Home F-14 Tomcat Photo Sequence shows F-14A Tomcat Engaging Barricade during Emergency Landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk 35 Years Ago

Photo Sequence shows F-14A Tomcat Engaging Barricade during Emergency Landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk 35 Years Ago

by Dario Leone
Famous photo sequence shows F-14A Tomcat Engaging Barricade during Emergency Landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk

The recovery was successful; no injuries were sustained during the F-14A Tomcat emergency landing.

Taken on Jun. 30, 1984 the photo sequence in this post shows: LEFT – A Grumman F-14A Tomcat fighter jet from VF-1 Wolfpack entering a barricade during an emergency landing aboard the conventionally-powered U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). CENTER – The barricade restrains the aircraft as it comes aboard the carrier. The recovery was successful; no injuries were sustained during the landing. RIGHT – Crew members use an NP-50 crane to remove the damaged aircraft from the flight deck after its emergency barricade landing.

Photo sequence shows F-14A Tomcat Engaging Barricade during Emergency Landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk 35 Years Ago

VF-1, “Wolfpack” was established on Oct. 14, 1972 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar, at the same time as VF-2, these units were the first F-14 fighter squadrons. VF-1 received the first F-14As on Jul. 1, 1973. The squadron’s insignia was a red wolf’s head designed by Grumman Commercial Artist, George M. Kehew himself a WWII combat veteran. The Squadron Insignia is registered in the Library of Congress.

Photo sequence shows F-14A Tomcat Engaging Barricade during Emergency Landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk 35 Years Ago

The first cruise came in September 1974 onboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65). The end of the cruise saw the first Tomcat’s combat debut, as VF-1 and VF-2 flew cover over Saigon for evacuation of US personnel in April 1975 as part of Operation Frequent Wind.

Photo sequence shows F-14A Tomcat Engaging Barricade during Emergency Landing aboard USS Kitty Hawk 35 Years Ago

In September 1980, VF-1 and VF-2 changed carrier air wings, moved to USS Ranger (CV-61) and flew various cruises with her until they shifted carriers once again in 1984 to USS Kitty Hawk. They stayed with Kitty Hawk for one cruise. In 1984, VF-1 had achieved the impressive 22,000 flight hours without a single accident. By 1986, they returned to the Ranger and were with the carrier during Operation Desert Storm where VF-1 scored the only F-14 air-to-air kill during the war, an Iraqi Mil Mi-8 helicopter was downed with an AIM-9 Sidewinder.

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The Ranger’s last foreign port of entry was Sydney Australia in January of 1993 after having spent New Year’s Eve 1992 in Melbourne Australia.

VF-1 F-14A print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-14A Tomcat VF-1 Wolfpack, NE103 / 162603 / Operation Desert Storm, 1991

The Ranger was decommissioned in 1993 and VF-1 was left without a carrier. They operated out of NAS Miramar until VF-1 itself was disestablished on Oct. 1, 1993.

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS

U.S. Navy photos by PH3 Hall. From the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

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Welcome to The Aviation Geek Club, your new stopover aviation place. Launched in 2016 by Dario Leone, an Italian lifelong - aviation geek, this blog is the right place where you can share your passion and meet other aviation enthusiasts from all over the world.