Author Archives: Chad Derrington

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.

————————————————————————————–

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.
————————————————————————————–

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.

!cid_ii_ihbewwtw1_1513273df0955926 !cid_ii_ihbeyhuv2_1513274feaeb9cc4 !cid_ii_ihbeyz6k3_151327556e718950 !cid_ii_ihdywn294_1513ba9903dc3e4b

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

Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4) Commemorative Coin

From: Brian LaFlamme

After over a year in the making, it is finally here and ready for you or a special Christmas gift to someone. This coin is exceptional with nice color on the front, 3-D design of a P-3 flying over Oahu on the back, a diagonal cut edge, and a good heft to it. I only had 50 made so as not to conflict with Tommy Johnson and there are only 44 left. The price was slightly higher because of the smaller order yet you will not be disappointed. I am tagging on to a friend’s website to sell these coins, so to purchase your coin go to

http://www.chupamacabre.com/product/patrol-squadron-four-vp-4-commemorative-coin/

The coins will be shipped via USPS with insurance and tracking. Please check out the rest of the Chupamacabre website for unique gifts.

vp-4 coins

 

This coin may have special meaning to you if you know someone that served on Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4) based in Hawaii. “The Skinny Dragons” are a highly recognized and honored squadron of the United States Navy, playing key roles in the Vietnam War and Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The coin is two-dimensional on the colorful dragon side with a three-dimensional embossment on the back. Quantities are very limited. This order qualifies for free shipping!

These products will be fulfilled by an outside vendor.

