NARA - San Bruno
Record Group:
9NS-313-94-01, Box 04 of 21
Sub Group:
321607, Folder 088
Chronology & Narrative
Chronology: Page 1

Patrol Squadron 83 commissioned at Naval Air Station, Norfolk VA., with Lt. Comdr. R. Sperry Clarke, USN, commanding; Lieut. R. W. Mackert, USN, Executive Officer.
Patrol Wing 8 assigned one OS2U to the squadron as its first plane.
Six crews under the skipper left for San Diego to pick up PBY-5A's at the consolidated factory.
The skeleton squadron was alerted at Norfolk under command of Lt. Mackert, the executive officer. They still only had the one OS2U. The west coast detachment began submarine and interceptor patrol from San Diego. Through December, January and February, at least six crews were always on the west coast, ferrying planes east. 30 PBY5A's were delivered during this period.
The only records available show the first patrol flown by the squadron in the Atlantic Area.
The squadron, temporarily based ashore with the Fleet Air Detachment, Norfold, VA., began conducting operations in accordance with Com Task Force Four operational plan 1-42.
At 0448, plane number 2483, Lt.(jg) H. M. Gottschall, and eight crew members took off on a routine patrol flight from East Field, Norfolk. At 0545, the Coast Guard reported the crash of this plane a short distance off Oregon Inlet. All hands were lost. They were all attached to VP-81, with the exception of one seaman, whose name is not available. They were on temporary duty with VP-83 in connection with the ferrying of new aircraft.
Three planes engaged in search in connection with the sinking of the S.S. Rochester. The ship sank five minutes after the first plane arrived on the scene of the torpedoing. The USS Roe picked up two lifeboats of survivors one hour later; a search of the area was continued for four and a half hours and bombs were dropped on an oil slick, but there was no evidence of damage.
The squadron began conducting operations in accordance with Com Task Force 8 operational plan 2-42.