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Histories for VA-174/VF-174 : Attack Squadron 174

Squardron History - 1966
Sqaudron History Attack Squadron ONE SEVENTY FOUR traces it history back to 1944 when it was established on the West Coast as VB-81 flying the SB-2C "Helldiver". At that time the late Walt Disney conveived the name "Hellrazors" and originated the present insignia - a caricature of an imaginary bat like, razor-beaked creature from Hell, emboding the qualities of ferocity, determination, and a razor sharp skill in the use of aircraft and airborne weapons. VB-81 was redesignated VF-13 in November 1946 while the squadron was embarked on USS Princeton. In 1949 the squadron transterred to the East Coast. Arriving in Jacksonville the squadron was redesignated to VF-134 and later VF-174. Operating aboard the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in Carrier Air Group SEVENTEEN, VF-174 participated in operations "PROTEX" and "CARIBOX" from September 1950 to January 1951. It returned to Jacksonville to transition to the F-9F6 "Cougar" and then made a short cruise to Guantanamo Bay in May and June of 1951 aboard the USS Midway (CVA-41) The "Hellrazors" were selected as the best fighter squadron in the Atlantic Fleet shortly before they for a six month Med. Cruise in September 1951 aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42). The squadron returned from the Med. in February 1952 and participated in operations "MAINBASE" and "LONG STEP" in July 1952. In preparation for a globe-circling cruise, VF-174 deployed twice to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for intensive gunnery training. Both time the squadron was cited for "Outstanding Performance". After returning from their second "Gitmo" trip in early 1954, the squadron moved to its present home at Cecil Field and joined Carrier Air Group ONE. In late 1954 USS Midway (CVA-41) became the first american carrier to visit the British port of Capetown, South Africa. While in the Pacific the carrier operated with the Seventh Fleet near Formosa and VF-174 participated in the evacuation of the Tachen Island in December 1954. Immediately after their return to Cecil Field in August 1955, VF-174 transitioned to the FJ-3 "FURY". The sqaudron operated with the new furies for only a few months and then transitioned to the F-9F8 "Cougar" in early 1956. With the new "Cougars" an attack syllabus was added to the normal fighter operations. Acting as both and attack and fighter squadron, the "Hellrazors" deployed to the Far East in October 1956 aboard the USS Bennington (CVA-20) as a special weapons squadron with Air Task Group ONE EIGHTY ONE. The squadron returned to Cecil Field in May 1957. In January 1958, VF-174 transitioned to the F8U-1 "Crusader" and in March 1968 began training pilots in F8U's for Atlantic Fleet squadrons. On 1 May 1958 the squadron relinquished it sea-going role and was officially designated the Atlantic Fleet F8U replacement pilot training squadron. During the next eight years until 1 July 1966, VF-174 excelled in all areas. The squadron evaluated the Mark IV Full Pressure Suit, the Delmar Missile and Gunnery Target System, and the two-seater TF-8A, "Crusader". The squadron assumed an all weather fighter capability with the arrival of the F8U-2N in November 1960, and later trained French Navy Pilots in the plane. The squadron received the Aviation Safety Award in 1960 and again in 1962, and the Delmar Target System Award for top efficiency in gunnery exercises in 1963. VF-174 continued in this role until 1 July 1966, when the squadron was redesignated Attack Squadron ONE SEVENTY FOUR in preparation for its assignment to conduct the Fleet Introduction Program for the Navy's newest light attack replacement pilots. The squadron's first A-7A arrived on 13 October 1966, flown by Cdr. D.S. Ross, the squadrons Commanding Officer. Vice Admiral C.T. Booth, Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, received the aircraft from Mr. W. Paul Thayer, president of Ling-Temco-Vought Aerospace, Inc. In January 1967, the squadron assumed its new role of training light attack replacment pilots and completed training of the first Atlantic Fleet A-7A squadron VA-86 on 1 June 1967. On September 1967, VA-83 completed training and by 1 December 1967, a third squadron VA-37 completed it transitioning. During 1968, squadrons which completed training were: VA-105 on 8 March; VA-87 on 17 June, and VA-46 on 15 November. Attack squadron Sixty Seven, later redesignated VA-15, completed training on 10 March 1969. The squadron received its first A-7E in December 1969, and transitioned the Atlantic Fleet's first squdron VA-81 on 1 June 1970. VA-83, VA-82 VA-86, VA-12 and VA-66 have followed in A-7E transition. In addition to conducting squadron transition training, VA-174 continues to train all the replacement pilots and enlisted maintenance personnel who serve in the Atlantic Fleet Light Attack Squadrons. As of 1 August 1971, VA-174 had trained 535 pilots, 48 maintenance officers and 4815 enlisted maintenance personnel. VA-174 is the largest aviation squadron in the U.S. Navy. The squadron was dis-established in 1988. Posted by Mark Douglass Sep 29 2000 12:51:42:000PM

Posted by Mark Douglass
Mar 24 2005 12:55:36:000PM

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