VP-1 History with Neptunes.

Mar 1947: VP-ML-1 moved to NAS San Diego, Calif. Over the next nine months the squadron transitioned to the P2V-2 Neptune, a long-range, twin-engine, landbased patrol aircraft.

13 Jan 1948: VP-ML-1 was given a permanent change of station to NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. Frequent deployments would be made from this location to bases in Alaska, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

7 Aug 1950: On 25 June 1950, the North Koreans invaded South Korea. On 30 June President Truman authorized U.S. military forces to deploy to repel the aggressors. VP-1 deployed to WestPac under the operational control of FAW-1 (TG 70.6), beginning combat operations from Naha AFB, Okinawa, on 19 August 1950. The squadron’s primary duty was patrolling the sea lanes of the Formosa Straits for enemy resupply vessels.

Apr 1951: VP-1 returned to the combat zone in Korea for its second tour, based at Naha AFB, Okinawa. The squadron’s primary patrol areas were the waters off the Korean coastline.

29 Mar 1952: The squadron conducted its third deployment to the Korean combat zone, based at Naha AFB, Okinawa. Patrol duties were resumed as in the two previous tours.

27 May 1953: The fourth and final tour in the Korean combat zone for VP-1 occurred at the end of the Korean War. The squadron arrived at Naha AFB two months to the day before the signing of an armistice at Panmunjom on 27 July 1953.

5 May 1955: VP-1 returned to NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., the first patrol squadron to complete an around-the-world flight. The squadron had departed the continental U.S. on 21 April 1955. In 1946 a single U.S. Navy P2V-1 Neptune, the “Truculent Turtle,” had flown halfway around the world (11,236 miles) nonstop from Perth, Australia, to Columbus, Ohio, demonstrating the longdistance capability of the new patrol aircraft. The May 1955 event demonstrated the Navy’s ability to deploy quickly with an entire land-based Neptuneequipped squadron to virtually any spot on the globe. Politically, it bolstered the Navy’s claims to strategic airpower in the face of continuing U.S. Air Force demands for control over all land-based airpower. The successful completion of the flight served to preserve the land-based patrol squadrons of the Navy in the face of Congressional calls for post-Korean War defense cutbacks. The record-breaking flight was incorporated into the new squadron patch with a chain encircling the globe to symbolize the feat.

1956: The squadron was deployed to the island of Kwajalein for a period of three months to monitor the radiation in the aftermath of nuclear testing in a project called Operation Redwing.

7 Oct 1964: VP-1 was deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, for ASW and shipping reconnaissance off the coasts of Vietnam and in the Gulf of Tonkin. A detachment was maintained at NAF Tan Son Nhut and Da Nang. The squadron returned to NAS Whidbey Island on 1 April 1965.

13 Feb 1966: VP-1 relieved VP-22 at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, with a seven aircraft detachment at NAF Tan Son Nhut Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam in support of Operation Market Time. The primary objective of the Market Time coastal patrol was to prevent seaborne delivery of supplies and munitions to the enemy. The patrols were a joint U.S.- South Vietnamese effort established on 11 March 1965. VP-1 became the first patrol squadron to suffer casualties in the Vietnam conflict when the Tan Son Nhut Air Base was attacked on 13 April 1966. During this attack one squadron member was killed and five others wounded, and five of the detachment aircraft were damaged. The squadron returned to NAS Whidbey Island on 6 August 1966, after a six and a half-month tour, four months of which was in the combat zone.

6 May 1967: VP-1 returned to WestPac to NS Sangley Point, R.P., with a detachment at NAF Cam Rahn Bay. It was the first squadron to operate full time out of the new Naval Air Facility at Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam.

15 Dec 1967: Squadron SP-2H aircraft, number YB- 2, operating from Annette, Alaska, was lost over Alaskan waters during a patrol while tracking Soviet submarines. No trace of crew or aircraft was ever found.

15 Aug 1968: VP-1 returned to NS Sangley Point, with a detachment at NAF Cam Ranh Bay. This deployment marked the last time the squadron would deploy with the SP-2H Neptune to a combat zone.

July 1969: The squadron received it first P-3B Orion as a replacement for its SP-2H Neptunes. VP-1 was the last fleet squadron to transition from the Neptune to the Orion. Transition to the new aircraft was completed by 1 October 1969. By that time, VP-1 was the last patrol squadron at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.


Types assigned:

P2V-2 Mar 1947

P2V-3 Jul 1950

P2V-5 May 1953

P2V-5F 1957

P2V-7 Aug 1959

SP-2H Aug 1963

P-3B Jul 1969


Major overseas deployments

Date of departure Date of Return Wing Base of Operations Aircraft Area of operations
1 Jan 1948 30 Mar 1948 FAW-4 Aleutians P2V-2 NorPac
1 Sep 1948 30 Dec 1948 FAW-4 Aleutians P2V-2 NorPac
7 Aug 1950 13 Nov 1950 FAW-1 Naha/Korea P2V-3 WestPac
 Apr 1951 29 Aug 1951 FAW-1 Naha/Korea P2V-3 WestPac
29 Mar 1952 5 Oct 1952 FAW-6 Naha/Korea P2V-3 WestPac
27 May 1953 1 Dec 1953 FAW-6 Naha/Korea P2V-5 WestPac
 Nov 1954 20 Apr 1955 FAW-1 Naha P2V-5 WestPac
21 Apr 1955 5 May 1955 FAW-4 Whidbey Is. P2V-5 Trans-global
  1956   1956 FAW-1 Kwajalein P2V-5 SoPac
  1957   1957 FAW-4 Kodiak P2V-5F NorPac
 Aug 1959  Jan 1960 FAW-6 Iwakuni P2V-7 WestPac
 Dec 1960  May 1961 FAW-4 Kodiak P2V-7 NorPac
 Feb 1962  Jun 1962 FAW-4 Kodiak P2V-7 NorPac
7 Oct 1964* 1 Apr 1965 FAW-8 Iwakuni SP-2H WestPac
7 Oct 1964* 1 Apr 1965 FAW-8 Tan Son NHut SP-2H WestPac
1 Apr 1965 30 Sep 1964 FAW-4 Kodiak SP-2H NorPac
13 Feb 1966* 6 Aug 1966 FAW-8 Iwakuni SP-2H WestPac
13 Feb 1966* 27 May 1966 FAW-8 Tan Son NHut SP-2H WestPac
15 May 1967* 12 Nov 1967 FAW-8 Cam Rahn SP-2H WestPac
6 May 1967* 12 Nov 1967 FAW-8 Sangley Point SP-2H WestPac
15 Aug 1968* 25 Feb 1969 FAW-8 Cam Rahn SP-2H WestPac
15 Aug 1968* 25 Feb 1969 FAW-8 Sangley Point SP-2H WestPac