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WWII Patch, USN, VPB-116

WWII Patch, USN, VPB-116

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
Patrol Bomber Squadron 116
Blue Raiders

Walt Disney Design - Zeus
4 1/4 x 5 7/8 inches

VPB = Patrol Bomber Squadron
Established as Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN (VB-116) on 1 December 1943.
Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN (VPB-116) on 1 October 1944.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN (VP-116) on 15 May 1946.
Redesignated Heavy Patrol Squadron (Landplane) ONE (VP-HL-1) on 15 November 1946.
Disestablished on 22 May 1947.

Squadron Insignia and Nickname
The insignia for this squadron was one of many designed for the Navy by Walt Disney studios. It was approved by CNO on 4 March 1944. It was a caricature of Zeus leaning over a cloud holding a bomb in his upraised right hand, with a trident in his left hand. The design was enclosed in a square frame. The analogy is straight-forward, with a nautical Zeus, king of the gods, wielding Father Neptune’s traditional weapon, the trident, against the foe. The primary allusion to the squadron’s mission was the upraised bomb in Zeus’ right hand. Colors: Zeus, tan body; hair and beard, yellow; trident, brown handle with yellow fork; bomb, steel gray and black; background, blue; cloud, light blue.  Nicknames: Blue Raiders, 1943–1946.
Citation For Award of The Navy Cross

Synopsis: The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William B. Oliver, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Commander of a Navy Patrol Plane in Patrol-Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN (VPB-116), in action on 12 October 1944, at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands. Lieutenant Oliver and his crew, in company with another aircraft flown by Lieutenant William M. Miller, searched the waters off Iwo Jima for survivors of a squadron plane believed lost in that area. When enemy fighters rose to intercept the pair they continued their sweep and withdrew in company together. In the ensuing air-to-air combat the two bombers downed six of the eight attacking fighters. Lieutenant Miller's outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: April 27, 1915 at Heights, West Virginia         Home Town: Fostoria, Ohio

Aircraft Assignment
PB4Y-1  Mar 1943
PB4Y-2  1945

USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List May 1945
5/18/1945        PB4Y-1        90478        VPB-116      IWO JIMA     EMPIRE     LT RICHARD J. GOLDNER     M
5/18/1945        PB4Y-1        38854        VPB-116      IWO JIMA     EMPIRE     LTJG GRALAND     S

Major Overseas Deployments     *Continued combat deployment in the South Pacific, moving from base to base.
2 Jun 1944 -    *              FAW-2         Kaneohe         PB4Y-1         EastPac        
7 Jul 1944 -     *              FAW-2         Eniwetok         PB4Y-1         SoPac
27 Aug 1944 - *             FAW-1         Tinian              PB4Y-1         SoPac
1 Apr 1945 -    *             FAW-1         Iwo Jima         PB4Y-1         WestPac
5 Apr 1945 -    *             FAW-1        Peleliu             PB4Y-1/2      SoPac
30 Apr 1945 - Oct 1945 FAW-1      Tinian/Iwo        PB4Y-1/2      SoPac

Home Port Assignments
NAS Camp Kearney, Calif.  1 Dec 1943
NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii  2 Jun 1944
NAS San Diego, Calif.  Oct 1945

1 Dec 1943–May 1944: VB-116 was established at NAAS Camp Kearney, Calif., under the operational control of FAW-14. No aircraft were assigned to the squadron until March 1944, when the first PB4Y-1 Liberator was received. Training consisted of ground school and flight training at Camp Kearney and advanced base operations training at Holtville, Calif. All training was completed by mid-May and preparations were begun for the transpac from NAS San Diego, Calif., to NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii.
24 May–Jun 1944: The squadron’s advance echelon departed aboard Breton Woods (CVE 23) for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The squadron aircrews departed in three-aircraft elements beginning on 2 June 1944. Upon arrival at NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii, the squadron began the combat training syllabus for crews destined for the South Pacific combat zone. Training consisted of navigation, gunnery, bombing and aircraft recognition. Operational patrols of the approaches to Hawaii were conducted during the training phase.
7 Jul–24 Aug 1944: VB-116 was deployed to Eniwetok, commencing operational patrols and sector searches by the 12th. Truk and Ponape were the frequent targets of the squadron’s missions. Occasional escorts were provided for VD-4 during low level photographic reconnaissance flights over Truk. During the first two weeks of August, VB-116 flew several missions with VB-109 against enemy positions on Truk, Wake Island and Ponape. From 17–24 August 1944, the squadron flew special search patrols with VB-102 operating from Isley and East Fields, Saipan.
27 Aug 1944: VB-116 was relocated to North Field, Tinian, coming under the operational control of FAW-1. The squadron conducted long-range sector searches and made frequent attacks on enemy shipping. During the Palau landings the squadron provided coverage for the task force.
12 Oct 1944: Lieutenant William M. Miller and his crew, in company with another VPB-116 aircraft flown by Lieutenant William B. Oliver, searched the waters off Iwo Jima for survivors of a squadron plane believed lost in that area. When enemy fighters rose to intercept the pair they continued their sweep and withdrew in company together. In the ensuing air-to-air combat the two bombers downed six of the eight attacking fighters. Miller and Oliver were subsequently awarded the Navy Cross for their actions.
4 Mar 1945: VPB-116 began staging missions through Iwo Jima on its patrols. The outbound patrol leg consisted of 1,200 miles via Iwo Jima and the leg of the patrol to Tinian was 1,000 miles. On 1 April a detachment of three aircraft was deployed to the forward base at Iwo Jima.
5 Apr 1945: VPB-116 was relocated to Peleliu to fly three daytime search sectors and one night ASW patrol. The squadron returned to its previous sites at
Tinian and Iwo Jima on 30 April. The Iwo Jima detachment was enlarged when the tempo of operations and available targets shifted closer to the Japanese home islands. On 1 May 1945, operational control of the squadron was shifted to FAW-18. Missions from May to the end of the war entailed sector searches, ASW patrols and weather flights for the fleet. The squadron ceased combat operations in September and assumed the primary mission of weather flights until rotated back to the U.S. in October 1945.
27 Aug 1945: In a little-known twist of history, VPB-116 stole the limelight from General Douglas McArthur and his staff. It has been widely recorded in the history books that Colonel Charles Tench, a member of MacArthur’s staff, was the first American to set foot on Japanese soil at the Atsugi naval air base on 28 August. In fact, Lieutenant Commander Walter C. Michaels, commanding officer of VPB-116, landed at Atsugi in his PB4Y-2 Privateer on Monday, 27 August 1945. It was recorded in the war diary of the squadron that Michaels was experiencing “mechanical difficulties” which were repaired, and he returned to Iwo Jima completed the same day.

Price: $125.00

Product Code: PatchUSN.116.VPB116
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