1992 VP-4 Squadron Roster

Roster
No Name Rank Photos on Page(s) Position
Commanding Officers
1 Cashbaugh, David CDR 2 C.O. Apr 1992 – 16 Apr 1993
2 Hall, Marshall A. CDR 3 XO – CO 16 Apr 1993 – 1 Apr 1994
Officers
3 Angeli LT 16 Crew 1
4 Art LT 32, 51 Crew 9 SMO/NSO
5 Ausman LT 28 Crew 7
6 Banard LCDR 18 Crew 2 HSO/DAPA
7 Bennett LT 26 Crew 6 Safety Natops
8 Bienvenue LT 43 Medical
9 Boerger LCDR 34 Crew 10
10 Brennan LT 16, 47 Crew 1 Tactics
11 Brickman LT 36 Crew 11
12 Burleigh LTJG
13 Carey LT 30 Crew 8
14 Carlisle LT 30, 36 Crew 8, Crew 11
15 Carrol LT 20 Crew 3 Safety Natops
16 Chinman LTJG 36 Crew 11
17 Clautice LT 26, 47 Crew 6 Tactics
18 Colmen CWO3 57 Material Control
19 Daniel LT
20 Danielson LT 34 Crew 10
21 De La Garza LT 28, 34, 61 Crew 7, Crew 10 SMO/NSO
22 Delaney LT 18 Crew 2
23 Easterling LCDR 26, 54 Crew 6 AMO
24 Eastman LT 34 Crew 10
25 Elston LT 28 Crew 7 Safety Natops
26 Fleming LTJG 24 Crew 5
27 Foppiano LTJG 41 HSO/DAPA
28 Frye LT 26 Crew 6 Safety Natops
29 Fulgham LT 30, 52 Crew 8 COMM/CMS
30 Gardinal LT 54 MMCO
31 Gilmer LT
32 Gnibus LT 50 AIO
33 Grunder LT 28, 42 Crew 7 Legal
34 Haloburdo LT 30 Crew 8
35 Harrington LTJG 22 Crew 4
36 Hill LT
37 Holbrook CWO4 57 Material Control
38 Hulse ENS
39 Jenson LT 22 Crew 4
40 Johnson LCDR 36. 54 Crew 11 MO
41 Kelly LTJG 32 Crew 9
42 Kim LT 34, 41 Crew 10 HSO/DAPA
43 Klepper LCDR 46 Operations
44 Lanoue LT 20 Crew 3
45 Lawson LCDR 18 Crew 2 Safety Natops
46 Lewis LT 16 Crew 1 Safety Natops
47 Lilienstein ENS
48 Macquoid LT 24 Crew 5
49 Mantay LT 36, 46 Crew 11 Operations
50 McGee LT 20 Crew 3 Operations
51 O’Connor LT 28 Crew 7
52 Phillips LTJG
53 Ralston LT 22 Crew 4
54 Robinson LT 16 Crew 1
55 Saiki LT 26, 47 Crew 6 Tactics
56 Salomon LCDR 32, 47 Crew 9 Tactics
57 Sapsis LTJG 18 Crew 2
58 Scanlon LT 22, 47 Crew 4 Tactics
59 Scarry LT 16 Crew 1
60 Slocum LT 18, 47 Crew 2 Tactics
61 Smith LCDR 36, 46 Crew 11 Operations
62 Spiers LT 22, 51 Crew 4 SMO/NSO
63 Springer LT 20 Crew 3 HSO/DAPA
64 Swanson LT 34 Crew 10
65 Tamashiro LT 20 Crew 3
66 Thomure LT 32, 51 Crew 9 SMO/NSO
67 Tregoning LT 32 Crew 9 HSO/DAPA
68 Westerkom ENS 24 Crew 5
69 Wooden LT 24 Crew 5
Chiefs
70 Baranda ASC 58 Tool Room
71 Barbour AMHC 55 Maint Control
72 Boroughs AWC 24, 47, 48/49 Crew 5 Tactics AW’s
73 Cheyney ADCS 55 Maint Control
74 Clark PRC PR/AME Shop
75 Davis PRCS
76 Gorman ATC 36 Crew 11
77 Grogan AWC 48/49 Operations AW’s Safety Natops
78 Hagood AWC 34, 48/49 Crew 10 AW’s Safety Natops
79 Hollingworth AEC 55 Maint Control
80 Holzboog AVCM 4
81 Hunt ADCS 34 Crew 10 FE
82 Kascsak ADC 41 HSO/DAPA FE
83 Kelley AEC FE
84 Land YNC 38 Administration
85 McEntee ATCS QA
86 Quiogue ADC 55, 67 Maint Control Power Plants
87 Read AWC 30, 48/49 Crew 8 AW’s
88 Rhoads AZC 56 Maint Admin
89 Sanftner ADC 55 Maint Control
90 Shields ATC 56 Maint Admin
91 Stair AVCM 54 MMCPO
Enlisted
92 Adams YN3 38 Administration
93 Adams ATAN 70 AIMD
94 Aitken HM3 43 Medical
95 Akiona AE2 30, 59, 60 Crew 8 FE AE’s
96 Allen ADAN
97 Anderson PN1 42 CC
98 Anderson AE1 60 AE’s
99 Anderson AD2 62 Line Shop
100 Angel AD2 18, 59 Crew 2 FE
101 Armendariz AE2 70 AIMD
102 Ashby AWAN 62 Line Shop
103 Ates AW1 26, 48/49 Crew 6 AW’s
104 Avery AT3 61 AT’s
105 Badger AT3 61 AT’s
106 Bailey AA 62 Line Shop
107 Barney AE1 69 QA
108 Barnstein AO3 70 AIMD
109 Baskin PR3 68 PR/AME Shop
110 Baumgardner AW3 24, 32, 47, 48/49 Crew 5, Crew 9 Tactics AW’s
111 Bayani PR3 68 PR/AME Shop
112 Beabes AME1 68 PR/AME Shop
113 Beauman AN
114 Beeson AD2
115 Berryman AK3 57 Material Control
116 Bertram AE1 60, AE’s
