

How can I contact a commenter?

Glen Pierce, e-mail, 07.05.2015 04:31

I have photos of my father's 1943, i believe, Pbm mariner RP-55 (navy). He was based at Banana River Florida. I can send the photo for you to decide what RP means. glen

Bruce Barth, e-mail, 04.05.2015 03:05

Cheryl Wilson - I would love to help you with the book you are doing for your father. Please contact me - my contact information is on my website at www vpmma org

Dan Eaton, e-mail, 25.04.2015 05:12

I was an AT with VP46 from 1957-1960. We rotated with three other squadrons every 6 months between North Island and Sangley Point in the Philippines (near Cavite). Besides working in the shop, I was the radio and MAD operator on boat 7. Mostly we flew patrols over the south china sea checking on shipping. When mainland China started shelling the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu, there was concern it could be the start of an invasion. At that time, we flew patrols over the Taiwan straights working off a seaplane tender at BoCoCo. In answer to one of your questions, the landing gear (can't remember what they were actually called) were only attached when a plane came back in so it could be towed back up a ramp to park. Then of course, they were removed just before taking off. The P5M was a true seaplane, not an amphibian. If you send me your e-mail, I can send you some pictures relating to this and other operations.

Cheryl Wilson, e-mail, 21.04.2015 02:25

@Bruce Barth or ANYONE! I am writing a book about my father's experience in the Navy. He is 85 years old. I am in great need of some minor technical information on the takeoff and landing of the P5M and your comment caught my attention. Would you be able to help me? I only have a page or two on the plane but I want to be accurate in my descriptions and there is very little that I can find on the internet. There is some information on landing procedures (attaching gears, etc.) but nothing on takeoff. My dad worked on them, put the gear on them and would use a speedboat to assist. He has spoke of a line and a quick release? Stirring up waves to help the plane break the surface? Can anyone help? Thank you.

Rick Dombrowski, e-mail, 26.03.2015 10:14

I was assigned as the PC on QE-7 at Sangley Point, R.P. Worked in the Mech Shop when not flying. Had some interesting events on several patrols and worked with a great crew to get the job done. LT Bob Westlake was PPC, Ltjg Stebbins and Ltjg Stroup were 2P and 3P; Dominese was Radar, Hiser was Radio, Masterson was Structures/Hydraulics, Saterfield was Electric and Wilson was the other AT. This crew flew the P5M-1, BuNo 126501, which we had the priviledge to fly back to San Diego, turn in the A/C, go thru updated equipment training and fly a new P5M-2 back to Sangley Point. I personally accomplished this twice with flying another P5M-1 to San Diego to do the same swap and fly another new P5M-2 back to Sangley Point. The last transpac was under the expert guidance of LT Keith Wilkinson . Seaplane flying was unique and a demanding aspect of patrol duties. Our Crew 4 was personally involved with the rescue of a NorthWest Orient DC-6B that was forced to ditch between Guam and the Philippines; a tribute to that aircrew's talent in getting the plane down in an open sea landing and recovering the lion's share of the survivors from the downed aircraft. It was a distinct pleasure to serve with men such as these of VP-40.

richard chamberlain, e-mail, 17.03.2015 03:16

chamberlain I was on the P5M that had to land at sea because the starboard engine caught fire.We used both extingishers,it was still burning.we were given a cardboard write up by Martin. I am ret.AO 1.Spelling(extinguishers)

Robert (Bob) Hummel, e-mail, 14.03.2015 11:58

I was with VP45 in Coco Solo, Panama in '54 when we received our first P5M-1, Number 12. I was the electronics tech and third radioman on that crew, until I left the Squadron in May for VR1 in Pax River. Enjoyed my time as a crew member.

Harold Marchant, e-mail, 12.03.2015 02:29

How would I contact a person who wrote a comment about the Martin P5M. We shared an apartment at North Island. He says, drop me a line. Where would I find his address?

Harold Marchant

Frank Notarnicola, e-mail, 25.02.2015 20:01

I flew as a P5M-1 2nd Mech 1958-59 in
ATU501/VT29 Corpus Christi, TX. Loved the P Boats. Next assignment was USS Pine Island AV12 San Diego / WestPAC. While on Pine Island 1961/62 picked up crew of VP40 Sangley Pt that went down in Philppine Sea. Had engine fire landed on water to extinguish Fire. Picked up crew and lifted plane on deck at night on the high seas. First time ever night time pick up at sea. Anyone out there part of rescued aircrew or Piney Maru remember this event?

Gerald Lillie, e-mail, 23.01.2015 17:34

Flew in the P5M's as radioman and electrical panel operator. ATU 501 in Corpus Christi,TX, 1957. VP-31 in North Island,CA, 1962 to 1965. Retired as ATC in 1973.

Ronald D.Peters, e-mail, 19.01.2015 07:56

I was in VP 31 from the fall of 1962 until summer of 1963. I worked in the tool crib in the seaplane hanger. My boss took me along on a training flight on a PB5M I remember they used a boat to detach and attach the wheels. It was quite exciting for a farm boy from SD just turned 18.

bill klawon' ao1,ret, e-mail, 10.01.2015 00:51

Ordnanceman vp48,vp50 (sg-3),vp31. '59-'65.good times in
Iwakuni with those crazy crew 3 AT's.

Ron Jerger, e-mail, 03.01.2015 18:03

Flew for over two years as a crew member in VP-48. I was an AO3. My Job besides an ordence man was to cook and grab the rope eye upon approaching the ramp. I love it and seems like only yesterday some times.

William U Yates, e-mail, 22.12.2014 02:57

W U Yates contact at

William U Yates, e-mail, 21.12.2014 02:34

I am fascinated by the first couple entries; I was a AEMAN when I reported to VP-47 in January 1959 at Alameda. Went to Iwakuni and worked in EBU, I am called an AD in the cruise book. I will scan and email pictures if anyone wants a page.

George j spencer, e-mail, 03.11.2014 17:09

I was enlisted from 1958 thru 1962' served in the vp 47 seaplane squadron, went to Iwakuni, Japan. After airframes school in 1958, in Memphis Tennessee.
Am interested in contacting any airmen who served in my squadron with me. I served under a great leader ; commander Gorman, CO.
I worked on the hydraulics, and airframes on the p5m seaplanes.
Anyone remember ?. please contact me at my e-mail address, god bless you each and everyone who served in defense of our great USA. Spence !!!

Commander Gorman

Ralph Doudna, e-mail, 21.08.2014 09:36

My first duty assignment upon graduating from ATAN school was VP-47 Alameda from Mid 1959 to mid 1962. Checked into the squadron as an ATAA and left for ATIB school as an AT2. Made my first flight as a tail observer shortly after checking in to the squadron. The command pilot was CDR Gorman XO. I can still recall that flight. The squadron deployed to Iwakuni, Japan 1959-1960 and was relieved by VP-50 one month late due to an unfortunate and costly training accident they had experienced while at Whidbey Is. We returned to Alameda and the squadron was reassigned to Whidbey Is. I eventually was assigned to flight crew and flew with crew 4. About the only flight gear enlisted received in those days was a flight jacket helmet and gloves. PPC was LCDR Wilson, Pilots were Lt's Dorsey Brown, Dick VanGermit, Skip Rawlins, Monte Killingsworth, Ltjg Link, Enlisted were, Erine Hill, David Payne, Jim Bateman, Maurice Sherman, Ron Keys, Paul Newbury, Jim Davis, Ken Hanway and Carlton Harris, not all these members were in crew four at the same time. My time and numerous hours both on the ground and in the air with crew four will forever be some of my fondest memories. They were a great group to serve with and We all did a lot of growing up under each others guidance. Flying in the old P5M-1 and -2 was a challenge and experience I would not trade for anything and there is no way of relating those times to someone who has not experienced it. We were deployed to Alaska with the USS Curtuck in 1962 and were ridding the buoy in Old Woman Bay, which required 3 enlisted and 1 pilot to control the aircraft incase the aircraft broke away from the buoy, Ltjg Link wondered what a PDC sounded like when it went off so he had Sherman throw one off the port wing and nothing happened, thinking it was a dud we threw another off the stbd wing nothing happened until about 2 in the morning when the tide came in and the water depth exceeded 50 ft, Those things went off a few seconds apart and our curiosity was forever satisfied . I would also like acknowledge Tommy Thompson the Marin Rep who more than once rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt and helped troubleshoot and repair a difficult problem. Retired out of the Navy as an CPO in 1994 and would like to thank all those who contributed to my career along the way.

Robert Hauser, e-mail, 28.06.2014 18:52

I took 2 PBM's to Sangley point.I was an AD2 and flight engineer. The first crashed on take off at Swatow China rescuing a Navy P2V. We lost both Navy and Coast Guard. The second crashed during a rescue of a seaman on a Japanese freighter. This was in 1952-1953.

gerald smith, e-mail, 20.06.2014 07:21

formerly vp 50 57 to 62. best times of my 21 years service. still have contact with part of my crew members and ordnance shop personnel.
like to make contact with other P boat crewmwmbers

john clark at-2, e-mail, 21.03.2014 22:10

Air Crewman VP-42 Sept, 1956 -August 1957 MAD operator, then eventually 1st radio. Memories rekindled watching the P3 and P8 in the search for Malaysia 370. I wonder how much better the MAD gear must be 60 years later...
Nice ride.

