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.
Michael B. Adams
Chair, VP-4 Association Board of Directors
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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.
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.
Steve “Andy” Andruszkewicz
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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.
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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!
Hopefully we will get a good turnout for the reunion. Since Chad got our website and the Facebook page up, I have sent email notices to 1056 VP-4 vets in our database and 1007 VP-4 vets who are members of Navy Together We Served. Postcard notices were mailed to 469 contacts without valid email addresses. I sent the reunion info to Military.com, VPNAVY.com, the Fleet Reserve Association, and to Shift Colors, The Newsletter for Navy Retirees.
Sign up now for the 2015 All Hands reunion of Patrol Squadron Four.
The VP-4 Association will be holding it’s bi-annual reunion in New Orleans, LA at the Crowne Plaza French Quarter New Orleans Hotel! The reunion will be held September 9th through the 13th 2015. Book now before the hotel rooms fill up.
Visit the VP-4 Association web site for more information on tours, hotel, and banquet options.
This article was originally printed in the Wings of Gold magazine Winter 2013 edition.
There were 160 people present at VP-4’s reunion held in Seattle, Washington 4-9 September 2013. Asked to be the Reunion’s banquet speaker was CDR Gordon Barnett, USN (Ret.). Fifteen of CDR Barnett’s shipmates from yesteryear were also in attendance. Following is a summary of his remarks.
I am “Dragon 13,” 89 years old, and exceptionally proud of having been the CO of VP-4 51 years ago when we were home-ported in Naha, Okinawa. Among our achievements back then were:
1. Two Battle Efficiency E Awards
2. Two CNO SafetyAwards
3. Two Arnold J. Isbell ASW Awards.
4. The highest first term re-enlistment rate of all 25 VP Squadrons at the time.
5. We out-flew all25 VP Squadrons in the world.
6. We transitioned from P2V-5 [Neptunes] to P2V-7s on Okinawa without missing an operational commitment.
7. The only way you knew it was a Sunday was that there were no doughnuts in the ready room.
. Our troops maintained 12 aircraft out in the open, through typhoons and many storms, because we had no hangar.
. We had the most beautiful wives among all the VP squadrons.
I received unsolicited letters from the skippers of two nuclear powered submarines while in command ofVP-4. Wrote the CO of USS Grudgeon (SS-567) on 7 April 1963:
“For the second time this WestPac tour it has been Grudgeon’s extreme pleasure to have rendered her services to your outstanding squadron. Your aircraft were on station the entire operating period. The attacks made were from excellent to outstanding. I wish to state that, in my submarine experience over a 14-year period, I have never had the pleasure of working with a finer airborne ASW outfit. The spirit and eagerness which your pilots displayed and the manner in which they conducted the exercises are exceptional. We congratulate you on winning your second Battle E, and, from our viewpoint, consider that you are well on your way to a third one. We hope that if we ever go to war that you guys will be on our side.”
W W. McKenzie Jr.
A quote from commanding officer USS Razorback (SS-394) dated 17Aprill963:
“It is always a pleasure to work with a group who know what they are doing, and having worked with most of the VP squadrons in the Pacific, I know how rare it is. Good hunting!
M. E. Davis”
I know of no other VP squadron that received a letter of commendation from the CO of a nuclear attack submarine. To be the skipper of VP-4 during 1962-63 was like driving 410 Mustangs, all at the same time. The ride was rough, but it was fun. I had served in four VP Squadrons and all were awarded the coveted Battle E. But none of them could hold a candle to VP-4.
My greatest fear in those days was that I might have to send a death notice to a next of kin. I had a sample that I personalized in my center desk drawer. I thank God I never had to send it.
After retiring from the Navy I went into business and was successful although, for a time I had health issues that took their toll. I became an alcoholic, had terrible family troubles but eventually recovered, and even spent time as a lay missionary. My wife, Elida, and I have been married for 35 years. I turn 90 in two months.
In all my time I have never seen a group of officers and men work with such high morale as those in VP-4 in the early 1960’s. I trust that today’s VP-4 personnel, under the command of Dragon 64, CDR Brent Strong, are surely like those it was my good fortune to command five decades ago.
