Bravo Bravo Aviation



VF-211 "Fighting Checkmates"

Squadron history :

Note: Three U.S. Navy squadrons have been designated VF-211. The first VF-211 was established as VB-74 in 1945, eventually became VFA-211, and is the subject of this page. The second was established in 1948 and disestablished in 1949. The third VF-211 was established in 1955 and later redesignated VF-24 in 1959.

VB-74 was redesignated VF-24 in December 1949 and participated in the Korean War. On 9 March 1959, VF-24 and VF-211 swaped designations, insignias and traditions. The new VF-211 was based NAS Moffet Field and flew the F11F Tiger, which were replaced with F8U-1s in December 1959.

F-8J BuNo 150900 of VF-211. This is the aircraft Jerry Tucker used on 23 May 1972 to score a victory without firing a shot. (Copyright © 2008 Gaëtan Marie)
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In June 1961, the squadron moved to NAS Miramar. The F-8A was replaced by the all-weather F-8E in 1964.

During the Vietnam War, VF-211 made seven deployments to Vietnam and were credited with eight victories. This made them the US Navy's second best "MiG killer" unit. They were the first Crusaders to engage NVAF MiGs in combat, and also the first and the last to achieve victories over them. The unit earned itself a reputation for aggressivity and the nickname "MiG Killers".

One of the most surprising victories took place on 23 May 1972, when Lt Jerry Tucker began chasing a MiG-17 whose pilot spotted the incoming Crusader and immediately ejected.

In December 1975, the "Fighting Checkmates" began their transition to the F-14 Tomcat. The unit currently flies the F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Crusader models used:

F-8A December 1959
F-8E February 1964
F-8H early 1968
F-8J 1969