117 Bertsch AO2 24, 64/65 Crew 5 Ordnance Shop
118 Bitzelberger AW2 16, 47, 48/49 Crew 1 Tactics AW’s
119 Bitzer AN
120 Blain IS3 50 AIO
121 Booker AN 39 Personnel
122 Brown AO3 64/65 Ordnance Shop
123 Brown AW2 16, 34, 47, 48/49 Crew 1, Crew 10 Tactics AW’s
124 Buel AMH3 70 AIMD
125 Byrne AT2 20, 61 Crew 3 AT’s
126 Callaghan AE3 20, 59 Crew 3 FE
127 Camacho AT1 16, 61 Crew 1 AT’s
128 Cambell AN 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
129 Campbell AW1 36, 48/49 Crew 11 AW’s
130 Carden AN
131 Carter AT3 18 Crew 2
132 Castle AT3 61 AT’s
133 Cathey AW2 16, 48/49 Crew 1 AW’s
134 Chaffin YN3 38 Administration
135 Clark AT2 70 AIMD
136 Clark AZ2 55 Maint Control
137 Clay AO3 66 Corrosion Shop
138 Coffelt AW3 20, 48/49 Crew 3 AW’s
139 Coladonato AMS3 59 FE
140 Cole ADAN
141 Colmer AW3 22, 48/49 Crew 4 AW’s
142 Cook AD2 67 Power Plants
143 Courtney DK1 40
144 Cousins AMH2 63 Airframes
145 Cuento AD3 66, 67 Corrosion Shop Power Plants
146 Cunningham AW3 28, 48/49 Crew 7 AW’s
147 Davis AO1 64/65 Ordnance Shop
148 Davis ADAN 36, 59 Crew 11 FE
149 Davis AMH2 34, 59 Crew 10 FE
150 Demarino AO2
151 Depew AMH2 63 Airframes
152 Derrington AO3 64/65 Ordnance Shop
153 Dewald AO2 64/65 Ordnance Shop
154 Dorpinghaus AE2 30, 59 Crew 8 FE
155 Dozier AE1 20, 59 Crew 3 FE
156 Duplito AD3 70 AIMD
157 Durante AW2 18, 48/49 Crew 2 Operations AW’s
158 Durrance AW2 28, 48/49, 53 Crew 7 AW’s Safety Natops
159 Duszkiewicz AMS2 66 Corrosion Shop
160 Dutrieux AMS2 18, 59 Crew 2 FE
161 Dwyer AMS1 52, 66 COMM/CMS Corrosion Shop
162 Eagle AO1 22, 64/65 Crew 4 Ordnance Shop
163 Edgren AW2 18, 48/49 Crew 2 AW’s
164 Edwards AME3 68 PR/AME Shop
165 Esteves AMSAN 66 Corrosion Shop
166 Ferguson AT2 70 AIMD
167 Ferrera AMS1 63 Airframes
168 Festervand AT3 70 AIMD
169 Fischer PRAN 68, 70 PR/AME Shop AIMD
170 Flinn AO1 34, 64/65 Crew 10 Ordnance Shop
171 Fluegel PH2 26, 50 Crew 6 AIO
172 Fox AT3 61, 70 AT’s AIMD
173 Frees AO2 36, 53, 64/65 Crew 11 Safety Natops Ordnance Shop
174 Garrett AA 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
175 Garver AW2 18, 48/49 Crew 2 AW’s
176 Glenn AE3 60 AE’s
177 Godboldte AD2 67 Power Plants
178 Gonzales AW2 20, 48/49 Crew 3 AW’s
179 Grady MS3 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
180 Grant AA 66 Corrosion Shop
181 Grider ATAN 61 AT’s
182 Grisham AD1 59 FE
183 Hannah AE3 60 AE’s
184 Hanson AWAN 32, 48/49 Crew 9 AW’s
185 Harn AT3 61 AT’s
186 Harris AK3 57 Material Control
187 Hart AW2 48/49 AW’s
188 Hill AO3 16, 64/65 Crew 1 Ordnance Shop
189 Houck AD2 67 Power Plants
190 House PR1 68 PR/AME Shop
191 Housley AN 60 AE’s
192 Howard AMS2
193 Huitt AT2 70 AIMD
194 Hume AT1
195 Jackson AE3 60 AE’s
196 Jacobs AD2 67 Power Plants
197 Jacques AO3 64/65 Ordnance Shop
198 Jones PR3 68, 70 PR/AME Shop AIMD
199 Jones AMSAN
200 Jordan AT3 61 AT’s
201 Julian AE2 28, 59 Crew 7 FE
202 Kidson AO1 28, 64/65 Crew 7 Ordnance Shop
203 Kilmartin AMSAN 63 Airframes
204 Kinchen YN3 38 Administration Operations
205 Kinney AMHAN 63 Airframes
206 Kinney AMH1 36, 59 Crew 11 FE
207 Kirk YN1 38. 52 Administration COMM/CMS
208 Knight AK1 57 Material Control
209 Kosler AMH2 32, 59 Crew 9 FE
210 Lamothe AD1 24, 59 Crew 5 FE
211 Lancaster ADAN 22, 59 Crew 4 FE
212 Lapierre AMS1 24, 59 Crew 5 FE
213 Lee AO1 32 Crew 9
214 Lefemine AW3 20, 48/49 Crew 3 AW’s
215 Leslie PN1 39 Personnel
216 Ling AW1 48/49 AW’s
217 Loge AMSAN 70 AIMD
218 Lundborg AW2 48/49 AW’s
219 Lunsford AN 62 Line Shop
220 Lyles MS2 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
221 Maddock AE3 60 AE’s
222 Marini AE3 60 AE’s
