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commissioned:NAS Wildwood; 1 July 1944 - decommissioned:NAS Seattle; 31 October 1945. 


Normand Bressette
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Bombing 87
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      VB-87 was commissioned at NAS Wildwood on 1 July 1944 with an authorized compliment of 36 SB2Cs. This was reduced the following month to 24, at which time the squadron was flying the SB2C-3 model. In September, base was shifted to NAAS Oceana where joint training with the other squadrons of the air group got underway and continued until 20 November, on which date CVG-87 boarded the new Randolph for her shakedown cruise. By now the squadron was flying the SB2C-4.

      As was customary, the carrier proceeded to the Gulf of Paria to conduct training operations but at the conclusion of these, instead of returning to Norfolk, she continued west, passed through the Panama Canal and , on 31 December, docked at San Francisco. VB-87 became temporarily shore-based at NAAS Livermore and underwent a further reduction in complement, to 15 aircraft. Towards the end of January the squadron took passage aboard Bunker Hill to Pearl Harbor, and transferred thence to NAS Kahului. While at Kahului, the Air Group made short carrier qualification cruises and participated in joint Army/Navy exercises.

 
 
      Finally, in early May the training period came to an end and on the 12th CVG-87 sailed from Pearl aboard Ticonderoga. A warm-up series of strikes was flown against Maloelap on the 17th, the carrier then continuing to Ulithi where she joined Task Force 58 in time to participate in the final support missions of the Okinawa campaign. After the last of these, on 10 June, the Task Force retired to Leyte Gulf. With the other carriers of Task Force 38 Ticonderoga sailed again on July 1st, headed for Japan, but engine trouble forced a diversion to Guam and it was not until the 21st that she was able to join her sisters off the enemy homeland.
      VB-87 participated in the strikes against the surviving Imperial Fleet units at Kure on July 24 and 28, and bombed factories south-west of Tokyo at month's end. In early August the Task Force moved north and the squadron hit targets at Aomori and Ominato. Back south again towards mid-month, VB-87's final strike was against the Yokohama docks on the 13th.

      Following the surrender, Ticonderoga spent a month in Japanese waters before sailing back to Pearl, where CVG-87 was put ashore for a fortnight at Barber's Point. Re-embarking on 16 October, carrier and air group reached Bremerton on the 22nd. VB-87 was decommissioned at NAS Seattle on 31 October.

 
 

Commanding Officers:

LtCdr. G.C. Simmonsto 8 July 1944
Cdr. P.W. Maxwellto 5 January 1945
LtCdr. F.N. Kanagafrom 5 January 1945

Personnel Losses

4 September 1944Ens. J. Thomas
5 September 1944Ens. C.J. Wetterlund/ARM3c T.E. Smith
14 November 1944Ens. W.C. Ohlemeyer
27 November 1944Ens. R.W. Nielsen/ARM3c T.J. Dombrowski
21 February 1945Ens. J.S. Hoge/ARM3c T.N. Grafton
24 July 1945Lt. A.L. Matteson
24 July 1945Lt.(jg) E.L. Vaughn/ARM2c K.W. Grout (C---AA, Kure)
28 July 1945Lt.(jg) R. Porter/ARM3c N.R. Brissette (C---AA, Kure;
both POWs but killed by Hiroshima A-Bomb)
2 September 1945 Ens. M.H. Allard/ARM3c R.W. Noall


History text provided by George Kernahan - all rights reserved
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