Tribute to the P-3…

As the US Navy winds down to its last P-3 squadron, many of us look back on our time in the Orion and remember the good times, shipmates, and the many places we operated from… And we remember too, the shipmates we lost. May they rest in peace.

And a ‘slightly’ different perspective… This is the one the submariners didn’t like very much. And yes, the bombay doors are open…

She wasn’t real comfortable, or quiet, and beat the hell out of your spine, but she brought us home time after time. Thanks to Lockheed for one helluva airplane, and the crews that flew them for 57 years!!!


Tribute to the P-3… — 17 Comments

  1. 300 P-3’s replaced by 100 P-8’s. I’m sure the P-8 is 3 times as effective, and will never have any down time for maintenance. /sarc

  2. I have had to adopt a couple of fathers, as an adult, and the first and most influential was a retired Navy Captain who spent most of his military career doing ASW; I assume that meant he had a lot of hours in a P-3.
    After he retired from the Navy, he went to work as an engineer at Lockheed. I have no idea what he did there, but I am confident that he did it excellently.
    Thanks, Herb, wherever you are.

  3. Great post. I still miss my P-3 days. I had occasion to work on some fun projects with the Mighty Orion in VX-1 and many deployments in the VP’s. Not sure how effective the P-8 is going to be.

  4. I had a friend, now sadly passed, who was a crew member on P-3s. He remembered them fondly.

  5. Hated those things. Very hard to get away if they got a sniff. Of course, IF being the operative term, as the T-hulls were very hard to hear. ET1/SS

  6. I’ll never forget the roar of the P-3s at NAVSTA Adak. We always knew when flight ops were underway.

  7. Ed- Lot of countries are still flying them successfully!

    McC- Yeah… sigh… And it’s contract maintenance… What could go wrong?

    Pat- Herb’s last name???

    Flugel- Thanks shipmate!

    Jim- ‘Most’ of us do… LOL

    Clayton- Yeah, y’all were a ‘bit’ of a challenge… sigh

    Rev- LOL, yep kinda noisy…

  8. I hate that every time we ‘upgrade’ we lose capability and capacity. But it is what it is. Darned.

    Makes me wonder exactly how accurate the satellite search and tracking systems for underwater obstacles are.

    Goodbye, Electra-Orion. The Land of the Free will miss you sorely.

  9. Dad was in an S2F squadron out of Norfolk NAS. One of my fonder memories was him coming home after a 2 week deployment to Guantanamo Bay with several containers of rum. 5-Gallon jugs in woven straw covers. He still had some left when he died. Was a little raw at first but even in glass it mellowed.

  10. I got to see that but wheels down vs. doors open when doing flight training at Barber’s Point NAS. I was in a Cessna 152 on base for 4L, and when I got lined up and looked out of the cockpit I saw that 4 engine beastie directly in front of me. He was landing on 4R and the air traffic controller didn’t bother warning the little guys of traffic in the opposite pattern.

  11. Flew the P-2 in Viet Nam. Can only imagine how comfortable the P-3 was in comparison.

  12. Beans- Actually the P-8 initial run is LESS capable… And they’re not real good…

    GB- Yep! Cut 100 inches out of the forward area, added a THIRD main spar, and away we went (bouncing all the way). It was ‘interesting’ to watch the engines bounce and the wing not move.

    Stretch- Me too.

    Carlton- Ah yes, the Caribbean booze runs… A long history in ASW communities… LOL

    Rick- Ouch! Eye opening, and momentary panic, I’m sure.

    WSF- That they do!

    James- The P-2 rode better, but at least we had AC. Thank you for your service. VO-67?

  13. Yep. I was training so was Pilot in Command. As soon as I saw that beast coming at me I yanked and banked into a hard right turn then got on the radio to declare “Mayday, Collision Traffic, making a clearing turn to the right”…. I had to go back and re-enter the pattern on the downwind leg.

    As soon as I turned right the P3 turned on final and I realized what was going on. I was ready to find the duty controller and wring his neck for not announcing ALL traffic in the pattern.. 4L was used by all the light aircraft based there so it wasn’t like the ATC wasn’t used to dealing with mixed traffic.