Byrne, Patrick, LCDR

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Service Branch
Aviation Boatswain
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Pilot
Primary Unit
1954-1958, 6302, NAS Lakehurst
Service Years
1917 - 1958
Aviation Boatswain
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Byrne, Patrick (Pappy), LCDR USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Born in Dover, NJ
Last Address
Rumson, Monmouth County, New Jersey
Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Middletown, NJ,
Memorial: Wall E, Row 3, Plaque 34

Date of Passing
Nov 23, 1979
Location of Interment
Mount Olivet Cemetery - Middletown, New Jersey
Wall/Plot Coordinates
E/East, Row 3/34

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 30 World War I Victory Button

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

LCDR Patrick Joseph "Pappy" Byrne, USN (Ret.)
Chief Naval Aviation Pilot, NAP No. 10 (1920)
Naval Aviator No. 3442.
He logged over 2 1/2 years of flight time.
Member of the Golden Eagles, Retired as Lt Cdr.

Birth: Mar. 18, 1896, Dover, New Jersey
Death: Nov. 23, 1979, Rumson, New Jersey


Sometime prior to the Spanish American War and yes, even prior to the Wright Brothers epochal experience at Kitty Hawk, a lad was born in South New Jersey named Patrick J. Byrne. Pat or "Pappy", as his shipmates called him, wrapped up his Navel career as Lt. Commander Naval Aviator, USN in 1958 with a mere 23,000 hours flying time. Not too many Silver Eagles can match that; especially when it was performed in 140 different types of aircraft. Types too numerous to designate individually. From the old "Standard", which flew at walking speed, to jets.

It seems that Pat got his yearning to fly in 1915, when a friend in his home town in Rumson, New Jersey, checked him out in a "Burgess Dunne" somewhere on the Shrewsbury River.

Out to lick the Kaiser, Pat enlisted during World War I as landsman for the Machinists Mates School at Pensacola. He rapidly advanced from a boot, who never dropped a piggy-bank passenger, to plane Captain and taxi-pilot.

With his pleasing Irish personality, Pat by now a Chief Petty Officer, found himself selected for the first enlisted men's flight class.

How could he miss? By this time he probably had as much time in the air as his instructors, then on October 10, 1920, he received those much cherished wings which he would henceforth wear with pride, honor, and distinction. Naturally he was selected as chief instructor for the enlisted and Warrant Officer neophytes.

As chief instructor, Pat was always on "tap" for emergency flights or what have you. Because the writer. Joe Frosio, had never before seen any mention of the following among his memoirs, he tempted to "snitch" on him, to wit; One very early calm Sunday morning the O.O.D. awakened Pat in the Chiefs Quarters at Pensacola to take an important hop. Joe, who had just soloed N-9's that week was privileged to fly co-pilot. The mission, because of no wind on the bay, was to assist the plane carrying the Secretary of the Navy (Josephus Daniels) to take off for St. Petersburg, Florida. The usual procedure of taxing on the step ahead of the plane taking off was accomplished with a well done, and a wave off, when Pat, barely off the water chandelled, standing that twin-engine H-16 on its ear, pulled into the beach, cut the guns, and high-tailed to Old Warrington Church. Joe later learned that Pat was just in time for Mass. His co-pilot sat in the cockpit, scared to death. In retrospect. Joe contends that the World War II clinche; "Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer" was plagiarized from that experience.

Pat now felt he had to help sell the surface navy on aircraft as a part of the fleet. So he joined the first Fleet Air Detachment at Norfolk, flying wooden hull jobs with all their grievances; one time losing a propeller over the wintry Atlantic. Proving that even these early types could do a good job spotting, bombing, and reconnaissance was soon accomplished, even thorough drift indicators and bombsights were rather primitive devices. Night landing as that time were made through the use of smudge-pots placed alongside of the seaplane tenders.

