April 7, 2010

Welcome to the VP-69 Forum. This is the place to have an open discussion of topics concerning the alumni of VP-69 and friends as well as members of other  Patrol Squadrons of the Northwest.

This site was designed to allow old shipmates to have a dialog with each other on-line rather than  individual questions and discussions via e-mail. This provides an avenue for all members to join a discussion on all topics.

You may comment on an active topic or you may like to start a new discussion of interest. At this time the Forum is set up to start new discussions or topics by way of “Authors” currently designated by the administrator.  If you have a topic you would like to post, you may send it to darl_p@juno.com . During the posting it may be edited for clarity and brevity.

Daryl “Flip” Phillippi … PH1

Passing of a Shipmate

October 20, 2016


Memorial service will be held at Woodland Village Retirement Center in Chehalis, WA, on Saturday November 5th at 1:00 PM. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a card be sent to June or if a donation is made, please make it to your charity of choice.

Harry Denny Obituary


Reunion 2017

August 4, 2016

Keep up to-date on the planning for Reunion 2017

Save the date

Original VP- 69 CO passes

July 13, 2016

Wendell P. Hurlbut     1932 – 2016

Wendell P. Hurlbut Obituary

A 1949 graduate of West Seattle HS. He was skipper of VP 892, 3 or 4 and the founding CO of VP 69.
The obituary does not include any funeral/memorial information.

Loss of another shipmate

March 13, 2016

Reunion 2017 planning meeting

March 10, 2016

July 23rd …. 1200 to 1700    Lunch provided

Reunion Planning Mtg: Looking for participation at the planning meeting and their input on the 501(c)(19) proposal.

At the planning meeting:  The decisions will need to be made as to when and where Reunion 2017 will be held. Then we need to get volunteers assigned to the tasks to bring it about.

Meeting place:

Mark & Kathy Blaylock’s  home
6716 Lower Peoh Point Rd
Cle Elum, WA   98922
Phone ..  253.259.6019

Map to location 


Passing of shipmate George Watrous

March 3, 2016

            George Watrous


George was born on March 15, 1932 in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Charles and Muriel Watrous, and died in Boise on Friday, February 5, 2016.

He lived in several places which included Fort Bragg, NC, New York City and Connecticut while his father was on active service with the Army during WWII. After his father returned from the service, George was accepted by an Honor Naval School in New London, Connecticut where in addition to classes, he served as Boatswain of the school’s sailing training ship and Cadet Engineer of the submarine chaser provided by the Navy as a training ship.

After graduation, he attended the University of Connecticut for one semester but with the Korean War in its early stages and with little hope of ending in a short time, George enlisted in the Navy and served aboard two ships including an oceanographic survey ship that tested ocean conditions to learn, among other things, what effect the conditions found would have on locating submarines.

After six years of shipboard service he transferred to naval aviation as an Aviation Ordnanceman and flew as an aircrewman in P-3 Orion antisubmarine aircraft. He retired from the Navy with 22 years of service.

As a civilian, he spent thirty years as a marine and aviation insurance underwriter and following that, had some interesting jobs such as repairing an older power cruiser and converting it to a research trawler for Idaho Fish and Game, teaching shooters how to improve the accuracy of their rifles and shotguns, and working part-time for Gart Sports in their Hunting and Fishing Department.

While he was in Los Angeles, he met Gail Haack who was teaching at a high school in Long Beach and the very first time they met he decided that someday they would get married, which they did in October of 1974. After 39 years of marriage, his beloved wife passed away.

They lived in Boise for 18 years where they enjoyed outdoor activities including fly fishing, shooting, X-country skiing, camping and ice skating. George played ice hockey and was an avid upland bird and duck hunter. After they both retired in 1996, they moved to the Oregon coast and lived there until they returned to Boise in May of 2014.

George is survived by his daughter Caroline Kahm; granddaughter Corina Kahm; cousin Bob Warner; his sister in law Betty Bolton; and several nieces and nephews.

“Fair winds and a following sea” to our shipmate George. 

Passing of Shipmate … Bill Commins

August 30, 2015
Bill Cummins
LCDR Bill Commins was found dead in his apartment Aug 24, 2015.   He had been there for a couple days and was found when no one could reach him by phone.  He had been in deteriorating health from diabetes for the past couple years.  There will be a memorial from 3PM to 7PM on September 18th at the Robinswood House, 2430 148th Avenue SE, Bellevue, WA. memorial. Call Robinswood at  425-452-7850 for final details.  More as soon as it is known.
Comments from Shipmates: 
Hi Guys,
Bill Commins daughter called me with information regarding his memorial.  It will be held on September 18, 2015, time not confirmed yet.  Location will be the Robinswood House in Bellevue at: 2430 148th Avenue SE.  Save the date.  Hope to update you when I hear more.  You may be able to find out the time by checking on-line for Robinswood House and Bill’s name or call them.
Best regards,


Hi Guys,
Bill Commins daughter called me with information regarding his memorial.  It will be held on September 18, 2015, time not confirmed yet.  Location will be the Robinswood House in Bellevue at: 2430 148th Avenue SE.  Save the date.  Hope to update you when I hear more.  You may be able to find out the time by checking on-line for Robinswood House and Bill’s name or call them.
 Best regards,

Sorry to hear about Bill Cummins. I flew as third pilot in his crew when I checked  into VP-69 in 1972 or so…went on two weeks cruise with his crew…I remember him announcing his diabetes at one morning at muster after a sudden weight loss…he was flying for Northwest, I believe…he loved flying more than anything even though he had a mechanical engineering degree. Over drinks at the BOQ he relayed his plans and disappointments with airline and Navy situation. I learned a lot from him even though I knew just a short while. He was a mild manner and very engaging friend. God bless, Bill Cummins.
Lauren Pananen  CDR
Bill and I were squadron mates in the early 1960’s with VP-21 at NAS Brunswick ME. I am sure he is a plank owner with VP-69 and was medically discharged before the squadron transition into the P-3A.
He developed diabetes while flying with Northwest and went into treatment some where in CA., after which, he successfully controlled the problem. Unfortunately his life style caused the diabetes to return. We lost a good shipmate.
Pat Schnauffer CAPT
Thank you, Daryl.   Bill Commins  used to fly for Northwest Orient Airlines.   I remember him grousing about the numerous items we would have to memorize for lots of different emergency procedures…e.g. What are the five steps of the “Engine Fire in Flight” emergency checklist.   He told me that the airline had only three memorization items for every emergency:  1. Fly the airplane; 2. Silence the alarm;  3. Call for the checklist.   Even today, I think that’s pretty sage advice.

I can’t remember the exact dates either, but think we flew together in the mid- to late-70’s.

Sorry to hear that he died alone.
Mike Montgomery … CAPT

Patrol Squadrons NW Reunion .. a success

August 29, 2015

August 16, 2015, Patrol Squadron NW Reunion 2015 wrapped up a successful reunion. There were 72 shipmates along with spouses and friends bringing the total participation to 106. The feedback forms gave a positive grade to the reunion with 33% stating the reunion exceeded their expectations and 53% felt it met their expectations while 13% felt it did not meet their expectations. While some would have no music there were others that were in favor of the music. The general consensus was that the Elks provided a better venue but the feeling was that the CPO Club had a better menu. There was an almost unanimous opinion that the next reunion be held in Oak Harbor and there should be an effort to have access to an onboard tour of a P8.

The speakers were given high marks for being both interesting speakers and providing topics of interest to the group.

The bottom line … Folks enjoyed themselves.

Attendees for 2015

Check out the latest Totem Pole 2015

All the photos used for the Newsletter are available on DropBox.
Any photo with an “x” was corrected and resized for the Newsletter.


The passing of a shipmate

August 17, 2015


The memory of a good person is a blessing…
Proverbs 10:7

AWC Clarence Robertson 1935-2015

”Let us say farewell to a great person. He has been a good son, husband, father, friend and shipmate to all of us and he will be dearly missed. He will always be remembered and will forever remain in our hearts.”

Clarence joined the United States Navel Reserves in 1953 as a radar operator on anti sub aircraft with VP-69 and retired after 40 years of service.

Chief Robertson was also Deputy Robertson and just as highly regarded at the Snohomish County Sheriff as he had been in VP-69.

He had volunteered with the Sheriff Reserves since 1959 and the office considered him a version of the coelacanth, an elusive fish that was thought to have gone extinct in the Late Cretaceous period, only to be rediscovered in the 1930s off the coast of South Africa.

“I’m proud of what I do, but I don’t go around bragging about it,” Robertson said. “It’s gotten to where I couldn’t imagine living a life not involved in law enforcement.”

Click here for a slide show…

A tribute to AWC Clarence Robertson

Sign the guest book.


AWC Robertson’s internment

Newspaper article highlighting Deputy Robertson

Reunion Weather Forcast

August 12, 2015

Just in case you were wondering how to prepare for Oak Harbor … Maybe … rain is in the  Forecast for the reunion.

Remember all that beautiful weather that we became accustom to when we went Whidbey for our drill?

Looks like you might be able to leave the sunscreen at home.