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Patrol Squadron ONE [VP-1]

VP-1 Screaming Eagles' call Whidbey Island, Washington home for a year, then deploy for six months to either the Arabian Gulf or Japan.

VP-1 was commissioned in Deland, Florida on 15 February 1943 as Bombing Squadron 128 (VB-128). The squadron first flew the twin engine PV-1 on USW missions out of Floyd Bennett Field, New York.

In August 1943, the squadron deployed to Iceland to support anti-submarine operations in the North Atlantic convoy lanes. While flying out of Iceland, the unit was credited with sinking one German U-boat and damaging another. In December 1943, the convoy lanes were moved south, out of range of the "VENTURAS," and VB-128 was moved to Puerto Rico where it remained until the summer of 1944. The squadron's designation was then changed to VPS-128 and was moved to the Philippines where it carried out bombing, anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions until the end of the war. Shortly after VJ Day, the squadron moved to Okinawa where it remained until 1947. During this period, its designation changed to VP-ML-1 and the unit transition led to the new PV-2 "HARPOON."

VP-ML-1 returned to San Diego, California in March 1947 and received the new P2V-2 "NEPTUNE," a longer-range twin engine patrol aircraft. On 13 January 1948, the squadron moved to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, and in September of that year the squadron was given its present name.

In February 1966, VP-1 deployed to Iwakuni, Japan, and also maintained a seven plane detachment at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam in support of Operation Market Time. VP-1 became the first patrol squadron to suffer casualties in the Vietnam conflict when the air base was attacked on 13 April 1966.

Patrol Squadron ONE was the last fleet squadron to transition to the P-3 "ORION", with the first new aircraft arriving at NAS Whidbey Island on 1 July 1969 from NAS Moffett Field. Unlike many other squadrons that initially received the P-3A, VP-1 transitioned directly to the P-3B. After a few months of aircraft familiarization, the squadron's next deployment was to MCAS Iwakuni, which began in February 1970. During that time, their home-port was changed to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii.

In September 1977, VP-1 was presented the Coastal Command Trophy for the competitive cycle ending in June, an achievement which reflected intense professionalism and total dedication of all hands in sustaining a high degree of effectiveness in airborne USW.

During the latter half of 1979, VP-1 transitioned to the P-3 Bravo and in May 1980, the "Screaming Eagles" deployed to Cubi Point, Philippines. This deployment saw a three aircraft detachment in Diego Garcia during a period when tensions were running high due to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The Navy Expeditionary Medal was awarded to the aircrews and support personnel involved in Iranian/Afghanistan contingency operations. Squadron crews also located and assisted in the rescue of more than 35 Vietnamese refugee vessels with over 4,000 Vietnamese on board, earning them the Humanitarian Service Medal.

Beginning in August 1981, the squadron maintained a three aircraft/four crew detachment at NAS Agana, Guam, which rotated in October to Diego Garcia in support of aircraft carrier battle groups. Operations were staged out of Oman, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Thailand, Pakistan, and Japan.

In November 1982, VP-1 deployed once again to Cubi Point with upgraded aircraft, improved with the addition of IRDS/HACLS to give the planes infra-red detection and harpoon missile launch capabilities. In February 1983, VP-1 surpassed 14 years and 100,000 hours of accident-free flight operations. VP-1 also won the Donald Neal "Golden Wrench" award for the best P-3 maintenance in the Pacific Fleet.

In February 1984, the "Screaming Eagles" won the prestigious Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for USW Excellence and were also nominated by Commander, Patrol Wings, U.S. Pacific Fleet to receive the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy.

In May 1990, the squadron embarked on a six month deployment to NAS Cubi Point, Philippines with a three plane, four crew detachment to Diego Garcia. On 4 August 1990, the squadron was fully redeployed to Diego Garcia and maintained detachments in Masirah, Oman and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in support of joint maritime interdiction operations in conjunction with Operation DESERT SHIELD. VP-1 was the first patrol squadron to make such a short notice surge into the desert theater, and flew over 200 surface surveillance missions.

During the first half of 1991, VP-1 became the first Rainbow Fleet squadron to transition to the P-3C Update III. While accomplishing this, the squadron made two detachments to Panama in support of CJTF-4. In January 1992, VP-1 deployed to NAS Adak, Alaska. During this deployment, the Screaming Eagles additionally established detachments to Howard AFB, Panama; CFB Goose Bay, Canada; and NAS Moffett Field, California.

In 1993, the Screaming Eagles conducted a tri-site deployment to Diego Garcia; Masirah, Oman; and Kadena, Japan in support of COMSEVENTHFLT and COMUSNAVCENT. During that deployment, VP-1 conducted operations with the navies of 15 Asian nations, and flew sorties from over 20 detachment sites. As a result of the squadron's performance throughout 1993, VP-1 received the prestigious Coastal Command Trophy and the COMSEVENTHFLT Surface Warfare Excellence Award, and earned COMPATWINGSPAC's nomination for the Arleigh Burke Award.

After completing a successful deployment to Misawa and Kadena, Japan in May of 1995, VP-1 completed a difficult change of homeport back to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington without missing any events or missions as a result of the move.

From May to November 1996, VP-1 conducted a successful quad-site deployment to Diego Garcia, with detachment sites in Masirah, Oman, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Kadena, Okinawa. In November, VP-1 became the first MPA squadron to conduct armed surveillance missions in the Arabian Gulf with the AGM-65 Maverick missile.

Patrol Squadron One returned from a successful deployment to Misawa and Kadena, Japan in June of 1998. During this deployment, Screaming Eagle aircrews flew armed reconnaissance and surveillance flights in the Arabian Gulf while also supporting SEVENTH FLEET operations from 16 different nations. Also, VP-1 made the first visit by a United States P-3 to Hanoi, Vietnam since the Vietnam War.

During the next year of the Inter-Deployment Training Cycle, VP-1 transitioned to AIP aircraft and AIP trained aircrews. This successful evolution was highlighted during the Arabian Gulf Deployment from June of 1999 until their return in December 1999. Two crews from VP-1 were called upon to support KFOR forces in Kosovo, flying armed missions in the Adriatic Sea. The Screaming Eagles flew armed surveillance and escort missions in the Arabian Gulf in support of US Policy. The Screaming Eagles were rotated through a quad sight deployment with detachments operating in Diego Garcia, Masirah, Oman, Manama, Bahrain and Doha, Qartar.

Since their return in December of 1999, the Screaming Eagles were busy training in the Inter-Deployment Training Cycle for their next deployment in December of 2000 to Misawa and Kadena, Japan.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:04:02 ZULU