80 years of maritime patrol squadrons is ending this week…
In a way, it’s fitting that it’s ending what started at in 1937 with Fleet Air Wing 2 and ends with Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2 as the bookends.
Fleet Air Wing 2 was established at FAB Pearl Harbor on 1 October 1937. On 15 September 1942, FAW-2 was relocated to NAS Kaneohe Bay, where it remained until 1949. On 30 June 1949, it was relocated to Barber’s Point. FAW-2 was disestablished on 8 June 1993 and reconstituted as Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2. In 1998, they moved back to MCAS Kaneohe, which had been their home from 1942 to 1947.
It’s also fitting (and part of the rationale) that the sunset of the P-3 Orion is the reason for the shutdown and relocation of the remaining squadrons to NAS Whidbey Island, WA.
55 years of P-3 operations through Vietnam, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars and numerous dets around the world were all supported out of Hawaii.
VP-4 over Oahu… I was there from 1973-1976, although I spent a lot of time deployed or detached… Don’t miss Hawaii so much, but it was a damn good squadron! VP-1, VP-6, VP-17 and VP-22 rounded out the list of squadrons back in the 70’s. 60+ P-3s, about 2000 men and women who were the front lines of the ASW ‘battle’ in the Pacific…
The full article from Stars and Stripes is HERE.
A Hui Hou Hawaii…
The Barbers Point BOQ was good because it was remote from the rest of the Navy. I made it a point to stay there when in town for that reason. You could come and go without much notice being paid. The Navy annoyed me when they shut the base down.
It was fun hobnobbing with the P-3 crews at The Point. Nice guys, nice community all the way around.
I used to live about a mile from the end of the runway at Brunswick NAS. The P-3s flew right over my house. Great planes, I hope their replacement does the mission equally well.
Due to mechanical problems on the ship, I (we) were forced to stay in Pearl for a month. Long enough for me to not miss the place. Being an E3 at the time, the only thing we could do off base was go to the beach. And the beach was NOTHING like today. But I think Hawaii is a great place to visit for a week, but I could never live there. BZ to the dudes and dudettss to did serve out of the Pineapple Fleet and air wings. There were some good folks working on base and in the EM Club. I don’t remember the name, but one club served all the branches, and there were some pretty good… uh… arguments that came out of there. They should have paid the Shore Patrol overtime.
I was stationed at PH in 1974-75. As an E5, I was assigned as a barracks master-at-arms in an enlisted barracks over on Ford Island. As MAA for my boat, I got a room all to myself. But back then, you had to take the ferry or a small boat to get to and from the island. Like a bus, the boats ran on a regular schedule, but they shut down between midnight and 05:00. Can you say “Cinderella liberty”?
At the time, there were very few people who lived on Ford Island. There was a BOQ over on the other side and there were some very fancy senior officers houses on the northern end. There were also a lot of recreational facilities that were open but never crowded. (You have no idea how LOUD a bowling ball striking pins actually is until you have been the only bowler in the entire bowling alley.)
I enjoyed my time there but lack of an automobile kept my explorations to a minimum. As a history buff, I walked all around the island to every nook and cranny. There were a lot of obscure plaques and memorials around the island about ships and other units during the Japanese attack.
Just trying to imagine the Navy without P-3Cs is difficult. They were always such a huge part of the atmosphere, no puns intended.
LL- Yep, out of sight, out of mind! 🙂
George- We shall see…
CP- LOL, I’ve heard stories about the EM Club at Pearl. We stayed out of it!!!
Roy- THere are a LOT of plaques and other things ‘hidden’ away on Ford Island. Sadly, few ever get to see them.
Rev- That they were.
At least there are a few P-3s that remain at VQ-1 for a few more years. Soon enough, though, they’ll all be gone.
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I’ve only been there twice, and probably at Barber’s Point, on the way to and from a WestPac deployment. Sad to see history roll on, but glad to have seen an ever-so-tiny part of it.
Boyd- True… But they are on their LAST legs…
Alumni of the Brunswick era and the P2V’s. I am so sad to see them all disappearing from the skies. Although one, an Orion, made a pass over the 28-10 here on BI about three days ago. I just stood there and watched him till he was a speck and for some reason or other I feel a deep sense of loss! Sigh
Ev- Yep, you’ve seen two airframes go by the wayside… It is a loss.
Was always a fan of the Electra and had a few rides on Wein. Those Allsons had some muscle.
Crap! Next thing you’ll be telling me the Air Farce is retiring the RC-135s! G-d, I feel old!
Hey! It could be worse.
I’m probably not the only one here to have seen the mighty Soviet carrier MINSK in its glory days. Well, it was sold for scrap in 1995, only to become an attraction for a Chinese theme park.