CPW-5 End of an Era.

Bittersweet day here in Maine. Commander, Patrol  Wing Five hauled down his flag for the last time. This ends the era of US Navy Aviation in Maine, which stretched from WWII until today. At one time, the Command was in charge of the Naval Air Station, 6 squadrons of P-3 Orions, an ASW Operations Center,  Flight simulators, mission simulators, and many support units.

Captain Hoke’s remarks follow:

From: vp10_archives@juno.com
Subject: CPW5
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 17:41:29 EDT
Today I have the honor of hauling down the CPRW-5 pennant for the final time as the 20th and last Commodore. I would be remiss of me if I did not highlight some of the command’s history and how it has touched nearly every maritime patrol aviator in our great Navy. From Wing FIVE’s origin in 1937 onboard the flagships USS Owl and seaplane-tenders USS Gannet and USS Goldsborough, through transitions ashore to Norfolk, Boca Chica, Patuxent River, and finally Brunswick, Wing FIVE has had one goal: to prepare squadrons to support and defend our national interests both abroad and off our own shores.
Wing Five squadron tail flashes have proudly adorned aircraft nicknamed Catalina, Marlin, Neptune, Orion and most recently, Global Hawk. Wing Five based aircrews have always strived to answer the call of duty, whether it be: Atlantic neutrality patrols; coastal ASW patrols after Pearl Harbor; Gulf Coast Frontier patrols; 38th parallel patrols; Cold War patrols from Keflavic to Rota/Lajes to Bermuda to the Caribbean; Cuban Missile Crisis surveillance patrols; Mercury and Gemini support; Vietnam patrols; Mediterranean patrols; Desert Shield and Storm; Yugoslavia/Kosovo; and finally, Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Our squadron mates have operated from the North Pole to the most southern tip of South America.and on any given day, any latitude and longitude between the International Date Line and Greenwich Meridian.
Many of you have fond memories of cutting your teeth on anti-submarine patrols in the local warning areas and flying home marveling at the beautiful Maine coast. There was no better feeling than when driving by Fat Boy’s on Old Bath Road, seeing your squadron’s tail flash pass overhead on final approach.
On behalf of the last Sailors at CPRW-5, we salute all our squadron mates from units present and past (VP-8, VP-10, VP-11, VP-14, VP-15, VP-21, VP-23, VP-26, VP-44, VP-92, VPU-1, TSC Brunswick, FMP MOCC ALFA, FSU-5, NAVCOMTELDET, NCTAMSLANTDET, ASD and AIMD). The bonds of Sailors serving at Wing Five and in Brunswick, Maine have strongly influenced our maritime community and we hope it will remain an enduring legacy of excellence for many operations and missions to come.
Best wishes to all in the future as we haul down our pennant for the final time. It has been an honor to serve in this capacity and with so many phenomenal people. Fly safe and Godspeed. Wing Five….out.

Captain Jim Hoke

Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing FIVE

Fair Winds & Following Seas, Shipmates!

NAS Brunswick, Maine, 2009


10 Responses to “CPW-5 End of an Era.”

  1. 1 SCOTT the BADGER
    March 31, 2010 at 21:07

    So, at a time when the Bear is running his swim trunks through the wash, polishing his face plate, and topping off his SCUBA tanks, we are closing Brunswick. Yes, yes, that makes sense. That way we are les of a threat to Boris, and can spend the money the way Nancy and Barack see fit.

  2. March 31, 2010 at 21:46

    There are no longer any P-3 Orions left to assist with Search and Rescue of New England’s vast fishing fleets. or for any other purpose. The closest ones are in Jacksonville. The Canadians have some of their variants up in the Maritimes, but it’s a slog fest to get the assistance from them in a timely manner, due to the bureaucrats, etc.

    The closest aircraft for any SAR work is now out of Massachusetts.


  3. 3 SCOTT the BADGER
    March 31, 2010 at 22:02

    This is not a Good Thing. It’s not often you can cripple both a nation’s ASW and it’s SAR abilities at the same time. What is the point of trying to patrol the North Atlantic out of JAX? I guess that is the point, you can’t. I find this really most vexing. The Atlantic is now more dangerous for our people, and less dangerous for the Bear. Whose side is Congress on, if this base’s closing was approved?

