The last F-35C Lightning II belonging to “Grim Reapers” squadron left its home base
The U.S. Navy’s Commander Joint Strike Fighter Wing has announced that the last F-35C Lightning II fighter jet belonging to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 “Grim Reapers” left its home base at Eglin, AFB in Fla. for Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL) as the squadron deactivated after more than seven years of training F-35C pilots and Sailors and Marines.
Grim Reaper origins can be traced back to 1942. Homeported at NAS San Diego, the squadron was originally known as VF-10 and was flying the F4F Wildcat off USS Enterprise (CV 6) in the Pacific during WWII. After the Battle of Guadalcanal, they returned to the United States and transitioned to the F6F-Hellcat, redeploying to the Pacific aboard Enterprise before eventually transitioning to the F4U Corsair and re-engaging in Pacific air strikes during WWII. In 1945, VF-10 deactivated at NAS Almeda.
In 1952, VF-101 was commissioned at NAS Cecil Field, Fla., assuming the nickname and traditions of the previous VF-10 “Grim Reapers,” thus continuing that legacy, flying FG1-D Corsairs in the Korean War. Since then, the Grim Reaper insignia has graced the tail flash of the F2H Banshee, the F4D Skyray, the F3H Demon, the F-4 Phantom II and the F-14 Tomcat. VF-101 was deactivated September 2005.
VFA-101 reactivated in May 2012, on the 60th Anniversary of the Grim Reapers, as the first Lightning II Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) for the F-35C. Since then, the squadron has trained more than 75 Navy and Marine Corps F-35C pilots, accepted more than 30 aircraft, trained more than 1,200 F-35C maintainers and flown nearly 11,000 flight hours.
“The contributions that VFA-101 has made to the F-35C community will not diminish as this program grows,” said VFA-101 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Adan Covarrubias. “The original cadre of maintainers and pilots have left a …read more
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