Lest We Forget

By Rick Burgess

Over the next three years, VF-1 made two more WestPac/Indian Ocean deployments before transferring to CVW-2 on board the Ranger (CV-61) for two more deployments, including 130 days in the Indian Ocean during the 1980 hostage crisis in Iran. After a deployment on board the Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in 1984, the Wolfpack upgraded to the Block 135 version of the F-14A, and deployed in 1987 on the Ranger , protecting Kuwaiti oil tankers from Iranian and Iraqi action in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Earnest Will.

VF-1 made three more deployments with CVW-2 on board the Ranger . The second of these, in December 1990, took the squadron into combat over Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm. The Wolfpack flew more than 540 combat sorties during the aerial campaign and became the only Tomcat squadron to shoot down an enemy aircraft during the campaign.

The Wolfpack's final deployment took the squadron on patrols over Iraq, enforcing the Operation Southern Watch no-fly zone to prevent Iraqi aircraft from striking Shia rebels in southern Iraq. VF-1 also flew missions in support of U.S. ground troops providing relief to starving people in war-torn Somalia before returning to Miramar for the last time in January 1993.

The Wolfpack's planned transition to the F-14D Super Tomcat was canceled when its planned disestablishment was announced. VF-1 transferred some aircraft and crews to VF-2, the squadron selected to remain as CVW-2's sole but enlarged Tomcat squadron. The Wolfpack was officially disbanded on I October 1993.


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