P2V Lockheed Neptune 1946 Record Flight

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Mar 31, 2007

I just picked up a sword (USN) and 3 signed pictures belonging to CDR Walter Shipstead Reid USN. Reid was the co-pilot and Navigator of the record breaking flight of a non re-fuelling plane trip from Perth, Australia to the US in late September 1946. Basically, what I'm after is any information anybody has relating to either Reid or the record breaking flight in the P2V Lockheed Neptune the crew flew. Their planes name was the 'Translucent Turtle', as seen in the pictures.

Thanking you! Spitfire_ace_68
That's "Truculent" not "Translucent". When I was growing up the plane was parked outside the HQ for
the Norfolk NAS. Sometime after the last time we were stationed there - that would be 1971, the
year my father retired and my freshman year in college - it was moved to Pensacola, to the National
Museum of Naval Aviation, where it now resides. I saw it there the last time I visited, it was like finding
an old friend.

Some info from November 1, 1946 Naval Aviation News:


-Flies 11,236 Miles from Perth, Australia-

Speed and distance records in aerial flight have been falling with regularity from the time the Wright
Brothers soared off Kittyhawk's sand dunes, but the Navy at present holds the record for the longest
airplane flight in history – an 11,236-mile hop in a P2V Neptune from Perth, Australia to Columbus,
Ohio. The gargantuan flight exceeded by more than 3,000 miles the previous record held by the Army Air
Forces B-29 which flew from Guam to Washington, a distance of 7,916 miles.

Four Navy pilots and a 35-lb. kangaroo mascot made the flight in the Truculent Turtle, the
newest patrol plane in the Navy's list. The plane took off from Perth with JATO, with an 85,500-pound
load, far above its normal lift of 58,000 pounds. Time of travel was 55 hours and 18 minutes, averaging
a conservative speed of around 200 mph. The plane had planned to fly to Washington, D.C., or
Bermuda if fuel permitted, but had to land in Ohio when its gauges showed only about 25 gallons left.

The Turtle bucked headwinds across the Pacific and iced up over Utah, when a tachometer quit
and caused concern that the engine was going out. Two Wright 2300-hp engines power the P2V.
Most of the ocean flight was made on automatic pilot.

At the take-off, only 4,000 feet of runway was needed, thanks to four JATO bottles. The four pilots
who alternated flying the plane were Cdrs. R.H. Tabeling of Jacksonville, Fla.; W.S. Reid, Thomas D.
Davies and E.P. Rankin of Washington.


From various sources:

Actually, at the time, Tabeling was a Lieutenant Commander, not a Commander. Rankin
was Eugene P. and Tabeling was Roy H. The Truculent Turtle was a P2V-1, the first one to
be assigned to VP-130.

Captain Walter Shipstead Reid, USN (Ret) was a 1937 graduate of the USNA, 288 of 323, entering
from North Dakota. Retired 1 July 1962; Died 30 April 1994, Valley Lee, Maryland. Only
decoration noted is the DFC.

Truculent Turtle pilots and the plane itself last I saw it.



  • Turtle Pilots.jpg
    Turtle Pilots.jpg
    60.7 KB · Views: 384
  • Neptune1.jpg
    41.9 KB · Views: 255
Hi Spitfire Ace, Carloyn Reid is my mother in law and she has been trying to collect some of her fathers memorabilia that was unfortunately sold by a relative after her fathers death. She would be very interested to know if you would consider selling the sword to her so she may retain it as a family heirloom. Thank you for your consideration. Paul.

Users who are viewing this thread