Author Archives: Chad Derrington

Reunion photo booth review

My wife & I had a great time at the reunion dinner Saturday night. If you enjoyed our photo booth and would not mind sharing your experience with others, please give us a Google review.

 
 
Thanks In Advance,
Mike & Virginia Richardson
VP4 Powerplants Shop 1985-1988

 

Southern Maryland Entertainment
23415 Three Notch Road
Suite 2008-152
240-258-6677
Twitter: @somdphotobooth
Instagram: @somdentertainment

Message from the Chair, VP-4 Association Board of Directors.

VP-4 Shipmates
I address you on behalf of the VP-4 Association Board of Directors in regards to the 2017 Association reunion in Washington DC. In planning and preparation for this reunion, we used historical attendance from previous events results from the July 2016 survey, as well as communicating directly with the Board.
We are reaching a critical juncture at this point, not only in the success of this years reunion, but any future reunions, as the smaller number of attendees, will be making decisions for future reunions, and the attendance, as it stands now, will have a great impact on future events. Because of our small committed response, there will be a serious impact on the treasury. Please see if it is not too late for you to include us in your plans. This is where our next and future reunions will be planned/determined.

If you are not registered on the reunion website at https://www.afr-reg.com/VP-42017/ please register soon. For those of you that have registered, I look forward to seeing you in August.

Thank you,
Michael B. Adams
Chair, VP-4 Association Board of Directors

Last of the Orions are leaving Hawaii

As first reported by Hawaii News Now  on Monday, February 27th, 2017, 7:05 pm PST
Original Article with video and pictures posted HERE

Article By Jim Mendoza, Reporter

KALAELOA (HawaiiNewsNow) –
After more than 50 years in Hawaii, a fleet of planes that were once considered workhorses for naval surveillance operations will soon be flown for the final time over the islands.

Starting in 1964, dozens of P-3 Orion aircraft were stationed across Oahu, first at Barbers Point and then at the Kaneohe Marine base.

“It did a number of missions,” said retired Navy flight engineer Doug Gillette. “From anti-submarine warfare, shipping surveillance, sea and air rescue, VIP runs.”

In addition to its surveillance duties, the aircraft also carried weapons. Gillette, for example, spent 24 years flying on the [turboprop] planes, including combat missions over Vietnam and in the first Gulf War.

During the Cold War, P-3’s scoured the oceans for Soviet subs.

“Besides the submarines out of Pearl Harbor and destroyers looking for them, P-3 Orion guys were out there looking for them as well,” said Brad Sekigawa, a historian at the Naval Air Museum Barbers Point.

Despite their storied history, the Navy says it is phasing out Orions for a more modern jet aircraft.

“Parts will be sold to foreign nations that still operate the P-3, and the rest will probably be mothballed and then probably later scrapped,” Sekigawa said.

At their peak, there were about 50 P-3’s stationed in Hawaii. A year ago, 1,000 personnel were attached to Hawaii’s remaining three P-3 squadrons.

The last squadron leaves Thursday[2 Mar 2017], taking 300 sailors and the final four Orion aircraft with it.

“It is sad because when you talk about availability and what it can do, it’s a great airplane,” Gillette said.

“It did its job very well,” Sekigawa added.

After the Navy’s P-3 Orions leave Hawaii for the last time you’ll still be able to see the planes. Two decommissioned P-3s are already on display at Barber’s Point Naval Air museum.

To view more photos of the P-3 Orion fleet on your mobile device, click here.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Passing of VP-4 Vet YN2 Leland R. Glasscock VP-4 1982 – 1985

glasscock-leland-r-2 YN2 Leland R. Glasscock VP-4 1982 – 1985

Leland Randall Glasscock of Mountain View, Missouri was born November 28, 1962 in Catania, Italy and went to be with the Lord, Tuesday, November 22, 2016, at his home in Mountain View. He was the son of Leland Rosco and Ruby Christine (Mullenax) Glasscock, who precede him in death.

He was united in marriage to Thresa Ann Moores on May 8, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Two children were born to this union, Leland Andrew and Christine Lynn.

He is survived by his wife, Thresa Ann; one son, Leland Andrew Glasscock and wife, Chelsea, of Mountain View; one daughter, Christine Lynn Kimbrough and husband, Cody, of Birch Tree, Missouri; one brother, Steve Glasscock of Washington; and one grandson, Remington Duke Kimbrough, on the way.

Leland grew up in Alabama, where he entered service in the U.S. Navy in 1982. After serving his country for five years, he was honorably discharged having received the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two Bronze Stars.

Leland was a Boy Scout Leader for his son’s troop and was a member of the Masonic Lodge #637. He was currently the manager of RNR Tire Express in West Plains, Missouri. He loved just about anything that had to do with the outdoors including golfing, camping, and woodworking.

