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VH-6 | Rescue Squadron SIX


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VH-6 | Rescue Squadron SIX


Established 20 Sep 1944 NAS North Island, San Diego

Aircraft: Martin PBM-5 Mariner


Fleet Air Wing
FOURTEEN | 20 Sep 1944-4 Jun 1945
TWO | 5 Jun 1945-10 Jul 1945
ONE | 16 Jul 1945-


Notable events:
27 July 1945: VH-6 commences rescue operations around Okinawa, joining Rescue Squadron VH-3 which has been there since April.


8-10 August 1945: VH-6 rescues 13 downed aviators off Japan.


14 August 1945: While on a standby mission for a USAAF bomber strike, a PBM from VH-6 is harassed by three Zero Fighters. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning escort is called for assistance. In the ensuing melee, one attacking Zero is shot down and another is listed as a probable. The third Zero escapes after shooting down one of the P-38's (whose pilot does not survive).


I acquired a wonderful lot attributed to Lieut. (JG) Frederick Elmer Elg, USNR, who served in VH-6. Two thick scrapbooks with hundreds of photos chronicling his WWII experience, wings, ribbons and  squadron patch.


Embroidered on cotton.




Lieut. F. E. Elg, second from left, 22 May 1945 in Hollywood CA.





Lieut. Fred Elg's account of the war was published in a local newspaper in 2010, shown below.




Martin PBM-5 Mariner



The official history of the squadron can be found on fold3.com, here.


Flight training in San Diego was in accordance with the prescribed syllabus for rescue squadrons. Special air/sea rescue exercises were conducted with planes and personnel of the squadron at Salton Sea, California. During the month of May 1945, it became apparent that all crews of the squadron were to be combat crews, that all guns were to be kept in the planes and that it would be advisable, if not necessary, to have ground and flight training in gunnery before engaging in air/sea rescue work in the forward areas. On 23 May 1945 nine crews departed for Pearl Harbor.


On page 16 of the narrative history, it states:

One of the most notable performances in flight occurred on one August 1945, when a plane of which Lieut. (JG) F. E. Elg, USNR, the patrol plane commander, lost its port engine over 400 miles north of Chima Wan, opposite the western part of Kyushu. The plane was successfully returned to Chimu Wan, notwithstanding adverse conditions including headwinds and whether which necessitated flying on instruments most of the time. In addition, the plane had no escort during the return flight and would have been easy prey for any enemy patrols which were likely to have been encountered during the return trip.


The Squadron's roster dated august 1945 listed 32 officers and 83 enlisted.



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