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Welcome Shipmates





The Last Flight


This is a place to re-connect, tell a story or two, browse some pictures and refresh your memory . Brown shoes welcome aboard!

This former Seaplane Era group of VP40 Airdales is now accepting ANY VP40 Airdales. We have expanded our group to include all VP40 former/current VP40 personnal. You are welcome to join our group, attend our reunions, and receive newsletters/ rosters of members etc.
Please fill out the info below for more info on our group.

45 Responses to Welcome Shipmates

  1. Manual V. Labrador

    I was with VP-40 as an SD2, Food Service. From 1966-1968 I deployed 2 times to Cameron Bay, Vietnam but my military service record does not show my military service. I now have Diabetes now and heart problems that may be from Agent Orange exposure but the VA has denied service connection because I have not been able to prove “Boots on the Ground” in Vietnam. Any Help would be appreciated. Manuel V. Labrador PSC 517 Box RS FPO, AP 96517 USA

  2. Elmer E. Shirley


  3. Virgil Fontenot

    I was on the beach crew in 1966 & 1967. Made two tours from North Island to Sangley Point and was in VP40 when we decommissioned the P5Ms.

    • Eileen Polk Cordova

      Hello! Just after I posted a message to this page I noticed your name. Fifty + years ago I corresponded for a short time with a young man with the same name. He was in the Navy, serving aboard the Laging Handa, near the Phillipines I believe. I’m wondering if you might be that person?

      I was a student at Cochise College, Douglas AZ in 1965-66, and received a letter from a group of sailors from the Laging Handa. To this day I have no idea how they got my name, but I fondly remember the pen pal relationship I had for a couple years with Virgil. I’ve always wanted to solve the mystery of receiving the letter. I apologize if I have intruded, but couldn’t resist sending a note as your name matches that of the person I corresponded with so many years ago.

      Here is her original post:
      I have been searching for almost 50 years for information on a person possibly related to the Laging Handa. I was hoping maybe I could find information about him and the Laging Handa at this site. When I was a freshman in college I received a letter from a group of young Navy men I did not know. Included in the envelope was a Laging Handa patch. I ended up corresponding with one young man – Virgil Fontenot – for a couple years. I moved to California, lost touch, and never heard from him again. I went to Cochise College in Douglas AZ in 1965-66. This is where I was living when I received the original letter. I’ve never been able to find out how or why the letter was sent to me, but I remember how I enjoyed the pen pal relationship with Virgil. I sometimes wonder if he is still around, and was hoping to one day solve the mystery of how the young sailors got my contact information at Cochise College in Arizona. I’m now almost 70 and this pleasant mystery and memory from my youth are still with me. I don’t know if there is a path for me to “join” this website or not, but I just wanted to put my message out there. Thank you. Eileen Polk Cordova Sierra Vista AZ

  4. Kevin Lee

    Guy Fisk sent me here. He’s a local Vet here in Asheville. He mentioned to me that you help feed the kids in the Philippines about 6 times a year. I assume you have everything organized on the ground. My wife and I would like to send 1008 soccer balls to you from my contact in China. We would need photo’s of the kids with their balls for evidence to the folks who donate to our Charity; which is called Kevi Bears Kids. We have helped more than 6,000 kids in the last 9 years; and we do it to help fight hunger, while giving them an opportunity to dream about a better future. Contact me by email or 828-775-0672

  5. Maria

    I served vp 40 1997-2001. MS2[AW] and I will be honored and it will be a privilage for me to be a member of this vp 40 group.VP40 is station in Whidbey Island., and right now my husband is station in Everett, and I it is about 1 hour drive to Whidbey Island. I bought all my VP 40 t shi=,ball cap and patches from the squadron. THE BEST SQUADRON EVER. My last name when I was with VP 49 was Snyder.

  6. Richard Kilmer

    Served with VP-40 on P-3 Orion in 1968 & 1969. Flew out of Moffett Field, CA, Iwakuni, Japan and Cam Rahn Bay, Viet Nam. My crew found the wreckage of the EC-121 off the coast of North Korea in April 1969 and worked without radio communication with two Russian Trawlers in an attempt to determine whether there were survivors in the water. In 2006 I was diagnosed with stage 4 Non Hodgkin Lymphoma; I believe due to Agent Orange. I plan to file with the VA this week. I would like to join your group. How? Rick Kilmer

  7. George Pratt

    Served in VP-40 from 1951-1952 prior to transfer into VP 46. Would be interested in the reunions.

  8. Phillip Mayer

    I would like to join this group. With VP-40 from May,1968 to August,1970

  9. Scott Johnson

    I served in VP 47 from 1987 through 89, and I can’t find my name in the shipmate registry..
    Thai you Scott Johnson

  10. Rich Searle

    Hello Shipmates My name is Rich Searle. I arrived at Sangley, PI on Late December of 1962. attached to the Naval Air Ops, Photo Lab until I left there in 1964. Even though I
    wasn’t attached to the VP-40 Squadron, I flew numerous photo recon missions aboard the sea planes. I arrived at Sangley as an AN and left as a PHAN after completing the what was the requirements to become a Navy Photographer. In 2010 my son started the design of my website. I have been maintaining my website since then. Some of the pictures that I downloaded to the site show the VP-40 Squadron at the air base.54 years have passed and I am looking back at memories that I thought were forgotten

  11. William Sutton

    I served in VP-40 in the late 1950’s.
    I was an AT3 and flew as Ist radio. We alternated between San Diego and Sangley Point, PI. Would like to hear from anyone from that time. W.R. “Bill” Sutton

  12. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall


    VP Navy Question

    I served with VP-9 (68-71) I know this page is for VP-40 shipmates but you seem so well connected I am reaching out to see if you have any contacts or information on how I can find shipmates from VP-9 during the years I served. I have hit dead ends every step of the way. Appreciate any direction you may provide.