All of you, then and now, men and women, are the greatest!
I attended the VP-4 reunion this past weekend in Seattle, WA. We were scheduled to get a tour of the Boeing Redding plant where the P-8 is being assembled. Since we had such a large group, we were not allowed at the plant for security reasons.
So we had a briefing at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field. The Boeing rep was a former TACCO in VP-4. He was in VP-4 during the late 1990’s. Some of this info will be a repeat of what I put out before.
So far VP-30, VP-16, and VP-5 have P-8’s. 10 planes have been delivered and they have flown 6000hrs and 1000 operational and training sorties since Feb 2012. VP-16 will deploy to Kadena, Okinawa this coming Dec.
The Mission systems are: updated multi-mode radar (7 modes), electro optics, ESM, acoustics; can monitor 64 sonobuoys. It has self-protection = chaff and flares. It missions will be ASW, ASuW, ISR, Maritime, and C-3.
The aircraft will carry 126 sonobuoys. There are 3 launchers that can hold 10 buoys each. They are pressurized; don’t have to depressurize the plane. There are individual tubes to launch buoys too. The new sonos will be more accurate and Boeing says there is no need for a mad boom now.
There is a weapons bay aft of the wings. It can hold 5 MK-52 torpedoes. There are 4 wing stations that will hold harpoon missiles.
There is a laser under the tail that is used for protection against inbound missiles.
The airplane has two engines generators and the apu has one. It will have 150% of the power required.
The aircraft will have 9 crew members, 3 pilots, 2 nfo, and 4 aw’s. There are 21 seating positions. There are 3 inertial systems on the plane. The NAV was referred as the second TACCO.
The engines are CFM-56 engines with 27,300 lbs. of thrust. Fuel flow at 200 ft. is 5500 lbs./hr. and at 20000 ft. it will be 5200 lbs./hr. The max ceiling is 41000 ft. and low altitude is 200ft. It has a range of 1200 miles with 4 hrs. on station. Max speed is 490 kts. Flt time will be 12 hours without in-flight refueling. With refueling it will be 22 hrs., that is based on the oil consumption on the engines. The Max gross weight will be 189,200 lbs.
The Navy will get 117 aircraft. The first 37 will be delivered thru 2015. They were allocated before sequester. Each aircraft costs $126 million. Each squadron will get 6 aircraft. They will be based at Jacksonville and Whidbey Is. Kaneohe will go away and will become a detachment site. Jax will convert first.
The fuselage are built in Wichita, KS and shipped by rail to the plant at Renton, WA. The wings, engines and tail are put on there. The plane goes to Boeing Field where the systems are installed and the plane is completed.
The Indian Navy is acquiring 8 aircraft. They wanted to have a MAD boom incorporated. Boeing had to make changes to the APU in the tail to make it work.
In the future the P-8 could control UAV’s from the plane. This doesn’t apply to the Global Hawk UAV. Also there might be UAV’s that could launch from the P-8. They would unfold their wings and fly under control from the P-8. The plane has CAT 3 landing capabilities, but the Navy will not certify the plane or keep the pilots or plane current. CAT 3 allows the pilot land in very low visibility. Also the plane has in-flight refueling capability. But the Navy is not going to do that for a couple of years.
It was interesting and informative to listen to the presentation.
The 2013 VP-4 Association reunion is ready to accept reservations. We have created several pages for you to get more information about events and hotel accommodations for the reunion, and also links to the hotel itself and the Military Reunion Planners (MRP) online registration form.
So please visit the VP4 Association website today; look under reunion information, and follow the path to the 2013 VP-4 Association All Hands Reunion
REUNION REMINDER!! VP-4 P2V OFFICERS Next Gathering in Charleston, SC Francis Marion Hotel September 11 – 13, 2012 Check out Sept 14 Rooms can be reserved by calling 877-756-2121 Ask for VP4 OFFICERS rate Cutoff date for our special reunion rate is August 12, 2012 More details to follow soon! Bob Kessler, Phone 702-363-3307 firstname.lastname@example.org