VC-8

h1>VC-8 Redtails

Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)

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

 


Patch

 

  • First patch is of a WWII unit, and not affiliated with the Redtails.
  • Second (GMS-2), third, fourth patches are from Scott "Scooter" Siedschlag
  • Fifth patch = 1965, courtesy of VC-8
  • Sixth patch = 1998 from Captain Steve Kornatz, former Redtail CO.
  • The Redtails wore this Skyhawk Patch below their Redtails Patch.


Handle

  • Redtails


Heritage

  • JUL 1958:
    Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO established at Naval Air Station Chincoteague, Virginia.
  • JAN 1959:
    Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO was transferred to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
  • 1960:
    Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO was re-designated Fleet Utility Squadron EIGHT (VU-8) at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
  • >
  • 1965:
    Fleet Utility Squadron EIGHT (VU-8) was re-designated Fleet Composite Squadron EIGHT (VC-8) at Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.


Home Ports

  • JUL 1958: Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO was based at Naval Air Station Chincoteague, Virginia.
  • JAN 1959: Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO was transferred to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
  • 1965: Fleet Utility Squadron EIGHT (VU-8) was re-designated Fleet Composite Squadron EIGHT (VC-8) at Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
  • 2001 to MAY 2003: Fleet Composite Squadron EIGHT (VC-8) was based at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.


Air Wings

  • No info yet


Deployments

  • No info yet


Aircraft

  • Date Assigned ----------------Aircraft
  • 26 June 1965: - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
  • 26 May 1969 - - - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk *
  • 26 June 1975: - - - Douglas TA-4F Skyhawks assigned:
  • * November 30, 1962
    • The A4D-2 designation changed to A-4B
    • The A4D-2N designation changed to A-4C

    Commanding Officers
    • JUL 1958: - - - - - - - - - - CDR H.J Silbertstein (GMSRON-2)
    • JUL 1959 to FEB 1960: - - - - CDR J.E. Braun
    • FEB 1960 to JUL 1960: - - - - CDR S.N. May
    • JUL 1960 to FEB 1961: - - - - CDR S.N. May (VU-8)
    • FEB 1961 to FEB 1962: - - - - CDR W.G. Andrews
    • FEB 1962 to FEB 1963: - - - - CDR D.A. Kribs
    • FEB 1963 to JAN 1964: - - - - CDR T.J. Cross
    • JAN 1964 to APR 1965: - - - - CDR T.D. Fosdick
    • APR 1965 to JUL 1965: - - - - CDR J.R. Geer
    • JUL 1965 to FEB 1966: - - - - CDR J.R. Geer (VC-8)
    • FEB 1966 to APR 1967: - - - - CDR J.H. Foxgrover
    • APR 1967 to JUL 1968: - - - - CDR M.E. Smith
    • JUL 1968 to MAY 1969: - - - - CDR D.E. Lashbrook
    • MAY 1969 to MAY 1970: - - - - CDR M.L. Johnson
    • MAY 1970 to MAY 1971: - - - - CDR R.E. Zapalc
    • MAY 1971 to MAY 1972: - - - - CDR R.C. Nicholson
    • 1974-75: - - - - - - - - - - CDR Stephen B. Sloane. Naval Academy graduate 1957.
    • 1975-76: - - - - - - - - - - CDR Paul H. Molenda. Grad. of Erie County Comm. Coll. Entered Navy as NAVCAD.
    • 1976-77: - - - - - - - - - - CDR Keith A. Boatright. Entered Navy as NAVCAD.
    • 1977-78: - - - - - - - - - - CDR Ralph W. Chandler. Grad. of Indiana Univ. 1957.
    • 1977 to 1978: - - - - - - - - CDR Chamberland
    • 1978 to 1979: - - - - - - - - CDR Dan Duda
    • 1979 to 1980: - - - - - - - - CDR Scripick (sp?)
    • 01 JAN 1998 to 21 AUG 1998: - CDR J. G. Speer
    • 21 AUG 1998 - - - - - - - - - CDR S.D. Kornatz
    • MAR 2000: - - - - - - - - - - CDR B. Steele
    • MAR 2001: - - - - - - - - - - CDR V. Drouillard
    • 13 JUL 2002 - - - - - - - - - CDR Thomas McDonough

