Prop Gun is One of the Best Movie Spoofs We Have Ever Seen
There are some great gag films out there. Class videos are sometimes seriously entertaining too. We’ve managed to dig up some of the best, and we’re always looking for more. This one was uploaded to Vimeo by Prop Gun P-3 and stars Patrol Squadron ONE (VP-1) Screaming Eagles. We’ll have much more about the rich history of the Screaming Eagles after you enjoy their hilarious send-up of the movie we love to slam- but inexplicably tune in whenever it appears on the guide anyway.
Born to Combat German Unterseeboots
The history of VP-1 gets a little confusing, so try to keep up. VP-1 as we know the squadron today was originally established as Bombing Squadron 128 (VB-128) Fleet’s Finest at Naval Air Station (NAS) DeLeand in Florida on 15 February 1943 flying Lockheed PV-1 Ventura patrol aircraft. VB-128 later moved to NAS Floyd Bennett Field in New York, Reykjavik in Iceland, and San Juan and Ensenada Honda in Puerto Rico. With the U Boat threat diminished in the Atlantic the squadron was transferred to the Pacific theatre, arriving at NAS Alameda in California on 26 September 1944. VB-128 was then redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron 128 (VPB-128) on 1 October 1944.
The Fleet’s Finest made their way to NAS Kaneohe in Hawaii by 6 October 1944. Training flights from Kaneohe to Midway kept the squadron busy until a 21 December 1944 move to Owi Airfield at Papua in New Guinea. VPB-128 moved to Guiuan at Samar in the Philippines and received new PV-2 Harpoon patrol bombers on 28 February 1945. From that point forward VPB-128 was in the thick of the fighting in the Philippines, flying anti-submarine, anti-shipping, and strike missions against Army-designated land targets.
Home for New Steeds
VPB-128 was redesignated Patrol Squadron 128 (VP-128) in May of 1945 and soon thereafter moved to Tinian in the Marianas to fly sea patrol and weather reconnaissance missions. With the end of the war VP-128 moved to Kadena in Okinawa and was redesignated (yet again) as Medium Patrol Squadron (Landplane) One (VP-ML-1). The unit finally returned to the States in March of 1947, arriving first at NAS North Island in San Diego. There VP-ML-1 transitioned to another Lockheed maritime patrol aircraft- the Lockheed P2V Neptune. After the transition to Neptunes was complete, the Fleet’s Finest moved to NAS Whidbey Island in Washington on 13 January 1948 and was later that year (finally) redesignated Patrol Squadron ONE (VP-1).
To War in Korea
VP-1’s first combat deployment from Whidbey was to Naha Air Force Base (AFB) on Okinawa arriving on 7 August 1950. There the squadron was tasked with patrolling the Formosa Straits and interdicting enemy supply vessels. Combat operations commenced on 19 August 1950. VP-1 eventually deployed to Naha four times during the Korean War. During the mid-1950s the Navy decided to demonstrate the P2V Neptune’s worldwide reach. On 21 April 1955 VP-1 (the entire squadron) departed Whidbey on the first around-the-world flight by a patrol squadron. When they returned to Whidbey on 5 May 1955 the value of the Neptune had been proven and it’s future service secured.
WestPac With the Fleet’s Finest
VP-1 deployed to Southeast Asia for the first time on 7 October 1964. Over the next eight years the Fleet’s Finest deployed detachments to such garden spots as Tan Son Nhut, Da Nang, and Camh Ran in South Vietnam, MCAS Iwakuni in Japan, Sangley Point and Cubi Point in the Philippines, and U-Tapao in Thailand.
Market Timing in the Tonkin Gulf
Operation Market Time was the squadron’s primary mission, aimed at stopping the supply of equipment and munitions from the North Vietnamese to Viet Cong guerillas in South Vietnam as well as preventing supply of the North Vietnamese by sea. VP-1 suffered casualties and several damaged aircraft when based at Tan Son Nhut during an attack on the base on 13 April 1966. 1972 saw VP-1’s last WestPac deployment, this time to Cubi Point with a six aircraft detachment based at U-Tapao.
At the End of the Orion Pipeline
VP-1 also began their transition to yet another Lockheed maritime patrol aircraft- the Lockheed P-3B Orion, during the late 1960s, completing transition on 1 October 1969. Better late than never- VP-1 was the actually the last active-duty fleet squadron to transition to the Orion. VP-1 was transferred to NAS Barber’s Point in Hawaii on 30 June 1970. Throughout the 1970s VP-1 gradually received newer and more capable P-3 variants but seemed to be at the end of the line for them. When in December 1976 VP-1 deployed to NAS Agana on Guam they were the last active duty P-3 squadron to deploy with the standard P-3B Orion.
Screaming Eagles Forward
In 1980 the Fleet’s Finest P-3B TAC/NAV MOD Orions saw heavy involvement with the search and rescue (SAR) effort for Vietnamese “boat people” refugees (more than 4,000 of them) while deployed to Cubi Point- earning the squadron a Humanitarian Service Medal. A three-aircraft detachment of VP-1 Orions was based at NAS Diego Garcia (Dodge) in the Indian Ocean. In 1985 VP-1 changed their name to Screaming Eagles. VP-1 then flew Bravos and early Charlies until 1991 when they received their first P-3C Update IIIs in February of that year.
Been There Done That Got the T Shirt
VP-1 saw plenty of Dodge as well as Masirah in Oman and Jeddah in Saudi. The remainder of the 1990s saw VP-1 moving back to NAS Whidbey in 1995 and temporarily inhabiting strange places such as Howard AFB in the Canal Zone and a Mexican Air Force base as well as NAS Adak and Eielson AFB in Alaska. VP-1 also returned to old haunts like Kadena, Misawa, Guam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Oman, South Korea, and Thailand along with Manama, Masirah, Doha, and others. They sure got around.
Non-stop Lockheed Users for 76 Years
Highlights of VP-1 exploits in the 21st century include more Dodge time and deployments to Australia, Guam, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Brunei, the Marshall Islands, and Thailand. VP-1 also celebrated 135,000 hours without a mishap over 23 years of operations. VP-1 finally retired the last of their Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft and transitioned to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon in 2019 after 76 continuous years of flying Lockheed maritime patrol aircraft.