VAQ-130 “Zappers” Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron Home » NAS Units » VAQ-130 “Zappers” Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

vaq-130-zapper-patchDating from the Eisenhower administration, the Zappers of VAQ-130 have led the way in Navy electronic warfare for more than 40 years. Originally designated VAW-13, the unit is the longest serving carrier based electronic warfare squadron in Navy history, and has flown the Navy’s three primary tactical jamming aircraft into the heaviest, most threatening electronic environments ever faced by manned aircraft.

Commissioned at NAS Agana, Guam, on September 1, 1959 and transferred to NAS Alameda, California, in July, 1961, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron Thirteen flew a variety of aircraft during its eight years. In the spring of 1967 this unit received the first EKA3-B and KA3-Bs and soon began to deploy its Skywarriors to provide aerial refueling and electronic countermeasures while continuing to operate Douglas EA-1Fs until November, 1970. From November, 1967, until March, 1969, six VAW-13 detachments operated EKA3-Bs aboard the USS America (CVA-66), Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), Constellation (CVA-64), Enterprise (CVN-65), Hancock (CVA-19), and Ranger (CVA-61).

On October 1, 1968, the squadron was redesignated VAQ-130 and 14 of its detachments served aboard carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin until the return of Det 4 in June 1973. From May to October 1974, VAQ-130 Det 4 made the final EKA3-B peacetime deployment aboard the USS Ranger (CVA-61). Following the decommissioning of VAH-123 in February 1971, VAQ-130 also took over the responsibility for training A-3 crews. VAQ-130 stood down on June 30, 1974 and moving to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, began its transition to the EA-6B.


— provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri

4 thoughts on “VAQ-130 “Zappers” Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

  1. Correction: Det 4 did not make the last deployment on the Ranger, we were taken off the ship after completing the ORE and did not deploy with the air-wing.

  2. Another correction. I mustered out of VAQ 130 at the Alameda Naval air Station in August 1972. At that time we had begun to replace our A-3s with A-6s. So the transition to the A6 began long before the squadron moved to Whidbey Island in 1974.

  3. I got my start in the whale community with VAH123 in April 1968, transferred to VAQ130 Det 4 (60) in May 1970 in time for the Med cruise on the USS Saratoga. I muster out in April of 1971. I enjoyed the A3 reunion in 2019 at the Alameda Museum.

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