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“The World Famous Blue Sharks” (1943-1993) PATRON SIX“
“This site is dedicated to preserving the history and memories of the shipmates of Patrol Squadron SIX.”


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Although this history was compiled from numerous sources, the majority of the information found here was taken from the Naval Historical Center's Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, and VP-6 Squadron cruise books from the 1958 Iwakuni,1986 NAS Cubi Point, and 1987-1988 NAS Adak deployments.

15 Jul 1943: Bombing Squadron One Hundred Forty-Six VB-146 established at Naval Air Station NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The squadron was assigned to fly theLockheed PV-1 Ventura. On 5 December 1943, the squadron moved to NAS Alameda, California, for final training prior to combat deployment. On 22 December 1943 all squadron aircraft, equipment and personnel were embarked aboard USS Coral Sea (CVE 57) for conveyance to Naval Air Station NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii.

29 Aug 1943: Lieutenant Commander Ralph R. Beacham and his crew of five were lost between Bellingham and Everett, Washington, in inclement weather during a routine instrument training flight in a Lockheed PV-1 (BuNo. 34637). A search for the aircraft was begun when it became overdue, but the dense tree cover in the mountains and poor visibility due to bad weather conditions prevented the search teams from finding the aircraft or crew.

28 Dec 1943: VB-146 commenced combat training while conducting actual wartime patrols off the coasts of the Hawaiian islands, convoy patrol duties in the Central Pacific and advanced base patrols from Midway and Johnston Island.

9 Apr 1944: VB-146 aircrews received training in air-to-ground rocket firing and advanced ASW techniques.

8 Jun 1944: With 15 PV-1 aircraft, the squadron was deployed to the South Pacific area of the Admiralty Islands, conducting combat operations from Palmyra, Canton, Funafuti. Espiritu Santo and Pityilu. On 24 June, while based at Pityilu Island, the squadron was placed under Task Force 70.2 for operational control.

19 Oct 1944: Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Forty-Six VPB-146 deployed to Morotoi to conduct sector searches and strikes on Japanese shipping.

1 Dec 1944: VPB-146 deployed to Mokerang airdrome, Los Negros Island. Duties included 800-mile search sectors, ASW patrol and anti-shipping missions in support of the Morotoi landings and the Leyte, Philippines occupation. Upon arrival at Mokerang one half of the squadron personnel were given R&R to Australia. The squadron won two battle stars for the Morotal landings and the Leyte occupation.

18 Feb 1945: VPB-146 departed the combat zone for return to NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii, and on to NAS San Diego, California for further training in preparation for a second combat tour.

15 Apr 1945: VPB-146 was reformed and commenced familiarization training on the new Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon at Naval Air Station NAS Moffett Field, California.

Sep 1946: Orders were received for deployment to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The squadron arrived on 2 October 1946 aboard the aircraft carrier Point Cruz, and was stationed at Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii. Over the next several months, duties consisted of search and anti-submarine warfare ASW exercises with the fleet.

7 Nov 1946: A detachment of squadron aircraft was sent to Naval Air Station NAS Alameda, California, for deployment to Mexico City to participate in an air demonstration for the presidential inauguration ceremonies. Upon completion of the detail, the detachment ferried PV-2s to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, before returning to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii on 13 December 1946.

12 Dec 1947: VP-ML-6 was notified of a change in permanent home base to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The first elements of squadron personnel boarded USS Suisun (AVP 53) for return to the continental United States on 12 January 1948. The squadron officially detached from FAW-2 on 30 January 1948.

30 Jan 1948: VP-ML-6 began transition training to the Lockheed P2V-2 Neptune at NMS Miramar, California. Between its transition to the P2V-2 at Miramar in 1948 and 1950, the squadron conducted training operations at NAS Whidbey Island and deployed for a period of six months to the Naval Air Facility at Adak in the Aleutian Islands.

Sep 1948. The squadron was designated VP-6 (Patrol Squadron SIX).

Apr 1950: New Lockheed P2V-3 and P2V-3N aircraft were received as replacements for the older P2V-2 aircraft flown by the squadron.

