Passing of VP-4 Vet AOC Bill Parris USN (Ret) VP-4 1962 – 1965

Bill was the Ordnanceman in Crew 6 and was in the AO shop while in VP-4. He also served in VP-42 and VP-45.

Bill Parris, age 83, of Ellijay, GA passed away Thursday, March 9, 2017, at his home. Mr. Parris was born on July 7, 1933, in Blue Ridge, GA to the late William Lester Parris and Lillie Davis Parris. He was retired from the United States Navy and was of the Christian faith.

He is survived by his wife, Juanita Sowers Parris of Ellijay, GA; stepdaughters and their husbands, Gale and John Dover of Clarksville, GA, Judy and Maborn Worley of Cornelia, GA, Joan Burch of Ellijay, GA, Melodie Colbert of Blue Ridge, GA, Teresa and Norman Norwood of Blairsville, GA, and Glenda and Danny Crooke of Ellijay, GA; sister, Ruby Sowers of Blue Ridge, GA; nephews, Max Parris and Bill Sowers both of Blue Ridge, GA; 15 Grandchildren, 21 Great-Grandchildren, and 3 Great-Great-Grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Monday, March 13, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. from the Akins Chapel with Norman Norwood and Rev. Ed O’Neal officiating. Music will be by Lori O’Neal. Pallbearers will be Buck Dover, Josh Dover, John Dover, William Lee Parris, Eric Sowers, and Nathan Sowers. Honorary pallbearers will be Nick Savage, David English, Michael Grier, and Terry Davis. The family will meet with friends at the funeral home Monday from 9:00 a.m. until the service hour of 11:00 a.m. Graveside services will be held Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at 12:30 p.m. from the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA with military honors by the United States Navy. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.akinsfuneralhome.com. Akins Funeral Home of Blue Ridge is in charge of arrangements.

 

 

 

 


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

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 ADC William O. Tuite USN (Ret) VP-4 1978 – 1982

Bill served in VP-4 from 1978 to 1982 flying as a Flight Engineer.

TUITE, William Oliver, of Hackensack, passed away on Tuesday, December 27, 2016, at the age of 69 years. He served his country in the United States Navy for 20 years and was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He then went on to work for General Electric Company in Italy, France, Lynn Massachusetts and White Plains, NY as an engineer. He was a parishioner of Holy Trinity R. C. Church and a lifetime member of the American Legion. Beloved husband of Carla M. (nee Viola). Loving father of Michele Brown and her husband Tommy of Jacksonville and David Osimo and his wife Laia of Barcelona, Spain. Cherished grandfather of Kristin, Justin, Theti, Fiamma, Ona and Maria. Dearest brother of the late Thomas Tuite. The funeral on Saturday, December 31st [2016], at 9:15 AM from the G. Thomas Gentile Funeral Home, 397 Union Street, Hackensack. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 AM, at Holy Trinity R.C. Church, 34 Maple Avenue, Hackensack with cremation following at Cedar Lawn Crematory. The family will receive friends on Friday evening from 7 – 9 PM. The family prefers in lieu of flowers that you honor his memory with a memorial donation to the John Theu-rer Cancer Center, 92 Second Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601. To send condolences, directions, or further information visit www.gentilefuneralservice.com
Published in The Record on Dec. 29, 2016
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/northjersey/obituary.aspx?n=William-Oliver-TUITE&pid=183245702#sthash.vPV4wvhE.dpuf

 

 

 

 


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

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

Passing of VP-4 Vet AD1 John J. W. Honaker USN (Ret) VP-4 1961 – 1963

honaker-john-3John J. Honaker served with VP-31, VP-4 (05/1961-12/1963) on the Line Crew and in Power Plants, Commander, Seventh FLeeT (COM7THFLT) Det “A”, VP-40 (P5M), VR-51 (1970-1972) at NAS Glenview, Illinois, VR-54 (1973-1975) at NAS New Orleans, Louisiana, NAS Glenview, Illinois (1975-1980) as an instructor (C118B Flight Simulator), VR-46 (1980-1982)at NAS Atlanta, Georgia and retired 08/1982 as AD1.

———————————————————————————————————

John J. W. Honaker, 74, Green Bay, died unexpectedly Tuesday, September 27, 2016. He was born on August 28, 1942, in Winchester Center, CT to Marshall Vanmeter and Elizabeth (Bement) Honaker.

Following graduation from Oliver Wolcott Technical School, John enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served his country for 22 years and retired in 1982 with the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class. John served for four years in Vietnam and received two Purple Hearts. He survived both a plane and a helicopter crash. John visited 135 countries and had been around the world four times, including trips to both the North and South Poles.

