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WWII Patch, USN, VP-204 VPB-204

WWII Patch, USN, VP-204 VPB-204

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
USN VP-204
Navy Patrol Squadron 204
Navy Patrol Bombing Squadron 204
3 7/8 x 5 inches

Established as VP-204 15 Oct 1942
VP-204 Redesignated VPB-204 1 Oct 1944

VPB-204 Redesignated VP-204 15 May 1946
VP-204 Redesignated VP-MS-4 15 Nov 1946
VP-MS-4 Redesignated VP-44 1 Sep 1948
VP-44 Disestablished 20 Jan 1950

NAS Norfolk, Virginia

Established as Patrol Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VP-204) on 15 October 1942.
Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VPB-204) on 1 October 1944.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VP-204) on 15 May 1946.
Redesignated Medium Patrol Squadron (Seaplane) FOUR (VP-MS-4) on 15 November 1946.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron FORTY FOUR (VP-44) on 1 September 1948, the third squadron to be assigned the VP-44 designation.
Disestablished on 20 January 1950.

Squadron Insignia and Nickname - The only insignia approved for the squadron was authorized by CNO on 21 October 1943. The central figure of the design was an Indian, chosen by the squadron to represent the ability to stalk and kill his prey. The Indian in the design was peering over cumulus clouds used for cover while searching for the enemy; the dark blue background was symbolic of the night, when most squadron operations were conducted; the lantern in the Indian’s right hand represented the flares used to illuminate targets; in the Indian’s left hand was the squadron’s primary weapon, the depth bomb used against submarines. On the Indian’s headband was the Morse code representation of V for victory. Colors: background, royal blue; Indian outline and features, black; face highlights, yellow and brown; eyes, white; lantern, brown rim with yellow light; candle, gray brown; base of bomb, red; tip of feather and ribbon on pigtail, red; headband, white with red and blue outlines.  The designer of the VPB-204 Insignia had this to say about his work. “The squadron insignia is one in which all members of the squadron can take pride. It tells a story, in itself, much better than could be told in words. It points out the past endeavors and future aims of the squadron; it stands for some of the individuals and yet gives a picture of the whole; it tells a part of the story of the war against submarines and the squadron’s place in this type of warfare. The Indian has long been a symbol of America. He has always been thought of as a crafty hunter and a foe to reckon with. And so the Indian head was chosen as being symbolic of the squadron, peering over a cloud stalking his prey, the submarine. But the insignia tells more than that. The Indian is a hunter and as such he must have fitting equipment to supplement his natural talents. He is a warrior, thus he must have adequate weapons with which to combat his enemies. Therefore, our symbolic Indian is seen holding a lantern to hunt down the foe and a flat nose depth bomb to destroy his enemy. The touch of red on his war plume is a constant reminder to those who are familiar with the meaning of the insignia, that members of the squadron have lost their lives in action. On his headband can be found the victory “V” both in code and lettering.”

Chronology of Significant Events
15 Oct 1942: VP-204 was established at NAS Norfolk, Va., as a seaplane squadron flying the Martin PBM-3C Mariner. During the squadron’s training period at Norfolk it came under the operational control of PatWing-5.
27 Dec 1942: The squadron was relocated to San Juan, P.R., for further training under the operational control of FAW-11, Caribbean Sea Frontier. Upon completion of the training syllabus in March, the  squadron conducted operations from San Juan and Trinidad, flying antisubmarine patrols and convoy escort patrols. Advance base detachments were maintained during various times at Antigua; Coco Solo, C.Z.; Essequibo, British Guiana; Cayenne, French Guiana; Paramaribo, Surinam; and Guantanamo, Cuba. Tender support for most of the operations was provided by Pelican (AVP 6).
28 Mar–7 Aug 1943: VP-204 aircraft attacked German U-boats on eight separate occasions. During three of the attacks, intense AA fire from the submarines damaged the attacking aircraft. One submarine was sunk on 7 August 1943 after a running gun battle in the Caribbean southeast of Curacao, position 12-38N 64-15W. Lieutenant (jg) John M. Erskine, pilot of a squadron PBM-3S Mariner, attacked U-615 on the surface on 6 August, causing moderate damage. The squadron conducted a hold-down of the submarine over night. On the morning of 7 August, Lieutenant Anthony R. Matuski spotted the U-boat when it surfaced and made an attack run. His aircraft was damaged by return fire and crashed, losing all hands. Lieutenant Lewis D. Crockett, flying a squadron aircraft, located the U-boat and conducted a bomb run that further damaged the vessel, but resulted in severe damage to his aircraft from AA fire. He remained on the scene until Lieutenant Holmes, pilot of a PV-1 Ventura from VB-130 arrived . The two aircraft conducted a coordinated bombing and strafing attack. However, the final blow to U-615 was administered by Lieutenant (jg) John W. Dresbach, in a VP-204 Mariner, when he arrived on the scene and made a bombing and strafing attack on the U-boat. This attack resulted in mortal wounds to Dresbach, but was the final blow for the submarine. A U.S. Navy destroyer from Trinidad reached the area the next morning and rescued Kapitänleutnant Ralph Kapitzky and 45 of the Uboat’s crew of 49.
5 Jun 1944:
After numerous submarine contacts of mid-1943, few enemy U-boats were spotted in the Caribbean by the squadron. The last attack on an enemy submarine was conducted at night on 5 June 1944 off the coast of Puerto Rico using the wingmounted searchlight. A damaged claim was submitted by the crew, but postwar examination of records indicate that the U-boat returned safely to port.
27 Nov 1944: The squadron was relocated to NAS Key West, Fla., with a detachment maintained at Royal Island, Bahamas, supported by Christiania (YAG 32). During this period VPB-204 came under the operational control of FAW-12, Gulf Sea Frontier. Duties consisted of convoy coverage and antisubmarine patrols.
3 Mar 1945: Seven officers and 23 enlisted personnel were detached for training in PBM-5 aircraft at NAAS Harvey Point, N.C. These aircraft were flown back in April to Key West to replace the older PBM-3S aircraft that the squadron had been flying.
24 May 1945: VPB-204 was transferred to NAS Coco Solo, C.Z., under FAW-3, Commander Pacific Sea Frontier. The squadron became fully operational in early June, receiving several new PBM-5E aircraft to supplement its complement. Duties consisted primarily of scouting patrols off Central America.
4 Jul 1945: NAS Coco Solo, C.Z., was officially designated the new home port for the squadron. As the war wound down over the ensuing months, long range patrols gave way to an increasing number of passenger and cargo transport runs across the Caribbean.
1946–1949: The squadron maintained search and rescue detachments during various period at NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

The Martin PBM Mariner was a patrol bomber flying boat of World War II and the early Cold War period. It was designed to complement the PBY Catalina in service. 1,366 were built, with the first example flying on February 18, 1939 and the type entering service in September 1940.

Aircraft Assignment
PBM-3C Oct 1942
PBM-3S Oct 1944
PBM-5E Mar 1945

Major Overseas Deployments

27 Dec 1942 27 Nov 1944 FAW-11 San Juan PBM-3C Carib Pelican (AVP 6)
27 Nov 1944 23 May 1945 FAW-12 Bahamas PBM-3S Carib Christiana (YAG 32)
24 May 1945 1 Jan 1950 FAW-3 Coco Solo PBM-5E Carib

Price: $155.00

Product Code: PatchUSN.204.VP204
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