Squadron History page from 6768 Cruise Book


         <>Patrol Squadron TWO (VP-2) was first formed as Patrol Bombing Squadron 130 (VPB-l30) at Deland, Florida, on 1 March 1943. Within three months the squadron, flying PV-l "Venturas" -' was operating throughout the Caribbean Sea to protect convoys from submarine attacks. Later that same year VPB-130 aircraft chalked up the squadron's first kill with the destruction of a German V-Boat. Sometime in those early years, squadron personnel began to call themselves the "Neptunes" -' an appellation that proved to be more appropriate than they could have imagined.
        <>In July 1944, after the installation of rocket rails and a period of special training at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, the squadron flew to Alameda, California, and embarked on the USS SHIPLEY BAY for the first leg of the long journey to the South Pacific. Throughout the remainder of World \War II, the squadron moved its base of operations frequently and was credited with the destruction of numerous Japanese aircraft and radar in­stallations.
        <>In 1945, the squadron came home to San Diego, California, quickly reformed, and moved to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. Here VP-2 received its first PV-2 "Harpoons". The first Whidbey Island tour proved to be short, however, as the squadron returned to Miramar, California, in May 1946 and was rechristened Medium Patrol Squadron TWO. The following year the nicknames of the squadron and its aircraft became identical when VPNL-2 received its first "Neptune", the P2V-l, with its high power radar and greatly in­creased range and bomb load. In 1948, the squadron designation was simplified to. "Patrol Squadron TWO", and an era of confusion arrived for squadron dependents who never seemed able to differentiate between PV-2, P2V, and VP-2.
         <>In 1949, VP-2 returned to the great Northwest and has called NAS Whidbey Island its home ever since. Short­ly thereafter came the first and shortest of many deployments to Kodiak, Alaska. After three months of pa­trols over the Aleutian Chain, the squadron returned to Whidbey Island for a brief training cycle. The spring of 1950 found VP-2 back in Alaska to assist in the Point Barrow Resupply Expedition and the Beaufort Sea Oceanographic Survey. The 1951 Kodiak deployment was concluded in unexpected fashion when the squadron traveled to Naha, Okinawa, to take part in anti-submarine warfare exercises. <>A rate break in the Kodiak rotation routine occurred in 1952 when VP-2 spent its deployment period at Naval Station Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, participating in the year's nuclear weapon tests. By this time the squad­ron was flying P2V-5 aircraft, with larger engines and more complex equipment. More Alaskan deployments followed, together with the receipt, in 1955, of a full dozen P2V.7 aircraft. This airplane, with its jet engines for safer operations and its highly sophisticated weapons systems for defecting, pinpointing, and attacking submarines, represented a major step toward in the squadron's operational capability.
        <>The winter of 1956-1957 found the Neptunes back in Alaska, serving on the front lines of the Cold War. Chang­ing scenery in 1958, the squadron deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan for six months. In 1959 the squadron was hack on the tracks to Alaska and kept on returning to Alaska until December 1964. In the closing days of the Kodiak deployment of 1964 the squadron survived the earthquake of 27 March 1964 and was able to assist in saving lives and material from the forces of this disaster. From August to December 1964 the squadron re­sumed operations in Kodiak by maintaining a three plane detachment for conducting shipping surveillance and ice reconnaissance flights.
         <>January 1965 found VP-2 once again in the far east, deployed at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. During this six month deployment VP-2 operated on a detachment basis from a multitude of airbases, including Naha, Okinawa; Sangley Point, Philippines; Bangkok, Thailand; and Saigon and Da Nang, Vietnam. In Vietnam four VP-2 aircraft operated as a unit of Commander Vietnam Patrol Force.
        <>After a short eight month training cycle (16 July 65-25 March 66) at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington the "Neptunes" returned to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. In May of 1966 a seven plane detachment, staging out of Sang­ley Point, Philippines, journeyed to Tan Son Nhut Airbase in Saigon, Vietnam. Here the seven planes operated as an aerial unit of the Market Time Patrol Force investigating junks, sampans, and other surface vessels along the some 1000 miles of South Vietnamese Coastline.
        <>This time the "Neptunes" spent one year (1 Oct 66 - L Oct 67) at NAS Whidbey Island. During this training cycle the squadron distinguishing itself by winning the first three places in-two consecutive COMFAIRWHID­BEY Totem Pole exercises.
         <>Patrol Squadron TWO is at Naval Station Sangley Point, Republic of the Philippines for its present deploy­ment. With its detachment in Saigon, Vietnam, VP-2 became the first Patrol Squadron to serve a third tour with the Market Time Patrol Force. Midway through the deployment the "Neptunes" also had a detachment at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan and Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.