    Events
    • JUL 1958:
      Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO established at Naval Air Station Chincoteague, Virginia.
    • JAN 1959:
      Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO was transferred to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
    • 1960:
      Guided Missile Service Squadron TWO was re-designated Fleet Utility Squadron EIGHT (VU-8) at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
    • 1965:
      Fleet Utility Squadron EIGHT (VU-8) was re-designated Fleet Composite Squadron EIGHT (VC-8) at Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
    • You might like to know that a VC-8 helo detachment deployed April 16-21, 1976 aboard the USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) for Mobile Sea Range 76. This was the only deployment of a VC-8 helo detachment. Its purpose was to test the idea of a mobile sea range whereby drones would be launched by a support ship at sea and have the recovery helos aboard an adjacent ship. The detachment recovered all drones (a dozen or so?) in a matter of minutes. Only one drone went astray and was never recovered.

      If you would like to see a photo of the crew, you can search "VC-8 Redtail Country," then click on "REDTAIL COUNTRY-A TRIBUTE TO FLEET COMPOSITE SQUADRON EIGHT;" click on "photographs," left menu; then click on "1971-1980 Photos," Photo menu; the photo is on the top row, far right photo. The crew and pilots are: (back row) LTJG Ray Welsh, LTJG Tom Rose, Rodriguez, Rudder, LCDR Rod Whalen (OINC), LT Larry Graves, LTJG Troy DeGroot, Edwards, Garcia, and O'neal: (front row) Bernicken, Laminoza, Chief Nelson, Pence, Bugay, and Averion.
      Rod Whalen
    • 1977 to 1980: The rest of the Story
      Don't know if this information is going anywhere but, just in case, I'd like to tell some of the rest of the story that is missing ...
      I am a former "RedTail" Helo pilot from VC-8 and flew from @ 1977 to 1980 before I transferred to HC-1 Det 6 in Japan, VC-8 was my first duty station out of Flight School after completing the HS-1 RAG. Some of the jobs I held were 1st Lt, Airframes/Corrosion Control Branch Officer, Assistant Admin Officer, EEO/HRO/DAPA as well as being a SH-3 Aircraft Commander, Maintenance Test and Instructor/Instrument Instructor Pilot. I was the DV pilot for all visiting dignitaries - for some reason too.

      Many of us bachelors, in those days, lived on the hill below the BOQ in the old pre-WWII Army housing/condos or over on "Dental Hill". "Rainbow Hills" housing was fairly new and later the NEX Commissary moved from the Mariposa site near the base gym and theater to the hill/site above "Rainbow Hills".

      The Squadron Logo/Patch that is shown on the bottom row, middle one, on this site is the one I designed and submitted for the Command to the CNO for approval, which we got. At the time I was the Squadron's Assistant Admin Officer. Somewhere in my stuff, if it wasn't lost in my many moves, I still have the original drawing that I kept. I also was TAD'd to the Station Public Works Dept, under CDR Poole at that time, as the air station architect to design the Enlisted Club/Disco (in those days) across the road from the barracks in a former bowling alley in my off hours when not flying. I also did the design for classroom additions to the Base Chapel but funding never was available while there and so don't know if it was ever done.

      Also, I noticed that the CO's during my tour of duty are missing:
      • CDR Keith Boatwright ('76-'77),
      • CDR Chamberland ('77-'78),
      • CDR Dan Duda ('78-'79)
      • CDR Scripick (sp?) ('79-'80)
      • ADM Flannagan was the COMNAVFORCARIBE during much of that time.

      In addition the A-4 Skyhawk and P-2V Neptune, we also had and flew the SH-3G in support of the AFWTF (Atlantic Fleet Weapons Testing Facility) Range/Target Retrieval, Flight Testing, SAR, Logistics flights of personnel and equipment to all the islands including St Thomas, St Croix, Culebra, Vieques and ships on the range and flew numerous special Secret/Top Secret classified CNO Ops. We had six SH-3G's.

      I also still have several of the Squadron Plaques.

