VAQ-33

VAQ-33 - Firebirds

Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)

Refer to the CONTACT LIST under "THE ASSOCIATION" drop down menu.


VC-33 - Iron Men - 1949
Provided by John Gabbard

Knight Hawks
OCT52-16SEPT70

Knight Hawks
Drawn by Bud Southworth

VAQ-33 Firebirds
Drawn by Bud Southworth


Patch

  • 1949: insignia was a steel gauntlet crushing a submarine.
  • 1952: insignia was a shield, chess knight and a hawk.
  • 16 DEP 1970: insignia changed to a red bird riding a lightning bolt.


Handle

  • 1952: Night Hawks
  • SEP 1970: Firebirds


Heritage

  • JAN 1943 - - - - -- - - - VC-33 established
  • NOV 1945- - - - - - - - - VC-33 disestablished
  • 31 MAY 1949 - - - - - - - VC-33 re-established
  • 2 JUL 1956 VC-33- - - - - redesignated VA(AW)-33
  • 30 JUN 1959 VA(AW)-33 - - redesignated VAW-33
  • 1 FEB 1969 VAW-33 - - - - redesignated VAQ-33
  • 01 OCT 1993 VAQ-33- - - - disestablished.


Home Ports

  • Date - - - - - - - - - Location:
  • 1943 - - - - - - - - - NAS Alameda, CA.
  • 1949 - - - - - - - - - NAS Norfolk, VA.
  • 1950 - - - - - - - - - NAS Atlantic City, NJ.
  • 1956 - - - - - - - - - NAS Quonset Point, RI.
  • 01 FEB 1968: - - - - - NAS Norfolk, VA.
  • 01 OCT 1977: - - - - - NAS Norfolk and NAS Oceana VA.
  • 1980 - - - - - - - - - NAS Key West, FL.


Air Wings

  • No info yet


Deployments

  • No info yet.

 


Aircraft

 

  • Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
  • 1943 - - - - - - - - - F4F Wildcats
  • 1943 - - - - - - - - - TBF Avenger
  • 1949 - - - - - - - - - AD-5NL Skyraider
  • 1968 - - - - - - - - - EA-1F Skyraider
  • 1968 - - - - - - - - - RA-3B Skywarrior
  • 1968 - - - - - - - - - F-4 Phantom II
  • 1968 - - - - - - - - - A-6 Intruder
  • 1968 - - - - - - - - - EC-121 WV
  • 6 March 1970 - - - - - Douglas EA-4F Skyhawk
  • 24 June 1987 - - - - - Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk


Commanding Officers

  • Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
  • No info yet.

 

  • JAN 1943:
    VC-33 established flying F4F Wildcats and TBF Avengers.
  • 31 MAY 1949:
    VC-33 serves as an antisubmarine squadron.
  • >
  • JUN 1950:
    Night Attack role.
  • OCT 1952: VC-33 provided detachments to carriers in the Atlantic Fleet, aboard USS Leyte, USS Bon Homme Richard, and USS Lake Champlain, for combat in Korea.
  • 01 FEB 1968:
    VAW-33 redesignated VAQ-33
  • > VAQ-33 Website





  •  
  •  
  •  
  • JUN 1969:
    VAQ-33 relinquished all its aircraft, is transfered to NAS Norfolk and becomes a pert of the newly formed "FEWSG" (Fleet Electronic Warfare Support Group."
    The group's mission is to provide a electronic warfare aggression environment for fleet exercises.
  • 01 OCT 1977:
    VAQ-33 is split between NAS Norfolk and NAS Oceana to accommodate the diversity of their aircraft and to support their special mission.
  • >
  • 1980:
    VAQ-33 is transfered to NAS Key West and continured their FEWSG mission until they were disestablished on 1 October 1993.
  • May 25, 1985:
    In a take-off from NAS North Island, Lt. Hawley stayed with his stricken EA-4F BuNo 154655 in an effort to avoid pleasure boats in San Diego Bay, CA, was killed when he ejected on impact with the water. Flight officer Lt. Kathy Cullen ejected but was injured when she impacted the water.

    The pilot who died at North Island was Lt. Hawley. The B/N who survived was Lt. Kathy Cullen. I was stationed with the squadron in Key West at the time. Lt. Hawley was someone I respected. A lot of people lost respect for Lt. Cullen after that incident, because Lt. Hawley died because Cullen froze up and couldn't take the necessary actions to eject from the aircraft.
    Fran (Laton) Smart
    US Armed Forces Pacific Stars and Stripes article


Awards

 

  • Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
  • No info yet

 

Photograph Album



Banner drawn by Marsh Wise.

1970: Firebirds Skyhawk BuNo 153481, GD-6, parked on the flightline.
Unknown photographer via W. Mutza

VAQ-33 Skyhawk BuNo 152852. VAQ-33 EA-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 152852, side number GD 8, sitting in the sun at Boca Chica Field, Naval Air Station Key West, Florida.
The photograph comes from Joe Hawkins the webmaster of the (www.vaq34.com) VAQ-34 Website.
The photograph was taken by Michael Klaver, the Webmaster of the F-4 Phantom II Website.

VAQ-33 Skyhawk BuNo 152852.
VAQ-33 EA-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 152852, side number GD 8, is caught flying wing on a VAQ-34 Douglas KA-3B tanker Skywarrior "Whale" BuNo. 138944, side number GD 220. The Whale has reeled-out its refueling hose and basket for the Skyhawk to plug and get a drink. The Whale has rotating "Texaco Gas Station" green lights on its belly to signify its tanking availability.
USN photograph from Nathan Swapp.

