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Comission Place: NAS Coco Solo, Panama


Having been derived from the post-war squadron, VPMS-10, Patrol Squadron FORTY was first commissioned on September 1 1948 at Naval Station Coco Solo, Panama. On January 25, 1950, the squadron was decommissioned. Approximately six months after hostilities began in Korea, the squadron was re-commissioned on January 20, 1951, at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, CA. Operating continuously in this role until November 1967, VP-40 became the last significant chapter in the history of the seaplane with the U.S. Navy. Initially flying the famous Martin PBM-5 & PBM-5S "Mariner" aircraft, the squadron transitioned to the Martin P5M-1 "Martin" in 1953 and finally to the P5M-2, the last seaplane manufactured for use by the U.S. Navy, in 1960. VP-40 was the last operational seaplane squadron with the U.S. Navy, ending 57 years of naval seaplane aviation, from 1911 to1968. 

Between 1951 and 1958, Patrol Squadron FORTY operated continuous rotating deployments to the Western Pacific, performing a myriad of operations. Operating from such places as Iwakuni and Okinawa in Japan, Boko Ko in the Pescadores  and Sangley Point in the Philippines, they performed antisubmarine warfare operations, ship surveillance, weather reconnaissance, air-sea rescue and seaplane-tender operations. 

In 1959, the squadron changed home port to Naval Station Sangley Point, the Philippines, where they adopted the motto "Laging Handa," meaning "always ready" in the native language. For over four years the squadron flew operational and tactical patrols throughout the Philippines area and the South China Sea, and in 1964, returned to NAS North Island as their home port. 

In its final years the seaplane played a major role in the Vietnam conflict. The U.S. Navy operated the P5M-2 (SP-5B) Martin "Marlins" in support of the Vietnam effort between 1965 and 1967 as part of "Operation Market Time." VP-40 rotated continuous deployments from San Diego to NS Sangley Point from where they flew routine patrols between 1965 and 1967. From there they conducted extensive Seaplane Tender Operations with tenders Currituck, Salisbury Sound, and Pine Island in such places as Ko Samui, Thailand; Con Son Islands Da Nang, and Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam. In April 1967, VP-40 and the USS Currituck, AV-7, participated in the last Seaplane - Tender operation conducted by the U.S. Navy at Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam. The Navy's last "Market Time" patrol by a SP-5B Marlin was flown by VP-40 from Cam Ranh Bay on April 11, 1967. Following their return to NAS North Island, Patrol Squadron FORTY flew the last operational flight of a U.S. Navy seaplane (SP-5B QE-10, BuNo 135533) on November 6, 1967. As the last active seaplane squadron, the aircraft were then retired in favor of the newer Lockheed P-3B, "Orion" and the squadron changed home-port to NAS Moffett Field, California. 

On July 8, 1968, the Navy's last seaplane, VP-40 QE-10, BuNo 135533, was restored for a commemorative flight from San Diego to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, where it was officially turned over to the Smithsonian Institution. This historic aircraft is now on permanent display at the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida, and is the only surviving example of this aircraft type.

(with individual records in the National Flight Log)
Barth, Bruce D. #1720 
Jenson, William G #1771
Bettis Wilbur F. #1801 
Keanley, Mark J. #1694
Bradley, Max Tharon #1770
Laney, Jack S. #1917
Clinton, Jack W. #1709 
Lindsay, Donald L. #1101
Cockroft, Irving G. #1518 
Lyon, James J. #1915
Cully, John P. #1865 
Marlin, Hubert A. #1102
DeLaMater, Richard C. #1727 
Montgomery H.E. #1633
Dombrowski, Richard M. #1638 
Neal William H. #836
Edwards, Tommy D. #1845 
Peachie, Leon A. #1793
Ferguson, Richard #1913
Peper, Harold J. #1807
Foss, Robert R. #1916 
Price Stewart W. #1896
Fredrick, Russell E. #1723
Rardin, Thomas J. #1914
Goodman, J.T. #1741
 Register, Marvin O. #1701
Handler, Bruce H. #1912 
Swall Malcolm F. #1767
Hood, Ray F. #1643 
Tighe, Donald #1893
Humphries, Frank W. #1654 
Webster, Robert D. #1792
Akins, Horace L. #1969
Bogil, George #1948
Collins, Robert E. #2018
Dagley, James H. #1965
Foote, Edward J. #2007
Howard, James P. #2006
Jones, Normal #2010
Longino, Hugh E. #1980
McVadon, Eric A. #1949
Tippie, Bruce E. #2012
Underwood, Robert J. #1959
Beamon, Frank # 2977
Wallace, Marshall E. #2976
Bottoms, Frank #2730
Jones, Samuel G. #2644

Based on code developed by Richards Consulting Group