The primary task is to search for, detect, localize, and in wartime destroy unfriendly submarines. Secondly, the squadron is to conduct surveillance, reconnaissance and search and rescue operations.
The squadron conducted land based ASW operations under COMASWFORLANT Operation order 12-61, CANUS SLAMEX No. 1-61, from 1 December 1961 to 13 December 1961 as an air element of Carrier Anti-Submarine Air Group SIXTY-TWO, TE 126.96.36.199.
The mission of the squadron during this exercise was to conduct Anti-Submarine tactics as part of the shore-based forces launched against the "hostile" exercise submarines. The mission required day and night launches to be flown in typically winter weather of this region. It is noteworthy that no flights were cancelled because of lack of aircraft availability among the five aircraft assigned.
The squadron compiled a total of 710 hours of flight time in March 1962, all but 28.5 hours being devoted to planned, coordinated training. This is further notable in that the tenth aircraft was not received until 13 March and the ASW Ready duty was assigned for two weeks of the month. It is felt that this may be a "first" for a ten-plane VS squadron flying its entire program from a shore base.
Air Anti-Submarine Squadron FORTY-TWO is not the first squadron to carry the designation VS-42. There was an earlier VS-42 (Scouting Squadron FORTY-TWO), which existed from 1 July 1935 until 4 August 1943. It was originally commissioned for service on the USS LANGLEY (CV-1), but spent most of it's time aboard the USS SARATOGA (CV-3).
The commissioning of the present squadron took place in a brief but formal ceremony in which Carrier Anti-Submarine Air Group SIXTY-TWO, and its squadron components were commissioned aboard the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island on 25 September 1961. The beginning nucleus of the squadron was composed of approximately 20 enlisted men, one Grumman S2F-1 "Tracker" and the Commanding Officer, CDR George F. BEAN, USN,
Representing Rear Admiral Benjamin E. MOORE, USN, Commander Fleet Air Quonset at the commissioning ceremony was Captain Rex W. WARNER, USN, Chief of Staff. He welcomed the new air group to the fleet air organization and wished them a successful road to full operational capability.
On 4 December 1961 the newly formed squadron was called upon to participate in it's first around-the-clock operational exercise, SLAMEX. At the termination of the exercises on 13 December 1961, the squadron had flown 137 hours in 33 sorties. During this period five aircraft, one half the normal complement, 18 aviators, 2 LDO's and 99 enlisted men were aboard.
In the following weeks, the squadron slowly grew towards its authorized manning and material levels. By 23 March 1962, 32 officers had reported and 136 enlisted personnel were aboard. The tenth S2F-1 was received on 13 March 1962. This completed the build-up required for VS-42 to assume its place among the ready squadrons of the Atlantic Fleet.
The above information was taken from the Aviation Historical Summary for period covered 25 SEP 61 to 31 Mar 62 obtained from the Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center under the Freedom of Information Act.
Return to VS-42 Home Page