A visitation will be held on Friday, November 25, 2016 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Yarber Mortuary, Mountain View. Masonic funeral services will be held at 7:00 p.m. Memorials may be made Masonic Lodge #637. Condolences may be expressed at www.yarbermortuary.com.

http://www.yarbermortuary.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1880557

Passing of VP-4 Vet AEC Emmette R. Zimmerman Jr. VP-4 1979 – 1981

zimmerman-emmetteEmmette Zimmerman Jr. was an AE1 Flight Engineer flying with Crew 8 during the 1979 – 1980 VP-4 deployment.

Emmette Ray Zimmerman, Jr. (Zeke), age 73, passed away November 11, 2016. He was born on July 2, 1943 to Emmette R. Zimmerman Sr. and Mary B. Zimmerman in Salisbury, NC. He was raised in North Carolina. He graduated from James A. Gray High School in 1960. He served in the U. S. Navy from 1960-1987. He was ranked as an E7, received the National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.

He was married to his wife of 35 years on April 25, 1981. He enjoyed participation in good times and fishing.

Emmette Ray Zimmerman, Jr. is preceded in death by: his father, Emmette Ray Zimmerman, Sr.; mother, Mary Mina Zimmerman; sister, Judy Z. Byerly. He is survived by: his wife, Felicitas Frago Zimmerman; siblings, Brenda Z. Leonard, Sherry Zimmerman, Debbie Z. Tant, Ronald Zimmerman and Benny Zimmerman; grandchildren, Jacqueline, Alexandra and Scott. He is also survived by his pets Keisha and Nache Zimmerman.

Visitation will be held from 6:00-9:00PM, Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel. A Funeral Service will be held at 11:30AM, Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow at Coastal Bend Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

http://www.seasidefuneral.com/obituaries/Emmette-Ray-Zimmerman-4872674951/#!/TributeWall

zimmerman-emmette-2 zimmerman-emmette-3

Patrol Squadron FOUR Returns from Aloha Deployment

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Washington – The first wave of “Skinny” Dragons from Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 returned home Thursday, Sept. 1 from a demanding, yet highly successful trisite deployment.

For the first time since 1964, that return home was not made to Hawaii, but instead to Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island.

In the midst of deployment, the Skinny Dragons executed a permanent duty station change (PDSC) from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii to Whidbey Island, Wash., with many families moving in advance of the squadron’s return. Despite the challenges that come with executing a move, VP-4 personnel committed each day to ensuring that their last P-3C Orion deployment was a resounding success.

The VP-4 “P-3 Sundown” or “Aloha Deployment” as it became known, involved the Skinny Dragons operating out of 12 different countries in three vastly diverse areas of responsibility (AORs). In fact, on June 13 VP-4 launched six P-3C aircraft from five different detachment sites to six different missions within 24 hours.

According to Cmdr. Christopher Smith, VP-4’s commanding officer, the commitment from aircrew, maintenance and support personnel were astounding throughout the entire deployment.

“The Skinny Dragons are finishing a very successful deployment that saw us deployed to several locations around the world. This deployment was a significant milestone for our squadron as 2016 marks 50 years of flying the P-3C Orion for Patrol Squadron 4,” remarked Smith. “This summer was a great opportunity to honor the fine heritage of our squadron and the history of the mighty P-3C Orion.”

Those already in Whidbey Island eagerly await the arrival of the rest of their squadron who will trickle home in waves over the next two weeks.

Smith commented that it is certainly bittersweet to leave the island paradise of Oahu, but the Skinny Dragons are excited for the move to the Pacific Northwest and are enthusiastic to join Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 10. In addition, he added that the local community and sponsors from CPRW- 10 have been instrumental and the PDSC undoubtedly would not have been possible without their help.

“VP-4 is extremely excited to join the Whidbey Team and we have been welcomed with open arms at every step of our transition,” expressed Smith. “The local community, on and off base, has been aware of our arrival for over a year and has continuously worked to make our transition a seamless one. I am overwhelmed with the support we have been given and I am very grateful.”

The next step for VP-4 is a transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon. As the first of the three Hawaii-based Orion squadrons to transition, VP-4 is focused on a successful integration into CPRW-10 and continues their standard of excellence in maritime aviation throughout the transition.

The Skinny Dragons will begin the first portion of P-8A training in October with the “Pro’s Nest” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 30, the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), who will provide a detachment of personnel to NAS Whidbey Island. After the New Year, VP-4 personnel will travel to the FRS in Jacksonville, Florida to complete the rest of their training.

Thankful for the support of CPRW-10 and the Whidbey Island community, VP-4 looks forward to bringing the Aloha spirit to the Pacific Northwest and their next chapter in maritime aviation.
By LTJG Matthew Johnston, VP-4 Public Affairs

Original  article with images is located here:  http://www.maritimepatrolassociation.org/documents/newsletter/2016/MPA_Newsletter_2016_4.pdf

 

Help bring back rating titles

Hello shipmates!

As you may be aware the SECNAV has ordered the removal of all of then 91 enlisted ratings titles. This means that sailors will no longer be identified by their job title, say, Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Joe Sailor, effective immediately. Instead, that would be Petty Officer 1st Class Joe Sailor.

Sailors past and present have longstanding and deep love of the titles that have defined their Navy lives. All of these now belong to the history books, but you can do something to help possibly change that.

