VP-45 Scores "E" for FY 1951



Coco Solo Based

Patrol Squadron 45 Best

In Atlantic Fleet





COCO SOLO, C. Z. Oct. 2

The Battle Efficiency "E" Award for being the highest in the competitive standing of all seaplane patrol squadrons in the Atlantic Fleet during the fiscal year of 1951 was presented this morning to Fleet Air Wing Eleven’s Patrol Squadron 45, based at the Naval Station, Coco Solo.

This coveted award was received by Commander W. W. Bemis, USN, Commanding Officer Patrol Squadron 45, from Captain Jesse S. McClure, USN, Commander Fleet Air Eleven during an impressive naval ceremony.

"VP-45 started the fiscal year 1951 with Norfolk as its home base. In addition to meeting all its commitments in individual training, the squadron took part in various advanced exercises. It received an over all grade of "Excellent" in all competitive exercises and inspections. During the period the squadron flew approximately 6,000 hours, and in the spring shifted its home base from Norfolk to Coco Solo, while at the same time continuing to maintain a high standard of aircraft availability and operational readiness.

"Commander Air Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet, and Commander Fleet Air Wings, Atlantic, have congratulated the Commanding Officer and Patrol Squadron 45 on the exemplary performance of the squadron. They have directed that suitable entries be made in the service records of all the officers and men whose contributions have materially aided in the winning of the award. This is a proud achievement, and the credit goes to the squadron as a whole. It carries with it the right to fly the special Battle Efficiency Pennant over your headquarters for all to see, and to display the Navy "E" on each airplane.

"The price of readiness for war is eternal vigilance and continued training. You never graduate. You cannot relax and rest on your laurels. Even now as you receive this award for 1951, we are well along in the competition for the award in Fiscal Year 1952. The champion must be ready to defend his title against all comers and I can assure you that there are some tough contenders to beat …"

Rear Admiral Albert M. Bledsoe, Commandant 15th Naval District, was represented at the award presentation by Captain H. W. Gordon, USN, Assistant Chief of the Staff of the Naval District.

Also among the guests for the ceremony were Captain L. L. Koepke, IJSN, Commanding Officer, Naval Station, Coco Solo; Colonel H. F. Taylor, USA, Commanding Officer, Atlantic Sector, U. S. Army Caribbean; Colonel J. W. Pumpelly, USA, Commandant U.S. Army Caribbean School, Fort Gulick; Commander W. D. King, USN, Commanding Officer, Fleet Air Service Squadron 105; Staff of Fleet Air Wing Eleven; and Commander F. R. Halloran, USN, District Public Information Officer.

Captain McClure in addressing the officers and men of Patrol Squadron 45 pointed out the fact that they had flown approximately 6,000 hours during fiscal year 1951 without an accident and received an over all grade of Excellent in all competitive exercises and inspections.

The address of Captain McClure in part is as follows... "This is the highest honor that can be won by a squadron short of participation with distinction in actual combat operations. But since the goal and purpose of all our training is readiness for war, the winning of this award means that as well as can be determined by inspections this squadron is the most ready to give a good account of itself in event of the sudden outbreak of unrestricted submarine attacks on our shipping."


Webmaster's Note: some of the included "sea stories" (like this one) are not really sea stories at all...but interesting nonetheless.

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