Order of Battle
F-14 Units

VF-124 Gunfighters

VF-124 Tail
Status: Disestablished 30 September 1994
Nickname: Gunfighthers
Callsign: "Gunslinger"
Tailcode: NJ
Homebase: NAS Miramar
VF-124 Insignia

Founded as VF-58 in 1948 and participated in the Korean War with F4U Corsairs and later the F9F Panther. The unit was re-assigned as VF-124 at NAS Moffett Field in 1958, evaluating the F7U Cutlass. They moved to NAS Miramar operating the F-8 and RF-8 Crusader.

In 1972, VF-124 became the Pacific training squadron for the F-14A. In 1976 the unit was involved in training Iranian pilots, until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. When the TARPS system was introduced to the F-14, VF-124 took the role of training air and ground crews how to operate the system. In 1988, 1500 aircrews and more then 14.000 maintenance personal had trained with VF-124.

159616 / NJ-76, F-14

162591 / NJ-453, F-14

163895 / NJ-433, F-14

Gunslinger 76 (F-14A, 159616) flew in a bicentennial color scheme, with the star painted on the vertical stabilizer.

With the introduction of the F-14D, VF-124 received the first airframe in November 1990. VF-124 was assigned training air and ground personnel on the new version of the Tomcat. During the early 90s both F014A and D models were flown by the Gunfighters.

When the “Cold war” was ending training needs were downsizing as well for the US Navy. VF-124 was disestablished 30 September 1994. For a year the F-14Ds were still operated before training and the aircraft were transferred to VF-101.

VF-142 Ghostriders

VF-142 Tail
Status: Disestablished April 1995
Nickname: Ghostriders
Callsign: "Dakota"
Tailcode: AE / AG
Homebase: NAS Miramar
VF-142 Insignia

The Ghostriders were established in August 1948 as VF-193. They were fighting the Korean War with F4U Corsairs and later transitioned to F2H Bashee. They also flew F3H Demon before transitioning to the F-4B. The unit was re-designated VF-142 October 1963. With the Phantom they participated in the Vietnam War, during three tours. VF-142 downed 2 MiG-21, 1 MiG-17 and 1 AN-2. In 1969 they transitioned to the F-4J model. In September 1972, during there seventh tour, the Ghostriders downed another MiG-21.

Beginning 1975, VF-142 transitioned to the F-14A, and a year later they were deployed to the Mediterranean, where they intercepted there first Tu-95 on 23 April 1976.

In 1980, aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, they participated in operational support during the Iranian hostage crisis. A year later during a Mediterranean cruise they intercepted two Libyan MiG-23s heading in on the carrier group. No shots were fired. From 1987 onward several deployments were made to the Mediterranean.

24 March 1989, Fighting 142 received the first F-14B model. The Ghostriders together with sister unit VF-143 were the first to deploy the B model. August 1990 aboard the Eisenhower, the unit moved to the Persian Gulf region after Iraq invaded Kuwait. They flew combat air patrol during Operation Desert Shield.

162926 / AE-212, F-14

13 November 1991, F-14B, 161433 made an emergency landing on deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower when the complete radome broke off during flight. The front canopy was also shattered in the incident insuring the pilot. The pilot, Joe Edwards later became a Space Shuttle pilot.

162926 / AG-212, F-14

161417 / AG-205, F-14

162926 / AG-200, F-14

In 1992, VF-142 moved to the new carrier USS George Washington. Last operations before the unit was disestablished were peace keeping missions over Bosnia and Iraq. Due to defense cuts the unit was disestablished in April 1995.

VF-143 Pukin Dogs

VF-143 Tail
Status: 2005 transitioned to F/A-18E as VFA-143.
Nickname: Pukin Dogs
Callsign: "Dog"
Tailcode: AG
Homebase: NAS Oceana
VF-143 Insignia

The “Dogs” history dates back to 20 July 1950 as VF-821. The unit was deployed to the Korean War twice with F4U Corsairs. 1953, the unit was re-designated VF-123 and transitioned to F9F Panther. In ’58 they were re-designated to VF-53 with the F3H Demon. June 1962 the unit was re-designated again to VF-143 and transitioned to the F-4J. Seven deployment followed during the Vietnam war, downing the first MiG-21 in 1967.

In 1974 they transitioned to the F-14A followed by a first cruise two years later, together with VF-142, aboard the USS America. In 1980 they were deployed to the Indian Ocean in response of the Iraq-Iran war. The aircraft were fitted with TARPS capability and combat reconnaissance missions were flown over Lebanon in 1983.

161426 / AG-106, F-14

162926 / AG-143, F-14

163407 / AG-101, F-14

March 1990 the unit was the first to be equipped with the improved F-14A+, later designated as F-14B. In August they were deployed to the Red Sea aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in response of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Deployments to the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean followed. In 1996 they supported Operation Decisive Endeavor (NATO peace keeping mission Bosnia) and Operation Southern Watch with TARPS capabilities, forward air controlling and air-to-ground missions.