Dan Creverling, e-mail, 27.02.2014 22:50

Served with VP-50 from June 1959 - Feb 1962,later retired after 22 years. VP-50 represented the best memories of my career.

Tom Sacher, e-mail, 17.01.2014 19:19

Great reading many of the comments, I too served in VP-49, 61'to 63' AE 2, Plane Capitan of LP-5. What a great bunch of guys I served with. The US Navy was a great place to grow up. The P5M was quite aircraft. didn't like Cuba much especialy the time we put a hole in the hull landing at night. But God was with us and we are here to talk about it. Drop a line if you served with me, God Bless America!!!

Jesse Salazar, e-mail, 20.12.2013 10:41

I served in VP-42 from 1960 to 1963 & as a kid just out of high school I had a great crew who taught me all about this aircraft. Being a kid from Nebraska they liked me because I wasn't afraid to work. My first flight in my life was in a P5M & I met some great guys from all over the USA.

Walt Stevens, e-mail, 10.12.2013 04:32

i interred VP 42 as the "boot ensign" in Sept. '57. I was assigned to be "registered Pubs" officer. I got into hot water with the skipper after failing to be able to account for a page from one of the publications. We never did recover the page.
So my Naval career was ended there and then. All for the best, I guess. I had a long and wonderful career with American Airlines Retired in 1996. Drop me a line.

Mike White, e-mail, 09.12.2013 01:02

Was attached to VP-31 1963-65 Radioman and panel operator.

James D. Sytsma, e-mail, 23.11.2013 03:37

I served with VP-49 1962 - 1964.(Bermuda,Cuba & Patuxent River Maryland) I was an Aviation storekeeper but had times when I was able to fly with the crew in the P5M. My first flight in the plane to the states was quite an experience!! Thought it would never get off the water!! Then the firing of the jato bottles!! Then my first night flight to cuba!!
We were a Great Squadron!!

Walt Stevens, e-mail, 01.11.2013 06:29

I was assigned to VP-42 right out of Corpus Christi Tex. Boot Ensign and happy to be one. Of course being the boot Ensign I was assigned to be the "Registered Pubs" Officer. What great comrades I made there at North Island...Mexican Village singing, and of course Survival School!, 12.09.2013 03:50

I was stationed on the. USS Currytuck AV 7. A Marlin P5M tender. GREAT MEMORYS

Ernie Powell, e-mail, 02.08.2013 16:05

Hi, I served in VP-31 for just a few months on the P5 before they took them out of service.This was 11-1966 into
I have an interesting clip of a Japanese plane which looks like and updated P5 to 4 turbo props and a huge tail on the rear.
I would like to send it to you P5M guys if you interested.Please contact me,for the video website. I
was in the Navy 1961 to 1969, served in VP-21 P2's,VP-31 P5's and P2's, the VP-48 P3's.I was an AT, Radio and all the ASW positions,but flew mostly radio.

James Blakeman, e-mail, 08.07.2013 01:28

Served in VP-31 NAS North Island. Was Radio/Electric Panel operator on P5M's and qualified ECM operator. We trained pilots and aircrew for other units.

Bobby Zlatkin, e-mail, 17.06.2013 18:20

I was an ADR3 in VP49 in Bermuda from 4/59 to 4/61. Was never assigned to a permanent flight crew but I flew whenever I got a chance. Drew flight pay and substituted as a 'fill in'. Always as a second mech. That means I usually cooked and transferred fuel when the plane captain took a break. When not flying, I was on 'night check' working on the planes.

These two years were the most exciting/fun time of my life.

Bob Hearon, e-mail, 09.06.2013 16:37

Hey Ron Harrison (above) from VP49 Bermuda in 1954+.
I was in FASRON795 there from '52/late 54 as AE/AEI and Flight crew member. Great times!

Chuck Ross, AMS3/AMSC, e-mail, 08.06.2013 19:19

I was in VP40 in '60 and '61. Got into a little trouble with a local girl(later my wife) and was s**t-canned back to conus.I was a stand-by crewman and flew many hours in the P5. Cavite City was the best liberty anywhere.. Like to re-touch with Tyler, my buddy at the time.

Sue Liess, e-mail, 26.03.2013 02:00

Saw a painting of the P5M-2 at the NAS museum in Pensacola and would love to have a copy for my husband who sered in that plane. Anyone know if and where it might be available.

Bob Rowe, e-mail, 16.03.2013 20:16

VP 45 out of Bermuda 1956/58 asRadar/Radio/ECM operated
as Flight electrician. Lot of time at Guantamo, and many places in the Carribean in the Cold War era. Was in flight crew #1
and flew hundreds of hours in the two years with the squadron.

pete steinmeyer, e-mail, 09.03.2013 15:22

Hello all,

My father, Jack Steinmeyer, flew in VP-44 as a radio operator in the early 1950s. He passed away in 2010, and I'm trying to find any information about his service. I think he was on the P5M, and he mentioned a deployment to the Med at one time. Did any of you know him, or would you have any crew rosters from this time period that might have him listed? Many thanks, Pete Steinmeyer

Wally Anderson, e-mail, 21.02.2013 04:15

It was a real pleasure to read the posting by Gerald Smith
and John Pendleton about VP-50. I was also a VP-50 Blue Dragon from 1958-1962. In fact, Gerald Smith I were both
members of crew 9. I still have many pleasant memories of
flying out of Iwakuni, Japan and having over a thousand hours in the P5M.

Sean McGarrigle, e-mail, 03.02.2013 07:37

My father LCDR Donald R McGarrigle was the last person to fly this plane. He flew it to the museum in Pensacola. This was the most favorite plane he ever flew. I use to live in Florida and drove to the museum to ask them if they would put his name back on it after it was repainted and restored but they would not.

Jackie Lai, e-mail, 15.01.2013 08:28

My Dad, John, served in VP46 from 1951-1953. His crew was BD and I believe it was BD5 (Baker Dog). He's 80 now and he still tells me stories of his time on the PBM5 with such fondness. Would love to hear from anyone that was part of his crew and get you guys connected!

John Lenhart, e-mail, 11.11.2012 06:03

I was a white striper RM and flew with VP40 '58-59' out of Sangley, loved it! The "greenie's" didn't like me too much but we were a crew and stood for each other.

Charles Nave, e-mail, 01.10.2012 04:28

I was a member of VP40 1953/1954 and flew as 2nd radioman in crew no.11. Had many wonderful days with that squadron and had the pleasure of making friends with so many super Navy airman. I would love to hear from anyone that I may have served with.

Dave Thomas, e-mail, 11.09.2012 00:18

PC Crew 5 VP-47 Great A/C T tail was just to high think they changed to another model number but can't remember What it was SB5D I think

Ken Gold, e-mail, 26.08.2012 04:41

I am putting together a history of VP-45 and all of the aircraft we flew, from the PBY and, soon, the P-8. Send me an idea of your experiences in our squadron and maybe I can include your story in the book. Any and all help will be most appreciated and acknowledged in the book.

ARLEIGH STALEY, e-mail, 19.07.2012 19:29


Bill Stupka, e-mail, 19.07.2012 03:36

Served as an AT in VP-44 at Norfolk during 1953-56. Crewed 1st and 2nd Tech on CC-7, 9 and 10. Many memories good and not so good. 10 hour flights at night chasing subs (our own), war games out of San Juan in the winter, the USS Currituck, getting struck by lightning on the way to San Juan (wiped out the MAD), hear our homing torpedo hit the sub during the games, hearing VP-56's P5 hit the seawall in Norfolk in the middle of the night (very bad), smell of steaks grilling in the galley, Med cruise in 1954, the great P5M seaplane, all those hours in a flight suit, all the shipmates and crewmates, many whose name I can't remember...and on and on. What memories! What a time.

If any of you are looking for pictures of those days most of my stuff is on the VP-44 website. Mostly in the Photos/P5M section. Also posted the 1954 Med Cruise Book, 1956 Squadron Book plus photos of VP-44 Memories, photos of the '54 Med Cruise, the last P5M (Pensacola). It is all at Go Navy.

Robert W. Crawford AM1, e-mail, 19.07.2012 02:01

I was the only metalsmith that served was as plane captain in the early '60s in VP-48 North Island. Got out on a medical in '63. Never forget those days. Madson was the skipper. Got out and was denied all benefits except VA

Charles E. Price, e-mail, 10.07.2012 20:12

Aircrewman with VP-47 1950-53 BA-8.

James Kirby, e-mail, 08.07.2012 05:00

Served with VP-42 out of North Island 60-62. Was a AT with crew 8 and 9. Lost a few friends with the crews in Alaska and off the coast of California. When dischared they were starting to replace the Martins with P3V's. Have visited the last P5M I know of at the museum in Pensacola sure brings back a lot of memories.

