After returning from a combat cruise, during which it flew SBDs off both Enterprise and Intrepid, VB6 reformed at Alameda on 10 April 1944. Its new aircraft complement was 36 SB2C-3s (reduced to 24 in August and 15 in December). One month later all three Air Group 6 squadrons moved to NAAS Santa Rosa where they trained for the next six months. In early November orders came through to transfer overseas by Navy transport, and by month's end the Air Group was settled in at NAS Hilo. During its period in Hawaii VB6 had the opportunity to carrier qualify pilots aboard the CVE Makassar Strait.

Towards the end of February 1945 Air Group 6 embarked on Copahee at Pearl Harbor and headed west for Ulithi where, on 10 March, it went aboard Hancock. Four days later, as part of Task Force 58, Hancock sailed in support of Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa. VB6's first target was the airfield at Kagoshima, Kyushu, bombed on 18 March. The next day shipping at Kure was attacked, after which the Task Force headed south to give direct support to the Okinawa invasion forces. From 23 March to 9 April VB6 struck targets on Okinawa, as well as on the neighbouring islands of Miyako Shima, Minami Daito and Tokuno Shima. Offensive operations came to an end on the latter date, however, when Hancock was the victim of a kamikaze, and although the resulting fires were extinguished within ninety minutes and most of the flight deck remained usable, it was decided that the ship should return to Pearl for repairs. Upon arrival there on 21 April, Air Group 6 was given a week's rest.

VB6 recommenced training at NAS Barber's Point on April 28 with 15 new SB2C-4Es. One month later Hancock was declared combat ready and after a short training cruise in early June she sailed for Ulithi with Air Group 6 embarked. En route, on 20 June, practice strikes were flown against Wake Island. The stay at Ulithi was only brief, and operating now as an element of Task Force 38 the ship set sail again on 1 July, headed for Japan. Targets for the first day, 10 July, were airfields in the Tokyo area, after which the Task Force moved north. On the 14th and 15th VB6 bombed airfields, factories, bridges and harbour installations on the northern island of Hokkaido. Moving back south, four days were spent attacking surviving units of the Japanese Fleet at Yokosuka and Kure. The squadron's final missions for July, flown on the 30th, were against airfields around Osaka. Further airfield attacks, on 9 and 10 August, took place over northern Honshu, and then for what turned out to be the final series of strikes the Task Force once more returned to the Tokyo area. VB6's target for the 13th, the Shibaura Electric plant in Tokyo, was blanketed by bad weather and so the bombers hit an aircraft factory at Hiratsuka instead. Again on the 15th VB6 set out for Shibaura Electric, but en route word was received of the Japanese surrender and so all bombs were jetissoned.
Following the cessation of hostilities Hancock patrolled off Japan until early October and then set sail for home, arriving at San Pedro on the 21st. Air Group 6 was decommissioned at San Diego on 29 October.

LtCdr. D.B. Ingerslew to 14 April 1944
LtCdr. J.B. Howland 20 April to 19 June 1944
LtCdr. G.P. Chase 19 June 1944 to 29 October 1945


Okinawa Invasion
Wake Is.
Japanese Home Islands


14 July 1944Lt.(jg) W.E. Truax/ARM2c M.C. Robertson
12 January 1945Ens. R.F. Zeller/ARM3c D.C. Silvain
18 March 1945Lt. R.E. Gardner/ARM1c D.E. Jensen
18 March 1945Ens. J.W. Dragoo/ARM3c D.L. Cole
19 March 1945Lt.(jg) D.A. Barrows/ARM2c F.R. Gordon (C---AA Kobe)
29 March 1945ARM2c L.F. Jakubec (pilot, Lt.(jg)R.L. Somerville, rescued)
14 July 1945Ens. R.K. Wikstrand

USN/MC Squadrons