    • March 31, 2010 at 23:05

      ‘ Not too mention that our entire MPA assets for the East Coast are located on one base. I would have thought we’d learned that sort of lesson after Pearl Harbor, but perhaps the Navy’s collective memory isn’t quite as long as we thought it was.

      Now, squadrons and detachments will still be deploying to forward bases like Rota, Lajes, Sigonella, etc, but they’re all based out of Jax.

  4. 5 clarkward
    April 1, 2010 at 11:41

    This is a depressing turn of events; I’d imagine that the base and aircraft in Brunswick were more cost-effective than dumping money down the LCS-hole. I hadn’t even contemplated the loss of SAR capability (but then, I’m not an airedale, and subs don’t do SAR much)… I’m sure that the next time its needed but not there the powers that be will be nowhere to be seen when someone asks why. To say nothing of the economic hit that Brunswick will take from losing those people.

  5. 6 John O'Grady
    April 1, 2010 at 16:46

    The Captains research weenie forgot FASRON 108 that split into Ops/AIMD somewhere around mid 1960… The FASRONs (Fleet Aircraft Service Squadrons) were an outcrop of the post WWII Naval Aviation 5 level Maintenance management system that subsequently went away when the 3 level (Organizational. Intermediate & Depot) was adopted.. As a ADR in Brunswick we changed engines as required on Squadron aircraft as well as maintain our own HUP-2, SNB-5, UF-2 R4D-5 & P2V-5S.. For a young kid right out of Boot Camp it was a great place to explore.. Assigned Aug-59 to Sep-61.. AFCM Ret

  6. April 2, 2010 at 21:50

    My sister and brother-in-law are saddened by this. Duffy was in VP-26 in the mid to late 80s. It was his first command after AT and Aircrew Schools.
    And some idiot up there wants to turn it into an industrial airpark. In a heavily repressive, tax crazy, socialist state like Maine. I read that somewhere, don’t remember.

  7. 8 DL
    April 8, 2011 at 02:48

    Really sorry to hear about the closing of Brunswick, NAS. My Pops transfered there from Charlston Naval Base in 1972, it was his last active duty assignment before he retired in 1975.

    For me, at age 17 and something like 36 inches of snow on the ground when we arrived it was to much so I called a recruiter, went and got tested, sworn in and shipped out for basic training in time to enjoy basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas during the months of November and December.

    When I came home on leave between tech school sessions on a 3 day pass the Ole’ Man hooked me up with a training flight on one those beautiful P-3 Orions from Brunswich NAS to the airfield at Buckley ANGB just outside Denver, Colorado. I was stationed at Lowrey AFB in Denver at the time. Should have seen those guys faces when we dropped down out of the cloud cover and put that sub-chaser down in Colorado.

    I’ll never forget the experiance, Pops is gone now, Lowrey AFB is gone and sad to hear that Brunswich NAS will soon be joining them.

    Not many good memories left these days that the damn politicans aren’t trying to stomp into the mud. SAD, SAD, SAD….

  8. 9 Steve Shidler
    October 3, 2011 at 06:42

    Very sorry to see Brunswick go under. I served in Ground Electronics from Oct. ’63 to Sept. ’65 and they were some of the happiest days of my life. I spent most of my time at the transmitter site out on Old Bath Road. There were a number of ocasions when I hitched a ride in the station P-2 on local sono buoy tests…..Great fun. I went to Boot Camp in San Diego and ET”A” school at Treasure Island…..all gone now. It’s supposed to be a better Navy than the one in which I served but I can’t see it. I’ll miss Brunswick.

    Steve Shidler

  9. 10 Pete Dearness
    March 28, 2017 at 20:53

    Pete Dearness

    I retired from the TSC there @ Brunswick in 1989 after 23 years of flying in the WV-2 “willy victor’ super connies, the P2V, and last the P3. Last few years with Wing Five as an AW analyst. I’m still trying to replace my ball cap they had with the ‘dead’ lobster in a triangle. Anyone know where I could get one, new or used? Wore it w/pride!

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