Patrol Squadron TWO was first formed as Patrol Bombing Squadron 130 (VPB-130) at Deland, Florida, on 1 March 1943. Within three months the squadron, flying PV-1 Ventura s, 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 U-boat. Besides the Caribbean , the squadron covered convoys and submarine search from July 1943 to March 1944 along the South American coast from Trinidad to Recife Brazil. Home base was Fortaleza, Brazil.
Sometime in those early years, squadron personnel began to call themselves the " Neptunes ", an appellation that proved to be more appropriate than they could then have imagined.
In May 1944 at Quonset Point the squadron was given new aircraft (PV-2) with upgraded technology and deployed to the South Pacific. 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.
The South Pacific deployment included operations in Biak and Morotai in the Dutch East Indies including strikes on Zamboanga, Jolo in the Sulu Archipelago, Eastern Borneo and the Celebes (now Sulawesi). The squadron was deployed to Leyte in late 1944. 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 April of 1945 the squadron was ordered to the island of Manus. All aircraft were left in Manus and officers and enlisted were transported on CV Kadishan Bay to San Diego for reassignment.
In 1945, at San Diego,
the squadron quickly reformed, and moved to NAS Whidbey Island,
Here VP-2 received its first PV-2 Harpoons. The first Whidbey Island
proved to be short, however, as the squadron returned to NAS Miramar,
in May 1946 and was re-christened Medium Patrol Squadron TWO. The
year the nicknames of the squadron and its aircraft became identical
VPML-2 received its first " Neptune ", the P2V-1, with its high-powered
and greatly increased range and bomb load. In
1948, the squadron designation was simplified to " Patrol Squadron TWO
and the era of confusion arrived for squadron dependents, who never
able to differentiate between PV-2, P2V, and VP-2.
In March 1949, VP-2 returned to the great Northwest and has called NAS Whidbey Island its home ever since. Two months later marked 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. 1951's Kodiak deployment was concluded in unexpected fashion as the squadron traveled to Naha, Okinawa, to take part in antisubmarine warfare exercises.
A rare break in the Kodiak rotation routine occured in 1952, when VP-2 spent its deployment period at Naval Station Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, participating in that year's nuclear weapon tests. By this time the squadron was flying P2V-3 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 detecting, pinpointing, and attacking submarines; represented a major step forward in the squadron's operational capability.
After still another Kodiak deployment in the winter of 1956-1957, VP-2 found itself at MCAS lwakuni in 1958, greatly enjoying the change of climate, scenery, and local wildlife. But in 1959 the Alaskan Express was back on the tracks and VP-2 did not miss a year through 1964. The 1964 deployment came to an earth shaking halt when on 27 March, " GOOD FRIDAY," the long to be remembered earth quake struck Kodiak and the outlying areas.
Patrol Squadron two returned to lwakuni in January 1965, at a time of strife and tension in the Far East. Thus was a added a new page to the story of the men of Patrol Squapron Two and the remarkable aircraft they fly.