152869, GD-7, on West line of LP-3 with its Plane Captain AMH2 Dave McKinney.
Photo from Dave McKinney

15 Aug 1974 BuNo 152852, GD-8, configured with two drop tanks on the NAS Norfolk flight line.
Gary Verver Collection

FEB 1974: Firebirds Skyhawk BuNo 154655, GD-5, assigned to ENS Dan Shea and ENS Greg Gerard, parked on the transient line.
Lionel Paul

01 Jan 1975 VAQ-33 Skyhawk BuNo 152852, GD-8, configured with two drop tanks and an ESS pod on the NAS Norfolk flight line.
US Navy Photo, Gary Verver Collection

01 Jan 1975 close-up right side view of VAQ-33 Skyhawk BuNo 152852, GD-8, ESS pod on the NAS Norfolk flight line.
US Navy Photo, Gary Verver Collection

11 Oct 1975 VAQ-33 Skyhawk BuNo 152852, GD-8, parked on the flight line.
Gary Verver Collection

FEB 1976: Left side view of VAQ-33 Firebirds EA-4F Skyhawk BuNo 153481, GD-6, on the ramp, NAS Miramar, February 1976. Names below the canopy rail ar LTJG Herb Doumitt and LTJG Jose Jim... Name on the nose gear door is Sherman. Copyright R.W. Harrison.

AUG 1978: left rear view of Firebirds Skyhawk BuNo 153481, GD-6, assigned to LCDR John Patterson, parked on the flightline.
Rob Mignard

10 Sep 1978 VAQ-33 Skyhawk BuNo 152852, GD-8, assigned to LTJG Al Miller and LTJG Eric Bondshu parked on the flight line.
Photo by G.B. Rhodes, Gary Verver Collection.

1980s - Firebirds Skyhawk BuNo 153481, GD-6, parked on the ramp.
Gary Verver Collection

1980: Firebirds Skyhawk BuNo 152852, GD-8, assigned to LTJG Al Miller and LTJG Eric Bondshu parked on the ramp.
Unknown via W. Mutz

April 1983 BuNo 152869, GD-7, parked on the flight line alongside Skyhawk BuNo 154655, GD-5.
Gary Verver Collection

July 1987 Firebirds electronic warfare Skyhawk BuNo 153481, GD-106, parked on the ramp.
Photo by R.E. Kling, G. Verver collection.

BuNo.153481
Official U.S. Navy photo from the Don Scott collection.

BuNo.154655
Official U.S. Navy photo from the Don Scott collection.

1983: Firebirds Skyhawk BuNo 154655, GD-5, assigned to LCDR M.E. Naber and LTJG S.W. Lalley, parked on the line.
Unknown photographer via W. Mutza

VAQ-33 EA-4F BuNo 152852, GD-8, flies formation on VAQ-34 KA-3B Skywarrior BuNo 138944, GD-220, during Fleet Readiex 83-4 against Task Force-175 near San Diego, CA. Flying lead is VAQ-34 CO, CDR John E. Millward with crew members LCDR Don Greaser and PO1c J. D. Deal. Awaiting tanker services in Firebird-08 is LT Robert W. Makowski and ECM operator LTjg Richard M. Buchter.
Photo courtesy of Bob Lawson.

Sources:

  • Bud Southworth
  • Marsh Wise
  • Fran (Laton) Smart
  • Dave McKinney

 

  • Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk
    • 152852 C/N 13498
      • 08 Mar 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 02 Mar 1973 - VAQ-33 - Convert to EA-4F
      • 11 Mar 1988 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
    • 152868 C/N 13514
      • 02 Apr 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 22 Jun 1970 - Nav Tst Plt Sch - NAS Patuxent River, MD
    • 152869 C/N 13515
      • 01 Apr 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 16 Mar 1973 - VAQ-33 - Convert to EA-4F
      • 14 Apr 1980 - Stricken - 1SO
    • 152878 C/N 13524
      • 06 Mar 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 22 Jun 1970 - Nav Tst Plt Sch - NAS Patuxent River, MD
    • 153481 c/n 13547
      • 18 Jun 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 09 Oct 1970 – VAQ-33 - Convert to EA-4F
      • 17 Mar 1988 - VC-10 - NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
    • 153662 c/n 13600
      • 06 Mar 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 24 Jul 1970 - VT-21 - NAS Kingsville, TX
  • Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk (Continued)
    • 154303 c/n 13691
      • 15 Aug 1972 - VA-45 - Convert to TA-4J

      • 18 Jun 1985 – VAQ-33 - NAS Key West, FL
      • 20 Jul 1987 - COMTRAWING-3 - NAS Chase Field, TX
    • 154343 c/n 13731
      • 06 Mar 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 26 Aug 1970 - VF-101 - NAS Oceana, VA

      • 24 Sep 1970 - VF-101 - Convert to TA-4J

      • 29 Apr 1980 - VAQ-33 - NAS Key West, FL
      • 17 Sep 1976 - RVAH-3 - NAS Pensacola, FL

      • 29 Apr 1980 - VAQ-33 - NAS Key West, FL
      • 25 Mar 1988 - VF-43 - NAS Oceana, VA
    • 154655 c/n 13773
      • 20 Jul 1970 - VAQ-33 - NAS Norfolk, VA
      • 09 Nov 1970 - VAQ-33 - Convert to EA-4F
      • 25 May 1985 – Stricken - 1SO

  • Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
    • 158136 c/n 14173
      • 24 Jun 1987 - VAQ-33 - NAS Key West, FL
      • 27 Jun 1988 – COMTRAWING-2 - NAS Kingsville, TX

 

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