VP-5 HISTORY OF THE "MAD FOXES"
Patrol Squadron FIVE was commissioned in September 1942 as Bombing Squadron 135 at Whidbey Island, Washington. It was nicknamed the "Blind Fox" squadron and assigned the PBY "Catalina" aircraft. In less than a month, the squadron received a new aircraft, Lockheed's PV-1 "Vega Ventura" which was flown on several bombing missions during World War II. In 1948, the squadron received its first Lockheed P2V "Neptune" aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the squadron became known as the "Mad Foxes" and in December 1948 was designated Patrol Squadron FIVE. Jacksonville, Florida became the permanent home of the "Mad Foxes in December 1949. In the years following, VP-5 made deployments to Bermuda, Sicily, Spain, the Azores, Puerto Rico, Iceland, Newfoundland and the Philippines. Cruise sites included RAF Luqa, Malta, (1952-1953.) The "Mad Foxes were awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" in 1951, 1952, and 1958. Patrol Squadron FIVE aided in the recovery of America's first astronaut, Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., on 5 May 1961, and were one of the first units ordered into action during the Cuban Quarantine.
In June 1966, VP-5 transitioned to the Lockheed P-3A "Orion" aircraft. In one competitive cycle, Patrol Squadron FIVE won the CNO Maintenance Award, the CNO Aviation Safety Award, the Battle Efficiency "E", and the Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for ASW excellence. In 1974, Patrol Squadron Five transitioned to the P-3C "Orion" aircraft and attained unequalled recognition for ASW proficiency. Specifically, VP-5 earned consecutive Battle Efficiency "E" awards in 1975 and 1976; Meritorious Unit Commendations in 1976 and 1982; and the Navy Expeditionary Medal for their support of the 1982 Lebanon evacuation; three "Hook Em" awards in 1977, 1981, and 1982. VP-5 also received the CAMPATWING ELEVEN Bronze Anchor Award and the COMNAVAIRLANT Silver Anchor Award for retention excellence in 1983. VP-5's latest deployments have again thrust the "Mad Foxes" into the forefront of Atlantic ASW. In 1986, it was VP-5 on top of the disabled Soviet Yankee class submarine in the final hours prior to its sinking. Deployed in Bermuda, the "Mad Foxes" provided sole coverage of the event, keeping U.S. officials informed during this crucial period. That Bermuda deployment earned another Silver Anchor Award for retention excellence, the Top Gunner Award for outstanding weapons proficiency, and the CINCLANTFLT Athletic Excellence Award.
In 1988, the "Mad Foxes" deployed to Sicily and played a significant role in monitoring the ever-growing Soviet presence in the Mediterranean theater. This deployment proved to be the most successful to date in the region, as VP-5 earned another "Hook Em" award while accumulating more time "on top" submerged Soviet submarines than any previous Sigonella deployed squadron. Upon returning to Jacksonville the "Mad Foxes" garnered another Silver Anchor Award. Bermuda deployment, the "Mad Foxes" transitioned from the baseline P-3C to the state-of-the-art P-3c Update III. Operating from Bermuda, VP-5 participated in UNITAX XXX an ASW training exercise that spanned five months in which the "Mad Foxes" operated from nearly every South American country. The "Mad Foxes" returned home to Jacksonville in July 1991 from their most recent deployment. Deployed to Rota, Spain with extended detachments to Lajes, Sigonella, and Souda Bay, VP-5 operated in direct support of perations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Participating in numerous NATO exercises, including Dogfish, Damsel Fair, and Dragon Hammer, the "Mad Foxes" provided outstanding support for COMSIXTHFLT objectives and again prosecuted front line Soviet submarines. VP-5 is now in the midst of preparations for a 1992 deployment to Keflavik, Iceland. Safe, effective, and unsurpassed in combat readiness, the squadron has flown over 13 years and 75,000 accident free hours. Enjoying exceptional morale and retention, the "Mad Foxes" of VP-5 are front-runners in maritime patrol aviation, ready for any contingency, and ready to win if called upon.