One more on P-3s and I swear I’ll get off them… LOL

This was done back in 2011, for the celebration of Naval aviation, one of a number of ‘throwback’ paint schemes. Now what makes this one interesting is that it was done by NIPPI Corporation’s Aircraft Maintenance Division in Atsugi, Japan.

For those that many not know the history, the “VP-44 Strawberry 5″ paint scheme replicates a scheme applied to the PBY-5A Catalina flying boat used by the VP-44 Golden Pelicans to locate the Japanese fleet shortly before the Battle of Midway fought June 4-7, 1942 in the Pacific Ocean.

(Standing, left to right): Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class R.J. Derouin; Chief Aviation Radioman Francis Musser; Ensign Hardeman (Copilot); Ensign J.H. Reid (Pilot) and R.A. Swan (Navigator).
(Kneeling, left to right): Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class J.F. Gammell (NAP); Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class, J. Goovers and Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class P.A. Fitzpatrick.



Now jump forward 70 years, and they’re partners with us, along with Canada and Australia. Photo at MCAS Kaneohe, during RIMPAC 2012.


TBT… — 14 Comments

  1. Hmmm – a Japanese company applying a paint scheme that is an homage to the paint on the PBY that found the Jap fleet at Midway. Wonder if those individuals actually applying the paint appreciated the irony? Nice historical post!

  2. Hey Olde NFO;

    I actually liked the paint scheme from back then, it showed what they did to hide from enemy fighters. Now they use radar and now they use “Haze Gray” but I always liked the blue.

  3. Tom- I talked to the Commander out there, the workers actually voted to do THAT paint scheme. Working for the US Navy in Japan is a premier job. Thousands of applicants for the few jobs that come open every year.

    Bob- Yep, the blue actually does work.

    Ray- LOL, you got me.

  4. Well, I don’t regret seeing pictures of P-3s.

    What I do regret is loss of slow and long loiter time.

    At least the Space Force is standing up this week, all 60-odd of them…

  5. We called NAF Atsugi home from 75-77 and Dad worked on Kamiseya (CTF-72). Atsugi was a busy place!

  6. I’ve heard some Japanese visitors to Pearl Harbor are surprised to learn their country surreptitiously attacked the U.S. in 1941. (Saving face is important to Japanese, apparently, so they’re sanitizing their history books.)
    Aren’t we now doing the same thing?
    Why are we surprised when we repeat the mistakes of history?

  7. Beans- Good point… sigh

    Steve- I was out there then, at Misawa and Naha! VP-4/VP-50!

    GB- Excellent point, and yes, many of the older Japanese tourists never realized it.

  8. DOH! Sorry, 73-75 we were at Atsugi/Kamiseya….75-77 was Moffett.

  9. Second only to the Super Constellation, is the P3, the best looking two aircraft the USN ever had! Ugliest? F3U Cutlass and then the F4D (Ford)

  10. Steve- I was still in and out of there… LOL 74-76, VP-4

    Ev- Don’t disagree, I’ve got time on both Connies and P-3s 🙂 Connie was DEFINITELY the smoother ride!!!

  11. Interesting – had a grey(white?) P-3 going overhead this morning. Looked like it was heading for the Coastie base on the St. Pete/Clearwater In’t Airport. Hadn’t seen one of those in a very long time. Recognized by the tail-boom.

  12. Wow, this post and comments hit my first 3 Navy assignments and both aircraft. VR-7A with the last 4 C-121C’s in the MAC inventory, NAS Atsugi when VR-7A decommissioned and P-3’s in VP-1. You can do all the P-3 posts you want. Contemplating going to Whidbey for a reunion in October. We will get a look at the P-8 then. I’ll give them a piece of Beans’ mind about the “Low & Slow” plus lack of a MAD capability.