Ken Gold, e-mail, 27.05.2012 08:32

How sad it is for all of us seaplane aficionados that the beautiful high-performance P6M from Martin just never made it through initial test flights. It was truly a beautiful airplane...but so were the Marlin and the Mariner, right?

dave robson, e-mail, 26.03.2012 04:51

I was electrician on 6 boat vp-49 59-61 nob bermuda, the best time of my life

Rodney Runck, e-mail, 13.02.2012 00:39

I served in VP-45 in Bermuda from 11/56 to 11/58 as an AT on crew 1 and crew 10. Went to Operation Springboard in Puerto Rico in '57 and '58 once on the Currituck and the second time on the Albamarle. Was in Gitmo on LN-10 in '58 on the Currituck when there was talk then of decommissioning her.
We lost the starboard engine on LN-10 300 mi. from Norfolk. Our P5M-2 could not maintain altitude on one engine without jettisoning most fuel and all electronic equipment except for an ARC-27 radio for communications.

T Hanley, e-mail, 28.01.2012 00:52

I would like to talk to Ron Harrison, as I was in VP 49 NAS bermuda on EA3 54 56.

Ron Harrison, e-mail, 03.01.2012 15:04

VP-49, NOB Bermuda, 3-54 to 9-55. Flew as radioman on EA-6 for several months. I love to hear civilians talk about the dangers of the Bermuda Triangle. That was the greatest flying and the greatest duty in the world. I only regret never getting a 2nd assignment to VP-49.

Richard Hart, e-mail, 29.12.2011 16:17

I served aboard the USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) from 1959-1965. The Sally crew developed a process of refueling and crew changes astern the Sally without sending out boats to do the job which saved many transient man hours. I had the privilege of going on one patrol off Vietnam as an observer. My shipboard observations of the Marlin that it was a fine aircraft were brought home on that flight. I would have been proud to serve as crew. I first saw the P5M-2 from my barracks window while in basic training San Diego, little knowing I would be a part of a truly magnificent aircraft. While the Sally was home ported at NAS Alameda I saw the final disastrous flight attempt of the R3Y "Tradewind"; It beaching gear became a floating platform for the Marlin until a trial attempt to dock at San Diego resulted in a punctured hull and a cancellation of the project. As a result, the Sally became the only Naval Vessel with a "trailer hitch." The hitch was used to tether the platform to the ship! With 5 years experience servicing this fine aircraft and outstanding, dedicated crews of VP 40/50. I have a lot of "Sea Stories" to share. I salute all who crewed the Martin Seaplanes.

Charlie Dugan, e-mail, 16.11.2011 17:35

Flew in the -1 and -2 P5M. In the Mid-50s at the USCG
Air Sta. St. Pete. Fl. Made 7-8 Open Sea landings for
Med-Evacs in the GULF. Many 10-=12 Hr search flights.
A tough old bird...

Harry Belflower, e-mail, 15.11.2011 21:02

I served as PC of Nine Boat 1954-1956 in VP-46 at Sandiego including a deployment to Sangley Poiny, P.I. My airplane was BuNo 124913 and possibly the oldest P5M-1 in service. My crew and I ahd a good time with her and made the one R&R trip to Hong Kong at Xmas 1955. I still miss the old gal and the guys.

Allan T, e-mail, 09.11.2011 23:01

VP-44 Do any of you have any insignia or patches that you could photograph and share? Photos of flight suits would be so great to see? Thanks so much.

Dennis J. Boehme SR, e-mail, 20.10.2011 01:13

I was stationed at NASNORIS 1958-1961 and served in VP-48 as a crew member (AE3) on Crew 3 (P5M-2 BU no. 135493) and Crew 10 (P5M-2 Bu no. 147935). Made two westpac cruises, Iwakuni, Japan '59' and again at Iwakuni, Japan and Sangly Point, PI '61'. Survived two single engine events. Lots of wonderful memories. Still attend VP-48 Squadron Reunions!

Richard R. Casey (AT2), e-mail, 11.10.2011 23:05

Was a 1st Radioman and Radar Tech for VP-42 on Ex Officer A/C #2 from 1956 thru 1958. Enjoyed the squadron very much. Did a TransPac in 1956-57 to Sangley Point, PI an loved every moment. Had a few scrapes in Okinawa with rough seas (lost one A/C) and in the southern Phillipines during maneuvers. Many, many wonderful memories. Thank you.

Richard Cox, e-mail, 30.09.2011 04:39

Had a ball flying in and working on these aircraft. Changing the Sundstrand units were a bit of a challenge. 10 hour Sunday patrols were boring out of San Diego especially after a late Saturday night. Good bird, learned a lot about electrical systems in them.

Ken Gold, e-mail, 14.09.2011 08:52

Where are all the P5M (single tail or T-tail) guys from the Atlantic Fleet?

Duane Matson, e-mail, 06.09.2011 22:15

Trained in the PBM. Went to VP-48 in June? 1956. I had to join the squadron in Iwakuni. Loved the comfort of the Marlin 1 and 2. Transpac was a PIA. Iwakuni,Guam (buoy),
Kwajalein (buoy), Midway (buoy), Hawaii, (beached), Alameda
(beached) and finally North Island. 3 transpacs and they were all the same. My crew (co-pilot, not on board) was the crew who crashed on takeoff from Iwakuni Easter Sunday morning, 1958 (If I remember correctly). I was an observer on the USS Catfish at the time of the ill fated flight.
Regards to all. Duane Matson

David B Relyea, e-mail, 04.09.2011 01:15

Crewmember of crew 6, VP-47,1957,58,59. I really enjoyed the P5M-2. We transpacted to Iwakuni, Japan and Sangly Point, P.I. While (finger printing) a new Russian radar south of Valadvistok Russia we were intercepted by two Mig-17s.We headed east and down to the ocean in a hurry!!
We took off from Sangly Point, PI with a full load of
fuel and as we were flying near Corrigadore Island the port
engine failed catastrophically. We landed hard and quickly !
I am proud of my service and will be in Penscola, FL in
april 2012 with the Vp-47 reunion to admire the restored
P5M-2 at the Naval Museum. It is the only one left.

ATCS Gary Wilson, Ret., e-mail, 04.07.2011 02:39

I was in VP-50, Iwakuni from 1962 thru 1964. Flew many patrols during that time. Loved Iwakuni. Would like to hear from anyone in this time frame at the squadron. Was an AT2, AT1 at the time.

Ken Gold, e-mail, 16.06.2011 20:36

I was lucky enough to serve flying the P5M (EE-1) for VP-45 in Coco Solo, Canal Zone, from 1954 until August 1956 when I left the Navy to finish college.
Some of our best pilots would include names like Jack Stich and Chuck Caldwell and Lt. DeButts and many others. I am a proud member of our VP-45 Assoc. which meets every two years. I'm sure we'd welcome any new members from any P5M squadron.
VP-45 is scheduled to be the first Atl. Fleet squadron to get the P-8.

D.W. Smith, e-mail, 09.05.2011 19:35

My father was stationed in Iwakuni Japan 63-65 with VP50 his name was Wayne W Smith ABH 2 I used to get to go down to the ramp and watch him put the beaching gear on and bring the plane in and I got to watch quite a few JATO take offs too. We live in base housing and I went to school at the base school,we lived across the side walk from the school yard and across the street from the seawall about a hundered yards from the maingate. My Dad took me to Tony the Tailors outside the back gate and had him make my first custom made suit, still have it my son got to wear it when he was a kid.I had my first "date" in Iwakuni,took her to the movies dressed in my suit she was in a fancy dress it is something I have always remembered.
I'm looking for anyone who knew my Dad and might have pictures of the the base of base houseing and and of the ramp and hanger. I would also like to have a pic of VP50's squadron patch during this time period.
Any help would be greatly appreciated my Dad passed away in 98.
Thank You, David Smith

conrad cooper, e-mail, 08.05.2011 00:36

transfered to vp 17 to vp 50 goingto japan in 59 spent 2+years,radar ecm. etc.just about reuped at treasure island,but didn't..been all over the western pacifac ocean.i belong to the marlin,mariner assoc. and really enjoy the mag.anyone in vp 50 give me a shout,god bless all the vets...

Rick Saber, e-mail, 06.05.2011 23:07

was a pilot in VP-42 (1960-63 North Is.) in "Yardmarker 10", got razed by my fighter pilot roomies as Yardbird, Inchmarker etc. We lost a crew out of Kodiac and another off coast. came out when airlines ramping up, flew for UAL 35 yrs ending on 747-400..member of Martin Marlin/Mariners. love to hear from any P-Boat crew in our squadron... Happy Contrails!

Jim Marion, e-mail, 01.05.2011 20:00

I was a radio operator on the P5M's out of NAS Burmuda from 4/60 to 7/62. Crashed a few times in BDA but nothing serious. Went to Gitmo and was there when the Captain's plane landed on the beach in Key West. Loved everything about flying and Burmuda. Hi to all.

