P. Kelley VP-2 63-66
I was born in a hospital 22 miles from my home town of Jonesport,
Maine, a small fishing village. We lived in other towns around
Maine and I graduated from Bangor High School. I wanted to attend
either West Point or Annapolis and received appointments to both.
But by accident, I learned of the NROTC program, applied and was
accepted to go to Penn State. Great Choice as I met Sue, who was
to become my wife, in my sophomore year. Fortunately my two summer
cruises were both on destroyers. That convinced me that aviation,
whatever it was, was the correct choice after graduating.
I went to Pensacola in June 1961, now convinced that land based patrol
was my calling. Sue and I were married during my six day
Christmas leave that year. Our first son was born the next year
in Corpus. After completing flight training and the RAG in VP-31,
we reported to VP-2 in May 1963. Thoroughly enjoyed the time in
the squadron where I flew in Crews 4 and 7. Biggest
disappointment was when the Naval Hospital neglected to send a message
that our second son had arrived. I learned of it a few days later
from Walt Cook when we arrived in Adak from Kodiak. After a
deployment and a mini deployment to Kodiak and another deployment to
Southeast Asia, we were off to VT-27 in Corpus Christi for Flight
Instructor duty in the S-2.
Our third son was also born in Corpus Christi. Leaving Active
Duty in October 1967, I affiliated with the Reserves in 1970 at NAS
Floyd Bennett in Brooklyn flying P-2s. The unit soon relocated to
NAS Willow Grove, PA and formed part of the new VP-66. During the
nine years there we transitioned to P-3s. I then spent a year as
a weekend CDO at the base and then five years in COMNAVAIRLANT.
During that period I also went to The Naval War College in Newport
twice. I retired from the Reserves as a Captain in Houston.
After leaving VT-27, I was hired by Pan Am as a Pilot Flight Engineer
on the Boeing 707. With furloughs, that lasted four years over a
nine year period. I was also employed in Property and Facilities
and then went on to get an MBA. After working in Revenue
Accounting, I left Pan Am for Continental Airlines, became a CPA
and retired as Director Revenue Accounting in 2002. In 2013, I
accepted a part time position as the Houston Area Admissions
Representative recruiting for my alma mater. Great to get paid
for what you used to for free.
In addition to our three sons, Sue and I have six grandchildren and
currently two great grandchildren. We live in Houston, and spend
our summer months at a cabin on a lake in Maine. We travel when