VF-171 Aces

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  • Aces


  • Pre-Skyhawk era: Remarks by John D. Alexander = "I can't remember the exact dates that I was attached to VF171... However, I did spend nearly four (4) years in the squadron. We were attached to Air Group 17, stationed at NAS Jacksonville. We made a West Pac cruise aboard the USS Wasp (CVA18) during the Korean debacle. It was a world cruise, first going north, attempting to reach the Artic Circle completing NATO exercises. The weather prevented us from making it all the way to the Artic. Our skipper at the time was CDR A.O. Morton. The aircraft we flew were F2H3 Banchees. Air Group 17 consisted of VF-171, 173, and 173. VA-174 & 175. Also we had detachment squadrons, VC-4 and a photo squadron from Jacksonville. Our squadron patch ... is hard to describe ... it was something of a ghost design with other symbols. We were referred to as the Screaming Demons."
  • Skyhawk eara VF-171 was formed by splitting of the Phantom FRS (Fleet Replacement Sqaudron) VF-101 in August 1977 into two units.

Home Ports

  • MAR 1958: NAS Sanford,Fla
  • AUG 1977: NAS Norfolk = F-4 FRS or RAG (Fleet Replacement Squadron or Replacement Air Group)
  • AUG 1977: NAS Key West FL = VF-171 DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Traing) Detachment

Air Wings

  • JUL 1957 to MAR 1958: CAG-17


  • JUL 1957 to MAR 1958 MED Cruise with CAG-17 aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA-42


Commanding Officers

  • CDR Moorehouse
  • CDR William Laliberte


  • August 1977
    VF-171 was formed by the splitting of the Phantom FRS (Fleet Replacement Sqadron) VF-101. The squadrons were first a RAG (Replacement Air Group) for the F-4 (171) and F-14 (101), but were also an east coast adversary unit with A-4 and TA-4 aircraft, the Skyhawks mostly being based at NAS Key West.
  • VF-171 "Aces" was assigned to CAG 17 during the 57/58 Med cruise of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA -42. According to the FDR cruise book CDR William Laliberte was the CO. During the cruise they were awarded the "National Safety Award" for 1957. We, VAH-3 and VF-171, boarded the FDR in July 1957 and left the ship in March 58.
    CDR Moorehouse was the first CO and we went DIRECTLY to NAS Sanford, Fla upon our return from the Med.


  • 1957: "National Safety Award"



VF-171 AD-070, BuNo 151064, on the ramp.

VF-171, Key West Det., Skyhawk BuNo 149653, AD-272, parked on the ramp in a blue/gray camouflage scheme.
Gary Verver Collection

BuNo.149663 VF-171 Key West Detachment Adversary Skyhawk
Gary Verver.

VF-171 DET Key West Skyhawk BuNo 151064, AD-070, in formation with an unknown Skyhawk.
"Boom" Powell

April 1980 VF-171KW (Key West) Skyhawk BuNo 158083, AD-270, parked on the ramp in a gray/blue camouflage scheme.
Gary Verver Collection

10MAR81: VF-171 Aces, Key West Det. A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 151064, AD-270, and VF-171 F-4N Phantom II BuNo 152971, AD-250, ACM aircraft over Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas.
Pic1; Pic2; Pic3; Official U.S. Navy photos.


A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit:

  • Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk
    • 149653 c/n 12978
      • 06 Jul 1978 - VF-171 Det Key West - NAS Key West, FL
      • 15 Feb 1984 - VA-45 - NAS Key West, FL
    • 151064 c/n 13234
      • 01 Apr 1978 - VF-171 Det Key West - NAS Key West, FL
      • 28 Feb 1984 - VA-45 - NAS Key West, FL
    • 152067 c/n 13455
      • 01 Sep 1979 - VF-171 Det Key West - NAS Key West, FL
      • 28 Feb 1984 - VA-45 - NAS Key West, FL
  • Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk
    • 153496 c/n 13562
      • 21 Jan 1981 - VF-171 Det Key West - NAS Key West, FL
      • 11 Jun 1981 - VC-8 - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR

  • Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
    • 158083 c/n 14120
      • 16 May 1981 - VF-171 Det Key West - NAS Key West, FL
      • 06 Mar 1984 - VA-45 - NAS Key West, FL

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