John A. Emerson, e-mail, 20.04.2011 17:03

I was a pilot in VP-46 during Korea. Many 12 hour patrols in the P-5M which was a great aircraft. Would like to hear from any squadron members.

Jerry Bowman, e-mail, 31.03.2011 00:48

I flew as Radar Operator with VP40 Crew 9 North Island/Sangley Point 1965/66. I loved flying in that old bird.

Richard Winslow, e-mail, 18.03.2011 03:51

I was in VP-50 out of Whidbey Island Wn from 1956-1959
we deployed to Iwakuni Japan. Patrolled the China coast in the yellow sea. April 1959 we lost crew 10 on mtn Cheju-Do
Island Korea. They gave their lives in the service of their country. Commandiong Officer was CDR A.H.Cowart.

Ron Norton, e-mail, 08.03.2011 04:48

I was in VP-40 from April 1959 to Feb.1960 at NAS North Island. We transpacked to Sangly Point in August of 59. I was 2nd. mech on the crew. Commander G.T. Stout was our Capt. H.M. Wilcox, plane capt., Tony Morris 1st. radio. LOts of ten and twelve hour patrols, south china sea. Would love to hear from anyone in the crew at that time.

Tom Pauvlik, e-mail, 04.03.2011 01:21

Was stationed at Pax River in VP Group (Electronics Test)from January 1953 to April 1956. Had the opportunity to work as an Aviation Machinist and fly in Patrol a/c. Flew as 3rd Mech,2nd Mech and Plane Captian in the P2V'S and the P5M-1 and P5M-2. Great experience. We usually had one type of a/c that was used for Electronics Testing. Never forgot those experiences.

Robert Connell, e-mail, 02.03.2011 19:23

I was in VP42 and was a radioman on a P5M1 in 1954/1955 during a tour to Sangly Point PI. I was 1st radio man on a P5M2 on a tour to the PI in 1956/1957. We did have some engine and hydo problems but overall it was a very nice air craft.

Ken Walling, e-mail, 24.02.2011 00:27

I was in VP-49 from 1962 to 1964. Radio operator on Crew 3 and Crew 1. We went single-engine twice in one week out of Gitmo. Transitioned with the squadron to P-3 at Pax River. Went on to become a PPC in VP-23 after college and flight training. Let me hear from you.

Rick Lippert, e-mail, 20.02.2011 18:00

I was in VP-44 from 1957 to 1959 and loved these planes I remember the 12 hour patrols Jato asst take offs and rocket runs. we sure ate like kings with the full service galleys and the unprpared rations. Going out on the wing and getting into the engine nicelle while taxing to work on the engine

joe scarfi, e-mail, 10.02.2011 21:23

stationed in bermuda 57'to60.started out onbeaching crew then joined the crew of 9-boat in vp-45.harvey dubay,don robinson,turpac,vincent,those were good times.san juan,trinidad,rapahanic river,several other ops.

John McCulloch, e-mail, 06.02.2011 06:14

I served in VP 42 from October 1956 to December 1958. We were based at North Island NAS and deployed to Sangley Point in the Philippines. We started with P5M-2 but traded with VP 40 and went to P5M-1, when head winds delayed VP 40 from relieving us at Sangley Point. Would like to hear from anyone that remembers.

Jerry Kamiya, e-mail, 02.02.2011 11:07

I flew in P5M's and P2V's out of Corpus Christi, TX from 1958 to 1962 with then ATU-501 Training Squadron. Flew many Nav Training flights all around the gulf coast to Panama, Puerto Rico, Gitmo Bay, Bahamas, Bermuda, Pensacola, Jacksonville, etc. I was 2nd Class P.O. Hydraulics and Sheetmetal. I took care of the hydraulics and sheetmetal work on the aircraft, plane number 52. My plane captain was Howard Klassy, P.O. 1st Class and an enlisted pilot and various other crew members, a couple names I remember, Roger Kopeman from Iowa, Dick Dippold, AZ, John Kinnamon, Jim Nalley,KY, John Dami, MA. Also flew as crewmember in P2V-2's and 3's in our squadron. I have many pleasurable memories of my time in Corpus Christi. I, and my buddy Dippold spent our entire 4 year naval careers in Corpus Christi, TX. that is after our intial schooling in Okla. and Memphis, Tn. Also we were two of a very vew that have never been on a Navy Ship.

Bob Groeneveld, e-mail, 01.02.2011 02:51

As a PBM5 pilot with VP-45 at Coco Solo,Panama 1952-1953 moving to Guantanamo AF

MIKE TESTA, e-mail, 29.01.2011 14:10

My father TONY TESTA flew PBM and P5Ms in panama in 1953 and 54.Tonight at 12:00 he passed away.
Just wanted you all to know how much he respected you all.From the men on the ramps to the crews who flew.He loved you all.God bless you all. His son mike

Jerry Strickland, e-mail, 29.01.2011 05:41

Crewmember of Woodpecker 9, VP-49, BDA from mid 61-late 63. Flew with Lcdr Chesley, Lt Larzalere, Ensign Benson, PC Binaka, PC 'Smackover' Spain, Bob 'T-Bird' Funderburg, Martin 'Marlboro Man' Conn, Zalek the radioman, Eppy Pruett, and a bunch of other really great guys. I retired after 34 yrs as an air traffic controller in Houston Tx in 2002.

Jack R Courtney, e-mail, 20.01.2011 02:42

I worked on the tail turrett of the P5M in 1954
my last months in the Navy. I was in FASRON 110,
Ordnanceman 3rd Class. I remember the problems with
the on board APU.

CWO4 Ed Munroe USN Ret, e-mail, 18.01.2011 17:48

Served on the USS Currituck (Seaplane Tender) from recommissioning in Philly untill April of 1962. I was an AE-2/DV and worked in the Aviation Electrical shop. Serviced P5M from Norfolk , Gitmo, San Diago,Japan,Okinawa home port,the Philippines,and back to North Island. What a tour for a single young man never stayed long in one place.

Manning Bomberger, e-mail, 14.01.2011 07:20

I was an AT2 radar/radio operator in crew 11 of VP-46 from 1953-1956 out of San Diego (North Island) and Sangley Point in the Phillipines. Some very interesting flights but a very good plane from my point of view.

Mark Thurm, e-mail, 01.01.2011 02:15

I flew on a P5M-2 with VP-49 in Bermuda. I was there from 4-60 thru 4-63 and spent time in Gitmo during the missle crisis.I flew on crew #6 which was Commander Gayles plane when he chose to fly. My plane captain was Larry King,ordinance David Niana, and Radio Dusty Rhodes. I was an AT2 and first tech on the plane. What a great plane to fly on and Bermuda was fantastic.Any 49ers stationed during that time drop me an e-mail.

Mark Thurm

duane deckert, e-mail, 26.12.2010 19:01

I was stationed at Sangly Point,Fasron 119 in 1954-56.Flew in a VP-42 P5M TO Hong Kong for 4 days of R&R.What made this interesting is that on the landing approach there were sand pans in the sea lane!When we touched down the boats were between the pontoons and the hull!In addittion there were millions of coulees chipping away at a mountain and dumping the rock into the harbor.Today it is known as Kong Kong International Airport.

Ray Buckles, e-mail, 23.12.2010 23:19

I was in VP 49 NOB Bermuda from 1/61 thru 05/63 AMS 2. Did several tours to Gitmo, since a lot of the brownbaggers were not able to go because of " Their their wife was pregnate and they couldn't gp, lol. I would like to hear from shipmates that were there at that time. Also was in Key West when someone put one on the seawall at night. You can emaik me at

William Johnson, e-mail, 15.12.2010 19:29

To Alan T.: I flew with Thomas Ducharme on CC-12, VP 44 from 1953 to 12/6/1956. Lt. Cadieux was the PPC, and Ensign Todd was wthe navigator. Capt. (Commander) Burns was the C.O. of the squadron. Cdr. Burns replaced Cdr. William Laffey. Chief Buddy was the Leading Chief.
Camille: Yes I remeber the flight crew on CC-6. That crew consisted of Charlie Hoke, Plane Captain, (deceased- A/C accident in the Azores); B.C. Garrett, 1st Mech; Wing, as Radar & ECM operator. Chittick as ordnance; Lcdr Jeffrey was the PPC, Sometimes Lt(jg) Martin was PP2 and I beleive Ens. R. Proulx was the navigator. After you left in June 1954 I was transferred to CC-12 along with B.C. Garrett, Chittick and Ens. Proulx. 12/15/2010@12:26PM

clifton todd, e-mail, 12.12.2010 05:57

I help launch and beach this plane at sangley point PI in 1950 for two years. we had a wonderful beaching crew, and had good liberty in cavety city P I.

Robert Gosnell, e-mail, 11.12.2010 03:46

Both of these P5M-1 photos are of VP-46 aircraft. I served with VP-46 as power panel/radio operator and alternate ECM operator from OCT 1959 through 1960 at NAS North Island, San Diego, California. I asked to be relieved of flight duty in 1961 and was transferred TAD to VP-31 and worked on COM, NAV, and ECM gear. VP-46 is now flying the Lockheed P-3C Orions out of NAS Whidbey Island Washington...along with VP-1 and VP-40.