On January 8, 1983, John was united in marriage to Mary Elizabeth Hindmon in the chapel at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, GA. After his military career, he worked in industrial maintenance until his retirement in 2004. John and Mary Elizabeth moved to Green Bay in 2004. He was very active in the Disabled Veterans Chapter 3. John served as past Commander and past District Commander. He was an ordained Minister and served as Chapter 3 and Wisconsin State Chapter Chaplain. John was a member of the Desert Vets, Vietnam Veterans Association, the Trench Rats, and served in the D.A.V. Honor Guard.

John is survived by his wife, Mary Elizabeth; son, John Joseph Wesley Honaker II; two stepsons, Alvin Leroy “Skip” Davis Jr., and Alan (D.J.) Davis; five grandchildren, Ashley Honaker, John Joseph Honaker III, Danielle Davis, Brianna (Mack) Koebach, and Tyler Davis; two great-grandchildren, Rylie and Harper; brother, Allen David Honaker; two sisters, Roberta Singleton and Susan Ruth Honaker, aka Sr. St. Paul Augustine; other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends may call at Blaney Funeral Home, 1521 Shawano Ave., from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Friends may also call from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home, followed by the Funeral Service at 11 a.m. with Rev. Gerry Mathisen officiating. Burial with full Military Honors will be in Fort Howard Memorial Park. To send online condolences, please go to www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in John’s name to benefit the D.A.V. Honor Guard.

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30, 2016

http://www.blaneyfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=3906951&fh_id=13215

 

Photos are from obituary, 1962 VP-4 Cruise Book and 2015 VP-4 Reunion.

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

Passing of VP-4 Vet Billy Webster Matthews LT VP-4 1950 – 1952

Mary Matthews, widow of Billy W. Matthews, sent me a note in response to the postcard I sent about the upcoming reunion. Unfortunately, Billy has passed away.

Billy Matthews reported to VP-4 as an Ensign in 1950. He was a pilot assigned to Crew 8 and served as Legal Officer.

Matthews, Billy W.Billy “Bill” W. Matthews, 87, of Beaumont, died Tuesday, February 9, 2016, at Christus Hospital – St. Elizabeth. He was born on October 25, 1928, in Atkins, Arkansas, to Tempie Bowden and Roy Matthews. Bill graduated from Little Rock High School and Arkansas Tech before joining the United States Navy where he became a Naval Aviator and obtained the Rank of Lieutenant. After active duty and while continuing to serve in the reserves, Bill attended Southern Methodist University where he met his wife of sixty years, Mary Prentiss. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Bill concluded his studies at the University of Houston where he obtained his degree in pharmacology. Bill dedicated his professional career to Walgreen’s where he served as a pharmacist and store manager for thirty-three years. He was honored by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow. Bill was also an endowed member of the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry and a devoted member and servant of Trinity United Methodist Church and the Hamaco Sunday school class for fifty-three years. Bill’s passions included flying, which he continued privately with family and friends long after his twenty year naval service; playing bridge competitively and socially, and traveling with family and friends. He loved nurturing his two sons as they matured through scouts, sports, education, and life’s great lessons. His philanthropy was most felt in his hometown of Atkins where he supported Boy Scout Troop 228 and funded the renovation of the civic center which bears the name of his grandfather. Bill cherished his relationships established as a youth in Arkansas but even more dear, were the many Beaumont friends he and Mary came to love over the past fifty years. Survivors include his wife, Mary Prentiss Matthews of Beaumont; sons, William Whit W. Matthews and his wife, Shana Brock, of Windermere, Florida and Ross P. Matthews and his wife, Rebecca Hedges, of Houston; and grandchildren, Ellen E. Matthews and Olivia K. Matthews, both of Houston. He is preceded in death by his parents. A gathering of Mr. Matthews’ family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Friday, February 12, 2016, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. His funeral service will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 13, 2016, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3430 Harrison Avenue, Beaumont, with interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont. Complete and updated information may be found at: broussards1889.com.

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/beaumontenterprise/obituary.aspx?n=Billy-W-Matthews-Bill&pid=177692096#sthash.PvBRqCrH.dpuf


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

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 ADC Raymond F. Newhouse USN (Ret) VP-4 1958 – 1961

Fallen ShipmateI received the sad news recently of the passing of VP-4 Vet Raymond F. Newhouse.