28 Jun 1950-12 Feb 1951: VP-6 deployed to Korea as the first patrol squadron in the theater of operations after the outbreak of hostilities and the first to fly the Lockheed P2V Neptune in combat. During this tour the squadron operated from Johnson AFB, Japan 7 July-6 August 1950: Tachikawa AFB, Japan, 6 August 1950-12 February 1951: and a detachment at Atsugi Japan, 5 January-12 February 1951. Combat patrols were flown over the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan from bases in the north of Japan. Special assignments included reconnaissance flights, cover for the Inchon landings and the evacuations of Hamhung and the Chosen reservoir.

29 Jul 1950: Two PATRON SIX P2V-3s, piloted by Lieutenant Commander R. L. Ettinger and Lieutenant William J. Pressler, sighted a train along the Korean coast near Chongjin. The two crews destroyed the train with 5-inch rockets and 20-mm bow guns.

13 Aug 1950: Two Patrol Squadron SIX Neptunes, led by Lieutenant Commander E. B. Rogers, attacked several boats and barges engaged in mine laying near Chinnampo. Three boats and two barges were sunk. Roger's P-2 Neptune was holed six times by enemy fire. On the same day, other VP-6 aircraft damaged two surface craft near Wonson, Korea.

16 Aug 1950: A VP-6 P2V-3 Buno 122940 piloted by Ensign William F. Goodman, attacked an enemy patrol vessel near Chinnampo, Korea. The starboard engine of his aircraft was damaged by enemy AAA fire and was ditched 6 miles west of Paeng Nylong-do. The entire crew was rescued by the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Kenya. As a result of this loss, patrol aircraft were no longer assigned attack missions in Korea.

Oct 1950: While on deployment in Japan, Patrol Squadron SIX acquired the name "Blue Sharks" as a result of a feature story in Collier's magazine entitled "Blue Sharks off the Red Coast." The article described the Lockheed P2V "Neptune" as a "Blue Shark."

1 Aug 1951: During VP-6's second combat deployment to Korea it moved to Naval Air Facility NAF Naha, Okinawa, to conduct aerial reconnaissance off the China Coast under the operational control of FAW-1. In the Korean Theater, PATRON SIX was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and six engagement stars for operations under Fleet Air Wing Six. VP-6 became the only patrol squadron awarded the Navy Unit Citation during the Korean War.

Nov 1951: In November, VP-6 participated in the search for Pan-American Flight 944, lost in the western Pacific. The futile search for survivors was the largest air-sea rescue operation ever conducted in the Pacific.

6 Nov 1951: A Crew 12 Patrol Squadron SIX Lockheed P2V-3W was shot down with the loss of all hands (10 aircrewmen) by Soviet La-11 fighter aircraft (piloted by I. Ya. Lukashyev and M.K. Shchukin) while on patrol in the Sea of Japan off Vladivostok, Siberia. BuNo 124283 was conducting a weather reconnaissance mission under United Nations command. The attack occurred over international waters, but the Russians claimed the aircraft had violated Soviet airspace over Cape Ostrovnaya. The Soviet pilots reported that they intercepted the VP-6 aircraft near Cape Ostrovnoy approximately 7-8 miles from the shore. After firing upon the P-2 Neptune, the aircraft burned, fell into the water, and exploded 18 miles from the shore killing the entire crew:

LT Judd C. Hodgson
LT Sam Rosenfeld
ENS A. Smith
AO1 Reuben S. Baggett
AD1 Paul R. Foster
AT1 Erwin D. Raglin
AL2 Paul G. Juric
AT2 William S. Meyer
AL2 Ralph A. Wiger, Jr.
AD3 Jack Lively

Honolulu Advertiser article on VP-6 squadronmate Charles Pomeroy's annual remembrance of Crew 12

26 Dec 1951: A VP-6 Lockheed P2V-3 Neptune, buno 122972 ditched at night, at sea off Atsugi, Japan (3905N 13011E) in bad weather during a night weather reconnaissance mission due to a runaway prop. Two crew members were lost:

CDR R.J. Perkinson PPC
ALCA K.K. Hathorn


A list of Korean War Personnel Missing

1952 The first half of 1952 was spent in a training cycle at Barber's Point.

1 Jul 1952: VP-6 departed Hawaii for NAS Kodiak, Alaska. Detachments were maintained at Ladd Air Force Base AFB from 14 August -17 September and at Naval Air Station NAS Adak from 10-20 December 1952, in support of the Cold Weather Advance Base exercise (Beaufort Sea Expedition).

