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Comission Place: Norfolk, Virginia


VP-74 was formed on 1 July 1941 from the VP-55 squadron at Norfolk, Virginia. On 19 July 1941, the

squadron was sent to Argentia, Newfoundland and in August 1941, five PBM planes were sent to Reykjavik, Iceland (Skerja Fjord) to fly convoy patrols. The squadron flew Martin PBM Mariner seaplanes. Lieutenant Commander A.B. Vosseler was the first commanding officer of VP-74.
 Following the assignment to Iceland, the squadron was sent to Bermuda, in January of 1942, and served there until September of 1942. While in Bermuda the squadron was credited with its first sinking of a U-boat. A plane piloted by Lieutenant Richard Schreder sank U-158 on 30 June 1942. From Bermuda, VP-74 was sent to Trinidad BWI, on 2 Sept 1942. The squadron planes had been updated to Martin PBM-3s at this time. They had previously flown PBM-1s.
In December of 1942, the squadron moved farther south to Brazil. They would be stationed at various bases while in the South American country. 
VP-74 sank four more U-boats while in Brazil.

17 May 1943 - U-128 sunk by planes flown by Lieutenant Howland Davis and Lieutenant Junior Grade Harold Carey were credited with the sinking along with the Destroyers Jouett and Moffatt.

19 July 1943 - A PBM of VP-74 piloted by Lieutenant Roy Whitcomb sank U-513.

31 July 1943 - U-199 was sunk by a squadron plane flown by Lieutenant Junior Grade Walter Smith and a Brazilian Hudson.

27 Sept 1943 - U-161 was sunk by a VP-74 plane piloted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Harry Patterson.

There were 10 U-boats sunk by the Martin PBM Mariners and VP-74 was credited with five of the successes during World War II. While the squadron was in Brazil, a plane flown by Lieutenant Junior Grade H.C. Carey out of Rio de Janeiro was lost on 4 July 1943, while attacking U-199. The entire crew of 11 was lost.

Established as Patrol Squadron 55 - 1 Aug 1940 (VP-55)

Redesignated Patrol Squadron 74 - 1 July 1941 (VP-74)

Redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron 74 - 1 Oct 1944 (VPB-74)

Redesignated Patrol Squadron 74 - 15 May 1946 (VP-74)

Redesignated Medium Patrol Squadron (Seaplane) 10 - 15 Nov 1946 (VP-MS-10)

Redesignated Patrol Squadron 40 - 1 Sept 1940 (VP-40)

Disestablished 25 January 1950

Commanding Officers

  • LCDR A.B. Vosseller
  • LCDR W.F. Cleaves
  • LCDR W.A. Thorn
  • LCDR J.C. Toth
  • LCDR G.C. Merrick
  • LCDR F.W. Brown
  • LCDR J.C. Lafferty
  • LCDR J.H. Graves
  • CDR H.G. Perronet
  • CDR. R.L. McCabe
  • LCDR W.D. Harrington

Based on code developed by Richards Consulting Group