VP-12 Squadron CO, Commander Clarence Orville Taff and black cat mascot "Yardbird". VP-12 was the original Black Cat Squadron, and was based at Guadalcanal starting in December of 1942. Many other squadrons would follow in their footsteps.
(Mrs. Warren S. Pittman collection) (Source: "Black Cat Raiders of WWII" by Richard C. Knott)
The following photos are from the VP-12 squadron tour book. The quality is very poor due to my copy being a multiple-generation photo copy. If anyone has a clearer copy, PLEASE let me know.
Yardbird (the VP-12 mascot) as a young cat, being held up for the camera.
A VP-12 crew member takes a cat nap with Yardbird napping on his lap.
The VP-12 logo is seen on the shirts and jackets of these original Black Cat crewmen, with Yardbird climbing on the shoulder of the man whose shirt reads "Guadalcanal - Henderson Field".
A young Yardbird on the prowl.
Yardbird personalizes a signpost on the island of Guadalcanal.
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