Follow this link to sign a White House petition that asks the President to restore or at least comment on this horrible plan: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restore-traditional-navy-rating-specialty-titles-disestablished-9292016 

Please share this with every sailor you know and help push the petition 100,000 votes before October 31st 2016.

Links to articles about the new rule from SECNAV:

And finally I think personally think this plan would have been much better in the long run: https://www.navytimes.com/articles/the-navy-had-a-plan-to-change-rating-titles-heres-what-might-have-been

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, share this, and for signing the petition.
GO NAVY!!

Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class Chad Derrington

Passing of VP-4 Vet AWCM Donald C. Hoosier USN (Ret) VP-4 1973 – 1976

hoosier-donald-c-2Donald Carl Hoosier, 71, passed away April 24, 2016, in San Jose, California. Don was born in Ohio and went to first and second grades in Sterling, moving to Tucson, Arizona, where he was raised. After high school graduation the family moved back to Ohio. Shortly afterward he enlisted in the Navy to pursue his interest in technology.

A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, Don retired as a master chief petty officer after proudly serving twenty-two years. His Navy career took him around the world, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Diego Garcia, Adak, Alaska and Hawaii. In his civilian life he was a systems engineer, avid gardener, 10k race runner, indoor arena football fan (San Jose Sabercats), and loved spending time with his grandchildren.

Surviving are daughters, Donnalyn (Craig) Zarzeczny and two grandchildren, and Jessica Hoosier, of San Jose, California; his mother, Ruth Hoosier of Sterling; a brother, Tom (Kathy) Hoosier of Anchorage, Alaska; and his former spouse, Linda Hoosier of San Jose, California.

He was preceded in death by his father, Carl Hoosier.

Private burial service will be in San Joaquin National Cemetery.

Published in the Daily Record.

 

hoosier-donald-c-3 hoosier-donald-c

VP-4 Vets meetup at the US Navy Seabee Museum

VP-4 Vets meet at Naval Base Ventura County

Photo of L to R
John W. Betts CWO4 (USN Ret.) VP-4 1960-61
Harlan R. Rentfrow AWCM (USN Ret.) VP-4 1958-60 & 1962-64
Stephen A. Andruszkewicz AX-1 VP-4 1961-63
Capt. Chris D. Janke C.O. Naval Base Ventura County, CA VP-4 2003-04
Mrs. Mary Rentfrow ETC (USN Ret.)
William K. Bracken AWCM (USN Ret.) VP-4 1960-62 & 1969-74

Some VP-4 vets got together for an informal meeting 17 Sept. 2016 at the US Navy Seabee Museum, Port Hueneme, CA located just outside the Main Gate of US Naval Base Ventura County, CA

A brief but enjoyable meeting, swapped a few sea stories and most importantly established a connection with Capt. Janke.

Submitted by:
Steve “Andy” Andruszkewicz
VP-4 1961-63

Updated membership form for 2016/2017

Hello folks,

Please take a few moment to download the updated Membership form from this page: Membership Form This helps keep the VP-4 Veterans Association alive and kicking.

 

 

P.S.  If anyone one has the skills to turn the membership form into a fillable PDF document, please let me know.

 

Thank you,

Chad Derrington

VP-4 Returns Home to NAS Whidbey Island

Patrol Squadron FOUR returns from Aloha Deployment
LTJG Matthew Johnston

The first wave of Skinny Dragons from Patrol Squadron (VP) FOUR returned home Thursday from a demanding, yet highly successful tri-site deployment. For the first time since 1964, that return home was not made to Hawaii, but instead to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. In the midst of deployment, the Skinny Dragons executed a permanent duty station change (PDSC) to Whidbey Island with many families moving in advance of the squadron’s return – a stressor that certainly guaranteed the deployment was anything but mundane. Despite these factors, VP-4 personnel committed each day to ensuring that their last P-3C Orion deployment was a resounding success.

The VP-4 ”P-3 Sundown,” or ‘Aloha Deployment’ as it became known, saw the Skinny Dragons operate out of twelve different countries in three vastly diverse Areas of Responsibility (AOR’s). In fact, during one 24-hour period on June 13th, VP-4 launched six P-3C aircraft in five different detachment sites on six different missions. The commitment from aircrew, maintenance, and support personnel alike was astounding throughout the entire deployment. “The Skinny Dragons are finishing a very successful deployment that saw us deployed to several locations around the world. This deployment was a significant milestone for our squadron as 2016 marks 50 years of flying the P-3C Orion for Patrol Squadron FOUR,” remarked VP-4 Commanding Officer, Cdr. Christopher Smith. “This summer was a great opportunity to honor the fine heritage of our squadron and the storied history of the mighty P-3C Orion.” Those already in Whidbey Island eagerly await the arrival of the rest of their squadron who will trickle home in waves over the next two weeks.

