Home » VF-11/111 ‘Sundowners’ 1942–95 by Barrett Tillman
VF-11/111 ‘Sundowners’ 1942–95 Barrett Tillman

VF-11/111 ‘Sundowners’ 1942–95

Barrett Tillman

Published March 23rd 2010
ISBN : 9781846034848
Paperback
128 pages
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 About the Book 

Fighting Squadron 11 was established at San Diego in August 1943, beginning a half-century record that spanned aerial combat in three wars from the piston to the jet age. First deployed to Guadalcanal, the Sundowners flew Grumman Wildcats andMoreFighting Squadron 11 was established at San Diego in August 1943, beginning a half-century record that spanned aerial combat in three wars from the piston to the jet age. First deployed to Guadalcanal, the Sundowners flew Grumman Wildcats and completed its tour as the Navys third-ranking F4F squadron in terms of aerial victories.Upon returning home, the Sundowners transitioned to Hellcats in preparation for a second combat deployment. In 1944-45 the squadron flew from USS Hornet (CV-12), participating in the fast carrier strikes against the Philippines, Formosa and the Asian mainland. It finished the war as the Navys 11th ranking fighter squadron with 158 credited victories.Redesignated VF-111 in 1948, the Sundowners converted to F9F Panthers and scored historys first jet-versus-jet victory over Korea in 1950. After the armistice, the squadron flew FJ-3 Furies and F11F Tigers, before receiving the world-class F8U Crusader in 1961. During the long Vietnam War, the Sundowners logged six deployments, scoring MiG kills in both F-8s and F-4 Phantom IIs.From 1978 to disestablishment in 1995, the Sundowners flew F-14 Tomcats from USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and Carl Vinson (CVN-70), completing a record of 37 deployments from 17 flattops in its 52-year career. From World War 2 until after the Cold War, the Sundowners established an unsurpassed record at the tip of the spear in naval aviation history.