Squadron History:  VP-24 / VPB-24


Established as Patrol Squadron NINE-S (VP-9S) on 7 January 1930.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron NINE-B (VP-9B) on 1 October 1930.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron NINE-F (VP-9F) on 26 October 1931.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron NINE (VP-9) on 1 October 1937.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron TWELVE (VP-12) on 1 July 1939.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron TWENTY FOUR (VP-24) on 1 August 1941.
Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron TWENTY FOUR (VPB-24) on 1 October 1944.
Disestablished at NAS San Diego on 20 June 1945.

Squadron Insignia and Nickname

Patrol Squadron 9 adopted an insignia in keeping with the nature of its work, a wild goose flying in a sunlit sky. The goose was symbolic of the migratory nature of the species, flying from the arctic reaches to the temperate zones each year. It travels with unerring judgement to its destination, displaying great endurance and speed. It typifies the navigation necessary in patrol duties and is noted for flying in "V" formations like those flown by squadrons of patrol planes. Colors: light blue sky; goose, black and white; squadron letters superimposed on a yellow sun. Letters and numbers identifying the squadron changed each time the squadron designation changed, from VP-9F through VPB-24. Although no official letter of approval by CNO exists in the records, BuAer had sent the insignia to National Geographic to be included in the Insignia and Decorations of the U.S. Armed Forces, Revised Edition, December 1, 1944.

Nickname: none on record.

Chronology of Significant Events

(Squadron history from 7 Jan 1930 to WWII removed as not pertinent to this website.)

1 Oct 1941: VP-24 transferred from NAS Kaneohe to NAS Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

7 Dec 1941: The squadron’s six aircraft were among the few spared during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Its planes were conducting joint submarine exercises off the coast of Hawaii when the attack came; the crews were subsequently given sectors by radio to conduct searches for the attacking Japanese forces. Having made no enemy contact, the squadron returned to NAS Ford Island to begin the cleanup and restoration of its devastated facilities.

31 May 1942: VP-24 was directed to send one PBY-5A and three crews in a detachment to Midway Island. The detachment was involved in the Battle of Midway, the next day. The group remained on Midway until 17 July 1942, when it returned to NAS Pearl Harbor.

21 Sep 1942: A three-plane detachment was sent to Espiritu Santo, with tender support by Curtiss (AV 4).

1 Oct 1942: VP-24 transferred it assets and personnel back to NAS Kaneohe. Five PBY-5A aircraft were traded to VP-23 for nonamphibian PBY-5s before the move, since the amphibian version would not be needed in the South Pacific, where VP-24 was soon to be sent. Most of the squadron’s coming operations would be based afloat, serviced by seaplane tenders. Many of the flight crews actually preferred the older PBY-5, as they felt that the retractable gear of the newer PBY-5A added to the weight of the aircraft, reducing power and range.

1 Nov 1942: Two additional aircraft were sent to Espiritu Santo to supplement the original detachment, bringing it up to six operational planes.

1 Feb 1943: The remainder of VP-24 began to transfer by detachments to Espiritu Santo. The transfers were completed by April.

30 Mar 1943: VP-24 conducted Dumbo missions for the forces taking part in the New Georgia campaign, concluding on 29 September 1943. This was the first time that an entire squadron had assumed Dumbo work as its primary duty. The squadron rescued or evacuated 466 men during the campaign.

29 Sep 1943: Preparations were made to depart the island of Espiritu Santo for return to NAS Kaneohe and eventual return to the United States.

7 Dec 1943: VP-24 was given home leave while administrative details covering reforming of the squadron and reassignment of personnel were undertaken. Training of new personnel and reforming of the squadron began at NAS San Diego, Calif., on 1 January 1944. In mid-March all of the squadron aircraft were given coats of flat black paint, droppable wing tanks were attached, and improvements in radar and flight instruments were made.

27 Mar 1944: VP-24 made its second transpac to NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii. Upon arrival combat patrols and training missions were conducted concurrently.

9 May 1944: Lieutenant (jg) Wade Hampton was lost with his entire crew while on patrol. His last reported message gave a position 150 miles from Midway.

11 Jun 1944: The squadron arrived at the island of Majuro in the Marshalls chain. Typical Black Cat night bombing missions were conducted, along with more mundane Dumbo and patrol missions.

