VAW-13 “Zappers” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron Home » NAS Units » VAW-13 “Zappers” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

vaw-13-zappers-patchVAW-13 was born on Agana, Guam September 1, 1959. The planes assigned to the squadron were AD-5Q and AD-5W Sky Raiders, referred to by squadron personnel as “Queens”. The designation was changed several years later to EA-1F. The Tail Code was V R “Victor Romeo” and the call sign on the UHF Radio was “Robinson”. The Squadron was known as the “Zappers” and the Green Dragon with Lighting Bolts became the Squadron Patch.

The Squadron operated out of Guam until they were re-assigned stateside to NAS Alameda, Calif. July 22, 1961. In June and July of 1961, members and planes from VAW-11 Stationed at NAS North Island, Calif prepared for transfer to VAW-13. All AD 5 Q’s from VAW-11 along with the support group and pilots were then transferred to VAW-13 arriving in July & August of 1961.

VAW-13 took on the full time duty of an Electronic Warfare (ECM) Squadron and VAW-11 became a fulltime Anti-Submarine Squadron.

VAW-13 supplied a minimum of two planes and support personnel to every Aircraft Carrier that deployed to Westpac for the next several years.

A Detachment at NAS Cubi Point, PI was maintained by VAW-13 from April/May of 1962.This Detachment was known as Det.One.

On September 30, 1968 VAW-13 and its Sky Raiders passed into the Naval History books as one of the last great propeller Squadrons to serve in the US NAVY but the love of the plane and all its personnel live on.

On October 1, 1968 VAQ-130 was born out of the men and women from VAW-13 and live on to this day. This is another story for other Sailors to tell.


— provided by Mr. Wayne (Smitty) Smith, and Mr. Robert T. Kingzett

29 thoughts on “VAW-13 “Zappers” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

  1. Request assistance in obtaining a copy of COMFAIRALAMEDA Instruction 3310.5 (late 1950’s) containing “Sandblower” mission routes/checkpoints.
    I am researching my fathers aviation career and I am specifically looking for information on the “Sandblower #12” mission route. Sandblower routes are identified in this instruction.

    Thank You.

    1. We do have archives, but the info is not cataloged, much less digitized for access. Good luck with your search.
      Robbie Dileo, Secretary

    1. I am also looking for a Zapper patch. Were you in VAW-13? I was there from 64-66. I would be glad to contact you if I locate patches.

  2. I served on the USS Midway in 1965. The enlisted men from VAW 13 used our AQ shop (VF-21) to perform maintenance on their ECM gear. On June 2, 1965 their plane was shot down. The names of those men who were lost that day are listed below. I have a photo of the plane they were flying although it was covered with a silver covering which I believe was put on before their plane was craned aboard in Alameda. It was as shown in the photo I have when we came aboard. if anyone has an interest in the photo feel free to contact me.

    LTJG M.D. McMican, pilot; LTJG Gerald M.
    Romano, navigation officer; Petty Officer Third Class William H. Amspacher,
    Electronic Countermeasures Operator, and ATN 3 Thomas L. Plants.

    1. Hello Doug.. I was in VAW13 from July, 1963 to July 1965. I knew M. D. McMican. I was in the church twice at Alameda- once for his wedding and once for his memorial. I would appreciate being able to secure a picture of the airplane he was flying. I can be reached at Coastalcarol. Com Thank you. Lt. Terry L. Powell DC USNR

      1. I flew with Tom Plants in 1964 on His 1st into Vietnam..He before Launch said to Me, “There’s no War goin’ on”

  3. I was in VAW 13 from 1966 to 1970, so was my brother.
    Michael hill and James hill.
    I do have the original vaw13 patch and the heavy one patch.

          1. Hi Jim
            I remember you well from Det One, Cuba Pt and enjoying some time in KitKat Club in Olongopo City. I am Robert Bryant. I was a plane captain from 1966-68 and serve aboard the Intrepid, BonHom Richard, Ticonderoga, Kitty Hawk and the ill fated Forrestal. I was on the flight deck when zhe fire and explosion first happened; terrible, I almost died because I was trying to help with one of the fire hoses. My last tour was aboard the Enterprise where I volunteered to be a Master at Arms roaming the ship since I did not like the A-3; I wanted to stay with the spads but got stuck with the first A-3 deployment.

            Jim, I cannot remember if we worked together at the same time on any of the carriers, but I do remember you at Cuba Pt.
            Hope you are well and will reply.

  4. I was NAESU tech rep at Alameda and Westpac 1967 – 68, Beach Det, Cubi Pt. Lots of rides in the C-130’s, Huey’s, Spads and EKA-3B’s. many beers at the Zapper Room Cubi BOQ.
    I knew Cdr Ned Ferris, Lcdr Moore, Lt Bob Bullock, Lt Vic brown, “Alfie” VAW-13 Maint Officer, Lcdr Paul Burgundy (first met Paul 1961 in VP-19, P-2V7 Hgr 39, COMFAIR Alameda) Cdr Markus, Lt Peterson, many more. Hats off and many thanks to the guys and long hours in AIMD shops that ‘kept em flying’. I served with USAF F-4J and C-141. Marine A4’s El Toro/Chu Lai and AH-1W TOW. My fondest memories are the guys who were the Zappers.

  5. I was with the original formation of V A W 1 3 in 1959 on Guam. I flew as aircrew ecm operator. Call sign on uhf Robison. My favorite plane was number 727. Pilot Lt. Egan was my favorite. CPt. Hitchcock was my commanding officer. During carrier landing qualifications i rode as observer for many of the new pilots. I remember one ensign Vidartie we made seven attempts before we caught a wire. My rank was AT2.

    1. I remember you. I was in VAw-11 on North Island and transfered to Agana Naval Air station in 1959 I was an AT2 . Do you remover B.J. Plummer and his wife Kay? Kenneth Rice?

    2. Thank you so much for your remembrance. CAPT. Hitchcock was my father and I have many memories of him on Guam. It was without a doubt his most favorite assignment. — Bill —

    3. Hello Gerald, My dad was either the squadron Ops boss, or the XO, Cdr Bill Corson, at the same time you were there, and as many have here, came to VAW-13 from VAW-11 in North Island. He had also been the lead for Det . Mike onboard the Ranger before arriving on Guam. We lived on base at Agana, next door to the Hitchcocks. I’m doing a little genealogical research/record collecting for my brothers and I, and came upon this site. We loved our time on Guam, and just being Navy Juniors.

    4. Hello Gerald,
      Did you know my father, Eugene Benevento? He served with the VAW 13 in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
      Dave Benevento

  6. I was with VAW 11 before transfering into VAW 13 prior to West Pac, cruise on USS Ranger in 1960.
    Our detachment left the carrier in Japan and we traveled to Guam, where we operated for the next 12 months.
    I was transferred out of VAW 13, and not happy for that! My last year of active duty I was assigned to VF 121 in Miramar, CA.
    VF 121 was a training squadron for the F4H-1 aircraft, which were new to the US Navy’s inventory, this assignment was good for me personally, but I still missed my old squadron VAW13, and my buddies!

  7. Jim you and I drove from Alameda to Kansas city in August of 1964 after your discharge I am sure you remember me. Kurt Casper AMS3 airframe 1963 ford.

  8. Jim you and I drove from Alameda to Kansas city in August of 1964 after your discharge I am sure you remember me. Kurt Casper AMS3 airframe 1963 ford. I was in VAW 13 from aug 61 to jan 65

  9. Looking for VAW-13 friends form 1965-1966 era forward deployed to NAS Cubi PT and then ships on the line off North Vietnam>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.