Now with an accepted Naval Air Arm, flights were extended. Pat participated in the first flight from Norfolk to Guantanamo. Because of the limited range of the aircraft, many stops were made en-route on the East Coast. Later, with bigger boats, air cooled engines, metal hulls and longer cruising range, his squadron undertook, successfully, a not-stop flight from Norfolk to Coco Sola, Panama. Joining VRF-1 with its various transport assignments, Pat was soon risking ferrying Big-boat's cross-country, with Corpus Christi, Texas, as first stop. His next task, upon request of C.N.O. (Admiral Sherman) was to seek sites for seaplane bases in the Mediterranean. By this time he had been recognized as a trail blazer.

About 1939, American Export Steamship Company decided to venture into air transportation. You guessed it, Pat was chosen, and on loan from the Navy, to establish a route to Europe. It was rumored that he chose to go by way of Ireland just to kiss the "Blarney Stone", the Navy Department granted him a leave of absence for this survey. Incidentally, this route was latter used by Pan American Airways. Next he was called upon to conduct a survey for a seaplane base in Calao Harbor, Peru. The result was favorable, and the Lima-Tampa-New Orleans Airlines was established. Upon completion of the survey. Pat high-tailed back to New York making the first non-stop flight from Peru o New York City. While resting, he undertook the testing of the famous "Mars" seaplane at the Martin Aircraft Factory. However, all this time was not only in Big Boats. In 1925, in order to diversify and get in some time in single engine planes. Pat transferred to the old Langley and qualified as a Carrier pilot. Catapult equipped ships he served on were the Richmond, Trenton, Wyoming and the Augusta, in addition the Seaplane Tenders Shawmut, Wright and the Arostock. Sometime during the cruise to Australia he managed to squeeze in a survey of Tasmania; later it was the Marquisas, and the Galapagos. In 1942, we find him stationed at NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii, making occasional trips to Johnson Island. With that backgroud it is no wonder that the Commanding Officer NAS Miramar, Captain Mills, pronounced him to be "without a peer in the field of flying boats."

Today, when one asks Pat about decorations, he casually answers, "oh yes! The assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, James A. Smith, presented me with the Legion of Merit back in 1954".

In 1954 Pat was transferred to NAS Lakehurst. At long last, he was close to home; Lakehurst being within jogging distance of Rumson, New Jersey, where he lived with his wife Nan and daughter Nancy. It was the first time in 26 years that he had been assigned shore duty. Finally in 1958, after more than 40 years service in the U.S. Navy, with over 2 1/2 years of it in the air, Pat retired. 

(much of this bio is from: The Scuttlebutt, January 1971) 
Other Comments:

Patrick Joseph Byrne had over two and one half years experience on aviation matters, mainly aviation engines, prior to his entrance into the U.S. Navy. His first experience was on a Burgess Dunne Seaplane, privately owned by General Howard S. Borden of Oceanic, NJ, now known as Rumson, NJ.

U.S. Navy:
Pat entered the service Dec. 14, 1917 in Oceanic, NJ. 
Promoted to CPO/Master sergeant April 1919. 
Entered flight training Jan. 25, 1920 with the rate of CMM(A).
Designated NAP No.10, October 8 , 1920, Aviation Chief Machinist's Mate. 
Designated naval aviator November 1928 #3442.
Pat retired March 31, 1958 with the rank of lieutenant commander. He had 20,000 military flight hours and 3,000 civilian hours. Pat Byrne, definitely the legendary flying mari­ner with his early entry into aviation, 40 plus years in the naval aviation service and 23,000 flight hours. 

Shore Assignments:
December 17-May 1918 Machinist Mate School, NAS Pensacola, Florida and NAS Hampton Roads, Virginia.  
May 1918-February 1919, East Pier Patrol Sqd. NAS Hampton Roads. 
February 1919-January 1920, Scout­ing and Patrol Squadron, NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  
October 1922-October 1924, USS Wright (AV-1), NavyYard, Philadelphia.

January 1920-October 1922, NAS Pensacola, Florida.  
June 1926-October 1928, NAS Hampton Roads.  

October 1924-February 1925, USS Langley I (AV-3), NAS San Diego.  
February 1925-April 1925, VS-2 NAS Norfolk, Virginia and Annapolis, MD.  
April 1925-November 1925, USS Richmond, Portsmouth, VA.  
March 1926-May 1926, USS Trenton, Portsmouth, VA.  
October 1928-August 1930, USS Wyoming, Norfolk, VA.  

