FighterSweep Fans, we trust your Tuesday is going well, and in the event it is not, we have taken it upon ourselves to provide you with some epic evening entertainment certain to put a smile on your face and delight your inner fighter pilot! This video comes to you courtesy of the “Black Knights” of VFA-154, a squadron whose F/A-18F Super Hornets are stationed at NAS Lemoore, California.
Initially based at NAS Floyd Bennett, NY, their first aircraft was the Grumman F6F Hellcat, soon followed by the renowned and feared Vought F4U Corsair. As well as changing aircraft, the squadron moved from New York to NAS Moffett Field, CA.
VF-837 flew a combat cruise in the Korean war, flying off the USS Antietam (CV 36). By this point they had moved having graduated from the Corsairs into the jet age with another Grumman design, the F9F-2 Panther.
After their first cruise the squadron was officially redesignated VF-154 and called the “Black Knights.” By this time, the squadron was flying the Vought F-8 Crusader.
During Vietnam, the Black Knights transitioned from the Crusader to the McDonnell Douglas F-4B Phantom II, and then later to the F-4J. From their first combat deployment to Southeast Asia in 1965, VF-154 completed six cruises in total, and the last combat tour saw such a high standard from the Black Knights that they were awarded the Clifton Award–recognizing them as the best fighter squadron in the Navy.
VF-154 transitioned from the venerable Phantom to the F-14A beginning in October of 1983, making their first cruise with the Tomcat in 1985 aboard the U.S.S. Constellation. By January of 2003, at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, they were flying the oldest Tomcats in the fleet, off of the oldest ship left in the Navy, the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. In September of that year, the squadron completed two decades of service with The Big Fighter, and embarked on a new path with the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet.
(Featured photo by Jason Hyatt)