Welcome Aboard

VP40 SEAPLANE ERA squadron site

Categories: Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Agent Orange Update

This was on Military.com today.

Senate Hearings on Agent Orange | Military.com

Senate Hearings on Agent Orange

At a recent oversight hearing held to examine the impact of exposure to toxic chemicals, particularly veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, stressed the importance of having a standardized, scientific approach at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to determine which veterans should receive disability benefits based on their exposure to toxic chemicals. Also, the hearing examined efforts to expand disability benefits for veterans who served in ships offshore Vietnam, also known as the "Blue Water Navy Veterans." A video and testimonies from the hearing are available on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs website at www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/exposures09292015.

For more on veteran benefits, visit the Military.com Benefits Center.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Phillip Smith

Hello Guy,   Please add me as user  PFSMITH

I am Philip Fred Smith.  I was an AXAN and AX3 in VP-40 from about June 1966 to Nov or December 67.  I made part of the 66 deployment – joined at Sangley in 66 and all of the 67 deployment. I made AX2 and Transferred to HS-10 not long before the end at NORIS.
I made the deployment to Cam Ranh in 66 to Salisbury Sound and in 67 to Currituck.  Flew out of NAF Cam Ranh on night of 11 April 67. No seats just a pile of cargo nets on the deck.  Was looking for some record of that too but no luck.
Am in process of VA AO IHD claim.  I submitted my orders and Travel Claim for the Currituck trip. Along with statement that I went ashore (The VA asked me for that).
I have nothing on the 66 trip.
Last night I located the Currituck Deck Logs for March and April on the National Archive site and downloaded them. they are listed by month and are quite large pdf files (100mb). No mention of boats or people going to shore. just ship arriving 19 March 67 and anchored, daily flight ops by A/C and Pilot – then Ship Departure on 12 April for Hong Kong.
I uploaded pertinent pages to Ebenefits.  I can email those to you if you like. It’s about 1.5MB.
Not sure but I think they have accepted my Vietnam Service – says no longer needed on my AO Blue water statement request.
I will keep you posted.
Oh, I live in Olongapo. retired Civil Service in 03. I was with NAESU / NATEC for 18 yrs as S3 and SH-60 Avionics rep at NORIS, CUBI and ATSUGI.
Haven’t been back to Sangley since 67
Please add me as user  PFSMITH
Philip Smith
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

VP40 Roster

I have updated the VP40 members roster today 8/15/2015.

It is on our MEMBERS ONLY page. It is in PDF, XLS, and XLSX formats.

I you cannot access it or view the roster please contact me at

ggfisk@vp40.com or call me.

Remember you must be a member and LOG IN to view this page.

Guy Fisk

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Newest Member

Welcome our newest member
Thomas (Tom) Lewis to our group.
Tom was in VP40 for 2 tours.
1st tour 1/64-8/67. He was an AX2
2nd tour 12/68-5/72. He was an AW1
He was in crews 12/4/7/1
His info is posted on our web site in the members only pages.
He and his wife Tina reside in Florida.

His email is tlewis1030@bellsouth.net


Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bill Hammatt

I was recently informed by Rick Carrell that Bill Hammatt passed away July 15, 2013.
Bill was an AX3 while in VP40 from 1965-1967.

His OBIT is posted on our Arrivals/Departure Page in the comments section.

I remember Bill, he was in the squadron in my time.

We are losing  members from the 1960 ERA now much to rapidly.

It is time to recruit new members to keep our group alive and kicking ……………


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment


I am pleased to add another new member to our group.
Jerry Bowman was in VP40 from 1965-1966.
He was an AX3 while in crew 9.
give him a shout at jwb2243@gmail.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

David Dearolph

Bob Foss informed me of Davids passing and I have been in contact with Captain Dearolphs son David Jr. He provided me with his obit today.

