PATROL BOMBING SQUADRON 11
(VPB-11), US NAVY
PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS PATROL SQUADRON 11 (VP-11)
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
The Pegasus insignia for VPB-11
Patrol Squadron 11 (VP-11) completed their combat training at NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii and departed in their PBY-5 Catalinas for Perth in Western Australia on 22 May 1943. Their Commanding Officer was LCDR Clifford M. Campbell.
They arrived in Perth on 8 June 1943 and were assigned to Fleet Air Wing 10 (FAW-10). While their ground crew and equipment travelled by ship to Australia, they commenced search and reconnaissance patrols.
VP-11 left Perth on 9 September 1943 and travelled to New Guinea via Brisbane and Palm Island Naval Air Station to relieve Patrol Squadron 101(VP-101).
VP-11 was now assigned to Fleet Air Wing 17 (FAW-17). From the 1 October 1943 until 19 November 1943, VP-11 was based aboard San Pablo (AVP 30) in Jenkins Bay. VP-11 carried out night searches for enemy ships and carried out bombing attacks on Japanese submarines on Garove Island. Support vessel Half Moon (AVP 26) relieved San Pablo on 9 October 1943.
On 19 November 1943, VP-11 relocated to Port Moresby to relieve VP-101. VP-52 took over their operations out of Jenkins Bay. While at Port Moresby, VP-11 started Black Cat operations on 23 November 1943 and worked together with Bomber Groups of 5th Bomber Command to carry out daylight bombing attacks.
VP-11 left Port Moresby on 28 December 1943 and moved to Palm Island Naval Air Station where they were taken off combat duties. The Squadron comprised 13 PBY-5 Catalinas, 46 officers and 99 enlisted men. They carried out training and routine administrative and passenger flights between Port Moresby, Samari and Brisbane.
On 10 February 1944, VP-11 left Palm Island Naval Air Station for Perth in Western Australia, where they carried out convoy patrols. They were again reassigned to Fleet Air Wing 10 (FAW-10) while they were in Perth. LCDR Thomas S. White took over as the Commanding Officer of VP-11 on 24 May 1944.
On 19 July 1944, VP-11 relocated to New Guinea and Schouten Islands and was reassigned again to FAW-17. A detachment of three PBY-5's was sent to Woendi Lagoon on Biak.
VP-11 was relocated to Middleburg Island on 23 August 1944 and continued its Black Cat operations.
Patrol Squadron 11 (VP-11) was redesignated to Patrol Bombing Squadron 11 (VPB-11) on 1 October 1944.
On 6 October 1944, VPB-11 was based at Morotai. It was Morotai that it was reunited with tender vessel San Pablo (AVP 30). On 12 October 1944 tender vessel Orca (AVP 49) arrived to provide more accommodation for the personnel of VPB-11.
On 14 November 1944, VPB-11 relocated to Woendi with fifteen PBY-5's. VPB-11 relocated to Morotai on 5 December 1944, and returned to Woendi on 15 December 1944. Here they boarded Pocomoke (AV 9) and were transported back to the U.S.
VPB-11 was officially withdrawn from combat service on 19 December 1944, and fifteen PBY-5's and their crews left Woendi and flew to NAS San Diego in California. VPB-11 was disbanded at NAS San Diego on 20 June 1945.
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© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 22 August 2004
This page last updated 10 October 2016