Fighter Squadron 23 (FITRON 23)

VF-23 ‘Flashers’


vf-23 flashers fighter squadron crest insignia patch badge us navy fitron

fighter squadron vf-23 flashers fitron us navy



established as VF-23 on August 6, 1948

VF-23 redesignated VF-151 on February 23, 1959


Vought F4U Corsair (1949-50)

Grumman F9F Panther (1951-53)

McDonnell F2H Banshee (1953-56)

Douglas F4D Skyray (1957-59)




May 1949 - September 1949 with CVG-2 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVB 43)

August 1950 - November 1950 with CVG-2 aboard USS Boxer (CV 21)

May 1951 - August 1951 with CVG-19 aboard USS Princeton (CV 37)

June 1952 - February 1953 with ATG-2 aboard USS Essex (CV 9)

December 1953 - July 1954 with ATG-2 aboard USS Essex (CVA 9)

March 1956 - September 1956 with ATG-4 aboard USS Yorktown (CVA 10)

February 1958 - October 1958 with CVG-15 aboard USS Hancock (CVA 19)




vf-23 flashers fighter squadron douglas f4d skyray carrier air group cvg-15 uss hancock cva 19

F4D-1 Skyray (VF-23 / CVG-15) embarked on USS Hancock (CVA 19) - 1957 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)


vf-23 flashers fighter squadron f2h-3 banshee wheel crash accident uss essex cva 9 1954

F2H-3 Banshee (VF-23 / ATG-2) accident aboard USS Essex (CVA 9) - 1954


vf-23 fighter squadron flashers f4u corsair

F4U Corsair (VF-23) - 1948




Fighter Squadron 23 (VF-23) was established at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia On August 6, 1948. The squadron was attached to Air Group Two aboard the USS Midway (CV-41) and flew the F4U-5 Corsair and F6F-5P Hellcat. By April 1949, the squadron flew the F4U-4 Corsair exclusively, embarking with that aircraft for a Mediterranean Sea Deployment from May-Dec 1949.

In August 1950, the squadron moved to NAS Alameda, California, and then deployed for the first of three cruises in support of the Korean War. On 15 Sep 1950, the squadron flew combat missions from USS Boxer (CV-21) in support of the amphibious landings at Inchon, Korea. Upon their return to the States, the squadron relocated to NAS Moffett Field in Nov 1950. The squadron transitioned to the jet age in Jan 1951, flying the straight-wing F9F-2 Panther on their second Korea deployment from USS Princeton (CV-37). During the third Korean War deployment, while flying from USS Essex (CV-9) In Aug 1952, squadron aircraft participated in joint operations with the U.S. Air Force, striking targets in Pyongyang and the surrounding area.

The squadron transitioned to the F2H-3 Banshee in March 1953 and adopted a new role as an all-weather fighter squadron. In Mar 1954, the squadron was deployed to the western Pacific aboard Essex when the carrier was ordered to operate off the coast of Vietnam during the Viet Minh’s assault against the French at Dien Bien Phu.

In Dec 1956, VF-23 transitioned to the F4D-1 Skyray, and in Aug and Sep 1958, the squadron flew sorties from USS Yorktown (CV-10) in the Taiwan Straits after the Chinese Communists bombarded Quemoy Island.

VF-23 deployed to the WestPac aboard USS Hancock (CV-19) in 1958 and again 1959. The squadron, now known as the Vigilantes, transitioned to the F3H-2 Demon in Jan 1959. A month later, the squadron was redesignated Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTY ONE (VF-151) on 23 February 1959 and assigned to Carrier Air Group 15.


1. LCDR T. J. Gallagher, Jr. (AUG48-OCT49)
2. LCDR C. E. Russell (JUL50-MAR51)
3. LCDR R. C. Mueller (MAR51-FEB52)
4. LCDR C. C. Aikins (FEB52-JUN53)
5. CDR W. J. Maran (JUN53-OCT54)
6. CDR W. H. Neal (OCT54-OCT56)
7. CDR C. A. Knight (OCT56-FEB58)
8. CDR J. H. Stewart (FEB58-FEB59)





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