Lockheed Aircraft
P2V-2N / P2V-7LP / LP-2J "Neptune"
 
122465
P2V-2N
"Boopsie"
 
boopsie.jpg (22479 bytes) boopsiecrew-2.jpg (15604 bytes)
Crashed during landing at McMurdo, Antarctica on Oct 18, 1956 in support of   Operation Deep Freeze II.
Departed Christchurch NZ to McMurdo along with other the other long range aircraft of VX-6.
After passing the PSR (point of safe return) a severe storm enveloped the McMurdo area.
Since they had insufficient fuel to return to Christchurch they were committed to flying into the storm and landing at McMurdo.
On Oct 18, 1967 122465 was the first aircraft to reach McMurdo with Lt. David W. Carey as the pilot.
Carey made a ground controlled approach from 12,000 feet to 300 feet and then elected to make a visual landing.
With the landing gear down the plane began to turn right.
The nose of the plane fell, and the Neptune struck the snow on the nose and right wing.
The Neptune was completely demolished.
LT Dave Carey, AT1 Charles Miller, and AD1 Marian Marze were killed on impact.
Capt. Rayburn Hudman died of his injuries a few hours later. Four others on the Neptune were injured.
(from: United States aircraft losses in Antarctica)
 
To honor the crew of Boopsie they had Antarctic features named after them.
LT Cary and CAPT Hudman they both had glaicers named after them.
AT1 Miller and AD1 Marze both had twin summit mountain peaks named after them, Miller Peak and Marze Peak.
Miller Peak is located on a ridge between Hudman and Carey Glaciers and Marze Peak is located on the other side of Hudman Glaicer. These landmarks are located at the South end of the Sentinel Range in the Ellsworth Mountains.
(Billy Ace Baker)
 
122466
P2V-2N
"Amen!"
 
Crashed while in enroute to Antarctica, Feb 8, 1956 in support of Operation Deep Freeze I.
On Feb 3, 1956, a UC-1 "Otter" crashed near mile 38 of the Army-Navy Trail. The crashed Otter and one  HO4S-3 helicopter were the only aircraft at Little America V.  Rear Admiral George Dufek ordered other Otters to be shipped via ship from McMurdo to Little America V. 122466 which had already returned to NAS Patuxent River, MD, was ordered back to Antarctica for the search.
In route both engines failed and it crashed in a remote jungle swamp in Venezuela.  All 8 crewmembers were rescued, and the Neptune was written off as a loss.
(from: United States aircraft losses in Antarctica)
 
The first two P2Vs (122465 & 122466) were built for Highjump II which was to follow Operation Windlmill, but Highjump II was cancelled due to the Korean War.
 
The P2V-N2s were modified for polar work including skis and were to be used for photography and scientific work.
 
The two P2V-N2s were the same ones that were assigned to VX-6 and made the historic flight from CHCH to McMurdo during DF-I.

The following is quoted from Operation Highjump II an Exercise in Planning. Monograph Number Two In A Series:
Characteristics of Lockheed Model P2V-N2

Lockheed Model History, Model 26, P2V Neptune
Lockheed Aircraft Corporaton. Report No E.S. 22012, page 3-88-September 1951

3.4.1.2.2 P2V-N2. The two P2V-2N airplanes were developped for photograph reconnaissance in Antarctica. Development of skis was conducted to enable operaiton on snow-covered terrain. The range of this P2V-2N was 4790 nautical miles. It carried photographic and special navitational equipment, as well as a Magnetic Airborne Detector (MAD) installation which replaced the tail turret. All armament was deleted, including the nose guns and the deck turret. Fuel capacity was 4647 gallons and the maximum gross weight was 72,000 pounds. - Billy-Ace Baker
 
140434
P2V-7LP
"George"
 
p2v140434baldur.jpg (18861 bytes)
Official CA ANG photo from the P2V Research webpage
 
Crashed while landing Aug 11 1958 prior to Operation Deep Freeze IV.
While landing at after an acceptance checkflight at Ontario, California, a ski malfunctioned and the Neptune was destroyed. No one
was injured. Since the deployment to Antarctica was near and there was not a replacement Neptune, this loss was never made up. 
(from: United States aircraft losses in Antarctica)
 
140436
P2V-7LP / LP-2J
"Candid Camera"
 
p2vneptune.org140436.jpg (23004 bytes)
Photo from the P2V Neptune website
 
Escaped the scrapper's torch and is located in the Walter Soplata Collection (440) 564-5326.
Give them a call and ask about 140436. It's a damn shame that this aircraft that has so much VX-6 history is locked up and that the Soplata's won't even allow the Fine Personnel of VX-6 to visit or photograph this aircraft.
 