While certainly bittersweet to leave the island paradise of Oahu, the Skinny Dragons are excited for the move to the Pacific Northwest and are enthusiastic to join Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN (CPRW-10). The local community and sponsors from CPRW-10 have been instrumental and the PDSC undoubtedly would not have been possible without their help. “VP-4 is extremely excited to join the Whidbey Team and we have been welcomed with open arms at every step of our transition,” expressed Cdr. Smith. “The local community, on and off base, has been aware of our arrival for over a year and has continuously worked to make our transition a seamless one. I am overwhelmed with the support we have been given and I am very grateful.”

The next step for Patrol Squadron FOUR is a transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon. The first of the three Hawaii based Orion squadrons to transition, VP-4 is focused on a successful integration into CPRW-10 and continuing their standard of excellence in maritime aviation throughout the transition.

The Skinny Dragons will take some much needed time to rest and relax with families before picking back up in October for the transition. For the first portion of P-8A training, VP-30, the P-3/P-8 Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), will provide a detachment of personnel to NAS Whidbey Island. After the New Year, VP-4 personnel will travel to the FRS in Jacksonville, Florida to complete the rest of their training.

Thankful for the support of CPRW-10 and the Whidbey Island community, Patrol Squadron FOUR looks forward to bringing the Aloha spirit to the Pacific Northwest and their next chapter in maritime aviation.

Passing of VP-4 Vet Billy D. Fritts ADR2 VP-4 1959 – 1962

Sorry to have to pass along this sad news from Dee Perry, Billy’s daughter.

I am very, very saddened to tell you that my sweet and special Daddy passed away this morning at 0730, shortly after I told him I loved him and that it was okay to go be with Mom.  It has been a tough week and even tougher few days.  We made it to his hometown last week and once that was done, his situation declined at warp speed.  He did not suffer much and for that I am eternally grateful.  It is still a bit surreal.  Below is the link to the Obituary.  I will be giving the eulogy at the funeral on Thursday.  I plan to wear Daddy’s “birddog” cap, military ribbons and naval pin during visitation.  Daddy will have full military honors at the cemetery.  I thank you all for what VP-4 has meant to Dad and Mom and then myself.  I am a VP-4 Brat FOREVER! 
Eulogy for Billy Dale Fritts 
Billy Dale Fritts
September 8, 1935 – August 14, 2016
Fritts, Billy D.Billy Dale Fritts, age 80, of Carrollton, Georgia, joined his beloved wife in heaven on August 14, 2016. Billy was born on September 8, 1935 in Eldorado, Illinois to Geraldine Faught Fritts and William Fritts. He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Raenell Williamson Fritts, his parents, three sisters and two brothers. He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Denise and Randy Perry and Christy and Timothy Hawk; grandchildren Taylor Perry, Ian, Lane and Grayson Marks, and Haley Hawk; brother-in-law Bill Lawrence of Evansville, Indiana; sisters-in-law June Watson of Hiawasee and Linda Sullivan of Carrollton and numerous nieces and nephews. Bill also leaves many friends including the Breakfast Crew at Hardee’s, the Roopville High School Class of 1957, former co-workers of Southwire, lifelong friends Velma Jay, Donnie Irvin, George Bruner and Doyle Smith and fellow squadron mates of U.S. Naval Squadron VP-4 (1959 – 63). Born in Eldorado, Illinois and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Bill served 20 years in the U.S. Military, first with the Navy and then in the Air Force, serving one tour of duty in Vietnam in the mid 1960’s. He thrived in the service of his country and kept in touch with fellow service men, especially those with whom he served in U.S. Naval Squadron VP-4. After his last tour in Montgomery, Alabama in 1976, he began work at Southwire in machine maintenance, retiring in 2001. Bill loved history, baseball, westerns, reading his newspapers every day and his grandchildren. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Carrollton. In his younger days he enjoyed quail hunting with his father-in-law, Raymond Williamson and eating fried apple pies made by his mother-in-law, Bessie Williamson. Reading newspapers every day made him a trivia expert on many subjects – clipping articles that he knew others would enjoy. He also kept abreast of changes and news in the military community. Always available to help someone with a project or moving, he enjoyed being around people. He will be missed by many. A celebration of the life of Billy Dale Fritts will be conducted on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at First Christian Church of Carrollton conducted by Barry Shoemake and Jon Day. Visitation with the family will be at Martin & Hightower Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 PM and from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Interment will be at conducted by Anthony Puckett at Carroll Memory Gardens immediately following the celebration of life. The family would like to thank Wilson and Myra Knott, Elton and Virginia Lyle, Randall and Mary Ellen Wilson, Jerry and Joyce Latimer, Dwight and Peggy Riley, Buck and Karen Morton, B and Jean Daniel, Jack and Barbara Harris, and Anthony Puckett, who will serve as pallbearers and honorary pallbearers. A profound sense of gratitude is extended to Martin & Hightower Funeral Home for their sincere care of the family during a difficult time. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.martin-hightower.com. Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel has charge of the arrangements.

Passing of VP-4 Vet AMSC Steven L. Latterner USNR (Ret) VP-4 1966 – 1969

Steven Latterner flew as 2nd Mech on Crew 5 and then as Flight Engineer on Crew 12.  His ground duties included work in the Airframes Shop.

