Jump to content

VB-136 | VPB-136 | Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SIX


Recommended Posts

VB-136 | VPB-136 | Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SIX


Redesignated Patrol Squadron FORTY ONE (VP-41) on 1 July 1939.

Redesignated Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SIX (VB-136) on 1 March 1943.

Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SIX (VPB-136) on 1 October 1944.

Redesignated Patrol Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SIX (VP-136) on 15 May 1946.




The head of a Husky was drawn on a circular background, depicted licking his lips in anticipation of jumping into an impending fray. Colors: sky, light blue; hills, purple and mauve; tree, green and white; foreground, white; and husky’s tongue orange and red. This insignia was used by the squadron through each of its redesignations from VP-41 forward.

Aircraft: PBY-5/PBY-5A Catalina; PV-1 Ventura


Highlights of activities:


7 February 1942: Upon returning from Alaska, VP-41 turned in its PBY-5s and was refitted with new PBY-5A amphibious aircraft. War patrols were commenced from NAS Tongue Point, Washington, providing escort coverage for convoys.

26 May 1942: VP-41 returned to NAF Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in preparation for the anticipated attacks by Japanese naval forces. VP-42 arrived at the same time and was based at NAF Cold Bay, Alaska. Aircraft of both squadrons were dispersed to fjords and operated from the tender USS Casco to prevent the reoccurrence of an entire squadron being destroyed due to surprise enemy attacks as occurred during the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

2–3 June 1942: Two VP-41 Catalinas spotted the enemy task force 210 miles (340 km) from Dutch Harbor. Both aircraft were shot down with the loss of both crews, except for one crewman taken prisoner.


6–13 June 1942: Japanese forces landed 1,250 men on the island of Kiska, in the Aleutians, on the 6th. On the 7th a second force began occupying Attu Island, also in the Aleutian island chain. Lieutenant Litsey of VP-41 was the first to spot the enemy troops on Kiska and the Japanese task force assembled in the bay. On 11 June 1942, Commander Patrol Wing 4 received a message from Commander in Chief Pacific which said, "bomb the enemy out of Kiska." Following unsuccessful missions by USAAF B-17s and B-24s, aircraft available from VPs 41, 42, 43 and 51 commenced continuous bombing missions against targets in Kiska harbor from 11 to 13 June. These missions became known as the "Kiska Blitz." During these bombing strikes the aircraft were serviced by USS Gillis at Nazan Bay, Atka Island. Efforts to use the PBYs as horizontal bombers dropping their bombs from above the clouds proved futile. Pilots began attacking singly, approaching from a direction that provided the best cloud cover. When they were over the harbor the Catalinas were put into a dive and bombs released at appropriate time. The flak was intense. A pullout was initiated at between 500 and 1,500 feet, and the plane immediately again sought cover in the clouds. The raids continued until Gillis ran out of bombs and fuel. During the "Blitz" Lieutenant William N. Thies was awarded the Navy Cross for attacking enemy shipping, scoring a confirmed hit on a large enemy transport. Ensign James T. Hildebrand, Jr., was also awarded the Navy Cross for his participation in all-night aerial patrols and bombing attacks on enemy ships in Kiska harbor.


1 March 1943: VP-41 was redesignated VB-136 to reflect its change from a patrol squadron to a bombing squadron. By May the PBY-5A flying boats had been turned in, and the squadron began refitting with the PV-1 Ventura.


13 August 1943: The squadron put forth an all out effort to attack the Japanese on Kiska in support of the Army landings being conducted. After the staunch resistance offered by the Japanese during the Battle of Attu three months earlier, the Army requested that the Navy surface and air forces thoroughly batter the enemy before the landings commence. After several days of intense naval gunfire and bombing, Admiral Kincaid, commander of the naval forces, gave General Buckner, commander of the Army landing forces, the assurance that the landing zones would be clear. Upon landing the Army found that the Japanese had conducted a withdrawal of all their personnel under cover of bad weather.

1 October 1943: With the withdrawal of the Japanese forces from the Aleutians, VB-136 was relocated to Attu and employed in long-range missions into the Japanese-held northern Kurile Islands. The squadron returned to NAF Adak for rest and refit on 10 October 1943.


7 June 1944: The squadron deployed for a tour in the Aleutians, operating from the island of Attu. Operational searches, tactical bombing, and photographic reconnaissance were conducted over the northern Kuriles.



Roberts, Michael D. Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons. Naval Historical Center. Washington, DC. 2000. Volume 2. p  29.

National Geographic Society. Insignia and Decorations of the U. S. Armed Forces. Revised, December, 1944. p 178.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...