Jeff Guttenberger, e-mail, 09.12.2010 05:12

I was assigned to VP50 at Iwakuni Japan 1961-63, and served as a tech in crew 2. Launching and recovering the
40 ton "boats" was quite a chore. Pre dawn JATO takoffs were very impressive. To answer Joe Sommer's question the
aircraft were probable Shin Meiwa US-1A rescue planes.

john D. Henry, USMC, Retired, e-mail, 30.11.2010 22:05

I was a young Marine PFC and LCpl stationed at Marine Barracks, Sangley Point, Luzon, Philippines, from Dec59-July 1961. I was fascinated with the P5Ms that belonged to VP-5 I think was the squadron stationed there at Sangley. Use to watch them take off in the bay using JATO. It was interesting to see the crews float the wheels on and off. I remember alot of the crews telling me about the long missions and how reliable the plane was. That was a long time ago when the liberty in Cavite City was truly unbelievable.

Gene DiGennaro, e-mail, 24.11.2010 03:05

During Aug. 1960 as an AT-3 I joined VP-44 at NAS Norfolk [ Breeze Point]. I was overwhelemed by the P5M-1's and 2's
of VP-44. I was assigned to the electronics shop as a TACAN
and ARC-38 tech. Within a month I was asked if I was interested inbecoming a flight crewmember. I joined Crew 6.

R.C. STOUT, USCG (RET), e-mail, 14.11.2010 00:44

While stationed at the Coast Guard Air Station, St.Pete from 59 thru 62, I was the Plane Captain and Flt. Eng. on the 1320 boat, a P5M-2G. My most memorable flt. was when we were going on a search off the coast of So. Carolina. We had the Tokyo tanks in the bomb bays and was so heavy with fuel that our first two tries at getting off the water didn't work. We had the crash boat, a 40 footer, make several circles in the area of our lift off so as to break up the surface and this helped break the suction on the hull caused by the smoothness of the bay. It worked and after we got airborne we still were so heavy we couldn't climb over 1000'. ATC made us fly up the Gulf coast to the Cross City area before we were cleared to crossover Fla. to the east coast and on to our search area. We were airborne for over an hour at military power before we could reduce power to cruise. Talk about some hot engines and a flight that was so long we all needed a shave by the time we got back. Life is good!!!

CHARLIE DUGAN, e-mail, 13.11.2010 17:47

Memories--of the 11-12 hour searches and 7-8 Open Sea
landings in Gulf of Mexico.USCG Air Sta. St.Pete,FL.1954
thru 1958.

ASMCM ret. (1980)

David B. Relyea, e-mail, 09.11.2010 09:23

I flew with VP-47 as an AT=2, crew 6 ,1957-59. Alameda NAS, Iwakuni,Japan, Sangly Point,P.I. Our P5M-2 BU NO 135520 was a great bird and always got us back to base. We were intercepted by two Mig-17s near Valadivostock, Russia while ( finger printing ) a new Russian Radar. Scary!!!!!

David B. Relyea, e-mail, 09.11.2010 09:23

I flew with VP-47 as an AT=2, crew 6 ,1957-59. Alameda NAS, Iwakuni,Japan, Sangly Point,P.I. Our P5M-2 BU NO 135520 was a great bird and always got us back to base. We were intercepted by two Mig-17s near Valadivostock, Russia while ( finger printing ) a new Russian Radar. Scary!!!!!

Jess Ford, e-mail, 04.11.2010 16:26

I was an AT2 on a p5m1 stationed in San Diego North Island. I have flown on both of the planes shown in the pictures. My plane was RC9. I was the radioman and ECM operator.The times were in 1959-1961. My pilot was comander Counts. I am looking for any one that was in the squardon during this time please contact me. I am also looking for a model kit of the plane and the tail number of RC9. I heard that the plane crassed in Alaska and that Comander Counts was killed in a crash in the Anartic. If any one has thin information please contact me.

George Alexander, e-mail, 27.10.2010 01:49

In VP56 1959-60. LQ12 crew as radio operator. LT Ralph Mason, Plane Commander. Brownie, ADC & Plane Captain; Nesbitt, AMS1; Woods, AMS3; Burton, AT2; West AT3; McEachren, AO3 are the ones I can remember. Know we had an AE, but who?????

Ron, e-mail, 25.10.2010 03:39

were from my visit to Pensecola. If youre ever down that way ,its worth the stop. A really nice securityman (retired USN) took me back by the P5 and said he would leave us to remenise. I was surprised...I started thinking about the times, and the men ,and how time had flown. It was strange to think how nobody down there even knew how the beaching gear worked!!! Remember what " Cat on the tail, strain on the line" meant? how slick those ramps could get at night in the rain? Remember how quiet it was, and how smooth the bay would be when you had the mid watch and no planes were moving on the ramp? I dont know you but we share some old , old memories! We were witness to the last of an era. Live well shipmate!! Ron Kassebaum at:

Don Safer, e-mail, 23.10.2010 08:33

Hi Ron,

Today I recieved an email with 12 photos of that P-5 from gina1305. Coincidence? Maybe some one you know? ;>
The photos included among the best photos of the mounts I have seen in a while. I was very personal and up close with P-5 mounts. I once swam with and helped maintained them.

Ron Kassebaum, e-mail, 22.10.2010 06:57

One P5m-2 left. It is restored and sets proudly on the flightline at the Naval Air Museum Pensecola Fl. along with a bunch of other planes. But none stand so tall !!! Yep shes on her beaching gear!

Don Safer, e-mail, 18.10.2010 00:35

Hi Joe,

It was probably a Japanese US-1a or US-2. Certainly not a rebuilt P-5. Check Wikipedia. There are many videos on YouTube. I believe the US-2 may still be in production.

Garth Hess, e-mail, 07.10.2010 08:47

I was in VP-48 in 1954 and 1955 as an AT1 and was the First Radioman (instead of the radio communications I ran the radar) on the P5M-1 tail number SF-9 in Iwakuni, Japan. We would fly patrols up along the coast of South and North Korea and the southern coast of Russia. Also another patrol under Korea and along the coast of Red China. Even though the war was officially over patrol planes were occasionally shot down so we were always on the lookout. We did lose an engine and were forced to land on the inland sea area of Japan and had to taxi the last 120 miles back to Iwakuni. There were several other close calls on the patrols but all turned out OK.

JIM WOJTON, e-mail, 07.10.2010 04:21


Joe Sommer, e-mail, 02.10.2010 07:57

I'm a retired black-shoe, so probably not qualified to comment. However, I distinctly recall my middie indoc flight on a P5M at Corpus Christi in 1956. I recently flew Space-A into Iwakuni MCAS, and observed from the air what appeared to be several P5M's parked on the ramp on the JMSDF side of the base. Upon asking a USMC aircrew I met, he stated they were USN-provided P5M airframes with totally new Japanese engines and avionics. Can anyone confirm/deny this explanation?

Richard Luberacki, e-mail, 29.09.2010 21:54

Was in VP-49 stationed in Nas Bermuda from 6-52 to 5-54 Was a AD3. The 3350s where a great engine to work on even with the turbos. The P5M also had flaps in the aft hull for steering the plane on water. Also was a beach master for launching and retreiving the PBMs and later when we got the P5Ms. Beatiful aircraft. Recieved a letter of commendation for preventing a P5M from going up on the beach. Stil have the Squadron photo taken with the P5M up on my wall.

John Smarsh, e-mail, 22.09.2010 21:23

John Smarsh AT2

I flew both PBM-5 and P5M-1 (CC11) VP-44 as an AT2, (lead electronics man) from 1951-1953. Started flying PBM-5 and went to get First P5M-1 at Martin.

Ray Fuller, e-mail, 18.09.2010 15:57

When I was in the navy in the late 1950's, I was aboard the USS Albemarle AV-5
a seaplane tender that operated in the Caribbean, and operated with these planes. What a neat thing to see them coming in and leaving. They were quite a plane.

Don (shaky) Sherry, e-mail, 08.09.2010 22:14

Served in VP-50 1966-67.AMH3 North Island CA. Sangley Point P.I.,Cam Ranh Bay V.N. Opperation Market Time. We Lost the 13 Boat and Crew Jan. 6, 1967. Have'nt heard or seen my squadron mates since I musturd out and VP-50 went north to San Francisco Moffett Field, and P-3 Orions.

Don Safer, e-mail, 22.08.2010 09:48

Hi Stuart,
The Korean War Armistice was July 27, 1953 so you may well have seen the first P5Ms, arriving too late for the war.

Stuart Holmes (RAF Rtd), e-mail, 12.08.2010 21:45

I served in a RAF Sunderland squadron out of IWAKUNI, Japan between 1951 and 1954 under opcon FAW6 USN during the Korean War. The USN had PB4Y2s, P2Vs and PBMs in the wing but I am convinced that I saw some P5Ms, either at Iwakuni or at NAS Sangley Point in 1954. All the infromation I can find on the Web says the P5M was too late for the Korean War but, as I returned to the UK in late 1954 where might I have seen a Marlin - it was the taiing backward to pick up a missed buoy which made me remember it: the PBM couldn't do that!