223 Marty AW2 30, 48/49 Crew 8 AW’s
224 Mayberry AW2 26 Crew 6
225 Mayer AD1 67 Power Plants
226 McClafferty ATAN 61, 70 AT’s AIMD
227 McClellan AN 62 Line Shop
228 McClintock AW2 16 Crew 1 Operations
229 McDaniel YN2 38 Administration
230 McDaniel AMS2 63 Airframes
231 McGregor AD3 70 AIMD
232 McLearran AT3 61 AT’s
233 McMullen AD3 67 Power Plants
234 McNeal AZ2 56 Maint Admin
235 Meath AE1 22, 59 Crew 4 FE
236 Medows ADAN 67 Power Plants
237 Mejia MS2 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
238 Metcalfe AT1 22, 61 Crew 4 AT’s
239 Michalak AW3 48/49 AW’s
240 Miller PH3 50 AIO
241 Montana ATAN 70 AIMD
242 Montez AK3 57 Material Control
243 Moore AW2 32, 48/49 Crew 9 AW’s
244 Moss AK3 57 Material Control
245 Moyd ADAN
246 Mullins AN 60 AE’s
247 Neilson AT3 61 AT’s
248 Nelson AME3 68 PR/AME Shop
249 Neri AD1
250 Nguyen ADAN
251 Nuebling AT3
252 O’Leary AE2 59 FE
253 Odell AD2 67 Power Plants
254 Pabona AE3 60 AE’s
255 Pakaki AZ1 56 Maint Admin
256 Perry AN 62 Line Shop
257 Peterson AT2
258 Pettis AMS1 69 QA
259 Plauman ATAN 34, 61 Crew 10 AT’s
260 Prather AW3 28, 48/49 Crew 7 AW’s
261 Probansky AZ1 69 QA
262 Quesada AD2 67 Power Plants
263 Quinones AT1 61 AT’s
264 Ramey AT3 66 Corrosion Shop
265 Ramirez PN3 39 Personnel
266 Randolph AT3 28, 53 Crew 7 Safety Natops
267 Rash AT3 70 AIMD
268 Reynolds AE1 24 Crew 5
269 Reynolds MSSN 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
270 Robinson AKAN 57 Material Control
271 Roper IS2 50 AIO
272 Rovreit AT3 24, 61 Crew 5 AT’s
273 Rowell AE2 70 AIMD
274 Ruleau AME1 68 PR/AME Shop
275 Russ AO2 18, 58 Crew 2 Tool Room
276 Salcido AMH1 28, 59, 69 Crew 7 FE QA
277 Salter AZ2 55 Maint Control
278 Saramo DK2 40
279 Schiele AW3 36, 48/49 Crew 11 AW’s
280 Schmies YNSN 38 Administration Operations
281 Schneider AT3 61 AT’s
282 Schneider AMSAN 66 Corrosion Shop
283 Schraven ADAN 16, 59 Crew 1 FE
284 Seedorf HM2 43 Medical
285 Sevier AT3 61 AT’s
286 Shaffer AT2 70 AIMD
287 Shaw AO2 64/65 Ordnance Shop
288 Sims AW2 48/49 AW’s
289 Sims YN2 38 Administration
290 Singletary AMS1
291 Slone PH3 50 AIO
292 Smith AT2 70 AIMD
293 Snyder AN 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
294 Souls AZ2 69 QA
295 Staley ADAN 58 Tool Room
296 Stamey YN2 38 Administration
297 Stewart AD1
298 Stoddard AW1 48/49 AW’s
299 Stone AS2 62 Line Shop
300 Stroud AT3 70 AIMD
301 Sumerall AO2 26, 64/65 Crew 6 Ordnance Shop
302 Swanson DP1 52 COMM/CMS
303 Takase PN1 39 Personnel
304 Talamoa AE2 60 AE’s
305 Terwilliger AW3 30, 48/49 Crew 8 AW’s
306 Thoemmes AMSAN
307 Thompson AT3 32, 61 Crew 9 AT’s
308 Thompson AT3
309 Thompson AO1 69 QA
310 Towk AOAN 20, 64/65 Crew 3 Ordnance Shop
311 Trimble AW1 47, 48/49 Operations Tactics AW’s
312 Tuggle AMEAN 68 PR/AME Shop
313 Uter AK2 57 Material Control
314 Vanvalkenburgh PC3 42 PC
315 Vaughn AMH2 26, 53, 59 Crew 6 FE Safety Natops
316 Villa AT3 30 Crew 8
317 Wallace AWAN 24, 48/49 Crew 5 AW’s
318 Wareham ATAN 61 AT’s
319 Wareham AW1 22, 48/49 Crew 4 AW’s
320 Warren ATAN 26 Crew 6
321 Warringer AWAN 34 Crew 10
322 Watson AMS3 70 AIMD
323 Wilkins MS3 44/45 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
324 Williams AD2 67 Power Plants
325 Wilson AMS1 63 Airframes
326 Wingate AW2 36, 48/49 Crew 11 AW’s
327 Winget AMSAN 63 Airframes
328 Winslow YN3 38 Administration Operations
329 Wiseman MS1 Coffee Mess / First Lieutenant
330 Wood AT2 61 AT’s
331 Wren AE3 70 AIMD
332 Wynn AWAN 48/49 AW’s
333 Yarrington AT1 53 Safety Natops
334 Zavodny AO1 30, 64/65 Crew 8 Ordnance Shop
335 Zuniga AT3 61, 70 AT’s AIMD