1953 Another extensive training program at Barber's Point was followed by a temporary move to NAS Agana, Guam from which the squadron deployed to NAS Sangley Point in the Philippine Islands to fly protective missions over shipping lanes.

22 Dec 1953: A VP-6 Lockheed P2V-3 Neptune, buno 122964, landed long at Kaitak, Airport, Hong Kong and caught fire. There were no fatalities.

Feb 1954  PATRON SIX was equipped with P2V-5F's and shortly thereafter deployed again to Kodiak for a period of five months. It was on this movement to Kodiak that one of VP-6's aircraft was credited with the longest single-engine flight by a multi-engine aircraft The incident occurred in the squadron's number three aircraft piloted by LTJG Combs and LTJG Schultz. Three minutes prior to reaching ocean station November, midway between Hawaii and Alameda, the number one engine caught fire. The fire was extinguished but the engine was secured. The flight continued on toward Alameda, still a distance of 1200 miles. Just west of the coast the starboard engine began to run rough under the heavy strain, but LTJG Combs was able to execute an emergency landing at Half Moon Bay, 25 miles south of San Francisco. Several months later an official report of this flight appeared in Naval Aviation News.

17 Feb 1955: A VP-6 P2V-5 Neptune buno 128399 flying out of Kodiak, Alaska impacted a mountain at 2000 feet, 30 nautical miles northwest of Elmendorf AFB. The aircraft was lost with all hands:

LTJG J.H. Hempen PPC
ENS M.P. Brown Navigator
ENS G.H. Greig Co-pilot
AOC J.C. Coon Jr. Ordnanceman
ADC E.A. Crawford 2nd mechanic
ATC C.A. Trostel Passenger
AT1 I.R. Raburn Radioman
AE2 J.C. Baze Jr. Passenger
AT2 D.P. Bissett Radar Operator
AD2 D.L. Morgan
AT3 L.R. Ripoll 2nd Radioman

07 Dec 1955 VP-6 P2V-5 buno 124899 was lost off Kauai. 7 crewmembers were lost: 

 AOC Roger Lewis Serafine
 AE1 Billy Cunningham
 AD1 William Stephen Lewandowski
 AT2 Milford Roy Dobrenz
 AO2 Bernard Goldmark
 AN Richard Lee Chubbuck
 AN Don Michael McMillan

Mar 1956: Patrol Squadron SIX departed Barber's Point for a six-month tour in Iwakuni, Japan. One of the highlights of this deployment was the adoption of an orphaned Japanese-American boy by LCDR George Seibengartner. Sponsorship of an orphanage in the Iwakuni area was undertaken by the squadron, climaxed by an open house on the base for the children of the orphanage.

Sep 1956: PATRON SIX again returned to Barber's Point for an 18 month training cycle including participation in a number of fleet exercises which resulted in a grade of excellent in the Operational Readiness Inspection.

VP-6 Crew 5 1957

The same grade was achieved in the Administrative-Material Inspection held in July of 1957. These inspections were followed by Fleet-wide Competitive Exercises in which LTJG E. M. O'Brien’s crew 5, achieved the previously unhead of score of 100% In recognition, Mr. O'Brien and his crew received a letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.

Nov 1957: VP-6 participated in the search of Pan American Flight #944, reported to be the largest Air Sea Rescue Operation ever to be conducted in the Pacific.

Mar 1958: The training cycle drew to a close in March 1958 when all twelve aircraft departed Barber's Point in formation for Iwakuni. This movement was completed in three days via Kwajalein and Guam, with all twelve aircraft arriving over Iwakuni in formation. Patrol Squadron SIX was the only patrol squadron ever to accomplish this feat.