Any information, chaps?

Len Wilkie, e-mail, 30.07.2010 19:05

As an Airman in VT-31,NAS Corpus Christi,TX. 1962-1964. We were trainng new pilots in multi-engine aircraft. P5's and P2's. Had some interesting landings when power was cut to early and we merrily bounced across Corpus Christi Bay, as an AN I had to pump out the bilge after most flights.
I flew as a panel operator on the P% and radioman on the P2. Loved the comfort on the P5 and the flight rats(steaks etc). I worked with AE2 Leftwich aand Chief Groves. Great electricians. I left ther and went to VF-84 abord the USS Independence. After that I joined the reserves and retired as AEC in VP-93 as the Maintenance Control Chief.
The Navy was a great life and I encourage young people to experience what all of us did;friends,a little excitement and free travel all over the world.

Rick Barry, e-mail, 23.07.2010 23:57

VP49 in Bermuda was my first duty station after flight training in Pensacola/Corpus, from Jan 1957-1960. A truly great group of people. My wife Linda and I started our family there. They had a saying that there was a baby in every water catch under each house. Lived in 3 houses there, had 3 great kids -- and 2 more in later duty stations in DC and Monterey. Still meet for monthly lunches with the remaining Northern VA VP49 group -- Bob Niles (Maint. Off), Pete Cummins (Flight Off) and Art Hamilt (Avionics Off). Great tour.

Bruce Barth, e-mail, 10.07.2010 16:40

I am a former Navy aircrewman with VP-40 from 1965-67 and an author and historian on Martin seaplanes. I published the first book on the P5M Marlin in 1994 and offer videos, flight manuals, prints and drawings on the P5M and PBM Mariner. For additional information visit www=VPMMA=org

charlie weidman, e-mail, 05.07.2010 00:36

Retired 22 year USMC Gunnery Sergeant. I remember the P5s across the field at MCAF Iwakuni, Japan back in 1958-59. Quite a sight to see the JATO being used on takeoffs in the bay. Fine old aircraft. We had AD 6's the old Douglas Sky Raiders on the Marine side of the base. Went on to more ADs at Quantico, A-4s at Beaufort and then on to UH1-Es as a port gunner in Vietnam, closing down Marble Mountain back in 1971. Then on to OV-10 Bronchos and retired back in october,'76.

Dave Plummer, e-mail, 30.06.2010 16:02

Flew Radio VP49 EA6 Bermuda from 1954 to June 1956. Great times with a great bunch of guys. Wish there was one of those old P5M1's around today!!

Allan T, e-mail, 23.06.2010 21:58

VP-44- I'm looking for any person who may have served in VP-44 Atlantic Fleet, ASW/SAR, in CC5, CC7 or CC12 with my friend Tom/Thomas DuCharme.

Tom Trufant, e-mail, 07.06.2010 23:43

Flew in VP-40 fm 1958 until 1961, transpac'd to Sangley Point Rp and spent most of the time there. Was in crew 4 and 1, maybe more, don't recall. Flew 2nd radio, then 1st radio, and Jezebel. Remember the fire in Cavitie City, the banka boat inciden t( was on the same deployment as Dave Bishton above) and most of the other things he remembered. Stayed in VPs for 20 years and retired as an AWCS. Loved it.

Ronnie DeStio, e-mail, 05.06.2010 23:55

P5M1and2 GREAT PLANES Worked and flew on them.Was 2nd mech and then plane capt.Great times 1957 to 1960 VP48 NAS North island

John Ham, AT2, e-mail, 05.06.2010 23:13

Flew out of North Island NAS in Sam Diego in 1960, 1961, and for three months in 1962. Was with VP-48 in P5M-2S's as J/J primary and MAD/RAD relief. Great duty playing tag with our submariner mates! Our patrol area was a racetrack from the Santa Catalina Islands to Guadalupe Island off of Baja. Once a year they let us play with the USS Pine Island seaplane tender off of Catalina.

Was at North Island when the USS Kitty Hawk made her first visit to that port. What a great looking ship!

Rudy Shappee, e-mail, 05.06.2010 21:54

Hi, Fred. I also served in VP 48 from 1958 to 60 as an AEAN to AE2. Was relief crewman operating ECM and observer. Was kicked out of the galley by aircraft commander after I made my first pot of coffee! He made the Ordie cook after that. Loved the old bird and the sounds of her twin engines purring me to sleep when I caught a catnap on the walkway in the Electronics compartment. We had a lot of fun pulling pranks on one another on those long training hops out of San Diego. Crew in after station all got into our parachutes and were gathered at the door, then woke up sleeping second mech who about jumped out of his skin. Had a navigator who got so airsick that he had to take a box of crackers on every hop and his charts would get wet from his tears. Great deployment to Iwakuni, where we plotted radar sites along the coast of China. I was a s--- Hot ECM operator and got picked up as AX, then AW. Retired after 20 asCWO-2. Had a great career! Now Exhibits manager at USS Midway Museum in San Diego, and can look across the harbor at our old hangars every day.

John Ferguson, e-mail, 05.06.2010 19:23

I was an AMH-2 in VP-48, Crew four from 1963 to 1963 at NASNI. We came back from a patrol one night and LCDR Whooley decided to shoot touch and go's. After several of those at about 0300 on final, number one engine decided to say I've had enough and let go right over the Coronado ferry. I heard the next day that the people on the ferry thought it was all over and were ready to abandon ship. I haven't had any contact with my crew since I transfered to NATTC Memphis to attend AMH-B school in 1962. Does any one know the where abouts of ADR-1 Landry, AE-2 Jim Davis or AT-2 Jim Mills?

Frank Brauchle, e-mail, 31.05.2010 10:02

To Bill Sepuch, The tender was the Albermarle AV 5.
Now for the big question. What kind of aircraft made the
longest taxi in history.
P5M in the Caribean. 1959. That plane taxied for over 500 mi. Albermarle escorted. I remember taking coffee and chow
out to the crew. Jeeze that was a great cruise.

RL Brant, e-mail, 27.05.2010 02:33

I was in VP-46 57-60 flying with crew 10 as second mech. Made the transpac to Sangley Pt. in 58. Our plane captain was K.R. Jackson and our PPC was LCDR Lenson. I really enjoyed my tour and flying in the P-5 (great aircrat). Would really like to hear from anyone that was in the squadron.

mike testa, e-mail, 11.05.2010 13:52

MY fathers name is Tony Testa.He was in VP45 in Panama in 1954 and 55 flying PBM and P5M. Also I was born there in colon.Then Keywest in hilos and instructed primary in Pencecola.Retired Capt U.A.L. I know he misses the boats and the men he served with in Panama as he always mentions it as we walk everyday.Anyway God bless you all,thanks for your service, And GO NAVY.


Don Safer, e-mail, 05.05.2010 22:24

I was in VT-31 at Corpus Christi December of '62 until May '63 right out of boot camp as an AA. I was waiting my my turn to attend avionics A school at Milington. I got to jump in the bay to launch and beach P-5As and Bs as well as wash them. It was a long way down from the wings when beached so we had to use safety lines.
Good times. More at www dot donsafer dot com.

ECPainter, e-mail, 01.05.2010 08:13

I found out a couple of weeks ago who backed a truck into VP-44's C-9 aircraft and punched a hole in the plane just below the water line.If I ever knew who drove the truck I had forgotten. I helped AM2 St John patch the plane and he did a great job. I left the squadron December 1953. I have been in touch from time to time with Sam Travis who was also in VP44. He is now a retired math professor and probably plays a lot of golf. I became a Treasury Enforcement Agent,was seriously injured in a gunbattle in 1973.

gerald smith, e-mail, 17.04.2010 17:59

VP-50 sept 1957 to Apr l962. SG-9 Ordnanceman (135491) Blue Dragon Squadron out of Whidbey Island (57 to 60) then (59 to 62) MCAF Iwakuni, Japan. PPC LT W.S.Anderson, PC Bill Young; Lost three engines(all on the same side) Rode Pine Island back from PoHang, Korea to Buckner Bay, Okinawa. please contact me.

John Kappel, e-mail, 08.04.2010 21:14

I am John Kappel and I was AO-2 in VP-50 in 1964. Looking for any old mates. Flew in operation Market Time over Viet Nam.

John McCulloch, e-mail, 04.04.2010 05:32

I was in VP-42 with Fritz Bott, see above. As he said, we could not be relieved by VP-40, due to head winds, so we traded aircraft and went back to the States in a transport. How humiliating.

Gene Olson, e-mail, 31.03.2010 19:02

After A & B school I was fortunate to serve in VP 46 at North Island from 1959 till my discharge in 1962. SCPO AT - first radioman for my last 18 months on #12 Boat - really enjoyed my duty... Many found memories and some pretty scary ones as well; unfortunately I have not kept in contact with anyone from my time with VP46 except Boyd Simonson and would appreciate hearing from any that might read this. Olie

Boyd L. Simonson, e-mail, 31.03.2010 17:30

I was radioman/Julie-Jezebel operator in VP-46 (RC-5,RC-8)1959-61, out of NASNI, San Diego. (I flew with Marian Bruce in RC-8, whose comment is above.) The P5M was as beautiful an aircraft that ever caressed the seas.

