By Dana Bell
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CV-18) stood by the other until the Marlin was retrieved by the seaplane tender Pine Island. Both aircraft were returned to service. On 1 June, VP50, based at Alameda, traded in its PBM-5S2s and became the last seaplane squadron in the Navy to convert to the Marlin. Upon completion of the transition, the squadron's permanent homeport was changed to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. 1957: VP-46 deployed to Sangley Point from March to July 1957. As the 78 Besides performing the daily operational surveillance flights directed by Commander Fleet Air Wing One, VP42 operated one or more of its aircraft from advance bases established by the Pacific Fleet's seaplane tenders at Buckner Bay in Okinawa, Boko-Ko in the Pescadores Islands and at Puerto Princesa, Cebu, Igat Bay, and Mangarin Bay in the Phillipines.
Currituck sailed from Wales bound for Taranto, Italy, but was diverted to perform the recovery of a disabled Marlin at Marignane (near Marseilles), France. Because of Currituck's unscheduled diversion to Marseilles, the Marlins were initially tended in Taranto by the Advanced Base Ship Alameda County (AVB-1 ). Alameda County was a converted Landing Ship Tank (LST-32) and with about 200 aircrew on board, accommodations were Spartan. Currituck was a welcome sight to the aircrews when she finally arrived at Taranto.
E were just a short distance away nd went to their last known position. ter an hour of searching, one of my rew spotted a light on the water. We w over to the light and radioed for hips to proceed to our position. We Ircled the people in the water until rst light, dropping flares hoping to tract some ships to help. S. African Pilot on the radar and flew to him and got him to head for the survivors. We dropped smoke lights ahead of the ship to lead him to the crew. As soon as the ship had the crew in sight we headed for BOA (Bermuda) and landed on fumes-getting 13 hours out of the P2V-7, We leaned the engines until we had 100 rpm drop and did a little praying and a lot of sweating before we hit the runway at Bermuda.
A-10 Thunderbolt II by Dana Bell