Jul 1962: Patrol Squadron SIX crews flew one thousand hours during operations at Johnston Island in conjunction with testing of nuclear devices (Operation Domenic). Air samples were collected in the zone near the test site and downwind to check on radioactivity and particle dispersion.

Apr 1962: A VP-6 Lockheed Neptune, flown by Lieutenant Commander G. L. Page, ditched in the Sea of Japan after both reciprocating engines experienced mechanical problems and were feathered. The ditching was smoothly executed and the crew was picked up within minutes with no injuries.

9 Aug 1964: VP-6 participated in the response to the Tonkin Gulf Crisis with the Seventh Fleet, in waters off Southeast Asia. PATRON SIX SP-2Es flew surveillance and ASW patrols over the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea during this period. VP-6 was based at NAF Naha, Okinawa, on 18 August 1964, relieving VP17. A detachment was maintained at NAS Cubi Point, RP. A few months later VP-6 was transferred to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, where it was relieved on 25 January 1965 by VP-2. Over 5,500 accident free hours of extensive operational and training flights were flown during the deployment. The "Blue Sharks" were awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for their participation in the Seventh Fleet operations in Southeast Asia.

1965: VP-6 transitioned to the Lockheed P-3A Orion and soon thereafter the last Lockheed SP-2E Neptune in the Pacific Fleet was retired from active service.

Aug-Sep 1965: Two VP-6 P-2V Neptune aircraft participated in Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) "Fearless Johnny Test 65-17", a United States Army aerial-delivered chemical weapons test conducted southwest of Honolulu. The test subject vessel, USS George Eastman (YAG-39) was "challenged by VX nerve agent or its simulant, diethylphthlate, to evaluate the magnitude of exterior and interior contamination levels under three material readiness conditions, demonstrate the effectiveness of the shipboard water washdown system, and evaluate the operational impact of gross VX nerve agent contamination on a US Navy ship." The VP-6 aircraft were used as airborne command posts and to provide surveillance of the operating area.  (Anyone who believes they were part of the SHAD tests, should contact: Vietnam Veterans of America).

15 Aug 1967: The Blue Sharks were the first patrol squadron at NAS Barbers Point to receive Bullpup missiles for the P-3A Orion. The small missile was carried under the wing of the P-3A, and was intended for air-to-surface attacks against small targets ashore and afloat.

17 Oct 1967: Patrol Squadron SIX received the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award for over 12,500 accident free flight hours during fiscal year 1967. Later, as a member of the Task Group 32.1, VP-6 received the Navy Unit Commendation for ASW operations.

1 Jan - 1 Jul 1968: PATRON SIX deployed to WESTPAC and was based at NAF Naha, Okinawa, with a detachment at NS Sangley Point, Republic of the Philippines, and NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. During the deployment VP-6 conducted its first patrols over a combat zone since the Korean War.

5 Apr 1968: A Crew 6 VP-6 Lockheed P-3A-35-LO Orion aircraft, BuNo. 151350, crashed on patrol over the China Sea (2705N 13000E). Eight crewmembers, were lost:

LT F.L. Cornet
LT R.S. Stolz
AMS2 B.C. Leach
AX2 K.P. McHale
ATR2 R.A. Norris
AO3 L. Poplin
AN R.W. Fitzpatrick
AN P.E. Hart

Surviving were: LCDR Jones, LTJG Jones, and Petty Officers P.J. Lewis, and Mark Pavlow.

I Jun - 15 Nov 1969: Patrol Squadron SIX deployed to NAS Sangley Point, Republic of the Philippines. The Squadron also maintained a detachment at Royal Thai Naval Base RTNB U-Tapao, Thailand, in support of the Vietnam Market Time mission. (VP-6 received the Meritorious Unit Citation for their outstanding work during the deployment.)

14 Jul 1970: VP-6 returned to WESTPAC and deployed to NAF Naha, Okinawa, in support of Seventh Fleet operations off the sea lane approaches to North Vietnam.