John Pendleton, e-mail, 25.03.2010 15:41

VP 50 (San Diego, Iwaukni, P.I. Camron Bay Viet Nam) flew in crew 5 with Bill Farrell as PPC. This was in the mid '60's. I'd love to hear from any of my old crew and squadron members. This was one tough air plane and my memories of it are vivid. I have lots of picures.

Ed Giboney, e-mail, 18.03.2010 20:44

I was in VP47 fromm Sept. 1962 to Jan. 1965, flew as radio/panel in crew 6. Wish there was still one in flying condition.

Larry Huddle, e-mail, 12.03.2010 21:49

I flew as Radar Operator in Crew 5 in VP-47 from Feb. 1963 to May 1965. This time frame included a tour in SE Asia flying out of Da Nang Bay and Sangley Point P.I. The aircraft was relatively slow, very noisy (especially w/JATO) and it was roomy inside. We had a fire in our starboard engine departing Buckner Bay. Fun and interesting times not regretted.

Roy Schuelke, e-mail, 12.03.2010 03:25

I was radio/panel in VP-47 stationed at Whidbey. We never had P2V's flew all over the far east in the beast, and lost an engine with 2 crews aboard. Everyone was in ditching position before the pilot even announced "ditching" we went into Buckner Bay, and waited for the Sally to come into port and change our engine. we transitioned to P3A's at Moffett, and went back to another tour....

Bill Sepuch, e-mail, 10.03.2010 18:18

Oh what memories...I was in VP44 in Norfolk in the late 50's or early 60's and thats where i made 2nd class AMH and worked in the Airframes shop with Chief Morris, Tufo, Matt Graff...and a bunch of other guys...Chief Simcanich was also my mentor...had a great time..i know the sea plane base is all gone now along with the NADEP.All moved to other places..VP44 was a great squadron to be attched to. I remember being stuck in the engine bay trying to get some information from the sun strand unit.also having to drop the search lite on the ramp because it caught on fire...also the steak and potatoes, coffee and green peas cooking in the Gally...we all wore Orange flight suits, I still like the brown kackie ones best.Also while in Bremuda because we hit a LOG floating in the bay and tore a hole in the stbd float then after we received a new one from Norfolk we installed it then all the crew went to the EM club and got S*** face, and trying to walk back to the barracks our plane capt tripped on one of the big anchor chaind that lined the side walk and broke his leg.While he lay screaming on the ground we asked him what leg he hurt, he said Number ONE Number One.after laughing our heads off..we all went back to Norfolk with an Engine change faceing us...Aso being tied up in San Juan along with a sea plane tender i cant remember her name. Also haveing my first born Debbie and my second Theresa...all are all well now...I stayed in the Navy and served 23 yrs...made Senior Chief in VF32 and later retired in Jacksonville...if any one wants to E mail me about the good time feel free....By BY

Bud SMITH ADCS USN (Ret), e-mail, 08.03.2010 21:17

Flew P5M-1 Buno 135469 with crew 12 (The Deadly Dozen) with VP-45 from NOB BERMUDA 59-60. Great times with great guys flying all over the Bermuda Triangle and the usual
ports of call for a seaplane squadron pre-Vietnam era.
Loved the airplane, thrilling to fly low enough to leave contrails in the water, all hatches open, hand-dropping PDC's and smokes at the "Now Now Now" as we crossed over the target. Anybody remembers those days drop me a line on E-mail.

Ed Poulsen, e-mail, 28.02.2010 22:38

I was in a P5M-2 group on North Island in 1957. I'm trying to locate a friend who loaned me money and I didn't
repay . This friends name was Henrick or Headrick he was from Pennsylvania . I don't remember if I was in VP 29 30 31 0r 42 . I did get the pleasure of flying aboard the plane as a aviation Structual Mechanic, and the schooling I recieved in hydraulic's which served me well later in life .

Tommy Wallis, e-mail, 23.02.2010 02:07

I was in ATU501 from 1958 to 1960 flew on PBM P2v and mostly p5m1 as radio operator. We trained navigators went to gitmo, bermuda, and all over the Carribean. We were in Corpus Christi, Texas. Lots of good memories. It is funny how you only remember the good stuff.

stan skupien, e-mail, 15.02.2010 02:33

Hi, Was with vp=40 oct.1956-1960

Ray Scholl, e-mail, 08.02.2010 21:07

Stationed at Gitmo 1951-1954 on station keeper duty but was always tad to the PBM and P5M squadrons for engine work. Most
of my work was on the Turbo Compound 3350. Lots of good guys
in those squadrons. Played baseball for the base against the
Cuban teams. They were really good. We did OK too. Anybody from that era send me a email

Dave Bishton (Jap) AT2-P1, e-mail, 29.01.2010 20:02

Hi guys. Flew both -1 and -2 P5's. VP-40 Crew 3, Radar Tech '57-'60, started as 2nd radio. Loved the P5, even got a little stick time in, but the APS-44 was a real dog, never full up. Being small I was tail float guy. BTW, it was VP-40 (not VP-46) who took over VP-42's boats when prevaling winds prevented us from getting to Hawaii. Lots of memories, losing engines, rigging ships and Chinese sand bars. Lovely 8-10 hour patrols at 300-1200 AGL with all hatches open, steak and potatoes cooked in flight on the 3 burner cooktop. Watching one of our 'boats' crash on landing in Iwakuni, (all got out). Swimming off the A/C in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, diving off the wing, gorgeous water and jelly fish. Trading flight rations for San Miguel and pineapples in Daveo Bay, Mindanao on overnight bouy watch. Bouy watches were a delight overnight in the tropics. Buying a banka-boat in Daveo and then losing it because it wouldn't fit in the bomb bay with the doors closed (even the nuclear depthcharge side was to small). R and R in Hong Kong, went 3 times. Fighting the Cavite fire. I remember Mom's Place and the Rose Garden but not LuLu's! Took my '56 Pontiac to the PI on my 2nd tour, was I ever King S***! Left it with my brother when I was discharged, who sold it for 6000 pisos when he left. Wonderful squadron, wonderful airplane, great shipmates, delightful girls in town.

Bill Gilfillen, e-mail, 20.01.2010 00:58

What a great Aircraft. No greater thrill than to be aboard for a take-off using Jato. Really enjoyed my tour with the flying boats at Whidbey Island, VP-47.

Roy B Carthen, ATCM Ret, e-mail, 17.01.2010 22:22

I began with the first PBM1's in Summer of 42 Iceland,Bermuda, etc. I was also at different timesin TTSA,VP55,VP74,VPB74,VP74 again,VP-MS-10,VP40,VP45 and VP49. I was in major crash near Haiti 31 Jan of 49 in VP40 & this one was PBM5E bureau 84695. I began as RM3 before aviation rates and served as ARM. etc. Electronics CPO, Squadron Maintenace CPO and finally as Leading Chief, VP49 retiring Oct of 1963 from P3A's.roy

Chuck Sell, e-mail, 17.01.2010 16:45

Was Radio Operator on P5M in Bermuda 62-64. Our Squadron, VP49, then transitioned over to P3 Orions. Have been in contact with several members of squadron

Charles Hodges, e-mail, 15.01.2010 20:23

VP-49 October 1954 until May 1957. PPC EA-4,
EA-7. "Woodpecker" squadron call sign.

marian Bruce, e-mail, 12.01.2010 05:25

1st tour VP46 Sangley Point PI Jan 1959 back to North Island. LTJG PPC RC 8 before being relieved by LCDR. Transitioned to P2V5F and P2V7 before transferred to VT31 Jan 1963.

Jack Brackney, e-mail, 10.01.2010 18:32

I was stationed at North Island, San Diego and . I was in VP-31 and flew as crew chief on a p2v neptune. We also had a few P5M, but was not ever able to get a flight on one. Got to do some engine work on one once

ray d.watkins ame3, e-mail, 28.12.2009 22:27

never flew the p5m but puy ton fuel in them 1961/1963 while station at nob bermuda the only flight crew members i knew was ad3willis ad stoner i was with station supply fuel farm it was a great tour

Bruce Barth, e-mail, 20.12.2009 14:48

Iím a former aircrewman with VP-40 from 1965-67 and an author and historian on Martin seaplanes. I published the first book on the P5M Marlin in 1994 which is now available on CD in PDF format. I also offer videos, flight manuals, prints and drawings on these aircraft, including the PBM Mariner. If interested please contact me for additional information.

