VP-46

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VP-46 Grey Knights
VP-46 Insignia.jpg
VP-46 Insignia
Active July 1, 1931
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Role Maritime Patrol & Reconnaissance
Anti-Submarine Warfare
Anti-Surface Warfare
Part of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
Motto The Oldest and Best
Aircraft flown
Patrol Martin PM-2
Consolidated P2Y
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Lockheed P-2 Neptune
Lockheed P-3 Orion

Patrol Squadron 46 (VP-46), also known as the "Grey Knights", is a maritime patrol squadron of the United States Navy based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. Part of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten, VP-46 is the oldest maritime patrol squadron and the second oldest aircraft squadron in the entire U.S. Navy, second only behind VFA-14.[1]

Squadron history[edit]

The VP-46 Grey Knights was officially established as VP-5S on July 1, 1931 at Naval Air Station Coco Solo in Panama flying the Martin PM-2. Within that year, the squadron redesignated as VP-5F and changed its homeport to Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California. In June 1933 the squadron transitioned to its second aircraft, the Consolidated P2Y-1. Then in 1938, the squadron transitioned to the Consolidated PBY Catalina and later redesignated as VP-32. During World War II, the squadron sank 3 German U-boats south of Haiti.

At the close of World War II, the squadron was redesignated as Medium Patrol Plane Squadron Six (VP-MS-6) and changed its home port to Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California. Upon changing its homeport to California, the squadron changed to its current designation, VP-46. In 1963, the Grey Knights changed its homeport to Naval Air Station Moffett Field and transitioned to the P2V Neptune, making it the squadron's first land-based aircraft in its history. In 1964, the squadron transitioned to the P-3A Orion and in the 1970s, the squadron transitioned again to the P-3C Orion.

In the 1990s, with the BRAC closure of NAS Moffett Field and its transition to Moffett Federal Airfield under NASA/Ames Research Center and the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard, the squadron changed to its current homeport, NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. Since then, the Grey Knights have completed over 46 years and more than 300,046 hours of accident free flight operations, a Pacific Fleet record.

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