27 Apr 1971: Secretary of Defense, Mr. Melvin Laird released a photo of a Soviet Yankee class SSBN ballistic-missile submarine, taken by a VP-6 P-3 Orion. This was the first photograph ever obtained in either the Atlantic or the Pacific of a Soviet Yankee class nuclear submarine on patrol.

21 Sep 1971 - 12 Jan 1972 : VP-6 deployed to NAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines, in support of the Seventh Fleet operations in WESTPAC. A detachment was maintained at Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam. While operating with the Seventh Fleet, Blue Shark P-3s flew patrol missions off the coast of Vietnam and throughout the South China Sea. During this period the "Blue Sharks" played an important role in deterring the North Vietnamese infiltrator trawler threat. VP-6 returned to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii in January 1972 and began the transition to retrofitted Lockheed P3A aircraft.

21 Sep 1971 - 12 Jan 1972 : A Patrol Squadron SIX Lockheed P-3A Orion (BuNo. 152151) crashed shortly after takeoff from NAS Cubi, Republic of the Philippines. All four engines had failed because cleaning fluid had been mistakenly substituted for water-injection fluid. One crewmember, the Navigator was lost:

Ensign Edward "Ned" P. Cooper

Lt. Mike Montgomery, the PPC on this flight was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross.  Much later he was Commanding Officer of VP-69 (Seattle Reserves) and is now retired from Naval Service at the rank of Captain.

Aug 1972: VP-6 was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its outstanding efforts in support of Seventh Fleet operations from October 1971 until January 1972.

30 Nov 1972 - 28 May 1973: The squadron was again deployed to WESTPAC based at NAF Naha, Okinawa, with a detachment at Royal Thai Naval Base RTNB U-Tapao, Thailand. VP-6 flew patrol missions from the Philippines to Japan. The deployment marked the last for the squadron in the Vietnamese theatre of operations.

1 Jun 1973: VP-6 returned to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. During the remaining months of 1973, the squadron entered the training cycle of operations to increase ASW readiness.

1974: The "Blue Sharks" deployed to NAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines. At the completion of deployment, VP-6 replaced its aircraft, turning in the original Lockheed P-3A models for updated Lockheed P-3Bs.

Aug 1975: Patrol Squadron SIX was the first squadron to deploy a detachment to NAS Agana, Guam, with the Lockheed P-3B Orion. The three-aircraft/four-crew detachment remained until March 1976.

Dec 1976: PATRON SIX again deployed for six months, this time to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, where more than 5,600 hours were flown in support of Seventh Fleet operations.

Jun 1977: Upon returning to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, VP-6 entered a training cycle in preparation to update the electronics equipment of the P-3B Orion to the Lockheed P-3B TACNAV MOD (P-3B MOD) "Super Bee" commencing in August 1977. The retrofits to the P-3B airframes included more powerful engines, improved navigation equipment and upgraded avionics.

May 1978:The "Blue Sharks" deployed once again to NAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines. VP-6 became the first patrol squadron to deploy with the updated Lockheed P-3B MOD aircraft. The expanded capabilities of the "Super Bee" enabled the Squadron to keep pace with the rapidly improving world of Patrol and ASW Aviation. While supporting Seventh Fleet operations, VP-6 flew over 5,000 hours, and visited such places as Australia, Kenya, Djibouti and Japan. In addition, a detachment was maintained throughout the deployment on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

Nov 1978: Patrol Squadron SIX returned to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii and once again entered a training cycle in preparation for detachment operations to Guam that began in June 1979.

              Isbell Award Pin

 In recognition of their performance during 1978, VP-6 was selected to receive two major awards, the 1978 Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for operational excellence in Airborne ASW, and the 1978 Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award.

Feb 1979: Following a zero discrepancy Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI), VP-6 was nominated by the Nuclear Weapons Training Center, Pacific, as the "outstanding Nuclear Unit of the Year" for Patrol Squadrons for an unprecedented second consecutive year.

Jun 1979: Patrol Squadron SIX assumed the duties of the NAS Agana Guam Detachment. While on detachment, the Squadron conducted numerous Anti-submarine Warfare ASW flights, Marianas Island Surveillance flights and routine training missions. The Squadron was also called upon to support refugee operations flown from NAS Cubi Point and was responsible for the recovery of over 500 refugees.

