Account by Earl Beach
VJ-1 was formed in Sandpoint, Washington in March of 1952. That's when I reported for duty with the squadron.
After training, we were sent to Guam to fly weather recon, flying PB4Y-2s. We had six aircraft. This was July of 1952.
In October of 1953, the squadron was changed to VW-3 and we started receiving our first P2V-5JFs. I stayed on as plane captain in the old and beautiful Privateers until 1954. We lost a PB4Y-2 and crew to "Typhoon Doris" on December 16, 1953. We never found a trace of the aircraft or crew. I have a list of the crew that was lost.
Getting back to the emblem...I still have mine. It's the one with the periscope (sic) [web note: ...believe the author meant the flying telescope]. I know it has to go back to 1953 or 1954. The history I received from the Dept. of Navy shows VW-3 received the first of itsWV-3 aircraft in October of 1955. In 1957, the last of the P2Vs was phased out, along with its WV-3s and by the first part of 1958 AEWRON THREE had receive its twelve WV-2 Radar Super-Constellations
I just want all of you Willy guys to know that we flew a lot of typhoons without the aid of radar, penetrating the eye at fifteen hundred feet in the old Privateer.
Keep up the good work!