Newsletter #2

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December 4, 1999 Newsletter No. 2

Publisher’s Corner
It is a pleasure to be a part of the VP-4 Association. I can’t believe it’s only been a few weeks and I have gone from no contact with my old shipmates to having a list of addresses longer than my arm. Many thanks to Steve Andruszkewicz who found me through Warren Long who lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Bob McKee

I encourage everyone who has an e-mail address to register with Bob Zafran has worked hard to improve our ability to communicate with our old friends. Once you are registered you can post messages to its members via e-mail and you can also read and post group messages on the Web at I’m sure Bob Zafran,, was be happy to provide additional details.

VP-4 Association Web Site
It¹s Here!!!!! Our own VP-4 Association Web site ( created and managed by Chad Derrington, 89-92, is up and going. We are using a temporary site as we are also working on our own domain name “VP4Association” and its web location. If you know of any Internet Service Provider that can give us good rates on our site hosting, let Chad know, his e-mail address is listed below. In the meantime, visit our site and enter you particulars in the database. All of the information was be transferred to our permanent site. Remember, web based information (email/phone number, etc.) may not always be secure.
Bob Zafran and Chad Derrington.

Double Dipper’s History
It has been suggested that we should start a series on shipmates that have served more than one tour with VP-4. Bob Zafran is wasing to be the first contributor. His story is shown below. Bob says there are several who have served more that one tour. I’m sure it was be enjoyable reading. Therefore, all “Double Dippers” can call, write or e-mail Bob McKee with their VP-4 history.

VP-4 Association Roster Update
Steve Andruszkewicz is in the process of updating the Association records. He requests that each of us obtains the latest form from the VPNAVY web site ( Send the completed form to him at the address shown below. He wants to make sure all of our vital statistics are correct. If you are not on the Internet, contact Steve Andruszkewicz, at the address listed below, and a form was be sent to you via U.S. Mail.

Steve Andruszkewicz,

The VP-4 Association Volunteers
Hurry! – Hurry! – Hurry! – Only two positions remain open in the VP-4 Association. Don’t miss out on the fun we are going to have making this a great organization. It is important that all eras of VP-4 are represented so no one is left out. Anyone who wishes to volunteer for the two open slots can do so by contacting Earl Carpenter (see below).

Chairman: Earl Carpenter, (405) 321-2624,
Vice Chairman,
Vice Chairman,
Vice Chairman,
Treasurer: Barry Robinson (423) 693-9686
Newsletter Editor: Richard Douglas, (818) 249-8314,
Newsletter Publisher: Bob McKee, (480) 981-5778,
Jim Krauss, (708) 499-3571,
Database Manager:
eGroup Manager: Bob Zafran, (408) 972-0269,
VP-4 Web Page webmaster: Chad Derrington, (503) 356-9638,

2001 Reunion Volunteers
Thanks to Bob Kessler for volunteering to help out with the reunion, now only four positions remain open. I have been told that the past reunions have been a blast. I’m sorry I was not able to be part of the previous celebrations. By sharing the load this event can be even better if everyone works together. Don’t wait; join the fun, volunteer today! Contact George Rogers (850) 969-1150,

Chairman: George Rogers (850) 969-1150,
Jim Koppari, (850) 995-0281,
Ed Salter (850)-932-5252,
Sid Spector (941)-360-0344,
Museum Coordinator: ____________________________________
Hotel Reservations: Bob Kessler, (808) 922-6188,
Hotel Food (banquet): ____________________________________
Hospitality Room: _______________________________________
Tours and Transport: _____________________________________

The Pensacola Reunion was be held May 18, 19 & 20, 2001 at the Holiday Inn in Gulf Breeze, FL. Contact George Rogers, Jim Koppari, Ed Salter or Sid Spector for further information.

Why is the Pensacola reunion being held in May 2001? The committee considered many constituencies during the decision process. We have had several reunions in the “West” so thought it was time for the Easterners to have the easier travel. Pensacola has some of the best beaches in the world and, of course, the Naval Aviation Museum. Some folks, the USN retired especially, have been in several commands and thus was probably like a bit of lead-time for planning other reunions. It is rumored that some of the pre-Naha group may be planning a 2000 reunion and we didn’t want to conflict with that plan. For more information on the pre-Naha reunion contact Dick Pond at