JMSDF Detachment visits Kaneohe Bay

LT Jan R. Krsak
Public Affairs Officer
VP-4 Kaneohe Bay, HI

On Monday, September 21 2015, The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Detachment 50 from Patrol Squadron 5 arrived at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. JMSDF Patrol Squadron 5 is based in Naha Air Base on the island of Okinawa and currently flies the P-3 Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Over a span of 4,500 miles, the squadron managed to bring two aircraft and full maintenance support. JMSDF will be working in conjunction with Patrol Squadron 4 (VP-4) for about three weeks aiming to foster international relations and cohesiveness between the JMSDF and United States Navy.

On Friday, September 25, the JMSDF conducted a local area familiarization flight with one of VP-4’s combat air crews. “I was impressed with their professionalism and crew cohesiveness. I was also fascinated by how well maintained and clean their aircraft was.” Said LT Jack Turner, a pilot assigned to VP-4.

The detachment is projected to conduct a torpedo exercise and joint coordinated operations with U.S. Navy ships and aircraft. The exercises designed to continuously contribute to honorable international relations between the JMSDF and United States Navy.

Japan navy

Post reunion survey for the 2015 VP-4 All Hands Reunion

Create your own user feedback survey

Survey coming for the attendees of the 2015 Reunion

Hi folks,

There will be a survey coming out VERY soon about the 2015 VP-4 Association All Hands Reunion that was held in New Orleans.  I’m putting out this post to let you all know it’s coming, and to let you know the super secret password to fill out the survey.  We’ll be publishing the survey here and through Facebook.

The password is ….  VP4Ever

If you access the survey through the website here, and not the Facebook link that’s coming you will need that password.  If you access the survey through Facebook, you will not need the password.

 

Cheers,

Chad

2017 VP-4 Reunion?

When’s the next reunion you ask? Where will it be held? Will there be free booze and soda/coffee in the “Ready Room”? Will Chad be there?
 
These are all great questions, and I (your humble web admin) will try and answer them for you.
 
The next VP-4 All Hands Reunion will be held sometime in the late summer or early fall (think September to Mid October) of 2017 in Washington DC. As always with this squadron, there will be a no host bar in the hospitality/”ready room”, so make sure you have paid your membership dues so we’re not stuck drinking Pepsi Blue and rotgut whiskey.
Start planning and putting the word out to your shipmates so we can make this the best reunion in the history of reunions!

Patrol Squadron Four conducted a search and rescue mission September 2015

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and good Samaritans aboard a fishing boat helped rescue a sailing vessel that was taking on water Wednesday, September 9th approximately 30 miles north of the island of Maui. At around 11:45 a.m., the 36-foot Honey Cutter enroute from Hawaii to San Diego sent a SOS message that stated the vessel had suffered a keel fracture and was taking on water.

