<>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
year VPB-130 aircraft chalked up the squadron's first kill with the
of a German V-Boat. Sometime in those early years, squadron
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
the South Pacific. Throughout the remainder of World \War II, the
moved its base of operations frequently and was credited with the
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
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
the nicknames of the squadron and its aircraft became identical when
received its first "Neptune", the P2V-l, with
its high power radar and greatly increased range and bomb load. In
squadron designation was simplified to. "Patrol Squadron TWO", and an
era of confusion arrived for squadron dependents who never seemed able
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
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
Survey. The 1951 Kodiak deployment was concluded in unexpected fashion
squadron traveled to Naha,
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
Naval Station Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, participating in the year's
weapon tests. By this time the squadron was flying P2V-5 aircraft,
engines and more complex equipment. More Alaskan deployments followed,
with the receipt, in 1955, of a full dozen P2V.7 aircraft. This
its jet engines for safer operations and its highly sophisticated
systems for defecting, pinpointing, and attacking submarines,
major step toward in the squadron's operational capability.
1956-1957 found the Neptunes back in Alaska,
serving on the front lines of the Cold War. Changing scenery in
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
Kodiak by maintaining a three plane detachment for conducting shipping
surveillance and ice reconnaissance
<>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
multitude of airbases, including Naha,
and Saigon and Da Nang,
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
Philippines, journeyed to Tan Son Nhut Airbase in Saigon,
Here the seven
planes operated as an aerial unit of the Market Time Patrol Force
junks, sampans, and other surface vessels along the some 1000 miles of
<>This time the "Neptunes"
spent one year (1 Oct 66
Oct 67) at NAS Whidbey Island. During this training cycle the squadron
distinguishing itself by winning the first three places in-two
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,
VP-2 became the
first Patrol Squadron to serve a third tour with the Market Time Patrol
Midway through the deployment the "Neptunes"
also had a detachment at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
and Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.>