27 Jun 1944: Lieutenant (jg) Mancini attempted to land in rough seas to rescue a downed fighter pilot one mile from a Japanese-held island. Both engines broke off on impact and the hull of the aircraft split in two. The entire crew managed to get into life rafts, and joined the fighter pilot in awaiting rescue. Fortunately, a destroyer had overheard the message from the aircraft and rushed to the scene in time to rescue the aircrews before they washed ashore on the island.

1 Oct 1944: VP-24 was redesignated VPB-24 while based at Majuro. Duties remained essentially the same during this period.

10 Oct 1944: A detachment of three aircraft and crews was formed and sent to Eniwetok to provide Dumbo coverage for air operations in the area. On 19 October the squadron was broken down into smaller one-and two-aircraft detachments that were sent to Apamama, Makin, Tarawa, Roi, Saipan and Guam. Through 1 December 1944, the squadron rescued 25 aircrew without surface assistance.

28 Oct 1944: Ensign Troy C. Beavers received a call to medevac a crew member of a ship (an LCI) who had a suspected case of acute appendicitis. Beavers landed near the ship and loaded the patient aboard. During the liftoff a rogue wave struck the starboard float, ripping off the wing. The crew and patient exited the aircraft before it sank and were picked up by the LCI. The patient turned out to only have constipation and it is believed that the crash cured him!

23 Jan 1945: The VPB-24 detachments were reformed with two aircraft at Eniwetok, four at Kwajalein, one at Tarawa and one at Roi.

1 Feb 1945: The various detachments of the squadron reformed on Majuro to conduct missions in support of the psychological warfare campaign against defending Japanese forces on the island of Wotje. Additional duties included continuing Dumbo and air-sea rescue missions.

25 Apr 1945: VPB-24 was relieved at Majuro Atoll by VH-5. Elements of the squadron proceeded to Kaneohe, Hawaii, for transport back to the United States.

1 May 1945: The personnel of the squadron loaded aboard Hollandia (CVE 97) for transport to NAS North Island, San Diego, Calif.

20 Jun 1945: VPB-24 was disestablished at NAS North Island, San Diego, Calif.


Home Port Assignments

Location Date of Assignment
NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii 1 Aug 1941
NAS Ford Island, Hawaii 1 Oct 1941
NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii 1 Oct 1942
NAS San Diego, Calif. Dec 1943
NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii Mar 1944
NAS San Diego, Calif. 1 May 1945


Commanding Officers

Name Date Assumed Command
LCDR A. E. Buckley 1941
LCDR J. P. Fitzsimmons 1942
LCDR E. Tatom Aug 1942
LCDR W. L. Richards Sep 1942
LCDR R. F. Wadsworth 7 Dec 1943
LCDR J. E. Tebbetts Mar 1945


Aircraft Assignment

Type of Aircraft Date Type First Received
PBY-5 1940
PBY-5A Apr 1942


Major Overseas Deployments

Date of Departure Date of Return Wing Base of  Operations Type of Aircraft Area of Operations
11 Jan 1939 10 May 1939 PatWing-1 Panama PBY-3 Carib
31 May 1942 17 Jul 1942 FAW-2 Midway PBY-5A WestPac
1 Feb 1943 29 Sep 1943 FAW-1 Espiritu Santo PBY-5A SoPac
11 Jun 1944 * FAW-1 Majuro PBY-5A SoPac
10 Oct 1944 * FAW-2 Marshalls PBY-5A SoPac
1 Feb 1945 25 Apr 1945 FAW-1 Majuro PBY-5A SoPac
  • Continued combat deployment in the Pacific, moving from base to base.


Wing Assignments

Wing Tail Code Assignment Date
PatWing-2/FAW-2 1 Aug 1941
FAW-1 Mar 1943
FAW-14 7 Dec 1943
FAW-2 27 Mar 1944
FAW-1 Sep 1944
FAW-2 10 Oct 1944
FAW-14 1 May 1945

† Patrol Wing 2 was redesignated Fleet Air Wing 2 (FAW-2) on 1 November 1942.


Unit Awards Received

Unit Award Inclusive Date Covering Unit Award

None on record.

The information on this page is from the   Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons - Vol. 2 CD-ROM (which is unfortunately no longer available).

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