VS-31

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Sea Control Squadron 31
Vs-31.gif
VS-31 Insignia
Active 1942–1945
April 1948–27 March 2008
Country  United States
Branch United States Navy
Role Anti-submarine warfare
Former homeport NAS Jacksonville
Nickname(s) "Topcats"
Aircraft flown Douglas SBD Dauntless
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
Grumman TBF Avenger
Grumman AF Guardian
Grumman S-2 Tracker
Lockheed S-3 Viking
Engagements Suez Crisis
Lebanon Crisis
Berlin Crisis
Operation Desert Shield
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Decorations Meritorious Unit Commendation (5)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
CNO Aviation Safety Award (8)

Sea Control Squadron 31 (VS-31) Topcats was a United States Navy anti-submarine warfare squadron, active during World War II, and later re-established in 1948, serving until 2008.

It was founded as Scouting Squadron 31 in 1942, based at Naval Air Station Squantum, Massachusetts. It flew the dive bombers Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, then the Curtiss SB2C-4E Helldiver in the North Atlantic until decommissioned at the end of the war in 1945.[1]

The squadron was recommissioned as Composite Squadron VC-31 in April 1948 at NAS Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was re-designated Air Anti-Submarine Squadron 31 (VS-31) the following year and moved to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Originally flying the Grumman TBF Avenger, these were later replaced by the Grumman AF Guardian and the Grumman S-2 Tracker in 1954, and finally by the Lockheed S-3 Viking. In 1973, VS-31 was relocated to NAS Cecil Field, Florida, and eventually to NAS Jacksonville.[1] On 1 October 1993 the squadron was re-designated Sea Control Squadron VS-31.[2] It was finally deactivated at NAS Jacksonville on 27 March 2008.[3]

Operational history[edit]

An S-3A of VS-31 assigned to CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in 1987.

The squadron performed carrier operations aboard various aircraft carriers. In 1956 it provided ASW support during the Suez Crisis from Antietam (CV-36). In 1958, from Wasp (CV-18), it served during the Lebanon Crisis, and also during the Berlin Crisis in 1962. In May 1963 it was stationed for the recovery of Mercury 9, and then for the recovery of Gemini 4 in June 1965. In 1990 the squadron participated in "Operation Desert Shield", arriving in the Red Sea within a few days of the invasion of Kuwait. In August 1992, the Topcats and the rest of CVW-7 switched aircraft carriers to the USS George Washington (CVN-73), the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. VS-31 deployed for Washington’s maiden cruise and then again for the carrier’s first Mediterranean Sea deployment in May 1994 where she took part in the 50th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day invasion and Operation Deny Flight. In 1998, the squadron was deployed aboard the John C. Stennis (CVN-74) on its maiden voyage, during which it spent 131 days in the Persian Gulf supporting "Operation Southern Watch".[1] The squadron returned from its final deployment aboard the John C. Stennis in August 2007, after supporting Operations "Iraqi Freedom" and "Enduring Freedom".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Pike, John (2011). "VS-31 Sea Control Squadron 31". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Takafumi, Hiroe (2011). "Sea Control Squadron THIRTY-ONE (VS-31)". gonavy.jp. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Jackson, T. (2011). "The Navy Bids Farewell to VS-31". navy.mil. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 

External links[edit]