Obituary: Captain David E. Dearolph

Captain David E. Dearolph of Oviedo, Florida peacefully passed away at home surrounded by his children, grandchildren and brother on July 2, 2015 — two days short of his 89th birthday. His life was one of complete dedication to the Navy, its officers, its sailors and the nation they defend. David was born in Foxburg, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1926 as the eldest child of Edwin James Dearolph and Florence Mae Dearolph (née Rupert) of Parker, Pennsylvania. He earned his baccalaureate degree from the University of Rochester in June of 1947 and was commissioned in the United States Navy where he ultimately served for more than 34 years, defending his country in peace and war. After designation as a naval aviator in 1950, and recently married to Patricia Jean Shirey of Butler, Pennsylvania, he completed his first of eight overseas deployments during the Korean Conflict, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. In the course of his military career, he accumulated more than 5,600 flight hours in nine different types of naval aircraft, spanning the gamut from seaplanes to the supersonic RA-5C Vigilante and earned three individual Air Medals for aerial combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. As he progressed in rank from Ensign to Captain, he was privileged to command Reconnaissance Attack Squadron Five aboard the USS America and later served as Operations Officer aboard the USS Forrestal. As a senior officer, he served in Washington, D.C. on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and later as the Navy Liaison Officer to the Federal Aviation Administration, where his service was recognized with the Legion of Merit, our country’s second highest peacetime award. Dave left active duty in June 1978, and he and Patricia returned to central Florida where he was active in civic affairs and the leadership and music program of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Sanford, Florida. During this period, Patricia and Dave alternated their time between his Florida home and his family roots in Emlenton, Pennsylvania. He was preceded in death by his wife Patricia and his sister Jean and is survived by his brother Edward A. Dearolph of College Park, Georgia, daughter Dianne E. Carman of Clifton, Virginia, sons David J. Dearolph of Lynchburg, Virginia, Douglas J. Dearolph of Augusta, Georgia, Daniel J. Dearolph of Oviedo, Florida, nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren. His life will be honored at a memorial service at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Sanford, Florida on July 25 at 1:00 PM and internment will take place alongside his beloved bride at a future date in Parker, Pennsylvania. The family requests donations to the Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Sanford, Florida in lieu of flowers.
> Funeral service Holy Cross Episcopal Church Sanford, FL. 11:00 AM July 25, 2015
Burial August 15, 2015 at 1 PM at Parker Presbyterian church Parker Pennsylvania.
Gramkow Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment


I received this yesterday and I thought it is worth sharing with you all.
Lengthy but worth the read

Here is something well worth reading as the 4th of July approaches. It is good to remind ourselves every now and then that America has done a lot of good in this world over the past 200+ years. Many people gave their lives in the service of this ideal.

Citizenship as viewed by a Vietnamese Immigrant

On Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ , hosted
a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of
coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in
dedication to all Vietnam Veterans. Here’s what he had to say.
Thirty five years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand
up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I’d laugh
at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and
my family in the greatest country on earth.

I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I
am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my
experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I’d rather
speak to you as an American.

If you hadn’t noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable
with my people. I am a proud US citizen and here is my proof. It took
me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am
very proud of it.

I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six
years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could
re member anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I
can’t even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers;
10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf.

35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had
ended. At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or
may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the
first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the US. Somehow, my
family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California.
It was a miracle from God.

If you haven’t heard lately that this is the greatest country on
earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the
opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you
tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every
step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make
it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong.
I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little
boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I
took the opportunity and here I am.

This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a
socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is
the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a
one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn’t know, the only
difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your
head. That was my experience.

In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge
of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time
as an American. To this day, I can’t re member anything sweeter and
more patriotic than that moment in my life.

Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and
like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time
with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern
California. In some way and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here
and why I was here.

One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the
other side of the island. I don’t know what made me do it, but I
walked over and asked if he had served in Vietnam. He smiled and said
yes. I shook and held his hand. The grown man began to well up. I
walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was
emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew
something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to
be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.

You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn’t just a
physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an
American, you must understand the concept, you must accept this
concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this
concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I
am standing up here.

Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must
do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion,
you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can’t speak the
language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages –
last I looked on the Internet, there wasn’t a Vietnamese translation
of the US Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of
being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up
with the right words. It’s not easy, but if it’s too easy, it’s not
worth doing.

Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000
Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000
names scribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my
heroes. You are my founders.

At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please
stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I
thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now
ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand.
On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your
services and may God bless you all.

Quang Nguyen
Creative Director/Founder
Caddis Advertising, LLC
“God Bless America ”
“One Flag, One Language”
“One Nation Under God”

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 4th

A very moving video from Ray Charles for the 4th

have a fun 4th

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Agent Orange News

This I received today
June 18, 2015 | by Bryant Jordan

New rules posted to the federal register on Thursday make it possible for American service members exposed to Agent Orange years after the Vietnam War to be awarded compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for related health problems.

But it is unlikely that many of the now-eligible, dioxin-sickened veterans who previously applied for compensation will have an active date-of-claim any earlier than tomorrow — June 19, 2015 — when the rule change takes effect.

