VB74 was commissioned at NAAS Otis Field, MS, on 1 May 1945. Forming part of Battle Carrier Air Group 74(CVBG74), scheduled for service aboard Midway(CVB41),the squadron had an authorised complement of 24 SB2C-4s, as compared with the 15 aircraft in an Essex-class VB unit. In August these complements were increased to 36 and 24 respectively.
Air Group training was carried out in the Cape Cod/Martha's Vineyard areas, while short deployments to NAAF Ayer provided practice in air support work. At the end of October VB74 transferred to Norfolk and immediately began carrier qualifications aboard the newly commissioned Midway. Then followed the carrier's shakedown cruise which took place off Cuba and Puerto Rico from early November until mid-December. On returning to Norfolk the squadron converted to the SB2C-5.
The next cruise aboard Midway occurred in March 1946 and involved cold weather trials in the Davis Strait, north of Labrador (Operation Frostbite). The final period of operations on the carrier for 1946 lasted from mid-April until late May, this time in the warmer climes of the Caribbean, and included joint exercises with Princeton and F.D.Roosevelt. For the rest of the year VB74 was based ashore at Oceana. On 15 November 1946 the squadron was redesignated VA1B.
Early in May 1947 VA1B embarked in Midway for another Caribbean cruise which lasted until late June. On return to Oceana the squadron converted to the new Douglas AD-1.
|LtCdr. R.W. Parker||to 21 July 1947|
|LtCdr. P.J. Knapp||from 21 July 1947|
|13 August 1945||Ens. W.O. Young|
|2 March 1946||Ens. W.A. Conrad|