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VB-131 | VPB-131 | Walt Disney Studios design


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VB-131 | VPB-131

Established as Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY ONE (VB-131) on 8 March 1943.
Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY ONE (VPB-131) on 1 October 1944.

PV-1 "Ventura" | Mar 1943
PV-2 "Harpoon" | Sep 1945

The squadron’s only insignia was approved by CNO on 3 August 1944. The design, created by the Walt Disney Studios, featured a winged armored gauntlet suspended above the waves. Colors: field, indigo; water, green; gauntlet, apricot; left wing, apricot with ocher quills; right wing, olive drab.


Silkscreened on wool.




PV-1 "Ventura"




PV-2 "Harpoon"


8 Mar 1943: VB-131 was established at Deland, Fla., as a medium bombing squadron flying the twin engine PV-1 Ventura. Most of the pilots were from PBY Catalina and OS2U Kingfisher inshore patrol squadrons and were unfamiliar with the Ventura.

31 May 1943: The squadron was transferred to NAAF Boca Chica, Fla., for intensive ASW training in preparation for operational deployment, even though it had still received only four of its aircraft out of an assigned complement of 12.

28 Jun 1943: VB-131 was transferred to NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under the operational control of FAW-11.

8 Oct 1944: VPB-131 departed NAS Whidbey Island for NAS Attu, Alaska, under the operational control of FAW-4, as the relief squadron for VPB-135.

4 Nov 1944: Lieutenant Robert A. Ellingboe and five crewmen were reported missing in action during a daylight attack on Toroshimo Retto, the squadron’s first combat mission. Eight VPB-131 Venturas were serving as fighter escort for the Army 28th Bombardment Group’s B-24 Liberators when attacked by ten enemy fighters. Lieutenant Ellingboe’s Ventura was hit and crashed in flames into the sea.

5 Jan 1945: VPB-131 ceased combat operation briefly when the remainder of the squadron aircraft were fitted with rocket hard points and the pilots were given a period of training on rocket firing techniques by six of the squadron pilots who had received the training at Pasco, Wash. The western tip of Agattu Island, Aleutians chain, was used as a firing range for the new HVAR rockets.

24 Jan 1945: The squadron conducted its first rocket attacks against enemy positions at Kokutan Zaki, Shimushu, Kuriles. Further attacks were conducted against military targets and fisheries at Kurabu Zaki, Paramushiro; Kokutan Zaki and Minami Zaki, Shimushi; Masugawa, Paramushiro; Hayake Gawa, Paramushiro; and Torishima Retto, Paramushiro, through the end March 1945. From April through July, the combat activity decreased and missions were assigned that usually involved only daily searches from Attu for enemy presence.

20 Feb 1945: Lieutenant Powers received damage to his port engine from debris thrown up by his own rockets after an attack on Minami Zaki, Shimushu. He was unable to land at the Russian airfield at Petropavlosk, which was closed due to weather, and instead headed for Cape Lopatka. The crew bailed out over the Russian installation there and all hands were recovered without injury. The crew was transported across Siberia by train and truck, and eventually returned to the United States via Europe.

2 Aug 1945: VPB-131 departed Attu after being relieved by VPB-120, arriving at Whidbey Island, Wash., on 6 August 1945, the day the first atom bomb was released over Hiroshima.


Roberts, Michael D. Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons. Vol. 2. pp 373-374.

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