Dec 1979: VP-6 marked over 8 years and 60,000 hours of accident free flying, and the Squadron was selected to represent COMNAVAIRPAC in the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy competition for major improvements in operational capability.

Jan 1980: The PATRON SIX detachment at NAS Agana, Guam returned to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii and commenced a training cycle in preparation for the fall 1980 deployment.

Jun 1980: VP-6 was awarded the COMNAVAIRPAC Coastal command Trophy for ASW Excellence. The trophy was presented to VP-6 by Vice Air-Marshal G. A. Chesworth, RAF.

Aug 1980: Following a zero discrepancy Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI) in August 1980, Patrol Squadron SIX was again nominated by the Nuclear Weapons Training Center, Pacific, as the "Outstanding Nuclear Unit of the Year" for Patrol Squadrons for a third consecutive year.

5 Sep 1980: A VP-6 Lockheed P-3 Orion, BuNo. 154591, made a wheels up landing at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. One crewman was injured, with extensive damage to the aircraft.

Nov 1980: The PATRON SIX "Blue Sharks" deployed to Naval Air Station NAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines as the first Pacific fleet squadron to deploy with full Harpoon missile capabilities. While supporting Seventh Fleet operations, VP-6 flew over 5,000 hours and visited such places as Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Kenya, Djibouti, the Cocos Islands, Somalia, Hong Kong, Japan, Okinawa and Oman. In addition, a detachment was maintained throughout the deployment on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

May 1981: Patrol Squadron SIX once again entered a training cycle in preparation for detachment operations at Guam to begin in February 1982. During this nine month training cycle Blue Shark aircrews and maintenance personnel were detached to Naval Air Facility NAF Midway Island on three separate occasions to support JCS tasked operations. In addition, the squadron demonstrated high standards of excellence during its Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI), Mining Readiness Certification Inspection (MRCI), COMNAV AIRPAC NATOPS evaluation and ready alert duties. In recognition of their ASW accuracy, VP-6 won the COMPATWING Two "Top Gun" award for two consecutive quarters.

Feb 1982: VP-6 commenced six months of detachment operations from Naval Air Station NAS Agana, Guam. Conducting a wide variety of operational and training missions from Guam resulted in Blue Shark P-3B Orion aircraft visiting Japan, Korean, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Diego Garcia.

Feb-Aug 1982: Patrol Squadron SIX conducted numerous missions both at NAS Guam and NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. When the detachment relocated to NAS Adak in August 1982 for two months, VP-6 entered a period of intense ASW Operations against deployed Soviet submarines in the Northern Pacific. VP-6 enjoyed a short six-month break after Adak while completing a myriad of pre-deployment inspections and operational readiness evaluations (ORE).

Apr 1983: VP-6 Blue Sharks deployed to NAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines and immediately commenced highly successful operations against Soviet submarines in the South China Sea. Additionally, the squadron maintained a detachment of two aircraft and aircrews in the Indian Ocean at Naval Air Facility NAF Diego Garcia until August of 1983.

Nov 1983: Patrol Squadron SIX returned to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. While at home, the Blue Sharks participated in numerous ready alerts and spring and summer detachments to NAF Midway.

Isbell Award Pin

May-Jun 1984: VP-6 Blue Sharks participated in the 1984 RIMPAC Exercises, hosting the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) 19th VPDET. In May 1984, The "World Famous Blue Sharks of Patrol Squadron SIX" reached another milestone by once again winning the coveted ISBELL Trophy for excellence in Anti-submarine Warfare.

The awarding of this highly prestigious prize was a testament to the skill and professionalism of the Blue Shark team. Following several inspections and pre-deployment work-ups, the Blue Sharks deployed to NAS Cubi Point in November 1984, taking their World Famous excellence and professionalism back to WESTPAC. Operations in support of SEVENTH Fleet spanned areas of responsibility from Misawa, Japan to Diego Garcia. The Blue Sharks participated in two historic prosecutions against real world submarines in the Indian Ocean, which confirmed the squadron's leadership in all phases of ASW.