 

Latterner, Steven L.Steven Lavalle Latterner, age 69, passed away unexpectedly on June 22nd, 2016, in Largo, Florida. He was born in Excelsior, Minnesota, and moved to the St. Petersburg, Florida, area in 2000 with his wife, Kaie. During his career, Steve was in sales management in the automotive paint and software industries and joined Kaie’s company, TEC, in 1997 to grow their business. He was also a Navy Chief, proudly serving our country for 23 years in his beloved P3 Orion submarine patrol aircraft: four years of active duty during the Vietnam War era and then as a reservist for 19 years out of the Navy base at Glenview, IL. Steve was also a member of the VFW and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Seminole, Florida. Steve loved boating, woodworking and traveling to relax.
Steve battled a total of five cancers over a 19-1/2 year period more bravely than anyone could have ever expected or anticipated. And he did so while never, ever, ever complaining or feeling sorry for himself. When asked how he was feeling or doing, Steve’s answer was always a firm “I’m fine” no matter how many challenges he was facing at the moment. While having a chemotherapy infusion on June 22nd, he suddenly told Kaie that he felt “really, really weird” and within just a few minutes, we lost him. Some type of catastrophic event, such as a pulmonary embolism or cardiac arrest, took him from us, and even after a long CPR effort, they could not bring him back. We are devastated over this loss, but we know that he is in heaven with God. We are thankful that he is no longer suffering.
Steve was known and loved for his positive can-do attitude, his incredible eyes and smile, his gentleness and patience, his generosity and kindness, his clever sense of humor, and most of all his loving and caring ways. He was a hard worker all his life, which he accomplished with the highest level of ethics, morals and honesty. His love and dedication to Kaie and their marriage was beyond anything that could be expressed in mere words.
Steve was preceded in death by: his father, Donald O. Latterner; his mother, Leona (Koehnen) Latterner; and his sister, Carol Hazelton. He is survived by his wife, Kaie (Pohi); his son, Bret Latterner; his grandson, Anthony Kuempel; his brother, John Latterner (Karen Carsick); his sister, Betty Vinkemeier (Jim) and many wonderful nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, Kaie has started a foundation to memorialize Steve and his valiant fight against the monster we call cancer: The Steven L. Latterner Memorial Foundation, at Wells Fargo Bank. With monies that she collects and raises for the foundation, Kaie will keep Steve’s legacy alive to help others to be brave and stay as healthy and positive as possible while fighting this horrid disease. Although only in the initial planning phase for but a few days, likely goals are for the funds to provide inspirational messages and signs in chemotherapy and clinical trial facilities, to provide education and information on the importance of strong patient advocacy, and to supply cancer patients with a wide variety of helpful and motivational products and activities that are so needed during these unbelievably stressful times. We are thinking of calling the foundation “Steve cares…” Any and all ideas and suggestions will be heartwarmingly welcomed. Donations in Steve’s memory can be made out to The Steven L. Latterner Memorial Foundation and mailed to our home address. (Please contact Kaie for further details.) You can also make a donation at your local Wells Fargo Bank by asking them to process a donation to a registered Wells Fargo memorial account. (The account was setup by Nakita Vizena at the Redington Shores FL branch.)
There will be two memorial services for Steve: one in Florida and one in Minnesota. The one in Florida will be at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd located at 10891 102nd Avenue North, Seminole, FL (727-391-4644) on Saturday, July 23 at 2:00 P.M. The memorial in Minnesota will be sometime during the first half of August but has not been arranged yet. This website will be updated with the appropriate information as soon as we have a time and place.
We are beyond moved and overwhelmed by all the love, support, cards, calls, flowers, FB posts and messages that we have received since Steve’s passing. We are eternally grateful to all of our friends and family.

 

Latterner, Steven L. 3. Latterner, Steven L. 2 .

Larry Hames
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager

BALTOPS 16

By LTJG Matthew Johnston
Patrol Squadron (VP) FOUR participated in the NATO Exercise BALTOPS 16 from 3-18 June. BALTOPS is an annually occurring exercise that is designed to enhance interoperability and demonstrate the ability of partner and allied nations to defend the Baltic region. The Skinny Dragons of VP-4 deployed two Combat Aircrews, 18 aircraft maintenance professionals, and one P-3C Orion to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany and established Task Group (CTG) 67.2. Joining the Skinny Dragons as members of CTG 67.2 was a P-8A Poseidon from VP-26, a P-3C from VP-62, and numerous aircraft maintainers from both squadrons. Combat Aircrew Seven (VP-4) also flew one mission out of Lielvārde Air Base, Latvia.
CTG 67.2 aircraft flew 18 missions during the exercise, totally over 67 hours of on station training with NATO and partner forces. The Poseidon and Orion crews flew a diverse set of missions but their primary focus was Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-surface Warfare. The aircrews honed their ASW skills working with three submarines and over 40 surface combatants. The well trained NATO submarine crews and challenging environmental conditions in the Baltic Sea created excellent training opportunities for the P-3C and P-8A aircrews.
“BALTOPS provided our entire team a fantastic training opportunity. The dynamic mission scenarios challenged us and we are now better prepared for combined operations with our NATO allies and partners” remarked Combat Aircrew Ten Mission Commander and Detachment Officer-in-Charge, LCDR Brian Blaschke. “Additionally, a key to our success was our hard working and talented aircraft maintainers; they put our aircrews in a mission ready aircraft every time, on time.”
The Skinny Dragons of VP-4 worked tirelessly to support BALTOPS 16 and are extremely grateful for the opportunity to train with such talented NATO forces and build interoperability. VP-4 looks forward to future operations with NATO allies and partners as we exercise our mutual commitment to Baltic Security.
Quick Facts:

  • BALTOPS is an annually recurring multinational exercise designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability, as well as demonstrate resolve of allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region. This is the 44th year of the exercise.
  • One P-3C Orion aircraft and two aircrews from the “Skinny Dragons” of VP-4 were assigned to participate in BALTOPS 2016. The crews flew Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) operations.
  • One P-3C from VP-62 and one P-8A Poseidon from VP-26 also participated in the exercise.
  • Combined Task Group (CTG) 67.2 was formed for the exercise and is comprised of 92 Sailors from three squadrons. CTG 67.2 was commanded by VP-4 Commanding Officer, Cdr. Christopher Smith.

A Skinny Dragon Kind of Day

By: CDR Chris Smith, Commanding Officer, Patrol Squadron FOUR

Over the course of one 24 hour period from the 13th through the 14th of June, the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4) did something amazing; they launched six different aircraft spread across five different locations around the world on six very different missions.

ELSALIn Comalapa, El Salvador, the 70 person detachment launched their 35th counter-drug mission of the deployment. The men and women of this detachment work closely with several other units of the Joint Interagency Task Force, South (JIATF-S) to stop the distribution and sale of illegal drugs. Money from the sale of these drugs is often used to support international terrorist organizations and the efforts of JIATF-S have a direct and meaningful impact on national defense. To date, VP-4 has contributed to 21 busts totaling 19,808 kilos of illegal drugs with a street value of over $501,170,000.

DJVP-4 also has a permanent detachment stationed in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. This team of Skinny Dragons operates in the sweltering heat of Africa to fly overland intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in support of counter-terrorism efforts in the Horn of Africa. Their flight on this day represented VP-4’s presence on a third continent and demonstrates the P-3C’s ability to operate in extreme conditions.

Simultaneously, VP-4 participated in Exercise BALTOPS 2016 from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. With one aircraft, two aircrews, and 18 maintenance professionals, the detachment is a small part of the large multinational maritime exercise. BALTOPS 2016 included approximately 6,100 maritime, ground, and air force troops from 17 participating nations. The exercise is designed to allow the participants to hone their maritime interdiction, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations, and air defense tactics, techniques, and procedures in a combined and joint environment. On this particular day, Combat Aircrew TEN conducted an anti-submarine warfare flight demonstrating the primary mission area of the P-3C Orion.

ROTAOperating out of Naval Air Station Rota, Spain, Combat Aircrew FIVE supported by several maintenance professionals provided airborne support for the USS Eisenhower as she made her way into the Mediterranean Sea. This kind of support to a Carrier Strike Group is another critical mission of the P-3C. An airborne P-3C gives the Strike Group Commander visibility on threats beyond his horizon and the ability to destroy those threats if the need arises.

SIGONELLA, Sicily (May 19, 2016) A P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) Four taxis at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily in preparation to take off in support of the search for Egyptair flight MS804. The U.S. Navy is providing a P-3 Orion in support of the Hellenic Armed Forces, the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Greece, in response to a request by the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece for assistance in the search of the missing Egyptian aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tony D. Curtis/Released)

SIGONELLA, Sicily (May 19, 2016) A P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) Four taxis at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily in preparation to take off in support of the search for Egyptair flight MS804. The U.S. Navy is providing a P-3 Orion in support of the Hellenic Armed Forces, the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Greece, in response to a request by the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece for assistance in the search of the missing Egyptian aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communication Specialist 1st Class Tony D. Curtis/Released)

In a rare feat, VP-4 provided support to a second Carrier Strike Group on the same day. Flying out of NAS Sigonella, Italy, Combat Aircrew EIGHT flew in support of the USS Truman as she conducted operations in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Even in the face of all these rigorous operational demands, the Skinny Dragons of VP-4 made time to continue training for tomorrow’s fight as well. The vision of VP-4 is to “Do right to fight, today and tomorrow”. To do that, the most experienced Sailors of this squadron must pass on the lessons they have learned to the next generation of warriors. On this day, the squadron also executed an important Pilot Training Flight to ensure that the long line of outstanding Skinny Dragon Aviators continues into the future.

Days like this are not unique to this squadron or this moment in history. Days like this represent any given day in the long and venerable history of the mighty P-3C Orion and the entire Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Community.