 
140437
P2V-7LP / LP-2J
"City of Auckland"
 
p2vjay140437p2vneptune.org.jpg (77390 bytes)
Photo from the P2V Neptune website / Jay Slagle Collection
 
Scrapped at Davis-Monthan
(from: P2VNeptune.org)
 
140439
P2V-7LP
 
p2vneptunejay140439p2vneptune.org.jpg (58908 bytes)
Photo from the P2V Neptune website / Jay Slagle Collection
 
Crashed while taking off from Wilkes Station, Antarctica, Nov 9 1961 in support of Operation Deep Freeze 1962.
While taking off from the skiway at Wilkes Station Antarctica the Neptune caught fire and crashed. Of the nine men on board, only four survived.
Killed were Dr.  Edward C. Thiel, LCDR William C. Counts, LTJG Romauld P. Compton, AMH1 William W. Chastain, and AD2R James L. Grey.
A investigation of the crash reported the cause as a collision with the ground following an intense, uncontrollable fire in the landing gear - bomb bay fuel tank area.
(from: United States aircraft losses in Antarctica)
 
To honor the crew of 140439 they had Antarctic features named after them.
Edward Thiel had the Thiel Mountains and the Thiel Trough named after him. LCDR William D. Counts also has two features named in his honor; the first is Mount Counts, the second is the Counts Icefall. LTJG Compton has the ice filled Compton Valley named in his honor. Chastain Peak was named for Petty Officer Chastain. Petty Officer Gray has a rocky spur; Gray Spur which is next to
Counts Icefall. It is only fitting that all of the land marks honoring the men killed in this crash are located together in the Thiel Mountains. They died together and they are immortalized together.
(From The Crash of 140439 by RMC Billy Ace Baker - www.radiocom.net/vx6/billy439.pdf )
 
From: BUZSAM@aol.com 
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000
Subject: More info on Wilkes crash- CO

Joe,
I flew the C-130 to Wilkes to review the crash and pick up the survivors. I walked the entire runway with Cdr Forsht , our maint officer at the time. We found parts that were falling off the P2V from the beginning of its take off slide. The landing had been so violently rough that it had broken loose the 400 gal internal tank in the bomb bay and the 4" filler pipe was spewing out raw fuel running down the bottom of the plane on take off. At the ignition of the JATO on the t/o run, it acted like a Roman Candle. With the burning of the fiberglass tail cone, all of the acrid smoke was drawn right up to the cockpit and the pilots were blinded. They tried to return to the field and just couldn't make it. The pilot managed to level the wings before they hit and that saved some of the guys. We took the body bags and survivors back to McMurdo, after Cdr Forsht finished his exam of the area and what was left of the plane. All below the snow line was pretty much in tact and all above the snow line looked like a skeleton. Some where in my treasures I have an icicle of the planes skin that had melted from the extreme heat and as it dripped down through the frigid air, it hardened.
It wasn't a pleasant flight either way.
Hope this adds a little to your info.
Buz
 
jimp2vpole.jpg (41058 bytes)
Photo by Jim Waldron JWALDRON@aol.com
This photograph was taken in December 1956 at the South Pole Station.
The P2V aircraft had just arrived from McMurdo and was being unloaded.
The photograph was taken from the cockpit of the R4D aircraft which
had also just arrived from McMurdo.
Jim Waldron
 
 
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All of the above photos are from the VXE-6 De-Com CD
 
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Photo from DF II Cruise Book
From Billy-Ace Baker 
 
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Photo from Bruce Raymond
 
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Photo from DF II Cruise Book
From Billy-Ace Baker 
 
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P2V-7LP JATO launch McMurdo Sound 1959.
Photos from Bruce Raymond
 
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US Navy Photo
by PH1 Mathis
From Bruce Raymond 
 
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US Navy Photo by
PH1 Mathis
From Bruce Raymond 
 
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US Navy Photo
by PH3 Woods
From Bruce Raymond 
 
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US Navy Photo
Photo from Bruce Raymond
 
 
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US Navy Photo
Photo from Bruce Raymond
 
VX-6 P2V's are used in the development of the FULTON RECOVERY SYSTEM
 
Project SKYHOOK and Operation Coldfeet
 
From the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence: 
- A good pick-me-up by William M. Leary
 
One of the most unusual and inventive CIA operations
http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/95unclass/Leary.html
 
In March 1962, the mission planners received the unexpected news that the Soviets had abandoned ice station NP 8 in haste after a pressure ridge destroyed its ice runway. A more up-to-date facility than NP 9, it also was in a more accessible position at 83N 135W. "With the operation finally about ready to take off," Cadwalader reported, "the target was shifted to this new and tempting target." After the Canadian Government readily agreed to the use of the Royal Canadian Air Force base at Resolute Bay, 600 miles from NP 8, Project Coldfeet got under way.

In mid-April, the P2V and a C-130 support aircraft from Squadron VX-6 departed Patuxent River for Resolute Bay via Fort Churchill. Captain Cadwalader, the project's commander, had hoped that the Hydrographic Office's monthly ice reconnaissance flight that flew between Thule and Point Barrow would provide an up-to-date position on NP 8; bad weather and a navigational error, however, prevented a sighting. Still, with the last known position only a month old and given the general dependability of the Hydrographic Office's drift predictions, he expected no difficulty in finding the target. The C-130 carrying the drop party would locate NP 8, while the P2V would be standing by in case an immediate extraction was necessary.