“The effective date will generally be the date of publication of the interim final rule — in this case, June 19, 2015 — as long as the veteran or reservist files a new or reopened claim with VA within one year of that date,” VA spokeswoman Meagan Lutz said.

The rule change applies to 2,000 or more veterans, most of them Air Force reservists who served aboard or maintained C-123 Providers contaminated with Agent Orange for years after the planes’ defoliation missions over Vietnam ended.

Until now, the VA has not recognized these service members for the purposes of Agent Orange compensation, and denied claims based on exposure to the dioxin.

One VA official, talking on background because he was not authorized to speak for the department, said one exception to the June 19 date-of-claim would be if a C-123 veteran has a claim that has not yet been denied. In that case, he said, compensation would commence from the original file date if the claim is approved.

The official was uncertain if there were other exceptions.

Bart Stichman, an attorney and joint executive director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program, expressed disappointment in general with the VA’s decision to not reconsider denied claims from the original file dates.

“That’s what I feared,” he told Military.com on Thursday. “They’re not going to go retro. That hurts people with longstanding claims. And they could have gone retro, so it’s giving [veterans] half a loaf.”

Stichman, who has been involved in Agent Orange cases and litigation with the VA for decades, said there are many veterans who filed claims in connection with exposure to Agent Orange aboard post-war C-123s, though he does not know just how many.

The VA said on Monday that the rules change was imminent and only awaited approval of the White House Office of Management and Budget. That happened on Thursday.

The Associated Press reported that the cost of the compensation will be about $45.7 million over the next 10 years, with separate health care coverage adding to that cost.

Stichman said the VA has, by its long delays in recognizing these veterans as victims of Agent Orange, harmed them. By refusing to honor the dates of previously filed claims, he said, “the delay is doubly harming.”

It’s not the first time the VA has done this, he said.

In 2011, the VA expanded compensation eligibility to troops exposed to Agent Orange along the Korean DMZ, but would pay claims only from the date of the rule change, he said. The NVLSP has a case in federal court seeking to change that, Stichman said.

In a statement announcing the change, VA Secretary Bob McDonald said the department will begin accepting and processing claims immediately.

The NVLSP and other veterans’ organizations have pressed Congress and the VA for years to honor claims filed by service members who served aboard the C-123s after Vietnam. Studies, including one published in January by the Institute of Medicine, backed veterans’ claims that the planes remained contaminated by the dioxin and were making the airmen ill.

The IOM study was requested by the VA.

Between 1972 and 1982, the study found, some 1,500 to 2,100 Air Force Reserve members trained and worked on the planes that had conducted the aerial spraying over Vietnam. Samples taken from the aircraft showed the presence of Agent Orange residues, the IOM found.

McDonald on Thursday said the decision to expand benefits following receipt of the IOM report was “the right thing to do.”

The evidence was needed, he said, “to ensure we can now fully compensate any former crew member who develops an Agent Orange-related disability.”

Those eligible included Air Force and Air Force Reserve flight, medical and ground maintainer personnel who served on the contaminated planes. The VA will now presume that development of Agent Orange-related conditions was caused by exposure to the residue.

The VA identified several specific units and bases where members could have been exposed to the residue, including the 906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups, or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadrons at Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio; the 731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts; and the 758th Airlift Squadron during the period 1969 to 1986 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, International Airport.

Airmen who served at these units and locations may file for a disability compensation claim online through the joint VA-Department of Defense web portal, eBenefits.

The VA also said in its statement that the contaminated aircraft may have been used at several active-duty Air Force bases following their service in Vietnam.

Those who served on an active-duty base where the aircraft were assigned or who had “regular and repeated contact with the aircraft through flight, ground or medical duties during the period 1969 to 1986, and who develop an Agent Orange-related disability” may apply by going to this VA website.

Claims not filed through eBenefits should be mailed to Department of Veterans Affairs, Claims Intake Center, Attention: C123 Claims, P.O. Box 5088, Janesville, WI 53547-5088. Alternatively, the claims may be faxed to the Wisconsin center at 608-373-6694.

Veterans with specific benefit questions related to dioxin exposure on C-123s may call the VA’s C-123 Hotline at 1-800-749-8387 (available 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST) or e-mail VSCC123.VAVBASPL@va.gov.

— Bryant Jordan can be reached at bryant.jordan@military.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment