Flown by LCDR Mark “MRT” Fox and LT Nick “Mongo” Mongillo on Jan. 17, 1991, each of these F/A-18C Hornets shot down an Iraqi MiG-21 Fishbed.
On Monday, Jun. 17, 2019 the National Naval Aviation Museum welcomed two new aircraft into the collection. As we have previously explained both were involved in an historic mission over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm (ODS).
Flown by LCDR Mark “MRT” Fox and LT Nick “Mongo” Mongillo on Jan. 17, 1991, each of these F/A-18C Hornets shot down an Iraqi MiG-21 Fishbed. “With the retirement of the legacy Hornets from Naval Aviation squadrons after decades of service, these historic aircraft were at the top of our wish list for acquisition,” said museum director CAPT Sterling Gilliam, USN (Ret.).
“They represent links to an important chapter in Naval Aviation history,” he added.
“Born more than 40 years ago, the Hornet entered operational service for the U.S. Navy in 1984 and for the next 35 years, she proudly served the nation from the flight deck of aircraft carriers in all the seas across the globe,” said Cmdr. William Mathis, commanding officer of VFA-34.
The Blue Blasters of VFA-34 were the last squadron in the Navy flying the Hornet, most recently joining USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to conduct Freedom of Navigation patrols in the South China Sea in 2018.
The F/A-18C Hornet is being replaced by the F/A-18E Super Hornet, which is capable of executing the same missions as the Hornet, but with significant advancements in mission systems that will dramatically enhance its effectiveness.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy