VP-44 Golden Pelicans P-3C Model
Capture what is was like to fly with the Golden Pelicans of VP-44 in this P-3C model. Each model is carefully crafted from solid wood and then meticulously painted to provide a piece that you will treasure and be able to proudly display. Size: 18 inches
The squadron’s first insignia was submitted to CNO for review in August 1952, and was approved on 24 September. The design incorporated the Marlin fish to represent the new P5M-1 with which the squadron was equipped. The Marlin was poised holding bombs in both fins above the conning tower of a partially submerged submarine. The gold background represented daylight, with silver stars to represent the night, establishing the image of an around-the-clock squadron. The silver dashes emanating from the eyes of the Marlin represented the electronics equipment employed by the squadron in ASW operations. Colors: outline of design and back of Marlin, deep blue; background, gold; stars and belly of Marlin, silver; submarine, black; waves, green and blue; markings on bombs and eye of Marlin, red.
The second VP-44 insignia was submitted to CNO in June 1961 and received approval on 25 July. The design featured King Neptune, representing the squadron’s Lockheed P2V-2 Neptune aircraft, emerging from the clouds above a broken submarine, trident poised for a
strike. In a further, somewhat incongruous effort to establish identity, Neptune holds a dice cup in his left hand spilling out two dice with the fours on each one representing the squadron number. A large scroll at the bottom of the design contained the squadron’s
designation Patrol Squadron Forty Four. Original colors of the insignia are unknown. Around the same time the second design was developed in 1961, the squadron became interested in a nickname, and even went so far as to propose finding a suitable mascot to go with the name. The pelicans seemed a natural, but consultation with the Curator of Birds, New York Zoological Society, ruled out the feasibility of
maintaining a live bird mascot. Instead, the squadron personnel came up with a new design that incorporated the nickname of the squadron, an ungainly pelican caricature wearing goggles and helmet, with a fused bomb held in its right appendage as viewed through the cross-hairs of a periscope. This insignia was approved by CNO on 11 April 1963.
By 1984, the squadron decided that the cartoonish appearance of the VP-44 insignia was no longer in keeping with the state of modern Naval Aviation and a new, updated design was selected. The pelican motif was retained with a more realistic appearing bird grasping a submarine in its beak. This design was approved by CNO on 20 November 1984.
In 1988, the squadron members elected to return to the previous pelican design with a rather unique twist. In addition to restoring the original design of the bird zooming in on the submarine as seen through the periscope, the visage of the former squadron commanding officer was substituted for the pelican’s head. The subject of the design was reputed to be a “colorful and salty old aviator” who was VP-44’s commanding officer when the first P-3s were received in 1962. This insignia was approved by CNO 2 November 1988. Colors were the same as the second design. The insignia remained in service until the squadron’s disestablishment in 1991.
Nickname: Golden Pelicans, 1961–1991.
aka: The Budmen, 1989–1991.