Ray served as Plane Captain on Crew 3 in 1959/1960. After his advancement to ADC he worked in Power Plants.
After his tour in VP-4 he transferred to Attack Squadron 122 at USNAS Moffett Field and USNAS Lemoore. He retired October 1963, settling in San Jose, California. Ray then spent the next 28 years in the private sector working for FMC Corp. and ESD Corp.
Upon retiring from the private sector Ray and his family moved to Mission Viejo, California where he passed away 4/21/16

No obituary has been published. Condolence cards may be sent to:

Mrs. Raymond F. Newhouse
21952 Buena Suerte Apt 154
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688-3928

Passing of VP-4 Vet CMC Tommy J. Templeton Jr.USN (Ret) VP-4 1967 – 1969

Templeton,Tommy J.This sad news was passed to me today by Neal Rosenstrom, VP-4 1967 – 1970.

Tommy was an AE2 flying as Flight Engineer on Crew 8 in 1967 and AE1 on Crew 9 in 1968-69.

Command Master Chief Tommy Jones Templeton Jr., 73, of Lawton, went to his heavenly home on Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Oklahoma City.

A memorial service with military honors for U.S Navy, Command Master Chief T.J. Templeton will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 14, 2016, at Comanche Nation Funeral Home.

T.J. was born May 22, 1943, in Bastrop, Texas, to Evie Boatright Templeton and Tom Jones Templeton, who preceded him in death, as did his sister, Joyce Marie.

T.J. is survived by his wife of 37 years, Birdie Domebo Templeton, of Lawton; two stepchildren: Kevin Squarcia and Monica Lannon; five grandchildren of California; his son, Eric of Washington; daughter, Theresa of Texas; brother, Bob Boatright; and sister-in-law, Sharon; and many nieces and nephews.

T.J. retired from the Pacific Missile Test Center at Point Magu, Calif., as a Command Master Chief in 1992 after 30 years of distinguished service to our nation, earning many awards and medals. He was proud of his 13,000 hours of flying. His awards and medals include Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation (5 awards), Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Citation (with operational conditions service), Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), Good Conduct Medal (7 awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4 awards), Navy Artic Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Colors) and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal ( 4 awards).

T.J. never met a stranger and was a great storyteller and fun-loving person who will be missed by many.

“High Flight by John McGee:”

“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter-Silvered Wings, Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung high in sunlit silence. Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.”

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Wounded Warriors.

http://www.swoknews.com/obituaries/tommy-jones-templeton

Templeton, Tommy J. 67 Templeton, Tommy J. 69

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

Passing of Former VP-4 C.O. CAPT Walter D. West III USN (Ret) VP-4 1978 – 1980

West, Walter 3Captain Walter David West III USN (Ret) of Fernandina Beach, Fla., passed away Sunday, June 12, 2016, at Sigsbee Naval Base in Key West, Fla. He was 75 years old.
Walt was born on June 9, 1941, to Walter David West Jr. and Eva Marie Lawton West. He grew up in Utica, N.Y. as the oldest of seven children. Throughout his youth, he worked on the family farm where his parents taught him the values of hard work and determination. He went to college for two years at the State University of New York at Delhi, where he majored in civil engineering. He would later earn his degree at the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterrey.
In February of 1963, he finished flight training and accepted a commission as an officer in the United States Navy. During his commission as a Naval Officer, he served in Vietnam and later was Commanding Officer of VP4 and Commanding Officer of Barber’s Point Naval Air Station, Hawaii. He finished his active duty at USSOCOM in Tampa, Fla. He retired in March of 1990.
After retiring from the Navy, he opened what he would cal la non-profit organization ­– a hardware store in Apollo Beach, Fla. He was then employed by J.A. Jones in Diego Garcia as Director of Base Operations. He completed his working career as Deputy Director of Base Operations at Naval Submarine Base – Kings Bay.
Though many of his proudest moments involved those spent with his family, he was always happy to help his friends, church, community and fellow vets.
An avid traveler, cyclist, and “Mr. Fix It,” Walt’s real and abiding passion were his family and friends. Walt sought to instill in his children and grandchildren a zest for life, a commitment to family and friends, and the power of a smile.
Walt is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Ardy. His beautiful life will forever be cherished in the lives of their three daughters: Terri, Tina and Wendy. He is survived by his three son-in-laws: Charlie, Glen and LaRoy. He will be greatly missed by his five grandchildren: Dustin, Drew, Hannah, Leah and Jessie. He is also survived by each of his brothers and sisters: Peggy, Shirley, Tom, Mike, Ken and Don.
In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be sent to the Fisher House and the Salvation Army Hope House on Amelia Island. His service will be held Saturday, June 25, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 9 N. Sixth St., Fernandina Beach, Fla.
Keep Smiling!

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.