The Coast Guard requested help last week from Patrol Squadron Four based in Kaneohe Bay and good Samaritans on board the Captain Kenneth, located approximately 40 miles from the Honey Cutter. The Navy’s P-3C Orion arrived on scene and quickly established communications with the distressed vessel. The crew remained overhead for several hours and coordinated the arrival of the Captain Kenneth to the scene. The efforts of the aircrew helped ensure a successful meet up and tow with the two boats. Were it not for the capabilities and training of the aircraft and crew, the distressed boat may have capsized into the ocean stranding the crew. The Honey Cutter crew said they were prepared to abandon ship and were manually dewatering the vessel. The Captain Kenneth arrived on scene and was able to start towing the Honey Cutter at around 11 p.m. No injuries have been reported.

-LT Krsak
Patrol Squadron Four PAO.

VP-4 P-3

Emerson, John “Jack” Robert, CAPT, VP-4 Pilot and XO/CO – 1954-1956 and 1968/1969-1970

1969-1970 Cruise Book Page 02 PG-007 886739Captain John R. Emerson USN (Ret), age 93, was born March 26, 1922 and passed August 11, 2015 at home in Bend, Oregon. Born in Busby, Alberta, Canada to John Robert MacDonald Ritchie and Jessie Whitson Carmichael (Emerson) (Ritchie) (Urquhart). Mother and sons moved to Oakland, California in 1924, becoming US citizen in 1940. He is survived by Alice, his wife and childhood sweetheart of 70 years to whom he gives much credit for her support and adaptability, and his six children John, Janice, Phillip, Kenneth, Scott. His son Ross preceded him.

He joined the Navy in July 1942 in hopes of becoming a Naval Aviation Pilot. Trained as an aviation machinist mate, southwest pacific bases became his assignment. In 1944, he was offered a temporary officer commission or enlisted flight training. He joined the Navy to fly. One of his first aircraft was a Stearman biplane, wearing a leather helmet and a pigskin jacket, which is still wearable today. In the latter years, when someone asked for a new flight jacket, Capt. Emerson said “Have a seat, let me tell you about my jacket.”

Aviation Pilot First Class Emerson flew with FASRON 119 in Saipan, Marianas Islands taking on the roles of maintenance officer, technical librarian and operations officer. The squadron received a perfect audit for the first time. Assigned to VR-3 (Moffett Field), he made chief in 1951 and was one of the Navy’s first pilots to fly and instruct in the R6D (C-118) aircraft. From 1953-55, he was one of 15 APs to acquire a regular officer commission, completing 2 years of college equivalency in 1 to graduate as a Naval Aviator. In 1962 he received his BS degree and in 1971 two Masters degrees at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.

20+ aircraft later, became Commanding Officer of VP-4, a Pentagon Navy planner, CinC-PacFlt staff in Hawaii until 1981, his last assignment was as CO of Naval Air Reserve Unit, NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.

With his retirement in Sept 1982, Capt. Emerson brought to a close 40 years of continuous naval service, marking the end of a special breed of Navy flyers – Naval Aviation Pilots (NAPs) whose national association is known as the Silver Eagles. Occasionally someone would look at his original flight jacket and ask “What is an AP1?”. The ex-enlisted pilot would smile and say, “Have a seat, let me tell you all about it.”
– See more at: http://www.bairdmortuaries.com/obituary/John-R.-Emerson/Bend-OR/1536929#sthash.K3h2zA44.dpuf

 

VP-4 Coins

From a Facebook post by Brian LaFlamme

I saw a post almost a year ago about a VP-4 coin. I would like to see this happen so I have been working with http://www.militaryservicecompany.com to come up with a design (Skinny Dragon on the front and a P-3 flying over Oahu on the back. The attached photos show the design, the diagonal edge, and an example of the 3D look.
I am not selling these coins as I do not want to make a profit, so I am looking for “donations” to cover the cost of the coin, packaging, and postage. However, I need a minimum of 100 people to make this happen. Based on the cost of the coin, packaging, postage, I expect the per coin cost at ~$15.00. The only thing I do not have worked out is the “donation”, e.g., payment by check to a PO Box or by PayPay through a friend’s website. Any suggestions are appreciated.
Let’s do this!!!