The hunt for NP 8 began in perfect weather. The C-130 flew to the station's last known position, then began a box search at 10-mile intervals. Hours went by, but nothing could be seen except ice. The next day, the C-130 started searching at five-mile intervals. It spotted the abandoned US Ice Station Charlie but not NP 8. Four more searches failed to reveal the elusive Soviet drift station. With the flight time available for the C-130 running out and the weather deteriorating, Cadwalader called off the operation.
Click here to read the rest of the article
http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/95unclass/Leary.html
 
vx6p2vherrfulton.jpg (57911 bytes)
Photo from Art Herr
 
neptune.org140439.jpg (17928 bytes)
Photo from the P2VNeptune.org website
 
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US Navy Photo by PH2 Williams
From Bruce Raymond 
 
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US Navy Photo by PH2 Williams
From Bruce Raymond 
 
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US Navy Photo by PH3 Paxton
From Bruce Raymond
 
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US Navy Photo by PH3 Paxton
From Bruce Raymond
 
 
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US Navy Photo by PH3 Paxton
From Bruce Raymond
 
From: Bob Nyden frumenty@ispchannel.com  
Date: Sat, 27 May 2000
Subject: recovery system

Joe, Sean and others,
I sent Joe's message with the URL about the Fulton Recovery System to Art Herr. Here's his reply.
Bob N

Subject: Re: Fulton Aerial Retrieval Invention
Bob---How very interesting that you [forwarded] this article! When I first arrived at VX-6, then based at Quonset Point RI, the ski P2V-7's were still on board. Matter-of-fact I was placed in training to fly them.
Sometime that first year Robert Fulton arrived with his team and proceeded to rig one of our Neptunes with his retrieval apparatus. I remember Fulton as a real science-fiction type of character---a very interesting but intense kind of person. On one of the first test flites, the retrieval cable wrapped around the rudder and the crew had a very difficult landing situation. As I recall the project suffered some credibility after that and the P2's were shortly to be phased out anyway.
We did deploy with the Neptune's in '62, but in an accident not involving the retrieval system, Buno 140439. a P2V-7LP crashed at Wilkes Station with five fatalities. In the Squadron Cruise book ( the edition which is now a collectors item -- "20 Years On the Ice" ) there is photograph (from below) of a P2V rigged with the Fulton invention.
Art Herr
 
Bvfd101@aol.com 
Date: Sun, 28 May 2000
Subject: Re: [OAEs] Fulton

He next used a pig, as pigs have nervous systems close to humans. Lifted off the ground, the pig began to spin as it flew through the air at 125 mph. It arrived on board undamaged but in a disoriented state. Once it recovered, it attacked the crew.....
 
In a message dated 5/28/00 LEGACY68@AOL.COM writes:
That is all very interesting stuff...( saw John Wayne use one in a movie)...one question about the testing....are they sure that's how the sheep died and how did they cook the pig ?
Ron
 
Ron,
The rest of the story: After the crew got back on the ground, the pig was returned to its cage.
Postflight included cleaning up the interior of the Neptune as the pig relieved himself and getting new flight suits issued.
Nerves frazzled by the event, the crew retired to the Sea-Air Club for a few beers.
While there, they were talking loudly about the pig in a very negative fashion.
One of the "Local Lovelies" overheard some of the remarks and mistook the conversation as being directed at her.
She attacked with a vengeance.
The crew secured to the barracks.
Being attacked and mauled by two pigs in one day was more than they could stand.
Regards, Jim Landy, Gaffer 
 
SEAN MILLIGAN jetsarekids@ids.net 
Date: Sun, 28 May 2000
Subject: Re: [OAEs] re:recovery system

Bob --
That's it !!! Thanks for exonerating me!
What I saw at Quonset was this airplane. The full assembly was not rigged - Just the first two feet or so that came right out of the tip of the Plexiglas nose. Sad to hear about the crash. This P2V was on display at the Navy Relief Carnal and Air Show with the Blues - August of '62, I think.
Memorial Day Remembrance
Semper Fi
Sean, OVER.
 
From:  Izzy Gantz  gantzc001@hawaii.rr.com  
Date: Sat, 27 May 2000
Subject: Re: [OAEs] recovery system

Sean, I was aboard the USS Lake Champlain (HS-5) when they used that P2V to pick up Sand Bags. We weren't allowed on the flight deck to watch (only a brown shirt). The weather was socked in for the first try and I can't say for sure if another attempt was made but I do know that we were slated for that trial run
Smile, Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
Izzy
 
 
The P2V Neptune website
 
The Lockheed P2V Neptune Research Project Pages
 
VP Navy
 
P2V Neptune: Forgotten Warbird
 
The Lockheed P2V Neptune by Vectorsite