In 1997 they were back supporting Southern Watch aboard the USS John C. Stennis, specializing in LANTIRN (Infrared night targeting) use combined with the digital TARPS system.

Early 2000, VF-143 was deployed to the Gulf region in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The unit was involved in the 2004 strikes over Fallujah. In 2005, VF-143 transitioned to the F/A-18E and was re-designated VFA-143.

VF-154 Black Knights

VF-154 Tail
Status: October 2003 re-designated as VFA-154 flying F/A-18F.
Nickname: Black Knights
Callsign: "Black Knight"
Tailcode: NF / NK
Homebase: NAS Oceana
VF-154 Insignia

VF-154 was founded as Navy Reserve squadron VFB-718 in July 1946 flying the F6F Hellcat and later the F4U Corsair. During the Korean War, re-designated as VF-837 they operated F9F Panther. In 1957, then called VF-154, they flew FJ-3 Fury before transitioning to the F-8 Crusader. The black Knights entered the Vietnam War with the Crusader before transitioning to the F-4J and N model Phantom II. In 1979 they transitioned yet again to the F-4S (last Navy version of the F-4), but returned to the N model in 1981.

161168 / NK-116, F-14

VF-154 was amongst the last units to be transitioned to the F-14A. This finally happened in October 1983. They got TARPS capability from the start. The first cruise in 1985 to the Gulf region was aboard the USS Constellation. During this cruise they were tasked with intercepting Iranian P-3s.

During the early 90s, VF-154 moved to the USS Independence. They were amongst the first units to arrive in the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Shield. Before the war (Operation Desert Storm) started, the Independence returned to the US. When sister unit VF-21 was disestablished 31 January 1996, VF-154 absorbed most aircraft and personnel, becoming a “Super Squadron” with 16 aircraft. January 1989 the Knights were back in the Gulf taking part in Operation Southern Watch, flying daily missions. At that time the Tomcats were equipped with LANTIRN pods for identifying targets during day or night.

Between 1999 and 2000, the unit was deployed to the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2003 the last cruise was made with the F-14, this time in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (The 2nd Gulf War). Main mission was Close Air Support with 12 F-14As and 5 stationed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. April 1, 2003 VF-154 lost one of its F-14s (158620), the first coalition aircraft to crash during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The crew as rescued by an HH-60G. By the end of the was VF-154 had dropped 358 laser guided bombs in 286 sorties.

? / NF-104, F-14

161621 / NF-100, F-14

162697 / NF-113, F-14

In October 2003 the unit was re-designated VFA-154 and transitioned to the F/A-18F at its new home of NAS Lemoore, CA. With the Hornet they returned to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

VF-191 Satan’s Kittens

VF-191 Tail
Status: Disestablished on 30 April 1988
Nickname: Satan’s Kittens
Callsign: "Hellcat"
Tailcode: NM
Homebase: NAS Miramar
VF-191 Insignia

Fighting 191 was the shortest-lived US Navy squadron in history. It was established 1 December 1986 and disestablished on 30 April 1988.

VF-191 used the name and insignia of an earlier squadron established in 1943. It took part in World War II, Korean War and Vietnam war. During the Vietnam war it operated F-8 Crusader and continued flying F-8 variants until 1976. It transitioned to the F-4J, completing one cruise before the squadron was disestablished in 1978.

After re-establishment and training with F-14As the squadron was designated for a cruise aboard the USS Independence (CVW-10). Although before the cruise began, the VF-191 was disestablished again, some aircraft were assigned with VF-114.

In 1992 the Navy planned to enable VF-191 again, to be equipped with F-14Ds. This idea was not effectuated as Congress didn’t approve the full Tomcat fleet to be updated to F-14Ds.

VF-194 Red Lightnings

VF-194 Tail
Status: Disestablished 30 April 1988
Nickname: Red Lightings
Callsign: "Red Flash"
Tailcode: NM
Homebase: NAS Miramar
VF-194 Insignia

After VF-191 the shortest-lived US Navy squadron. Like VF-191, Fighting 194 took over the name and insignia from an earlier squadron.

The earlier squadron was established 1 August 1963, when VF-91 (March 1952) was re-designated. VF-194 made eight deployments to Vietnam flying F-8E and F-8Js. In 1976 the squadron transitioned to the F-4J. After one deployment aboard the USS Coral Sea, the squadron was disestablished March 1978.

1 December 1986, VF-194 was re-established equipped with F-14As. After training with VF-124, the united was assigned for a tour aboard the USS Independence. Before the tour could start, like VF-191, the squadron was disestablished April 1988.

In 1992 the Navy planned to enable VF-194 again, to be equipped with F-14Ds. This idea was not effectuated as Congress didn’t approve the full Tomcat fleet to be updated to F-14Ds.

161297 / NM-200, F-14

VF-201 Hunters

VF-201 Tail
Status: Re-designated VFA-201 in January 1999, flying F/A-18A.
Nickname: Hunters
Callsign: "Hunter"
Tailcode: AF
Homebase: NAS Oceana
VF-201 Insignia

VF-201 was established at NAS Dallas in July 1970. First flying F-8H Crusader and six year later transferring to the F-4N. In 1984 they moved to the F-4S.