      Many of the pilots I can still name too.
      • LCDR Marty Merrick
      • LCDR Bill O'toole
      • LT Marty Fox
      • LT Steve Carey
      • LT Tom Rose
      • LT Mark Taylor
      • LT Bob Herbert
      • LT Keith Olson
      • LT Doug Moret
      • LT John Weis
      • LT Richard Wiess
      • LT Dick Graham
      • LT Larry Graves and so many more.

      We also had a female helo pilot - Milady "Bunny" Blaha - yep her real name was Milady and a graduate Texas A & M. Some of the pilots I have seen over the years at other duty stations or on TV during Desert Storm being interviewed but many have disappeared. Doug and John followed me to Japan and the USS Midway and Larry became the #1 Aerospatiale Corporate Pilot. Dick Graham went on to get 2 "Atta Boys" in Approach Mag after safely flying his damaged RF-8 Crusaders back to NAS Whidbey Island, Wa. Richard Weis is still at Whidbey Island, retired, and active with the Navy flying Club I'm told, Two of ours were killed in a helo crash off of St Croix after I left the squadron @ 1980; LT's Wayne Walsman and Dean Price. A total of 13 died in that crash - all friends. I read about it in the Stars and Stripes while on my first cruise with my new squadron while on liberty in Hong Kong.
      From: Dennis "Phantom" Fandey
    • Circa 1990:
      VC-8 spelled out by the squadron members.
    • i>
    • 1997:
      The VC-8 Redtails were assigned the Fleet Adversary mission. The Redtails send adversary detachments to Naval Air Stations to train local units. Some of the bases the Redhawks deploy to: Naval Air Station Oceana, Naval Air Station Key West, Naval Air Station Fallon, and Naval Air Station Pensacola.
    • JUN 2000:
      The Redtail Fleet Replacement Detachment Training Facility better known as the Skyhawk Training Facility became fully operational. Training equipment such as wall-sized training panels, as well as other training aids and a flight simulator was brought from VT-7 at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.
    • 2001:
      The Redhawk scooters are painted camouflage, mimicking potential adversary aircraft. Three Skyhawks painted desert brown camouflage and the remaining four Skyhawks painted sky blue camouflage. All VC-8 Skyhawks will be painted in the sky blue camouflage.
    • 13 JUL 2002:
      Change of Command occurred with CDR Thomas McDonough USN taking command of the Redtails.
      XO is CDR John Cosmos Peter Fristachi USN.
    • 03 MAY 2003:
      Last USN active duty Skyhawks are retired!
      Last A-4 pilots of active duty Skyhawks.
      The "Redtails" of Composite Squadron Eight (VC-8) were the last U.S. Navy active duty unit to operate the Skyhawk on a regular basis.
      Flying the TA-4J out of Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, equipped with special electronics gear, VC-8 Skyhawks provided utility missions in support of fleet operations, close air support training for Marine, Army, and Special Force units, and operated in an adversary role in support of the Tomcat and Hornet RAGs and fleet unit training.
      The VC-8 TA-4Js were retired from active service in May 2003.
      The active duty life of the venerable Skyhawk in U.S. Navy fleet service began in late September 1956 and spanned more that 47½ years.
    • 23 AUG 2003:
      VC-8 Disestablished, and the last active Skyhawks are honored, at NAS Oceana






      Awards
  • A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit:
    • Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk
      • 144901 C/N 12147
        • 19 Jul 1965 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 26 Jun 1969 - NAS - NAS Glenview, IL
      • 144932 C/N 12178
        • 23 Jul 1965 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 14 Aug 1969 - NARTU - NAS Alameda, CA
      • 145035 C/N 12281
        • 03 Dec 1967 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 28 Sep 1967 - VA-46 - NAS Cecil Field, FL
      • 145061 C/N 12307
        • 23 Jul 1965 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 10 Jun 1969 - NARTU - NAS Alameda, CA

    • Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk
      • 145132 c/n 12378
        • 07 Jul 1973 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 13 May 1975 - MASDC - Davis-Mothan AFB, Tucson, AZ
      • 147783 C/N 12547
        • 12 Aug 1971 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 13 Oct 1971 - VC-2 - NAS Oceana, VA
      • 147834 C/N 12598
        • 23 Jul 1971 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 13 Dec 1972 - Stricken - 4S
      • 148304 C/N 12614
        • 08 Jun 1969 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 22 Jan 1970 - MARTD - NAS New York, NY
      • 148449 C/N 12642
        • 03 Aug 1971 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 29 Jan 1976 - MASDC - Davis-Mothan AFB, Tucson, AZ
      • 148603 C/N 12796
        • 29 Jan 1975 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 02 Jul 1976 - MASDC - Davis-Mothan AFB, Tucson, AZ
      • 149489 c/n 12814
        • 26 May 1969 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 10 Jul 1970 - MARTD - NAS Glenview, IL
      • 149544 c/n 12869
        • 26 May 1969 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 14 Mar 1970 - NAS - NAS Los Alamitos, CA
      • 149558 c/n 12883
        • 15 Feb 1972 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 26 Aug 1975 - Stricken - 3SO
      • 149586 c/n 12911
        • 30 Jan 1971 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 23 May 1974 - Stricken - 1S0
      • 150583 c/n 12994
        • 07 Apr 1970 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 14 Feb 1974 - Stricken - 1S0
      • 150591 c/n 13002
        • 06 Dec 1969 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 02 Jul 1976 - MASDC - Davis-Mothan AFB, Tucson, AZ
      • 150599 c/n 13010
        • 11 Mar 1970 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 06 Feb 1976 - Stricken - 1SO

    • Douglas TA4-F Skyhawk
      • 152852 C/N 13498
        • 02 Mar 1973 - VAQ-33 - Convert to EA-4F

        • 11 Mar 1988 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • Stricken - After 30 Sep 1990 and before 31 Dec 1990
      • 152867 C/N 13513
        • 04 Mar 1971 - VA-45 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 26 Jun 1975 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • Stricken - After 31 Dec 1993 and before 31 Mar 1994
    • Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk (Continued)
      • 152871 C/N 13517
        • 22 Jun 1971 - VA-43 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 20 Sep 1975 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 01 Jul 1993 - NASC FSO, MASDC - Davis-Mothan AFB, Tucson, AZ
      • 153486 c/n 13552
        • 29 Feb 1972 - VMT-203 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 03 Aug 1994 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 31 Mar 1998 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR (Last)
        • No further records available from US Navy
      • 153496 c/n 13562
        • 13 Apr 1973 - VMAT-203 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 27 May 1976 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 21 Jan 1981 - VF-171 Det Key West - NAS Key West, FL

        • 11 Jun 1981 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • Stricken - After 31 mar 1994 and before 30 Jun 1994
      • 153502 c/n 13568
        • 14 Mar 1972 - VA-45 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 01 Dec 1976 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • Stricken - After 31 Dec 1993 and before 31 mar 1994
      • 153525 c/n 13591
        • 09 Mar 1972 - VMT-203 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 25 May 1994 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 31 Mar 1998 VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR (Last)
        • No further records available from US Navy
      • 153526 c/n 13592
        • 23 Aug 1972 - VMAT-203 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 28 Jun 1993 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 31 Mar 1998 VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR (Last)
        • No further records available from US Navy
      • 154312 c/n 13700
        • 01 Dec 1972 - VMAT-203 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 26 May 1994 - VC-8 - NAS Meridian, MS
        • 20 Jun 1997 - MASDC - Davis-Mothan AFB, Tucson, AZ
      • 154616 c/n 13734
        • 13 Jan 1971 - VMT-203 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 24 Sep 1976 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 31 Mar 1998 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR (Last)
        • No further records available from US Navy
      • 154618 c/n 13736
        • 01 Oct 1970 - VA-45 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 26 Jun 1975 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 16 Dec 1976 - MASDC - Davis-Mothan AFB, Tucson, AZ
      • 154649 c/n 13767
        • 22 Oct 1970 - VT-22 - Convert to TA-4J

        • 26 Jun 1975 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR
        • 31 Mar 1998 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR (Last)
        • No further records available from US Navy

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