01/22/2007. Remarks by Jack McKillop: "This is aircraft number 10 of Patrol Squadron Twelve (VP-12), Patrol Wing One (PatWing-1), based at Naval Air Station (NAS) San Diego, California, USA.
Patrol Squadron Twelve Base Force (VP-12F) was established on November 1935 at NAS Seattle, Washington, under the operational control of the Base Force. The squadron was equipped with twelve PBY-1s in December 1936. On October 1, 1937, VP-12F was redesignated VP-12 when patrol squadrons were reorganized for operational control under Patrol Wings and the squadron moved to NAS San Diego.
On June 25, 1938, this squadron, along with the other squadrons assigned to PatWing-1, departed San Diego for the Territory of Alaska. The squadrons were deployed for three months in Alaskan waters; VP-12 was based at Kodiak Island with the seaplane tender USS Wright (AV-1). During the deployment the squadrons participated in another phase of Fleet Exercise XIX, testing float lights used in marking sites where submarines had been spotted while surfaced. It was determined that the 10-minute burn time of the lights was not long enough and that longer burning lights were required. VP-12 returned to San Diego on October 31, 1938.
On July 1, 1939, VP-12 was redesignated VP-51 and reassigned to a new home base at NAS Norfolk, Va., under the operational control of PatWing-5.
All of the squadrons of PatWing-1 had two horizontal stripes painted on the elevators and rudder starting in 1937. The two stripes on VP-12 aircraft were insignia red. The squadron insignia, designed in 1937, was applied just aft of the trailing wing strut. It was symbolic of the northwestern United States and Alaska, the squadron’s normal operating area. Mt. Rainier, Washington, was prominent in the background of the design, and a thunderbird surmounting a totem pole is featured in the foreground.“