VF-302 Squadron History

VF-302 Stallions
Base:NAS Miramar

VF-302 stood up on the 21st of May 1971, less than a year after VF-301. From its inception until November 1973 they operated the F-8K Crusader, at this point trading in their Crusaders for F-4B Phantom II's. Like their sister squadron Vf-302's time with the B model was short, the squadron moving to the N in January 1975. During their time with the F-4N VF-302 won the USNR Battle 'E', signifying them as the best fighter squadron in the Naval Reserve. 1981 saw the wind of equipment change blow again, when VF-302 started to move to the F-4S.

After four years operating the last F-4 variant VF-302 began to receive the F-14A in February 1985. They and VF-301 deployed onto the USS Ranger in January 1986, performing their first carrier qualifications in F-14's. Two years later the squadron got more carrier experiance spending 12 days onboard the USS Enterprise between the 10th and 22nd of August 1988.

1986 had seen VF-302 pick up the TARPS mission, the first Reserve squadron to do so and in 1988 they had a chance to practice these skills as part of the Reconnaissance Air Meet '88 (RAM '88) at Bergstrom AFB in Texas. As well as other TARPS equipped F-14 units the meet allowed VF-302 crews to meet Air Force reconnaissance crews, to train together and most importantly to trade sea stories.

VF-302 went the way of all old fighter squadrons, being disestablished on the 11th of September 1994.

The image below shows a full colour VF-302 F-14A, low vis aircraft had the yellow tail area and canopy hood removed, but were otherwise much the same.

Image Courtesy of Torsten Anft

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