Earl Carpenter

“Life after VP-4” by Bob Zafran
After 30 months in what I was to later learn was the best tour of my 22 year Navy career, I served under Ltjg. Bob Herman, also of VP-4 fame, as an Instructor in the Airborne Integrated Display Systems Division at FAETUPAC North Island. Fellow VP-4 “vets” also serving in “FAETU” were AT’s W.L. Long, James Low, and John Davis. VP-4 Vets Snap Bracken, Bob McKee, and Dave Bonnett were also stationed at NORIS and Charlie Luce my PATRON 4 First Tech. was serving at Ream Field! After 18 months, I made AX1 and thought about not re-enlisting, but my savvy Division Officer, Bob Herman wisely suggested that I continue going to evening college and apply for the Officer Candidate Airman Program. Thirteen months later I received my commission as an Ensign and my Naval Aviation Observer (NAO) wings! I asked my recruiter for something “special” and was assigned to “Project Muddy Hill”, a classified ARPA/CIA project at the Weapons Systems Test Division, Pax River. Also assigned to Muddy Hill were two other VP-4 vets, Dick Borsch, another OCAN Ensign and Bob Tappan, my Plane Captain in PATRON 4’s LCDR. Howard Beesley’s Crew 8 (small world!). After a tour flying night-reconnaissance missions in a specially configured NP-2H in NAM, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia with Muddy Hill, I attended Naval Postgraduate School, earning my BS degree. I returned to VP-4, now flying P3A/B birds at Barbers Point and qualified as TACCO and Mission Commander. Also in my second VP-4 tour with me were VP-4 Naha vets, Chiefs Snap Bracken and Bob Thomas and LCDR. Ron Johnson. We made a deployment to Naha in 1973, but it wasn’t the “old Naha” of days gone by! I returned to Naval Postgraduate School and earned my MS degree before joining VP-40 at Moffett Field. Also in PATRON 40 with me were VP-4 vets Lt.’s Sid Erickson and Jessie Mock! Post VP-40 tours included NAS Moffett Field and OinC Personnel Support Detachment Moffett, from which I retired in 1980. Snap Bracken was the COMPATWINGSPAC CMChief while I was at Moffett! After six months working for Motorola Corporation (I was really tired of still wearing a “uniform”), I earned my California Teaching Credential using the GI Bill. For the past 17 years I have been teaching mathematics and science in private and public middle and high schools as well as courses in community colleges. Along with Steve Andruszkewicz, I coordinated the Las Vegas 80 VP-4 reunion and also coordinated the Reno 98 reunion. I consider my very rewarding Naval career a continuous sequence of training missions that took a “wet behind the ears” farm-boy from Ohio, taught him respect, rewarded him for hard work, educated him well. Then instilled in him camaraderie for his shipmates that one can never learn in the civilian community! I thank all of my VP-4 comrades and in some cases, their wives, for my success! It truly is VP4Ever…

VP-4 Shipmate Memorial’s
It is with sincere regret that we must report the deaths of the following shipmates.

  • Cdr. George S. Clute, VP-4 Skipper, Apr 56 to May 57 passed away at the age of 80. Memorial services were held at 1300, 9/25/99 at the Holy Cross Catholic Mausoleum, 4470 Hilltop Dr, San Diego. Donations in Skipper Clute’s honor can be sent to the American Cancer Society or to the Pearl Harbors Survivors Society.
  • Donald Ray Brown, passed away 3/22/98 (VP-4, 56-57)
  • Raymond A. Comer, passed away 4/21/98 (VP-4, 47-51)
  • Ernest Fritz, passed away (VP-44, 47-51)
  • AECS Warren C. Griffin, passed away 8/24/98 (VP-4, 61-64)
  • Maryanne Hedges, passed away 7/13/99 (wife of Lyle Hedges, VP-4, 62-64)
  • Carl W. Moses, passed away 9/9/98 (VP-4, 62-64)
  • Bill V. Whalen, passed away 12/5/98 (VP-4, 57-59)
  • Hal Woodson, passed away 4/9/99 (VP-4, VP-44, 47-51)
  • D. E. Grein (VP-4 ’58-’59) passed away summer of ’95 or ’96
  • Donald F. Reed (VP-4 ’57-’59) passed away Feb or March 1987
  • Charles Brady (VP-4 ’59-’61) passed away 10/13/99 from Lou Gehrig’s disease. His wife, Dot, is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Donations can be made in Charlie’s name to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
  • Walter A. Sunberg (VP-4 ’55 – 57) passed away 5/24/99. Wally attended the Reno reunion and was pleased to see and talk to those present. Shirley Sunberg made a $50.00 donation to the VP-4 Association in Wally’s name to help others attend future reunions. What a lady!
  • Dorothy Shaw passed away 5/29/99, wife of Wasiam Shaw (VP-4, ’47-’51)
  • Tom Sullivan, (VP-4 ’58-62) passed away 9/23/99 after a long bout with cancer. Tom and Dorothy were at the Reno Reunion. Donations in Sully’s name may be sent of the Misilla Valley Hospice, 299 E. Montana, Los Cruses NM 88005
  • Al & Terri Meyers, who were VP-4 circa 1960, have both passed away.
  • Frank (Shifty) Schreffler (VP-4 60-62) passed away in January 1998.

Copyright © 1999-2000 VP-4 Association

Reprinted with Permission