Fighter Squadron 54 (FITRON 54)

VF-54 ‘Hell’s Angels’


fighter squadron vf-54 hell's angels crest insignia patch badge us navy

fighter squadron vf-54 copperheads hell's angels fitron us navy



established as VBF-153 on March 26, 1945

VBF-153 redesignated VF-16A on November 15, 1946

VF-16A redesignated VF-152 on July 15, 1948

VF-152 redesignated VF-54 on February 15, 1950

VF-54 redesignated VA-54 on June 15, 1956


Nicknames: 1945-51 = Copperheads / 1951-56 = Hell’s Angels


Vought F4U-4B Corsair (1950-51)

Douglas AD-2/3/4/6 Skyraider (1951-56)




May 1950 - December 1950 with CVG-5 aboard USS Valley Forge (CV 45)

June 1951 - March 1952 with CVG-5 aboard USS Essex (CV 9)

November 1952 - June 1953 with CVG-5 aboard USS Valley Forge (CVA 45)

March 1954 - November 1954 with CVG-5 aboard USS Philippine Sea (CVA 47)

October 1955 - May 1956 with CVG-5 aboard USS Kearsarge (CVA 33)




vf-54 copperheads fighter squadron hell's angels f4u-4b corsair cvg-5 uss valley forge cv-45

F4U-4B Corsair (VF-53 / CVG-5) embarked on USS Valley Forge (CV 45) - 1950




Chronology of significant events:


29 Jun 1950:

VF-54 was deployed aboard Valley Forge (CV 45) in the Western Pacific when hostilities erupted in Korea on 25 June. The carrier was ordered north from the Philippines and the squadron’s aircraft conducted a sweep along the western coast of Taiwan due to the concern that the North Korean invasion of South Korea might be a prelude to an invasion of that island by the Chinese Communists.


3 Jul 1950:

The squadron participated in its first combat strikes since its establishment in 1945. These strikes were the first made by carrier aircraft in the

Korean War. VF-54’s Corsairs struck targets in Pyongyang, North Korea.


15 Sep 1950:

VF-54 provided air support for the landings at Inchon, South Korea.


26 Jul 1954:

VF-54’s AD-4 Skyraiders were on a SAR mission looking for survivors, rafts or debris from a British Cathay Pacific DC-4 airliner, that had been shot down by the Chinese Communists, when they were attacked by two Chinese LA-7 fighter aircraft. Two of the squadron’s Skyraiders, along with an F4U, shot down the two LA-7s 13 miles southeast of Hainan Island.




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