After operating the F9F Cougar, VF-174 transitioned to the F8U-1 Crusader in January 1958. The squadron was chose in March 1968 to train Atlantic Fleet Crusader pilots. On 1 May 1958 the squadron relinquished its seagoing role and was officially designated Atlantic Fleet F8U replacement pilot training squadron.
The Hellrazors quickly received other tasks in addition to pilot training: evaluation of the Mk IV Full Pressure Suit, but also that of the F8U-1T "Twosader" and training of the first French Crusader pilots.
In April 1962, the squadron re-equiped with the F8U-2N (F-8E). It received the Aviation Safety Award in 1960 and again in 1962, and the Delmar Target System Award for top efficiency in gunnery exercises in 1963.
In July 1966, the squadron was the first to receive the A-7 Corsair II, and was redesignated VA-174.
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