VF-301

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Fighter Squadron 301
Vf301.jpg
VF-301 Insignia
Active 1 October 1970 – 11 September 1994
Country United States
Branch United States Navy Reserve Seal United States Navy Reserve
Type reserve fighter squadron
Part of Reserve Carrier Air Wing 30
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Miramar
Nickname(s) "Devil's Disciples"
Motto(s) Give'em Hell, Baby
Aircraft flown
Fighter F-8L Crusader
F-4B/N/S Phantom
F-14A Tomcat

VF-301 Fighter Squadron 301 was an aviation unit of the United States Naval Reserve in service from 1970 to 1994. The squadron's nickname was Devil's Disciples.[1]

History[edit]

VF-301 was activated on 1 October 1970 and assigned to Carrier Air Wing Reserve 30 (CVWR-30) (tail code "ND") at Naval Air Station Miramar, California (USA).

VF-301 F-4N landing at MCAS Yuma.
Two VF-301 F-4S

The squadron first flew the F-8L Crusader and later transitioned to the F-4B Phantom in 1974. Their time with the B-models was short and VF-301 soon received the F-4N in February 1975. In 1980, VF-301 received the most advanced F-4 variant in the U.S. Navy, the F-4S. In October 1984 the unit transitioned to the F-14A Tomcat. The squadron made its first deployment with the F-14A on 21 April 1985, with five aircraft visiting MCAS Yuma, Arizona for air-to-air training against U.S. Marine Corps F-21A Kfir fighters of Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 (VMFT-401). At this time, the squadron was still transitioning to the F-14 and it was not until 4 August the same year the entire squadron was able to deploy to NAS Fallon, Nevada for air wing training.

The Devil's Disciples first carrier landings were on board the USS Ranger. Further carrier training was limited but did include time on board the USS Enterprise between 10 and 22 August 1988. Later in its life the squadron became the first Naval Air Reserve squadron to drop air-to-ground ordnance, specifically Mk 84 bombs and Mk 20 cluster munitions.

VF-301 F-14A on USS Constellation in 1987

After 24 years of service VF-301 was disestablished on 11 September 1994, the same time as sister squadron VF-302, due to post-Cold War budget cuts where the Navy opted to sacrifice Reserve F-14 squadrons to keep Regular Navy F-14 squadrons operating. Deactivation of the rest of CVWR-30 was soon to follow. During these 24 years VF-301 had acquired an outstanding safety record, flying 71,322.4 hours without a Class A mishap, setting a new record for Navy tactical jet squadrons.

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