VF-124 "Gunfighters" aka "Crusader College"
On 11 April 1958, VF-53 was redesignated VF-124 based at NAS Moffet Field. Its task was to give initial training to Crusader pilots, but also refresher training for pilots returning to the Pacific Fleet and maintenance training for Crusader ground crews. All squadron pilots were also expected to be fully combat-ready in case they were needed.
In June 1961, the squadron moved to NAS Miramar. Given its Replacement Air Group role, the squadron operated several different Crusader models simultaneously, including all models up to the F-8E, and the remanufactured F-8J and F-8H. Although the squadron's name was "Gunfighters", it was often called "Crusader College".
In 1958 and 1959, the squadron won the Safety S awards.
In 1970, VF-124 transitioned to the new F-14 Tomcat and transferred F-8 pilot training to VFP-63.