  13. Guy Fisk

    Jim Beard I was in VP-40 1984-87 Airframes AMH-2 Jim Beard Friends with AMH-1 Bob Eaton and AMH-3 Lahey (AKA RUE)
    It was real and fun BUT ???
    73 to all you hams, W6RAD

  14. Guy Fisk

    Richard Cassis My dad served in VP40 in 1951. Looking for photos. Amy Treend

  15. Guy Fisk

    Nelson B. Harper
    VP 40 crew 8 Sangley point 1962- 1964 AO1 USN RET

  16. Gale Dryer


  17. Tom (Mac) McClelland

    Served in VP 40 from late 1961 to early 1964 in Sangley Point, PI. May have been the best time of my life.

  18. Guy Fisk

    Please check the PLAN of the DAY TAB for posts to this web site.
    Make that tab a must look when you visit this site

  19. Floyd B Roberson, JR.

    Guy Fisk, I filed a claim that was denied because I could not prove that I had boots on the ground in Cam Ron Bay, which I was several times in 1968 & 1969. I was with the VP-40 Patrol Squardron. Any info that you can help me with will be appreciated. My name is Floyd B. Roberson, JR. I live in Roxboro, N.C. Retired CSM Johnny Langford(DAV Service officer Chap 72) is helping me with my appeal.

    • Bob Hall

      Floyd – I am searching everywhere for any information possible on documenting boots on the ground at Cam Ranh Bay. I served with VP-9 during a deployment to Sangley PT and supported ground operations as a mechanic during a detachment to Cam Ranh. The squadrons did not issue separate TAD Orders when sending you to Cam Ranh. Please advise if you have any thing that can help me with my claim. We are in the same boat.

  20. Jerry Bowman

    Jerry (BO) Bowman
    If any of you know how to reach Bruce Hart please let me know.

  21. James fleming

    I am looking for Charles Mott I was in vp 40 from 1963 to 1966

  22. Paul Fuller

    I’m looking for an AE Named Joe Blagoue. He worked on searchlights in the late 50’s, early 60’s. We were in boot camp and A school together.

  23. Allan "Putt Putt" Orevette

    An old shipmate contacted me as a result of seeing this website. AO3 Darrell Kimbrough flew with me in crew four in the early sixties. It’s greet to hook up with old shipmates after all these years!

  24. Merwyn Hickey

    I have been looking for any info on my being in VP 40 from 1960 to 1963. I had lost about all the paperwork that I had,I just recently applied for VA benefits and could not remember dates ,But i accidently found this page and saw cruise books and i found me .I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • Guy Fisk

      you are welcome. We are all former members of the best Patrol Squadron in the U.S. Navy (VP-40)and
      anytime or anything we can do to help each other we will do it. You are more than welcome to join our group.
      and attend our reunions.
      Guy Fisk

      • Merwyn Hickey

        I would like to join the group as it has brought back many memories and names that i had forgotten

    • Tom McClelland

      hickey, did you return to Ft Worth or stay in the Philippines? I have often wondered what happen to you and Murphy.


    Reconsideration approved Vietnam service. A.O.

  26. Bruce Barth

    I have several types of 3 view drawings available. Please contact me.

    • Alan

      I’d appreciate a large, 8.5 x 11 3 view, if you have it. Enclose with reply e-mail.


    • Alan Biggerstaff

      Hi Bruce still looking for a good fairly large 3 view.


  27. Alan

    Anyone have 3 view drawing available of the Marlin?

  28. Kevin Finch

    Hello, My Father, Marvin (Bucky) Finch,was a member of the crew that flew the The last plane from North Island to the Pauxetant River(not sure if the spelling is right), Where the Smithsonian Instute took possession of it. Old pictures show the crews names near the nose of the aircraft, however the refurbished one in Pensacola has painted it over and not replaced it. Anyone have good photos of it, with the names still attached? Dad is still alive and doing well, would love to give him photo’s

    • David Ludtke

      Try Pinterest. There are a number of groups with pictures of seaplanes. My collection is under Navy.

  29. buddman

    Hi from Ltjg Clifford Budd (1961-1964). Let me know how some of you are doing?????
    email me at:

    • happysapary Jo Burton

      Do you remember Bert Burton? He was on the plane piloted by Cdr. Veg élan that crashed?


      Hi Cliff, Do you remember when we were suite-mates in the BOQ at Sangley? Are you in the Onalaska TX area? Take Care.. Dave James

  30. Jim Morgan

    This is a great web site, Guy! Thanks for drawing my attention to it. We have some great history with Ten Boat now on display in Hangar Bay One, Pensacola Air Museum. Looks like someone took an ugly stick to our Panel!

  31. Guy Fisk

    POSTS are found on the PLAN OF THE DAY Tab

  32. Guy Fisk

    I am moving comments to various tabs, most are on the Arrivals & Departures Tab

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