Sunday, July 28, 2013

Extinguet Sitim Meam, Baby!

Your blogmeister has a thing for the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. It's one of his favorite things with wings... second only to a certain Curtiss product from the late 1930s and 1940s, as a matter of fact. And while he has plenty of other outlets to express his interest in the latter, he has rarely expressed his affinity for the former in recent years... so ya'll should expect to see alotta Toms here on this cyber-rag.

Anyhoo, this super-groovy shot of an F-14A+ from VF-103 'Sluggers', waiting its turn to refuel from a USAF KC-135, was taken on February 4th, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. 'Clubleaf 210' is armed with two AIM-9 Sidewinders and at least two AIM-7 Sparrows.

Photo by Senior Airman Chris Putnam (Source)

A mere couple'a years after this particular show, the great purge was initiated, and F-14 outfits began to disappear from the fleet. Among them the legendary VF-84 'Jolly Rogers', which was disestablished in 1995. The 'Sluggers' became victims of the purge as well, though in a different way... VF-103 sacrificed its own heritage to pick up the iconic black flag adorned with skull and crossbones, and thus became VF-103 'Jolly Rogers'.

The 'Jolly Rogers' persist to this day, albeit re-designated as VFA-103 and equipped with the 'Super Bug'. The true U.S. Navy Fighter Squadron is a thing of the past, along with its final color-bearer. And your blogmeister's grasp of things logical ensures his understanding of why this came to be... but his stronger sentimentality prompts him to give less than a rat's posterior...

He'd rather see Tomcats flying from the U.S. Navy's flattops.

Fade to Black...

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