Coin Specifics:
Material: Bronze soft enamel;
Size:1.75″, diameter, round shape;
Color: 5c on front, without color on back;
Diagonal cut edge (as attached photo);
Antique silver plating; and
3 sides polishing.

VP-4 moving to NAS Whidbey Island, WA

Time for another chapter in the history of Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4).  As reported in SeaPower magazine on July 17th 2015,  VP-4 will be transitioning to the P-8A and changing duty stations from MCAS Kaneohe Bay to NAS Whidbey Island.

Here is the link to the article on the SeaPaower web site: http://www.seapowermagazine.org/stories/20150717-patrol-squadrons.html and the article itself.

Posted: July 17, 2015 12:07 PM

Navy Shift of Hawaii-Based Patrol Squadrons to Whidbey Island Set for 2016

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has set in motion its plan to shift its patrol squadrons based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to Whidbey Island, Wash., as they make the transition to the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4) is scheduled to change duty stations on Oct. 1, 2016, from Marine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay to Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island. The squadron will go through transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A at NAS Jacksonville, Fla.

VP-4 will begin the transition as the last of six active-duty VP squadrons based at Jacksonville completes transition to the P-8A. VP-4 will join three VP squadrons at Whidbey Island and will be followed in succession by the other two VP squadrons based at Kaneohe Bay, VP-9 and VP-47.

The Navy’s strategic laydown plan calls for 12 active-duty VP squadrons and two Reserve VP squadrons divided between Jacksonville and Whidbey Island. When completed, it will end more than 80 years of permanent basing of patrol squadrons in Hawaii.

This move is a bit of a coming home for  VP-4 as it was our first duty station after being formed up at Naval Auxiliary Air Station Miramar, CA.  The squadron was first stationed at NAS Whidbey Island in the spring of 1948 and stayed there until our move to Naha, Okinawa in 1956.

 

Igniting the Spark: VP-4 participates in ‘Discover Your Future in Aviation’

Navy LT Julie Reichel
Patrol Squadron FOUR

VP-4 Discover your future in Aviation 2015Recently four pilots from Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4) represented the United States Navy at the Pacific Aviation Museum’s sixth annual “Discover Your Future in Aviation.”

The purpose of this year’s “Discover Your Future in Aviation” was to expose young people to the thrills and joys of a career in aviation. For many people, the highlights of the event were the guest speakers, including Jessica Cox, the first licensed armless pilot; Rob Kelso, a former NASA flight director; and Lt. Col. Karen Fuller Brannen, the first female Marine F-18 pilot. In addition to the guest speakers the event also showcased a handful of both active and retired aircraft accompanied by their respective pilots and volunteers.

To help play their part in exposing young people to aviation, the pilots of VP-4 spent the afternoon in front of a bright yellow RC-3 “Seabee,” a post-World War II amphibious aircraft, and helped children climb in and out of the cockpit. Additionally, the pilots also took the time to pin “wings of gold” on the children’s chests.  Noting how knowledgeable some of the children were, many of the VP-4 pilots realized that this wasn’t their first exposure to aviation or aircraft.

Corbin Lewis, 11, knew enough about planes to finish one of the pilot’s sentences. When his mother, Nola, was asked where his fascination comes from, she replied “His whole life is flying. We take him to every air show we can find, we come to the museum a lot, and he even walks around the house in a flight suit.” Corbin Lewis is also the youngest person to ever request to volunteer at the Pacific Aviation Museum and dreams of one day becoming a military pilot.

Another visitor, 3-year-old Henry, hardly spoke a word that was not related to his toy planes or his pilot uncle. Looking at the yellow amphibious plane, he became so excited that he, uncharacteristically, was hardly able to speak. Watching Henry, as well as many other children, climb into the plane was like watching a person’s first taste of chocolate. The smile that transformed their faces and the excitement that shown from their eyes conveyed the beginning spark of passion that has captured aviators for more than 100 years.

The VP-4 pilots said they truly enjoyed their time at the “Discover Your Future in Aviation” event and they felt fortunate to play a part in exposing the thrills of aviation to so many young people.

“I really enjoyed introducing children to aviation,” said LTJG Branden Roy, a VP-4 pilot. “It was great to see how enthusiastic the kids felt about learning to fly and becoming pilots someday.”

LTJG Katie Medford-Davis agreed.  “It was great to represent VP-4 (in) the community and to see how many kids are excited about aviation today,” she said.