Skinny Dragons… Breathe Fire.

Passing of VP-4 Vet ATC John W. Robertson USN (Ret) VP-4 1966 – 1968

Ray Frazer, (VP-4 66-69), sent me the sad news of the passing of another Skinny Dragon.

John W. Robertson, ATC, passed at 11:50 AM. June 3, 2016 at the age of 79. CPO Robertson and his wife would have celebrated their 56th Anniversary on June 11, 2016.

While a member of VP-4 John was assigned to AMD Department at Barbers Point, HI and IMA in MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. Photo is from the 1967 cruise book.

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Robertson, John W. 2 Robertson, John WJohn William Robertson, 79, of Olney, died Friday, June 3, 2016, at his residence.
Graveside services with full military rites were held at 10 a.m. Monday, June 6 in Haven Hill Memorial Garden. Kistler-Patterson Funeral Home in Olney was in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Robertson was born March 22, 1937, in Indianapolis, the son of Ray and Kathryn (Ziegner) Robertson. He married Priscilla Robertson on June 11, 1960, in Imperial Valley, Calif. She survives.
John was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era. Once he retired, he was employed at West Salem Champion Laboratories for 10 years. He was a member of American Legion in Olney. John enjoyed fishing, operating a ham radio, and woodworking. He took pleasure in camping and photography. John loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Mr. Robertson is survived by his wife of nearly 57 years, Priscilla Robertson, of Olney; daughter, Ginger Thoms and husband Mark, of Olney; son, Ray Robertson and wife Isabel, of Olney; son, Kevin Robertson and wife Marna, of Mancelona, Mich.; grandchildren, Nathan, Mandy, and Nick, Heather, Terri, Ale, and Becky, and Angus and Caleb; great-grandchildren, Jaiden, Brody, Madison, and Emily; nephew, Mike Myers; and niece, Stacey Sims.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Judy Myers.

Online condolences may be left at www.kistler-patterson.com.
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Cards may be sent to:

Mrs. Priscilla Robertson
600 South Baltimore Street
Olney, IL 62450-1750

Larry Hames
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager
database@vp4association.com

Passing of VP-4 Vet John Allen Dodd AECS USN (Ret) VP-4 1980 – 1983

In Memory of
John A Dodd
July 23, 1947 – May 25, 2016

Dodd, John A. 1 Dodd, John A. 2 Dodd, John A. 3

 

Senior Chief John Allen Dodd II, US Navy Retired died Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at St. Francis Hospital. Graveside funeral services with military honors will be held 11:00 A.M. Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at Riverdale Cemetery, according to Striffler-Hamby, Phenix City, AL. The family will receive friends Monday evening from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. at the funeral home.
Mr. Dodd was born July 23, 1947 in Bethesda, Maryland; son of the late John Allen Dodd, Sr. and Patricia Murphy Dodd. He was retired from the U.S. Navy with 20 years of service and was later retired from IIG Insulation Group with 20 years of service. Mr. Dodd was a member of Central Baptist Church in Phenix City and a member of the Wilson-Williams Masonic Lodge 351. Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Patricia Greathouse and her husband, Robert Greathouse.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Elaine Pearrow Dodd of Phenix City, AL, son; John Allen Dodd, III and his wife, Kristy Ann Dodd of Salem, AL, daughter; Heather Dodd Harris and her husband, Chad Harris of Marietta, GA, sister; Barbara Dodd Galloway and her husband, Morris of Canton, GA, grandchildren; Britny Carter (Anthony), Haley Lynn Dodd, Hannah Nichole Dodd, Brenden Chase Harris, Braxton Cooper Harris, great grandchildren; Sebastian Carter, Kaleb Winslow, Hayden McVay and Rachel Carter.

Please sign the online registry at www.shphenixcity.com

Patrol Squadron Four Begins ‘Aloha’ Deployment

Story by LT j.g. Matthew Johnston, VP-4 Public Affairs Officer

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII (NNS) — P-3C Orion planes from Patrol Squadron (VP) Four, departed Kaneohe from Marine Corps Base Hawaii for the last time, March 18. The Skinny Dragons of VP-4 began a challenging tri-site deployment to three different areas of responsibility (AORs).

The theme, ‘Aloha Deployment,’ was adopted by VP-4 and its meaning is two-fold. VP-4 says Aloha and Mahalo to their Hawaii home and will be saying Aloha to the P-3C in favor of the P-8A Poseidon.

Since 1964, VP-4 has a long and decorated history as a permanent fixture in Hawaii, so leaving is certainly bittersweet.

Upon return from deployment, VP-4 will execute a permanent duty station change to Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Washington, and transition to the P-8A. The Skinny Dragons began flying the Orion 50 years ago, and the transition to the Poseidon is the next step in ensuring they remain the Navy’s premier maritime squadron.

“This deployment is an exciting time for our squadron and our families,” said VP-4 Commanding Officer Cdr. Jon Spore. “Between the move to Whidbey Island and the upcoming transition to the P-8A Poseidon, we have a lot to look forward to, but remain focused on our immediate goal of completing our last P-3C Orion deployment. That being said, our time in Hawaii was very special and we look forward to making new memories in a new location and with a new aircraft.”

