VF-202 Insignia Courtesy of Darryl Shaw
The Superheats were established on the 1st of July 1970, just under two weeks before VF-201. As with their sister squadron VF-202 transitioned to the F-14A from the F-4S Phantom, receiving their first F-14A on the 10th of April 1987. Due to the squadron's reserve status the transition took longer than for an active unit, not being concluded until May of 1988, when VF-202 carrier qualified with their new mount onboard the USS America (CV-66).
1988 saw the squadron take part in the Reconnaissance Air Meet at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, along with several other F-14 squadrons, including VF-124.
Even with the reorganisation and the elimination of many F-14 squadrons over the last few years, one would have expected the TARPS capable Superheats to have survived the cuts. However due to the high airframe time VF-202's F-14's had it was decided to disestablish the Superheats and make VF-201 TARPS capable. While this was the most cost effective way, it was a great shame to lose a unit of the quality of VF-202.
VF-202's unit markings were among the more subdued of F-14 units, but still effective. The planes featured markings on the rudder, which was split horizontally at about two-thirds of it's height. Above the split the rudder was coloured dark blue (on hi-vis aircraft) with a white star superimposed (signifying the Lone star state). Below the blue the rudder was split vertically in two, the trailing half being red and the other half white. A stylised AF tailcode was also carried on the fin. An image of a VF-202 hi-vis aircraft can be seen below.
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