USN VP/VB/VPB Squadron Size

Discussion in 'Technical' started by wdolson, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. wdolson

    wdolson New Member

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    I've been doing some research for a project, and I've run across something which I can't find any documentation for. USN land based, multi engine air units (PBYs, PB4Ys, PV-1s, etc.) expanded from 12 aircraft to 15 per squadron starting in 1943, according to the USN aircraft location records here: Air Records

    This appears to primarily be a Pacific phenomenon and the growth process was spread out through most of 1943.

    I have been unable to find anything that discusses this evolution. Does anybody here know anything more about it? Did the squadrons continue to have 12 active planes with a 3 plane ready reserve, or were they operating 15 planes on a daily basis (if 15 were operational of course)? Was this a policy of the Pacific Fleet, or was it just practice to give combat squadrons a few extra planes?

    Thanks in advance for any information you can give me,
    Bill
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Pretty cool information....

    It would be my guess squadron size was dictated by who ever was running the airwing and also by how many aircraft was on hand. I would also guess that if the squadron had 15 aircraft, the goal was to have all 15 mission capable (MC).

    Fast foward 55 years and I was in a VP Reserve Squadron. My squadron had 15 aircraft, then 12, then 10, then 7. We were required to maintain a 60% MC rate and a 20% FMC (Fully Mission Capable) rate if my memory serves me right. I do know after 9-11 there was a push to get every aircraft at least MC.

    I think the MC/ FMC thinking of a Naval Air Wing commander probably did not change much in 55 years....
     
  3. Len Smallwood

    Len Smallwood New Member

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    My roster for VB-144 shows 15 PV-1's and 18 aircrews. They operated in the Central Pacific, Tarawa and the Marshalls. All aircraft were active. Crews were assigned an aircraft but would normally be rotated between two or three aircraft. On their second tour, now VPB-144 flying Harpoons out of Eniwetok it was the same deal. 15 PV-2's and 18 aircrews.

    My dad was a 144 pilot who was killed 8/19/45. I was invited by Bill Scarborough to attend 144's reunions. I received this info from various vets at the squadron reunions.
     
  4. quayhog

    quayhog New Member

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    Leneord, My dad (Philip A Horne) was also a VB-144 pilot, I believe he may be the only living Plankholder from the squadron. I have his logs and there are numerous flights where he flew with your dad.
    At age ninety-six I'm blessed that he is still lucid and has sharp memories of his experiences.

    feel free to contact me at jonathan.horne53(at)gmail.com
     
  5. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    It's a good habit to get into to give email addresses in PM's and not in general replies matey. Edit and remove would be good. then send a PM.

    All interesting information guys.
     
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