As a result of the overhaul of the Naval Air Reserve, at NAS Alameda, California on May 2, 1970, VAQ-308, under the command of CDR Gregory Bambo Jr., was the first squadron of the first reserve Carrier Air Group to be commissioned.
Comprised of a unique complement of civilian reservists and active duty personnel, VAQ-308 was assigned KA-3B’s. At 0750, November 10, 1970, VAQ-308’s Skywarrior, made the first arrested landing for the newly formed Carrier Air Group 30. The landing was made during low ceilings and 14 foot seas aboard USS TICONDERGA (CVS-14) while cruising approximately 100 miles southwest of San Clemente Island. Never before had non-active duty reservists been day and night carrier qualified!
This was the first A3 Skywarrior and the first Heavy Attack Squadron ever assigned to the Naval Air Reserve. VAQ-308 along with its later formed sister squadron, VAQ-208, established a new precedence by flying combat support missions in S.E. Asia during the Vietnam War with civilian reservists (not recalled to Active Duty) during short leaves of absence from their civilian occupations.
The squadron supported peacetime as well as critical emergency deployments to the Indian Ocean (e.g., during the India-Pakistan conflict in 1971 and the transfer of aircraft to Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973). The AERREFRON designation was adopted on October 1, 1979, thus making VAK-308 and VAK-208 the only Navy units ever to have been given air refueling as their primary mission. After adding over 19 years to the “Whale’s” already long operational tenure, VAK-308 was decommissioned at NAS Alameda on September 30, 1989.
- VAQ-308/VAK-308 Unit Page (Military.com)
- Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons – Volume I (see “Chapter 4 Tactical Aerial Refueling Squadron Histories (VAK) (VAK-208 to VAK-308)”)
— provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri and Mr. William T. Larkins
6 thoughts on “VAQ/VAK-308 “Griffins” Tactical Aerial Refueling Squadron”
I am looking for any pictures of my father. His name is LCDR Ron MacDougall. He passed away back in 1997. I would appreciate anything at all.
Ron MacDougall ( son ).
Sorry for your loss ?. I was OPS from 1982-1985. Salute to your father and Blessings to All. AZ3 John Dewey Denison, USN
I don’t have any pictures of your father however, I served with him both on active duty when he was a lieutenant in vah 123 at Whidbey Island (1960-1964) and then in vak 308 at NAS alameda (1970-1975) when he was OinC.
trying to find shipmates and if a reunion coming up
i REMEMBER YOU, WAS YOUR WIFE LINDA ? MY WIFE THEN JOANNE KNEW YOU. MY DAUGHTER WAS NAMED CHRISTA MY SON NAME IS PAUL. I WENT TO VR-55 AFTER SHUT DOWN. I RETIRED IN 1992 AFTER GULF WAR. AS AMH-1 ILVE IN OAK HARBOR,WA MOVED HERE AFTER RETIRING AFTER 20 YEARS IN PIEDMONT,CA POLICE DEPT. LIFR IS GOOD HERE IN OAK HARBOR,WA !
Last Mari flight A3 trainer