Lest We Forget

By Lieutenant Commander Rick Burgess, U.S. Navy (Retired)

In 1971, VP-50 upgraded to the P-3C version and took this aircraft on 12 major deployments over the next 16 years—including tracking Soviet submarines, supporting battlegroup operations, and rescuing Vietnamese refugees fleeing their homeland.

In 1987, VP-50 became the first squadron to transition to the Update III retrofit version of the P-3C and flew that aircraft on three more Pacific deployments. During its final deployment, to NAS Adak, Alaska, the Blue Dragons conducted the Navy's last airborne prosecution of submarines belonging to the former Soviet Union. VP-50 was disbanded as part of the post-Cold War drawdown. The squadron was disestablished on 30 June 1992. 

 

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