Category Archives: VB-104

4/1/44 VB-104 Names

Dad’s memorabilia included this list of the names of men serving in VB-104 Squadron as of 4/1/1944. Some of the names are difficult to read, including August Lodato whose first and last names I’m familiar with because he flew with Dad. The others are mostly readable except the last one apparently added out of alphabetical order at the bottom. I hope this list may be helpful to anyone seeking more info on who was in this “first tour” of the 104.

4/1/33 Name List
4/1/33 Name List
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Aircraft 81 Request

We received this from Dave Calhoun, seeking more info about his great uncle Robert Miller, crew on aircraft #81 second tour (bottom photo):

Here are photos of Whitney Wright’s crews from first tour and second tour. Also a profile of his first tour aircraft. These were provided by the nephew of Tom Dempster who was on his crew in the first tour. I’m still trying to find a full photo of aircraft #869 used in the 2nd tour.

Update: Dave says aircraft #38869 was lost 5/13/45, 2 miles off Lingayen Peninsula, PI. Apparently not Wright’s crew. It had an APS-15 radar in the belly turret.

Please contact us if you have any information to share.

#81 Markings
#81 Markings
#81 Crew Tour 1
#81 Crew Tour 1
#81 Crew Tour 2
#81 Crew Tour 2

Book Transcript Sought: Original Records

I have a printed copy of a booklet printed up from transcribed original records, titled “VB-104 April 1943 – April 1944” and I’m seeking the digital version it was printed from in WordPerfect or any other electronic format. I’ll add it to this site once someone is kind enough to share a digital version of this book (mentioned inside). Here’s a rather bad reproduction of the cover:

VB-104 4/43-4/44 - Cover
VB-104 4/43-4/44 – Cover

Inside is this longer title and partial description:

VB-104 4/43-4/44 - pg.0-i
VB-104 4/43-4/44 – pg.0-i

After the Table Of Contents is some introductory information describing the nature of the subject matter,  and the method of transcribing the original documents in 1995:

VB-104 4/43-4/44 - pg.0-v
VB-104 4/43-4/44 – pg.0-v

It continues on the next page, describing how the originals were transcribed into the WordPerfect application popular in 1995 and which I’m familiar with. In addition to VAdm & Mrs. Sears, the final transcription work was done by H. J. Thompson, A. M. Lodato, and Charlie Ehemann. If you have a copy of these WordPerfect files or know someone who does, please contact me via the Contact Form for this site.

PB4Y-2 Privateer

The international Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has just announced that the world’s only flying Consolidated Vultee PB4Y-2 “Privateer” is scheduled to appear at their AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, WI from July 20 – 26, 2015.

PB4Y-2 at Casa Grande, AZ Feb. 20, 2015
PB4Y-2 at Casa Grande, AZ Feb. 20, 2015

It has been restored to original Navy equipment configuration and is currently in polished aluminum livery. It had served as a forest fire water bomber after the war, and is now based in Casa Grande. You can get more information about this aircraft and event by clicking this EAA link.

VB-104 Aircraft Numbers & Names

The following list of official aircraft ID numbers and unofficial names for PB4Y-1 planes in the original VB-104 Squadron is adapted from the PacificWrecks website (see the Links page here). ID numbers with aircraft photos available may be clicked to show that photo.

ID Name Pilot Notes
32009
32012 “Jungle Fever” Honey MIA November 15, 1943
32048 “Sears Steers”
32060 “Momentary Dysentary” Later in VB-4 accident 10/24/44 NAS Jacksonville
32061 “Mark’s Farts”
32069 Anderson MIA March 9, 1944
32071 “Red’s Devils”
32073 “Pistol Packin’ Mama” Later in VB-117 crash Camp Kearney June 6, 1944
32074 “Donald’s Duck” Ground-looped January 29, 1944
32076 “You Got It” Humphrey Destroyed in Carney raid with no crew injuries
32077 “Vulnerable Virgin” MIA January 8, 1944 South Pacific, 10 MIA
32079 “Whata-Honey” Searle MIA March 7, 1944
32080  “Unapproachable”
32081 “Whit’s Shits”
32083 “Astro Arsenal”