Frank Notarnicola, e-mail, 05.12.2009 16:58

My first flying experience in the Navy was as a 2nd Mech on a P5M-1 ATU-501 NAS Corpus Christi, Texas in 1958. We used the Flying Boats for hands-on NAV Training Classrooms for Multi Engine pilots and navigators later called NFO's. I loved the January of 1959 we flew a Nav traing flight to GITMO at the time of Castro's takeover of Cuba. GITMO City was closed to us but HATUEY Beer was plentiful at the on base clubs. We drank and swam in the bay then slept on the seaplne parking ramp next to our flying boat. Great time with great fellow crewmembers. I loved the time a crewed on P5Ms. My next assignment wqas to Pine Island AV-12 out of San Diego and 2 WESPAC Cruises.
I could go on forsever about the great times. If you were a part of ATU-501 / VT-29 1958-1960 or crew on Pine Island AV-12 1960-1962, drop me a line.

Jerome Cone, e-mail, 04.12.2009 18:22

Hello. My grandfather was lost his crew in a PBM crash off the coast of San Diego in 1949. The wing hit the water on take off and cartwheeled the aircraft. Does anyone have any further insight on this accident? I've had very limited success finding anything about this on the Internet. Thank you!

Jerome Cone, e-mail, 04.12.2009 18:21

Hello. My grandfather was lost his crew in a PBM crash off the coast of San Diego in 1949. The wing hit the water on take off and cartwheeled the aircraft. Does anyone have any further insight on this accident? I've had very limited success finding anything about this on the Internet. Thank you!

john dellaquilla, e-mail, 21.11.2009 16:07

i was in vp 44 1951-54 flew in cc 12.great squadon & airplane

NOEL FAUX, e-mail, 14.11.2009 22:02


Clarence F. Howard, e-mail, 30.10.2009 19:50

I was in VP-40 and flew as 1st radio operator, my first transpac was in 1959, we had an engine change in midway (land of the Gooney birds. We were the last aircraft to make it to Sanley Pt. On this flight I was 2nd radio. Made quite a flights over 3 tours with this outfit.

JD Wade, e-mail, 08.10.2009 22:56

I flew out of Bermuda as a radio/radar operator from 1961-1964. I loved flying in it. Was on the exec's crew and he made sure were were flying on big inspection days. I left the Navy about three months after the squadron moved to Jacksonville and started flying P3's. I was fortunate to be a crew member on both airplanes.

Kenneth G. Wotring, e-mail, 08.10.2009 03:32

Was with VP-40 NAS North Island 65-68. We deployed to NAS Sangley Point,Phillipines. Our aircraft where SP5Bs.

wilson hampton, e-mail, 26.09.2009 07:19

Nice to be able to read all this. I was at NOB Bermuda 62-63; 64-68. VP 49. The P5M2 was the first military bird I flew in. We rotated deploying to Cuba with VP 45 I think it was---Remember the Kennedy blockade days? Gitmo ain't what it used to be. I loved flying in the P5. Big, spacious, roomy. And to think, some thought it was too big to fly on 2 engines.

bill pandolf, e-mail, 22.06.2009 19:27

I flew as radio operator and electricians mate on LQ4? in patrol squadron VP56...out of Norfolk from around 1959-60---after which the plane was replaced by the P2V Neptune. I loved the flying boat...but it was hell attaching those wheels to the boat in the choppy, freezing waters of the bay !

Ernie Carlson, e-mail, 31.05.2009 22:14

VP-46 San Diego - 4 transpacs to Sangley Point PI 1955-1958. P5M1's Tail # BD2, Radio and Radar tech (APS 44)- Looking for pic and stuff -- San Diego had VP46,VP40 and VP42 (I believe) in San Diego rotating to the PI. Have had no contact with former crew members, unfortunately. I am still in San Diego.

Patrick Gilfillen, e-mail, 28.05.2009 08:33

Was at whidbey w/brother Bill 62-64,great A/ the trips to cold bay.whet to H-34's penscola,what a change.
miss the good times on the SP5B's.never got in a P3.hope they around longer.VP47 was the sgd.P2V's were nas whidbey.

TERRY MABRY, e-mail, 22.04.2009 18:09


Pat Hense, e-mail, 14.02.2009 07:27

I flew in p5s 1960to63 in VP-31 great aircraft with great crews!!!!

Wayne Hoover, e-mail, 31.01.2009 06:23

I was in VP-44 at Norfolk from 1/57 to 12/59. Most time as 1st tech on "3-boat" P5M-2, but started as tech on 8-boat P5M-1. Many fine times -- couple weeks in San Juan each year for bombing/mining runs on "Rosey Rhoads", unattended trips to Virgin Is testing the "Julie" ASW concept, So. coast of Puerto Rico to experiment with a submarine as a seaplane fueler,later test with LSD as a tender, SAR mission out of Gitmo, couple cross-country trips to Corpus Christy to take NROTC summer campers on rocket-firing rides, 3 open-sea emergency landings with loooong 1-engine taxis and tows. Oh so many other things, with lots of diversions from the regular stuff. Ended up with about 1200 hrs. Perhaps the most fun continuous 3 years of my life. (Might have been partly because I arrived there with my brand spankin' new bride.)

Angela Patterson, e-mail, 01.01.2009 06:06

My father was a radar-radioman on a P5M '57-'59 out of Norfolk. His name is Paul Lee. I would love to hear from anyone who may have known him and I know he would like to hear from you as well.

george phillips, e-mail, 22.11.2008 04:12

was stationed at white beach okinawa in 62 to late 63 i believe in mid 63 we woke up one morning to see a p5-m with one wing and engine underwater spent most of the day aiding the crew of i think it was the curituck moving it over to the ship,we did save it ended up getting orders to the sallysound av-13,in late oct of same year got to go to singapore then treasure island for discharge didnt have a job to do except underway life boat eng as i didnt have time left to teach--sort of a pleasure cruise

Frank Kennedy, e-mail, 06.11.2008 23:21

I was in vp45 from 1960 to 1962 and was in gitmo. the P5M-2 was a fine plane and i really miss the guys i served with.

Ben Thurston, e-mail, 18.08.2008 19:55

I flew as Radio Operator on the last operational flight from the East Coast on an SP5B aircraft; round robin from Navy Jacksonville FL (VP-30) to Trinidad (open sea landing) crew rest then back to NIP. Afterwards, all the SP5B aircraft were transferred to the South China Sea for operations during the war in Vietnam.

Fritz Bott, e-mail, 14.08.2008 21:26

I was in VP-42 1956-58, stationed at North Island, deployed to the P.I. for 8 months 57-58 and really enjoyed it all. We had the T tails (P5M-2) but had to leave them at Sangley Point when strong prevailing westerly winds prevented VP-46 from getting to Pearl and timely relieving us. i

Thomas Crosby, e-mail, 14.08.2008 05:59

I was in the Navy in squadron VU-2 at operation Spring Board NAS Puerto Rico in Dec 1959 to Apr 1960 when a squadron of P5M Marlins landed in the bay. I have some old 8mm movies of them landing and taking off. I though that they were oh so graceful. I never did get the squadron number. I was a AMH-2 and we flew JD'S ( A-26 )

Frank J. Natoli, e-mail, 23.06.2008 05:48

I was in VP-44 from June 1952 to January 1954, NAS Norfolk, the P5M-1, what a beautiful aircraft. Thank you for the information.

Chuck Groves, e-mail, 10.06.2008 06:21

Ah... what memories! I served on the USS Currituck (AV-7) as a SM, for over 6 years (1960-66) we were one of only 3 Seaplane Tenders (Large) left. Spent many a day in Buckner Bay, Okinawa gazing at the P5M's out at their moorings.

Jerry Avallone, e-mail, 01.06.2008 02:41

I served in VP47 out of NAS Alameda in 1958-59. Flew as plane captain and had a ball. Great crew and squadron.

Fred Davis, e-mail, 29.05.2008 20:11

Served in VP-48 1957 to 1961 out of NAS Noris and Iwakuni, Japan. Aircraft Maintenance Logs and Records Yeoman. AE working out of Rate, But did fly as Secend AE or as Observer.

Great Aircraft. We flew both P5M-1s and P5M-2s. Couldn't ask for a better bunch of people. Last P5M-2 in existance is at The Naval Air Museum in Pensacola

Jim Medley, e-mail, 27.05.2008 03:25

Worked on P5M 1963 VP49 NS Bermuda as AE3. Never went to Gitmo did you?

Jim Kellner, 06.05.2008 05:51

The vpnavy website has a wealth of information on the seaplanes and the men who flew in them. I was in crew 8 of VP-40 out of San Diego'64 to '66.

pete steelman, e-mail, 22.04.2008 19:28

hi---i was a radar-radioman in VP-42 out of San Diego, from 1960-1962. my old crew, Crew 3, was presnted with the last P5M-2 (with HIGH horizontal stabilizer) that was made, in 1961. we made a far-east cruise to the Philippines and Japan that year, and in Sept. 1962 (after i had been transferred to China Lake) the plane/crew was lost in a crash in Alaska.

John Dober, e-mail, 27.05.2007 16:17

I'm looking for my father's plane .. he flew in PB Martin
patrol bomber 1940 vintage plane from WWII Rescue Squandrant 3 with gull wings and pontoons end of wings. Do
you know where a museum is that has this plane? Please
email me at

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