THE PRESENT SQUADRON
The history of the present squadron properly begins with its recommissioning on April 25, 1944, when Commander Norman C. GILLETTE, Jr., USN, assumed command at a brief ceremony in the squadron hangar at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, California. In the weeks immediately preceding, the majority of the squadron personnel had been assembled, the squadron organization had been set up, the planes had been delivered and test flown, and all preparations had been made to start activities the moment the squadron was officially commissioned.
The training program which was begun immediately thereafter, followed the syllabus prescribed by Commander Fleet Air, West Coast, and included a full schedule of training both in the air and on the ground. In the ground training course, special emphasis was placed on Recognition of our own and enemy planes and warships, with all hands attending classes in this subject an hour a day, five days a week, for eight weeks.
In addition to the routine flight training, the squadron flew regular patrols under the operational control of Commander, Fleet Air Wing FOURTEEN and participated in exercises simulating attacks on the West Coast by enemy task forces, in which Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY-ONE successfully located and tracked the "enemy" aircraft carriers.
The final phase of training on the West Coast was the "Simulated Trans-Pac" in which every effort was made to duplicate as nearly as possible the conditions to be encountered on the flight to Hawaii. Having successfully executed this flight, everything was in readiness for the move to Hawaii which began August 25 and was completed without incident August 28.
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