Bob Moran’s Flights with my Dad in VPB-92
“I flew four missions with your dad. He was a Lieutenant Commander at the time. Your dad was an excellent pilot.
My first patrol mission with him was in 92–P–4, on 10/12/44. We flew for about three hours on a single engine and made an emergency water landing off the coast of Aruba (which was pretty tricky with only one engine). After lowering the landing wheels, he taxied up on to the beach. We remained with the plane and the following morning P–6 piloted by Lt. Hartline brought in a ground crew to replace the starboard engine and flew most of our crew back to Curacao.
Our second patrol mission was on 10/17/44 in P–11. This plane lost an engine 10 days later it also made a forced landing at Aruba. Our third and last patrol mission was on 12/21/44 in P–9 out of San Juan PR Our last flight was not a mission. It was my last flight with VPB-92 and your dad when he piloted P–3 from San Juan to Quonset Point, RI on 1/7/45 via Cuba, Jacksonville, and Floyd Bennett Field. I left the squadron in Feb. 45.
VPB–92 never operated in the Pacific (response to my saying my Dad had flown PBYs on sub-patrol in the Pacific). I remember hearing that.
A little history: 12/41 VP–92 (later changed to VPB–92), began at the NAS, Alameda, CA. On 3/5/42, the squadron left for San Juan, PR via Pensacola, FL. Our squadron was split up and did patrol missions out of Guantanamo Bay, Antigua and St. Lucia until the end of 10/42 when all planes were recalled to Guantanamo and VPB–92 left for North Africa. We flew patrol missions out of Port Lyautey and Agadir F.M. (French Morocco).
In 2/44 the squadron left Agadir for Trinidad and was split once again between Surinam and Curacao (both Dutch possessions). In the end of 11/44, the squadron moved to San Juan for patrol missions. In 1/45, VPB–92 left for Quonset Point, RI. The squadron moved to Norfolk in 4/45 and was decommissioned on 5/28/45.
Memories, memories, memories.”
By Robert P. Moran
New Hartford, “in beautiful upstate NY.”
(Robert P. Moran DOB 2/29/24 to 11/11/2011)
This is a copy of an e-mail I received, on 5/30/2000, in answer to my query to veterans on a message board. Bob Moran posted a message wondering if anyone from his old unit was still around. I replied by asking Bob if he had know my father, Cdr. Theodore Hechler, Jr. (US Navy Retired). I was thrilled to get this wonderfully detailed information, and thanked him for permitting me to put post his letter on my site.