Patrol Squadron Four is the first of three Hawaii-based squadrons to make the move to Whidbey Island and transition to the P-8A, and they will continue their standard of excellence in the new aircraft. The Skinny Dragons are motivated to face that challenge, however, their focus is currently on the deployment and executing the mission.

“VP-4 has enjoyed great success for many years in Hawaii. Our Sailors from today and years gone by have fantastic memories of serving in the Aloha State,” remarked VP-4 Executive Officer Cdr. Christopher Smith. “While it’s bittersweet to leave, we look forward to starting our next chapter in our new home after this deployment. We fondly say Mahalo to this wonderful community for all the great memories.”

After flying the P-3 for 50 years, the Skinny Dragons are committed to ensuring this last Orion ‘Aloha Deployment’ is a resounding success that sees them all return home safely.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/airpac/.

Coordinated check conducted on a P-3C Orion

150609-N-MV308-001 KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (June 9, 2015) Sailors assigned to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 perform a man-on-the-stand coordinated check on a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Coordinated checks are done on a routine basis to ensure proper functioning of the aircraft and continued mission readiness and performance. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber Porter/Released)

Passing of VP-4 Vet AMS3 Ronald Buchnat VP-4 1964 – 1967

Another Skinny Dragon has fallen.

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Ron Buchnat, age 70, of Crown Point, IN, passed away on Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Ron is survived by his wife: Ursula; daughter: Anastasia “Stacey”; and sister: Ruth Ann Buchnat of Jones, MI. He was preceded in death by his parents: Jerome and Charlotte Buchnat. Ron taught reading and communications for 34 years at Heritage Middle School in Lansing, IL. He was a member of St. Michael Church in Schererville, IN, a member of the Sauk Village Moose Lodge and served in the U.S. Navy as an airplane mechanic during the Vietnam Conflict. Ron was an avid hunter and fisherman, and enjoyed competitive shooting matches. Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, November 29, 2015 at the c from 2:00 to 3:00 PM. Memorial offerings may be given in Ron’s name to: The Nature Conservancy, 620 East Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN 46202. Arrangements entrusted to Geisen Funeral, Cremation & Reception Centre in Crown Point, IN. View and/or sign guestbook at www.GeisenFuneralHome.com or contact 219-663-2500.

Ron had been active in recruiting VP-4 vets to attend our reunions. He made these entries on his Rallypoint.com profile

I was a structural mechanic and I was an air crewman for a short time. I flew the bow/mad position in the old P2V7 Neptune. After our 1st deployment to Iwakuni, Japan & Southeast Asia my squadron transitioned to the P3-A Orion Aircraft. On our 2nd deployment to the same places, we lost a P3 (YD-6) in April 28, 1967. All hand were lost, the cause of crash was never determined. While in VP-4, I did some work in the line crew, night check, check crew and airframes. I left the squadron in Dec. , 1967 and was discharged from the Navy in Jan. 1968 from Great Lakes Naval training Center.

I retired in 2005 from the education field. I taught high school in Chicago for 1 year and junior high for 1 year. I then went and taught Remedial Reading and Communications in Sunnybrook School District #171 for the next 31 years. I really enjoyed my years in the education field. While teaching, I also worked in general aviation.

Larry Hames
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager

Passing of VP-4 Vet LCDR Joseph E. McDaniels USN (Ret) VP-4 1961 – 1965

LCDR McDaniels was an LDO Avionics Officer who served in VP-4 from 1961 – 1965 as a Navigator/TACCO and Avionics Division Officer. Photos are from the 1962 Okinawa book.

McDaniels, Joseph E. 2 McDaniels, Joseph ESAN ANTONIO, TX – Joseph Eugene McDaniels LCDR (Ret.), 83, of San Antonio, Texas, formerly of Springfield, Ill., passed away Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015.
He was born April 26, 1932, in Buffalo Hart, the son of Joseph Lee and Marcella Stanfield McDaniel. He married Helen Douglass on Nov. 18, 1952.
Joseph was a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he retired after 27 years of service.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Beverly Ann Azra and Ellen Fancher.
He is survived by his wife, Helen; one daughter, Patricia Geraty of Eden Prairie, Minn.; and two sons, Joseph Lee McDaniels of Jacksonville, Fla., and James Robert McDaniels of Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, at Ellinger-Kunz & Park Funeral Home.
Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, at Mechanicsburg Cemetery in Mechanicsburg, Ill.
Memorial contributions may be made to: The Wounded Warrior Project.
Ellinger-Kunz & Park Funeral Home, 530 N. 5th St., Springfield, IL 62702 is in charge of arrangements. Visit our online obituary at www.ellingerkunzfuneralhome.com.
Published in The State Journal-Register on Nov. 15, 2015
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sj-r/obituary.aspx?n=Joseph-Eugene-McDaniels&pid=176508224#sthash.NsayD3Us.dpuf