May 1985: Patrol Squadron SIX returned to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii.

May 1986: After a year-long training cycle, and a highly successful Operational Readiness Evaluation (ORE), VP-6 re-deployed to NAS Cubi Point. The deployment was marked by numerous operational successes, including simultaneous operations in SEVENTH FLEET and THIRD FLEET areas of responsibility (AOR) and operations from multiple detachment sites. Successful ASW prosecutions included the tracking of a Soviet MOD-ECHO II guided missile submarine SSGN during its transfer from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, and the Bering Sea prosecution of a Soviet Charlie Class guided missile submarine SSGN following its under-ice transfer from the Soviet Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet. VP-6 crews ranged from Diego Garcia, to Misawa, Japan, to Fairbanks, Alaska to fulfill emergent operational requirements. With the return of the squadron to NAS Barbers Point in November of 1986, the subsequent home cycle began.

Jan 1987: VP-6 Blue Sharks received acclaim during a heroic two-engine flight. While on a tactical mission, mechanical malfunctions and a resulting fire forced VP-6's Crew Eight to land with two of the Lockheed P-3 Orion's engines inoperative ("Two burning and two turning"). The loss of two engines on one side resulted in the aircraft being temporarily uncontrollable. Patrol Plane Commander PPC, LT Kevin Koshiol and Second Pilot PP2P, LT James Laufer, safely returned the aircraft and crew to NAS Barbers Point and were subsequently awarded the Air Medal with Bronze Star. Additionally, 1987 saw VP-6 receive two coveted COMPATWING TWO "Bloodhound" Awards. The Blue Sharks received the awards based on superior torpedo placement during ASW operations.

Dec 1987: The "World famous Blue Sharks" of Patrol Squadron SIX deployed to NAS Adak, Alaska in support of COMTHIRDFLT Forces in the North Pacific.

Jul-Sep 1988: VP-6 was placed in "Cold Iron" status due to fiscal constraints. Basically, the stand down permitted only the bare minimum of maintenance required to preserve the aircraft, but did not allow for sufficient flying time to retain top crew proficiency. As a result of the stand down aircrew proficiency was graded unsatisfactory on the COMNAVAIRPAC Naval Aviation Training and Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) inspection conducted 26-30 September 1988.

May-Nov 89: VP-6 Conducted a West Pac split deployment to Cubi Point, Philippines and Diego Garcia, BIOT. Detachments to Japan, Somalia, Kenya, Australia, Thailand, and Reunion Island.

Feb 1990: The Blue Sharks became the first patrol squadron at NAS Barbers Point to receive the first Lockheed P-3C Update II.5 aircraft. This update had improved electronics systems, new lACS (Integrated Acoustic Communication System), improved Magnetic Anomaly Detection MAD gear, standardized wing pylons and improved wing fuel tank venting.

5 Sep 1990 VP-6 received the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Commendation for achieving 10 years and 60,400 hours of accident free flying.

4 Dec 1990 The Blue Sharks deployed to Adak, Alaska. Various operations took the Blue Sharks from Kadena, Okinawa to the North Pole. In December, 1991, the squadron launched a very successful detachment to Panama.

10 Jul 1992: VP-6 Blue Sharks went on their last deployment to Misawa, Japan, to participate in operation Final Frenzy, a standard SEATO exercise with United States, and allied nations providing surveillance and ASW coverage. Exercises took the squadron from the Persian Gulf to Australia and involved allies from Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

31 May 1993: VP-6 was disestablished at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, after 13 years and over 73,600 flight hours mishap free.

15 Oct 1995: A hiker spotted the burned and shattered remains of an aircraft in a remote area usually covered by snow near Mt. Baker in northwestern Washington. It was the remains of the Lockheed PV-l Ventura belonging to VB-146 flown by Lieutenant Commander Ralph R Beacham, missing since 29 August 1943. A Navy Recovery Team removed the remains of the two officers and four enlisted crewmen for positive identification and notification of next of kin.