August 1930-January 1931, VS-10 NAS Norfolk, Virginia.  
January 1931-August 1931, USS Au­gusta, Norfolk, VA.  
September 1931-October 1935, VP-2F, NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone.  
November 1935-May 1941, VP-14F and VP-52, NAS Norfolk, Virginia. Also "On Loan" to AE, American Export Airline (AOA, American Overseas Airline).
May 1941-February 1942, VP-72F NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada.  

March 1942-August 1943, R-I, VP-6 and VP-8 NAS Norfolk, Virginia.
August 1943-May 1946, VRF-4 and VRF-l NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York.  

May 1946-May 1954, VRF-31, NAS Norfolk, Virginia.  
1948-49 Bryne ferried seaplanes from the east coast to Seattle, Washington. 
1950, he flew survey flights over the Mediterranean for the purpose of establishing seaplane bases and anchorages to provide logistical support to the Mediterranean fleet.
June 1954-March 1958, NAS Lakehurst. Pat retired on 31 March, 1958. 

Pat Byrne was awarded the Legion of Merit, Good Conduct, African European Medal, World War II Vic­tory Medal, American Defense, Asiatic-Pacific Cam­paign, New Jersey State Medal World War I. 



Pat Byrne was "on loan" to the American Export Airlines in 1939

American Overseas Airlines - AOA - formerly American Export Airlines USA

American Overseas Airlines had its origins in American Export Airlines, set up in 1937 by the shipping company American Export Lines with the intention of starting North Atlantic services. Eventually, after the U.S.A. had entered the war and after stiff resistance from Pan American, American Export was able to start (June 1942) a flying boat service between New York and Ireland.

During 1945, when American Export was awarded transatlantic rights covering northern Europe including London, the airline had to cut its strings with the shipping industry. Thus, in November 1945, American Export Airlines became American Overseas Airlines (AOA), following the merger with the Transatlantic Division of American Airlines. Working closely with AA for a few years, and benefitting from that airline's domestic connections (with U.S. timetables being issued as AA "Transatlantic" or "Overseas" services), AOA and Pan American agreed to merge in 1950, with AOA disappearing into Pan American during the autumn.

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 Duty Stations
US NavyNAS PensacolaNaval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLUSS Langley (CV-1)
Military Air Transport Service (MATS), <B>US Air Force (USAF)</b>Naval Air Transport Service (NATS)VR-8Floyd Bennett Field, NY
  1917-1917, AD-0000, Recruit Training Center (RTC) (Faculty Staff)
  1918-1919, AD-0000, Pensacola
  1919-1920, AD-0000, USS Shawmut (CM 4)
  1919-1922, AP-0000, NAS Pensacola
  1920-1920, AP-0000, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1922-1925, AP-0000, USS Wright (AZ-1)
  1925-1930, AP-0000, USS Langley (CV-1)
  1930-1936, AP-0000, USS Richmond (CL-9)
  1939-1940, AP-0000, Atlantic Division
  1940-1942, AP-0000, Commander Patrol Plane Squadrons US Fleet (COMPATRONUSFLT)
  1942-1942, AP-0000, NAS Kaneohe Bay, HI
  1942-1942, AP-0000, Naval Air Transport Service (NATS)
  1943-1943, AP-0000, VR-8
  1943-1948, AP-0000, Floyd Bennett Field, NY
  1948-1949, 731X, Naval Air Transport Service (NATS)
  1950-1954, 731X, Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean, COMNAVAIRLANT
  1954-1958, 6302, NAS Lakehurst
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1945 World War II
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  American Export Airlines / AOA4
  BYRNE, LCDR Patrick J. (Pat/Pappy) nephew's memorial3
  Mar 19, 2016, General Photos4
 Military Association Memberships
The Golden EaglesMariner/Marlin AssociationPatRon Six Blue Sharks Association
  1956, The Golden Eagles2
  2016, Mariner/Marlin Association [Verified]
  2016, PatRon Six Blue Sharks Association [Verified]
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