162709 / AF-103, F-14

The Hunters were the last unit to fly the Phantom in the Navy. In 1987 the Navy decided that it would be better that reserve units operated the same aircraft as the front-line units. So VF-201 was equipped with F-14As, some straight from the production line, the last F-14 build was among these. The unit was certified carrier operations on the USS Forrestal, but stayed on-land for most time after that, with some deployments on carriers.

In the early 90s, VF-201 took over the aggressor role as many squadrons were disestablished due to budget cuts. In 1996 they were deployed on the USS John C. Stennis being able to fire live weapons. VF-201 was the first Navy reserve unit to fire an AIM-54 Phoenix. In the same year a deployment followed to NAS Key West, training with F/A-18 equipped VFA-106 Gladiators. Late 90s training deployments were planned to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska and NAS Fallon, again shooting live ammo. They also trained F-14 crews from VF-101.

The units F-14A (158637) was the last block 65 tomcat build. It was rebuild to block 135 standards, including TARPS capability and later transferred to VF-211.

In 1999 the Hunters transitioned to the F/A-18A. The unit was re-assigned as VFA-201 as it now had a multi-mission strike capability.

VF-202 Superheats

VF-202 Tail
Status: Disestablished 31 December 1994.
Nickname: Superheats
Callsign: "Superheat"
Tailcode: AF
Homebase: NAS Oceana
VF-202 Insignia

VF-202 was another reserve squadron founded in 1970. At first equipped with the F-8H Crusader, they transferred to the F-4N in 1976. Just like VF-201 they upgraded to the F-4S in the early 80s.

In 1987, the Superheats transferred to newly build block 110 F-14As. This was the last version of the A model build. In May 1988 they qualified for carrier operations aboard the USS America. In 1988 they also received TARPS capability, with which they participated in RAM ’88 (Reconnaissance Air Meet) at Bergstrom AFB, TX.

Due to budget cuts, VF-202 was disestablished in favor of their sister squadron, VF-201, who got the TARPS capability. 31 December 1994, the aircraft were re-distributed amongst other units (mainly VF-101). One of their aircraft, 162710 is now on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola.

VF-211 Fighting Checkmates

VF-211 Tail
Status: Re-designated VFA-211 in 2004, flying F/A-18F.
Nickname: Fighting Checkmates
Callsign: "Nickel"
Tailcode: NG
Homebase: NAS Oceana
VF-211 Insignia

Multiple squadrons were called VF-211 throughout the Navy’s career. The Fighting Checkmates can be dated back to 1945, designated as VB-74. Established at Otis Field, MA they flew SBW-4 Helldivers. Later they transferred to the AD-1 Skyrader and F4U Corsair. Then called VF-24 moved to NAS Alameda and were deployed twice to the Korean War. After these deployments they transferred to the F9F Panther followed by FJ-1 Fury, F3H Demon, F-11F Tiger and F-8 Crusader. On 9 March 1959 the unit traded insignia’s and designations with VF-211.

In 1961 the unit moved to NAS Miramar, its home for the coming 35 years. In 1964 and 65 deployments followed to join the Vietnam War, flying F-8Es. They shot down 2 MiG-17s and one Crusader was lost. In 1967 they were deployed again aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard, shooting down 4 MiG-17s. From 1968, equipped with F-8H and J models, deployments were made aboard the USS Hancock. In 1972 they shot down another MiG-17. With 8 kills during the Vietnam War, they received the nickname “The MiG killers”.

Experimental camouflage

1975 the unit transferred to the F-14A deploying with the USS Constellation. In 1980 TARPS capability was added and deployments followed aboard the USS Ranger and Kitty Hawk. 1986 the unit tested different water-based camouflage schemes. At least 4 aircraft received gray/brown schemas.

April 1989 the Checkmates upgraded to the F-14A+, re-designated F-14B. In 1991 VF-211 was deployed to the Gulf region the support the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, providing Air Superiority and reconnaissance missions. In 1992 they reverted to the F-14A as all B models were moved to the Atlantic Fleet. VF-211 made several deployments to the Persian Gulf and in 1996 LANTIRN capability was added. In 1997 they supported Operation Southern Watch, controlling the airspace over North and South Iraq.

In 2000 this continued aboard the USS John C. Stennis. After the 9-11 attacks, they were deployed to support Operation Enduring Freedom with combat missions over Afghanistan. 1250 sorties were flown in Operation Anaconda (Three week battle to destroy Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces) dropping 100.000lbs of ordnance. On there way home they transferred to the USS Enterprise.

161297 / NG-115, F-14

161856 NG-101, F-14

163227 / NG-123, F-14

In 2003 VF-211 made there final cruise with the F-14 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying show of force and reconnaissance missions. In 2004 they transitioned to the F/A-18F and were re-designated VFA-211. The unit was directly re-deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

159829 / NG-102, F-14

Tail illustrations by Erik Hess.