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Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron 62
VFP-62 squadron badge.PNG
VFP-62 Insignia
Active January 1949 - 1 January 1968
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Role Aerial reconnaissance
Part of Inactive
Nickname Fighting Photos
Engagements Korean War
Cuban Missile Crisis
Vietnam War
Aircraft flown
Fighter F8F-2P Bearcat
F4U-5P Corsair
F2H-2P Banshee
F9F-6P/-8P Cougar
RF-8A/G Crusader

Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron 62 (VFP-62) was an aviation unit of the United States Navy in service from 1949 to 1968. The squadron provided a detachment of reconnaissance planes for each of the Carrier Air Wings of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

VFP-62 was established in January 1949 as Composite Squadron VC-62 Fighting Photos and was equipped with Grumman F8F-2P Bearcat and Vought F4U-5P Corsair reconnaissance planes. The first detachment was assigned to Carrier Air Group 7 (CVG-7) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CV-32) from September 1949 to January 1950 for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

Detachments of the squadron operated from all attack carriers based on the U.S. East Coast. Only from September 1950 to February 1951 a detachment operated during the Korean War from the USS Leyte as part of CVG-3.

In 1951 the squadron was equipped with the McDonnell F2H-2P Banshee. On 2 July 1956 the squadron was redesignated Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron VFP-62 and transitioned to the Grumman F9F-6P Cougar (later F9F-8P). Three years later the squadron received its first Vought F8U-1P Crusader aircraft, which were redesignated RF-8A in 1962. In 1966 these aircraft were upgraded to the RF-8G.

VFP-62 is best known as the squadron who took the first low-level photos of the Soviet missile bases in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. At the time, it was commanded by US Navy Commander William Ecker. In 2000, the movie Thirteen Days (film), produced by Kevin Costner, showed the actions of Ecker and the other members of VFP-62 during the Missile Crisis.

From June 1966 to February 1967 VFP-62 Det.42 operated from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) off Vietnam as part of CVW-1.

VFP-62 was disestablished on 1 January 1968.


Unit awards[edit]

On November 26, 1962, VFP-62 was awarded the first peacetime Navy Unit Commendation personally by President John F. Kennedy.

External links[edit]